All ‘A’ moves and other odds and ends
The 12th Region All “A” Classic is on the move. The semifinals of this week’s boys tournament and next week’s girls tournament will be at Danville, but there’s a decent chance that the finals won’t be.
It’s the first step of a move by the four participating schools — Burgin, Danville, Monticello and Somerset — to change the tournament format beginning next year. More on that below, but first let’s explain what’s happening this year.
The semifinal pairings are the same in both the boys and girls brackets: Burgin vs. Monticello and Somerset vs. Danville. If Somerset beats Danville in tonight’s girls semifinals, the Saturday night championship will be played at Somerset. The boys semifinals are Thursday, and if Somerset’s boys beat Danville then, the winner of the Burgin-Monticello game will host the Saturday night final.
Starting next season, the tournaments will be played during the same week at a single site, and with identical pairings. And if the host team loses in both the boys and girls semis, the team that beat them will then host the championship games.
It’s a little strange and a little confusing, but it does make sense to play the tournaments together. It’s easy with only three games in each bracket — there used to be five when Garrard County and Harrodsburg were playing — and it means the girls champion would no longer have to wait an extra week for the statewide tournament.
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Bad news from Lincoln County, where starting guard Noah Keeton is out of action after suffering a broken hand in practice last weekend. The Interior-Journal reports that Keeton will miss four to five weeks.
Keeton, who was featured along with teammate Daniel Ralston in this story earlier this week, is the Patriots’ third-leading scorer at 11.4 points per game and is shooting 48.4 percent from 3-point range. Lincoln will miss him as it prepares for the postseason, but if his recovery goes well he should be back before the district tournament.
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The Burgin girls’ victory over Mercer County on Tuesday shocked basketball fans around the 12th Region, and it also broke a lengthy streak of district victories. Mercer had won 51 straight 46th District games since its last district defeat, a 44-40 loss to Garrard County, in the district tournament championship in 2000.
Meanwhile, folks at Burgin haven’t yet pinned down the last time their girls basketball team beat Mercer. If you think you know, let me know.
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A single rebound is all that keeps Burgin sisters Ann and Bev Harris from laying claim to an unusual statistical achievement — for now. They are just that close to becoming quite possibly the first pair of sisters to lead the area in scoring and rebounding.
In the latest statistics compiled by the Advocate, Bev Harris led the eight area schools in scoring at 21.2 points per game, well ahead of second-place Hayley Hellyer of Boyle County, who is at 17.8.
In the rebounding race, Ann Harris’ average of 8.71 placed her an eyelash behind Boyle’s Tori Alcorn at 8.76. One more rebound would have raised Ann Harris’ average to 8.79 and put her in front.
Of course, there’s still time. The stats are sent in each week by coaches and published on Wednesdays in the Advocate.
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Central Kentucky Conference championships used to be a big deal in a number of sports, but now they only exist in cross country and track. The CKC is still alive and well in those sports, however, and those titles are still meaningful.
There are 14 member schools, and they’ve been trying to recruit two more thanks to the Mercer County-Harrodsburg merger and the departure of Lexington Christian. An open invitation was sent to schools in the region, three of them applied and the existing members are voting on which two to accept.
The prospective members are Model, Paul Dunbar and Rockcastle County. They hope to join existing members Anderson County, Boyle County, Casey County, Danville, East Jessamine, Frankfort, Franklin County, Garrard County, Henry Clay, Lincoln County, Mercer County, West Jessamine, Western Hills and Woodford County, who are carrying on the considerable tradition of the oldest conference in Kentucky.
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Be sure to check out the Advocate’s newest sports blog, Hardwood Happenings, in which Mercer County girls basketball coach Chris Souder will write on all things hoops. It’s along the same lines as Coach Stoney, the football blog of Garrard County coach Steve Stonebraker.