This Weekend is Full of Things to Do and See

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

 

   Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Well then look no further… this weekend brings with it a plethora of things to choose from. No matter what you enjoy doing you are sure to find one or all these event’s intriguing. 

   The weekend kicks off on Friday, December 2, where you will have two opportunities to enjoy some great stand-up comedy at The Cinema at Camp Landing. Show times start at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. If you love all things ballet, then the Paramount Arts Center is where you will want to be on Friday. The Ashland Youth Ballet has partnered with the Huntington Symphony to bring you the iconic Nutcracker. Showtime starts at 7 p.m.

   Saturday, December 3 has even more to offer with a wide variety of things to choose from. The sixth annual Brunch & Browse will be held at Broadway Square from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Here you can celebrate all your favorite locally owned boutiques and restaurants with a full day of shopping and giveaways. Brunch and Browse is a unique event that allows participants to sample dishes from some to the most popular downtown Ashland restaurants while offering shoppers a convenient way to support locally owned small businesses throughout the city. Many of your favorite shops will be offering special discounts and menu items during this time. Stop by the Ashland’s Visit AKY at 1509 Winchester Avenue to pick up your free tote bag. Tickets to this event are $5 and can be purchased online. 

   The AKY Merry Market will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Broadway Square.  This unique event is brought to you by The AKY Mommas and the Ashland Animal Rescue Fund. This first-time event brings the sights and sounds of Christmas to you while you support local makers, farmers, creators and retailers. You can even have you pet’s picture taken with Santa for a donation that goes to the Ashland Animal Rescue Fund. If you get done with shopping and still find that you want even more of that Christmas spirit, then you could hop on over the Highlands Museum and check out the Highlands Christmas Tour of Homes. This event lasts from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and offers multiple start times to tour the area’s best Christmas themed houses. 

   The Ashland Area YMCA will be having its annual Christmas Tea Vendor and Craft Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is one of the areas most anticipated vendor shows of the year. Not only can you find a gym packed full of local vendors, small-business owners, and artisans but you can even listen to some of your most favorite Christmas songs being sang by the one and only Holley Forbes. Holly will be singing from noon to 2 p.m. at the Ashland Area YMCA during this event. 

    With so much going on you are sure to stay busy this weekend. Check out this list of some of the areas other events going this weekend… 

•Santa will be at the Summit Church of the Nazarene from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

•Crafts with Mrs. Claus at Camp Landing. This event is offered at three different times: 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m. Here your children can create multiple different crafts with Mrs. Claus. 

•Switchfoot Christmas Tour beings at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at The Paramount Arts Center box office or online.

•The 79th Annual Policeman’s Ball will be held at 1570 Grace Heights in Argillite Ky and begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 for a single and $125 for a couple. Dinner and drink are included. This is event supports the areas Shop with a Cop program.

•Jingle Bell Charity Ball will be held at Patriot RV and starts at 7 p.m. This unique event is a charity event that collects new toys and articles of clothing for children ages birth to 16.

•The Flatwoods Christmas Parade will start at 1 p.m. on Argillite Road in Flatwoods

READ ME A BEDTIME STORY: The Wizard’s Best: Part Two of a Series of Wizarding Adventures

Jonathan Joy • The Ashland Beacon

 

   Like “The Wizard’s Test”, this tale is an ABC Acrostic Poem.  Note that the first line begins with A.  The second line B.  The third, C.  And so on throughout the alphabet all through the entire piece.  Try writing your own 26-line ABC Acrostic Poem on any subject of your choosing. 

 

A clever test recently revealed who I could trust.

Best buddies and wizard friends are we.  

Creed can whip up about anything, his specialty is potions and spells.

Deidra amazes with her ability, as she flies high in the sky.

Eugenia is the weapons master, with maces, daggers, and swords, oh my!

For, I am called Tobias, and I lead this weird, loyal pack.

Good deeds we spread all o’er the land.

Helpers, our wizarding crew, endeavors to be.

It is a time when many are in need.

Jowly’s Hollow was one such place under the thumb of a cruel leader.

King Humphreys, his name, and he set a bounty on our heads.

Lo and behold, hunters came from far and wide.

Magicians, beware! They screamed as they struck.

Never had my crew been so tested as this. 

