ASHLAND “Finish, Selly!” Jason Mays yelled.

Ashland’s boys basketball coach screamed for junior guard Ethan “Selly” Sellars to knock down a layup (he did), and the rest of the Tomcats finished visiting Boyd County, 81-59, Sunday afternoon at James A. Anderson Gym.

Cole Villers led Ashland with 27 points, his most since his 32 at Highlands on Jan. 4. (He added four assists and seven steals.) Thing was, he considered the dimes and thefts more important – for once, he had more steals than teammate Colin Porter, who added four.

“All of them are satisfying,” Villers said. “Colin’s probably the best on-ball defender in the state and that I’ve ever played with. So it’s just good to one-up him in one of his categories.”

A quick look at Sunday’s statistics shows how it happened.

There was second-quarter scoring: Ashland (8-2) turned a 21-18 deficit after one quarter into 47-30 at halftime with a 29-9 avalanche. Porter also had 20 points and seven for the game, and Sean Marcum added 11 points.

There was rebounding: Ashland won there, 27-19.

And finally, fewer turnovers: the Tomcats had 11 (Boyd County surrendered 16), but only four in the second half.

“We started changing defenses; that was the key,” Mays said. “We started doing 1-3-1 (zone), we started doing triangle-and-two in addition to our full- and half-court man.”

Rheyce Deboard led Boyd County (9-3) with 24 points, and J.B. Walter added 10.

The Lions had an eight-game winning streak end.

Deboard and Carson Webb put Boyd County up, 11-2, a little more than three minutes into the game.

“First five or six minutes of the ball game, I felt like we were very focused, especially on the defensive end,” Boyd County coach Randy Anderson said. “Offensively, even though we could’ve stretched that lead just a bit further, we took solid shots. After that point, we kind of got out of what we were able to do because on the offensive end we rushed too quick shots (with) no rebounders.

“They’re just really good in transition.”

Here’s how good: Ashland made nine of 14 3-pointers in the first half and finished at 10 for 17.

Villers led Ashland in the second quarter – his 16 points included two 3-pointers.

There was one more thing Mays wanted to make sure people knew.

“I can’t thank coach Anderson and Boyd County enough,” Mays said. “They didn’t get out of quarantine until Feb. 8, then they played Feb. 9 at Pikeville, a game that they won … they had power outages at their school.

“They really came into this game with no preparation, and so for (Anderson) to let his guys compete and get a game in, that speaks volumes about the kind of coach he is, the kind of program they have … We all know that we’re going to see a totally different Boyd County team on March 1 at their place.”

BOYD CO.    FG    FT    REB    TP

Meade    2-4    0-0    2    4

Gibbs    1-4    0-0    4    2

Webb    3-7    1-1    2    7

Newsome    0-5    3-4    1    3

Deboard    8-13    5-6    3    24

Ellis    4-7    1-1    1    9

Cumpton    0-0    0-0    0    0

Blevins    0-0    0    0    0

Walter    4-8    0-0    1    10

Team            5

TOTAL    22-48    10-12    19    59

FG Pct.: 45.8. FT Pct: 83.3. 3-point FG: 5-14 (Meade 0-1, Webb 0-2, Newsome 0-1, Deboard 3-5, Ellis 0-1, Walter 2-4). PF: 19. Fouled out: Meade. Turnovers: 16.

ASHLAND    FG    FT    REB    TP

Marcum    5-10    1-3    3    11

Sellars    3-7    0-0    0    7

Villers    8-10    8-8    7    27

Carter    3-4    0-0    3    8

Porter    7-13    4-4    1    20

Atkins    2-3    0-0    4    6

Ashby    0-0    0-0    0    0

Conway    0-0    0-0    0    0

Gillum    1-1    0-0    2    2

Adkins    0-0    0-0    0    0

Davis    0-0    0-0    0    0

Freize    0-0    0-0    0    0

Team            7

TOTAL    29-48    13-15    27    81

FG Pct.: 60.4. FT Pct: 86.7. 3-point FG: 10-17 (Sellars 1-3, Villers 3-4, Carter 2-3, Porter 2-4, R. Atkins 2-3). PF: 11. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 11.

BOYD CO.    21    9    10    19    –    59

ASHLAND    18    29    15    19    –    81

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