Forty years later: Edmonson County's stunning state title

Page 3 of Great article on the 1976 Edmonson County team that stunned the commonwealth with their state championship. Edmonson County?s 40th anniversary of Cinde... 52 comments | 3968 Views | Go to page 1 →

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVMan23 View Post
    So, how good was Edmonson County that year? Were they truly Cinderella, a team that shouldn't have been there but pulled upset after upset, or where they really good and capable of beating anyone anytime and actually a top team in the state, just not from a traditional power area like Louisville? For comparison sake, lets say Lawrence Co won the sweet 16 this year. Some might would call that Cinderella, small school, small community...I don't know that I would because they are good, considered a top team in the state with some very good players and capable of beating anyone in the state any time. I'm just trying to get a feel of who Edmonson County was, because I truly do not know and am not familiar with this story.

    On another note, after watching several minutes of the video...did anyone notice the way the defense was being played? A typical game between 2 good teams today looks like a rugby scrum...literally...compared to the defense being played in this game 40 years ago. It's almost unrecognizable compared to what you see today, and that's not hyperbole on my part.
    That is correct. There was more emphasis on shooting and teamwork in those days of the 1970s. Coaches also let players enjoy the game, rarely saw a coach stall an entire game like today.

    It was a totally different game in 1976 than today. Winning was the goal for most as a team. Today, many of the coaches are just interested in getting notches on their resumes so they can look for a better opportunity for their careers. Not that the same thing did not happen in the 1970s (the Shawnee head coach went with Durand Macklin to LSU as an assistant to Dale Brown), but it happened with less frequency. In those days, a coach might stay at a high school as coach for 30 years. Today, if you see one that is at the same school for 10 years it is an accomplishment.
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  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVMan23 View Post
    So, how good was Edmonson County that year? Were they truly Cinderella, a team that shouldn't have been there but pulled upset after upset, or where they really good and capable of beating anyone anytime and actually a top team in the state, just not from a traditional power area like Louisville? For comparison sake, lets say Lawrence Co won the sweet 16 this year. Some might would call that Cinderella, small school, small community...I don't know that I would because they are good, considered a top team in the state with some very good players and capable of beating anyone in the state any time. I'm just trying to get a feel of who Edmonson County was, because I truly do not know and am not familiar with this story.

    On another note, after watching several minutes of the video...did anyone notice the way the defense was being played? A typical game between 2 good teams today looks like a rugby scrum...literally...compared to the defense being played in this game 40 years ago. It's almost unrecognizable compared to what you see today, and that's not hyperbole on my part.
    I had never heard of Edmonson County prior to that state title run they made, so you are correct. Everyone assumed Shawnee would win the state that year since Male had been upset in the regional. Some thought Henry Clay had a chance, or maybe Shelby County. Christian County was very good, but going into the Sweet 16 I gave them zero chance at winning it. I thought Holmes was playing well enough in 1976 to make a run, but they ran into Henry Clay in the first round of the Sweet 16. Edmonson had a very good draw, and that helped. But their run was remarkable.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by broadcaster View Post
    John Tong was quite an institution. His voice, his diction, and his habit of drawing out words made him a huge part of the state tournament. He always acknowledged every substitution...so important to the bench of every team at the end of a game...when kids could say they got on the floor at the state tournament and their name was broadcast to the entire crowd.

    "A-a-a-a-t the line, Curry will have one and the bonus."
    "G-o-a-l by Belcher!"
    "G-o-a-l by West, a three-point goal!"

    And at least once every tournament he would walk around press row between games of a double-header speaking to each of us and shaking hands.

    Our station had broadcast the entire tournament each year from the early 1950's through 1991, but I was so glad to be there in 1996...though as a spectator this time...when they presented him with a going away present after this last state tournament.
    Not to take away from your post but there were no 3 pt goals at that time in high school in Ky. He was definitely something to enjoy during the games.

  4. #34

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    Here are the 1976 state tournament results. I remember being there to watch Holmes lose to Henry Clay in the 1st round. Edmonson Co. had nail biters until the semifinals and then they just blew out a tired looking Christian Co. team in the championship game. Edmonson Co. was lucky to draw in the early session playing Wednesday and not again until Friday afternoon. Christian Co. was in the bottom half with the Lexington and Louisville schools. They had to play the late Thursday session, late Friday session, Saturday morning against a tough Henry Clay team and really didn't seem to have anything left against Edmonson Co. Saturday night. Not to take anything away from Edmonson Co. they were truly a team of destiny and a great small school story. This probably did save the "sweet 16" as we know it. I am glad though that we now play the finals on Sunday. I think we get a much truer championship game with some teams not having to play 4 games in 48 hours and twice on Saturday.