On high, Deidra spied on our invaders and controlled strategy based on their whereabouts.

Potions by Creed were used to hide us and trick warriors all around.

Quickly, an agile Eugenia armed us all.

Ready for battle, four against too many, outnumbered.

Surprised we were when those citizens of Jowly’s Hollow joined by our side.

Thankfully, our might and the will of a people tired of an unstable King won out.

Unstoppable were we when working together.

Victory is easily won when many cooperate with a common goal. 

West we moved to our next destination,

X marking another spot on the map,

Yellow setting sun ahead,

Zaar’s people, their safety and secrets, would be next. 

  

Coming Soon:  The Wizard’s Quest

Rams Head to State Championship Game!

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

 

RACELAND 49 HOLY CROSS 6

   The first 12 minutes of the Class A State Semifinals between Raceland and Holy Cross Friday night was a dogfight for a berth in the state championship. 

   Raceland led 7-6 after one but what was to come from the Rams was nothing short of a good ole fashion beatdown after they rolled off 42 consecutive points for a 49-6, running clock win over the Cougars for a program-best 13th win of the season. 

   Raceland hung 20 points on Holy Cross in the second quarter for a 27-6 lead at the break while tallying more yards on the Cougars defense than they averaged giving up over an entire game. Raceland racked up 520 total yards of offense by the time the clock hit zero including a season high 336 rushing yards led by Noah Wallace and Isaac Browning. 

   Wallace rushed for a career-high 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Browning added 118 yards and a score. It was the first time since 2015 that the Rams have had a pair of running backs rush for over 100 yards each. It was also the first time Wallace has rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games. 

   After forcing a three-and-out on the Cougars first possession, the Rams offense got things rolling after Logan Lundy sprung free and rumbled 44 yards to paydirt and a 7-0 lead. Peyton Ison connected on the PAT for his 150th career extra point. Holy Cross answered with a 6-yard touchdown pass but the extra point sailed wide right leaving the Cougars trailing by one. 

   The Rams offense came to life in the second quarter after Wallace plunged into the endzone for a 2-yard score with 9:55 to play in the half. Lundy hooked up with Parker Fannin for a 58-yard score. Raceland added in some trickery on the ensuing drive with a double pass from Lundy to Mason Lykins who hit a wide-open Jules Farrow for a 50-yard TD. 

   Browning raced into the endzone for a 21-yard score to open the third stanza and a Conner Hughes two-point conversion pushed the Rams lead to 35-6. Wallace diced through the Cougars line before finding a lane to the endzone for a 63-yard touchdown that set the running clock in motion with 4:31 to play in the third. Lundy tossed his second touchdown of the night late in the fourth, hitting Brayden Webb for a 10-yard TD. 

   Raceland’s defense was as equally impressive as the Cougars were held to only 136 total yards of offense including 31 rushing yards on 21 totes. 

   Raceland heads to Kroger Field Friday at noon for a State Championship contest against the defending state champion Pikeville. 

 

CHRISTIAN ACADEMY-LOUISVILLE 50 ASHLAND 7

   CAL pushed the game out of reach before Ashland ever got out of the gate Friday night in the Class 3A State Semifinals in Louisville. 

   A pair of Centurions passing touchdowns in the first quarter followed by a pair of rushing touchdowns to open the second quarter provided the hosts a 28-0 lead with 5:35 to play in the half. But the Tomcats simply could not find an answer on either side of the ball as CAL rolled to 50-7, running clock win. 

   Braxton Jennings found paydirt with 4:04 to play in the half from eight yards out but it would be the only time the Tomcats would dent the scoreboard. Jennings finished with 59 yards on 14 carries. LaBryant Strader threw for 124 yards. Brandon Houston hauled in four catches for 80 yards. 

   Ashland closes the season at 9-5.

Ashland Looks to Defend 16th Region Crown

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

 

ASHLAND

Head Coach: Ryan Bonner (1st)

Record: 26-6

Season Ended: Sweet 16 Opening Round (76-65 Covington Catholic)

Key Returning Players: Zander Carter, Tucker Conway, Asher Adkins, Tristin Davis

   It's no secret that Ashland’s four-year dominance over the 16th Region may be coming to a halt this season after a huge hit to the program after the departures of Colin Porter, Cole Villers and Ethan Sellars due to graduation. Toss in the loss of coach Jason Mays who was released by the school due to recruiting violations which leaves the Tomcats searching for a whole new identity. 

