Cats Heat Up On Icy Night In Lexington

By: Tyrus York – For the third straight game in a row, the #18/14 Kentucky Wildcats (17-5, 7-2) had to brave the elements of winter weather to play a basketball game.  This time, they brought the weather home to Rupp Arena after icy stints in Louisiana and Missouri.

Still riding the momentum of a huge road win at Missouri, Kentucky easily handled Marshall Henderson and the Ole Miss Rebels (15-7, 6-3) 80-64 Tuesday night in Rupp.

Willie Cauley-Stein broke his SEC slump against the Rebels going for a game high 18 points and 11 rebounds to collect the double double.  Defensively he blocked 6 shots and grabbed 1 steal to disrupt the Rebel attempts to score in the paint.

WCS had struggled since getting off to a great start this season, and the jury may still be out as to whether or not he can handle a larger presence inside as Ole Miss lacked a strong big man that had given Willie trouble in the past.

Alex Poythress with the slam. Photo courtesy of Michael Huang - East KY Media
Alex Poythress with the slam. Photo courtesy of Michael Huang – East KY Media

Julius Randle had a miserable first half, only attempting 1 field goal and grabbing one rebound.  It was so bad that Coach Cal kept him on the bench to start the second half, instead going with Alex Poythress who had another excellent game with 10 points, 7 rebounds, and a Sports Center Top 10 highlight dunk.

Randle would get things going in the second half, finishing with 12 points and 5 rebounds.  He would also contribute to Sports Center’s Top 10 with a thunderous coast-to-coast dunk.

Aaron Harrison contributed 16 points and 6 rebounds in a steady performance.  His main impact however was defensively as it was his duty to contain the polarizing Marshall Henderson.  Henderson finished with 16 points, but that was on 6-18 shooting from the field and 4-12 from three point land.

The player that keeps coming up for the Cats that went unknown the first half of the season is Dakari Johnson.  The big man played only 9 minutes against the undersized Rebels, but he is starting to show some moves with the ball in the paint that really show you his potential.  He scored 5 points and grabbed 2 rebounds despite the lack of playing time.

The biggest reason Dakari saw less playing time was simply because of WCS’ play.  The Harrison’s are turning in more and more consistent performances, leaving it up to the big guys down low.  The way I see it, we are a few games away from seeing this team really click.

Hopefully they click just in time for Florida to come to Rupp on February 15 when College GameDay comes to town as well.

The Cats will have to travel to Mississippi State and Auburn first to take care of business on the road before turning their attention to the first place Gators.

They meet Mississippi State Saturday at 1:30 pm eastern time via the SEC Network.

Concussion Keeps Blackshear Out of Card’s Game against Houston

Wayne Blackshear will be held out of Louisville’s game against Houston tomorrow night. Blackshear did not make the trip with the Cardinals due to a concussion he suffered in practice on Monday according to Rick Pitino. Pitino said Blackshear was hit in the head by an elbow from Louisville freshman Akoy Agau.

His concussion does not seem to be too serious as Pitino said he shouldn’t be out for an extended period of time. Blackshear should be ready for Louisville’s next game on Feb. 13 against Temple. It will be the second time in less than a month the Cardinals have had an eight day layoff.

Blackshear’s absence will leave the Cardinals shorthanded against Houston. Pitino said, “This is a dangerous game for us right now. We’re limping in there.”

Chris Jones will is set to return to the starting lineup. Stephen Van Treese will most likely start at center giving the Cardinals a bigger lineup.

This is an important game for the Cardinals as they cannot afford a bad loss against Houston. The Cougars come into tomorrow’s game struggling after losing four straight games and six of their last seven. Houston is 11 – 11 overall and only 3 – 6 in the conference.

No. 14 Louisville has an 18 – 4 record. Their four losses have all come against ranked teams. The Cardinals beat the Cougars by 39 on Jan. 16 in the KFC Yum Center.

