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Ashland at Fairview

Fairview's Terrick Smith drives against Ashland's Ethan Sellars during the first quarter on Friday in Westwood. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

WESTWOOD, Ky. — There’s no place like home away from home.

Fairview High School boys basketball star Terrick Smith signed with the University of Pikeville.

“What made me attracted to it was the coach,” Smith said Tigh Compton, who is in his first year with the Bears, replacing legendary Kelly Wells. “He was very welcoming and it reminded me of Fairview. It’s not the biggest school, but it’s a place for me to play and I wanted to go there.”

Smith’s statistics are eye catching. The 5-foot-8, 135-pound guard averaged 18.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game last season as the Eagles went 8-18. Smith made 167 of 363 shots (46 percent), including 26 of 87 (47.5 percent) from 3-point range. He also made 64 of 85 free throws.

The stat sheet, though, doesn’t do Smith justice. Fairview coach Brett Cooksey said Smith’s unselfishness kept his numbers from being better, but made his team stronger.

When Smith transferred to Fairview from Ashland in 2017, he brought with him a shooter’s mentality. As he progressed, however, he improved his ball handling, defense, passing and leadership. His shooting percentage also increased, as he took better shots.

“I got stronger and worked on my defense,” Smith said. “I took on a bigger leadership role.”

That wasn’t an easy transition for a quiet player, but Smith said he was well received at Fairview, making the move easier. He looks forward to a similar reception at UPike.

A standout defensive back in football, and shortstop and pitcher in baseball, Smith has excelled on the basketball court. He set a school record with nine 3-pointers against Covenant. Smith scored 33 points in that game and equaled that total later in the season against Menifee County.

Smith didn’t just star against small-school competition. He scored 17 points and 11 points in two games last year against undefeated 16th Region champion Ashland.

UPike, a NAIA power, went 20-11 last season. The Bears play in the Mid-South Conference.

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