   With the loss of the above-mentioned players, Ashland finds itself looking for nearly 50 of the Tomcats 77.2 points a game from last season. Zander Carter’s 10.5 points a game is best of the returners for the Tomcats. Tucker Conway and Asher Adkins will see expanded roles this season after netting 8.2 and 6.4 points a game, respectively. Conway led the Tomcats from downtown, shooting 55.4% (72-130). 

   Ashland adds a familiar name from the 64th District in Rheyce Deboard who transferred from Boyd County during the summer. Deboard averaged 16 points a game for the Lions while shooting 42.1% from the field as the point guard for the Lions. 

   Although new head Coach Ryan Bonner knows the program well after spending several years as an assistant, this will be his first go as the bench boss with only two weeks of prep before Ashland opens the season at home against Ironton St. Joe on Dec. 2. Regardless of how the season starts or ends, Ashland will be tested early and often with a matchup against Great Crossing on Dec. 3 in the Jersey Mike’s Classic, defending State Champion GRC on Dec. 10 in the Boyd County Roundball Classic and Simon Kenton in the opening round of the AIT on Dec. 28. 

   With challenges around every corner, Ashland is assured of one of its most challenging seasons since taking the region by storm four years ago. However, do not discard the Tomcats ability to score the basketball, rather expect new faces to become nighty names for this season’s program. 

 

BOYD COUNTY

Head Coach: Randy Anderson (13th)

Record: 23-8

Season Ended: Region Championship (84-52 Ashland)

Key Returning Players: Jacob Spurlock, Jason Ellis, Cole Hicks, Griffin Taylor

   With four of the eight Lions losses coming to Ashland last season, it's safe to say they are ready to regain control of the 64th District after playing second fiddle to the four-time defending champs. With a large nucleus of players returning from last season, Boyd County looks poised to make a run at a district crown while hoping to chase down a region title over a field that offers as many as five teams that could represent the 16th Region in Lexington. 

Jacob Spurlock returns as the leading scorer for the Lions after Rheyce Deboard transferred to Ashland. Spurlock netted 12 points a game as an eighth grader while shooting nearly 39% from the field. Jason Ellis was close behind with 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. Cole Hicks kicked in 8.4 points a game. Griffin Taylor worked in 29 of the 31 Lions contests while kicking in 4.2 points a night and shooting 55.8% from the field. 

   Boyd County gets its district tilts underway early in the season with a pair of home contests against Fairview and Ashland on Dec. 8 and 13, respectively. The Lions open the season on the road at Rowan County on Dec. 1 and meets up with Central Hardin at Rowan County in the Stock Yard Bank & Trust Challenge on Dec. 17. 

   Boyd County will have to learn how to deal with life on the road in the final month of the regular season with five of the Lions final six contests away from the friendly confines of Cannonsburg. Although the Lions roster only has 10 players this season, the expectation will be for the starting five to carry the Lions deep into the postseason. 

 

FAIRVIEW

Head Coach: Clarence Thompson

Record: 11-19

Season Ended: Open Round 64th District Tournament (96-57 Boyd)

Key Returning Players: Steven Day, Tamel Smith, Tanner Johnson

   Jaxon Manning led Fairview as one of the top players in the 16th Region last season. Manning netted 22.2 a night, shot 52.7% from the field, 73.8% from the charity stripe and led the Eagles with 5.6 rebounds a game. With Manning gone and a new head coach in Westwood, Fairview has to look for more from its returning starters while hoping for an added spark from its youthful roster.

   Steven Day, Tanner Johnson and Tamel Smith will anchor the Eagles this season. Day netted 12.8 points and grabbed 5.6 rebounds. Johnson added 11.9 points to round out double-digit scorers. Smith kicked in 4.4 a game. 

   Fairview has a steady flow of games prior to Christmas before heading to Pendleton County and the Fuller Ford Phillip Wood Classic on Dec. 27 & 28. The Eagles heads to Menifee County on Jan. 9 for the All “A” Classic. Fairview opens the season with a pair of home contests with visits from Greenup County and West Carter on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.

