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Tomcats soar past Eagles

Feb. 27—SUMMIT — Ashland earned a third matchup with Boyd County by defeating Fairview, 73-48, on Tuesday to advance to the 64th District title game.

The loss brings an end to Fairview's season at 8-23.

"This season put a lot of pressure on (Steven) "Bubba" (Day) and Tamel (Smith)," Fairview coach Clarence Thompson said. "They put in a lot of work. But we're basically in a rebuilding phase now and a lot of the younger guys that we had to lean on this season, I think they'll benefit from this experience next year."

After a slow start, the Tomcats woke up in large part to Tyson Lalonde sinking back-to-back 3s.

"Tyson's valuable for us in so many different ways," Ashland coach Ryan Bonner said. "Even outside of just shooting the basketball. He had some huge rebounds for us tonight. He was doing a good job playing off two feet. When he checks into the game, he immediately lifts us up and makes us better. We're going to need that contribution out of him moving forward if we want to achieve what we're setting out to do."

Outside of Lalonde, Ashland struggled from behind the arc in the first frame, hitting just 2-12 to open the game.

"I think at halftime we were 4-17 from 3," Bonner said. "So that kind of told me that we were settling a little too much behind the line as opposed to attacking. I thought in the second half, we did a much better job of driving through the zone, cutting through the zone, and creating some good 2-point looks rather than just one pass and shooting the 3. What's good about tonight is we've played a schedule that's allowed us to go through that at certain times. So, our guys were able to adjust to it very easily."

The Tomcats led 16-8 heading into the second quarter.

Braxton Jennings opened the second quarter for Ashland with a made 3, a steal, an alley-oop lob that led to a Zander Carter dunk, an old-fashioned 3, a layup and a free throw.

The run set the tone for the rest of the frame. The Tomcats controlled the offense for much of the quarter.

Bubba Day hit a 3-pointer for Fairview, the Eagles only 3 in the first half, to try to light a spark for his squad, but the Tomcats wouldn't allow it.

One big difference maker was the turnover differential. Fairview gave it up 11 times to Ashland's four.

"That was huge for us," Bonner said. "Especially because we weren't shooting the ball great. So, we did a good job of pressuring the ball, making Smith and those guys throw over the top, and it created some steals and some easy buckets for us."

By the break, the Tomcats held a commanding 34-18 lead.

Fairview's offense looked a lot more efficient in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Tomcats stepped up their game after halftime.

Fairview spread its offense around in the third frame, getting points from six different players.

Asher Adkins got all eight of his points in the third quarter as Ashland's offense stayed hot.

Carter added six to his total, including his only made 3 of the contest.

The result was a 57-34 lead for Ashland as the final quarter rolled around.

With a hill too steep to climb, Ashland sealed the win after an even fourth quarter.

Harper made a basket to open the second half for the Eagles, but it was recorded on the scoreboard as just one point.

The discrepancy was never corrected, resulting in the final score.

Carter led the night with 21 points.

Day finished his Fairview career by putting up a team-high 19 points

Thompson hopes his departing seniors are well-equipped for the next level.

"Bubba has some offers on the table, a couple of schools are talking with Tamel," Thompson said. "I just hope that they all can take their careers and move forward and learn what it's really like."

Ashland now focuses on the 64th District title game against Boyd County on Thursday.

"We need to continue to attack the rim with confidence," Bonner said. "And we need to continue to share the basketball. Overall, I thought our defensive effort was great tonight. Hopefully, that'll carry over to Thursday."

FAIRVIEW FG FT REB TP

Day 8-18 2-3 10 19

Smith 5-17 3-4 1 15

Dailey 2-3 0-0 1 4

Harper 2-2 0-0 4 4

Mayes 1-2 1-2 0 3

Reihs 1-1 0-0 3 2

Shope 1-3 0-0 1 2

Manning 0-2 0-0 4 0

Team 1

TOTAL 20-48 6-9 25 49

FG Pct.: 41.6. FT Pct.: 66.6. 3-pointers: 3-20 (Smith 2-12, Day 1-5, Dailey 0-1, Mayes 0-1, Shope 0-1). PF: 9. Fouled out: Harper. Turnovers: 16.

ASHLAND FG FT REB TP

Carter 8-19 4-5 10 21

Freize 6-8 0-1 6 14

Adkins 5-9 0-0 5 10

Lalonde 3-7 0-0 6 8

Davis 2-5 4-4 2 8

Jennings 2-7 1-1 4 6

Lyons 2-4 0-0 0 4

Clarke 1-3 0-0 1 2

Betchel 0-0 0-0 2 0

Team 1

TOTAL 29-62 9-11 37 73

FG Pct.: 46.7. FT Pct.: 81.8. 3-pointers: 6-26 (Freize 2-3, Lalonde 2-6, Carter 1-5, Jennings 1-6, Adkins 0-1, Clarke 0-1, Davis 0-2, Lyons 0-2). PF: 14. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 8.

FAIRVIEW 8 10 16 14 — 48

ASHLAND 16 18 23 16 — 73

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

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