Boyd County, Russell Favorites in Girls’ 16th Region

Boyd County, Russell Favorites in Girls’ 16th Region


James Collier

The Ashland Beacon



Head Coach: Stacy Davis (1st)

Record: 22-6

Season Ended: Regional Championship Game (51-35 Boyd)

Key Returning Players: Ella Sellars, Kenleigh Woods, Jaidyn Gulley, Khia Robinson

   For the first time in over two decades, someone other than Bill Bradley will be on the sidelines for Ashland after the legendary Kittens coach called it a career after last season. His Kittens played themselves into the region championship against his long-time friend and foe, Pete Fraley and Boyd County. The Lions proved to be too tough that night for the Kittens as their season ended with another 20-plus wins. 

   Gone are Mikayla Martin, Casey and Lindsay Wallenfelsz and a larger chunk of Ashland’s scoring. Martin was one of three players who averaged 11.8 points a night last season while pulling down 9.1 rebounds. Lindsay kicked in 7.6 a contest and Casey added 6.4 while leading the Kittens from downtown with a 37.7% clip from beyond the arc. 

   Ella Sellars netted 11.8 points a night and shot 40.5% from the field. Joining Sellars was Kenleigh Woods with 11.8 points while shooting 48.8% from the field. Jaidyn Gulley and Khia Robinson kicked in 5.7 and 3.9 points a night, respectively. Ashland adds Greenup County and Rose Hill transfer, Gabby Karle to the mix after averaging 9.3 points a game in 22 contests for the Musketeers. 

   Ashland will find out exactly where it stands after its first four contests. Ashland opens against Spring Valley on Nov. 29, visits Region 15 powerhouse Pikeville on Dec. 3, George Washington two days later and rounds out their trip through West Virginia with a trip to Hurricane on Dec. 8. Ashland heads to Assumption for a three-day event before Christmas. Ashland’s district tilts do not start until after the new year. Ashland travels to Boyd County Jan. 28 and welcomes the Lions on Feb. 10.



Head Coach: Pete Fraley (27th)


Season Ended: Sweet 16 Opening Round (53-46 Meade County)

Key Returning Players: Audrey Biggs, Jasmine Jordan, Taylor Bartrum, Emilee Neese

   Pete Fraley had one of his youngest teams ever last season. Yet, the youthful Lions racked up 21 wins and a regional crown before falling to Meade County late in the contest at Rupp Arena. With all the growing pains last year came valuable experience for the Lions who return their entire starting lineup from last season.

   Audrey Biggs paced the Lions with 17.5 points a game while pulling down seven rebounds a game. Biggs is set to return early in the season after suffering an ACL injury earlier this year. Jasmine Jordan provides Boyd County with significant post presence and had a coming out year last season with 10.8 points a game and a team-high 8.5 rebounds. Taylor Bartrum will again be the motor for the Lions with her high intensity and drive on both sides of the ball. While Bartrum netted 9.8 points a contest, she is most notably known for her lockdown defense. Emilee Neese added 8.9 points a game while draining a team-high 57 triples. Sophia Stevens, McKenzie Moore, Jenna Stewart and Rose Hill transfer Bailey Stephens all look to provide the Lions depth off the bench as key role players this season. 

   Boyd County will be well traveled again this season with another stellar schedule that will provide the Lions every possible challenge along the way. The Lions open with West Virginia powerhouse Huntington St. Joe on Nov. 29 and welcomes Dixie Heights and St. Albans in the Boyd County Roundball Classic on Dec. 9 and 10. The Lions final tune up before the Christmas break comes in the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County against Campbell County. 

   Boyd County takes its show on the road to Tampa after Christmas for a three-game event in the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational. Boyd County meets up with Ashland on Jan. 28 and Feb. 10, Russell on Jan. 30 and Feb. 13 and closes the season with a trip to Rowan County on Feb. 17. 



Head Coach: Ryan Kinder

Record: 10-19

Season Ended: Opening Round 64th District Tournament (63-26 Ashland)

Key Returning Players: Kiera Loving, Mia Newton, Ashton Stidham

   Coming off a 10-19 season, Fairview looks to push toward a .500 or better finish by returning their top three leading scorers from a year ago. 

   Kiera Loving led the Eagles with 12.7 points and 12.5 rebounds a game while shooting 43% from the field. Mia Newton kicked in 6.8 a night and Ashton Stidham added 4.5 a game leaving rookie Eagles head coach Ryan Kinder inheriting plenty of offensive production. Miranda Caskey and Madison Loving look to add to their roles this season in hopes of boosting the team's 34.4 points a game average from last season. 

