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  1. If the 1950s can be considered the entrance of America into the role of superpower, the 1960s is when the challenges of that role became evident to all involved. Embroiled in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, focus shifted first to Cuba, where the US government initially failed to overthrow the communist government of Fidel Castro and then had to withstand a fortnight fraught with fear that came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. As the decade continued, the nation found itself further entangled in the escalating war in Vietnam and a draft facing many students upon completion of high school. Life at home was in many ways just a challenging. The Civil Rights Movement, prominent in the minds of many at least since Rosa Parks in the mid-50s, boiled to the top with incidents in Selma and other places. Black leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., however, helped pave a way forward for desegregation and equal rights. One obvious change saw the almost nationwide desegregation of schools. School desegregation for many Kentuckians was most noticeable on the playing fields and floors. The KHSAA had desegregated in 1957 and the Kentucky High School Athletic League ceased operations in 1958. Schools had been told through the Brown v. Board of Education case the desegregate "with all deliberate speed" and many began to do so in the mid-60s, often as part of a larger consolidation of small schools within a county. A handful of black schools had tremendous athletic success during the decade, in particular Louisville Central and Lexington Dunbar. Central was state champions in 1969 while Dunbar was runners-up in both 1961 and 1963. Covington Grant and Hopkinsville Attucks both were key players in the state basketball championship race for much of the decade. Individual African-Americans showed their incredible skills for teams throughout the decade, none more so than Wes Unseld at Seneca. Unseld was named Mr. Basketball in 1964 after leading the Redskins to state titles in 1963 and 1964. He would then go on to an outstanding collegiate and professional career. The doors were opening for all to succeed. ***** This article is the fifth of ten that will endeavor to rank the ten best programs in the state during each of the ten decades of Kentucky high school basketball. There is some science to the rankings: teams were awarded 1 point for a district championship, 2 points for a region championship, 3 points for each state tournament game won, and 5 points for a state championship. Part 1: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388637.html Part 2: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388648.html Part 3: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388672.html Part 4: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388731.html ***** 1. Seneca (62 points) District Championships: 8 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 12 State Championships: 2 (1963, 1964) No school dominated the sixties like Seneca and perhaps no school's basketball history is as tied to one decade. Seneca, whose first season was in 1960, won eight district titles, four region titles, and two state titles during the decade. The Redskins (the name was changed to Redhawks in 1994) also had back-to-back Mr. Basketball winners in Mike Redd in 1963 and Wes Unseld in 1964. Freedom Hall hosted the 7th Region tournament each year of the decade and saw Seneca square off with the likes of Central, St. Xavier, and Male. A huge crowd of 7,500 was in attendance for the 1964 final when Seneca's Jesse Kirk hit a 25-footer at the buzzer to give the Redskins a 51-50 overtime victory over Male. After winning the 7th Region, annually considered the toughest in Kentucky, success at the state tournament was almost guaranteed. Seneca fell to eventual champion Ashland in the second round in 1961 before coming back two years later in 1963 to win it all, a feat they'd accomplish again in 1964. Seneca would make one more appearance, this time in 1968, losing the championship game to Glasgow. Seneca has never again been back to the state tournament. Seneca's Jesse Kirk lets go of the shot that won the 1964 7th Region tournament 2. Ashland (55 points) District Championships: 10 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 10 State Championships: 1 (1961) If Seneca is the best team of the 1960s, Ashland might be the most well-known. Led first by coach Bob Wright and then Harold Cole, the Tomcats won 264 games during the decade, most memorably the 69-50 victory over Lexington Dunbar at Memorial Coliseum to seal the 1961 state championship. Ashland was unbeatable in district play, taking all ten crowns during the decade. By the end of the sixties Ashland had lost only seven district tournament games in their history dating back to 1927! The 1961 squad, led by junior Larry Conley, was extremely fast and considered by some the best team in state history. They rolled past Raceland, Greenup, Holy Family, and Russell in the district, twice scoring over 100 points. It was more of the same in the region as they scored over ninety each game in beating Russell, Prichard, and Clark County. They would win the state tournament the next week to complete a 36-1 season, their only loss coming to Lafayette during the regular season. 1961 All-Tournament team. Three Ashland and two Dunbar players are in the front row. 3. Shelby County (43 points) District Championships: 4 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 1 (1966) Ask people of a certain era who was the best high school player they ever saw play and many will say Mike Casey from Shelby County. The 1966 Mr. Basketball winner, Casey would lead the Rockets to a state championship that same season before moving on to a prolific career at the University of Kentucky. Casey's three point play in round one helped beat Knox Central and he'd score 23 in the finale against Male. Shelby County, formed in 1960 from a consolidation of three county schools, was in a brutal district from the start. City rival Shelbyville knocked off the Rockets three times in district play and Lincoln Institute would do the same twice. Shelby County would win five region titles in their first decade and performed well at the state. Besides their 1966 title, Shelby advanced past the first round in each of their four other appearances. Shelby County rides a firetruck in the victory parade in 1966 4. Louisville Central (38 points) District Championships: 6 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1969) Few schools in the commonwealth can claim as much athletic success at Louisville's Central High School. An all-black school prior to desegregation, Central won the KHSAL state championship five times. The Yellowjackets finished second another five times, cementing themselves as the best black basketball team in Kentucky. It wouldn't take long after joining the KHSAA for Central to stake claim to the same title in a new association. Central won six district titles in their first full decade and would win region championships in 1965, 1967, and 1969. Central had been led by William Kean, who won 791 games as coach from 1923-58. They would have two coaches in the early part of the sixties. Edward Adams, 74-22 from 1959-62, and Kenneth Anthony, 63-17 from 1963-65, both had short stints. Central had their greatest success, however, once Robert Graves took over. Graves would win 466 in his twenty years at the helm, including the 1969 state title. Central's 1969 team was one of the finest offensive clubs in state history. The Jackets scored 146 points in a district tournament win, 101 in the region, and 101 again in the state championship game against Ohio County. It remains the highest scoring output in finals history. Mr. Basketball Ron King, who later had his number retired by Florida State and was drafted by the Golden State Warriors, scored 44 points in the finals, still a record for a member of the winning team in the championship game. Central High School, 1969 5. Lexington Dunbar (37 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 0 If Louisville Central was the most successful school to emerge from segregation in Kentucky, Lexington Dunbar was a close second. The Bearcats had been champions of the KHSAL in 1948 and 1950. They would have an immediate impact in the KHSAA, winning the always tough 11th Region six times in an eight year span. And they're ranked fifth in the decade while only playing eight of the ten seasons! Dunbar, led by coach S.T. Roach who won 513 games from 1944 to 1963, advanced to the state championship game twice during the decade but came up short to Ashland in 1961 and Seneca in 1963. The school would close following the 1967 season, integrating throughout Fayette County and ending the era of segregated schooling within the county. Dunbar's Bobby Washington goes for a layup in the 1963 final 6. Owensboro (34 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 After a decade of relative struggling, Owensboro, the