Regional review, Wednesday 3/7
Notes and thoughts from Day 1 of the boys 12th Region Tournament:
- West Jessamine defeated Wayne County 45-43; Lincoln County defeated Pulaski County 70-49. Lincoln plays West Jessamine in Monday’s first semifinal.
- Lincoln’s win before a capacity crowd was surely more impressive than most people expected. The Patriots took control in the second half, leaving Pulaski behind and leaving no doubt that they’re capable of winning the tournament. It’s always easier said than done, but three games like that would easily get Lincoln to Rupp Arena. Pulaski, meanwhile, played not at all like it had in wins over Boyle County in the final week of the regular season or over Somerset in the 47th District Tournament. The Maroons made mistakes both in shooting and ball-handling, and they struggled to deal with Lincoln’s speed.
- The West Jessamine-Wayne game might have looked like a mismatch to some, but I expected the Colts to have their hands full with an up-and-coming Wayne team. It took a big shot by Kuda Kagora with 2 seconds left to send the keep West Jessamine out of overtime and send the Colts to the semifinals.
- Lincoln’s regional tourney games are being broadcast on the Internet thanks to the work of Jon Logan Smith, who called Lincoln’s football and basketball games for the former WRSL-FM for many years. Smith, who now lives in the Chicago area, produced webcasts for his son’s high school football team late last season, and he’s using the same technology this week at Lincoln. The audio feed goes out via a wireless broadband connection and is available online at this link. A replay of Wednesday night’s game can still be heard through that link. Smith did play-by-play, with Kevin Bandura and Tim Estes doing color. They are also able to receive and respond to listener e-mails during the live broadcasts at email@example.com. The long-range plan is for Bandura and Estes plan to use to use the same set-up to broadcast Lincoln football games on a weekly basis this fall.
- Abigail Laub of The Jessamine Journal, one of the Advocate’s sister newspapers, reports that Zack Fain of West Jessamine has been named the 12th Region boys player of the year by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches. Fain is a talented player with impressive numbers (17 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4 assists entering the regional), but this is a surprise to those of us who saw Boyle’s Spencer Perrin dominate the competition this season. I didn’t see it coming before the season, when I ranked Perrin behind McCreary Central’s Aaron Watts, Casey County’s Keith Price and Pulaski’s John Perkins, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Perrin has been the best player in the region all winter long.
- The Other 15 (noteworthy scores from the rest of the state): Warren Central’s Tim Riley could become only the second Kentucky coach to win six straight regional titles if his Dragons win two more games. They opened play in the boys 4th Region with an 88-71 win over Russellville. … It was a bad night for small independent schools, as it often is in the first round. Fulton City (1st Region), Mayfield (1st), Bethlehem (5th), Walton-Verona (8th), Deming (10th), Model (11th), Red Bird (13th) and Pineville (13th) were all kicked to the curb.