Archive for December, 2011

Marion wins Titan Christmas Clash

Marion County won the Titan Christmas Clash girls tournament tonight, defeating host Mercer County 60-46 in the championship game of the 16-team tourney.

It was the closest of the four games Marion (12-2) played in the 16-team tourney; the Knights won their first three games by an average of just over 30 points. The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for Mercer (9-3), which went 7-1 in two Christmas break tournaments.

In an undercard game featuring two Advocate-area teams, Lincoln County defeated Casey County 46-43 for fifth place. Lincoln went 3-1 in the Mercer tourney, losing only to Marion; Casey was 2-2. And Burgin finished 0-4 after losing to Covington Holy Cross 53-41 in the 15th-place game.

The Mercer gym goes dark for a few days after hosting 56 games over the past 11 days (seven more were played next door at the Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy), and all will be quiet on the area high school basketball front for the second consecutive holiday weekend. There are no games Saturday and only one game on the area schedule for Monday (Mercer at East Jessamine girls); most local teams will return to action Tuesday.

Happy new year!

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Mercer, Marion make Titan Christmas Clash final

Mercer County will play Marion County for the championship of Mercer’s Titan Christmas Clash on Friday night.

Mercer (9-2) advanced to the title game of the 16-team tournament with a 51-47 victory over Anderson County in its semifinal tonight. Its reward is a game against Marion (11-2), which is widely considered the No. 1 or 2 team in Kentucky and which coasted into the finals with a 66-25 rout of Sheldon Clark.

This will be Mercer’s second appearance in the finals of its own tourney, which is in its fourth year. The Titans lost to Madison Central in the 2008 title game. Lincoln County defeated Notre Dame for the 2009 title, and Elizabethtown beat St. Henry last year.

Lincoln and Casey County, the top two Advocate-area girls teams in recent years will play for fifth place in the most interesting game on Friday’s undercard. The two teams have met in the final game of the regular season and again in the 12th Region Tournament in each of the last four seasons, and only one of the eight games was decided by more than nine points.

Casey has won five of the last eight meetings, including three of the four postseason games. Lincoln beat Casey 72-69 in double-overtime in their regular-season meeting last winter, but Casey turned the tables with a 59-53 win in the first round of the regional.

Earlier on Friday, Burgin will try for its first win in its first appearance in the Mercer tourney when it plays Dixie Heights for 15th place.

Here’s the complete schedule for Friday’s final rounds, with all games at Mercer County High School:

  • 15th place, Burgin vs. Dixie Heights, 9 a.m.
  • Seventh place, St. Patrick vs. Nelson County, 10:30 a.m.
  • 13th place, Covington Holy Cross vs. Johnson Central, Noon
  • 11th place, Tates Creek vs. Lone Oak, 1:30 p.m.
  • Ninth place, Paul Dunbar vs. Calloway County, 3 p.m.
  • Fifth place, Lincoln County vs. Casey County, 4:30 p.m.
  • Third place, Sheldon Clark vs. Anderson County, 6 p.m.
  • Championship, Marion County vs. Mercer County, 7:30 p.m.
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Prime time in Mercer girls tourney

The best basketball in Mercer County’s Titan Christmas Clash might just be found tonight, when there will be two top-20 matchups (based on current Bluegrasspreps.com rankings) in the quarterfinals.

No. 11 Lincoln County plays No. 2 Marion County at about 6:30 p.m. in the second of the four quarterfinal games, and No. 16 Casey County faces No. 7 Anderson County immediately thereafter. The final game, scheduled for about 9:30 p.m., is also a good matchup between host Mercer and Nelson County.

The tournament continues through Friday.

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A winner at last

It’s hard to keep up with all the area teams that have been scattered to the four winds during the Christmas break, but it was nice to discover this morning that Casey County, the last winless boys team in the 12th Region, has gotten off the schneid.

The Rebels got their first win in 12 games this season Tuesday night when they defeated Cordia 65-55 in Bracken County’s tournament.

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Clark wins Fort Harrod Classic

George Rogers Clark won the Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic today, defeating Southwestern 52-46 in the championship game at Mercer County.

The Cardinals won their seventh straight game and improved to 9-2; it was the first loss in 10 games this season for the Warriors.

