MOREHEAD Mason Moore did not have any issues scoring on Thursday night.

Unfortunately for Boyd County, it did.

Rowan County took advantage of the Lions’ inability to find points in the first 24 minutes of the 16th Region Tournament semifinal at Johnson Arena.

The Vikings amassed a 38-12 lead during the stretch that proved too much for Boyd County to overcome. Moore finished with 25 points to help send his team to the region championship game with a 60-45 victory.

“One of the things we talked about was how physical Boyd County is and how well they rebound,” Rowan County coach Shawn Thacker said. “If you come out here and get punched in the mouth, you may not recover from it. We wanted to make sure we had the right mindset.”

“I thought we played a little tight in the first game (against Elliott County),” he added. “We were able to loosen up in the second half. Tonight, we were able to come out and play well and I hope that carries over into Saturday.”

The Lions mounted a fourth-quarter charge, hitting their first six shots of the final frame, including two 3-pointers from JB Walter.

Rowan County answered with a 9-1 run to close out the win and secure a date with defending region champion Ashland, a 76-69 overtime winner over West Carter, in the finals on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

“We did a good job in our zone and located the people that we needed to,” Thacker said. “Robby (Todd) is a great defender in the middle. I think we saw that when he went out. Boyd County went on a run and scored a couple of back-to-back buckets at the end of the half. … We have been really good defensively all year. We have continued to better and added layers to it where we can do different things.”

Boyd County (15-9) opened the contest with a 4-2 lead before Rowan County answered with an 8-0 spurt, guided by Nathan Goodpaster’s pair of long balls.

“My teammates were fantastic tonight,” Moore said. “I trusted them. Nathan had some pretty big 3s in the first quarter. We just came out and set a tone. We knew we had to be physical, and I think we did that pretty good tonight.”

Chase Alderman added a short jumper to stake the Vikings to a 10-4 advantage after one quarter.

The Lions could not remove the lid over their basket in the opening 16 minutes and found themselves trailing 27-10 at halftime. They did not score in the final 5:28 of the first quarter and scoreless streak stretched over nine minutes until Austin Cumpton hit in the lane at 3:56 mark of the second frame.

“You watch film, and you think you found something across the foul line (against their zone), and it would be open all night long,” Boyd County coach Randy Anderson said. “We did feed it, but we just could not finish one.”

“That is just the way the region tournament is played,” he added. “You have to finish inside, and we struggled there. We had to take some shots we didn’t want to. Rowan County just hit big shots against our pressure.”

The Vikings continued where they left off to begin the third quarter. Moore took the first pass after Rowan County inbounded the ball at halfcourt and drove the lane for a layup. He duplicated the feat on Rowan County’s next possession.

Moore felt a Boyd County run coming after intermission. The senior said the team was prepared to withstand a scoring punch from the Lions.

“I will take what I can get (offensively),” Moore said. “Boyd County was down a good amount at halftime. They had nothing to lose. I told the team that they would get after us. My teammates and I handled that well.”

Alderman and Goodpaster supplied buckets then Moore added an and-1 to give his team a 26-point margin.

“This team would not be capable of doing anything special if we just relied on the Big Three to get it done,” Thacker said. “They have to have help, whether it be defensively or taking care of the ball on offense. Those guys have to make shots. It was Jordan Justice the other night (against Elliott County). We believe in them and they know that we need them.”

Boyd County started the game 1 of 13 from the field and finished the first half 4 of 19.

Goodpaster was also in double figures with 12 for Rowan County (15-3).

Walter led the Lions with 10 points.

Anderson said he is forever grateful for the commitment and the hard work of his eight seniors.

“Rowan County was well-prepared,” Anderson said. “The kids that had to make shots made shots for them. This is the worst part of the season every year. In 2018, we got to go to Rupp Arena, but even then, there comes a point where you have to say goodbye to some very special kids. They have put in an awful lot of work.”

(606) 326-2654 |

mspaarks@dailyindependent.com

ROWAN CO. FG FT REB TP

Maxey 1-1 0-0 2 3

Alderman 3-8 3-4 6 9

Moore 7-12 10-13 8 25

Goodpaster 4-5 2-3 2 12

Todd 3-8 0-0 4 6

Lucas 0-0 0-0 0 0

Wilburn 0-0 0-0 0 0

Gardner 0-1 0-0 1 0

Perkins 0-0 0-0 1 0

Ingles 0-0 0-0 0 0

Collins 1-1 1-2 1 3

Justice 1-4 0-0 2 2

Tackett 0-0 0-0 0 0

Blevins 0-0 0-0 0 0

Fannin 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 3

TOTAL 20-40 16-22 30 60

FG Pct: 50.0. FT Pct: 72.7 3-point FGs: 4-13 (Maxey 1-1, Alderman 0-2, Moore 1-4, Goodpaster 2-2, Todd 0-2, Justice 0-2) PF: 15. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.

BOYD CO. FG FT REB TP

Meade 0-1 0-0 3 0

Webb 1-4 0-0 1 2

Newsome 0-4 2-2 1 2

DeBoard 2-7 1-2 3 5

Gibbs 2-9 0-0 4 4

Ellis 1-4 1-4 4 3

Holbrook 0-0 0-0 0 0

Hicks 1-1 0-0 1 3

McNeil 4-9 0-0 4 8

Cumpton 2-3 2-2 1 6

Blevins 0-1 0-0 0 0

Stacy 0-0 0-0 0 0

Jackson 1-1 0-0 0 2

Taylor 0-0 0-0 0 0

Walter 4-8 0-0 3 10

Team 3

TOTAL 18-52 6-10 28 45

FG Pct: 34.6. FT Pct: 60.0 3-point FGs: 3-20 (Meade 0-1, Webb 0-3, DeBoard 0-4, Hicks 1-1, McNeil 0-4, Blevins 0-1, Walter 2-6) PF: 22. Fouled out: DeBoard. Turnovers: 9

ROWAN CO. 12 15 17 16 — 60

BOYD CO. 4 6 13 22 — 45

Officials: Brian Johnson, Brian Napier, Mike Melton

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