Spring Valley boys drop seventh straight
SPRING VALLEY -- By now, the script for the Spring Valley boys basketball team is becoming familiar. A rebound here, a made shot there, and the result might have been different.
Instead, the Timberwolves dropped their seventh consecutive game Thursday night, falling to Ashland 66-61 on their home floor.
Spring Valley (2-7) took the lead in the final minute of the first half, only to see it erased by an Ashland 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Jacob Kilgore hit a three for the Timberwolves in the final minute of the third quarter to cut the Tomcats' lead to one, but Ashland (11-5) ended on a 6-0 run and started the fourth with four unanswered points, putting the Timberwolves in a hole for the rest of the contest.
"A lot of that has to do with our shot selection," said head coach Cory Maynard. "We take a quick shot or a bad shot, which becomes a turnover in essence and they're able to get out in transition and get some easy points."
A big part of the difference between the was Ashland's Dikembe Dixson, a 6-foot-8 sophomore who had a second consecutive double-double in scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Spring Valley's third quarter comeback effort after trailing by five came with Dixson sitting on the bench with three fouls. He returned to score the first six points of the fourth quarter for Ashland, hitting two unanswered buckets and scoring again after Spring Valley's Kilgore hit another three.
"He is a tough matchup, and will continue to be a tough matchup," Maynard said. "I haven't seen anyone get that high up all year."
After transferring to Ashland from Huntington High, Dixson said he feels like he's starting to get rolling.
"I've gotten used to the team and the varsity game," he said. "I didn't get a lot of varsity minutes last year, and I just feel like I'm getting into it now."
Spring Valley is continuing to shoot the ball well, going 44 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range Thursday. And the Tomcats let the Timberwolves hang around, shooting 10-for-25 from the free throw line, with most of those foul shots coming in the fourth quarter as Spring Valley tried to extend the game.
"I think the thing (Spring Valley) does best is they screen well, and they shoot well," Ashland head coach Buddy Biggs said. "Obviously, the free throws killed us. We turned what could have been a 15-point win into a five-point nail-biter."
Maynard 's starting three sophomores and two juniors, and said it's a challenge to keep a young team focused as the losses keep coming.
"I'm proud of the boys; I'm proud of their effort," Maynard said. "They play hard and never quit.
"They just have to keep battling ... It wears on them, but if they come out here and play like that every night, we'll get some wins."
ASHLAND 17 16 18 15 -- 66: Dixson 21, Friley 15, Thompson 12, Hart 7, Miller 7.
SPRING VALLEY 14 17 13 17 -- 61: Kilgore 19, Keyser 15, Herbert 11, Robertson 8, Steele 4, Meade 4.