Duff is a familiar name with Rowan County athletics. Mary and her husband, John, have two daughters in the Lady Vikings program. Kathryn, a sophomore, began the season as a solid contributor for Rowan County before suffering a high ankle sprain. Seventh-grader Becca has also dressed for varsity games.
"This is a good group of girls,’’ Mary Duff said from courtside as Rowan County players received their awards. “The only thing that could make it better was if Kathryn hadn’t gotten hurt.’’
The Duffs also have three sons — Matthew (25), Jonathan (21) and Nick (19) — who played baseball and/or basketball at Rowan County. Nick is a member of Morehead State University’s baseball squad.
Katie Martin and Jennifer Brockman, two senior mainstays on Rowan County’s 2009 regional championship team, provided vocal support from behind the bench Saturday. Both are freshmen at MSU and Brockman serves as a volunteer assistant coach for Rowan County’s junior varsity and freshmen teams.
“I felt like this team would do it,’’ Brockman said. “Defense is what wins here.’’
Martin was all smiles after Rowan’s latest title.
“I’m extremely happy for them,’’ Martin said. “I’m proud to say I was a Lady Viking.’’
Second-year Rowan County assistant coach Larry Slone praised the team’s work ethic and defensive preparation.
“All we talked about the last few days was holding the score down and creating 20-some turnovers,’’ Slone said. “That’s what we do.’’
Slone, 61, joined Tackett’s staff last season and also has guided Rowan County’s softball team to two regional titles.
“There’s nothing like the feeling,’’ Slone said. “It’s special. Scott does a great job coaching the girls and gets a maximum effort from them 99 percent of the time. He has a great feel for what needs to be done.’’
Kiser hurt her shoulder in the closing minutes after getting tangled up with Muncy and East Carter players, but her toughness throughout was a key for the Lady Vikings.
“It was a very physical game,’’ Kiser said. “It means a lot to be the first Rowan County team to win three straight.’’