   Fairview opens the season with a visit from Calvary Baptist Academy (Hurricane, WV) on Nov. 28 and a visit to Hannan, WV on the 29th. The Eagles welcome Adams County Christian, OH on Dec. 6 before traveling to Boyd County to open district play. The Eagles earned a first-round bye by draw in the All “A” Classic and will not play until Jan. 10 in the semifinals at Menifee County. Fairview heads to the NBD Invitational in early February with games against Newport, Bellevue and Dayton. 



Head Coach: Marty Thomas (1st)

Record: 14-21

Season Ended: Opening Round 16th Region Tournament (55-28 Boyd)

Key Returning Players: Nim Maynard, Emma Broughton, Reagan Mackie

   Marty Thomas knows how to score the basketball. He hopes to convey that knowledge to his Rams in his first year as the bench boss at Raceland. The good part of his equation includes the top two scorers from a year ago return in Nim Maynard and Emma Broughton. The missing part of the equation lies in finding a way to add to the 45.4 points a game average from last season. 

   Maynard brings a shoot first mentality from the point guard position but knows how to get to the rim and distribute the basketball to keep everyone involved. Maynard led the Rams with 13.2 points last season as an eighth grader while shooting 31.9% from downtown with a team-high 65 triples. Broughton added 9.3 points a game while shooting just south of 30% from long range. Reagan Mackie chipped in with 5.6 points and 4.4 rebounds a game and will be looked upon to provide more production on the glass. Kennedy Taylor will join the team in early December after transferring during the season from Greenup County last season. Taylor will provide the Rams with a post presence and another scoring threat. 

   Gracie Gartin, Alexis Boggs, Mikenna Lacks and Chasity Thomas will be asked to expand on their roles from last season in hopes of adding depth from the bench in an offensive built to run and gun. 

   Raceland opens the season at Elliott County on Nov. 29 and is jam packed with tournaments starting on Dec. 15 when the Rams open in the St. Joe Holiday Classic in Ironton. Raceland travels to Bath County for the Mike Bromagen Ladycats Holiday Classic before Christmas and will play host to the Ryan Keeton ExP Reality Ohio River Classic Dec. 28-30. The Rams face Elliott County in the opening round of the All “A” Classic on Jan. 7 at Menifee County. 



Head Coach: Mandy Layne (13th)


Season Ended: Semifinals 16th Region Tournament (52-49 Ashland)

Key Returning Players: Shaelyn Steele, Bella Quinn, Jenna Adkins, Hannah Sanders, Josie Atkins

   Russell’s season came to an end shorter than Mandy Layne had planned last season. Russell’s final two losses of the season came against Ashland, with a 52-49 shortcoming in the regional semifinals putting a bid toward a three-peat to a halt. Russell returns one of the deepest rosters in the region with Shaelyn Steele pacing the Devils with 21.9 points and 7.7 rebounds a night. Steele shot 45.8% from the field and 36.9% from long range. Steele’s ability to score from so many avenues makes her a defensive nightmare but also creates open scoring opportunities for her fellow teammates. 

   Joining Steele is Bella Quinn and Jenna Adkins. Quinn netted 9.3 points a game while Adkins tossed in 8.6 a night. Hannah Sanders added 3.9 while providing depth to the Russell offensive attack. Gabby Oborne and Kennedy Darnell appeared in most of the Devils contests last year and will have an expanded role this season. Atkins, Sanders and Adkins all worked on the glass for the Devils who averaged only 25.5 rebounds a night. 

   Russell will be tested early with a visit from Rowan County on Dec. 3 to open the EKC Tournament. Russell meets up with 15th Region powerhouse Pikeville on Dec. 10 in the Boyd County Roundball Classic and heads to the Queen of the Commonwealth at Bullitt East and a showdown with Meade County who knocked off Boyd County last season in the Sweet 16. Russell will see Ashland and Boyd County twice this season with the visit from the Kittens on Feb. 6 the only game the Devils will play at home in February. 



Head Coach: Paul Miller (3rd)

Record: 18-10

Season Ended: Opening Round 63rd District Tournament (65-40 Russell)

Key Returning Players: Rachel Bush, Emily Maynard

   Greenup County went 8-2 before the turn of the new year but a key district loss to Raceland in December landed the Musketeers in a showdown with Russell in the district tournament. Now the Musketeers have to rebuild after graduating two starters and losing two other players to transfer. 

   Rachel Bush paced the Musketeers with 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. Bush went 80.3% (102-127) from the charity stripe and shot 46.6% from the field while leading the team from beyond the arc at 30.9%. Emily Maynard added 8.8 points and 6.9 rebounds a game, second only to Bush. Kennedy Spencer worked off the bench last season while averaging four points a game and could see an extended role this season. 

   Greenup County opens the season at home on Nov. 29 against Portsmouth West followed by a visit from Pike County Central on Dec. 3. The Musketeers head to Charleston, SC and the Carolina Invitational after Christmas. 

Related Articles