Regional review, Monday 3/12
Notes and thoughts from Day 3 of the boys 12th Region Tournament, delayed due to a technical problem (which is to say, I clicked the wrong button):
- Lincoln County defeated West Jessamine 40-39; Boyle County defeated Southwestern 73-60. Lincoln plays Boyle for the championship Tuesday night.
- We have arrived where we thought we would be all along. The title game is a battle between the two best teams in the region. It’s also a rematch of the 45th District Tournament championship and the fourth meeting this season between these teams. Boyle beat Lincoln 65-64 in the district final in a heavyweight fight that I feel safe in calling the best game of the season in this area. In the regular season, Lincoln won 62-61 at Boyle on Jan. 5, and Boyle won 76-67 at Lincoln on Jan. 19.
- This is the first time two teams from the Advocate’s coverage area have faced off for the regional title since 2000, when Mercer County defeated Harrodsburg 56-49. Harrodsburg had won two of their three prior meetings, including the 46th District final.
- Boyle will be bidding for its second consecutive 12th Region title and its fourth overall, all within the last 10 years. The Rebels also won regional titles in 1998 and 1999.
- Lincoln is trying to win its third regional crown and its first since 1980, when it beat Boyle in the title game at Pulaski County. The Patriots also won in 1975, the first year the school was open.
- Two outstanding individual performances came through in Monday night’s semifinals, one by a winner and one by a loser. Zack Fain scored 30 of West Jessamine’s 39 points, and everybody knew the ball would be in his hands when the Colts had a chance for the last shot. That’s why three Lincoln defenders had him surrounded, and while there might well have been enough contact to warrant a foul earlier in the game, it’s not the kind of foul that gets called with three seconds on the clock. Fain finished 13-for-21 from the field and had seven rebounds. After the Colts exited, the stage belonged to Boyle’s Spencer Perrin, who had 32 points and a school-record 25 rebounds, including 11 offensive boards. One of those offensive rebounds came when he rose above the rim for a missed shot and came down with an eye-popping reverse dunk. Perrin went 13-for-16 from the field, and he blocked four shots.
- Tuesday night’s championship game is certain to draw a capacity crowd at Lincoln — the gym was full for both semifinals — and that crowd should be even more charged up than it was when the Patriots and Rebels last met 11 days ago. The student sections on both sides of the floor exchanged some pretty interesting chants that night, and they’ll likely be at the top of their game for this game. Boyle’s cheering section will be behind the benches, and the school has been informed that its cheering section must take up residence behind the Rebels’ bench and not behind Lincoln’s.
- The Other 15 (noteworthy scores from the rest of the state): Adair County and John Hardin will square off Tuesday night at Central Hardin for the championship of the boys 5th Region and the right to play the Boyle-Lincoln winner in the first round of the state tourney. Adair defeated Bardstown 53-43, while John Hardin waxed Taylor County 58-39. The latest Durden Ratings, which do not include Monday’s games, list Adair County three points better than John Hardin with almost exactly the same ratings as Lincoln and Boyle. … Former 12th Region member Russell County went down hard in a semifinal at the boys 4th, 80-46 to Warren Central. The Lakers had upset Allen County-Scottsville in the first round. … Another area neighbor, Anderson County, lost to Oldham County 38-32 in the 8th. … Two more teams qualified for the Boys Sweet Sixteen when Owensboro edged Apollo 44-42 in the 3rd and Elliott County downed Ashland Blazer 85-69 in the 16th to reach the state tourney for the first time.
- I’ll be updating much sooner after Tuesday night’s game, and I’ll be clicking the right button this time. Promise.