Archive for December, 2008

Holiday hoops watch

Just back from my Christmas vacation, I’ve been doing some reading to see how area basketball teams did in their holiday tournaments earlier this week.

In games played locally, Tates Creek won the inaugural Lady Admirals Tournament at Danville, beating each of the other four teams in round-robin play.

The Mercer County girls’ Anderson Circle Farm Titan Christmas Clash (yeah, it’s a mouthful) tips off Monday morning with a field of 12 teams. (See full schedule below this post.)

Here’s a look at how Advocate-area teams fared in the first round of holiday tourneys, as well as what they’ll be doing in the coming days:

Boys

Boyle County: Went 2-1 at McCreary Central, reversing an 0-6 start with a run that included a 56-48 win over Somerset, which had beaten a less-than-fully-armed band of Rebels 69-42 just a couple of weeks before. Plays Sunday-Tuesday at Corbin, beginning with a first-round game against South Laurel.

Casey County: Went 1-2 at Gatlinburg, Tenn. Plays Monday-Wednesday at Wayne County, with a first-round game against Moore.

Danville: Went 2-2 at Bryan Station, including a 68-66 win over Lincoln County. No tourney next week.

Garrard County: Went 3-1 at East Jessamine and West Jessamine, its only loss a 57-51 decision against West. Plays Sunday-Tuesday at Campbellsville.

Lincoln County: Went 1-2 at Bryan Station, losing to Danville and Henry Clay. Plays Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at Windermere, Fla., with a first-round game against Okechobee (Fla.).

Mercer County: Went 2-2 at Bowling Green, with wins over Hart County and Warren East. Plays Monday-Wednesday at Russellville, with a first-round game against Murray.

Girls

Boyle County: Went 2-1 at Caverna. Plays today-Sunday at Bourbon County and Paris, although the Lady Rebels aren’t listed in a schedule I saw for that event.

Casey County: Went 3-0 to win a tourney at Gatlinburg, Tenn., and shake off the dust of a 3-2 start, beating Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech 62-58 in overtime in the title game. Plays Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at Campbellsville, with a first-round game against Spencer County.

Danville: Went 2-2 in its own tournament, including a 57-54 win over Mercer County. Plays Monday and Tuesday at Nicholas County, with a first-round game against Jenkins.

Garrard County: No pre-Christmas tourney. Plays Monday-Wednesday at Madison Central (in a tourney hosted by Madison Southern, which is without a gym this year), with a first-round game against Mason County.

Lincoln County: Went 3-1 at Lexington Catholic, following a first-round loss to Lexington Christian with wins over Newport Central Catholic, Clay County and Owensboro Catholic, Plays Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at Windermere, Fla., with a first-round game against Lynn Haven (Fla.) A.C. Mosley.

Mercer County: Went 0-3 at Danville. Plays Monday-Wednesday in its new tournament, with a first-round game against Oldham County. The full schedule:

Anderson Circle Farm Titan Christmas Clash

Monday, Dec. 29

At Mercer County Elementary

First Round

Madison Central vs. Shelby County, 10 a.m.

Henry Clay vs. Wayne County, Noon

Quarterfinals

Whitley County vs. Madison Central-Shelby County winner, 6 p.m.

Ryle vs. Henry Clay-Wayne County winner, 8 p.m.

At Mercer County High

First Round

Corbin vs. Monticello, 10 a.m.

Oldham County vs. Mercer County, Noon

Quarterfinals

Lewis County vs. Corbin-Monticello winner, 6 p.m.

Scott vs. Oldham County-Mercer County winner, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 30

At Mercer County High

Consolation Round

Henry Clay-Wayne County loser vs. Madison Central-Shelby County loser, 10 a.m.

Oldham County-Mercer County loser vs. Corbin-Monticello winner, Noon

Ryle—Henry Clay-Wayne County loser vs. Whitley County—Madison Central-Shelby County loser, 2 p.m.

Scott—Oldham County-Mercer County loser vs. Lewis County—Corbin-Monticello loser, 4 p.m.

Semifinals

Upper bracket, 6 p.m.

Lower bracket, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 31

At Mercer County Elementary

11th-place game, 9 a.m.