    1976
    First Round
    Shelby Co. 74, Apollo 68
    Paducah Tilghman 75, McCreary County 60
    Edmonson Co. 77, Betsy Layne 72
    Harrison Co. 75, Green Co. 54
    Henry Clay 74, Holmes 65
    Ballard 95, Hazard 67
    Christian Co. 67, Ashland Blazer 63
    Shawnee 85, Clay Co. 57
    Quarterfinals
    Shelby Co. 64, Paducah Tilghman 54
    Edmonson Co. 61, Harrison Co. 57
    Henry Clay 77, Ballard 74
    Christian Co. 75, Shawnee 69
    Semifinals
    Edmonson Co. 53, Shelby Co. 52
    Christian Co. 68, Henry Clay 67
    Championship
    Edmonson Co. 74, Christian Co. 52

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    Cute little town. Have driven through many times on my way from Leitchfield to Bowling Green.
    Where?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by broadcaster View Post
    We were broadcasting that game back to the 2nd region and Western Kentucky. Thrilled to have two Western Kentucky teams in the final (2nd and 4th region.) Disappointed that "our" team didn't win. Thrilled that David was able to slay Goliath if it meant saving Kentucky from class basketball.

    Christian County's athletic director told me years later that Edmonson would probably have won that game 8 out of 10 times...that the match-ups just favored Bo's boys by that much.

    It was the first time the crowd favorite had won the final in a long, long time and to be in that kind of atmosphere at Freedom Hall was wonderful.
    Every cloud has a silver lining.

    If this indeed was the case, praise be to Edmonson County!

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcpapa View Post
    Where?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leitchfield,_Kentucky

  8. #38
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    That was a rhetorical question.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcpapa View Post
    That was a rhetorical question.
    Slow on the uptake this morning.

  10. #40
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    EZ Living, regarding your 3-point goal comment: my post about John Tong was about him...not the 1976 state tournament. Sorry if I didn't differentiate properly.

    You are correct: the 3-point basket wasn't initiated in high school until the 1987-88 season.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by EZ Living View Post
    Here are the 1976 state tournament results. I remember being there to watch Holmes lose to Henry Clay in the 1st round. Edmonson Co. had nail biters until the semifinals and then they just blew out a tired looking Christian Co. team in the championship game. Edmonson Co. was lucky to draw in the early session playing Wednesday and not again until Friday afternoon. Christian Co. was in the bottom half with the Lexington and Louisville schools. They had to play the late Thursday session, late Friday session, Saturday morning against a tough Henry Clay team and really didn't seem to have anything left against Edmonson Co. Saturday night. Not to take anything away from Edmonson Co. they were truly a team of destiny and a great small school story. This probably did save the "sweet 16" as we know it. I am glad though that we now play the finals on Sunday. I think we get a much truer championship game with some teams not having to play 4 games in 48 hours and twice on Saturday.

    1976
    First Round
    Shelby Co. 74, Apollo 68
    Paducah Tilghman 75, McCreary County 60
    Edmonson Co. 77, Betsy Layne 72
    Harrison Co. 75, Green Co. 54
    Henry Clay 74, Holmes 65
    Ballard 95, Hazard 67
    Christian Co. 67, Ashland Blazer 63
    Shawnee 85, Clay Co. 57
    Quarterfinals
    Shelby Co. 64, Paducah Tilghman 54
    Edmonson Co. 61, Harrison Co. 57
    Henry Clay 77, Ballard 74
    Christian Co. 75, Shawnee 69

    Semifinals
    Edmonson Co. 53, Shelby Co. 52
    Christian Co. 68, Henry Clay 67
    Championship
    Edmonson Co. 74, Christian Co. 52
    The Henry Clay and Christian County upsets over the two Louisville schools paved the way for a magical finish. Henry Clay was loaded with talent, but Ballard had Jeff Lamp and Lee Raker. Shawnee had so many great players on that team including Durand Macklin, but Christian County pulled off a great upset. I agree with you about them being tired because they had to then beat Henry Clay the following day, but Edmonson also had to get by a fine Shelby County team. What a fantastic Sweet 16 that was in 1976.

  12. #42

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    How tough was it to win the Sweet 16 in 1976? Read this about Louisville Male from Sports Illustrated that year. Male did not even reach the Sweet 16, but they were led by a future NBA star.
    Bundles of mail for a Male man

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldhamOldie View Post
    How tough was it to win the Sweet 16 in 1976? Read this about Louisville Male from Sports Illustrated that year. Male did not even reach the Sweet 16, but they were led by a future NBA star.
    Bundles of mail for a Male man
    The funny part of this Sports Illustrated story is that Durand Macklin from Shawnee that same year was considered by some as the most talented player in the state. One other funny item: Neither Griffith nor Macklin seriously considered UK as a college choice. How times have changed!

  14. #44
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    I may be mistaken, but it seems Denny Crum hired Male's head coach (Wade Houston) to be an assistant with the Cardinals...the year that Darrell Griffith and Bobby Turner started there.

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by broadcaster View Post
    I may be mistaken, but it seems Denny Crum hired Male's head coach (Wade Houston) to be an assistant with the Cardinals...the year that Darrell Griffith and Bobby Turner started there.
    That is correct. Meanwhile, LSU's Dale Brown hired Shawnee's Ron Abernathy as an assistant to join all-stater Durand Macklin in Baton Rogue. It went on back then, too!

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