Ashland’s Run Ends in Elite 8
The Ashland Beacon
Ashland trailed McCracken County by 12 with just over seven minutes to play in the Kittens quarterfinals contest with the Mustangs at Rupp Arena in the 2023 Girl’s State Tournament.
But the Kittens would not go down without a fight after a basket by Jenna Delaney, two free throws and a pair of treys by Ella Sellars, Ashland pulled to within two with 2:08 to go. After a McCracken basket, Gabby Karle got a stick back off a Kenleigh Woods missed free throw to get Ashland back to within two, 49-47, with 39 seconds to play. Ashland had a chance to tie the game or take the lead with seven seconds left but the Kittens could not complete the comeback as they fell 51-47.
Sellars led the Kittens with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Woods added 17 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Ashland trailed by four in the opening frame, but a 5-0 run capped off by Sellars gave the Kittens a 9-8 lead after one. Sellars netted all nine in the first quarter.
Ashland closes its season at 26-8 and returns all five starters next season.
ASHLAND 46 KNOTT COUNTY CENTRAL 34
Ashland went wire-to-wire to open the Girls Sweet 16 with a 46-34 win over Knott County Central.
Kenleigh Woods led the Kittens with 21 points. Ella Sellars added 12.
Ashland held Knott County Central scoreless through the first quarter after outscoring the Patriots 11-0. Jaidyn Gulley pushed the lead to 20 with a layup before the half as the Kittens defense held the Patriots to six points in the opening half. Gulley led the way with 11 rebounds.
Jenna Delaney gave the Kittens a 26-8 edge to start the second half, but the Patriots would close to within 11 to end the frame. Knott County Central cut the Ashland lead to 41-32 with 2:47 to play, but Woods promptly answered with a layup to push the Kittens lead back to double figures the rest of the way.