Archive for November, 2009

It’s basketball time

There’ll be plenty in this space later in the week about Boyle County’s upcoming trip to the state football finals, but you should also know that this is opening day for the high school basketball season.

Every local team but one is in action this week as the 12-week regular season gets under way. (Danville’s boys will wait until next week.) Once again, it figures to be a better year for local girls teams than for the boys, at least as far as being near the top of the 12th Region.

There are only two new coaches among the 16 area teams. Dave McDaniel is coaching the Garrard County boys for the third time, taking over after the midsummer resignation of Lee DeForest, who is now an assistant at Christian County. And former Mercer County boys assistant Chris Myers is now leading the Burgin girls instead of Jacqueline Coleman, who is now the head coach at East Jessamine.

And while my better judgment tells me I shouldn’t do this, here are my quick picks for the 12th Region’s district and regional winners:

  • 45th District: Danville boys, Lincoln County girls.
  • 46th District: West Jessamine boys, Mercer County girls.
  • 47th District: Rockcastle County boys, Casey County girls.
  • 48th District: McCreary Central boys, Wayne County girls.
  • 12th Region: McCreary Central boys, Lincoln County girls.

Finally, here’s where teams from the eight Advocate-area schools will open the season:

Boys

  • Boyle County: Saturday vs. Cumberland County.
  • Burgin: Tuesday at Portland Christian (home opener Dec. 11 vs. Eminence).
  • Casey County: today at Anderson County (home opener Thursday vs. Russell County).
  • Danville: Dec. 8 at South Oldham (home opener Dec. 15 vs. Berea).
  • Garrard County: Tuesday vs. Marion County.
  • Lincoln County: Tuesday vs. Russell County.
  • Mercer County: Tuesday vs. McCreary Central.

Girls

  • Boyle County: Tuesday vs. East Jessamine.
  • Burgin: Tuesday at Portland Christian (home opener Dec. 17 vs. Pulaski County.)
  • Casey County: today vs. Madison Central.
  • Danville: Thursday vs. Burgin.
  • Garrard County: Wednesday vs. opponent TBA in Sayre round-robin (home opener Dec. 8 vs. Washington County).
  • Lincoln County: today vs. Pulaski County.
  • Mercer County: today at George Rogers Clark (home opener Dec. 14 vs. Danville).
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Friday football digest, week 15

Once again, it’s basically a coin flip.

The game that Boyle County fans have waited 51 weeks is hours away, with Bell County on its way to Rebel Stadium for a second straight Class 4A semifinal showdown with the Rebels. And it looks like it could be every bit as close as last year’s game on the first Friday of December in Pineville.

Boyle lost that game 17-15 after committing six turnovers, and I said both before and after that game that both of those two teams were capable of winning the 4A championship, which Bell did one week later. The same thing looks to be true this year: Both teams are good enough to win the title, but only one of them will get the chance to play for it next week.

And while neither the Rebels nor the Bobcats would be a lock to win next week in Bowling Green, it’d be safe to say that whichever team wins tonight’s game would be a heavy favorite over either Marion County or Lone Oak, the teams that are playing in the other 4A semifinal.

Bell County coach Dudley Hilton is fully aware that Boyle and its fans — especially its fans — would love to avenge last year’s loss, but coach Larry French won’t make this game about revenge. It’s about two of the top 10 teams in the state, teams with very little separation between them in any category you care to compare.

And even though it’s a tired, old cliche, that means it’s about which team makes fewer mistakes. That was painfully obvious in last year’s game, and I think I can go ahead and guarantee that if either team makes six turnovers tonight, that team can call it a season.

Little else can be guaranteed about this game, except that it figures to be about as interesting as any of the 12 semifinals being played across the state (and even in Clarksville, Tenn., where Fort Campbell is hosting Monroe County). I’ll take Boyle County because I believe the Rebels are a better team than they were a year ago, but I wouldn’t be surprised by any outcome.

Picks of two weeks ago, when the blog was last fully functional: 3-0; season: 44-10 (.815).

Here’s a link to Jay Compton’s preview story from today’s edition of the Middlesboro Daily News, as well as the latest stats submitted to the KHSAA from Bell and Boyle. I’d love to add a link to Hal Morris’ preview story from Wednesday’s Advocate, but in yet another technical difficulty, somehow the story never made it to amnews.com.

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All-Area team announced

Finally, the bugs are out of the blog and I’m ready to do some regular posting again. First the whole thing went down, then we had a scenario in which you could read but I couldn’t post. Now I’ll start getting back to normal again — I hope.

The Advocate’s All-Area football team was announced yesterday, and the roster has a very distinct black-and-gold hue to it again this year. Click these links to read the All-Area story, as well as our stories from earlier in the week on the area lineman of the year and the area coach of the year.

We’ve also been getting ready for basketball season, which opens Monday, and today’s newspaper contained the last of our previews of the boys and girls teams at the eight Advocate-area schools. The stories have been running over the last two weeks, and you can find them on the sports page at amnews.com.

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Friday football digest, week 13

Is this thing on? Apparently so.

No one told me when the issues with our hosting server were finally resolved, and frankly I had gotten tired of checking in every day only to find the same “we’re sorry” message.

I apologize to those of you who also kept checking regularly. I don’t have a good explanation for the prolonged outage, and I can’t say it won’t happen again, but I welcome you back.

When we were last operational, the regular season had just ended. Now we’re at week two of the playoffs, which brings with it the first real degree of unpredictability the season has seen in some time.

Has Danville improved enough to take down the team that knocked it off last season — and give coach Sam Harp his 300th victory? The Admirals are better, but Green County is still pretty good, too, and the Dragons have to be confident at home after their win in Danville last year.

Three hours or so to the east, will Garrard County be able to give Breathitt County a battle for the second straight year. The Golden Lions have been the area’s most wildly unpredictable team this season, but it’s hard to see them containing Breathitt well enough to win.

And somewhere in the middle will be Boyle County, in what is easily one of the most predictable games of the second round.

Since I’ve already tipped my hand, I’ll go ahead and make this week’s predictions official:

  • Boyle County over West Jessamine.
  • Breathitt County over Garrard County.
  • Green County over Danville.

Two weeks ago: 2-1; season 41-10 (.804).

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Here are the links to this week’s preview stories from amnews.com:

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