Tickets will go on sale for Friday’s 8:00 pm game on Thursday, March 3rd at the High School. See AD, Jen Williams. Reserved seats are $8. General Admission $5.
Article by Kevin Colley – The Morehead News
If there’s one quality that always remains a constant on Elaine Douglas’ teams, it’s her team’s ability to get down and guard people.
The Rowan County Lady Vikings proved that quality again on Thursday evening.
An 8-0 run between the first and second quarters of play, a 9-0 run in the third quarter, and a 14-4 spurt in the final frame allowed Rowan County to march on to a 61-42 win over Ashland in the 16th Region Quarterfinals on Tuesday evening.
For Douglas, the contest showed the Vikings’ ability to grind out a victory while not having its best overall evening from the floor.
“I feel pretty good about the way we won,” Douglas said. “In the first half, we were kind of sloppy and we struggled executing offensively, but some of that was jitters. This bunch hasn’t played at region before. We settled down in the second half and we obtained the momentum that was needed to put the game away.”
During the first quarter of play, play remained even for the majority of the quarter as two threes by Ashland’s Rachel Barber kept the game tied at eight-all.
However, Rowan County’s defensive where withal showed itself not long after the first media timeout.
Between the 2:46 mark in the first quarter and the 4:34 mark of the second frame, the Lady Vikings completely shut Ashland out of the scorebook.
Overall, Morgan Berry, Allyson Callahan and Sarah Purdy led Rowan County on a 10-0 spurt that put the Lady Vikings up by an 18-8 tally en route to a 26-18 halftime advantage.
When facing a player like Mykasa Robinson, however, nothing comes easy.
In the third quarter of play, the 5-9 point guard scored six straight points for the Kittens, and, combined with Madeline Garner’s basket, put Ashland within a possession as the margin was cut to 29-26.
But Rowan County had different plans.
After Douglas’ timeout to stop the run, the Lady Vikings turned up the defensive pressure with its fullcourt press.
Result? Game over for the four-time defending region champs, as the pressure led to a 9-0 push by Rowan County that pushed the lead back up to a 38-26 margin.
“Our press has been big for us all year,” Douglas said. “We had to go back to that.”
Then Morgan Berry and Sarah Purdy proceeded to add insult to injury for the Kittens by putting on a personal exhibition in the second half.
Overall, the pair combined to score 18 of the Lady Vikings’ last 20 points as Rowan County took as much as a 21-point lead before settling for the 61-42 victory.
On the evening, the pair combined for 40 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 18-of-28 (64.2 percent) from the field, which played a key role in the Lady Vikings’ 69.6 percent shooting percentage in the second half.
“Sarah came up big for us tonight from the opening gate,” Douglas said. “She was playing hard and scoring big time for us, and that helped out a whole lot. Morgan is just so talented and she showed that with a huge second half.”
The job that Hannah Bandura did on Mykasa Robinson was not lost on Douglas.
For the evening, Robinson finished with 16 points, nine assists, five rebounds and five steals, but accumulated those 16 tallies on 21 shots and had just four points in the opening half of play.
“Hannah did a great job outside with Mykasa,” Douglas said. “She’s done that all year for us. She’s so versatile and really is a major contributor in every facet of the game.”
With the victory, Rowan County will play the winner of Tuesday’s latter quarterfinal, Russell, in the 16th Region Semifinals. The contest is scheduled to start at approximately 8 p.m.
Ashland Blazer 8 10 16 8 – 42
Rowan County 12 14 19 16 – 61
Ashland Blazer – Barber 2-0-6, Garner 1-0-2, Parker 4-0-10, Robinson 8-0-16, Rymer 2-0-4, Williams 2-0-4, Totals 19-0-42.
Rowan County – Bandura 4-0-8, Berry 8-4-20, Callahan 4-0-8, Plank 2-0-5, Purdy 10-0-20, Totals 28-4-61.
3-Point Goals – Ashland Blazer 4 (Barber 2, Parker 2); Rowan County 1 (Plank).
Records – Ashland Blazer 14-16, Rowan County 23-8.