most successful program in state history, began to emerge once again as a basketball power in the 1960s. Owensboro won nine district titles in ten years and took home Third Region titles another five times. Longtime coach Bobby Watson, who won 524 games from 1958-80, won five games at the state tournament but ironically none with 1961 Mr. Basketball Randy Embry - the Red Devils had fell to Henderson County in the region final. Owensboro's best state performances came in 1960 when they lost to Monticello in the semifinals before beating Hopkinsville Attucks in the third place game and again in 1963 when they were defeated by Lexington Dunbar in the state semifinals. For the purpose of these rankings, Owensboro and Breathitt County accumulated the same number of points, but Owensboro was given the edge due to three more district titles. Owensboro's 1963 state runners-up 7. Breathitt County (34 points) District Championships: 6 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 6 State Championships: 0 Eastern Kentucky is an area of the state oft considered most in love with basketball and that love is as strong in the 14th Region as any. The region had produced state championship teams from Hazard, Hindman, and Carr Creek prior to 1960. No 14th Region club won the state title during the decade (in fact, none have won the championship since Carr Creek in 1956), but the most successful team of the decade was Breathitt County. Led by coach Fairce Woods, five times Breathitt County won over thirty games in a single season. The Bobcats would win six district titles and make five appearances at the state tournament. While there, Breathitt would win games, including state semifinal appearances in 1961, 1962, and 1967. Breathitt finished fourth in 1961, falling to Wheelwright in the last ever state tournament third place game. Perhaps as notable, the 1967 Breathitt County team became crowd favorites for wearing their shirttails out, short white socks, and black tennis shoes - all unique at the time but also showing the free-flowing nature of the 1960s! Breathitt County (with shirts tucked in) poses for 1967 team picture 8. Breckinridge County (33 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1965) Alfred "Butch" Beard might not be the greatest player in Kentucky high school history but few can say they had as good of a basketball career. Beard led Breckinridge County to two region titles in the 1960s, both times advancing to the state championship game. The Bearcats (they wouldn't become the Tigers until absorbing Irvington High in the fall of 1965) fell to Seneca in 1964 before beating Covington Holy Cross in the 1965 state title game. Beard put up thirty points in the 1965 final at Freedom Hall, a place he'd have even great success in during his four years as a Louisville Cardinal. He would later be an NBA first round draft pick and was the starting point guard for the 1975 NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Breckinridge County continued to field solid teams but they played in a district with Ohio County, who had great success in the late-60s, and a region that included the likes of Owensboro and Central City. Breckinridge County wouldn't make the state tournament again until 1995, when the rural county came out of nowhere to win a second state title. Breckinridge County players point out their rural county on the map in 1965 9. Glasgow (30 points) District Championships: 4 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1968) Glasgow was always a solid program but the Scotties went to another level once they absorbed all-black Bunche High School in 1964. Glasgow would win district and region titles in 1965, 1966, and 1968. The culmination came in '68 when the Scotties rolled through Covington Catholic, Thomas Jefferson, Caneyville, and Seneca to win their only state championship. In the 1968 final, first team all-state Jerry Dunn poured in 33 points for the Scotties. Dunn would go on to have a standout career just down the road at Western Kentucky University, helping lead the Hilltoppers to the 1971 NCAA Final Four. Glasgow would play in only one more state tournament, in 1977, and have not won a state tournament game since 1968. Glasgow's cheerleaders were beside themselves as they won the 1968 championship 10. St. Xavier (30 points) District Championships: 6 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1962) Much like the previous decade, St. Xavier squeezed in the top ten of the decade mostly on the merits of their 1962 state championship. St. X won six district crowns, three times falling to bitter rival Flaget. The Tigers won the always tough 7th Region in both 1962 and 1969. Coached by Joe Reibel, who took over his alma mater in the fall of 1961 one year after graduating from Bellarmine College, St. Xavier compiled an impressive 34-1 record and a state championship. St. X beat defending champion Ashland by four in the final. Mr. Basketball Mike Silliman scored 23 points in the championship game victory. Reibel would remain at St. Xavier through the remainder of the decade, taking the Tigers back to the state tournament in 1969. He would leave to coach at Bellarmine where he won 346 games. St. Xavier has continued to field competitive teams but have played in just one state tournament since 1969. St. Xavier 1962
  2. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2020 Following the completion of the 2020 KHSAA Basketball season, the Association has chosen the finalists for the sport’s Official of the Year Award. Of the 1,782 licensed officials in basketball, Raymond Lightfoot (Frankfort), Hannah Reynolds (Island), Rian Craft (Burkesville) and Brian Johnson (Jenkins) were chosen as finalists with Lightfoot selected as the 2020 KHSAA Basketball Official of the Year. The KHSAA will honor the top licensed officials for the 2019-20 season during the course of the year, with the honorees for each sport chosen in the weeks immediately following each respective sport’s championship. Finalists in each sport are selected through a combination of not only on-field/court performance but local association activity and leadership, training efforts and the mentoring of newer officials. One official in each sport will be named “Outstanding Official of the Year” for his/her sport in appreciation of their dedication and service to schools and student-athletes across the state. Winners are selected following consultation with local assigning secretaries, veteran officials’ observers, coaches throughout the state and additional staff review. Each finalist will receive a commemorative watch and certificate courtesy of the Officials Division Trust Fund, with the Official of the Year receiving an additional recognition award. With officiating numbers declining at the national level, the KHSAA is always accepting applications from individuals interested in giving back to their community. Officiating remains a great avenue to stay active, earn extra spending money and ensure that high school athletics are preserved for the current and future generations. To get involved as an official, visit Officiating Information | Kentucky High School Athletic Association. 2019-20 KHSAA Outstanding Officials (winners in bold) FIELD HOCKEY – Megan McGrath (Louisville), Jamie Gatewood (Louisville) SOCCER – Terry Linscott (Radcliff), Gustavo Turmero (Madisonville) VOLLEYBALL – Mike Wooten (Paducah), Doug Grinnell (Elizabethtown) FOOTBALL – Shaun Williams (Lewisport), Jordan Tarrence (Lexington), Gary Wise (Louisville) WRESTLING – Brett Branson (Cincinnati, Ohio), Jon Eschan (Union) SWIMMING – Ruth Ann Bode (Fisherville), Terri Tonges (Versailles) BASKETBALL – Raymond Lightfoot (Frankfort), Hannah Reynolds (Island), Rian Craft (Burkesville), Brian Johnson (Jenkins)
  3. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2020 Following the completion of the 2020 KHSAA Swimming & Diving season, the Association has chosen the finalists for the sport’s Official of the Year Award. Of the 204 licensed officials in swimming, Ruth Ann Bode (Fisherville) and Terri Tonges (Versailles) were chosen as finalists with Bode selected as the 2020 KHSAA Swimming Official of the Year. The KHSAA will honor the top licensed officials for the 2019-20 season during the course of the year, with the honorees for each sport chosen in the weeks immediately following each respective sport’s championship. Finalists in each sport are selected through a combination of not only on-field/court performance but local association activity and leadership, training efforts and the mentoring of newer officials. One official in each sport will be named “Outstanding Official of the Year” for his/her sport in appreciation of their dedication and service to schools and student-athletes across the state. Winners are selected following consultation with local assigning secretaries, veteran officials’ observers, coaches throughout the state and additional staff review. Each finalist will receive a commemorative watch and certificate courtesy of the Officials Division Trust Fund, with the Official of the Year receiving an additional recognition award. With officiating numbers declining at the national level, the KHSAA is always accepting applications from individuals interested in giving back to their community. Officiating remains a great avenue to stay active, earn extra spending money and ensure that high school athletics are preserved for the current and future generations. To get involved as an official, visit Officiating Information | Kentucky High School Athletic Association. 2019-20 KHSAA Outstanding Officials (winners in bold) FIELD HOCKEY – Megan McGrath (Louisville), Jamie Gatewood (Louisville) SOCCER – Terry Linscott (Radcliff), Gustavo Turmero (Madisonville) VOLLEYBALL – Mike Wooten (Paducah), Doug Grinnell (Elizabethtown) FOOTBALL – Shaun Williams (Lewisport), Jordan Tarrence (Lexington), Gary Wise (Louisville) WRESTLING – Brett Branson (Cincinnati, Ohio), Jon Eschan (Union) SWIMMING – Ruth Ann Bode (Fisherville), Terri Tonges (Versailles)