Seventh-place game, 11 a.m.

At Mercer County High

Ninth-place game, 9 a.m.

Fifth-place game, 11 a.m.

Third-place game, 12:30 p.m.

Championship, 2 p.m.

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Basketball postponements, Tuesday 12/16

(Updated 1:40 p.m.)

The following games scheduled for tonight have been postponed due to winter weather:

  • Berea at Danville boys (makeup date TBA)
  • Burgin at KSD boys (makeup date Jan. 8)
  • Pulaski County at Mercer County boys (makeup date TBA)

No makeup dates have been announced. Other postponements and cancellations are expected, and I’ll post them here if we learn of them during the day.

Monday night’s game between the Danville and Mercer County girls, scheduled to be the first game at the new Mercer gym, was also postponed. With tonight’s boys game called off, the opener is now set for a Friday boys game between Mercer and Lexington Christian.

* * *

In other schedule changes not related to today’s weather, two other games that were postponed last week now have makeup dates:

  • Wolfe County at Garrard County girls, Dec. 22, 3 p.m.
  • Burgin at Riverside Christian boys, Jan. 17, 4:30 p.m.

Finally, there’s a time change for Friday’s Whitley County at Casey County girls game. It’s been moved up to 6 p.m.

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Inside Mercer's new gym

(See photo slideshow below this post.)

You want to look. You know you do.

Most of you won’t get the chance to see the gymnasium at Mercer County’s new school until at least next week, and perhaps some time after that. You could take my word that it’s truly a basketball palace, but you don’t have to.

Thanks to an open invitation from Mercer athletic director Todd Davis and a relatively easy-to-understand Internet program, I bring you this blog’s first attempt at a photo slideshow at the bottom of this post. I visited the Mercer gym on Monday and took photos both inside and out, and the slideshow should give you a pretty thorough look at the first new basketball facility to open in this area since Mercer’s elementary school gym, which hosted the school’s girls team, opened in 1984 and the first new gym in the 12th Region since Southwestern opened its doors in 1993.

Mercer’s boys and girls teams will use the gym, which opens to the public Monday night for Mercer’s girls game against Danville. The boys host Pulaski County the next night.

The photos pretty much speak for themselves, but here are a few things to know:

  • Fans who attend games won’t use the main entrance to the school, but rather a separate entrance that leads to a lobby just outside the gym that also doubles as the cafeteria. The gym is on the far left of the building as you view the front from Moberly Road — it has “MCSHS” on the outside wall — and the basketball entrance is immediately to the right.
  • Once inside, the gym is to your left. You can enter from either level of the two-story lobby, although school officials could close the upper level if a big crowd isn’t expected. You can also reach the upper seats from just inside the doors leading from the lobby to the gym.
  • The gym’s seating capacity is listed at 2,510, which dwarfs that of Mercer’s two old gyms. There are 15 rows of seats on each side of the lower level, and another 11 rows on each side in the upper level. (The view from the first two or three rows of the upper bleachers is obstructed by a railing, however.) There are balconies above both baselines, but no seats in them. They’re very similar to the walkways at Rockcastle County and Southwestern. Scoreboards hang from each balcony, and they’re wireless.
  • All of the seats can be rolled back, and the lower bleachers retract to reveal three full-length courts. Instead of additional goals on the side, they are on the same ends of the floor as the main baskets.
  • There are five locker rooms, four of normal size and one that’s about half that size, which is presumably where the officials would dress. Two of the locker rooms have large red lockers that look like they’ll be used by Mercer’s boys and girls; the others look like they’d be used by physical education classes during the day and visiting basketball teams at night. Doors from each corner of the gym lead to a hallway that has an office, a locker room and a storage room.

There are plenty of opportunities to see the new gym in the coming days. Mercer hosts a girls game Monday and boys games Tuesday and Friday of next week, and the Mercer girls will play most of their new holiday tournament there Dec. 29-31.

There’s also an open-house scheduled for Thursday night, which will give you the chance to see all of this magnificent new school. There’s a wonderful 400-seat auditorium just steps away from the gym, a nice-looking library and over 93,000 square feet in all.