 

ROSE HILL

Head Coach: Charles Wilcoxen (2nd)

Record: 4-26

Season Ended: Opening Round 64th District (93-31 Ashland)

Key Returning Players: Christian Blevins, Collin Wilburn, Benton Rucker

   Rose Hill will be looking for a significant influx of scoring after losing Chase Pennington to graduation and Luke Pennington transferring to Russell. Chase led the Royals with 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game while Luke kicked in 8.6 points. However, Rose Hill returns Christian Blevins who was the only other player to finish in double-digit scoring for the Royals at 11.3 a night. Collin Wilburn added six points a contest. 

   Benton Rucker scored only 2.6 points a game but led the Royals from the field, shooting 42.6% (29-68). Blevins paced the starters from the charity stripe with a 79% clip (49-62). 

   Rose Hill travels to Berea before Christmas for the Berea Holiday Classic for a three-game event. The Royals meet up with West Carter in the All “A” Classic at Menifee County on Jan. 7. Rose Hill plays four of its first six games at home, opening with East Carter on the road on Nov. 29 before welcoming Robertson County Dec. 2. 

 

RACELAND

Head Coach: Joe Bryan (2nd)

Record: 12-17

Season Ended: Opening Round 16th Region Tournament (46-20 Rowan)

Key Returning Players: Jacob Gauze, Landyn Newman

   Although things went sideways after the Rams reached the regional tournament, Joe Bryan has to feel positive about his team’s upcoming campaign. However, Bryan has a significant challenge to overcome to open the season with his two leading scorers of Andrew Floyd and Kyle Broughton exiting due to graduation. The duo combined for 28 of the Rams 58 point average an outing last season leaving plenty of scoring opportunities for the new faces in the program. 

   Raceland will play through its big man of Jacob Gauze who nearly averaged a double-double last season. Gauze netted nine points and grabbed 8.3 rebounds a game. Landyn Newman provided a spark from the guard position late in the season but due to the Rams football team playing deep into the state playoffs, could miss the first week or two of the season. This is the case for four of the 10 players rostered by the Rams this season. Holden Topping and Connor Thacker will work in expanded roles this season. 

   Raceland opens the season with a visit from Pendleton County on Dec. 3 followed by a pair of road trips to Lawrence County and Spring Valley. Raceland will play host to the Derby Classic on Dec. 19 and 20 with a field including Russell, West Carter and Paris. The Rams face Elliott County to open the All “A” Classic on Jan. 7 at Menifee County. All six of the Rams district tilts come after the turn of the new year with a trip to Lewis County on Jan. 17.

 

RUSSELL

Head Coach: Derek Cooksey (2nd)

Record:19-8

Season Ended: Opening Round 16th Region Tournament (67-52 Bath)

Key Returning Players: Carson Blum, Damon Charles, Caleb Rimmer

   Every coach but Derek Cooksey was happy to see Brady Bell graduate from Russell last season. Afterall, Bell torched the region for an average of 25.3 a night while grabbing seven rebounds. But Bell was not the only loss for the Devils who lost their top four scorers from a year ago. Griffin Downs had 9.1 points a game while Carson Patrick added 7.8. Bradley Rose netted 6.1 points while snagging a team high 7.1 rebounds. 

   Carson Blum returns at the point for the Devils, averaging 3.7 points a game. Damon Charles and Caleb Rimmer chipped in 3.8 and 2.8 points a game, respectively. Rimmer shot 54.1% from the field as a seventh grader. Luke Pennington joins the Devils after transferring in from Rose Hill after averaging 8.6 points a contest. 

   Russell opens the season at home against Martin County followed by a visit from Rowan County on Dec. 3 in the EKC tournament. Russell heads to Mason County on Dec. 10 in the Mike Murphy Classic and plays West Carter on Dec. 19 in the opening round of the Raceland Derby Classic. The Devils head to the Smokies after Christmas for a three-day event before returning home for a three-game homestand to start the new year with visits from East Carter, Lewis County and Morgan County. 

