Archive for February, 2008

Mid-district week

While local teams have been battling in three of the 12th Region’s four districts, the fourth district has given the state what I’m sure is one of the biggest upsets so far in district week.
The shocker came from Stearns, where 4-21 Southwestern defeated McCreary Central 56-55 on Wednesday. The Warriors converted a steal into the winning basket just ahead of the buzzer to eliminate McCreary, which had been rated as the second- or third-best team in the region for much of the season and had designs on the school’s first regional title in over 20 years.
Southwestern’s only regular-season wins came against three teams with losing records: Pulaski County (twice), Monticello and Lee County. So I’ll call this one of the three biggest surprises so far in boys play, along with Iroquois’ win over DeSales in the 22nd District and Letcher County Central’s upset of June Buchanan in the 53rd.
McCreary was one of four higher-seeded boys teams to lose in the 12th Region on Wednesday, along with Mercer County (45th District), Garrard County and Casey County (47th). All of the girls games so far have gone according to the seeds.

With one exception, all of the qualifiers are in place for next week’s 12th Region Tournaments. Here’s who’s in:

Girls

45th District: Danville, Lincoln County

46th District: East Jessamine, Mercer County

47th District: Casey County, Rockcastle County

48th District: Southwestern, Wayne County

Boys

45th District: Boyle County, Lincoln County

46th District: East Jessamine, West Jessamine

47th District: Pulaski County, Somerset

48th District: Southwestern

The only remaining semifinal matches Monticello and Wayne County tonight in the boys 48th District. If Wayne wins as expected, seven of the eight district title games will be the same as they were last season. The only exception so far is in the girls 45th, where Danville replaces Boyle County.

Three girls champions will be crowned tonight when title games are played in the 45th, 46th and 47th. The girls 48th final is Friday night, along with boys finals in the 45th, 46th and 47th. The boys 48th final is Saturday night.

Regional tournament pairings will be drawn Saturday for the girls tournament at Lincoln County and Sunday for the boys tourney at Pulaski. The girls regional once again goes first with first-round games Monday and Tuesday nights; the boys first round will be played over the following two days.

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Postseason points

It seems as if the basketball season began only a month or so agao, but postseason play begins tonight across the state.

There are no major changes in the schedules for the 12th Region’s four district tournaments from last year to this. It’s ladies first once again as the Girls Sweet Sixteen will be the first of the two state tournaments for the second straight year. (And it’s scheduled to be so through at least 2011.)

Locally, that means the girls regional will be played March 3-4 and 7-8 at Lincoln County, while the boys regional will be March 5-6 and 10-11 at Pulaski County.

* * *

For the second straight year, only one district tourney will be played at a local school (the 45th at Lincoln). The 46th is at West Jessamine, the 47th is at Rockcastle County and the 48th, which has no local teams, is at McCreary Central.

Boyle County, Mercer County and Somerset will host next year, with the site for the 48th District to be determined. (It’s Monticello’s turn in the rotation.)

* * *

The Lincoln County girls can earn a state tournament berth without ever leaving home. Lincoln hosts the 45th District Tournament and the girls regional, meaning if Don Story’s team takes another bus ride this season, it’ll be to Bowling Green.

Meanwhile, the records and ratings say Lincoln is the school with the best chance to pull off a sweep of the boys and girls regional championships. That has happened three times in the previous six seasons, with Wayne County taking both trophies in 2002 and 2004 and South Laurel doubling up in 2005.

* * *

Casey County became the fifth girls team in the last 10 years to finish the regular season undefeated against 12th Region teams.  The Lady Rebels went 13-0 against 10 different regional foes. (They didn’t play East Jessamine, Kentucky School for the Deaf, McCreary Central, Monticello, Wayne County or West Jessamine.)

Only one of the previous four teams to achieve that feat made it to the state tournament: Mercer County’s 2002-03 team, which went 12-0 within the region in the regular season. Mercer teams went 15-0 in 2001-02 and 12-0 in 2004-05 and Somerset was 13-0 in 1998-99, but all three of those teams lost in the regional finals.

