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Hall blocks shots to help Johnson Central to win

Jan. 01, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- Shane Hall admitted he wasn't having his best offensive game, so he concentrated on defense to help his basketball team win.

Hall scored 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked six shots Friday afternoon for Johnson Central High School from Paintsville, Ky., in a 64-62 defeat of Simon Kenton at the 59th Ashland Invitational Tournament. Hall blocked two potentially game-tying shots and snagged a game-ending rebound, all in the final five seconds to secure the victory.

"I knew I could play defense, even if offensively I wasn't on my game," said Hall, a 6-foot-9 center who signed to play at Marshall University. "I had to. This was a physical game."

Simon Kenton's Noah Robinson drove the lane with 5 seconds left, but Hall rejected his shot into the hands of Alex Childers, who put up a shot that Hall swatted away. In the scramble for the loose ball, Childers was fouled. Childers missed the front end of the bonus. Hall grabbed the rebound and flung the ball down court as the final buzzer sounded.

Hall made four of eight field goal attempts and was 5-for-8 on foul shots. He broke the school career record for foul shots made with 438, topping the mark held since 1969 by David Couch who went on to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Army.

Marshall head coach Tom Herrion was in attendance, along with a smattering of Herd fans.

"It was nice to see people who are going to watch me play the next four years here," Hall said.

Braxton Blair led the Eagles with 17 points. Kyle Gullett scored 14.

Taylor Morrison led Simon Kenton with 25 points.

JOHNSON CENTRAL 14 17 18 17 -- 64: Adkins 2-5 1-2 0-0 5, B. Blair 5-9 0-0 7-10 17, McKenzie 2-3 0-1 0-2 4, McPeek 3-12 0-0 1-4 7, Salyer 1-3 0-0 2-4 4, Gullett 5-8 2-3 2-2 14, S. Hall 4-8 0-0 5-8 13. Totals: 22-48 3-6 17-30 64.

SIMON KENTON 18 11 12 21 -- 62: Kuntz 1-4 1-4 0-0 3, Pracht 0-1 0-1 1-4 1, Vercheak 2-2 0-0 2-2 6, Morrison 8-16 4-5 5-8 25, Doughtery 0-0 0-0 2-2 2, Mullins 1-5 0-0 0-0 2, Childers 3-4 3-4 0-0 9, Robinson 7-16 0-2 0-0 14. Totals: 22-48 8-16 10-16.

Rebounds: JC 31 (Hall 13), SK 31 (Kuntz 8). Team rebounds: JC 7, SK 1. Deadball rebounds: JC 7, SK 4. Steals: JC 17 (McPeek 8), SK 10 (Robinson 4). Assists: JC 10 (B. Blair 5), SK 14 (Pracht 4). Blocked shots: JC 10 (S. Hall 6), SK 6, (Kuntz 4). Turnovers: JC 18, SK 24. Fouls: JC 17, SK 19. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: Robinson.

ASHLAND 65, LEWIS CO. 60: Losing in the first round of your own tournament is embarrassing.

Ashland made sure that didn't happen Friday night, defeating Lewis County, 65-60, in the opening round of the Ashland Invitational Tournament.

The Tomcats (6-2) built a 12-point third quarter lead and staved off run after run by the Lions. Ashland led 48-36 with 32 seconds left in the third quarter, but Lewis County (4-6) pulled within 50-45 at 5:57 of the fourth quarter.

Damantie Thornton's 3-pointer gave Ashland breathing room and an eight-point lead, but Jake Parker hit two 3-pointers to bring the Lions within 53-51with 4:05 left.

The Tomcats rebuilt the lead to 56-51, but Lewis County charged back again, pulling within 58-56 with 1:38 left.

Only then did Ashland pull away as Steven Friley sank seven of eight free throws to keep the Lions at bay.

"We got stops, hit free throws and got rebounds," Ashland coach Buddy Biggs said.

LEWIS COUNTY 8 16 15 21 -- 60: Duncan 0-0 0-0 0-0, Walker 1-6 0-1 0-1 2, Adams 0-5 0-1 0-0 0, Ruckel 7-19 3-9 6-7 23, Holder 0-3 0-1 0-0 0, Mason 4-12 2-5 2-2 12, Weddington 3-7 0-0 3-6 9, Davis 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Kibler 0-0 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-62 9-21 11-16 60.

ASHLAND 14 15 19 17 -- 65: Thompson 0-1 0-1 2-2 2, Stewart 3-10 0-1 5-10 11, Friley 3-11 0-2 10-13 16, Wesley 1-3 0-2 0-0 2, Thornton 3-5 1-1 0-0 7, Villers 4-9 2-2 0-0 10, Miller 7-11 1-3 2-4 17. Totals: 21-50 4-12 19-29 65.

Rebounds: LC 33 (Walker 9), A 46 (Friley 12). Team rebounds: LC 5, A 8. Deadball rebounds: LC 3, A 5. Steals: LC 5 (Ruckel 2), A 3 (Thompson 2). Assists: LC 12 (Mason 3), A 16 (Stewart 5). Blocked shots: LC none, A 1 (Thornton). Fouls: LC 19, A 16. Fouled out: Weddington. Technical fouls: None.

AIT SCHEDULE

Friday

Johnson Central 64, Simon Kenton 62

Cincinnati Roger Bacon 65, Elliott Co. 50

Ashland 65, Lewis Co. 60

Ironton vs. Grant Co. (n)

Saturday

Simon Kenton vs. Fleming Co, 2:30 p.m.

Lewis Co. vs. Ironton/Grant Co. loser, 4 p.m.

Roger Bacon vs. Johnson Central, 7 p.m.

Ironton/Grant Co. winner vs. Ashland, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday

Consolation game, 2:30 p.m.

Consolation game, 4 p.m.

Consolation game, 6 p.m.

Championship game, 7:30 p.m.

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