Knott County Woman Dies in Single Vehicle Collision

(Mousie, KY) – On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at approximately 12:24a.m., Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call of a one vehicle collision in the Mouse community of Knott County.  KSP, along with Knott Count Trans Star Ambulance, Jones Fork Fire Department, Ball Creek Fire and Rescue, and Knott County Rough Terrain Rescue responded to the scene.
Initial investigation at the scene determined that a white Chrysler passenger car was traveling east on KY Highway 550, when the driver apparently misjudged a curve, then drove off the left shoulder of the roadway, where the car came to rest in a creek.  The driver of the car, Brenda Thacker, age 54, of Mousie, was pronounced deceased at the scene by Knott County Deputy Coroner Donnie Sammons. 
Brenda Thacker was not wearing a seat belt at the time of this collision, and toxicology results are pending.  This collision remains under investigation by KSP Post 13 in Hazard.

Booneville woman dies in Perry Co crash

(Buckhorn, KY) –  On Sunday, February 2, 2014, at approximately 7:05p.m., Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard responded to a single vehicle collision on KY 2022, in the Buckhorn community of Perry County.  Perry County Ambulance and Buckhorn Fire Department also responded to the scene. 
The initial investigation into this collision determined that a 2000 Ford pickup truck, driven by sixty-five year old Norma Gay, of Booneville, KY, was traveling north on KY 2022.  The vehicle appeared to have dropped off the shoulder of the roadway, and traveled over an embankment, where the truck overturned in a creek, coming to rest on its top.  Members of Buckhorn Fire Department extricated Norma Gay from the vehicle, and she was transported to Hazard ARH by Perry County Ambulance.  Ms. Gay was later airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center, in Kingsport, TN.  On Monday, February 3, 2014, Norma Gay was pronounced deceased at Holston Valley Medical Center, due to injuries sustained in this collision.
Norma Gay was utilizing a seat belt during the time of this collision, and alcohol use is not suspected.  This collision remains under investigation by KSP Post 13.

Hope Wall on display at Magoffin Judicial Center

SALYERSVILLE – “When you see all these people who have battled substance abuse and are now in recovery it makes everything worthwhile,” Magoffin County Sheriff Carson Montgomery said Friday, glancing at the UNITE Hope Wall now on display at the Magoffin County Judicial Center.

Pictured are Dan Smoot, UNITE President/CEO (left); Amanda Arnett, Peer Recovery Coach for Drug Court (front center); Carson Montgomery, Magoffin County Sheriff (back center); and Judge Kim Childers, 36th Judicial Circuit.
Pictured are Dan Smoot, UNITE President/CEO (left); Amanda Arnett, Peer Recovery Coach for Drug Court (front center); Carson Montgomery, Magoffin County Sheriff (back center); and Judge Kim Childers, 36th Judicial Circuit.

Montgomery was joined Friday, January 31, by 36th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Kim Childers, UNITE President/CEO Dan Smoot, and local Drug Court officials as the Hope Wall was set up.

The wall – celebrating a person’s ability to overcome an addiction – will remain on display through Friday morning February 14.

Visitors stop by to read information about those displayed on the UNITE Hope Wall Friday afternoon. Several Magoffin County people are among the approximately 150 individuals featured.
Visitors stop by to read information about those displayed on the UNITE Hope Wall Friday afternoon. Several Magoffin County people are among the approximately 150 individuals featured.

Anyone who has been in recovery for at least 18 months is eligible to be featured on the wall. For more information contact the UNITE office at 606-330-1400 or visit

Can Relationships Make You Sick?

A warm, loving, nurturing relationship is a healthy thing. In such a relationship there is laughter, connection, intimacy, communication and fun. These qualities can reduce stress, reduce anxiety and depression, improve quality of life and cause the body to produce endorphins: hormones that make us feel good and even reduce pain.

If a good relationship can contribute to our health, what happens if the relationship is not good. Of course there are variations depending on how negative the relationship is, and how much involvement there is; whether it is a spouse or immediate family member, extended family, a boss or colleague or a neighbor.

A negative relationship creates stress. It may also result in depression, anxiety, feelings of anger, sadness, or loneliness. Here, rather than good chemicals, the body produces stress hormones. In fact, studies have shown that after an angry or upsetting episode, the immune system is suppressed for six to eight hours!  If another incident happens, or even re-living it as we tell someone about it, then the immune system suppressed for a further six to eight hours.

