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The Road to Rupp has been a one-way street between Lexington and the Eighth District over the past 15 years. Since 2001, Hopkinsville, University Heights, or Christian County has been the Second Region rep at the Sweet 16. There’s a good chance that streak extends to 16 this year.

Christian County (26-2) has been the top-ranked team in the state for most of the season and hasn’t lost to a Kentucky school all season. The Colonels rolled to their first district title in six years, holding off Hopkinsville for the third time this year.

Christian County opens play in the region tournament Wednesday at Hopkins County Central against Henderson County at 7:30.

Christian County has won more region titles (17) than anyone. Their last region title in 2011 came with a state championship.

They will face a Henderson County team (12-16) that they beat 73-61 back on Feb. 5. Henderson County’s streak of 14 straight first round wins at the region tournament will be in jeopardy Wednesday against a Christian County, who has won 17 of 18 first round games.

Sophomore Detorrion Ware leads Christian County in both scoring (18.1) and rebounding (6.6) and will be tough for Henderson to defend due to Christian’s size inside.

In Wednesday’s opener, Trigg County (20-7) faces Caldwell County (11-16), a team they beat twice during the regular season. The Wildcats are trying to get back to the semifinals for the second straight year, while Caldwell County has lost four straight region openers.

Caldwell’s main task will be to stop Trigg County’s Detaveon Day, who is averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds on the season.

The most interesting first round game comes Thursday when Webster County and Hopkinsville meet in a rematch of last year’s region final.

Webster County (25-4) features one of the state’s top defenses, giving up just 41 points a game. However, both Madisonville and Christian County had success speeding up the Trojans in wins against them.

Hopkinsville (18-12) is the four-time defending region champion and will be looking to become the first school in the region to win five straight.

The Tigers average 70 points a game and have four players averaging in double figures.

Madisonville (20-7) and Lyon County (13-16) meet in the 7:30 game Thursday. The teams did not meet during the regular season.

The Maroons have won nine of their last 10 games coming into the region and have won more first round games (46) than any other region school.

Lyon County took Trigg County to overtime in the district finals but come into the region tournament having dropped 14 of 15 first round games. Lyon’s last region title came in 1951.

The semifinals will be played Saturday with the title game to be played Monday.

Predictions

Trigg County 59 Caldwell County 47
Christian County 77 Henderson County 59
Hopkinsville 63 Webster County 55
Madisonville 71 Lyon County 43

Christian County 76 Trigg County 61
Hopkinsville 81 Madisonville 77

Christian County 77 Hopkinsville 71