This slideshow focuses only on the gym. There are 22 photos in all:

[rockyou id=128442607&w=450&h=337]

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Inside Mercer’s new gym

(See photo slideshow below this post.)

You want to look. You know you do.

Most of you won’t get the chance to see the gymnasium at Mercer County’s new school until at least next week, and perhaps some time after that. You could take my word that it’s truly a basketball palace, but you don’t have to.

Thanks to an open invitation from Mercer athletic director Todd Davis and a relatively easy-to-understand Internet program, I bring you this blog’s first attempt at a photo slideshow at the bottom of this post. I visited the Mercer gym on Monday and took photos both inside and out, and the slideshow should give you a pretty thorough look at the first new basketball facility to open in this area since Mercer’s elementary school gym, which hosted the school’s girls team, opened in 1984 and the first new gym in the 12th Region since Southwestern opened its doors in 1993.

Mercer’s boys and girls teams will use the gym, which opens to the public Monday night for Mercer’s girls game against Danville. The boys host Pulaski County the next night.

The photos pretty much speak for themselves, but here are a few things to know:

  • Fans who attend games won’t use the main entrance to the school, but rather a separate entrance that leads to a lobby just outside the gym that also doubles as the cafeteria. The gym is on the far left of the building as you view the front from Moberly Road — it has “MCSHS” on the outside wall — and the basketball entrance is immediately to the right.
  • Once inside, the gym is to your left. You can enter from either level of the two-story lobby, although school officials could close the upper level if a big crowd isn’t expected. You can also reach the upper seats from just inside the doors leading from the lobby to the gym.
  • The gym’s seating capacity is listed at 2,510, which dwarfs that of Mercer’s two old gyms. There are 15 rows of seats on each side of the lower level, and another 11 rows on each side in the upper level. (The view from the first two or three rows of the upper bleachers is obstructed by a railing, however.) There are balconies above both baselines, but no seats in them. They’re very similar to the walkways at Rockcastle County and Southwestern. Scoreboards hang from each balcony, and they’re wireless.
  • All of the seats can be rolled back, and the lower bleachers retract to reveal three full-length courts. Instead of additional goals on the side, they are on the same ends of the floor as the main baskets.
  • There are five locker rooms, four of normal size and one that’s about half that size, which is presumably where the officials would dress. Two of the locker rooms have large red lockers that look like they’ll be used by Mercer’s boys and girls; the others look like they’d be used by physical education classes during the day and visiting basketball teams at night. Doors from each corner of the gym lead to a hallway that has an office, a locker room and a storage room.

There are plenty of opportunities to see the new gym in the coming days. Mercer hosts a girls game Monday and boys games Tuesday and Friday of next week, and the Mercer girls will play most of their new holiday tournament there Dec. 29-31.

There’s also an open-house scheduled for Thursday night, which will give you the chance to see all of this magnificent new school. There’s a wonderful 400-seat auditorium just steps away from the gym, a nice-looking library and over 93,000 square feet in all.

This slideshow focuses only on the gym. There are 22 photos in all:

[rockyou id=128442607&w=450&h=337]

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Four banks, four games at Garrard

The area’s first big basketball event of the season is Garrard County’s 4-Bank Classic, which is Saturday. The opening of a new bank in Lancaster this year provides another sponsor for this event, which was previously called the 3-Bank Classic.

The format is three boys games followed by one girls game, with Garrard’s two teams playing in the last two time slots. Here’s the schedule:

  • East Jessamine vs. Marion County boys, 2 p.m.
  • Trinity vs. Pulaski County boys, 4 p.m.
  • Woodford County vs. Garrard County boys, 6 p.m.
  • Grant County vs. Garrard County girls, 8 p.m.

Tickets are $5, and they’re good for all games.

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An eye on the finals

It’s just a few hours before another state finals weekend kicks off without a team from the Advoplex, but there are still some things going on in Louisville this weekend that area football fans can keep an eye on.

