Darren Doyle story
Madison Doyle, photos:
The Wildcats dropped their season opener on the road last night at Breckinridge County 69-65 but the ECHS coaching staff was still pleased with several things they saw during the game, one of which was a 23 point, 14 rebound effort from senior Iszic Blankenship.
The 6'7" forward/center had a solid performance, going 10 for 12 from the field, including a three-pointer and a two-handed slam dunk. Not to be outdone, his sister Caitlin Simon, a junior guard for the ECHS Lady Cats, set the gym on fire in Brownsville with a 36 point outburst in a 74-45 rout of Logan County in the Lady Cat season opener at home.
The boys team got off to a solid start with an early lead but saw it quickly vanish as Breckinridge County's three-point shooting was red hot. The Tigers grabbed a 21-15 lead after the first quarter.
The Wildcats played point-for-point in the second, but took a 33-27 deficit into the locker room at the half.
Edmonson County looked much better in the second half outscoring the Tigers 38-36, but the 3's were the difference in this contest as Breck shot 42% from behind the line while the Cats were only 3 for 13 (23%).
Assistant Coach Bart Weaver said there were still some positive aspects that they were taking home in spite of the loss.
"The thing that blows my mind is how we out-rebounded them (35-20) and still came out on the losing end," said Weaver. "Of course, you have to figure in turnovers and shooting percentage and that makes up for it, but we place a big emphasis on rebounding and we're proud of that."
Coach Weaver also said the coaching staff was pleased with the overall effort and the attempts to drive to the basket.
"Bailey (Board) and Caleb (Skaggs) were struggling from outside, and we just tell them 'if you're struggling, go to the rim.' If they can get some baskets like that, well, that lid gets a little loose."
Board, a senior, finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, and senior Daniel Caudill was the other Wildcat in double figures with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Also helping the effort was junior Brayden Carey who had 6 points off the bench, senior Caleb Skaggs with 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, junior Tucker Cole had 2 points and 3 assists, and junior J.T. Vincent had 2 points and 2 rebounds.
The Lady Cats dominated Logan County all night long in Brownsville, led by Simon's 36, as they jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Cougars were not able to overcome the early deficit as the Lady Cats went on to win easily.
Other double figure scorers in the Lady Cats game were junior guard Peyton Martin with 18, and junior Skylar Lewis, who had 12.
The girls are scheduled to play at Warren East this Thursday in a JV/V match up with JV action beginning at 5:30. You can listen to the game live on EdmonsonVoice.com as the WildcatsLive crew will be there bringing you all the action.
The boys are slated to take on Allen County in the Wildcat home opener this Friday in a JV/V series. The JV game is scheduled for a 6pm tip-off. WildcatsLive will broadcast the varsity matchup, but everyone is encouraged to attend both games.
by Darren Doyle:
The loss of four quality seniors from the 2015-16 Lady Cat squad will certainly make things interesting for the upcoming season, but rather than focusing on that, Coach Kevin Jackson is looking to build around the two returning starters he has, both of which were last year's leading scorers in Juniors Caitlin Simon and Peyton Martin.
"We lost some leadership from last year," Jackson said. "They really helped and led our team and you don't replace them overnight. It will take a little while to gel, but we'll get there."
He didn't spend lots of time talking about last year, but quickly turned the focus on what this year's plan will be.
"We have two returning starters and they're good ones," he said. "With Caitlin Simon, who averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds a game, you know, she's as athletic of a player as I've ever coached. Then we have our point guard, Peyton Martin. She averaged 13 points and 5 assists. We're tickled to death to have both of them back and they'll help us compete every night."
He discussed the other starting positions and what Lady Cat fans might see in the lineup with junior post player Katlin Collins, junior Skylar Lewis, and shared time between junior Abby Alexander and lone senior Maddie Cline.
"Collins is a hard-nosed kid who's only 5'8" but she just brings so much toughness in the post. Skylar is a wing player who shoots the three very well and you'll see both Abby Alexander and Maddie Cline as well. Some of these girls don't have a lot of varsity experience but that's ok."
