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Dixie Heights improves to 7-2 after beating Simon Kenton

Dixie Heights senior Ian Snelling races upcourt against Ryle junior Connor Bishop as Dixie Heights defeated Ryle 81-64 in KHSAA boys basketball Jan. 8, 2021 at Dixie Heights High School, Edgewood, KY.

On a chilly night in Edgewood, Simon Kenton’s superstar senior guard Kelly Niece led the Pioneers against Dixie Heights and its balanced, veteran lineup.

Though both teams had hot shooting throughout the night, Dixie prevailed 77-75 in a battle of Kenton County rivals enjoying hot starts to the year. Dixie is 7-2 and SK dropped to 7-2.

Niece lit up the Colonels, scoring 42 points, 30 in the second half. He had 15 points in each of the third and fourth quarters, nearly leading the Pioneers all the way back from an 18-point deficit. SK had several chances down the stretch to tie or take the lead.

“We’ve been young the last two years and we haven’t been healthy,” said Dixie head coach Roddy Stainforth said. “All my guys who were freshman and sophomores playing the last two years are now juniors and seniors. The last two years, in a game like tonight, we would find a way to lose the game. Tonight, we found a way to win the game. You need those games. This is the first time we’ve really had pressure on us in the fourth quarter all year, and I didn’t know what was going to happen. They responded, they got rattled, then they picked themselves up.”

Dixie Heights senior Jason Summe keeps a close eye on Ryle junior Connor Bishop as Dixie Heights defeated Ryle 81-64 in KHSAA boys basketball Jan. 8, 2021 at Dixie Heights High School, Edgewood, KY.

SK cut the deficit to three points at 60-57 with 5:30 to go in the game. The Pioneers had three shots from 3-point range in one possession, but none fell.

SK cut it to three again at 64-61. Dixie senior Jason Summe made two free throws.

SK cut it to one at 73-72 when Niece scored on a 3-point play. Dixie junior Jay Flynn was fouled with 19 seconds left and made both foul shots, giving the Pioneers another chance to tie the game with a three.


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