Roger(s) that: Kittens take down highly-ranked Cardinals

Feb. 23—ASHLAND — Ashland battled George Rogers Clark for 32 minutes on Thursday night.

The evenly-matched contest could not be decided in those time constraints.

The two teams need four more minutes to decide the victor.

Aryanna Gulley hit the two biggest shots of the game and senior Ella Sellars guided the Kittens throughout her final game in Anderson Gym.

Ashland only allowed two points to the Cardinals in overtime to earn a 58-52 victory.

"It was actually a game that wasn't scheduled at the beginning of the season," Ashland coach Stacy Davis said. "We both had a cancellation. We got together and looking at this GRC team, it was a great game to see where we are at heading into region."

The Kittens found themselves down two as the clock showed a minute remaining in regulation. Gabby Karle got the ball to Gulley on the block and the sophomore backed down her defender to get a clean look at the basket. Gulley tied the score with the bucket and each team could not connect on a closing 3 to force the extra session.

"It was the maturity of the girls and how much they have grown," Davis said, "in just the last couple of weeks. We knew it was going to be a battle and we knew it would be physical. It was a close game and it was back and forth. The composure that we showed was huge."

"We took care of the basketball," she added. "We made shots when we needed to. We had girls step up and hit huge shots at key times. It was probably our best overall team game."

After a steal and a takeaway, Sellars scored Ashland's first basket in overtime. On the next possession, senior Jaidyn Gulley found sister Aryanna wide open on the wing as the Cardinals attempted to switch defenders.

The younger Gulley didn't hesitate to shoot a 3-pointer that found nothing but net to put the Kittens up 55-50 with 1:45 left in overtime.

"Her post move (near the end of regulation) was great," Davis said. "We've talked about how much her footwork has improved. That 3-point shot she took when she was wide open, I went back and watched it. She shot that with so much confidence. She did not even hesitate. She caught it and shot it. It was huge."

Ashland (24-6) held off a final charge by George Rogers Clark to secure a win in its regular season finale.

Kittens guard Kenleigh Woods remains out of action with a knee injury, but Ashland had plenty of contributors who stepped up against the Cardinals.

Karle recorded a game-high 16 points. Karle was honored before the game for achieving 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds. The sophomore will have two more seasons to add to her totals.

Sellars finished with 12 points. Aryanna Gulley supplied 10 points and Jenna Delaney chipped in eight. Seniors Jaidyn Gulley and Asia Thomas made key plays in their final home game. Jaidyn Gulley secured eight rebounds.

"It's what we told them beforehand," Davis said. "It's your last game at Anderson Gym. Leave it all on the floor. Give everything you got because this will be a huge memory for you. They left everything out there, including the blood, sweat and tears. For them to look back, they can say they beat one of the top teams in the state."

Teigh Yeast scored the only field goal in overtime for George Rogers Clark (25-4). She had a team-high 14 points. Jailenn Green netted 13 points. Kennedy Stamper and Khania Jones each tallied 11.

Ashland has already secured its spot in the 16th Region Tournament. The defending region champions meet the winner of Boyd County and Fairview in the 64th District Tournament finals on Wednesday at Boyd County Middle School.

G. R. CLARK 14 15 8 13 2 — 52

ASHLAND 14 12 12 12 8 — 58

George Rogers Clark (52)—Stamper 11, Yeast 14, Green 13, Jones 11, Tabor, K. Chestnut 3, Goodwin, A. Chestnut. 3-pt FGs: 5 (Stamper 2, K. Chestnut, Yeast, Green) FT: 7-16. Fouls: 15.

Ashland (58)—Karle 16, J. Gulley 6, Sellars 12, Delaney 8, A. Gulley 10, Duckwyler 3, Thomas 3. 3-pt FGs: 7 (Karle 2, A. Gulley 2, Thomas, J. Gulley, Sellars) FT: 9-16. Fouls: 12.