One Lynch more than enough in family showdown between 1992 and 1966 Tomcats

ASHLAND, Ky. – Ashland’s 1992 and 1966 basketball teams had a lot in common so it stood to reason this one would be close.

Both were high-scoring teams who won regional championships, they had nearly identical records and they both had Lynches – perhaps the first family of Tomcat basketball – on the roster.

In the family feud, Rob Lynch outscored his father, Bob, and Uncle Bill, 33-25, in the best individual performance so far in the simulation series between Tomcat teams.

His 33 points came on 9-for-14 shooting from the field, including 4 of 7 triples. He couldn’t miss and it was enough for the 92 Tomcats to defeat the 1966 Tomcats, 85-77, in a highly entertaining game at Anderson gym.

Entertaining, that is, except for some of the Lynches who were on the losing end.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say his grandpa was the referee, the way they protected him,” Bill Lynch said of trying to defend his nephew. “We couldn’t get near him without hearing a whistle.”

Happy days for father and son, Bob and Rob Lynch.

“It was like he had a cone of protection around him,” said Bob Lynch. “Once they saw he was hot, they kept running the offense through him. I was having flashbacks of Pete Maravich (who Lynch defended when he played for Alabama). You’d fight through screen after screen to get near him and when you got within the ‘cone,’ the whistle blew. We’ll replay this game tonight in the driveway, maybe one-on-one style without referees, and see how it turns out.”

Rob Lynch made it a parade to the foul line, drilling 11 of 12, and getting his team off to a big start.

“Those guys are hilarious,” Rob said of his uncle and dad. “I may have been a little extra motivated playing against them. Those guys were a step slow, just sayin’. Kudos to my guys. They got the ball to me in the right spots.”

Point guard Jason Strader had 10 points and seven assists. He said when Rob Lynch made his first 3-pointer from the deep corner, with his dad draped all over him, he knew it was going to be his night.

“Rob is like that. When he’s hot, he’s hot,” Strader said. “I knew where to get the ball.”

It was Rob Lynch’s early scoring that provided the eight-point cushion that the 92 Tomcats were able to maintain throughout the game. He scored 12 of the first 18, with his second trey making it 18-9. The teams played dead even the rest of the way. In fact, they scored the same totals in the second, third and fourth quarters.

“Everything was pretty equal except we had a red-hot Rob Lynch,” said 92 Tomcat coach Jeff Hall. “I knew he was going to be jacked-up for this one. I saw it in his eyes during warmups. He wanted it and he handed it to his dad and uncle. By the way, I love those guys. Two of the greatest athletes in Ashland history. The Lynch family has provided a lot to the tradition of the Tomcats.”

Bill Lynch scored 17 and brother Bob had eight points and four assists. Clint Wheeler collected 19 points and 12 rebounds and Benny Spears also scored 19 for the 66 Tomcats.

“That first quarter was the difference in the game,” said 66 coach Harold Cole, whose team trailed 26-18 after the first quarter. “It seemed like we were chasing them all night long.”

The 66 Tomcats pulled with 56-54 on a short jumper from Steve Hilton and then 60-59 on a spinning move to the basket from Spears late in the third quarter. But it was Rob Lynch to the rescue with a driving layup and pair of free throws for a 64-59 lead.

Nathan Kirk, who scored 13, made some big plays down the stretch. He had seven rebounds and made 7 of 10 free throws for the 92 Tomcats.

“I’m telling you, they wouldn’t let us near them,” Bill Lynch said. “It seemed like those guys were going to the foul line every time down the floor.”

Fred Keeton pulled down 10 rebounds for the 92 Tomcats, who were 29 of 42 from the foul line. The 66 Tomcats made 26 of 34 free throws. The teams combined for 49 fouls in a physically played game.

“It wasn’t like the whistles were only blowing one way,” Hall said. “I know the fans had to love this game though.”

Real life

Ashland’s 1966 team won the region by defeating Russell and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sweet 16 before bowing out 82-63 against Louisville Male.

Ashland’s 1992 team won the regional title with a pulsating victory over Boyd County, had a treacherous ride home from Morehead when a brake pad thrown off an overpass went through the bus’s windshield. They lost a 72-70 heartbreaker to Pleasure Ridge Park in the Sweet 16.

 1966 ASHLAND (77) – Bob Lynch 2-5 4-4 8, Spears 6-12 6-6 19, Hilton 2-9 3-4 7, Wheeler 5-7 8-12 18, Bill Lynch 7-10 3-4 17, Carr 1-3 1-2 3, B.Workman 1-1 0-0 2, W.Workman 0-0 1-2 1, Lett 1-2 0-0 2, Sieweke 0-2 0-0 0. FG: 25-51. FT: 26-34. 3FG: 1-6 (Bob Lynch 0-2, Spears 1-4). Rebounds: 33 (Bob Lynch 2, Carr 2, Spears 5, Hilton 5, Wheeler 12, Bill Lynch 5, W.Workman 2, Lett 1. Assists: 7 (Bob Lynch 4, Spears 1, Hilton 1, B.Workman 1). PF: 26. Turnovers: 16.

1992 ASHAND (85) – Strader 4-10 2-2 10, Lynch 9-14 11-12 33, Kirk 3-6 7-10 13, Keeton 2-6 1-4 5, Smith 2-4 2-6 6, Messer 1-4 4-4 6, Thomas 3-6 0-2 6, Robinson 0-2 2-2 2, Greene 2-4 0-0 4. FG: 26-56. FT: 29-42. 3FG: 4-7 (Lynch 4-6, Greene 0-1). Rebounds: 32 (Strader 1, Lynch 1, Messer 4, Kirk 7, Keeton 10, Smith 3, Thomas 4, Robinson 1, Greene 1). Assists: 12 (Strader 7, Lynch 2, Kirk 1, Keeton 1, Greene 1). PF: 23. Turnovers: 9.

1966 ASHLAND       18         21         24         14        –            77

1992 ASHLAND       26         21         14         14         –            85

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