BY AARON SNYDER
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
(Russell section taken out of article)
Russell’s Ty Mitchell goes for a steal against Raceland’s Adriana Flocker in the 63rd District Tournament on Monday night.
PHOTOS BY KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
GIRLS Russell 54 Raceland 21
More than 11 minutes elapsed before Raceland found the hoop as the 16th Region defending champion Lady Devils reeled off 26 points in a row to tip off the 63rd District Tournament.
Ty Mitchell, Madison Darnell, Rachel Michael and Maggie Jachimczuk accounted for the offense during the dominant stretch. Mitchell finished with a game-high 13 points as she stockpiled steals that led to buckets.
“She’s been playing well these last couple games,” said Russell coach Mandy Layne.
“Hopefully she’s going to continue that into the district final and the regional tournament.”
The Lady Devils (20-11) advanced to the 16th Region Tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
Raceland has failed to make it to Morehead in that span.
After allowing 73 and 71 points, respectively, in losses to Boyd County and Huntington St. Joe last week, Layne said practice has been heavy on defensive drills.
“We’ve been really focusing on it,” she said. “I was really happy with how we moved our feet and how we got in position for steals. It was a good overall defensive effort.”
Russell forced 24 Raceland miscues, 17 of which occurred in the first half. Without point guard Whitney Lute (torn ACL), coach Ron Keeton had gone with a point-guard-by-committee scenario. He handed the reins to junior Lauren Runyon on Monday.
Runyon is the seniorless team’s top rebounder.
“You have to go to either somebody who’s not truly a point guard or a younger player,” Keeton said. “It takes her away from the glass where she’s really good.
Adriana Flocker had done a nice job at the point, but this is a tough spot to ask her to handle the rock. Ragan West, she’ll be a really good player, but she’s an eighth-grader. Asking anyone to go up against Ty Mitchell (is a challenge). She’s certainly the quickest defender in the region.”
Raceland (5-21) aimed for a low-possession game. Five minutes in, it was just 6-0.
“Most fans don’t like it. I don’t like it, but we felt like that gave us the best opportunity to win,” Keeton said.
Russell will encounter Lewis County or Greenup County on Thursday at 7 p.m. for the title.
RACELAND 0 5 8 8— 21 RUSSELL 132312 6—54
Raceland (21) — Runyon 8, Garvin 2, Collins 2, Curley 1, Flocker, Hendricks 5, Boyd 2, Maynard 1, S. West, R. West, Crisp, Adkins. 3-Pt. FG: 1 (Hendricks). FT: 6-8. Fouls: 9.
Russell (54) — Mitchell 13, Darnell 10, Maynard 6, Michael 5, Jachimczuk 9, Sanders 2, Ross 6, Morris 3, Blevins, Ruggles. 3-Pt. FG: 4 (Mitchell, Maynard 2, Morris). FT: 9-10. Fouls: 11.