  4. The second full decade of Kentucky high school basketball saw increasing numbers of participants and teams. 410 teams entered the postseason in 1930; by the end of the decade that number would increase to 550. Nine different schools would win the state championship, with Ashland's back-to-back titles in 1933 and 1934 marking the only team with two trophies. Classed basketball continued for the first two years of the decade with both A and B champions from each district advancing to the region tournament, A and B champions from the region advancing to the state tournament, and A and B champions meeting to determine one final champion. Things changed in 1932 when the KHSAA adopted the now well-known 64 district, 16 region format. For the most part, the alignment was similar to today. However, because of the growing number of basketball playing schools in the state the regions were often extremely large. Interestingly, there was only one district in Jefferson County and it included the Bullitt County schools. Jefferson County would later have their own region, but a second region for Louisville wouldn't happen until the mid-1960s. Every state tournament in the 1930s was played at the University of Kentucky's "white elephant" Alumni Gymnasium. Built for $100,000, there was concern that the 2,800 seat gym was too big to host Kentucky basketball games. That proved incorrect as the 1930s saw Adolph Rupp's Wildcats emerge as the premier team in college basketball. It wasn't too big for high school basketball either, as it annually hosted the 43rd District tournament and was filled full for the state meet. Alumni Gymnasium, University of Kentucky While basketball and education were growing in the commonwealth, the American economy was taking a downturn due to the 1929 stock market collapse and the Great Depression that followed in the 1930s. It didn't appear to slow the interest in hoops, however, as 3,300 fans overflowed Alumni Gym for the 1935 state final between St. Xavier and Newport. The decade would end with the German invasion of Poland in September of 1939, triggering the start of World War II. America would get involved two years later after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Player defections due to the military draft would diminish many small teams (and eventually even their schools) in the 1940s. But that's a story for the next chapter. ***** This article is the second of ten that will endeavor to rank the ten best programs in the state during each of the ten decades of Kentucky high school basketball. There is some science to the rankings: teams were awarded 1 point for a district championship, 2 points for a region championship, 3 points for each state tournament game won, and 5 points for a state championship. Part 1: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388637.html As a reminder, even though it only existed for the first two years of the decade, only teams that won the actual district and/or region final are given the points. If you won the Class B portion of a tournament, but then lost the ultimate final to the Class A winner, only the Class A school received points. ***** Part 2: The 1930s 1. Hazard (54 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 10 State Championships: 1 (1932) The closest race of any decade, first place Hazard had one more point than second place Ashland, although the Tomcats won one more state title. Hazard dominated district play, taking all but one championship and winning five region titles. Hazard and its neighboring schools were originally in the 16th Region before the first of three large scale realignments in 1937 (the other two were in 1966 and 2006) moved them to their now familiar 14th Region. Hazard's 1932 state championship finished 32-1 and rolled through the district and region. They then beat Virgie, Danville, and Newport before securing the title with a 15-13 upset of Male. Morton Combs scored on a put back with 20 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs the title. It was the only title of the decade for Hazard, but on two other occasions they made it to the semifinals. Combs would later guide Carr Creek to a state title in 1956. 1932 Hazard basketball team 2. Ashland (53 points) District Championships: 8 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 9 State Championships: 2 (1933, 1934) Nearly the equal of the great Hazard teams of the 1930s, Ashland won one less district title, one less region championship, and one less game at the state tournament, though they won one more state crown. The formula puts Ashland second but it was almost too close to call. Ashland's crowning moments were the back-to-back state titles in 1933 and 1934. A third straight championship would have seemed possible but the entire Tomcat athletic program was suspended for one year in 1935 due to the football team's use of an illegal player. Paul Jenkins, who coached both the football and basketball teams at Ashland, would then leave for the football head coaching position at St. Xavier. It would be 27 years before Ashland won another state championship. 3. St. Xavier (44 points) District Championships: 4 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 9 State Championships: 1 (1935) Often second fiddle to Manual in the previous decade, St. Xavier became the basketball power in Louisville in the 1930s. Two priests led the team in 1930 and 1931 before Robert Schuhmann took charge in 1932. Schuhmann would hold the position for a dozen years, winning 264 games and the 1935 state title as well as the national Catholic championship. For the second year in a row the defending state champions would not participate, this time on their own volition. St. Xavier chose to participate in the national Catholic tournament once again in 1936, abandoning the state tournament process which would happen at the same time. Manual would beat Male for the district crown. 4. Danville (43 points) District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 6 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 0 Danville is one of the two most successful teams in Kentucky history, along with Paducah Tilghman, to have never won a basketball crown. Winners of a dozen football titles, the Admirals have never sailed away with a basketball championship. The 1930s were their best years with a 1934 championship loss sandwiched between state semifinal appearances in 1933 and 1935. Danville played in six state tournaments during the decade and won eight games but it was never enough. 5. Inez (41 points) District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 0 Perhaps the most out of nowhere club of the 1930s was the Inez Indians of Martin County. Inez began play in 1927 and began dominating opponents shortly thereafter. Inez was 22-3 in district tournament play, winning seven titles in the decade. They were 16-3 with five region championships as well. Inez made their first state appearance in 1934, having no home gym and a coach who had never played basketball but also an undefeated record. The Indians would fall to Hazel Green in the second round but would make it to Lexington five times in the decade, their best performance a championship game loss to Midway in 1937. 6. Newport (34 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 0 Newport's athletic heyday of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s seemed to coincide almost perfectly with the burgeoning mafia scene in the river city. A port town directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Newport had players and success. One of a quartet of northern Kentucky powers in the 1930s, along with Highlands, Holmes, and Bellevue, Newport shined brightest with five district championships and four region wins. Newport made four trips to the state during the decade and one at least one game each time. The best Wildcats performance was a runner-up finish to St. Xavier in 1935. 