Freshman guard Sam Kumler and junior center Dalton Perkins are injured, and junior guard Isaiah Garrison, the Royals' second-leading scorer, is no longer on the team.
"He was very adamant he longer wanted to be with us, and we granted that request," Mason County coach Buddy Biggs said about Garrison on the WFTM radio pregame show Friday night.
Mason County had an eight-point lead in the second quarter, but Ashland rallied for a 25-24 lead at the half.
The Tomcats outscored the Royals 17-8 in the third quarter for a 42-32 lead.
Mason County closed to within two points at 50-48 with 1:10 to play, but could get no closer.
Christian Villars sealed the win by hitting one of two free throws to give Ashland a 55-51 lead with seven seconds left.
Leevi Dunaway had a putback just ahead of the buzzer,
Dunaway scored a game-high 29 points including 13 in the fourth quarter.
Mason County was 19 of 55 from the field (34.5%) and 4 of 21 on three-point shots (19%).
The Royals host Lexington Catholic tonight. It's a tripleheader with the freshman game at 4:30, junior varsity at 6 and the varsity at 7:30.
Mason County's 1967 state championship golf team will be recognized at halftime of the varsity game,
A (4-12) Villers 18, Headerlin 8, Copley 9, Robinson 7, Fox 6, Hester 2, Adkins 2, Hudson 9
MC (10-8) Dunaway 29, Lofton 4, Boyd 9, Steward 2, Jackson 3, Fox 6
A 09 16 17 13-55
MC 12 12 08 21-53