Clark’s Bopper Stenzel was named the most valuable player of the 16-team tournament.

In games involving Advocate-area teams, Miami (Fla.) defeated Danville 73-48 for fifth place, Southern defeated Boyle County 78-70 for seventh place and Mercer County defeated Marion County 74-66 for 13th place.

Meanwhile in Danville, the Danville girls defeated Knox Central 64-43 tonight to complete a three-game sweep in the Little Caesars Lady Admirals Tournament.

And the Mercer gym will heat up again Tuesday when the four-day Titan Christmas Clash girls tournament gets under way. Burgin, Casey County and Lincoln County join the Mercer girls in the 16-team field. Check this post from a few days ago for the full schedule.

For now, however, it’s time for a long winter’s nap. Merry Christmas to you and everyone at your house.

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Southwestern, Clark to play for Fort Harrod title

Southwestern and George Rogers Clark will face off for the championship of the Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic on Friday after both teams won close semifinal games tonight at Mercer County.

Southwestern (9-0), the consensus favorite to win the 12th Region, advanced with a 68-60 victory over Ohio County. George Rogers Clark (8-2) had its lowest point total of the season but still defeated Lexington Christian 44-40.

Danville will have the highest finish among the three local teams in the 16-team field. The Admirals will play Miami in the fifth-place game, which has been moved up to 10 a.m. to allow Miami to get an early start on its long ride home.

Later in the day, Boyle County will play Southern for seventh place and Mercer will play Marion County for 13th place. All three local teams will play at the Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy.

Here’s the complete schedule for Friday’s final rounds:

At Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy

  • Fifth place, Danville vs. Miami, 10 a.m.
  • 15th place, Boyd County vs. Greenup County, 11:30 a.m.
  • Seventh place, Southern vs. Boyle County, 1 p.m.
  • 13th place, Mercer County vs. Marion County, 2:30 p.m.

At Mercer County High

  • 11th place, Allen County-Scottsville vs. Woodford County, 11:30 a.m.
  • Ninth place, South Laurel vs. duPont Manual, 1 p.m.
  • Third place, Lexington Christian vs. Ohio County, 2:30 p.m.
  • Championship, George Rogers Clark vs. Southwestern, 4 p.m.
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Fort Harrod Classic, Titan Christmas Clash schedules

Mercer County doesn’t have a monopoly on area holiday tournaments this year, but it does have the two biggest of the three tournaments that will be played in local gyms over the next two weeks. And each of its two tournaments has a pretty impressive headliner.

The action starts Tuesday with the second annual Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic, a 16-team boys tournament. Last year’s champion, Fort Walton Beach (Fla.), isn’t in the field, but it has been replaced by an even more recognizable school from the Sunshine State, Miami (Fla.).

Miami, also known as Miami Senior, is the alma mater of current NBA players Udonis Haslem and Steve Blake, as well as Alabama coach Anthony Grant. This year’s Stingarees are ranked No. 11 in Florida by Floridahoops.com, which also lists 6-9 power forward Rashad Thompkins among the state’s top 50 juniors.

The Fort Harrod field also includes one team ranked in the most recent Bluegrasspreps.com top 20, No. 13 Southwestern, which would meet Miami in a Wednesday night quarterfinal if both teams win Tuesday. There are also three local teams: Boyle County, Danville and Mercer.

Danville and Southern were late additions to the tournament, and because of a scheduling quirk, undefeated Southern was given a first-round bye even though the bracket was full, and Mercer put itself into the consolation round.

Mercer’s girls tournament, the Titan Christmas Clash, begins Dec. 27 and also has a full field of 16 teams, including the largest number of local teams (four) in the tourney’s four years.

The favorite will be a team from right next door, Marion County, which was a semifinalist in the Girls Sweet Sixteen last year and is ranked No. 2 in the current Bluegrasspreps.com top 20. The Lady Knights feature senior forward Bre Elder, a Dayton signee, and juniors Makayla Epps and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, both of whom have committed to Louisville.

