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Working overtime: Lions complete comeback, outlast Tomcats in extra session

Feb. 3—SUMMIT "If that was on ESPN, it'd be called a classic."

That's how Boyd County coach Randy Anderson summed up Boyd County's game against Ashland on Friday night.

The Lions got past the Tomcats, 85-79, in a contest that was too action-packed to fit in 32 minutes.

"Any time you get these two programs together, you're going to have kids play hard and give extra," Anderson said. "I'm just really proud of our kids. They could have rolled over, folded, took quick shots, and got out of it. But they just continued to believe. We had to get stops and because we got them, it gave us the opportunities."

Boyd County secured the win by outscoring Ashland 15-6 in overtime after overcoming a 12-point deficit with under five minutes left in regulation.

"Our decision-making late in the game particularly in the fourth quarter and overtime wasn't to the level that I know this basketball team is capable of playing," Ashland coach Ryan Bonner said. "And I definitely could have done some things better on the sidelines. I know that."

The game got off to a hot start, as the first eight minutes went by at a raucous pace with both teams trading baskets.

With the game tied 10-10, the Lions managed a 10-2 run, highlighted by a pair of Jacob Spurlock 3s.

"I've said all along, he's made himself a player," Anderson said of Spurlock. "He's a gym rat and I don't mean that lightly. He really works. So he has a lot of confidence because of the time that he puts in."

After an Ashland timeout, the Tomcats closed the gap a bit. Zander Carter splashed a corner 3 to end the quarter.

Leading 22-19 to start the second frame, a pair of Ashland turnovers helped the Lions extend the lead back out to 30-22.

Following another timeout, the Tomcats slowly got some ground back and trailed 36-32 when Boyd County called its first timeout of the game at the 2:45 mark.

Ashland tied the game up at 36-36 after the break, but another 3 from Spurlock and a jumper from Cole Hicks put the Lions back out in front.

After a pair of Asher Adkins free throws, Spurlock had a chance at another 3 to close the first half but the attempt was blocked by Braxton Jennings.

The first half ended with Boyd County up 41-38.

Anderson thinks his team's ability to play a more physical style allows them to be more successful.

"We preach it every day. It's just as much, if not more, mental than it is the physical side of it," Anderson said. "But I think we have grown. We've had a pretty tough schedule and I think the kids are growing."

The Tomcats started the second half with a 9-2 run that put them up 47-46, their first lead since it was 4-3.

"There in the second half, we didn't make any drastic adjustments," Bonner said. "We weren't fighting hard enough to get stops in the first half and I thought we did a better job of that in the second half."

Carter collected six of those points during the spurt.

Ashland kept the lead to the end of the quarter after Adkins drained a shot at the buzzer following a Lions turnover.

It put the score at 62-55 in favor of the Tomcats heading into the final frame.

Ashland built on its lead early in the fourth quarter thanks to the contributions by Adkins, Carter, and Jennings to go up 71-59.

An 11-0 run got the Lions right back into it.

A runner from Spurlock with 12 seconds left tied the game.

"I have to give credit to Boyd County," Bonner said. "They played extremely hard. We had them on the ropes, down 12, and they continued to fight as a good team should and they found a way to make more plays than we did. I don't really know what else to say."

Boyd County had a chance to win it in regulation but missed a layup as time expired.

The Lions turned it up a notch in overtime, despite missing multiple free throws down the stretch.

Several takeaways by the home squad opened the door for Boyd County to ultimately escape with the win.

Anderson wants his Lions to realize the importance of playing a complete game and the role it had in Friday's win.

"The game is from tipoff to buzzer," Anderson said. "You need to continue to believe in what we do and have confidence in your teammates."

Bonner hopes his squad learns from the loss.

"The magnitude of every decision that you make, every shot that you take, every pass that you make, every defensive possession... just the sheer magnitude of each possession in games like this," Bonner said. "I hope they're starting to learn how important it is to value each and every possession. Because if you don't, it's going to get you beat. And in my opinion, I think that's what happened tonight."

ASHLAND FG FT REB TP

Carter 13-22 2-5 8 30

Adkins 8-12 5-6 8 19

Jennings 4-6 0-0 1 10

Davis 1-5 6-8 3 8

Freize 3-5 0-0 7 7

Lalonde 2-6 0-0 2 5

Mayor 0-0 0-0 1 0

Team 2

TOTAL 31-56 13-19 32 79

FG Pct.: 55.3. FT Pct.: 68.4. 3-pointers: 6-16 (Jennings 2-4, Carter 2-5, Freize 1-2, Lalonde 1-3, Adkins 0-2). PF: 19. Fouled out: Freize. Turnovers: 12.

BOYD CO. FG FT REB TP

Spurlock 10-23 4-6 9 28

Hicks 5-11 4-6 4 16

Taylor 5-9 0-1 2 11

Ellis 4-5 2-5 8 10

Holbrook 3-5 1-3 6 9

Martin 3-4 1-2 1 7

Smith 1-3 2-3 2 4

Team 3

TOTAL 31-60 14-26 35 85

FG Pct.: 51.6. FT Pct.: 53.8. 3-pointers: 9-23 (Spurlock 4-11, Holbrook 2-2, Hicks 2-7, Taylor 1-2, Smith 0-1). PF: 15. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.

ASHLAND 19 19 24 11 6 — 79

BOYD CO. 22 19 14 18 15 — 85

(606) 326-2658 — wadams@dailyindependent.com