 

GREENUP COUNTY

Head Coach: Corey Allison (1st)

Record: 10-17

Season Ended: Opening Round 63rd District Tournament (53-50 Raceland)

Key Returning Players: Eli Adkins, Beau Barker, Cohen Underwood, Carson Wireman

   Beating a team three times in a season is one of the most difficult tasks to achieve and that is where Greenup County found itself last season when the Musketeers went up against Raceland in the district tournament. Unfortunately for the Musketeers, they came up short in the district tournament, falling 53-50. 

   Now the Musketeers must find a way to move forward with the loss of leading scoring Trenton Hannah and point guard Boone Gibson. Hannah averaged 13.5 a game and was a threat for a double-double every night. Gibson added 6.1 a night while leading the team with 6.5 rebounds. Greenup County does return Carson Wireman who was the only other player in double figures each night with 10.6. Wireman shot 33.1% from downtown and led the Musketeers in field goals attempted with 241. 

   Eli Adkins will see an expanded role this season after appearing in all but one game for the Musketeers while averaging 6.1 points a game. Beau Barker also returns to the mix with 6.7 a contest last season. 

   Greenup County opens the season on the road at Fairview and Rock Hill on Dec. 3 but then does not play outside the Greenhouse until heading to Charleston, SC and the Carolina Invitational after Christmas. The Musketeers first district tilt comes on Jan. 13 in a visit from Russell. 

 

Holy Family

   For the first time in nearly 40 years, Holy Family will have a boys basketball team. The Irish will not compete in a conference or league but will be an Independent team made up of homeschool players and players that didn’t make their high school team. They will play a full season with 24 games against high school and college JV teams.

   Holy Family compiled a winning record of 696-626 from 1921-86 including two district championships and two 16th Region runner-ups in 1971 and 1980. The Irish defeated Ashland in the 1980 64th District finals, giving preseason No. 1 Ashland its first loss to a region opponent in five seasons.

   Holy Family won their first three games of the season against Ignite 78-20, Adams County Christian 84-18 and St. Joe Central 65-60. The Irish will host Rose Hill in an exhibition game on December 1.

Ashland Looks to Defend 16th Region Crown

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

 

ASHLAND

Head Coach: Ryan Bonner (1st)

Record: 26-6

Season Ended: Sweet 16 Opening Round (76-65 Covington Catholic)

Key Returning Players: Zander Carter, Tucker Conway, Asher Adkins, Tristin Davis

   It's no secret that Ashland’s four-year dominance over the 16th Region may be coming to a halt this season after a huge hit to the program after the departures of Colin Porter, Cole Villers and Ethan Sellars due to graduation. Toss in the loss of coach Jason Mays who was released by the school due to recruiting violations which leaves the Tomcats searching for a whole new identity. 

   With the loss of the above-mentioned players, Ashland finds itself looking for nearly 50 of the Tomcats 77.2 points a game from last season. Zander Carter’s 10.5 points a game is best of the returners for the Tomcats. Tucker Conway and Asher Adkins will see expanded roles this season after netting 8.2 and 6.4 points a game, respectively. Conway led the Tomcats from downtown, shooting 55.4% (72-130). 

   Ashland adds a familiar name from the 64th District in Rheyce Deboard who transferred from Boyd County during the summer. Deboard averaged 16 points a game for the Lions while shooting 42.1% from the field as the point guard for the Lions. 

   Although new head Coach Ryan Bonner knows the program well after spending several years as an assistant, this will be his first go as the bench boss with only two weeks of prep before Ashland opens the season at home against Ironton St. Joe on Dec. 2. Regardless of how the season starts or ends, Ashland will be tested early and often with a matchup against Great Crossing on Dec. 3 in the Jersey Mike’s Classic, defending State Champion GRC on Dec. 10 in the Boyd County Roundball Classic and Simon Kenton in the opening round of the AIT on Dec. 28. 

   With challenges around every corner, Ashland is assured of one of its most challenging seasons since taking the region by storm four years ago. However, do not discard the Tomcats ability to score the basketball, rather expect new faces to become nighty names for this season’s program. 

 

BOYD COUNTY

Head Coach: Randy Anderson (13th)

Record: 23-8

Season Ended: Region Championship (84-52 Ashland)

Key Returning Players: Jacob Spurlock, Jason Ellis, Cole Hicks, Griffin Taylor

   With four of the eight Lions losses coming to Ashland last season, it's safe to say they are ready to regain control of the 64th District after playing second fiddle to the four-time defending champs. With a large nucleus of players returning from last season, Boyd County looks poised to make a run at a district crown while hoping to chase down a region title over a field that offers as many as five teams that could represent the 16th Region in Lexington. 

