Barring injury or some crazy occurrence, Kyle Skaggs was inevitably going to surpass Jon Van Hoose as Russell’s all-time top scorer.
He needed 92 points when the season began. Considering the fluidity with which he scores, Skaggs was going to get there in what, five, maybe six games? Possibly four.
Skaggs needed only three. A trio of 30-point games to open the season put the senior and sixth-year starter at the Red Devils' scoring summit.
With a 31.3-point scoring average thus far, Skaggs would become Russell's first 2,000-point scorer by the end of Saturday's game against Fairview at this rate — the Red Devils would have to win both EKC games this week in order to be at their sixth game by that point.
Skaggs is currently sitting on 1,908 career points.
‰There appears to be a clear gap between the top three teams and the rest of the pack in local girls. That separation will probably narrow with time, as Lewis County, Fleming County and others should be factors by season's end.
Based on the first week, though, Ashland, Boyd County and East Carter all orchestrated sensational performances. The Kittens dominated Lewis County, a region semifinalist last season. Boyd County made Russell look much worse than the Lady Devils actually are. East Carter trounced a talented Menifee County squad.
‰For the defending region champion Kittens, post play was one of the biggest question marks heading into the season because of the graduation of tough-nosed forward Julia Heaberlin.
So far, Kittens coach Bill Bradley must be extremely pleased. Lewis County's Savannah Anderson, one of the best post players in the region, was shut down in Anderson Gym.
‰The girls’ Eastern Kentucky Conference Tournament finishes up this week at Morgan County. The semifinal schedule: Lewis County-Fleming County, Monday at 6 p.m.; Russell-East Carter, Tuesday at 6 p.m. The championship game will be Thursday at 6 p.m.
‰The boys’ EKC Tourney schedule: Fleming County-Rowan County, Monday at 7:30 p.m.; Russell-East Carter, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. This might be four of the top six or seven teams in the region.
‰Ross Thompson’s 18-point breakout game against Boyd County should have Ashland excited. The Tomcats can lean on the guard, who obviously has worked hard and gotten stronger this offseason, to provide some leadership along with Zach Hart, especially with Logan Salow out with an injury. He's day-to-day, according to coach Buddy Biggs.
‰East Carter boys edged Breathitt County, 53-52, in the first round of the EKC Tournament on Saturday. With the Bobcats expected to be one of the top teams in the 14th Region, that's an impressive win for the Raiders.
‰Morgan County is using freshman Jordan Perry as a shooting guard with Samuel Aguirre running the point. After playing quite a bit of point guard his first two seasons, Perry should thrive in a solidified shooting role. He had 24 points against Russell.
‰Even though Boyd County’s boys are off to an 0-2 start, there are some bright spots. Perhaps the brightest? Freshman guard Bobby Anderson. The Lions will get out of this early funk, and he may a key reason why.
‰How’s this for a quick turnaround? Most of Fairview’s basketball team competed in the Class A football championship on Friday in Bowling Green. On Saturday in Westwood, Fairview beat Piarist School, 69-41.
‰With the exception of the EKC Tournament, it’s a fairly light upcoming week in local basketball. The most intriguing matchup, in my opinion, is Boyd County at Ashland girls on Saturday.
1. Fleming County (2-0)
2. Russell (3-0)
3. Ashland (2-0)
4. East Carter (2-0)
5. Morgan County (2-1)
6. Rowan County (1-0)
7. Boyd County (0-2)
1. Ashland (2-0)
2. Boyd County (2-0)
3. East Carter (2-0)
4. Lewis County (1-1)
5. Fleming County (3-0)
6. Russell (1-1)
7. Bath County (1-2)
We’re just one week in, and Kyle Skaggs is already wearing out his welcome.
The versatile scorer may have his own space in this club soon. The “Kyle Skaggs VIP Room” has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?
Skaggs had 31, 31 and 32 points against Boyd County, Greenup County and Morgan County.
Boyd County junior Taylor Wheeler scored 31 points in the Lady Lions' season-opening defeat of Johnson Central.
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AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.