Regional review, Tuesday 3/11
Notes and thoughts from day 4 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Lincoln County defeated West Jessamine 51-36 for the championship.
- This is Lincoln’s fourth regional title and its second in as many years. The Patriots are the first 12th Region boys team to repeat as champion since Boyle County in 1998 and ’99. They will play Gallatin County or Shelby County on March 20 in the first round of the Boys Sweet Sixteen in Lexington. (Gallatin and Shelby play tonight to decide the 8th Region champion.)
- Lincoln’s defense was the catalyst in its win over Boyle in last year’s regional final, and that was the case again in this game, as the Patriots gave West Jessamine precious few good looks in the second half. By quarters, the Colts were 4-for-9, 3-for-10, 2-for-8 and 4-for-8 from the field. That’s 13-for-35 overall, compared to 19-for-40 for Lincoln, which was 15-for-26 in the final three periods and 11-for-17 in the second half.
- The Patriots hit six of 19 3-point shots, the last of which was a dagger delivered by Daniel Ralston off a sweet pass from Ethan Spurlin that gave them a 43-31 lead with 3:47 to play. “That 3 was a monster,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said.
- Lincoln fell behind 7-0 in the first 3:03 — “We knew this would be a battle,” Jackson said — but recovered with seven straight points. It was 19-all 32 seconds into the second half before West Jessamine entered a period of 7:06 without a field goal while the Patriots went on a 15-3 run that included consecutive 3-pointers by Noah Keeton.
- West Jessamine is now 0-2 in regional title games, adding this result to a loss to Henry Clay in 2003 in the 11th Region.
- The boys all-tournament team: Gulian Blanton, West Jessamine; John Coomer, Somerset; Darius Jackson, East Jessamine; Trevor Jones, Southwestern; Noah Keeton, Lincoln County; Chris Muse, Pulaski County; Jared Polson, West Jessamine; Cory Price, Somerset; Jonathan Rehner, West Jessamine; Ethan Spurlin, Lincoln County; Dustin Wells, Wayne County; Shawn Whitis, Pulaski County; Christian Williams, Boyle County; Ryan Young, Lincoln County.
- The Other 15: The 8th Region finalists advanced by knocking out two Oldham County schools. Shelby County beat South Oldham 71-62; Gallatin County beat North Oldham 72-56. … There were no big surprises in Monday’s semifinals or finals. The best game might well have been Paintsville’s 79-70, double-overtime win over Shelby Valley in a 15th Region semifinal. … In the 11th Region, Lexington Catholic manhandled Bryan Station 79-63 to earn its first state berth since 2002. Jordan Smart hit eight of 11 3-point shots for the Knights. Bryan Station was denied its first title since 1989, and the Sweet Sixteen crowd was denied a chance to see Defenders star Shelvin Mack, who scored only six points. … Central, still celebrating its Class AAA football championship, won its first regional basketball title since 1978 by beating Fairdale in the 6th Region. … South Laurel needed overtime to beat Corbin 59-49 for the 13th title. … Other state berths went to Paducah Tilghman (1st Region), Owensboro (3rd), Greenwood (4th), Bardstown (5th) and Hazard (14th). Six other regions will crown their champions tonight to fill out the bracket.