He also said some sophomores, Chanley Logsdon and Hannah Meredith will see some time off the bench as well as some freshmen with Lauren Ballance, Emma Rose Vincent, Madison Harrison, and Mia Goad.
"Some practices have been so good where I go home and think 'boy that was great,' but there have been other days where I wondered if we'll even win one game this year," he said, laughing. "We know it might take some time to come together, but just like every year, we want to be playing our best in February."
The Lady Cats open the season tonight at home in a JV/V match that begins with JV action at 6pm.
"Logan County is a nice team that lost some key players but they're a big school and I know they'll be ready to play tonight, then we have Warren East at their place on Thursday and that's always a good rivalry."
He noted that there would be nowhere in this year's schedule to let up.
"We've got 13 games in December with two tournaments. We're going to play some really good teams which gives us opportunities to show that we can be a good team. Sometimes you have those games where you might be able to relax a little bit and enjoy things, but this year, we don't really have that luxury. We'll have to push hard all season long."
Jackson said not only does he favor Grayson County to be the team to beat in district play, but he feels like they're the top in the entire region; however, his goal is to be a serious competitor in all games, especially district action.
"We always want to shoot for a winning season and we were able to go 17-13 last year," he said. "Our goals for this year are to have another winning season, compete in the district, win the first game of the district tournament and make another trip to the regional tournament. We want to be really competitive by Christmas and play our best basketball from then on."
Shawn McCombs, story and photo
The 2016 ECMS LadyCats basketball regular season wrapped up last week with their last home game against Barren County, and their last road game at Grayson County.
On November 21, ECMS hosted Barren County in the final home game which was also 8th Grade night. Both 7th and 8th Grade Lady Cats handed Barren County losses, and for the 7th grade, they avenged a loss they received earlier in the season at Barren County. On the following night, The Lady Cats took the short bus ride to Leitchfield to end the regular season against the Lady Cougars with both the 7th and 8th Grade picking up the W's.
Coach Tom Vincent and his 7th grade bunch of Lady Cats started out the season on the wrong side of the win/loss column but quickly turned things around and and greatly improved as a team over the season. The 7th Grade LadyCats finished the season with a record of 11-4.
Coach Tyra Ballance who has led her last three ECMS 8th grade Lady Cat teams to GRVC tournament championships is looking to once again do big things. The 8th Grade Lady Cats are led by two girls who have played in Coach Ballance's system for their 4th year, Katie Lindsey and Macie McCombs.
The team wrapped things up with two solid wins heading into the GRVC Tournament and finished with a record of 12-3. They will travel to Muhlenberg North on December 3rd, to begin their quest for their 4th consecutive GRVC Championship.
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Picking up where the Wildcats left off last season isn't exactly what ECHS head boys basketball coach Mike McClintic (Coach Mac) has in mind for the upcoming season which begins next week. Last year's 17-10 team was in a great position to bring home the first district title in 23 years but was upset in the first round of the District 12 Tournament by Butler County, which ended their season.
"We don't talk about it because everyone knows it," Mac said. "I've said it before, I'll say it again: I made some bad coaching decisions that cost us and it hurt the team. We're not going to let it happen again. Those guys came back this year and I noticed somebody had written 'End The Drought' on the board. I didn't know what it was...turns out our seniors had put that up there as a constant reminder the goal for this year is to end the drought of a district championship."
With losing five seniors from last year's squad, two of which that led the team in both scoring and rebounding, the landscape of the current team is obviously changed, but Coach Mac says he's very optimistic thanks to the leadership he's already seen from his new seniors, Iszic Blankenship, Bailey Board, Caleb Skaggs, Daniel Caudill, and Peyton Talley.
"There's not a lot of motivation that we have to find for these guys," Mac said. "They already have that, and that's thanks to our senior leadership. They're leading by example, at practice, in the locker room, and outside the gym. These are good kids and we're staying positive as a group."
