Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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March 6, 2010

’Cats heat up late, eliminate Fleming

Johnson scores 15 with 6 boards to lead Tomcats

MOREHEAD--Ashland coach Buddy Biggs was caught in a rare mood heading into the fourth quarter Friday night.

“I wanted to go conservative, but my assistant coaches (Chris Whitlock, Jeff Wilcox and Mike Polley) wanted to keep the pedal to the metal,” Biggs said. “Our philosophy (going in) was to do what we do for 32 minutes and see what happens.”

Biggs succumbed to the suggestion and the Tomcats stayed true to their style. They closed the game out on a 32-11 run to earn a 75-54 win over Fleming County in the 16th Region Tournament quarterfinals at Ellis T. Johnson Arena.

Ashland advances to the semifinals, where it will take on East Carter tonight at 8:15.

With Friday’s game tied at 43 apiece, Corey Gregg grabbed one of his game-high 14 rebounds, threw an outlet pass to a wide-open Cody Withrow, and Withrow promptly gave Ashland a lead it never ceased.

“That kind of broke the ice right there,” Biggs said.

And if there was any ice left, Delaney melted it away with the touch of his red-hot shooting hand. The junior guard found his stroke for 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc.

Delaney scored seven points during the dominant fourth quarter.

Asked what the difference was in the final period, Fleming County coach Brian Kelly responded, “a young man named Dylan Delaney.”

“My teammates found me all night,” Delaney said. “If we share the ball we’re just as good as any team in the region.”

Delaney began his surge in the third quarter, burying three 3-pointers to help the Tomcats claw back from a 37-32 deficit.

“We need him to shoot like that two more times,” Biggs said.

“Three three’s within (three and a half minutes) -- it’s going to put pressure on you,” Kelly said.

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