Kittens get in gear vs. Menifee

Zack Klemme, The Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky.
·5 min read

Mar. 7—ASHLAND — It looked like Khia Robinson had gotten just a little bit too far underneath the goal to get off a clean shot, and she didn't have time to retreat, with the third-quarter buzzer about to sound, so the Ashland eighth-grader threw the ball up.

The circus shot went in as time expired, which pretty well summarized how the third quarter went for the Kittens on Saturday afternoon against Menifee County.

Ashland scored on 14 of its 16 possessions in the third frame to blow open an 83-52 win over the Ladycats at Anderson Gym.

Incisive interior passing and pressure defense helped the Kittens turn an eight-point halftime lead into a 34-point advantage at its zenith on Lindsay Wallenfelsz's third 3-pointer with 23 seconds to play.

"We were being aggressive, passing the ball well," Ashland freshman Ella Sellars said. "We were getting open cuts. It just all fell into place, when we started cutting."

Sellars was perhaps the biggest beneficiary. She got loose in the paint repeatedly in the third quarter, to the tune of 12 points in that frame. Sellars totaled a team-high 18 points.

Jordan Rakes and Wallenfelsz both joined Sellars in double figures off the bench. Rakes scored 13 points and Wallenfelsz dropped in 11. The Kittens were three points away from having six players in double figures — Robinson, Carley Cullop and Mikayla Martin each scored nine points.

Ashland shot 55.7% from the field (34 for 61), 88.9% at the foul line (8 for 9) and 43.8% from the perimeter (7 for 16), and the Kittens outscored Menifee County on points off the bench, 33-5.

"We talked about that earlier in the week, making that extra pass and getting the easier shot," Kittens coach Bill Bradley said. "We passed up a lot of good shots, I thought, to get a great shot, and this team's very unselfish. I think that's one of our trademarks."

Cullop added nine rebounds and 10 assists — finishing a point and a board shy of a triple-double — in addition to four blocks and five steals.

"She was all over the place today," Bradley said.

Ashland (12-7) won its fourth consecutive outing after a 2-5 stretch. The Kittens found another gear after Martin, who was playing in her sixth game of the season after a midseason return from a torn ACL, went down with 3:09 to go in the second quarter and had to be helped off the floor, limping, by assistant coach Matt Robinson.

The Kittens believe Martin's injury to be to the ankle and not the knee, Bradley said, which engendered "a sigh of relief" — and a refocus coming out of the locker room.

"When Mikayla got hurt, we knew we needed a little spurt offensively," Bradley said. "Everybody else had to step up."

Casey Wallenfelsz scored three times in Ashland's first four possessions of the second half, and the rout was on.

"We stopped playing defense," Menifee County coach Paul Ricker said. "You come into halftime and our girls feel like we've done something fantastic because we're still in the game.

"(Ashland) went on that little run; we just froze. (Kelsie) Woodard did everything she could do. We're not a one-person team and we just have to get better."

Woodard posted 24 points and 13 rebounds, the game high in each category. She was 9 for 14 from the field for the Ladycats (8-7), who had won five of their previous six games.

Menifee County's Morgan Wells chipped in 11 points.

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

MENIFEE CO. FG FT REB TP

Gevedon 3-8 0-0 4 8

Parks 1-4 0-0 1 2

Harris 1-5 0-0 1 2

M. Wells 3-7 5-6 2 11

Ke. Woodard 9-14 6-8 13 24

Baker 0-4 2-2 1 2

Hall 0-2 0-0 0 0

Jones 0-2 0-0 0 0

Eversole 0-0 0-0 0 0

A. Wells 0-1 0-0 0 0

Deihl 1-1 0-0 0 3

Team 5

TOTAL 18-48 13-16 27 52

FG Pct.: 37.5. FT Pct.: 81.3. 3-pointers: 3-15 (Gevedon 2-6, Deihl 1-1, Parks 0-1, Harris 0-4, Hall 0-2, A. Wells 0-1). PF: 10. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 17.

ASHLAND FG FT REB TP

Woods 2-4 0-0 3 4

Sellars 9-11 0-0 3 18

C. Wallenfelsz 4-5 1-2 4 10

Martin 3-6 3-3 4 9

Cullop 4-9 0-0 9 9

Robinson 4-9 0-0 2 9

Rakes 4-10 4-4 2 13

L. Wallenfelsz 4-5 0-0 1 11

M. Stevens 0-1 0-0 1 0

Rogers 0-1 0-0 0 0

S. Stevens 0-0 0-0 1 0

Team 1

TOTAL 34-61 8-9 31 83

FG Pct.: 55.7. FT Pct.: 88.9. 3-pointers: 7-16 (L. Wallenfelsz 3-4, C. Wallenfelsz 1-2, Robinson 1-2, Rakes 1-2, Cullop 1-4, Woods 0-1, Sellars 0-1). PF: 12. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 7.

MENIFEE CO. 8 16 14 14 — 52

ASHLAND 16 16 28 23 — 83

Officials: Kenny Kegley, Kenny Huddleston and Chester Kouns.