7. Corbin (32 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 6 State Championships: 1 (1936) Sometimes it takes a little luck to win a state title. Corbin has long been a major player in the 13th Region and has made fifteen trips to the state tournament. The first trip was the best trip, though, as the Redhounds won it all in 1936. Many believed that Corbin wasn't the best team in the state that year; some believed they weren't even the best team in their region. Benham High School in Harlan County was undefeated and considered by many to be the best team in the commonwealth. They had previously defeated Corbin in the regular season. However, due to a spinal meningitis outbreak in Harlan County all schools except Benham and Harlan withdrew from the District Tournament. Both teams met in Harlan’s gymnasium behind locked doors (each team was allowed only fifteen spectators). Though Benham won and claimed the district title, neither school was allowed to participate in the Region Tournament. Corbin would beat Bell County and Hazel Green to win the Benham-less 13th region and then would waltz through the state tournament, capping the crown with a 24-18 win over Nebo. Corbin would finish fourth in 1939 but have never again been champions. Sometimes it's better to be lucky! 8. Horse Cave (31 points) District Championships: 6 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 One of the forgotten powers of early Kentucky basketball are the Horse Cave Cavemen from Hart County. Horse Cave won six district titles and another five regions during the 1930s. They also won five games at the state tournament during the decade, including a run to the state championship game in 1933 where they fell to Ashland. The Cavemen would lose twice in the first round in the thirties, to Midway in 1937 and Brooksville in 1939, both eventual state champions. This was the high water mark for Horse Cave, who would close in 1950 along with Cave City to create Caverna High School, the only school district in the state that overlaps two different counties. 9. Manual (30 points) District Championships: 2 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1931) While not a successful in the 1930s as they were in the 1920s, the Manual Crimsons were still a force to be reckoned with. Manual won district titles in 1934 and 1936, although it was arch rival St. Xavier that had their number often, beating then five times in the district during the decade. Manual would play in four state tournaments during the decade, winning the crown in 1931. The 1931 squad finished 22-3 with losses to Male, and freshmen university teams from Louisville and Eastern Kentucky. 1931 Manual Crimsons team 10. Corinth (29 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1930) The seeds of success for the Corinth Braves in the 1930s were planted one year earlier in the previous decade. Corinth, a school of less than 100 students in Grant County, had won the Class B title in 1929 before being handled easily by Heath, 21-6, in the state championship game. It didn't come easy in 1930 either as the Braves fell to Highlands in the district final and Henry Clay in the region final, although they were fortunate that at that time both finalists still advanced to the next round. It was in Lexington where the Braves caught fire. Corinth breezed past Woodburn and Carr Creek in the first two rounds before a late Dave Lawrence basket gave them a one point semifinal win over Tolu. Teammate William Jones would be the hero in that evening's championship game, draining a shot from mid-court to give the Braves a 22-20 victory over Kavanaugh. Corinth continued to win district titles through the late 40s and would advance to two more state tournaments in the 1930s. But they'd never again reach the heights of 1930. Banner celebrating Corinth hanging in current Grant County High School gymnasium
  5. I went for a run last night and Cliff Nobles' THE HORSE came on. I can listen to that over and over again. That was a pep band classic for a HS football or basketball game in the early 70's. Still, every time I hear it, I think of that goalline stand our guys had at Paris in the 2nd round of the playoffs in November of 1994. We had a handful of really good players, but only dressed about 27 that night. Our opponent was a very good NewCath team coached by Bob Schneider. The day before, our practice stunk to the point that I thought our guys had given up on the season and saw little hope of winning. Thankfully, I could not have been more wrong. Our defensive coordinator was Phillip Burbage and our goalline defense had seven guys up front.... we struggled to even have seven big guys on our team! But, the good thing about it was that some of those big guys got a chance to get on the field. So, 4th and goal inside of the one yard line, Paris, KY, Blanton Collier Stadium, November playoff game, the Greyhound Band is playing "The Horse"...loud...our big guys play great! They don't allow any movement on the LOS. Our LB's are able to come over the top and stop the play. Our guys make the stop and celebrate. As soon as it happened, I was especially happy for our big guys. They didn't get the spotlight too often. But, here they were, on a tradition rich field, the band is playing "The Horse" the crowd is cheering.... this is their moment! Some of those big guys usually didn't get much recognition. Some didn't get a whole lot of playing time, even though they never missed a practice or a workout. But, in this moment, their hard work and dedication paid off. Most of the time, the guys that hang in there for all four years, they have their moment. Some will start and play a bunch. Some will just play a little, but usually, they all have their time. And, when they do, it is great to see it. Cliff Nobles- THE HORSE You can watch this play at : Black Shoes and White ShoeStrings: Cliff Nobles, The Horse and Earning that Moment on a HS Football Field
  6. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2020 With the announcement yesterday of the recommended closure of all K-12 schools to in-person instruction throughout Kentucky for the remainder of the school year, the KHSAA Board of Control today approved the Commissioner’s recommendation and announcement by unanimous vote that the 2020 state basketball tournaments will not be resumed, while also approving the cancellation of all regular-season practices and contests as well as all postseason tournament championship events for all spring sports and sport-activities for the 2019-20 school year. This means the termination of the Archery, Bass Fishing, Esports, Baseball, Softball, Tennis, and Track & Field seasons. This will also result in the continuance of all provisions of the Coronavirus Dead Period provisions until further notice to the member schools from the Commissioner. "We have until this point purposely taken a measured approach to the resumption of our basketball events and consideration of the ending of the spring seasons for sports and sport-activities,” stated KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “We have accepted continual guidance from a variety of sources, and have steadfastly held on to hope that the great student-athletes who represent their schools through a variety of teams would have an opportunity to compete this season. “This is without question the most challenging period I have seen or faced in thirty-six years in this office. This impacts so many people, but in the end, is in the best interest of public health. We have been especially concerned with the graduating class of 2020, those seniors who put so much into their athletic participation opportunities hoping for one last time to shine before the home crowds or at postseason events. We know for the vast majority of them, their future plans are already laid out, with college and career final preparation as their next chapter. We are also keenly aware that per almost all metrics, 94% of the students who participate in high school sports and sport-activities are involved in their last organized competition while in high school, as the lion’s share of participants will not play beyond this level. In the end, however, the health and safety of all individuals, participants, coaches, and spectators, is much more important than the various interscholastic activities. “Nothing in mine, or frankly, anyone else’s professional career completely prepared me for this situation since mid-March and the related subsequent decisions. That was probably the hardest thing to deal with,” added Tackett. “These kids don’t get a chance to finish, especially the seniors, and it is as though they were robbed by an invisible enemy. It is sometimes a little easier in life when there is someone to blame. With this, however, there isn’t. We are all together fighting the same enemy with the same desired outcome. “Everyone involved in school-based athletics in our Commonwealth has been impacted. We as a staff and Board have talked every day about the students and families, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans who lost a non-recoverable portion of their lives, particularly our seniors. Corporate partners and others, while continuing to be fantastic supporters of the KHSAA and almost all agreeing