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Applying pressure: Lions push back from early Musketeer surge, win big at home

Jan. 26—SUMMIT — It didn't take Boyd County long to turn a close game into a runaway.

It's what happens when you have sharpshooters like Cole Hicks and Jacob Spurlock on your roster.

The duo combined for 10 made 3-pointers and 52 points in three quarters of play in the Lions' 86-51 win over Greenup County Friday night.

Boyd County coach Randy Anderson thinks adjustments made as the game progressed had a major impact in changing the outlook of the game.

"The second half we played a lot of man," Anderson said. "We sat down and challenged our guys to guard it. In the first half, we were pressing and kind of stretched us out. And we gave up way too many offensive boards in the first half. In the second half, we secured those two things and our kids really ran well tonight. When that happens, we get in a rhythm."

The young Musketeers team proved from the jump that they were going to make the Lions earn the victory.

Greenup County coach Cory Allison says the ultimate difference maker was the level of experience in the game.

"It was experience," Allison said. "I'm glad we got an opportunity to schedule this game. It was like night and day. I told my guys that Boyd County eats, sleeps, and drinks basketball. We're trying to build that type of culture too. It was something for them to witness. We definitely didn't leave here with an L. We left with a lesson."

Greenup County challenged the Lions early and jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the opening minutes, but a trio of turnovers opened the door for Boyd County to catch up on an 8-0 run.

The two teams traded blows from there, but three consecutive 3-pointers by Hicks quickly turned a 19-16 Lions lead into a 30-19 advantage to end the opening frame.

"A lot of coaches say this, I mean it 100%. Cole's a better person than he is a player," Anderson said. "And he's a really good player. He's grown up a ton. He had a really good football year. He's one of our leaders."

Despite the sudden deficit, Greenup County continued to stay even with the Lions to start the second quarter.

"I'm super proud of them," Allison said. "We're up against a lot of challenges. We only have one gymnasium. We don't get a chance to get in the gym as much as others in the area. But we make do with what we can. These guys have embraced the hours that have been put in. They're hard workers and are trying to break old habits. That's been the determining factor in a lot of these games."

When Boyd County called timeout at the 2:59 mark, the Lions were up 38-26.

Out of the break, both squads continued to play neck and neck, though the Lions were able to add to their lead.

Boyd County's advantage at the half was 49-35.

The story of the first half could be told in turnovers.

While Greenup County was finding the basket on offensive possessions, it was the possessions that ended before they began that hurt the visiting team.

The Musketeers had 11 turnovers to the Lions' one at the half. Boyd County converted most of those giveaways into points.

"That's always been kind of what we've stood on," Anderson said of turning over opponents. "That first half, I don't know how many layups we missed or open looks, but once again, I told them at halftime, 'You guard, you rebound it, get out and run and good things will happen.'"

The Lions turned it up a notch in the third quarter, starting on an 11-2 run, highlighted by a pair of 3s from Hicks and Spurlock.

Greenup County called a timeout at 5:16 to try and slow Boyd County's momentum but to no avail.

The Lions stretched the run to 18-3 before eventually starting a running clock.

The home team stretched the lead, going up 79-41 to end the third frame.

"This is a process," Allison said of his team's growing pains. "I'm telling them, we're not going to lose focus on the fun. Through the yelling and screaming, we still want to have fun. But it's a process."

The Musketeers closed the gap in the final quarter. They produced a 7-0 run to close the game, but the damage was already done.

Spurlock led in scoring with 32 points. The sophomore standout had six 3-pointers and was a perfect 7-7 with two-pointers on the night. Hicks added 20 points and Griffin Taylor supplied 11.

"We've got some tough games coming and we've scheduled it that way on purpose," Anderson said. "Every night is a little bit different. We've added some of our pressure stuff and still have a few wrinkles to get out. But all in all, it's about chemistry, staying healthy, and all of that stuff."

Eli Adkins and Kasey Gammon both had 14 points for Greenup County. Bradley Adkins tallied 10 points.

Allison says he hopes his crew learns and grows from the game.

"Intensity and always being one step ahead of your opponent," Allison said. "They need to be able to react better. I wanted to see how they would respond here. Everything needs to look methodical. I'm just glad to get them here and let them see some good basketball and what we aspire to be in our district.

GREENUP CO. FG FT REB TP

Gammon 5-18 3-4 9 14

E. Adkins 5-14 2-2 5 14

B. Adkins 4-5 2-2 4 10

Gibson 3-3 0-0 2 7

Chandley 2-8 2-4 4 6

Herrington 0-3 0-0 1 0

Team 3

TOTAL 14-33 9-12 19 51

FG Pct.: 42.4. FT Pct.: 75. 3-pointers: 4-10 (Adkins 2-5, Gibson 1-1, Gammon 1-4). PF: 9. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 17.

BOYD CO. FG FT REB TP

Spurlock 13-21 0-0 3 32

Hicks 8-13 0-0 4 20

Taylor 5-7 1-2 3 11

Ellis 3-4 2-2 7 8

Smith 2-6 0-0 4 6

Holbrook 2-9 1-3 5 5

Martin 2-5 0-0 4 4

Crum 0-2 0-0 1 0

Lewis 0-0 0-0 1 0

Team 3

TOTAL 22-46 4-7 32 86

FG Pct.: 50. FT Pct.: 57.1. 3-pointers: 12-34 (Spurlock 6-14, Hicks 4-8, Smith 2-5, Martin 0-1. Taylor 0-1, Crum 0-2, Holbrook 0-3). PF: 11. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 6

GREENUP CO. 19 16 6 10 — 51

BOYD CO, 30 19 30 7 — 86

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