News and notes from day 4 of the girls 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Lincoln County defeated Casey County 56-54 in overtime for the 12th Region championship.
- Lincoln (27-5) won its second consecutive regional title and its third overall in a thrilling game, the closest girls regional final in more than a decade. This was the third time in five years that Lincoln and Casey played for the title; Lincoln has won two out of three. This is also the third consecutive year in which Casey has lost in the finals.
- Lincoln will play Owensboro Catholic on March 14 in the first round of the Girls Sweet Sixteen at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. Owensboro Catholic (24-7) defeated Meade County 58-51 on Monday to win the 3rd Region.
- The Lady Patriots beat Casey (15-16) for the second time in 19 days, but this game was much closer than their Feb. 15 game in Stanford. Still, it looked similar to that game in the second quarter, when Lincoln opened a 24-10 lead, and into the second half, when it led 35-22 midway through the third period. Casey came roaring back, however, outscoring Lincoln 22-7 over a span of roughly 10 1/2 minutes to take its first lead in the final minute of the game. Then things got really interesting.
- Casey tied the game at 42-all on Christin Terry’s 3-point basket with 2:40 left in regulation and took a 44-42 lead on two Lakken Miller free throws with 56 seconds to play. Emily Fox of Lincoln tied the game 12 seconds later with two free throws, and the Lady Patriots got a chance to win when Sarah Beard was called for an offensive foul at :28.
- Lincoln held for a final shot, but the ball was deflected out of bounds with 3.6 seconds left. Casey’s Tiara Cochran then stole the inbounds pass and passed ahead to Terry, who drove to the basket for a layup that officials ruled came after the clock ran out, a call that appeared to be correct.
- Casey took a 49-47 lead in overtime on Mariah Richardson’s putback with 2:08 to play, but Sydney Harris answered for Lincoln 12 seconds later with a 3-pointer that put the Lady Patriots in front to stay. Kourtney Belcher was fouled on a rebound when the Lady Rebels missed on their next trip, and she hit one of two free throws to make it 51-49. Belcher hit two free throws at :48 to give Lincoln a 53-50 lead, but that was the only instance in overtime in which a shooter for either team made two free throws. Lincoln was 7 for 14 at the line in overtime; Casey was 2 for 5.
- Lincoln took control in the second quarter with a 17-5 run, taking its largest lead at 24-10 with 1:49 left in the first half on back-to-back layups by Spencer Sims. Casey didn’t get the margin below 10 points until Terry scored with 3:06 left in the third quarter to pull the Lady Rebels within 35-26. In the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer by Katie Douglas and a basket by Miller made it 38-35, and suddenly a game that seemed to be on its way to becoming a rout was up for grabs.
- Fox led Lincoln with 14 points, Harris had 13 and Ciara Saylor had 11. Jasmine Johnson and Douglas, Casey’s two seniors, scored 12 points each, and Terry had 11.
- The game had the closest scoring margin in a girls regional final since Wayne County defeated Mercer County 58-56 in the 2002 final. Wayne won the 2007 title in overtie over Southwestern, but the final score was 46-41.
- The girls all-tournament team: Kourtney Belcher, Lincoln County; Summer Burke, Burgin; Catheryne Claunch, Mercer County; Adison Corder, Southwestern; Kaylee Cotton, McCreary Central; Katie Douglas, Casey County; Bethany Edwards, Somerset; Emily Fox, Lincoln County; Hannah Harris, Boyle County; Sydney Harris, Lincoln County; Jasmine Johnson, Casey County; Cassidy Martin, Mercer County; Ciara Saylor, Lincoln County; Marlee Smith, Boyle County; Christin Terry, Casey County.
- As the regionals conclude, we say a prayer for and send good wishes to Randy Elmore, the Pulaski County athletic director (and former Casey softball coach and assistant football coach) who is continuing a long, courageous fight he has waged since being diagnosed with cancer about two years ago. Elmore recently finished another round of treatment and was unable to be at the girls regional, and he was missed, although Pulaski girls coach Brian Miller and other school staffers carried on without missing a beat. Elmore will be honored at “Elmore Touch Day” on March 23 with a day-long program that includes a 5-kilometer run/walk, chili dinner, trail ride and bonfire. Proceeds from the race will go to the Elmore family. For more information, visit theelmoretouch5k.com.
