Regional review, Tuesday 3/6
News and notes from day 4 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Southwestern defeated Boyle County 79-67 for the championship.
- Southwestern (27-8) won its first regional title after three unsuccessful trips to the finals that included two losses to Boyle. The Warriors will play Hopkinsville on March 14 in the first round of the Boys Sweet Sixteen. Hopkinsville (32-2) defeated Madisonville-North Hopkins 65-54 tonight to win the 2nd Region.
- The Warriors were too much for Boyle (13-16), which was trying to become the first team to win the 12th Region with a sub-.500 record since Mercer County in 2000. The Rebels trimmed a 15-point second-quarter deficit to three late in the third quarter before Southwestern slammed the door.
- The lead changed hands four times in the first quarter after Boyle jumped in front 5-0, but Southwestern outscored the Rebels 21-5 over a span of 7:36 to take a 30-15 lead with 2:49 remaining in the first half. The Warriors led 36-25 early in the second half before Boyle began closing the gap, closing to within 43-40 on Brett Jones’ 3-point goal with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
- Southwestern slowly stretched the margin to nine points over the first 4:44 of the fourth quarter, then put Boyle away with deadly precision from the free-throw line, where the Warriors were 19 for 21 in the fourth quarter and 27 for 31 overall.
- Boyle had a size advantage in its semifinal win over East Jessamine, but Southwestern had the advantage inside this time and used it to full advantage, although the Rebels outrebounded the Warriors 32-24.
- Southwestern opened its first-half lead with solid 3-point shooting, as the Warriors were 4 for 9 from distance in the first half and 7 for 18 overall. They shot 46.7 percent (21 for 45) overall from the field after a 13-for-24 first half. Boyle was better in the second half, going 13 for 25 to finish at 47.9 percent (23 for 48), and the Rebels were 9 for 20 from 3-point range and 11 for 16 at the foul line. They committed 13 turnovers, a manageable number, but many of them led to Southwestern runouts, and the Warriors gave the ball up only five times.
- Justin Edwards led Southwestern with 25 points and six rebounds, going 7 for 15 from the field. David Kapinga scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, when he was 7 for 9 at the foul line, and finished with 19, and Justin Schulz added 13 points and three steals. Cody Epperson also had six rebounds for the Warriors.
- Michael Arnett led Boyle with 23 points and 17 rebounds, going 10 for 13 from the field and 3 for 3 from 3-point range. Kyle Rice had 16 points and Micah Satterly had 13 points and four assists. Zach Hester had four rebounds but did not score. Devin True’s 3-point shot from at least 60 feet out just ahead of the final buzzer didn’t go up on the scoreboard initially, as officials were more concerned with getting off the floor ahead of the onrushing Southwestern students, but the official scorer credited True with the basket.
- The best team won the regional, although Southwestern wasn’t head and shoulders above the field. The Warriors have a good mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores who have size, speed, shooting prowess and the ability to play aggravating defense, and many of them had the experience of playing in last year’s regional final, which they lost to Wayne County. Congratulations to coach Steve Wright, who got his 600th win in the 48th District final and who will make his ninth trip to the state tournament, and to a Southwestern fan base that has been chasing this championship for nearly 20 years.
- Boyle had every reason to believe it could be in this game at the start of the season and no business thinking that at midseason. The Rebels righted what appeared to be a sinking ship that actually didn’t have quite as many holes as some of us might have believed. They pulled together to overcome a 4-13 start, win the 45th District title and threaten for the regional title, and the work they did over the last six weeks or so to accomplish those things is a much greater legacy than their win-loss record.
- The boys all-tournament team: Michael Arnett, Boyle County; Robbie Carson, East Jessamine; Cody Collins, East Jessamine; Carl-Lewis Cummins, Lincoln County; Adam Dodd, Wayne County; Justin Edwards, Southwestern; Cody Epperson, Southwestern; Chase Fain, West Jessamine; Taylor Gover, Pulaski County; Taylor Leigh, Casey County; Robby Lewis, Southwestern; Daulton Peters, West Jessamine; Kyle Rice, Boyle County; Micah Satterly, Boyle County; Justin Schulz, Southwestern.
- Thanks for following this blog throughout the regional tournaments. Check back later this week for much more on Lincoln County in the Girls Sweet Sixteen, and we’ll keep an eye on Southwestern next week at the Boys Sweet Sixteen as well. And of course, we’ll continue to provide information on Advocate-area teams in all sports.