The postseason is upon us, and I’m kicking it off with a few random notes and thoughts from amid my stack of brackets:
The 45th District was the last of the four districts within the 12th Region to play its boys and girls championship games on the same night, but that’s changing this year. The girls championship is Thursday and the boys title game is Friday after district administrators approved the schedule proposed by Garrard County athletic director Jim Freeman, whose school is hosting this year’s tournament.
In part because KSD’s girls did not enter the district tournament, Freeman proposed a schedule that splits the title games for the first time. Freeman said this might lead to a greater gate for the tourney, but he also said it will create a better celebration for one of the champions.
He points out that when the two title games were played as a doubleheader, the team that won the first game (usually a girls team) and its fans had to wait through a second game before they could hoist their trophy and cut their net. Now the party can start immediately, and they can have two nets to boot.
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I have always wondered but never known the origin of the KHSAA’s district tournament format that allows the winner and the runner-up to advance to the regionals. There are things I like about it and things I don’t, but for the most part I have no problem with it. I’d just be interested to know how it was determined that the loser of this one game should get a second chance, when every other loser of every other game in the district, regional and state tournaments is out on its ear.
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This is the first time in a long time that only one district tournament has been played at an area school. Garrard is hosting five of the eight area schools, but Burgin and Mercer are playing at East Jessamine and Casey County’s tournament is at Pulaski County.
We had it good here for a number of years — ever since Casey moved into the 45th District in the early 1990s — when two of the four 12th Region districts were comprised entirely of local teams. This is the second postseason since realignment spread them among three districts, and last year the three tournaments were held at Danville, Mercer and Casey.
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Because I’m a purist, put me squarely in the camp that says the basketball championships should never be split into classes. The KHSAA is in that camp, too, because the Sweet Sixteen tournaments are its biggest sources of revenue. And the success of the All “A” Classic has postponed any serious discussion about classification for a long, long time.
But here’s a prediction: Basketball will be classified some day, not soon, but perhaps by the time the children of today’s players are competing for championships.
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And remember, if your team gets kicked to the curb sooner than you’d like, it’s just 28 days until opening day for the baseball and softball seasons.