He grinned as he leaned back in his chair. "We have to light a fire under these guys occasionally, but that goes with any group of kids."
Coach Mac said he feels like the key for this team's success is a complete team effort.
"We'll have to play every single game as a team. In our practices and scrimmages, these guys have proven that they're willing to make the extra pass, they're willing to give up themselves for the betterment of the team, and they run the floor really well. They're in great shape so far, and that's thanks to Coach Weaver. He's done a great job with these guys. But we're focusing on a team effort. We play a tough schedule and if we start going individual instead of a team, we're not going to be very good."
He said that while the focus is obviously "team," there are individual roles that his guys have to play. The first one he mentioned was 6'7" senior center/forward Iszic Blankenship.
"We're going to utilize Iszic's inside game and get him involved down low, but he can also step out of the paint. Daniel Caudill is back this year and he's a great athlete and very strong. Daniel understands his role already and that's huge. We've got solid perimeter players with Seniors Bailey Board and Caleb Skaggs and we have great options for each one. Junior Tucker Cole will be handling things at point guard and then we have guys like Peyton (Talley), Logan Lindsey, Brayden Carey, that will be coming off the bench. Some of our younger guys will have bench roles, too like J.T. Vincent, (Logan) Minton, and (Dylan) Elmore. It's really a total team effort."
Coach Mac said they're not getting the preseason rankings that he thought they deserved, as the Wildcats aren't favored in District 12, didn't make the Region 3 top 10, and only made it to number 4 in the All A State Rankings.
"That's ok," he said with another grin. "It's just more motivation."
His goal for this team is to continue to improve throughout the year and come into the district tournament at their very best. "That's my goal and that's my job. If you ask these guys, it's to bring home the district championship. They've got a bad taste in their mouth and they're tired of losing in the tournament. We're looking for a great season. We've got great kids."
The Wildcats are scheduled to play their first game of the season Tuesday, November 29, on the road at Breckinridge County in a JV/V match-up with JV tip off at 5:30. The game will be broadcast live on WildcatsLive with Jamie and DD. The first home game is scheduled for Friday, Dec 2 against Allen County.
Watch for our upcoming Lady Cat Basketball preview with head coach Kevin Jackson that will be published soon.
It's round ball time in Edmonson County, and we have the latest scores from the Middle School programs as well as thoughts on the recent High School scrimmages. Archery is getting cranked up as well, and team Captain Nate Wilson is in the Senior Spotlight this week. Listen now!
Be sure to follow @JOscarJr, @WynCaudill, and @wildcatslive on Twitter!
Darren Doyle, story and photos
Edmonson County senior running back Daniel Caudill has been named the class 3A District 2 Player of the Year by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association.
Caudill finished the season ranked number one in the state in class 3A in scoring with a total of 198 points on 31 touchdowns.
Caudill said it felt great to receive the news today. "That was one of my individual goals going in, and it's an honor to have with all the great talent in our district."
The Wildcats missed this year's playoffs, finishing 4-6 on the season under first year head coach Nathan Smith while fighting through more than their fair share of troubles.
"This season, if you look at it on paper people would say it wasn't a success, but we were plagued with injuries all year long and we fought through adversity," said Caudill. "The team fought hard all season. There's still a lot of talent coming back next year and the future is bright for Edmonson County football."
Caudill said even though his senior football season is complete, his future plans for playing football are far from over.
"Unless anything else happens recruiting wise, I plan on going to WKU, playing football, and making a name for myself there."
Caudill also finished 3rd in the state in total rushing yards with 1,544.
View from Wildcat Alley: Wildcat Preview with Coach Mike McClintic, Cross Country, & ECMS Basketball Update
This week, ECHS Coach Mike McClintic gives us a preview of Wildcat Basketball, we have a Cross Country update, and run down scores from ECMS Basketball games...listen now!
Be sure to follow @wildcatslive, @JOscarJr, and @WynCaudill on Twitter!