to continue their full support of the Association and its events during these financially catastrophic times, also missed out on great opportunities. And our venues and their employees were also tremendously fiscally and personally impacted. There were, and are, no winners in this situation and these decisions. “The Association will continue to communicate with member school Principals, Athletic Directors and Superintendents as we navigate the various stages and phases of resuming sports and sport-activities for the fall. The current virus dead period provisions will remain in place until, at the very least, we as a Commonwealth are cleared to be considered into Phase 1 of the Federal and State guidelines. Before that time, staff will advise our member schools as to any changes to the restrictions moving forward. There is also no plan at this time to alter, in any way, the Bylaw 24 Dead Periods for the coming or specific restrictions on organized activity in football and basketball that is also contained in that bylaw. “We have recently developed special recognition programs which we hope our schools will take advantage of, to recognize at the very least the seniors who lost that last season, but also all spring sports participants and those who qualified for the state basketball tournaments and were unable to complete those events. “We will also continue to communicate with our teams that qualified for the basketball tournament and were unable to complete this event about possible activities within the bylaws of the KHSAA at the start of the 2020-21 season if they desire that opportunity. Unfortunately, our spring sports never began and as such, there represents no resumption or event opportunity. “There is no doubt that people will second-guess this recommendation and decision as well as all others made during this pandemic and its fallout. I would encourage anyone who objects or has drawn their own conclusions to carefully review a couple of well-written articles about incidents that happened at the start of this situation, not in our state but just north of us [Coronavirus deaths followed Indiana basketball sectional and Indiana high school basketball: Sectional 1 coronavirus timeline],” added Tackett. “I realize there seems to be some thinking in limited circles about specific groups being the only ones impacted or other rationalization for us resuming early (too early). These articles carefully break down an event similar to what we would see in our schools. I doubt that the objectors regarding the cancellation of sports will finish reading without a somewhat revised opinion.” KHSAA Board of Control President Pete Galloway stated, “Our students, coaches, officials, administrators, parents, and families must be encouraged in every manner to continue to adhere to the guidance provided by our state and national leadership. The Association understands the extreme seriousness of this pandemic and joins in support of current measures being implemented, as well as any future considerations, to ensure a return to normalcy. In unwavering support, yet with extreme sadness, we must agree to cancel our spring sports and sport-activities. We join all Kentuckians in anticipation of a triumphant homecoming back to our schools and school facilities at some point in the fall of 2020 complete with a full complement of KHSAA sports and sport-activities.” The Board and staff will continue discussions over the coming weeks to attempt to address issues related to the fall season. “It is far too early in this process and battle against this virus to place an absolute planned schedule or dates out there,” stated Commissioner Tackett. “We remain optimistic about the fall season, even if it isn’t exactly per normal, but we will adhere to the guidance of both federal and state health officials, as well as our own Department of Education... =================== I redacted some of the press release so that it is within our Terms of Service, you can view the entire release at the below link: 4/21/2- Spring Sports Cancellation, Basketball Events Not To Be Resumed | Kentucky High School Athletic Association
  7. Where the 1950s saw the emergence of the United States as a superpower and the 1960s brought the challenges of rights for all within the country, the 1970s are in many ways known for the economic upheaval across the globe that ended the boom many in America had experience for nearly twenty years. Competition around the globe saw the shuttering of manufacturing that has supplied the world and dominated the economy since the end of World War II. The decade also saw more and more families left the crowded inner cities for the leafy lawns of suburbia. In Kentucky, counties such as Oldham, Bullitt, and Shelby, Woodford, Boone and Kenton, became hot spots of growth. Schools in those counties grew larger and more competitive academically and athletically, while those in city centers lost much of their tax base and subsequent sources of funding. In basketball, the early part of the seventies was dominated by city schools, with five of the decade's first six state championships won by Louisville schools. The other win came from Owensboro, another city school and traditionally one of the strongest programs in the state. Rumors abounded of a possible switch to class basketball in which small, rural schools could be more competitive. Those were put to rest in 1976 when Edmonson County took the state crown, proving a title could be won outside of the big cities. ***** This article is the sixth of ten that will endeavor to rank the ten best programs in the state during each of the ten decades of Kentucky high school basketball. There is some science to the rankings: teams were awarded 1 point for a district championship, 2 points for a region championship, 3 points for each state tournament game won, and 5 points for a state championship. Part 1: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388637.html Part 2: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388648.html Part 3: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388672.html Part 4: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388731.html Part 5: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388754.html ***** 1. Male (85 points) District Championships: 6 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 18 State Championships: 3 (1970, 1971, 1975) Other than perhaps Lexington High School in the decade overlapping years of 1918-1924, no school in Kentucky basketball history has been as thoroughly better than the rest of the state as Male High School was in the 1970s. Six times in the decade the Bulldogs won district titles and another five times they would win the always difficult seventh region. Male won eighteen games against only two losses in their state tournament trips, all played at Freedom Hall, a familiar place to the program that also hosted the annual Louisville Invitational Tournament and the 7th Region meet. Male won championships in 1970, 1971, and 1975. The first two titles came under coach James Huter, who would be suspended by the Louisville Board of Education following the 1973 on charges that he allowed an alleged gambler and known recruiter of junior high athletes to associate with the Male team. Huter would be replaced by Wade Houston who posted a 90-12 record in three seasons before leaving to be an assistant at the University of Louisville. The school was also home to two Mr. Basketball winners, Wesley Cox in 1973 and Darrell Griffith in 1976, incidentally two seasons in which the Bulldogs didn't win the state title. Male's Darrell Griffith puts up a shot 2. Owensboro (58 points) District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 8 State Tournament Wins: 10 State Championships: 1 (1972) Only one school was able to break up the Louisville basketball hegemony from 1969-1975 and that was Bobby Watson's Owensboro Red Devils. Champions in 1972, it was the second title in school history and first since the great Cliff Hagan wore the red and black in 1949. Led by Mr. Basketball Jerry Thurston and second team all-state Kenny Higgs, Owensboro rolled to a 30-4 record, including an eight point victory over Elizabethtown in the championship game. Four wins on the way to the '72 championship was part of ten total wins at the state tournament during the decade. Owensboro was a state semifinalist in 1971, 1973, and 1977 - each time losing to the eventual state champion. The Red Devils won seven district titles and eight region crows during the decade. Owensboro celebrates their 1972 title 3. Central (57 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 11 State Championships: 1 (1974) Head coach Robert Graves ended the previous decade at Louisville Central with a 35-1 state championship season in 1969. Resigned to compete in the Kentucky High School Athletic League prior to KHSAA desegregation in 1957, Central immediately showed themselves a powerhouse in the sixties and would only get better in the seventies. Eight times during the decade would Central win over twenty games. In 