Other ranked teams in the field include two of the local squads, No. 11 Lincoln County and No. 16 Casey County, as well as Anderson County (No. 7) and Paul Dunbar (No. 20). Marion plays Dunbar in the first round and could play Lincoln in the quarterfinals, while Anderson and Casey could also square off in the quarters.

Local entry Burgin is also in the field for the first time, while 2010 champion Elizabethtown does not return.

The third local tournament is the Danville Lady Ads Tournament, a four-team round-robin beginning Wednesday that also includes Barbourville, Bethlehem and Knox Central.

Below are the schedules for the two Mercer events. The girls tournament will once again be played entirely at Mercer’s “new” school. Most of the boys games will be played there as well, but a total of seven games on the first and last days of the tourney will be played at the Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy, better known as the old high school.

The full schedules for both Mercer tournaments:

BOYS
Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic
Tuesday, Dec. 20

Game 1 — x-Boyd County vs. Danville, 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 — x-South Laurel vs. Lexington Christian, 6 p.m.
Game 3 — x-George Rogers Clark vs. Allen County-Scottsville, 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 — No game
Game 5 — Miami (Fla.) vs. Marion County, 4:30 p.m.
Game 6 — Southwestern vs. Woodford County, 6 p.m.
Game 7 — Ohio County vs. duPont Manual, 7:30 p.m.
Game 8 — Greenup County vs. Boyle County, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 21

Game 9 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11:30 a.m.
Game 10 — Game 3 loser vs. Mercer County, 10 p.m.
Game 11 — Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 12 — Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 13 — Quarterfinal, Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 14 — Quarterfinal, Game 3 winner vs. Southern, 5:30 p.m.
Game 15 — Quarterfinal, Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 16 — Quarterfinal, Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 22

Game 17 — Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 18 — Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 11:30 a.m.
Game 19 — Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 20 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 21 — Game 13 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 22 — Game 15 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 23 — Semifinal, Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 24 — Semifinal, Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 23

Game 25 — 11th place, Game 19 loser vs. Game 20 loser, 11:30 a.m.
Game 26 — x-15th place, Game 17 loser vs. Game 18 loser, 11:30 a.m.
Game 27 — x-Seventh place, Game 21 loser vs. Game 22 loser, 1 p.m.
Game 28 — x-13th place, Game 17 winner vs. Game 18 winner, 2:30 p.m.
Game 29 — x-Fifth place, Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 30 — Ninth place, Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 31 — Third place, Game 23 loser vs. Game 24 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 32 — Championship, Game 23 winner vs. Game 24 winner, 4 p.m.
x-at Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy

GIRLS
Titan Christmas Clash
Tuesday, Dec. 27

Game 1 — Burgin vs. St. Patrick, 10 a.m.
Game 2 — Sheldon Clark vs. Tates Creek, 11:30 a.m.
Game 3 — Lincoln County vs. Covington Holy Cross, 1 p.m.
Game 4 — Marion County vs. Paul Dunbar, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 — Casey County vs. Calloway County, 4 p.m.
Game 6 — Anderson County vs. Dixie Heights, 5:30 p.m.
Game 7 — Lone Oak vs. Nelson County, 7 p.m.
Game 8 — Mercer County vs. Johnson Central, 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 28

Game 9 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11 a.m.
Game 10 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 11 — Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 2 p.m.
Game 12 — Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 3:30 p.m.
Game 13 — Quarterfinal, Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 14 — Quarterfinal, Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:30 p.m.
Game 15 — Quarterfinal, Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 8 p.m.
Game 16 — Quarterfinal, Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 29

Game 17 — Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 18 — Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 11:30 a.m.
Game 19 — Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 20 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 21 — Game 13 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 4 p.m.
Game 22 — Game 15 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 5:30 p.m.
Game 23 — Semifinal, Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 24 — Semifinal, Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 30

Game 25 — 15th place, Game 17 loser vs. Game 18 loser, 9 a.m.
Game 26 — Seventh place, Game 21 loser vs. Game 22 loser, 10:30 a.m.
Game 27 — 13th place, Game 17 winner vs. Game 11 loser, Noon
Game 28 — 11th place, Game 19 loser vs. Game 20 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 29 — Ninth place, Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 30 — Fifth place, Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 31 — Third place, Game 23 loser vs. Game 24 loser, 6 p.m.
Game 32 — Championship, Game 23 winner vs. Game 24 winner, 7:30 p.m.