News and notes from day 3 of the girls 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Casey County defeated Boyle County 49-43; Lincoln County defeated Mercer County 66-59. Casey (15-15) plays Lincoln (26-5) for the championship at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
- There were two good games on this semifinal Monday, setting the stage for a very familiar looking final. More on that below.
- Casey and Boyle went toe to toe throughout the first half, but Casey took the lead early in the second half and never let it go. Casey saw a seven-point lead shrink to two points early in the fourth quarter, then scored five straight points to take a 44-37 lead and held Boyle scoreless for 4:09.
- There were five ties and seven lead changes. The game was tied at 23-all at halftime, but Casey’s Christin Terry broke the deadlock with a 3-point goal 1:41 into the second half, giving her team the lead for good. Terry went on to score eight points in the period.
- Neither team shot free throws well, but Casey hit just enough of them at the right time to stay two or three possessions ahead of Boyle. Casey was 11 for 22 at the line; Boyle was just 6 for 16, including 1 for 6 in the fourth quarter. Casey shot 44.4 percent from the field; Boyle shot 35.3 percent and was just 6 for 18 in the fourth quarter.
- Boyle’s shooting woes kept it from taking advantage of Casey’s many turnovers. Casey had seven turnovers in the first quarter, 10 in the fourth quarter and 22 overall, compared to 14 for Boyle.
- Jasmine Johnson, who was out with an injury when Casey lost to Boyle on Feb. 5, scored a game-high 16 points. Terry had 13 points and 12 rebounds, including seven rebounds in the fourth quarter. Marlee Smith led Boyle with 12 points, and Chelsea Gill had 10.
- The much-anticipated Lincoln-Mercer rematch, a battle between two 25-win teams, was every bit as good as their first meeting Feb. 5, though it wasn’t perfect. Much as Casey had done in its game, the Lady Patriots held off the Titans down the stretch despite a rash of turnovers and missed free throws.
- Lincoln led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter and was up 52-45 with 5:11 remaining in the fourth after a 3-pointer by Emily Fox. But Mercer came roaring back, pulling to within 52-51 just 41 seconds later when Catheryne Claunch stole a Lincoln pass underneath her own basket and laid it in. The Titans never got a chance to take the lead, however, and the Lady Patriots soon pushed their lead back to five points. Finally, Mercer’s offense was crippled when Claunch and Cassidy Martin, its top two scorers in the game and on the season, fouled out just a couple of possessions apart. Martin was the second to go, fouling out with 2:42 to play.
- Mercer took its only lead at 19-18 with 3:28 left in the second quarter on consecutive layups by Martin, but Rachel Spangler answered with a basket to put Lincoln back in front and kick off a run of nine straight points.
- The Lady Patriots led 27-21 at halftime, and they expanded their advantage to 38-28 midway through the third quarter. Many of their big baskets in the second and third quarters came from Kourtney Belcher, who was often open in the paint while Mercer defenders were tracking Lincoln shooters.
- Lincoln beat Mercer for the second time this season despite a high turnover count. The Lady Patriots committed 27 turnovers in their regular-season win over the Titans, and they had 23 in the rematch.
- The Lady Patriots shot 51.2 percent from the field and went 5 for 10 from 3-point range. The Titans, who had 57 attempts to Lincoln’s 41 and took one more shot from outside the 3-point line than from inside it, shot 35.1 percent overall and were 6 for 29 from 3-point range. Lincoln was 19 for 27 at the foul line; Mercer was 13 for 22.
- Lincoln outrebounded Mercer 35-22.
- Fox scored 19 points, Belcher had 18 and Sydney Harris had 16 for Lincoln. Martin scored 26 in the final game of her one and only season at Mercer, giving her 861 points and an average of 25.3 per game in a stellar senior season. Claunch added 11 points.