Jacob Spurlock returns as the leading scorer for the Lions after Rheyce Deboard transferred to Ashland. Spurlock netted 12 points a game as an eighth grader while shooting nearly 39% from the field. Jason Ellis was close behind with 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. Cole Hicks kicked in 8.4 points a game. Griffin Taylor worked in 29 of the 31 Lions contests while kicking in 4.2 points a night and shooting 55.8% from the field. 

   Boyd County gets its district tilts underway early in the season with a pair of home contests against Fairview and Ashland on Dec. 8 and 13, respectively. The Lions open the season on the road at Rowan County on Dec. 1 and meets up with Central Hardin at Rowan County in the Stock Yard Bank & Trust Challenge on Dec. 17. 

   Boyd County will have to learn how to deal with life on the road in the final month of the regular season with five of the Lions final six contests away from the friendly confines of Cannonsburg. Although the Lions roster only has 10 players this season, the expectation will be for the starting five to carry the Lions deep into the postseason. 

 

FAIRVIEW

Head Coach: Clarence Thompson

Record: 11-19

Season Ended: Open Round 64th District Tournament (96-57 Boyd)

Key Returning Players: Steven Day, Tamel Smith, Tanner Johnson

   Jaxon Manning led Fairview as one of the top players in the 16th Region last season. Manning netted 22.2 a night, shot 52.7% from the field, 73.8% from the charity stripe and led the Eagles with 5.6 rebounds a game. With Manning gone and a new head coach in Westwood, Fairview has to look for more from its returning starters while hoping for an added spark from its youthful roster.

   Steven Day, Tanner Johnson and Tamel Smith will anchor the Eagles this season. Day netted 12.8 points and grabbed 5.6 rebounds. Johnson added 11.9 points to round out double-digit scorers. Smith kicked in 4.4 a game. 

   Fairview has a steady flow of games prior to Christmas before heading to Pendleton County and the Fuller Ford Phillip Wood Classic on Dec. 27 & 28. The Eagles heads to Menifee County on Jan. 9 for the All “A” Classic. Fairview opens the season with a pair of home contests with visits from Greenup County and West Carter on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.

 

ROSE HILL

Head Coach: Charles Wilcoxen (2nd)

Record: 4-26

Season Ended: Opening Round 64th District (93-31 Ashland)

Key Returning Players: Christian Blevins, Collin Wilburn, Benton Rucker

   Rose Hill will be looking for a significant influx of scoring after losing Chase Pennington to graduation and Luke Pennington transferring to Russell. Chase led the Royals with 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game while Luke kicked in 8.6 points. However, Rose Hill returns Christian Blevins who was the only other player to finish in double-digit scoring for the Royals at 11.3 a night. Collin Wilburn added six points a contest. 

   Benton Rucker scored only 2.6 points a game but led the Royals from the field, shooting 42.6% (29-68). Blevins paced the starters from the charity stripe with a 79% clip (49-62). 

   Rose Hill travels to Berea before Christmas for the Berea Holiday Classic for a three-game event. The Royals meet up with West Carter in the All “A” Classic at Menifee County on Jan. 7. Rose Hill plays four of its first six games at home, opening with East Carter on the road on Nov. 29 before welcoming Robertson County Dec. 2. 

 

RACELAND

Head Coach: Joe Bryan (2nd)

Record: 12-17

Season Ended: Opening Round 16th Region Tournament (46-20 Rowan)

Key Returning Players: Jacob Gauze, Landyn Newman

   Although things went sideways after the Rams reached the regional tournament, Joe Bryan has to feel positive about his team’s upcoming campaign. However, Bryan has a significant challenge to overcome to open the season with his two leading scorers of Andrew Floyd and Kyle Broughton exiting due to graduation. The duo combined for 28 of the Rams 58 point average an outing last season leaving plenty of scoring opportunities for the new faces in the program. 

