District tournament schedules

It’s hard to believe that the high school basketball season is almost over, but here we are at the final weekend of the regular season, and district tournaments begin Monday in the 12th Region and across Kentucky.

(See tournament schedules for districts in the 12th Region at the bottom of this post.)

Locally, all of the elimination games in districts that include Advocate-area teams (the 45th, 46th and 47th) will be played Monday through Wednesday. The girls championship games in all three districts will be played Thursday, and the boys finals will be Friday (Feb. 27).

Mercer County will host the 46th District in its new facility, one of the largest gyms in the region. Meanwhile, two district tournaments will be played at two of the region’s smallest ball halls, Somerset (47th) and Monticello (48th).

If you’ve been in any of those gyms or ones like them, I don’t have to tell you which is better. In fact, it’s beyond ridiculous to hold postseason tournaments in gyms so small that only a few hundred people can squeeze their way in to sit shoulder to shoulder while many more who would like to be there are shut out.

The idea that it’s only fair for every team to have a chance to host a tournament is outweighed by the better idea of allowing as many fans as possible to see the most important games of the season. At a time when high school basketball attendance is on the decline, why make it harder on those who actually want to be there?

You should find plenty of room to stretch out at Mercer (capacity 2,510), or maybe even at Boyle County, where the 45th District will be played out. But if you’re headed to one of the southern districts, you’d better take half a day off work to make sure you get there early enough to get a seat.

* * *

As for the regional tournaments, they’ll be back in familiar locations. Pulaski County will host the girls tournament (March 2-3, 6-7), and Lincoln County will host the boys (March 4-5, 9-10).

The region’s athletic directors agreed to rotate the tournaments between those two schools for four years beginning in 2006, and last fall the agreement was renewed for another four years, meaning the current arrangement is in place through 2013.

It’s a good plan, far better than the 12-school, 12-year rotation it replaced. However, I’d be inclined to play the boys tournament, which always outdraws the girls tourney, at the roomier Pulaski gym every year because it’s much larger than Lincoln’s gym, which has actually gotten smaller with the installation of new lower-level seats since the two-school rotation began.

12th Region District Tournament Schedules

(Seeds in parentheses)

45th District

At Boyle County

BOYS

Monday, Feb. 23

KSD (5) vs. Boyle County (4), 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 25

KSD-Boyle County winner vs. Lincoln County (1), 6 p.m.

Danville (3) vs. Garrard County (2), 7:45 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 27

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

GIRLS

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Danville (4) vs. Lincoln County (1), 6 p.m.

Garrard County (3) vs. Boyle County (2), 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 26

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

46th District

At Mercer County

BOYS

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Burgin (4) vs. West Jessamine (1), 6 p.m.

Mercer County (3) vs. East Jessamine (2), 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 27

Championship, 7 p.m.

GIRLS

Monday, Feb. 23

West Jessamine (4) vs. Mercer County (1), 6 p.m.

Burgin (3) vs. East Jessamine (2), 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 26

Championship, 7 p.m.

47th District

At Somerset

BOYS

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Somerset (4) vs. Rockcastle County (1), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 25

Pulaski County (3) vs. Casey County (2), 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 27

Championship, 7 p.m.

GIRLS

Monday, Feb. 23

Pulaski County (4) vs. Rockcastle County (1), 6:30 p.m.

Somerset (3) vs. Casey County (2), 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 26

Championship, 7 p.m.

48th District

At Monticello

BOYS

Wednesday, Feb. 25

Monticello (4) vs. Wayne County (1), 7 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 26

McCreary Central (3) vs. Southwestern (2), 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28

Championship, 7 p.m.

GIRLS

Monday, Feb. 24

McCreary Central (4) vs. Southwestern (1), 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Monticello (3) vs. Wayne County (2), 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 27

Championship, 7 p.m.

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