1974 and 1975, the Yellowjackets would post a combined 64-3 record and win a state championship in '74. All-state players like Bob Luster, Keith Price, Bob Miller, and Flenoil Crook kept Central among the state's elite. Central owned the 21st District to the tune of nine titles in ten years. Their only loss came in 1973 to a Shawnee club that would win the state championship. Central was also the premier club in the sixth region, winning five championships. Central collects the 1974 state championship trophy 4. Christian County (51 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 6 State Tournament Wins: 10 State Championships: 0 Located in western Kentucky's second region, Christian County was nearly unbeatable throughout much of the decade. Nine district titles, six region championships, and ten wins at the state tournament under coaches Bob Hoggard and Lyle Dunbar made the Christian County Colonels a statewide force to be reckoned with. However, it could have been a game that they lost that is the most significant in Kentucky hoops history. Fed up with the perceived dominance of city schools at the state tournament and the annual closing of small schools across the commonwealth, cries were growing louder for a classed basketball tournament similar to Illinois - two tournaments, one for the smaller and one for the bigger schools. Christian County had romped through the district and region tournaments in 1976 and then beat Ashland, Shawnee, and Henry Clay on the way to the state championship game. It was there that Edmonson County, with 560 students, defeated Christian County by twenty-two points to take the championship and put to rest any significant discussions of classification. It would be thirty-five years before Christian County would win their only state championship, in 2011. Christian County's Curtis Parker goes up for a shot in 1976 state tournament 5. Shelby County (41 points) District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1978) State champions in 1966, it was a fitful few years under five different coaches before Thomas Creamer took over the Rockets in the 1975-76 season. He inherited a team that had went 17-12 the previous year but was also absorbing Shelbyville High School which had advanced to the state quarterfinals the previous year. Creamer's Rockets were region champions in 1976 and 1977 but couldn't get over the hump at the state tournament. That would all change the following year. All-staters Charles Hurt and Norris Beckley led Shelby County to a second crown in school history, beating Holmes in overtime, 68-66. It was the first overtime state final since Ashland's historic 13-11 win over Carr Creek in four extra frames in 1928 and it was not without controversy. Charles Hurt caught a full court pass with two seconds remaining in regulation, turned and buried a 15-footer to send the game to overtime. In overtime, Hurt blocked a shot by Mr. Basketball Doug Schloemer to effectively seal the win, despite cries from Holmes that Hurt's hand was through the net and goal when he blocked the shot, denying Holmes the chance to be the first ninth region school to win a state championship. Goal tending or not? 6. Ashland (33 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 6 State Tournament Wins: 4 State Championships: 0 Ashland continued its stretch of high level play into the 1970s, winning nine district titles and six region championships. While not as strong as the championship squad in the sixties, the Tomcats advanced to the quarterfinals in 1971 and 1979, and made a semifinal appearance in 1977, losing to Valley. Three different coaches guided Ashland during the decade. Harold Cole was there for three seasons, Stephen Gilmore the next three, and Paul Patterson the final four. Patterson would win region titles in each of his four seasons at Ashland before taking the head coaching position at Taylor University in Indiana. Ashland's 1977 state semifinalists 7. Henry Clay (33 points) District Championships: 4 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 0 Still without a state championship since 1924, Henry Clay began to lay groundwork for what would eventually be a state championship in the following decade. The Blue Devils won four region titles in the seventies and made impressive showings in the state tournament. Their best effort came in 1975 when they lost to Male in the championship game. They would lose to Christian County in the semifinals the following season. Henry Clay lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champions Shawnee in 1973 and Shelby County in 1978. Al Prewitt led the Devil charges from 1963-91, winning 610 games. One of his best players during the 1970s was James Lee, a first team all-state member in 1974. Henry Clay's 1974 club posted a 28-4 record but fell in the 11th Region championship game to Bryan Station, who was led by Mr. Basketball Jack Givens. Both Givens and Lee would go on to stellar careers at the University of Kentucky with Givens famously scoring 41 points in the 1978 final and Lee providing the finishing touch with a monster slam to beat Duke. Henry Clay's Keith Evans goes to the basket in 1975 8. Ballard (32 points) District Championships: 8 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1977) Suburban growth in Jefferson County led to the founding of several new high schools in the late-60s and early-70s. Ballard High in the northeastern part of the county began play in the fall of 1970. The Bruins would lose to Westport in their first ever district tournament before winning every district title for the remainder of the decade. Ballard would also win two region championships and would fall to Male in the 1974 and 1975 championship games. Under coach Richard Schmidt it was the 1977 Ballard Bruins squad that would win the first of three state championships. Led by Mr. Basketball Jeff Lamp as well as first team all-state members Lee Raker and Jerry Eaves, Ballard went 35-2 and beat county rival Valley in the state finals. Lamp scored 43 points in the game, one point shy of the record for a member of the winning team in a championship game. Following the season, Schmidt left to be an assistant coach at the University of Virginia, taking Lamp and Raker with him as players. Ballard High School, 1977 State Champions 9. Warren East (27 points) District Championships: 4 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 Much like the emergence of Ballard in suburban Louisville, Warren East also didn't exist in the previous decade but came to dominate the seventies in the Bowling Green region. Formed from the consolidation of Bristow, North Warren, and Richardsville, Warren East would win four district championships and another four region titles in the decade. The Raiders were a force in the state tournament, too, advancing to the state semifinals in 1974 and again in 1979. Oddly enough, though, the 1973 team might have the most interesting story of all. Warren East beat Franklin-Simpson and Bowling Green to win the 14th District tournament. However, they had played too many regular season games and were not allowed to participate in the region. Warren East challenged the ruling and got a restraining order, claiming in-season tournament games should only count as one game and not two (or three or however many games were actually played during the tournament). A federal judge ultimately decided that playing basketball is not ensured by the Constitution. Franklin-Simpson and Bowling Green were declared region tournament entrants. Warren East was allowed to keep their district championship trophy and Bowling Green was still considered district runner-up. Warren East heads to the 1974 state tournament 10. Shawnee (25 points) District Championships: 1 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1973) Few schools in Kentucky have been denied success because of geography as often as Louisville's Shawnee High School. Located in the west end of Louisville, Shawnee competed in a district along with Male, Manual, and St. Xavier in the 1950s. Following the 1966 statewide realignment, their new rival was Louisville Central. Shawnee was district runners-up to Central in 1971, 1975, 1976, and 1979 (along with first round losses to the Yellowjackets four other times). It has continued to this day, with Shawnee having won five district titles in school history and finishing second an incredible thirty-three times. But when the times were good, they were very good. The Indians (the nickname would be changed to Golden Eagles in 1995) were district champions in 1973 and region champs in both 1973 and 1976. James Gordon's 1973 Shawnee club would finish 32-2 and win the state championship, rolling over Boyd County, Henry Clay, Owensboro, and Male for the title. Wayne Golden was first team all-state and Ronnie Daniel second team for Shawnee. Golden was later an All-American at Tennessee-Chattanooga winning the 1977 Division II national championship. Head coach James "Honeybee" Gordon quit coaching to sell real estate in February of 1975, leaving 24-year old assistant Ron Abernathy in charge of the team. Abernathy would coach the 1976 team to the state tournament, with first team all-state Durand Macklin the best player. Macklin would play college basketball at LSU and Abernathy would join him as an assistant coach. No coach has left Shawnee with a winning record since then. Shawnee vs. Owensboro in the 1973 state tournament
