Regional review, Thursday 3/6
Notes and thoughts from day 2 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Somerset defeated Wayne County 38-33; West Jessamine defeated Boyle County 50-43. Somerset plays West Jessamine in Monday’s second semifinal.
- This was three hours of my life I wish I had back. Several of us watching these grueling games concluded that they were doing their best to set basketball back 30 or 40 years.
- A Somerset team that most had written off after its 47th District title game loss to Pulaski County deserves a good deal of credit for fighting off Wayne. The Briar Jumpers rose to the occasion at least a couple of times in the second half when it looked as if things were starting to go Wayne’s way. There were no style points awarded, but perhaps we should score this one for Somerset’s experience over Wayne’s youth.
- Corey Price led Somerset with 12 points, and Dustin Wells led Wayne with 11. No one else had more than seven, as you might expect.
- As you also might expect, this was the lowest-scoring game in the boys 12th Region in many moons. Nothing in the last 10 years has come close for combined total points, although Wayne’s total equals that scored by McCreary Central in an 84-33 loss to South Laurel in a 2004 first-round game.
- Boyle was held to its lowest point total in 51 games in its loss to West Jessamine. The Rebels also scored 43 in a December 2006 loss to Apollo.
- Boyle was shut out in the first quarter and missed its first nine shots from the field, and the Rebels also went 5-for-14 in the fourth quarter. In between, they were 13-for-19. West Jessamine got off only 29 shots but hit 16 of them.
- In the first meeting between the teams on Dec. 11 (a 65-53 Boyle win at home), the Rebels were 23-for-46 from the field and forced 20 turnovers, which they converted into 23 points. Gulian Blanton, who led West Jessamine with 17 points Thursday — all in the second half on 6-of-7 shooting — was held to four in the first meeting.
- Jared Polson scored 16 points for the Colts, including all nine of their first-quarter points. Christian Williams led Boyle with 11.
- The girls regional resumes tonight at Lincoln County, where the marquee attraction is Lincoln vs. Casey County in the upper bracket semifinal at 6 p.m. Mercer County and Rockcastle County meet in the second semi at 7:45 p.m. Casey beat Lincoln 44-38 in the final game of the regular season for both teams Feb. 22 at Casey. Rockcastle won 73-55 at Mercer on Jan. 28.
- If the weather is tolerable, expect a near-capacity crowd to be in place for the first game. If winter weather strikes and postponement is a possibility, check www.amnews.com for updates.
- If the Friday or Saturday games at Lincoln are postponed, look for officials there to finish the tourney on Sunday if possible. They don’t want to wait until Monday because the winner plays on Wednesday in Bowling Green at the Girls Sweet Sixteen. A Monday-to-Wednesday turnaround happened once before, though, when the March blizzard of 1993 delayed the boys 12th Region final until snowplows could clear 18 to 20 inches of snow from the roads around London. Casey County’s boys beat McCreary Central on Monday night at South Laurel, then played (and lost to) Harlan on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.
- The Other 15: Leonard Macon, who transferred from Danville to Taylor County early this season, did his best to keep Taylor alive, but the Cardinals fell 72-66 to Bardstown in a 5th Region first-round game. Macon had 16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, according to an account on Bluegrasspreps.com. … In the 11th Region, Scott County survived a scare before winning 59-54 at Franklin County. … Anderson County, my pick to win the 8th, lost 63-56 to Gallatin County. … In the 2nd, Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie and Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl watched as Scotty Hopson scored 28 points to lead University Heights over Hopkins County Central 75-48. … And sadly, another season ends quietly at Jackson County, which lost to South Laurel 76-59 in the 13th Region. It’s now 42 years and counting without a trip to the state tourney, but congratulations on a good season to former schoolmate Keith Hays and his team, which finished 22-9.