Ashland’s trip down the AA Highway on Friday was much more to its liking.

After a 38-point blowout against highly-regarded Mason County on Tuesday, the Tomcats bounced back with a convincing 74-50 win against Lewis County at Lewis County Middle School.

Ashland bolted to an 11-1 lead and never trailed as senior Drew McDavid scored 20 points and brought down 12 rebounds. McDavid had eight points in the first quarter as the Tomcats seized control.

“Every year we get a scouting report that we have to keep him off the offensive glass and every year he’s killed us,” Lewis County coach Joe Hampton said of McDavid. “You have to give him credit for wanting it more than the other players. He has a good, athletic body and he’s tough to defend.”

Ashland (2-3) broke a three-game losing streak with the win and did so with a sticky, man-to-man defense that surrendered few good looks for Lewis County.

The Lions were outscored 15-5 after the first quarter and had just 11 at halftime. By that time they trailed by 26.

“I’m really happy with the way we played defense in the first half,” said Ashland coach Buddy Biggs, whose team limited Lewis County to 16-of-61 shooting and 4-of-21 from 3-point range. “We held them to 11 points at halftime and you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Senior guard Robby Wilcox helped the Tomcats extend their first-quarter lead. He hit a 23-footer to start the second scored and then added an 8-footer in the lane as part of a 13-2 run to start the quarter.

After Lewis County trimmed the lead to 28-11, Wilcox added another 3-pointer and reserve Jeremy Rose sank two more from long range in the final minute to make the count 37-11 at the break.

“We believe our kids are winners and have tough attitudes,” Biggs said. “Even after falling apart at Mason County, the coaching staff believed we had one of our best practices on Wednesday. Tonight, I thought we came out with a purpose.”

Ashland was an efficient 31-of-54 from the floor with 18 of the goals assisted. Junior guard Matt Thomas had a game-high seven assists to go along with 10 points. He was one of four Ashland players in double figures along with McDavid (20), Wilcox (16) and Rose (10).

It was Thomas who kept things rolling for Ashland in the third quarter. He opened the scoring with a nifty move along the baseline for a reverse layup. That was part of a 9-1 run that pushed the lead to 46-12.

The Tomcats’ biggest lead was 36 and came on a McDavid goal with five minutes left that made the score 68-32.

“You hate to use inexperience as an excuse, but it’s a fact. Our inexperience shows up in our execution,” Hampton said. “Our spacing was an issue and communication wasn’t being made on the floor.”

Lewis County, which is still without senior point guard Greg Owens because of a sprained knee, fell to 2-3. Marty Ruggles led the Lions with 16 points and Frank Witten and J.T. Britt also reached double figures with 12 and 10, respectively. Witten had a team-high eight rebounds for Lewis County, which was beaten 47-37 on the glass.

Hampton said he hopes to have Owens back for next week’s Town Square Invitational at Boyd County.

Ashland has four games in four days beginning Wednesday at Johnson Central’s Country Music Highway Classic.

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