  8. With World War II over the United States entered the 1950s primed to be one of two superpowers to rule the globe for the next four decades. Concerns with the Soviet Union were ever present, what with their nuclear armament program and the space race, but the United States had a booming economy that would produce a generation of young people that would be better educated and financially stronger than any previous group in the nation's history. High school basketball in Kentucky during the 1950s was the last decade in which small, independent schools maintain a strong presence at the top of the rankings. School consolidations would begin late in the decade and would come to dominate the 1960s, seeing the rise of county schools and the fall of annual deep postseason runs by local schools. The decade would also see the Supreme Court rule in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional. The ruling, sent down in 1954, would famously suggests school desegregate "with all deliberate speed," something many schools in the state followed as slowly as possible. Starting in 1957, the KHSAA allowed schools that housed only African-American students to join the association and participate in the postseason, provided they played at least half of their regular season games against white schools. Few schools participated in 1957, although nearly all black schools would play in 1958. While desegregation was a welcome change to the educational world in the 1950s, it also brought an end to the Kentucky High School Athletic League. The KHSAL began play in 1932 and ceased following the 1958 season. Schools from across the commonwealth participated in one of eight regions with the champions advancing to the state tournament. Typically, although not always, held at Kentucky State University, the KHSAL tournament differed from the KHSAA's Sweet 16 in that there was also a consolation bracket for schools to continue playing even after a defeat. Just as the early KHSAA tournaments had served as an unofficial campus visit for the University of Kentucky, the KHSAL tournament played a similar role in recruiting students to Kentucky State in Frankfort, the lone historically black college in the state. Louisville Central and Lexington Dunbar were the dominate black programs of the last decade of the league, a status they would both continue to hold in the KHSAA after desegregation. Hopkinsville Attucks, Madisonville Rosenwald, and Richmond were just a few of the schools that fielded top level teams during the KHSAL era. No black schools will be in the top ten of the 1950s, mostly because they only participated in a couple tournaments. Sizable success would come in the 1960s. ***** This article is the fourth of ten that will endeavor to rank the ten best programs in the state during each of the ten decades of Kentucky high school basketball. There is some science to the rankings: teams were awarded 1 point for a district championship, 2 points for a region championship, 3 points for each state tournament game won, and 5 points for a state championship. Part 1: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388637.html Part 2: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388648.html Part 3: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388672.html ***** 1. Lafayette (71 points District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 13 State Championships: 3 (1950, 1953, 1957) Not since Lexington (Henry Clay) in the 1920s and not until Male in the 1970s would a single dominate a decade of high school basketball as thoroughly as Lafayette did in the 1950s. Coached by Ralph Carlisle, who compiled a 350-97 record at Lafayette from 1946-1961, the Generals won three of their six state championships during the decade. Lafayette had fallen to Cliff Hagan and Owensboro in the 1949 finals before roaring back to win it all in 1950. They'd then beat Paducah Tilghman in 1953 and Louisville Eastern in 1957. It was all part of a decade in which the Generals won five region titles and finished second twice. Beginning in 1954, the title of Mr. Basketball was awarded to the best senior player in the commonwealth each season. Two Lafayette players, Vernon Hatton in 1954 and Billy Ray Lickert in 1957, would win the award and go on to careers under Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. Lafayette's glory days would come to an end after the '57 title when Lexington Dunbar, an all-black school just then allowed into the KHSAA, would beat the Generals in both the district and regional finals in 1958 and 1959, foreshadowing their own dominant run during the 1960s. Lafayette (white jerseys) and Paducah Tilghman (dark) players tumble during the 1953 finals 2. Clark County (63 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 13 State Championships: 1 (1951) If Lafayette was clearly the team of the decade, the second best team resided a mere twenty-five miles to the east. Clark County won nine district titles and five region crowns during the decade. They'd post another thirteen wins at the state tournament. The biggest difference in the two programs was Clark County won just the one title in 1951, following up a loss to Lafayette in 1950. Letcher Norton led the Cardinals from 1945-53 before taking a two-year stint at Charlestown High in Indiana. He'd return after two years to hefty paycheck. The Courier-Journal reported in April 1958 that Norton was paid more than every college coach in the state besides Adolph Rupp, Ed Diddle, and Peck Hickman. But he also won. Clark County was 24-1 in district play during the decade, 19-5 in the region. Only Ashland and Olive Hill were able to beat the Cardinals (at this time Clark was in the 16th Region). Clark County (dark jerseys) and Cuba (light) battle for a rebound during the 1951 finals 3. Hazard (41 points) District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1955) If you're talking about Hazard basketball in the 1950s, then you're talking about Johnny Cox. Cox wasn't Mr. Basketball in 1955 (that went to Kenny Kuhn at Male), but he got the biggest prize, leading the Bulldogs to the state championship. Twenty-three years after their first title, Hazard would win again behind 127 points from Cox during the tournament, a state record that would then be obliterated by Kelly Coleman of Wayland the next year. Hazard had little trouble during the 1955 tournament, beat Glasgow, Pikeville, Newport, and Adair County all by at least eight points. Hazard has made fifteen trips to the state tournament since winning in '55, but they've never been past the semifinals. Johnny Cox would go on to score 1,461 in his career at the University of Kentucky, winning a national championship in 1958 and was named first-team All-American in 1959. Johnny Cox 4. Pikeville (39 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 6 State Tournament Wins: 6 State Championships: 0 An early mountain power who played in five state tournaments from 1921-1926, Pikeville didn't come back on the statewide scene until a 15th Region championship in 1949. The stage was then set for a decade in which the Panthers won six region crows, albeit without ever winning a state title. Pikeville's best run came in 1957 where they advanced to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Lafayette. Pikeville would beat Russell County in the third place game. Pikeville in a sense became a victim of what they weren't. John Bill Trivette's clubs won 239 games during the decade and had three players named first team all-state, but they didn't have the compelling story line of fellow 15th Region clubs Inez, who won the 1954 state championship, or Wayland and "King" Kelly Coleman scoring in waves in 1956. Pikeville has won just two state tournament games since 1957. 