ASHLAND Bath County paid for Colin Porter’s off-shooting game two nights earlier against Rowan County.

On Thursday, Ashland’s freshman point guard put on a show as the state’s top-ranked team rolled 77-57 in Anderson Gym.

Porter’s 28 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals were all game highs. When he wasn’t disrupting Bath County’s offense, Porter shot 11-for-14 — including five 3-pointers in eight attempts — or found teammates for baskets.   

“I had a sluggish game against Rowan,” Porter said. “I think I was like 1-for-9. I just had to get back in rhythm tonight. My team needs me.”

Bath County coach Bart Williams said Porter’s performance was enough to make him consider asking for the young player’s autograph.

“He looked superhuman,” Williams said. “Last year against Ashland, we stayed in the game (65-57 loss) and tonight we weren’t able to do that. I think he’s the difference. Obviously, Ashland has really good shooters around Porter. He sets the table and makes their job easier.”

Porter, listed at 5-foot-10, also displayed his leaping ability by crashing the offensive boards to snare a couple of rebounds above the crowd.

“At the beginning of the season, Colin’s vertical jump was 35 inches,” Ashland coach Jason Mays said. “It’s probably closer to 37 now. He was the leading rebounder in the game and the smallest guy out there.”

For all his highlights, Porter accomplished his main goal.

“Just trying to get our team a win,” he said after the Tomcats ran their record to 25-0. “We’re all brothers. We look out for each other. It’s fun to go out every night and compete beside them.”

Ashland led 19-16 after one quarter and tried to break the game open before halftime. Justin Bradley — returning from an injury — Cole Villers, Porter and Ethan Sellars each hit a 3-pointer as the Tomcats exploded to a 19-point advantage with more than three minutes still remaining before the intermission.

However, Bath County countered with an 11-0 run to slice the deficit below double digits. Porter halted the surge by scoring on a floater.

The Wildcats, led by post player Jacob Patton, got within 44-35 in the third quarter before Ashland pulled away with a 16-4 spree. Sellars started it with a catch-and-shoot triple. Villers converted a three-point play and later drained a trey after excellent team ball movement.

“We shared the ball well,” said Mays, noting his team’s 21 assists on 30 field goals. “Bart changes up his defenses so much, it’s hard to keep a rhythm.”

The Tomcats accomplished a main defensive objective. Bath County, averaging nearly nine 3-pointers per game, couldn’t get many quality looks outside against Ashland’s tight man-to-man and finished 3-for-9 from beyond the arc.

Inside, Patton powered his way for 21 points and seven rebounds.

“He can seal really well,” Mays said. “If you don’t beat him to the spot, it’s going to be trouble. I think he’s one of the top 10 players in the region.”

Ashland again showed its offensive balance with four players in double figures. Villers scored 15 points, followed by Sellars (11) and Ethan Hudson (10). Bradley came off the bench toward the end of the first quarter and chipped in seven points.

The Tomcats led by as much as 27 midway through the fourth quarter. They return to action tonight at Russell — a 61-47 winner over West Carter on Wednesday.

Devon Hunt scored 14 points and Zack Otis added 12 for Bath County (14-12).

“I thought we competed for two-and-a-half or three quarters,” Williams said. “The big question we wanted to answer was, if we are fortunate to play Ashland again on a bigger stage, can we compete with them.”

 

(606) 326-2671

rstanley@dailyindependent.com

BATH CO.    FG    FT    REB    TP

Williams    1-4    0-0    0    2

Hunt    5-10    3-3    5    14

Leach    0-0    0-1    4    0

Otis    4-13    4-5    6    12

Patton    8-11    5-8    7    21

Lyons    2-2    2-2    2    8

Rushing    0-0    0-1    0    0

McKenzie    0-0    0-0    0    0

Rogers    0-0    0-0    0    0

Team            1

TOTALS    20-40    14-20    25    57

FG Pct.: 50.0. FT Pct.: 70.0. 3-point FGs: 3-9 (Lyons 2-2, Hunt 1-3, Williams 0-3, Otis 0-1). PF: 10. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 19.

ASHLAND    FG    FT    REB    TP

Sellars    4-7    0-0    6    11

Villers    6-16    1-1    2    15

Porter    11-14    1-2    8    28

Phillips    0-1    2-4    3    2

Hudson    4-16    0-0    3    10

Bradley    3-4    0-0    3    7

Atkins    1-3    0-0    3    2

Gillum    0-1    0-0    2    0

Conway    0-1    0-0    0    0

Davis    1-1    0-0    0    2

Ashby    0-0    0-0    2    0

Team            1

TOTALS    30-64    4-7    33    77

FT Pct: 46.9. FT Pct.: 57.1. 3-point FGs: 13-36 (Porter 5-8, Sellars 3-5, Villers 2-9, Hudson 2-11, Bradley 1-2, Conway 0-1). PF: 18. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 10.

BATH CO.    16    15    13    13    —    57

ASHLAND    19    22    25    11    —    77

Officials: Kenny Huddleston, Kenny Kegley, Chad Sowards.

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