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Area teams in holiday tournaments

Christmas is still more than a week away, but the holiday basketball tournament season begins today.

December Madness begins tonight when the Garrard County girls play Berea in the first round of Berea’s Lady Pirate Holiday Classic, and it continues through Dec. 30, by which time 13 Advocate-area teams will have played in 17 different events.

Three of those tournaments will be played locally. Mercer County will host a 16-team boys tournament next week and a 16-team girls tournament between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and Danville will host a four-team girls tournament next week. Check back here within a couple of days for full schedules from those tourneys.

Here’s where all the local teams will be playing:

BOYS

  • Boyle County: Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County, Tuesday-Friday; Sayre Holiday Classic, Dec. 28-30.
  • Casey County: KFC Holiday Classic at McCreary Central, Monday-Thursday; FNB Classic at Bracken County, Dec. 26-28.
  • Danville: Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County, Tuesday-Friday.
  • Garrard County: Hardee’s Holiday Hoops Classic at Warren East, Wednesday-Friday; Williamsburg Holiday Classic, Dec. 28-30.
  • Lincoln County: KFC Holiday Classic at McCreary Central, Monday-Thursday; Ashland Invitational at Ashland Blazer, Dec. 27-29.
  • Mercer County: Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County, Tuesday-Friday; Henry County Invitational, Dec. 27-29.

Girls

  • Boyle County: Lady Wolverine Christmas Tournament at Western Hills, Dec. 27-29.
  • Burgin: Queen City Classic at Somerset, Saturday-Monday; Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
  • Casey County: Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic, Monday-Friday; Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
  • Danville: Lady Admirals Tournament at Danville, Wednesday-Friday; Ohio River Classic at Raceland, Dec. 28-30.
  • Garrard County: Lady Pirate Holiday Classic at Berea, today-Sunday; Bankers Classic at Pulaski County, Dec. 27-29.
  • Lincoln County: Republic Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic, Monday-Friday; Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
  • Mercer County: Aspen Creek/Vision EyeCare Holiday Classic at Bullitt East, Wednesday-Friday; Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
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Hester, Howard named to all-state first team

Boyle County linebacker Zach Hester and Danville offensive lineman J.K. Howard have been voted to The Associated Press All-State first team in balloting of AP members from around Kentucky.

Howard is in the unique position of being on both the first and second teams, as he was also voted to the second team defense as a defensive lineman. Tryston Ford of Danville also earned a second-team spot as a defensive lineman, a position he did not play.

Dylan Slone of Lincoln County, the Advocate’s Area Lineman of the Year, earned honorable mention on both the offensive and defensive lines. Garrard County linebacker Bret Dowell and wide receiver Tyler McCoy were also on the honorable mention list.

Highlands quarterback Patrick Towles was voted Mr. Football, receiving nine of a possible 15 votes for the award. Trinity coach Bob Beatty was voted AP coach of the year.

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Harp, five local players in Border Bowl

Five Advocate-area football players have been named to the Kentucky roster for the Kentucky-Tennessee National Guard Border Bowl on Jan. 7 in Williamsburg. Their team will be coached by Sam Harp, who will lead the Kentucky squad. They will be coached by Sam Harp of Danville, who will lead the Kentucky team in the fourth annual game, which will primarily feature players from eastern Kentucky and east Tennessee.

Local players picked for the game are:

  • Isaiah Burrus, WR-DB, Mercer County
  • Tryston Ford, RB-WR-DB, Danville
  • Markell Hayes, RB-DB, Garrard County
  • Matthew Sims, LB, Mercer County
  • Keith Thielemann, OL-DL, Boyle County

Harp’s coaching staff will include Danville assistant Jerry Perry, Boyle assistant Jeff Hester and Bryan Station coach Craig Yeast, a Harrodsburg graduate, as well as Lexington Christian coach Ray Graham, a Danville graduate; and Allen County-Scottsville coach Brad Hood, a former Lincoln County assistant.

The game will be played at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at the University of the Cumberlands’ James H. Taylor II Stadium. Other related events include a banquet the night before the game, where Advocate sports editor Larry Vaught will be the master of ceremonies.

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