- Tuesday’s championship game matches the two teams who played for the regional title last year, and who are no stranger to the regional finals. Lincoln defeated Casey 58-47 in last year’s championship game, and Casey defeated Lincoln 32-21 for the 2009 title. This will be the fifth title game appearance for Lincoln since 2006 and the fifth for Casey since 2008, including the third in a row.
- Lincoln beat Casey 55-40 on Feb. 15 in the annual regular season-ending meeting between the teams, as the Lady Patriots’ five seniors combined to score 38 points in their final home game.
- Both Lincoln and Casey will be trying to win their third regional championship.
Taylor Gover of Pulaski County and Rodney Woods of Wayne County have been voted the 12th Region boys player and coach of the year by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches.
Gover was averaging 22.4 points and 4.9 rebounds entering the postseason. He was shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 79.2 percent from the free-throw line. His Pulaski team finished 23-7, losing to Wayne in the first round of the 12th Region Tournament.
Woods has led Wayne to a 27-7 record and the 12th Region championship, the Cardinals’ eighth in his 27 years as coach. Wayne will play Madison Central on Wednesday in the first round of the Boys Sweet Sixteen.
Gover’s award comes with an automatic invitation to try out for the Kentucky All-Stars later this month.
Gover and Woods will receive their awards Friday at the Boys Sweet Sixteen. Click here for the full list of boys regional winners.
The list of girls regional players and coaches of the year has not yet been released.
Four men from the Advocate coverage area are among nine who were inducted into the 12th Region Boys Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame tonight.
Broadcaster Steve Bertram, former official Dwight Gordon, statistician Danny Roller and former Casey County player Randy Salyers were part of a group of four players and five contributors recognized at halftime of the boys 12th Region Tournament championship. The full class:
- Bill Begley, Pulaski County, class of 1979: Averaged more than 20 points per game as a senior, when he led Pulaski to its first regional title. Played at Berea College.
- Roger Cordell, McCreary County: Scored 1,398 career points, including 58 in a single game. played on a 1966 national championship team at Kentucky Wesleyan and a 6-foot and under world championship team.
- Greg Gover, Somerset, class of 1978: Led Somerset to a regional title and named third-team all-state in 1978. Played in the Kentucky East-West all-star game. Played at Union.
- Randy Salyers, Casey County, class of 1977: Scored more than 1,500 career points. Named most valuable player of the 1977 regional. Named third-team all-state in 1977. Was a four-year starter at Belmont.
- Steve Bertram, Boyle County/Danville: Began as a play-by-play announcer in 1974 and has broadcast Danville and/or Boyle County basketball games for 37 years. Has also broadcast numerous Boys Sweet Sixteen games for the statewide network.
- Dwight Gordon, official: Worked more than 1,500 basketball games in 27 years, including 22 regional tournaments and six state tournaments. Second official inducted into the TRBBCHOF.
- Jimmy Greer, West Jessamine: 1967 Jessamine County graduate served Jessamine County and West Jessamine for 23 years as an assistant coach, bus driver and statistician. Is compiling a book on the history of high school basketball in Jessamine County.
- Danny Roller, Boyle County: Has served as Boyle’s statistician for 37 years.
- Jim Ed Shearer, East Jessamine/West Jessamine: Supporter of basketball programs at both East Jessamine and West Jessamine. Member of the final graduating class at Wilmore in 1958.
News and notes from day 4 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Lincoln County:
- Wayne County defeated Somerset 61-48 for the 12th Region championship.
- Wayne (27-7) won its ninth regional title and its second in three years before a standing-room only crowd at Lincoln. Wayne is now tied with Somerset for the second-highest total of titles among 12th Region schools; they trail only Monticello, which has 16. This is the Cardinals’ eighth title in 27 seasons under coach Rodney Woods.
- Wayne will play Madison Central on Wednesday in the first round of the Boys Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Madison Central (28-5) defeated Lexington Catholic 67-46 tonight to win the 11th Region.
