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Lions 'lock' down on Russell: Spurlock scores 35 as Boyd beats Devils

Feb. 6—RUSSELL — Jacob Spurlock was locked in from the word "go."

The Boyd County sophomore poured in 35 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and distributed five assists as the Lions blitzed Russell, 93-65, on Tuesday at Marvin Meredith Gymnasium.

Spurlock drained three of his seven 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Lions jetted out to a 31-17 lead.

"From warmups, I was feeling good, feeling loose," Spurlock said. "Everything just felt close. Anywhere on the court, I felt like I could get it there."

Spurlock splashed in his first five shot attempts, barely drawing iron on any of them. All told, the Lions tallied 21 assists on 39 made buckets. They found Spurlock's hot hand on a bevy of those dimes.

"We have a lot of team chemistry," Spurlock said. "We've been playing together for a long time. They knew I was hot from the get-go. ... We recognize whoever's hot and we get them the ball. When we're hot, we're tough to beat."

Said Boyd County coach Randy Anderson: "It's a sign of the togetherness of this bunch. All of these guys are just workers. Tonight, from the get-go, you could tell he was feeling it. ... I'm real proud of our guys that they share. Jacob was the recipient of that tonight."

Boyd County outrebounded Russell, 37-18, overall — including a 12-3 first-period advantage.

After switching to a zone defense, Russell (13-8) rocketed back thanks in large part to Elijah Neel and Joe Kaczmarcyk, who sparked the home team to a 9-0 run to start the second quarter.

The Lions responded with a quick spurt, but the Red Devils answered again with two of Caleb Rimmer's team-high 25 points and a Ryder Burgess baseline jumper to cut the margin to 36-30.

Rhett Holbrook netted a 3-pointer, Cole Hicks came through with a stick-back and Alex Martin put in a pair to boost Boyd County (21-4) to a 43-32 halftime lead.

Anderson said the halftime revolved around how to respond to Russell's effective zone.

"We had faced zones before — the Ashland game (an 85-79 overtime win for Boyd), the same thing kinda happened, same deal," Anderson said. "The halftime speech was about that. It has to go through the pocket, or the middle, first, and when that happens, we're still going to have open shots but it also allows us to rebound on the back side of it."

The Lions rediscovered their rhythm again as all five players who started the second half had at least two points by the 4:46 mark of the third quarter.

Five Lions scratched into double figures in the scoring column. Joining Spurlock were Hicks (13 points), Griffin Taylor (13), Holbrook (10) and Jason Ellis (10). Holbrook had eight rebounds, while Ellis collected seven. Hicks had six. Holbrook chipped in four assists.

Russell coach Derek Cooksey said defending the Lions is truly a pick-your-poison situation. Spurlock was the most lethal on Tuesday.

"His shot's so quick, and he can shoot it at different levels," Cooksey said. "A few times, the (defensive) hand was there, and he just changed the level. You have to tip the cap. There's a reason he's the best shooter in this region, I believe that."

Boyd County improved to 12-0 against 16th Region opponents this season.

Russell saw a four-game winning streak snap. Rimmer had a team-best five boards to go with his 25 points. Neel scored 17 points.

"I'm not into moral victories, but, at the same time, I thought it was a game that's going to help us down the road," Cooksey said. "... I thought we handled pressure pretty well. It was just sometimes we didn't get back in transition, but I can't question my kids' effort.

"... You're hoping to catch (Boyd) on an off night," Cooksey added, "and, obviously, tonight they were humming. I thought we still battled. (The Red Devils) understand that's where we want to get our program to, and it takes a lot of hard work and effort."

BOYD CO. FG FT REB TP

Hicks 6-10 1-2 6 13

Spurlock 14-20 0-0 10 35

Ellis 4-6 2-4 7 10

Taylor 6-8 0-0 2 13

Holbrook 4-6 0-0 8 10

Smith 3-9 0-0 2 6

Martin 2-5 2-2 1 6

Crum 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 1

TOTALS 39-64 5-8 37 93

FG Pct.: 60.9. FT Pct.: 62.5. 3-Pt. FG: 10-26 (Spurlock 7-10, Holbrook 2-3, Taylor 1-2, Hicks 0-3, Smith 0-6, Martin 0-2). Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 8.

RUSSELL FG FT REB TP

Quinn 1-3 0-0 0 2

Neel 6-11 4-8 2 17

Rimmer 10-19 4-5 5 25

Pridemore 2-5 0-2 2 5

Fleming 1-3 0-0 2 3

Cordial 2-4 0-0 4 4

Burgess 1-5 2-2 1 4

Kaczmarcyk 2-2 0-0 0 5

Hewlett 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 2

TOTALS 25-52 10-17 18 65

FG Pct.: 48.1. FT Pct.: 58.8. 3-Pt. FG: 5-17 (Neel 1-5, Kaczmarcyk 1-1, Rimmer 1-2, Pridemore 1-1, Fleming 1-3, Quinn 0-1, Burgess 0-4). Fouls: 8. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 12.

BOYD CO. 31 12 23 27 — 93

RUSSELL 17 20 13 20 — 65

Officials: Barker, Middleton, Wright.

(606) 326-2664 — asnyder@dailyindependent.com