   Raceland will play through its big man of Jacob Gauze who nearly averaged a double-double last season. Gauze netted nine points and grabbed 8.3 rebounds a game. Landyn Newman provided a spark from the guard position late in the season but due to the Rams football team playing deep into the state playoffs, could miss the first week or two of the season. This is the case for four of the 10 players rostered by the Rams this season. Holden Topping and Connor Thacker will work in expanded roles this season. 

   Raceland opens the season with a visit from Pendleton County on Dec. 3 followed by a pair of road trips to Lawrence County and Spring Valley. Raceland will play host to the Derby Classic on Dec. 19 and 20 with a field including Russell, West Carter and Paris. The Rams face Elliott County to open the All “A” Classic on Jan. 7 at Menifee County. All six of the Rams district tilts come after the turn of the new year with a trip to Lewis County on Jan. 17.

 

RUSSELL

Head Coach: Derek Cooksey (2nd)

Record:19-8

Season Ended: Opening Round 16th Region Tournament (67-52 Bath)

Key Returning Players: Carson Blum, Damon Charles, Caleb Rimmer

   Every coach but Derek Cooksey was happy to see Brady Bell graduate from Russell last season. Afterall, Bell torched the region for an average of 25.3 a night while grabbing seven rebounds. But Bell was not the only loss for the Devils who lost their top four scorers from a year ago. Griffin Downs had 9.1 points a game while Carson Patrick added 7.8. Bradley Rose netted 6.1 points while snagging a team high 7.1 rebounds. 

   Carson Blum returns at the point for the Devils, averaging 3.7 points a game. Damon Charles and Caleb Rimmer chipped in 3.8 and 2.8 points a game, respectively. Rimmer shot 54.1% from the field as a seventh grader. Luke Pennington joins the Devils after transferring in from Rose Hill after averaging 8.6 points a contest. 

   Russell opens the season at home against Martin County followed by a visit from Rowan County on Dec. 3 in the EKC tournament. Russell heads to Mason County on Dec. 10 in the Mike Murphy Classic and plays West Carter on Dec. 19 in the opening round of the Raceland Derby Classic. The Devils head to the Smokies after Christmas for a three-day event before returning home for a three-game homestand to start the new year with visits from East Carter, Lewis County and Morgan County. 

 

GREENUP COUNTY

Head Coach: Corey Allison (1st)

Record: 10-17

Season Ended: Opening Round 63rd District Tournament (53-50 Raceland)

Key Returning Players: Eli Adkins, Beau Barker, Cohen Underwood, Carson Wireman

   Beating a team three times in a season is one of the most difficult tasks to achieve and that is where Greenup County found itself last season when the Musketeers went up against Raceland in the district tournament. Unfortunately for the Musketeers, they came up short in the district tournament, falling 53-50. 

   Now the Musketeers must find a way to move forward with the loss of leading scoring Trenton Hannah and point guard Boone Gibson. Hannah averaged 13.5 a game and was a threat for a double-double every night. Gibson added 6.1 a night while leading the team with 6.5 rebounds. Greenup County does return Carson Wireman who was the only other player in double figures each night with 10.6. Wireman shot 33.1% from downtown and led the Musketeers in field goals attempted with 241. 

   Eli Adkins will see an expanded role this season after appearing in all but one game for the Musketeers while averaging 6.1 points a game. Beau Barker also returns to the mix with 6.7 a contest last season. 

   Greenup County opens the season on the road at Fairview and Rock Hill on Dec. 3 but then does not play outside the Greenhouse until heading to Charleston, SC and the Carolina Invitational after Christmas. The Musketeers first district tilt comes on Jan. 13 in a visit from Russell. 

 

Holy Family

   For the first time in nearly 40 years, Holy Family will have a boys basketball team. The Irish will not compete in a conference or league but will be an Independent team made up of homeschool players and players that didn’t make their high school team. They will play a full season with 24 games against high school and college JV teams.

   Holy Family compiled a winning record of 696-626 from 1921-86 including two district championships and two 16th Region runner-ups in 1971 and 1980. The Irish defeated Ashland in the 1980 64th District finals, giving preseason No. 1 Ashland its first loss to a region opponent in five seasons.

   Holy Family won their first three games of the season against Ignite 78-20, Adams County Christian 84-18 and St. Joe Central 65-60. The Irish will host Rose Hill in an exhibition game on December 1.