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School: Estill County High School
Mascot: Engineers
City: Irvine
District: 56th
Region: 14th
Head Coach: Jon Bentley
Colors: Royal Blue, Black, White

Playing in a high school state tournament of any sport, basketball (boys and girls), softball, baseball, track and field, football, bowling, fishing, tennis and so on is what kids always dream of. After years (63 years to be exact) of heart break and semi-finals of the regional tournament being a thorn in the side, a team, who had never won a regional tournament or played in the KHSAA Sweet 16 boys basketball tournament was made possible last week. Estill County had never won a regional championship, the old Irvine High has a region championship before they consolidated to make Estill County High School but Estill County High School had never won a region title and only played in one region championship game, back in 1955.

Those dreams and heartache came to a head last week when Estill County won 2 games on back to back nights to win the school's first ever regional championship. Estill County would defeat Knott County Central in a thriller 44-40 to win the 14th region tournament championship and advance to Wednesday's opening round game of the 2018 Boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena. Of course, Estill County had work to do before they would get to Knott Central or the regional tournament for that matter.

Before regional tournaments, the state of KY has district tournaments to see who goes to each regional tournament. The 56th district tournament was held at Lee County High School in Beattyville KY, a gym that has not been too kind to the Engineers, in fact, Estill County had never won a district tournament at Lee County, until this year, when they defeated the host school, Lee County 62-22 in the first round of the 56th district tournament, the Engineers would advance to the district championship game, against arch rival, Powell County, a team that Estill defeated twice during the regular season 64-55 at Estill and 53-43 at Powell County. The third matchup with the Pirates was the first half and Estill would come out of the locker room in the second half and take complete control running away from the Pirates 64-45 on their way to their 2nd straight district championship and 3rd in the last 4 years.

Estill County would go on to the regional tournament, awaiting on the draw to see who they would play in the opening round, and they drew a team they had met and beat twice during the regular season, Wolfe County Wolves, and the game was not as close as the score predicted, 66-57 as the Engineers would maintain a double digit lead for biggest part of the game. Estill County would then go on to face Cordia in the semi'finals looking to advance to the regional championship game for the first time in 63 years, after scoring 2 points in the second quarter and trailing by 15 at halftime, the Engineers came out of the locker room a different team, a motivated team, and what a game they would make it to be, coming all the way back against one of the top teams in the region, Cordia Lions, to defeat the Lions 61-52 in OT. Estill County actually had a double digit lead in OT before Cordia would get it to within single digits late. Estill County would make it to the region championship game for the first time in 63 years and looked to win a region title for the first time in school history. Knott County Central or Perry County Central would await the Engineers, on Tuesday. Knott County Central wouldn't have a problem out of the Commodores on their way to a 70-43 route of the host school, Perry Central. Estill County had problems in the past of getting past the Patriots, with their closest game being a 15 point win for the Patriots a few years back. Estill County would come out of the game hot and would take a commanding 12-15 point lead over the Patriots but that wouldn't go over so easy for Knott Central as they would come storming back to take 2 1 point leads in the 3rd quarter but once Estill County would take the lead for the final time at 42-40 late in the 4Q and they would make another shot to go up, 44-40 which would be the final score. The Engineers had done it, won a region championship and earn a trip to the KHSAA Boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena, Rupp Rupp Arena.

The Engineers were greeted in Stanton (Powell County) just off the mountain parkway by the EMS services, fire engines, cops, even state police to escort them back into town and around the court house before coming to the high school to be greeted by just about the entire community of Irvine. The next day, the Engineers received a gift and a congratulations text from none other than the, Powell County Pirates. This will be a year that no one will ever forget.

The Engineers, winning the 2018 14th region tournament, earned themselves a dance with 13th region powerhouse, Corbin Redhounds, a team that defeated Estill County by 25, 87-62 the year before in the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament down at Corbin. Both teams do own victories over teams that the other team has lost too. Estill County owns a victory over Pulaski County, who has defeated Corbin. Corbin owns victories over South Laurel and Harlan County who defeated Estill County by no more than 5, not to mention, South Laurel also owns a 14 point win, 66-52 over Corbin. The Engineers and Redhounds will tip off 12 PM on Wednesday from historic, Rupp Arena.