Following Casey in the intra-regional standings were Lincoln County (15-2, .882), Wayne County (10-3, .769), Southwestern (10-5, .667), Danville (9-5, .642) and Rockcastle County (7-4, .636).

The best boys record within the region this season belongs to Lincoln County at 17-1 (.944), followed by McCreary Central 13-2 (.867), Boyle County (10-5, .667), Wayne County (10-5, .667) and Garrard County (8-4, .667),

* * *

All of this region’s district tournaments are seeded now, and they have for a few years. In fact, the vast majority of the state has gone to seeded tourneys. Currently, there are only 12 boys districts and 12 girls districts (out of 64) that are unseeded.

* * *

The forecast of one or two snowy days this week raises the possibility of some schedule changes at a time when coaches and athletic directors least want them.

The threat of snow at this time of year always makes me recall my senior year in high school at Jackson County, the undisputed leader in all-time snow days.

We were hosting the 49th District and had made all sorts of preparations to put on the best event possible. (What we lacked in basketball prowess we made up for in hospitality.) But we got slammed by an honest-to-goodness winter storm — and not just a dusting that seems to close school there for three days — right in the middle of the tourney.

The games went on, but the crowds were low and the atmosphere was that of a Tuesday night game in January. The biggest crowd seemed to come from Oneida Baptist, a boarding school in neighboring Clay County, which sent a convoy of buses through the snow with not only its teams but virtually its entire student body.

Be sure that if bad weather strikes this week, officials at the host schools will make every effort to get the games in when they’re supposed to be played, and that any decision to postpone will come much later than it usually would.

And if there are any postponements to report, we’ll get the word to you ASAP on amnews.com.

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District tournament schedules

It’s hard to believe, but the high school basketball season will be over in a matter of hours. In the 12th Region, Lincoln County, West Jessamine, Rockcastle County and McCreary Central will host the four district tournaments, which begin Monday or Tuesday.

Here’s the full schedule for all four districts, with each team’s seed in parentheses:

BOYS
45th District
At Lincoln County
Monday, Feb. 25

Kentucky School for the Deaf (5) vs. Danville (4), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Kentucky School for the Deaf-Danville winner vs. Lincoln County (1), 6 p.m.
Garrard County (3) vs. Boyle County (2), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 29

Championship, 7 p.m.

46th District
At West Jessamine
Wednesday, Feb. 27

Burgin (4) vs. West Jessamine (1), 6 p.m.
East Jessamine (3) vs. Mercer County (2), 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 29

Championship, 7 p.m.

47th District
At Rockcastle County
Tuesday, Feb. 26

Rockcastle County (4) vs. Somerset (1), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Pulaski County (3) vs. Casey County (2), 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 29

Championship, 7 p.m.

48th District
At McCreary Central
Wednesday, Feb. 27

Southwestern (4) vs. McCreary Central (1), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Monticello (3) vs. Wayne County (2), 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 1

Championship, 7 p.m.

———
GIRLS
45th District
At Lincoln County
Tuesday, Feb. 26

Garrard County (4) vs. Lincoln County (1), 6 p.m.
Boyle County (3) vs. Danville (2), 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 28

Championship, 7 p.m.

46th District
At West Jessamine
Tuesday, Feb. 26

West Jessamine (4) vs. Mercer County (1), 6 p.m.
Burgin (3) vs. East Jessamine (2), 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 28

Championship, 7 p.m.

47th District
At Rockcastle County
Monday, Feb. 25

Pulaski County (4) vs. Casey County (1), 6:30 p.m.
Somerset (3) vs. Rockcastle County (2), 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 28

Championship, 7 p.m.

48th District
At McCreary Central
Monday, Feb. 25

McCreary Central (4) vs. Wayne County (1), 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Monticello (3) vs. Southwestern (2), 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 29

Championship, 7 p.m.