- The Cardinals avenged a loss Somerset (20-10) 26 days earlier by taking control of a close game at the start of the second half. Consecutive 3-point baskets by Corey Stearns and Peyton Woods gave Wayne, which had led 27-26 at halftime, a 37-27 lead with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter, and a 3 by Trey Blevins capped a 20-8 run and made it 47-34 with 1:30 left. Somerset never made a serious run at the lead after that, getting no closer than 10 points in the fourth quarter.
- Wayne also had its way at the start of the first half, jumping out to an 8-2 lead thanks in large part to three steals by Dagan Shelton in the first 1:50. Woods also helped fuel the Cardinals’ hot start, scoring 11 of their first 15 points. Somerset recovered, pulling within 21-19 midway through the second quarter. The Briar Jumpers had one chance to go in front in the closing seconds of the first half after pulling within 27-26, but they turned the ball over with 20 seconds left on a charging foul by Ryan Dishman, and they never got another shot at the lead.
- Woods led Wayne with 23 points, and Stearns was right behind him with 21. Ryan Weddle had 17 points and Tyson Williams had 12 for Somerset.
- Both teams shot 48.8 percent from the field, with Wayne going 21 for 43 and Somerset going 20 for 41. But the Cardinals were 9 for 17 from 3-point range, and the Jumpers were 1 for 5.
- Somerset outrebounded Wayne 26-22; Matt Gordon had nine rebounds and Williams had eight for the Jumpers; Stearns had eight for the Cardinals. Somerset had five turnovers in about the first 4 minutes and finished with 16; Wayne had 11.
- Wayne won the regional title with a lineup consisting of two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and a freshman, meaning the Cardinals can be considered a serious threat for at least a couple more years. Somerset started three seniors and two juniors.
- The boys all-tournament team: Trey Blevins, Wayne County; Ryan Dishman, Somerset; Justin Edwards, Southwestern; Chase Fain, West Jessamine; Will Hager, Mercer County; John Ingram, Mercer County; Kidy Johnson, Pulaski County; Daulton Peters, West Jessamine; Corey Stearns, Wayne County; Timmy Taylor, Lincoln County; Hagen Tyler, Boyle County; Ryan Weddle, Somerset; Tyson Williams, Somerset; Peyton Woods, Wayne County.
- The girls regional resumes Monday, when four Advocate-area teams will play in the semifinals at Pulaski County. Casey County ((14-15) plays Boyle County (18-13) at 6 p.m.; followed by Lincoln County (25-5) and Mercer County (25-8) at 7:30. Boyle defeated Casey 56-49 on Feb. 5; Lincoln defeated Mercer 64-55 the same day.
News and notes from day 3 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Lincoln County:
- Wayne County defeated West Jessamine 67-66; Somerset defeated Mercer County 58-48. Wayne (26-7) plays Somerset (20-9) for the championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
- A capacity crowd had the Lincoln gym rocking on semifinal Friday, which for my money is always one of the best days of the basketball season. Fans were treated to another compelling game in the opener, and a decent if less dramatic game in the nightcap.
- Peyton Woods buried a 3-point shot with four seconds left to lift Wayne over West Jessamine in a game that was tight from start to finish. The Cardinals got the ball after West Jessamine’s Will Henderson hit two free throws with 15 seconds to play to give the Colts a two-point lead. They worked the ball to Woods to the right of the key, and he drained the decisive shot with a defender in front of him and another trying to block it from behind. West Jessamine got a timeout at :03, but Wayne’s Corey Stearns got a piece of a desperation shot by Chase Fain from just in front of the center line.
- West Jessamine scored five straight points to take a 62-59 lead with 3:30 to play, but Woods tied the game with a three-point play 30 seconds later. The Colts’ Robby Irgang missed two free throws at 1:46, but Daulton Peters’ basket at 1:28 gave them a 64-62 lead. Meanwhile, Woods turned the ball over on consecutive Wayne possessions. Stearns was fouled while going for a rebound and made two free throws to tie the game with 39 seconds to go.
- Neither team led by more than eight points.
- Woods, one of Wayne coach Rodney Woods’ sons, led the Cardinals with 19 points, followed by Trey Blevins with 18 and Stearns with 15. Fair scored 30 points for West Jessamine; Irgang added 10.
