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McCracken County Mustangs
Record: 28-6
Coach: Burlin Brower
Region 1, District 2.

McCracken County started the year as the 5th ranked team in Region 1. They lost quite a bit from the previous year and would really need the players that were coming back to step up and lead. Region 1 was a very tough region at the top this year. Mayfield, Graves County, Paducah Tilghman, and McCracken County were all ranked in the BGP Top 20 at some point this season. The Mustangs started out hot winning 10 of the first 11 games, with the only loss coming to Mayfield. They struggled over the Holidays only going 2-4. But one of those wins was a dominating performance against Christian County. One of the losses was to Sweet 16 team Apollo 58-54.

After the Apollo loss the Mustangs went on a tear, winning 12 games in a row before falling to Hopkinsville in a tight game. During that win streak McCracken started to show their strength as they defeated Paducah Tilghman twice, Graves County, Marshall County, and Madisonville.
After defeating Paducah Tilghman for a third time in the 2nd District title game, McCracken went on to face Murray, Mayfield, and Graves County to win the Region 2 Championship. They did this by limiting their opponents to an average of 36 points per game. In fact, in 2018 only two teams have scored more than 60 points, and both of those teams still lost to the Mustangs.

While most teams in the tournament are known for their offense or particular players, McCracken isn’t known for either. There is not a name on their roster that sticks out as “amazing” or “must watch.” However, their defense is suffocating and very well disciplined. Some examples, Christian County averaged almost 80 ppg when they faced McCracken, they scored 44. Paducah Tilghman averages over 70 ppg, they scored 55, 42, and 57. Mayfield who is without a doubt a top 20 team in the state, scored 38. This team plays Very Good Defense. Teams better be ready. They will make you play their game.

Offensively, the Mustangs are the lowest scoring team in the tournament. They only average 60 points per game. Their offense is led by a trio of young men. Nathan Stonecipher (14.9 ppg), Cameron Cartwright (14.5 ppg), and Jackson Sivills (13.1 ppg). They also have a few other role players who can score if needed. This team relies on the outside shot, shooting 47.5%, because they aren’t overally big inside. They have made 180 three pointers (5.3 per game) this year. If they get hot from the arc, they are a very tough team to beat due to their defense. Inside, Stonecipher and Sivills both average 7 rebounds per game, so they don’t give up a lot of second chance shots, which many teams do rely on.

McCracken County is one of those teams that it is easy to overlook because their offensive stats do not scream anything other than average at best. When you combine that with one of the best defenses in the state things change. While they may not have the pedigree or players other teams in the Sweet 16 have, this team has heart and grit, don’t ever count them out.


35 Belt, Wes
20 Benton, Brady
12 Beyer, Gavin
11 Cartwright, Cameron
32 Davis, Grant
23 Dumas, Noah
54 Geminez, Dani
25 Guthrie, Mitchell
5 Jones, Ronnie
21 Kelly, Conner
00 Sivills, Jackson
33 Stonecipher, Nathan
03 Weatherly, Skylar
22 Winsett, Trevor
4 Yancey, Cooper
50 Glover, Braden
Watkins, DJ
McGill, Andrew