For starters, there’s the 4A final on Saturday between Bell County and Bullitt East. Sure, we won’t be following this game as we would have if Boyle County were there, but it does match two coaches whose footprints are all over this area

There’s Doug Preston of Bullitt East, who spent 10 years in this area as an assistant coach at Danville, Garrard County and Lincoln County. He was on the staff of two of Danville’s state championship teams (2000 and ’01), and his first appearance in the finals as a head coach comes in his first year at his third stop, following stints at Western and Rowan County. And there’s Dudley Hilton of Bell, the crafty veteran whose roots run through Boyle and Washington counties.

I talked to Preston earlier this week for a story that appears in today’s Advocate and on www.amnews.com. Here are some of the things he said that didn’t make the story:

  • On when or whether he thought Bullitt East had the stuff to have a chance at a championship: “We could sense it about the group we had. We talked about it during the regular season, but we wouldn’t allow (the players) to talk about anything other than the next week. But all along we sensed it, and I think our kids could, too.”
  • On his good relationship with Hilton: “I’ve known him since ’93 or ’94 … and I’ve tried to learn from him when I could be around him over the years. We’re friends, but we’ll try to beat each other’s tails this weeks and go back to being buddies after Saturday.”
  • Mercer County coach Marty Jaggers gave Preston his first coaching job out of college at Lincoln County in 1994. “He told me he wanted to be a head coach, and he wanted to work at a good program (as an assistant),” Jaggers said. He added that Preston is one of only two assistants he has had — along with former Lincoln and Webster County coach Tim Estes — who told him he wanted to become a head coach.

Hazard, one of the 1A finalists, was badly beaten by Danville two years ago (63-14) on its way to a pedestrian 9-4 season. Since then, the Bulldogs have gone 24-4 with a loss to Lexington Christian in each of the last two years plus losses this season to Green County and Johnson Central.

In 3A, Breathitt County’s playoff run began with a closer-than-expected 28-14 win over Garrard County. The Bobcats are led by another crafty veteran, Mike Holcomb, whose roots run through Garrard and Lincoln counties.

Here are my picks for a weekend that could include three or more blowouts:

  • Today: Beechwood (1A), Central (3A), Highlands (5A).
  • Saturday: Newport Central Catholic (2A), Bell County (4A), Trinity (6A).
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More Boyle honors

Boyle County coach Larry French and running back-safety Rees MacShara have been voted the Class 4A, District 6 player and coach of the year by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association. It’s the third straight district coach of the year award for French, who won at Lincoln County in 2006 and ’07.

French and MacShara were the only winners of KFCA awards from any of the six Advocate-area schools. The other winners from local districts:

  • 2A-4 (Danville): Mark Perry, Washington County (coach); Joe Joe Simms, Washington County (player).
  • 3A-5 (Casey County, Garrard County): Shawn Thompson, Wayne County; Chris Thomas, Taylor County.
  • 5A-7 (Lincoln County, Mercer County): Johnny Hines, Pulaski County; Chris Muse, Pulaski County.

The full list of winners can be found at the KFCA’s Web site.

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Boyle's French named AP coach of the year

Boyle County football coach Larry French has been named one of The Associated Press Coaches of the Year, sharing the statewide award with John Petett of Monroe County. Here’s a link to Larry Vaught’s story on amnews.com.

Brothers Jordan and Grant Aumiller were both named to the second team defense on the AP’s all-state team, and four other area players received honorable mention. Information on the Aumillers and the other local honorees is also in the story linked above.

St. Xavier running back Rolandan “Deuce” Finch was voted Mr. Football.

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Boyle’s French named AP coach of the year

Boyle County football coach Larry French has been named one of The Associated Press Coaches of the Year, sharing the statewide award with John Petett of Monroe County. Here’s a link to Larry Vaught’s story on amnews.com.

Brothers Jordan and Grant Aumiller were both named to the second team defense on the AP’s all-state team, and four other area players received honorable mention. Information on the Aumillers and the other local honorees is also in the story linked above.

St. Xavier running back Rolandan “Deuce” Finch was voted Mr. Football.

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Mercer game times changed

The order of the Mercer County-Wayne County boys and girls basketball games scheduled for tonight has been reversed.

The girls will play first at 6 p.m., followed by the boys game at about 7:30. Both games are at Mercer County Elementary.

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