- The Wayne-West Jessamine game was a tough act to follow, but the Mercer-Somerset game wasn’t bad. The Briar Jumpers scored nine straight points in the final 2:20 of the first quarter and kept the Titans at arm’s length for the rest of the night. Mercer rallied to within four points midway through the second quarter and again early in the fourth, but a 9-0 run that included points from four different players gave Somerset a 51-38 lead with 4:52 remaining, leaving the Titans with too tall a hill to climb. They cut the deficit to seven points by the final minute before yielding.
- Somerset had the edge in size and strength and used that to its advantage, as Tyson Williams and Ryan Weddle combined for 26 points and 14 rebounds. Guard Ryan Dishman also hit a handful of big baskets for the Jumpers.
- Mercer struggled against the Jumpers’ 2-3 zone defense, often settling for outside shots that weren’t going down. The Titans were 10 for 22 from 3-point range in their first-round win over Southwestern, but they hit only two of 16 3-point attempts and shot 36 percent overall from the field Friday. Somerset shot 51 percent and outrebounded the Titans 31-23.
- Williams and Weddle had 13 points each, Dishman had 12 and Cam Cheuvront had 10 for Somerset. Will Hager led Mercer with 19 points, and he got 13 of them in the second half.
- Saturday’s championship game is a rematch of a Feb. 5 game at Somerset in which the Briar Jumpers edged Wayne 62-59. Somerset led by 16 points early in the third quarter, saw Wayne rally to take a 54-49 lead, then engineered its own rally with eight straight points. Dishman’s three-point play with five seconds remaining broke a 59-all tie and provided the margin of victory.
- The game matches two of the 12th Region’s most successful programs in terms of winning regional championships. Somerset has won nine titles; Wayne has eight.
- Wayne returns to the finals for the second time in three years. The Cardinals defeated Southwestern 51-35 for the 2011 title.
- Somerset is in the finals for the first time since 1989, when it lost a 66-64 decision in overtime to a Wayne team that went on to the state finals. The Jumpers’ last won a regional title in 1985, when current coach Jeff Cothron played for a team that beat Mercer in the semifinals and Danville in the finals.
- Somerset and Wayne have gone 2-2 in head-to-head regional meetings since the 1989 final. Their last regional meeting was in 2000, when Wayne won a first-round game 57-54 on its home floor.
- A tip of the cap to high school sports historian Daniel Hopkins of Lancaster for much of the above historical data.
Devin Conley of Garrard County has been invited to try out for the Kentucky-Indiana Junior All-Stars series.
Conley is the only Advocate-area player among 40 girls and 42 boys invited to try out for the Kentucky junior all-star teams March 23-24 at Georgetown College. The list of invitees was determined by a voting process made available to all coaches in the state.
The two-game series was added last year to the program that features games between the Kentucky and Indiana senior all-stars. The juniors’ game in Kentucky will be played June 7 in Louisville at a location to be announced. The two seniors’ games will be played June 14 at Freedom Hall in Louisville and June 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
News and notes from day 2 of the girls 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Lincoln County defeated Somerset 62-43; Mercer County defeated McCreary Central 57-51. Lincoln (25-5) plays Mercer (25-8) in Monday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal.
- The anticipated semifinal showdown between Lincoln and Mercer is set, but only after two first-round games that were closer than expected. Lincoln didn’t begin to pull away from Somerset until late in the third quarter, and Mercer never could shake McCreary.
- The semifinal will be a rematch of a semifinal last year, which Lincoln won 54-50 on its way to the Girls Sweet Sixteen. The Lady Patriots have won eight of the last nine games in the series, including this year’s regular-season meeting, a 64-55 win on Feb. 5.
- The Lincoln and Mercer wins also ensure that an Advocate-area team will go to the Girls Sweet Sixteen for the second consecutive year and the third time in five years.
- Lincoln’s lead over Somerset on Thursday was just 32-27 with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter, and it was 35-29 before the Lady Patriots went on a 20-2 run that started with a string of seven straight points and also included another eight in a row and left them with a 55-31 lead.
