If your team hasn’t gotten a spot in the 12th Region Tournament by now, it’s not going to get one.
The eight-team fields have been filled for both the boys and girls regionals after three days of district play, with all of the top contenders and a handful of surprise teams surviving the elimination round of this week’s district tournaments.
For the second straight year, the biggest surprise is the Casey County boys, who once again earned a regional berth after failing to reach double digits in wins during the regular season. This time, the Rebels, who were seeded fourth in the 47th District Tournament, knocked off top-seeded Rockcastle County — the only team in the district with a winning record — after losing their two regular-season meetings by 19 and 25 points.
So while Casey has only 17 wins over the last two seasons, it also will be one of five teams returning to this year’s boys regional after playing in last year’s tourney. Six teams, meanwhile, will return to the girls regional from last year’s field.
Two other boys teams got in by beating a team that they had lost to twice in the regular season: Danville over Lincoln County in the 45th and Wayne County over Southwestern in the 48th. On the girls side, Southwestern did the same thing against Wayne in the 48th, meaning the Wayne girls will miss the regional for the first time since the 1990s.
Here’s the full list of qualifiers for next week’s 12th Region Tournaments:
- 45th District: Boyle County (17-8), Danville (12-14)
- 46th District: Mercer County (20-8), West Jessamine (22-7)
- 47th District: Casey County (8-21), Pulaski County (11-17)
- 48th District: McCreary Central (23-6), Wayne County (19-10)
- 45th District: Garrard County (19-5), Lincoln County (21-4)
- 46th District: East Jessamine (12-14), Mercer County (19-9)
- 47th District: Casey County (17-11), Rockcastle County (23-4)
- 48th District: Monticello (17-11), Southwestern (18-9)
The repeat teams are these: Casey, Danville, McCreary, Wayne and West Jessamine in the boys field; Casey, East Jessamine, Lincoln, Mercer, Rockcastle and Southwestern in the girls field.
Three girls district finals will be played tonight (weather permitting, apparently), with trophies going out in the 46th, 47th and 48th Districts. All four boys finals are Friday, along with the girls final in the 45th, where there is once again a girls-boys championship doubleheader.
The girls regional begins Monday at Lincoln County; the boys regional begins Wednesday at Pulaski County.