It has been a bit of a roller coaster season for the Tigers of Fern Creek this season. Fern Creek was the Pre-Season 6th region favorite and as the Christmas tourneys came around it looked like Fern Creek was a force to be reckoned with even beyond the 6th. It was during the prestigious King of the Bluegrass in December that Fern Creek defeated both Covington Catholic and Trinity on back to back nights sending notice around the Bluegrass that they had the talent to compete with anyone.
Then came 2018 and in January they lost to Doss during the Louisville Invitational Tournament which was the first time they have been beaten in two seasons by another program in the 6th. After finishing 35-3 and earning their first ever trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2016/2017, the 2017/2018 version of the Tigers did not share the same dominance. After a loss to St. Xavier on February 6 the Tigers dropped to a 19-6 record. However, they won their last two regular season games before running off 5 in a row in post season.
The Tigers now have regained some of their early season form accomplishing a 26-6 record heading into the State Tournament. They have a very impressive 31-1 record against other 6th region programs over the last two seasons. The 6th is very competitive with really good athletes who compete night in and night out. Few 6th region teams have ever had the success over a two year span as the Tigers have these past two seasons. The loss to a very good Doss team is the only blemish on an otherwise perfect run in consecutive seasons.
Leading the Tigers the past two seasons have been a great backcourt in PG Anthony Wales and Guard Ahmad Price. There is not much to be said about these two except that together they have started since they arrived at the Fern Creek as freshman and have been part of 98 victories in that span. Wales, a Samford signee, and Price who is reclassifying into the 2019 recruiting class can best be described as winners. They average 15 & 16 PPG respectively and are joined in double figures by power forward, Clint Wickliffe who averages 12 PPG. Wickliffe and Price are the team's leading rebounders. Wales is the leading steals and assist man for the Tigers. Joining these three in the starting lineup is a combination of Tony Rogers, AJ Thomas, and Jalin Howard. All are seniors and another senior, Jordan Coleman, also has been seeing extensive action during the Tigers post-season run.
The Tigers play Boyd County in the opening round and the outcome depends on which Tigers team arrives at Rupp. If it is the team that played in the KOB and won that championship it should be a large margin. If it is the Tiger team in January or February it could go either way. A rematch with Covington Catholic likely awaits if Fern Creek advances from the first round. That will be a great game to see if the Tigers can bring back the effort and execution from their earlier game.