- Lincoln players hit two buzzer-beaters in the first half, a 3-pointer by Emily Fox to close the first quarter and a basket by Kelsi Honaker to close the first half. Each team had scored only four points in the second quarter before Honaker’s bucket gave the Lady Patriots a 23-17 halftime lead.
- Fox led Lincoln with 19 points, and Sydney Harris scored 12. Virginia Scott led Somerset with 17 points, and Maranda Mills added 10. They are among three returning starters who will return for the Lady Jumpers, who finished 13-18 in their first season under coach Erin Walker.
- Mercer fought off McCreary down the stretch, surviving an epidemic of missed free throws and 3-point shots to win. The Lady Raiders had a chancce to tie or take the lead with 53 seconds to play, but they gave up an offensive rebound and a turnover in the remaining time. Raegan Freeman came up with a turnover and got the ball to Heidi Huffman for a layup at :32 that made it a four-point game, and Catheryne Claunch hit two free throws at :13 to finish the Titans’ win.
- The Titans struggled at the free-throw line, especially in the fourth quarter. They made seven of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter, and Claunch, a 63 percent shooter at the line, was 5 for 12. Mercer was also just 1 for 20 from 3-point range, where it was shooting 32 percent entering the regional.
- Defense didn’t fail Mercer, however, as the Titans forced 23 turnovers by McCreary and had 18 steals. Claunch and Kandace Gash had four steals each, and Huffman and Cassidy Martin had three each.
- There were nine ties and seven lead changes, and McCreary led for large portions of the second and third periods. Neither team led by more than six points. Mercer took the lead for good at 39-38 when Freeman hit two free throws 19 seconds into the fourth quarter, and Carli Souder followed with the Titans’ only 3-point goal.
- Martin scored 17 points, Claunch had 15 and Huffman had 12 for Mercer. Kaylee Cotton led McCreary with 22 points, but she picked up her fourth and fifth fouls early in the fourth quarter, fouling out with 6:11 to go.
- The girls regional is off until Monday, but the boys regional resumes tonight with the semifinals. Wayne County (25-7) faces West Jessamine (18-11) tat 6 p.m., and Mercer County (17-13) plays Somerset (19-9) at 7:30. Wayne defeated West Jessamine 66-61 on Feb. 8; Mercer and Somerset have not met in at least 15 years.
News and notes from day 1 of the girls 12th Region Tournament at Pulaski County:
- Casey County defeated Burgin 62-38; Boyle County defeated Southwestern 51-48. Casey (14-15) plays Boyle (18-13) in Monday’s 6 p.m. semifinal.
- Casey had little trouble pushing past Burgin to reach the semifinals for the third consecutive year and the fifth time in six years. The Lady Rebels scored the first nine points of the game and were never threatened.
- Casey reached the semifinal round for the third consecutive year and the fifth time in six years. Burgin was making its third consecutive regional appearance but has not escaped the first round in any of those three years.
- Lakken Miller and Christin Terry scored 14 points each and Tiara Cochran added 11 for Casey. Summer Burke and Taylor Sanders led Burgin with 13 points each.
- Burgin finished 14-16 under coach Ray Daniels, who took the reins of the program only five days before the start of the season. The Lady Bulldogs lose three senior starters to graduation.
- Boyle lost its first game of the season to Southwestern by 27 points, but the Lady Rebels avenged that loss with a ferocious comeback in their first-round game. They fell behind 13-3 in the early going and trailed 19-8 after one quarter, then pulled within 24-21 early in the third quarter. Southwestern responded with 11 straight points to take a 35-21 lead, and was still up 43-32 when the fourth quarter began.
