Tough draws (So what else is new?)

Once again, there was no good news for the 12th Region in the Sweet Sixteen draws held earlier today. The 12th Region was paired with the 7th Region for the girls tournament and with the 5th Region for the boys tourney.

The boys 5th Region is headlined by Central Hardin, which is 20-1 and has lost only to Shelby County. Elizabethtown (11-9) gets a lot of attention thanks to star forward Stephon Pettigrew and has played a tough schedule, but it has lost twice to Central Hardin. Other potential champions include John Hardin (12-7) and perhaps Bardstown (13-5), the defending All “A” Classic champion.

In girls hoops, the top tier of the 7th Region is a murderers’ row of some of the best teams in Kentucky. Start with Sacred Heart (18-4), which toppled nationally ranked Lexington Catholic in overtime last night; move on to Assumption (15-5), which beat Sacred Heart last month; and add duPont Manual (16-5), which might be the region’s third top-10 team, and Louisville Christian (14-5).

The girls first-round game is at 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 in Bowling Green; the boys play at noon Wednesday, March 21 in Lexington in the opening game of their tourney. Once again, it will be very difficult for both regional representatives to avoid a one-and-done.

Here’s the complete draw of first-round pairings for both tournaments, in bracket order from top to bottom:

Girls Sweet Sixteen Draw

Wednesday, March 14: 6 vs. 14, 13 vs. 5, 3 vs. 4, 12 vs. 7.

Thursday, March 15: 16 vs. 15, 8 vs. 9, 11 vs. 2, 1 vs. 10.

Boys Sweet Sixteen Draw

Wednesday, March 21: 5 vs. 12, 11 vs. 8, 13 vs. 6, 9 vs. 1.

Thursday, March 22: 3 vs. 7, 10 vs. 2, 16 vs. 15, 14 vs. 4.

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