Sweet 16 | Boyd County vs. Mercer County

Sweet 16 | Boyd County vs. Mercer County

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Sweet 16 | Boyd County vs. Mercer County

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Mercer County head basketball coach Chris G. Souder makes a strong point to his players during a time-out. 07 January 2017

Mercer County head basketball coach Chris G. Souder makes a strong point to his players during a time-out. 07 January 2017

GAME 3: BOYD COUNTY VS. MERCER COUNTY, 6:30 P.M. WEDNESDAY

BOYD COUNTY

Coach: Pete Fraley.

Record: 26-8.

Nickname: Lions.

Location: Ashland.

Region: 16th.

Enrollment: 886.

Litkenhous Rating: 97.1.

Sweet 16 trips: Sixth (0-5).

Last trip to State: 2011 (lost to Sheldon Clark 74-59 in the first round).

What to look for: The Lions come into Highland Heights as one of the state’s more prolific 3-point shooting teams, having made 267 already this season, and their coach believes the only bad shots are the ones you don’t take. Coach Pete Fraley got his team prepared for a state run by putting together a daunting schedule, which included a trip to Las Vegas for the Tarkanian Classic and games in-state against the likes of Mercy, Mason County and Simon Kenton.

Key player: Although she’s only a sophomore, Savannah Wheeler provides a veteran presence to the team. The 5-6 guard has already committed to nearby Marshall University and leads the team in both scoring and rebounding. Most important, Fraley said Wheeler’s not afraid to fail. “She works hard,” he said. “She’s not afraid to take the big shot, and she likes the spotlight.”

Coach-speak: “We know that we’ve got a tall task in front of us. (Mercer is) going to put a lot of pressure on us. We just have to take care of the basketball and try to make some shots early.”

►  MORE SWEET 16:Meet the top scorers, rebounders in the tourney

STARTERS

4-Savannah Wheeler

5-6, So., 21.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg

2-Charity Shears

5-8, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg

23-Payton Shears

5-9, Jr., 7.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg

00-Hunter Reeves

5-4, Sr., 7.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg

5-Alexis Lunsford

5-9, Sr., 7.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg

KEY RESERVES

50-McKenna Adkins

6-1, Sr., 5.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg

11-Graci Borders

5-8, So., 1.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg

MERCER COUNTY

Coach: Chris Souder.

Record: 27-6.

Nickname: Titans.

Location: Harrodsburg.

Region: 12th.

Enrollment: 831.

Litkenhous Rating: 113.6 (No. 2 in state).

Sweet 16 trips: Fourth (2-3).

Last trip to State: 2016 (lost to Franklin County 55-51 in semifinals).

What to look for: The Titans, who are making their third consecutive state tournament appearance, enter the Sweet 16 as one of the favorites to win it all. They returned all five starters off last season’s team that reached the semifinals, and Coach Chris Souder put together a tough schedule this season to get them ready for this tournament. Of their six losses, the Titans lost only twice to in-state competition, and that was to top-ranked Butler and No. 4 Male. Mercer County loves to push the tempo. The Titans lead the state in scoring (74.5 ppg) and made 276 3-pointers this season.

Key player: Seygan Robins will enter next season as the likely favorite for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball. The University of Louisville commit just surpassed the 2,000-point mark for her career, doing so as she led the Titans to a 64-46 victory Friday over Southwestern in the regional semis. Souder said the 5-9 point guard is anything but selfish. “Seygan could already have 3,000 points if we wanted to play it that way,” he said. “But that’s not the kind of player she is. She’s going to make sure everybody’s involved.”

Coach-speak: “To me, there was more pressure on us (to win the region) because everybody expected us to win. It was kind of ridiculous, everybody expected us to win every game by 30. So I think we felt more pressure with that. I told them we’re going to go in here and we’re going to enjoy every second of this.”

STARTERS

4-Seygan Robins

5-9, Jr., 15.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg

12-Lexy Lake

5-8, Jr., 10.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg

11-Faith Lake

5-10, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

32-Lyric Houston

5-8, Sr., 12.6 ppg, 6.0. rpg

30-Emmy Souder

6-2, Jr., 10.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg

KEY RESERVES

00-Emma Davis

5-11, Jr., 8.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg

5-Alie Burke

5-4, Sr., 3.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg

21-Channing Lewis

5-9, Fr., 3.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg

-Steve Bittenbender

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