- The Lady Warriors had hit five 3-point shots in the third quarter, but they had only one field goal in the final period. They struggled to get the ball into the frontcourt against Boyle’s pressure and burned through their last three timeouts in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. The Lady Rebels scored eight straight points to tie the game at 45-all with 3:30 left, and Kalin Bottoms’ basket gave them a 47-46 lead with 1:42 to play, their first lead since they scored the first basket of the game. Chelsea Gill answered two Southwestern free throws with a layup, and the Lady Warriors’ Adison Corder was called for charging on their next possession. Hannah Harris and Dee Foster each went 1 for 2 at the free-throw line in the closing seconds for Boyle, with Foster coming up with a key offensive rebound. Southwestern’s desperation shot to tie the game was wide right.
- Harris led a balanced Boyle scoring attack with 13 points. Bottoms had 10 points, Marlee Smith had nine, Gill had eight and Lauren Richards had six. Corder and Samantha Fitzgerald led Southwestern with 14 points each.
- Southwestern had 17 turnovers, including seven in the fourth quarter, when Boyle outscored it 19-5.
- The win was Boyle’s first in a regional tournament since 2001, when the Lady Rebels defeated Wayne County and Somerset in the first two rounds before losing to Lincoln County in the championship game.
- The first-round concludes tonight when defending champion Lincoln County (24-5) faces Somerset (13-17) at 6 p.m. and Mercer County (24-8) plays McCreary Central (16-14) at 7:30. Lincoln defeated Somerset 60-42 on Jan. 28; Mercer and McCreary did not meet during the regular season.
News and notes from day 2 of the boys 12th Region Tournament at Lincoln County:
- Mercer County defeated Southwestern 56-54 in overtime; Somerset defeated Boyle County 51-50. Mercer (17-13) plays Somerset (19-9) in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal.
- Another great night of regional basketball, finishing off an exception first round. Both games were close from start to finish; both came down to the final possession. There was no lead larger than nine points in either game. The four first-round games Monday and tonight were decided by an average of 4.25 points, with three of them decided by three or fewer.
- Mercer appeared to be beaten in regulation when Southwestern’s Isaiah Collier scored on a layup with two seconds left. The Titans called timeout at :01.9, called another at midcourt at :01.3 immediately after the inbounds pass, then caught a break when Blake Pennington was fouled by Adam Isaacs on the second inbounds play. Pennington hit two free throws to force overtime.
- The Titans led 55-51 with 21 seconds left in overtime, but the Warriors’ David Kapinga hit a 3-pointer at :15. Will Hager then made one of two free throws for Mercer, and Southwestern’s Isaacs missed a 3-point shot from the right corner ahead of the buzzer.
- Mercer made 10 of 14 free throws, including five of six in overtime.
- Hager had 17 points, Pennington had 16 and John Ingram had 12 for Mercer. Justin Edwards led Southwestern with 21 points; Kapinga added 13.
- Southwestern’s loss means the defending champion was knocked out in the first round for the second consecutive year. 2011 champion Wayne County lost a first-round game to East Jessamine last year.
- Somerset won despite scoring only three points in the final 3:17. Ryan Dishman scored on a putback with 1:52 left, then hit two free throws at :54 to make it a four point game. Boyle’s Chapman Bean hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left, then forced a turnover by Dishman with 15 seconds left. The Rebels’ Hagen Tyler was fouled with 5.3 seconds left, but he missed the front end of the bonus. Boyle’s Micah Miniard rebounded, but Dishman stripped the ball from him, and the Rebels couldn’t foul Dishman before time expired.
- Somerset scored the first nine points of the game, but Boyle led by eight points midway through the third quarter and was still up by six midway through the fourth.
- Boyle, which shot an area-best 73.3 percent at the free-throw line through the district tournaments, made only three of 11 foul shots. Somerset was 8 for 12 at the line.
- Dishman led Somerset with 15 points, followed by Ryan Weddle with 12 and Cam Cheuvront with 10. Tyler had 14 points, Bean had 11 and Brett Jones had 10 for Boyle.
- The girls 12th Region Tournament opens Wednesday at Pulaski County. The first-round doubleheader begins with Casey County (13-15) facing Burgin (14-15) at 6 p.m., followed by Southwestern (19-11) facing Boyle County (17-13) at 7:30. Casey defeated Burgin 63-46 on Feb. 14; Southwestern defeated Boyle 61-34 on Nov. 30.