BY AARON SNYDER
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
Madison Darnell was unaware of her coach’s playing ability until she noticed her name adorning a banner above West Carter’s Hop Brown Court a few years back.
“I didn’t know she played at Northern (Kentucky) or anything like that,” Darnell said. “She just never really talked about herself.”
Mandy Layne (Sterling) called a timeout and surprised Darnell with a special ball when the senior hurdled the 2,000-point barrier on Friday against Greenup County. Layne, true to Darnell’s description, didn’t want to stroll down memory lane to recall her 2,337 points scored as an Ashland and West Carter player from 1995-2000. She preferred to gush about Darnell’s work ethic and dedication. Layne and Darnell comprise the first coach-player combo to be part of the 16th Region’s elite 2,000-point club.
Darnell’s the second 16th Region player to reach the milestone this season, joining Boyd County’s Savannah Wheeler.
It’s the third time two region girls basketball players knocked down the door to 2-grand in the same year. In 2000, Layne (then Sterling) and Kandi Brown collected their 2,000th. In 2015, Logan Fraley (Boyd Co.) and Savannah Anderson (Lewis Co.) hit the mark.
•Paintsville’s boys couldn’t solve Shelby Valley on Saturday in the 15th Region All “A” semifinals. The Wildcats beat the Tigers, 78-68, two days after pounding Piarist, 91-11. Yikes.
•Bath County and Raceland make for a somewhat refreshing look at the 16th Region All “A” Classic. If both play like they did on Saturday, tonight’s finals will be a dandy.
•Menifee County’s girls endured a couple of head-scratching losses earlier this season, but numerous question marks can be erased with a win over West Carter in the All “A” finals at Rose Hill tonight.
•At least for a day, Rowan County’s boys seems to have recovered from three straight setbacks against Fleming County, Elliott County and George Rogers Clark. The Vikings trumped a good North Laurel team, which is 15-3 and among 13th Region contenders.
•Lewis County achieved a rare win over Mason County on Friday. According to WFTM’s Danny Weddle, the Lions’ victory was their first over the Royals since 1996 and just their fourth in 39 meetings.
•Another rare occurrence is coming up: a Morgan County-Elliott County boys basketball matchup. OK, so maybe it’s not all that uncommon, but that doesn’t make it any less intriguing. The 62nd District No. 1 seed is still very much up for grabs. The Lions are 3-0 in district seed games while the Cougars are 1-0. Tuesday’s meeting is at Sandy Hook.
•Former 16th Region coach Kristy Orem (Fleming County) is successfully steering the ship at Pikeville. The Lady Panthers are 13-4 and on Sunday finished as 15th Region All “A” runners-up.
•Rowan County’s girls edged Lewis County, 54-53, on Saturday, displaying just how narrow the margin is between the Nos. 5-8 (or so) teams in the 16th Region.
•So Boyd County beats Ashland and Raceland topples Morgan County in boys basketball, but this stubborn Snyder guy won’t budge much in his Super Seven. Why? Hey, the whole body of work has to be taken into account. The Lions and Rams would be the first to admit they still have plenty to prove, but what they have now is a mental boost.
•Kool Hits Radio and Ashland recognized Charlie Dunlap, a 1967 Blazer graduate, for his 52 1/2 years of serving as a radio broadcaster for a number of high school teams in northeastern Kentucky. Dunlap is only “semi-retired,” as he’ll continue to broadcast local games when called upon.
Snyder’s Super Seven
1. Ashland (15-2) 2. Boyd Co. (12-5) 3. Paintsville (14-5) 4. Morgan Co. (16-3) 5. J. Central (10-9) 6. Bath Co. (11-6) 7. Raceland (9-5) At the scorer’s table (next three in): Russell, Rowan Co., Lewis Co.
1. Boyd Co. (13-2) 2. Ashland (13-4) 3. Russell (10-6) 4. W. Carter (15-2) 5. Paintsville (13-6) 6. Lawrence Co. (12-3) 7. Rowan Co. (9-6) At the scorer’s table (next three in): E. Carter, Menifee Co., Lewis Co.
Menifee County’s Emma Hacker and Raceland’s Travis Weaver both hit exactly 30 in back-to-back games in the 16th Region All “A” Classic semifinals on Saturday.
Weaver’s 30 marked a career high. Hacker added 17 rebounds.
Halftime Prep Talk
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Reach AARON SNYDER at asnyder@dailyindependent. com or (606) 326-2664. Follow @DIndependentQB on Twitter.