I've yet to find a person who doesn’t like Brandon Lowe.
The Boyd County senior is genuinely loved by all his teammates, it seems. He's out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, but that doesn’t mean he’s not important to the Lions’ future success.
His team came out absolutely on fire as it rallied around Lowe in a long-awaited win over archrival Ashland on Friday night.
The way the Lions played on Friday, they should be considered a 16th Region contender.
The Lions’ situation with Lowe reminds me of a loosely similar story of inspiration.
Rowan County's epic state runner-up run in 2011 is remembered for many reasons and several players deserve credit.
The motivation behind much of the magic? Jon Stacy. Now, Lowe’s ACL/MCL/meniscus injury is serious, but Stacy went through a life-threatening ordeal.
Then a senior, Stacy was told he’d never walk again after a horrifying car accident threw him through the windshield.
Not only did he walk again, he was back on the sidelines in uniform. The team was steered by their strong-willed teammate's relentless drive to recovery.
Even off the court, Stacy played a key role for the Vikings with his mere presence.
Lowe can do the same.
-The Boyd County-Ashland rivalry's stock took an important bump up this past weekend. Ashland may disagree, but the Tomcats and Kittens losing is great for the area. It just means the rivalry still has signs of life — Ashland had won two of the last 32 games combined between boys and girls prior to this weekend.
Any time you hear a student section chanting “This is our house!” in the opponent's arena, you know you've got a riveting rivalry.
The last time both the Lions and Lady Lions beat Ashland in the same season was 2006-07.
-Boyd County’s girls simply know how to defend Ashland. It’s showed several times recently, most notably on Saturday and in the 2011 region championship game. The Kittens had averaged 66.4 points per game before struggling for 39 at Boyd. The next clash should be a dandy.
-Russell ended its recent title drought by nabbing the 16th Region All “A” Classic this past week. It was the Red Devils' first tournament title since winning the 63rd District in 2007. They’re also on their longest winning streak (nine games) since the 2006-07 year.
-Aleksander Malinic is awfully important to Morgan County. The forward missed some time recently, and the Cougars have had some issues in his absence. It appears they need the foreign exchange student to stay in region contention.
-Surprised by the West Carter girls? You're not alone. Color the PG impressed with their All “A” title run. Now, it’s on to Frankfort where they'll face Frankfort in the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic on Wednesday morning at 8:30.
-Rowan County’s boys executed the 2-3 zone exceptionally well against Russell on Saturday. The Vikings can’t be forgotten as a possible three-peat threat. They’re “close” to where they want to be, said coach Shawn Thacker.
-Russell coach Merle Kidwell said this Tuesday night’s game at Boyd County Middle School should be “jam-packed.” Austin Hunt, a Red Devil-turned-Lion, and Lance Evans, a Lion-turned-Devil, make for some interesting subplots in a battle of two hot teams. Russell won the first meeting 68-62.
-Fleming County keeps proving why it is hanging on to the No. 1 spot in the Point Guard’s Super Seven. The Panthers beat a Shane Hall-less Johnson Central team on Saturday, 70-56, despite a double-double (14 points, 16 rebounds) by the Golden Eagles’ Truman Salyer. Hall (high ankle sprain) is slated to return by the end of this week.
-Lawrence County nearly pulled off another unlikely accomplishment to be such a young team. The Bulldogs fell to Pikeville by just one point in the 15th Region All “A” Classic. East Ridge transfer Ray Kasongo was tough for the small Dawgs to handle, but they can't feel too disappointed.
-I failed to note a feat last week definitely worth a mention. Owensboro Catholic senior Rebecca Greenwell made a national record 17 3-pointers in a game this month. She is headed to Duke.
1. Fleming County (15-2)
2. Russell (18-4)
3. Rowan County (12-8)
4. Boyd County (12-9)
5. Morgan County (13-5)
6. Ashland (12-8)
7. East Carter (9-10)
1. Boyd County (13-6)
2. Ashland (13-4)
3. East Carter (15-5)
4. Lewis County (9-8)
5. Bath County (9-7)
6. Rowan County (10-8)
7. Greenup County (11-11)
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AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
I've yet to find a person who doesn’t like Brandon Lowe.
- Local Sports
63rd softball: Greenup leans on bunting, baserunning; Russell wins
Immersed in another district contest with little breathing room, Greenup County softball coach Eric Keeton resorted to the strengths of his lineup: bunting and baserunning.
Two bunts and a swinging bunt helped the Lady Musketeers scratch across three runs in the fifth inning of a 6-2 victory over Raceland in the 63rd District Tournament opening round on Monday night at Russell High School. Top-seeded Russell defeated Lewis County, also 6-2, earlier in the evening.
Boyd pounds out 11 hits to go along with Grimm’s shutout, 14-0
Robbie Shivel might be a little sore after Monday night, but it was Fairview that left the game battered and bruised.
Boyd County belted out 11 hits to go along with Dylan Grimm's complete-game gem as the Lions roared past Fairview, 14-0, in the opening round of the 64th District Tournament at Ashland's Alumni Field. The game lasted five innings.
Different look, same results for Lady Lions
A longtime fixture in the 64th District softball championship game, Boyd County looked different this return trip.
The Lady Lions defeated Fairview 10-5 in Monday’s district semifinal, which doubled as an Autism Awareness Night. Boyd County players wore light blue shirts and colorful, jigsaw puzzle socks for the event, which had to be rescheduled more than once due to weather problems.
Musketeers explode in final 2 innings to beat Raceland; good times continue for Lewis
Through the first four innings of its 63rd District Tournament opener, Greenup County found itself hitless. The Musketeers made up for it over the next two innings.
Greenup County scored eight runs on eight hits in the final two innings to defeat Raceland, 9-1, at Russell High School on Monday.
The will to win
Opponents get the same look from Emily Stewart whether it’s softball, basketball or soccer season.
Steely eyed and lips pursed, the Boyd County senior is keenly focused and all business between the lines.
THE WEEKLY CYCLE: Holding the key to upset city?
It takes only one game. Few are more firm believers in that fact than the small schools that find themselves in underdog roles year after year.
Locals struggle to make impact
Some days you are the windshield and some days you are the bug.
It is a saying that proved to be all too true for Rowan County on Friday night at the KHSAA Class 2A State Track and Field Championships at the University of Louisville’s Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park.
Womack eliminated in state semis; Rose Hill, Russell doubles also ousted
Fairview senior Kennedy Womack wasn’t her consistent self in Saturday morning’s state tennis semifinals at the University of Kentucky’s Hilary Boone Tennis Complex.
As a result, the top seed fell to Lexington Sayre sophomore Madeline Rolph 6-1, 6-0.
Womack was obviously disappointed with her finish, especially after losing in last year’s state finals, but she was happy for her good friend Rolph.
If Fairview could have fielded a combined track and field team at Saturday’s Class A State Track and Field Championships, the Eagles and Lady Eagles would have had a record day. Instead, the Fairview girls had to “settle” for fifth, while the boys’ claimed 10th.
Womack eliminated in semifinals
Top-seeded Kennedy Womack was eliminated in the semifinals of the State Tournament on Saturday at the University of Kentucky tennis courts.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- 63rd softball: Greenup leans on bunting, baserunning; Russell wins