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Feb. 22 postponements

(Updated at 1:15 p.m. with Saturday time change)
Two area basketball games scheduled for tonight have been called off because of winter weather:
  • Nicholas County at Burgin boys and girls, postponed.

The games will be made up Saturday afternoon, with the boys playing at 3 p.m. and the girls at approximately 5 p.m. The Burgin-Garrard County girls game that was called off Thursday will not be made up.

No other postponements or cancellations are expected, as today’s high temperature is forecast to approach 40 degrees, but anything’s possible.

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Feb. 21 postponements/cancellations

(Updated at 4:40 p.m.)
The full schedule of area basketball games for tonight has been called off because of today’s winter storm:
  • Pulaski County at Boyle County boys, postponed.
  • Washington County at Danville girls, canceled.
  • Burgin at Garrard County girls, postponed.
  • Beth Haven at KSD girls, canceled.
  • Casey County at McCreary Central girls, canceled.

The Pulaski-Boyle boys game will be made up Friday night. No makeup date was announced for the Burgin-Garrard girls game, but the only possible date is Saturday because both teams have games scheduled for Friday.

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Feb. 12 cancellation

One area basketball game has been canceled because of today’s winter storm:

  • Burgin at Evangel Christian (boys).

If we learn of any other postponements, I’ll update this throughout the day.

On Monday, the Burgin-at-Garrard County girls game was postponed until Feb. 21, and the Casey County-at-East Jessamine girls game was canceled.

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Pretty sweet draws

Recent history tells us that there are very few good draws for 12th Region boys and girls teams in the state basketball tournaments, but the 12th fared pretty well today when the KHSAA’s Butch Cope pulled the ping-pong balls for this year’s Sweet Sixteen tourneys.

In the Boys Sweet Sixteen, the 12th Region was paired with the 8th Region for a Thursday afternoon game. According to the latest Litkenhous Ratings, the top-rated team in the 12th, defending champion Lincoln County, is a notch above the highest-ranked team in the 8th, Shelby County. The rest of the top five teams in each region have very similar ratings: Simon Kenton, Anderson County, South Oldham and North Oldham in the 8th and McCreary Central, Somerset, Wayne County and Boyle County in the 12th.

Defending 8th Region champ Oldham County was beaten by 5-14 Danville on opening night, but Oldham is ranked only seventh in its region.

In the Girls Sweet Sixteen, the 12th is matched with the 3rd Region in a Wednesday night game. Again, the current Litkenhous Ratings show that the top five teams in the 3rd: Muhlenberg North, Ohio County, Owensboro Catholic, Owensboro and Apollo; are very comparable to the top five teams in the 12th: Casey County, Rockcastle County, Wayne County, Lincoln County and Southwestern. Muhlenberg North and Wayne are the defending champions.

Remember, the girls tournament is first this year. It will be played March 12-15, followed by the boys tournament March 19-22. Here are the first-round pairings for each, in bracket order:

GIRLS

March 12-15 at Bowling Green

Wednesday, March 12

7th Region vs. 13th Region, 1 p.m.; 16th Region vs. 14th Region, 2:30 p.m.; 1st Region vs. 6th Region, 7:30 p.m.; 12th Region vs. 3rd Region, 9 p.m.

Thursday, March 13

9th Region vs. 2nd Region, 1 p.m.; 15th Region vs. 5th Region, 2:30 p.m.; 8th Region vs. 4th Region, 7:30 p.m.; 11th Region vs. 10th Region, 9 p.m.

BOYS

March 19-22 at Lexington

Wednesday, March 19

2nd Region vs. 11th Region, noon; 6th Region vs. 3rd Region, 1:30 p.m.; 7th Region vs. 15th Region, 6:30 p.m.; 9th Region vs. 5th Region, 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 20

13th Region vs. 14th Region, noon; 8th Region vs. 12th Region, 1:30 p.m.; 1st Region vs. 4th Region, 6:30 p.m.; 10th Region vs. 16th Region, 8 p.m.

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