Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 5, 2013

AARON SNYDER: Poythress can’t just disappear

ASHLAND — Of Kentucky’s 10 true road games this season, freshman Alex Poythress cracked double figures in scoring just twice.

Since his barrage of four straight 20-point performances in November, Poythress hit 20 only two times in the next 24 games.

In the Wildcats’ five SEC losses, Poythress is averaging a meager 7.1 points per game.

Sometimes I watch Poythress and I see a Terrence Jones with a smoother shooting stroke.

I see an athlete who could dismantle a backboard with an authoritative two-handed dunk if he slams through the rim just right.

Other times, simply locating No. 22 resembles the last page of a Where’s Waldo book.

The 6-foot-7 forward is strongly built and uber-talented. But maybe inside that man’s body is a boy’s mind that isn’t quite mature enough to handle being a dependable, integral part of this team.

And that’s OK at most places. After all, he’s a 19-year-old freshman.

At UK, though, basketball players are forced to grow up quickly.

If Poythress can’t become a consistent producer over the next week and a half, Kentucky may find itself “NIT-ing” instead of dancing.

With only one win against the RPI Top 50, Kentucky desperately needs a strong finish.

Poythress needs to thrive in order for the Wildcats to do so. Guards Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin have to help Poythress, too, by finding him early and more often in games.

Unless Poythress puts on those ridiculous red-and-white stripes and settles for blending in.

Thacker Torn ACL

Rowan County junior basketball/baseball player Tyler Thacker is facing about a nine-month recovery.

An injury suffered during last Friday’s 16th Region Tournament championship game has been determined as a torn ACL, according to coach/father Shawn Thacker.

Bruner Big Booter

Boyd County placekicker Zac Bruner is taking his booting duties seriously. He has attended several camps, including esteemed Prokicker.com events, and enjoyed a recent performance that put him on a watch list.

Just a sophomore, his personal-best in practice so far is 57 yards.

At Southern Specialist Camp, conducted by Team Jackson Kicking in Carrollton, Ga., Bruner impressed enough to earn this description to attach with his YouTube video: “Zac Bruner is a Class of 2015 kicker out of Kentucky that has D1A potential ... Definitely keep track of Zac’s progress in the future.”

Bruner’s personal kicking coach is Aaron Pettrey, who was a standout player at Raceland before kicking for Ohio State and eventually the Bengals for a coupole of games. Pettrey commented on his YouTube video.

“I have been working with Zac for a year now and I have to also agree that he has one of the strongest legs I've seen for his age,” Pettrey wrote. “Every time we get together his technique is getting better and better. His future is extremely bright.”

Hardware Handed Out

The Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches announced its award recipients for the 2012-13 season on Monday.

Russell coach Merle Kidwell and Boyd County’s Randy Anderson were named the 16th Region Co-Coaches of the Year.

Russell senior Kyle Skaggs earned Player of the Year honors.

All-Star Tryouts

Two area basketball standouts have been invited to try out for the annual Kentucky/Indiana All-Star Classic.

Lawrence County’s Taylor Porter will try to make the girls’ squad and Russell’s Kyle Skaggs the boys’ squad.

A total of 35 boys and 38 girls were selected for the tryout, which will take place on March 23 and 24 at Georgetown College.

Porter has already signed to play at Murray State next season.

Skaggs is still undecided about his future plans.

Lewis Walking On

Ironton football speedster Patrick Lewis is set to walk on at Marshall University, according to HerdNation.com.

Lewis rushed for several 200-plus yard games as a senior and was a dynamic playmaker in the kick/punt return game as well for the Fighting Tigers in 2012.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014