It is clear that if our relationship with someone in our lives is conflicted, we could be in an almost constant state of immune system suppression. We may not experience effects of this right away, but over time we may be vulnerable to a variety of health issues.

We need to think of stress, negativity, anger and conflict as things that are toxic to our bodies. We would not breathe or ingest substances we knew to be toxic to our bodies. Similarly, we should also practice ecology in our emotional environment. If the situation or interactions cannot be changed to create a more positive emotional climate, it may be time to make a move.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit

UK Hoops Bounces Back With Big Win Over LSU

By: Tyrus York – The last few weeks have been up and down for #13/12 UK Hoops (17-5, 5-4) and Head Coach Matthew Mitchell.  Seemingly falling into a pattern of win one then lose one, the Cats picked up a big win over #14 LSU (17-5, 6-3) in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday with a final score of 63-56.

UK Hoops bounce back - Photo by Michael Huang
UK Hoops bounce back – Photo by Michael Huang

LSU began the game on a 6-0 run, but the Wildcats responded with a 13-0 run of their own and never looked back.

Leading by double digits a majority of the second half, Kentucky looked as sharp as maybe they have all season on the defensive side of the court.  They forced the Tigers into 18 turnovers, but more importantly were able to capitalize with 25 points off those turnovers.

Bria Goss led the Cats with 11 points, but it was another very balanced scoring game for Kentucky with 7 players contributing 6 points or more.

LSU came into this game with a clear advantage in the paint that Kentucky was able to neutralize throughout most of the game.  The Tigers would ultimately outrebound Kentucky 40-36 and outscore them in the paint 22-20, but those are margins that the Wildcats could live with.

Samarie Walker had a tough task in the paint going up against superior size in the Tigers, but she was a force inside grabbing 7 rebounds, 8 points and a steal.  Walker won’t get credit in the box score for the havoc she created in the paint deflecting numerous entry passes to the LSU bigs.

Matthew Mitchell continues to be concerned with the growth of his team, but acknowledged that they responded very well in a very important game to beat LSU.

The identity of this team has been and continues to be their energetic defensive pressure and we saw some of that on Sunday.  Lacking a true star on the team, Kentucky must rely on what it does best, forcing turnovers, to win big in the SEC.

Kentucky will get a week off before returning to action next Sunday in Gainesville, FL to attempt to avenge a 83-73 loss at the hands of the Gators in Memorial back on January 5th.

Here We Are Again Back To The Future With Another Drama Filled UK Basketball Season

By – Ira D. Combs – Tri State Sports Media Service Inc. –

Dear Big Blue Nation we have been lead astray again by these so called recruiting service gurus and the many under qualified national sports media gurus of college basketball . Many of us bought in to the 40 – 0 talk or even a two or three loss season , yes we did , we bought it hook , line , and sinker as they say down at the local barber shop .

Personally , I’m ashamed of myself because I’ve been exposed to and directly involved with several championship level basketball teams over my 61 years and should have known better .

However , in the last 10 days or so I have come to my senses and now know what to expect the remainder of the season and what I think to be the high water mark for this team . They say confession is good for the soul so let’s move on with this week’s column and the rest of the season .

When will the vast majority of the UK basketball fan base ever learn that just because UK has highly rated and many times overhyped basketball players wearing their beloved blue and white jerseys they are no different than any other college basketball teams players when it comes to playing like freshmen . They will be inconsistent in their performance level as freshman and especially on the road when they make their first appearance in each of the SEC basketball venues .

They will look like they are ready to conquer any and all odds one game then the next game especially on the road they will , well , look like freshmen . It’s just the nature of the game and no coach has an answer no matter how many games or championships he has won .

That old time honored trait that each team takes own it’s own personality , well , this team is just taking a little longer and it’s driving Big Blue Nation and Coach Cal to a tizzy in the process . Last week in this column I wrote that this team needed to steal a win on the road and I’ll admit again like many others I really meant two . At the end of the week they done exactly what I ask them to , steal a win and it was a good one at an extremely difficult place to win . Missouri was 42 – 2 at home under Frank Haith  until Cal and his extremely young felines came to town .

Now UK heads into this week ( 16 – 5 overall 6 – 2 SEC play ) and have a date at Rupp Arena tuesday at 7:00 on (ESPNU) against Ole Miss and it’s basketball version of Justin Beiber (Marshall Henderson) who I’m sure will give the new modern day young fan base a thrill or two and at the same time make us old school folks cringe and scowl at least every other possession . Then Saturday the Cats will head back out across the southern trail this time to one of the most picturesque settings in the south at Starkville , Mississippi where the historic cowbells will be at full force when the blue and white team takes the court .

My crystal ball says UK will end the week at 18 – 5 overall and 8 – 2 in SEC play then the following week UK will hit both ends of the SEC in cellar dweller Auburn on a Wednesday in Auburn and then entertain the new basketball Kingpin of the SEC at present anyway , the # 3 ranked Florida Gators in Rupp Arena with the ESPN Game Day cameras running nationwide .

Just remember UK us front loaded and top heavy with freshmen and the only thing consistent will more than likely be that they will be inconsistent during this stretch .

UK Football Set To Sign Best Ever Freshman Class

This Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. the CWKYT TV station out of Lexington , the sister TV station of WKYT will air a special on the Cats most highly ranked football incoming freshman class in the long embattled history of the school’s football program . Mark Stoops has made many in-roads in areas that UK has never been able to crack the last two recruiting seasons as well as re-tap into some of the home grown talent across the Commonwealth that had been lost in recent years .

Some of the recent gloom and doom of UK football has been due to three consecutive losing seasons of 6 – 7 , 2 – 10 , and 2 – 10 . Some of it due to their in state rival Louisville Cardinals recent success and according to some people inside UK football circles some of the Cats recent misfortune has been due to the inept recruiting abilities of former coaches like Joker Phillips which doesn’t make sense because Phillips was well known just a few years ago as the person responsible for buiding the pipeline of players to UK from the talent laden LaGrange , Georgia football program which helped produce four consecutive minor bowl bids by the Rich Brooks regime .

Be that as it may we are now definitely in a new era of recruiting football players to UK and the man responsible is Mark Stoops who is set to announce his 2nd class this Wednesday . Seven incoming players ( 6 freshmen and 1 junior college player ) have already enrolled earlier this month to get a head start on their college career so they can participate in spring practice this March / April at the Nutter Training Center.

Reports have been circulating out of the practice facility that one of Stoops prize nuggets incoming freshman QB Drew Barker will be thrown directly into the QB race when spring practice starts .

You can go online to for more coverage of UK basketball and football including all the new football recruits late this week and also info on KHSAA basketball and football .

Donna Lynch Obit

Donna Lynch
Donna Lynch

Donna Kay Lynch, 45, Morehead passed away Monday, January 27, at her residence.  She was the daughter of the late Mitchell and Ida (Smith) Robinson.  She is survived by one son, Kenny Eugene Stamper of Morehead; two daughters, Deanna Machelle Stamper of Morehead, Heather Renee Stamper of Morehead; three brothers, Kenneth Robinson of Winchester, James Robinson of Jackson, Larry Robinson of Winchester; two sisters, Pansy Purvis of Mt. Sterling, Bonnie Robinson of Mt. Sterling; one grandson, Tyler Blayne Webb; one granddaughter, Novalee Mae Royse.  Funeral services Sat., Feb. 1, 1:00PM at the Breathitt Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Robbie Conn, Brother Scott Barnes officiating.  Burial in the Bailey Cemetery at Roark Mountain.  Serving as pallbearers:  Kenneth Stamper, Nathan Purvis, Jason Parks, Brandon Coomer, James Robinson, Floyd Coomer.  Breathitt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Lexene Turner Obit

Lexene Turner
Lexene Turner

Lexene Turner, 63, Houston passed away Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Select Speciality Hospital in Lexington.  She was a retired school teacher.  She is survived by her parents, Herbert and Dorothy Turner of Houston; two sons, Walter Combs of Houston, Jerry Combs of Jackson; one daughter, Christine Combs of Houston.  Funeral services Monday, Feb. 3, 12:00PM at the Breathitt Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. John Bunn, Rev. Archie Combs, Rev. Teddy Edmonds officiating.  Burial in Turner Family Cemetery at Short Fork of Houston.  Breathitt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

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