5. Manual (36 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 9 State Championships: 0 Manual spent much of the 1920s and 1930s at the top of the heap in Kentucky high school basketball. The 1940s weren't as kind to the Crimsons but the 1950s saw a return to form. Manual won three district titles - a group that still included Male, St. Xavier, and Flaget - in the decade after not competing in a district during the previous decade (you'll remember the four Louisville city schools were guaranteed a spot in the 7th region tournament). Three region titles meant three state tournament berths at Memorial Coliseum, a tournament in which Manual always played well. Never champions, Manual managed to make the finals twice, losing to Cuba in 1952 and North Marshall in 1959. Manual's 1959 state runners-up 6. Cuba (33 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1952) With a Howie and a Doodle winning a state title should be a piece of cake! Tiny Cuba High School, deep in southern Graves County and with an enrollment of under 200, advanced to the state final in 1951 before falling to Clark County. The Cubs wouldn't be denied in 1952. Led by first team all-state players Howie Crittenden and Charles "Doodle" Floyd, Cuba rolled to a 37-5 record and knocked off Manual to win the title. Led by Jack Story, who had begun his coaching career at Fairbanks High in Graves County as a 19-year old(!), Cuba played a style that seemed to resonate with the fans. Many compared them to the Harlem Globetrotters, a comparison the team didn't exact shy away from. However, coach Story would leave for Mayfield the next season and Cuba would never again reach the same heights. Cuba High would close in 1977 with students then going to Sedalia High. Cuba Cubs 1952 state champions 7. Clay County (33 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 6 State Tournament Wins: 4 State Championships: 0 One of the most successful programs in state history makes their first decade appearance in the 1950s. Clay County won their first district tournament in 1937 when they were still known as Manchester High. A year later they absorbed Fogertown and changed their name to Clay County. They'd bring in Big Creek, Flat Creek, and Laurel Creek in the 1940s, along with James "Spider" Thurman to coach the team. Seventh district titles, twenty-nine regions, and a state championship in 1987 are the results. But the 1950s was where it all began. Clay County won every district tournament game it played in during the 1950s until the last one, a surprise one point defeat to Oneida Baptist in the 1959 district final. They would beat Oneida Baptist in the first round of the district the next week (at that time there were no restrictions on district champs playing runners-up in the first round) and go on to a sixth region crown. The state tournament was often the toughest part for Clay County. Four times in the fifties the Tigers won their opener but then lost in the quarterfinals. For all of their success it wouldn't be until 1985 that Clay advanced to at least a semifinal. Thurman would coach until 1962, compiling a 324-97 record. He would also coach a young Bobby Keith, who would later win 693 games and the school's only state championship. 8. Newport (30 points) District Championships: 7 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 Newport High School's glory years were about to conclude by the end of the 1950s with the abandonment of numerous businesses (both legal and illegal) and a move by many toward the suburbs of northern Kentucky. Seven district titles, four region championships, and five wins in the state tournament proved that Newport still had some gas in the tank. Newport regularly defeated a mixture of Campbell County district teams in the early fifties, before settling into a northern Campbell district in the late fifties that was comprised of Bellevue, Dayton, and Newport Catholic. The ninth region was still somewhat rural, with Holmes the only city team through much of the decade. Covington Grant, a former member of the KHSAL, joined the 9th Region in 1957 and would beat Newport in the region final in 1959. Newport's best state performance in the decade was a runner-up finish to Inez in 1954. The Wildcats would go back again in 1955, this time falling to eventual champion Hazard in the semifinals and to Henderson in the third place game. Newport has won a state tournament game since. Lawrence Redmond, Mr. Athletic, Newport High 1954. Redmond scored 21 points in a state championship game loss to Inez. 9. Henderson (27 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 6 State Championships: 0 Rarely do schools change names during the course of a decade. Henderson High might have changed names, but they kept on winning. Known as Barret Manual Training School (although commonly referred to as Henderson), the school officially changed its name to Henderson High School at the end of the 1955 school year. Henderson had some early success, including a championship in the 1916 state invitational tournament, but had never had much luck at the highest level. Everything changed in 1955. Henderson beat their brand new neighbors Henderson County in the district final and then romped over Clay, Owensboro, and Dixon to win the region. The Purple Flash would fall to Adair County in the state semifinals. Henderson would be back again the next year, but would again come up short, falling by four to Carr Creek in the championship game. Henderson would hold on for another twenty years but their best days were in the past. The Flash would win four more district titles but never again made it to the Sweet 16. They would close after the 1976 season and merge in to existing Henderson County. A dejected Henderson High team accepts the 1956 state runner-up trophy 10. St. Xavier (26 points) District Championships: 2 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 (1958) Of course, it wouldn't be a breakdown of top programs of the decade without St. Xavier, the only school to finish in the top team of each decade to this point. St. Xavier, champions in 1958, gets the slight nod over Carr Creek, Inez, and North Marshall who each won state titles in the decade. St. X played in the brutal Louisville city district along with Male, Manual, Flaget, Shawnee, Ahrens, and eventually Central and the Tigers only won two district crowns. They would win the same number of region titles, representing the 7th Region in both 1955 and 1958. The '58 club bettered Daviess County in the championship game, finishing the season 32-4. St. Xavier's Jim Showalter signs autographs for girls after the Tigers won the state title
  9. I've posted a few articles over the years about best programs in the state, best to never win a championship, etc. With it looking more and more like basketball won't crown a champion in 2020 it seemed like a good time to look at the best programs in our state's illustrious basketball history to never take home a Sweet 16 trophy. Note 1: I did use a formula to rank the top teams and to develop this list. I'll give my opinions along with it. You're welcome to disagree and/or add thoughts of your own. Note 2: Prior to 1927, region tournaments were called district tournaments and the district champion advanced to the state tournament. I've not included those championships in the stats list. 10. Highlands Stats: 33 district championships, 10 regional championships, 9 state tournament games won Last Trip: 2001; lost to Russellville in first round Closest: Second place in both 1924 and 1997. The 1924 team lost to Lexington, who was winning their fifth title in seven years. The 1997 Bluebirds lost to Eastern, one of the most underrated champions of the last quarter century. 9. Monticello - closed in 2013 Stats: 15 district championships, 9 regional championships, 16 state tournament games won Last Trip: 1987; lost to Paintsville in first round Closest: Second place to Flaget in 1960, which capped a streak of four trips in five years. Trojans also finished fourth in 1958. 8. Breathitt County Stats: 35 district championships, 11 regional championships, 8 state tournament games won Last Trip: 1996; lost to Lexington Catholic in first round Closest: Fourth place in 1961. Lost to Lexington Dunbar in state semifinals by one point. 7. Newport Stats: 27 district championships, 11 regional championships, 14 state tournament games won Last Trip: Surprise visit in 2010 was first since 1962; lost to Christian County in first round Closest: Runners-up to St. Xavier in 1935 and Inez in 1954. Early Kentucky basketball power but haven't won a game at state tournament since 1955. 6. Central City - closed in 1990 Stats: 34 district championships, 15 regional championships, 9 state tournament games won Last Trip: 1989; lost to Bryan Station in first round Closest: For years the winningest program in the state, the Golden Tide were runners-up to Ralph Beard and Male in 1945. Central City also recorded a fourth place finish in 1950. 5. Oldham County Stats: 36 district championships, 16 regional championships, 11 state tournament games won Last Trip: 2018; lost to Covington Catholic in semifinals Closest: The semifinal round has been a hurdle for the Colonels, falling in 1963 (Seneca), 1985 (Hopkinsville), 2012 (Scott County), and 2018 (Covington Catholic). Three of the four teams that beat Oldham County would win the state championship. 4. Pikeville Stats: 43 district championships, 11 regional championships, 13 state tournament games won Last Trip: 2018; memorably knocked off undefeated John Hardin in three overtimes before falling to Warren Central Closest: Third place in 1957, falling to Lafayette in semifinals before beating Russell County. 3. Madisonville-North Hopkins Stats: 57 district championships, 16 regional championships, 9 state tournament games won Last Trip: 2019; lost to Warren Central in quarterfinals. Maroons had qualified for 2020 before tournament was canceled. Closest: For such a great program their state tournament resume is a bit thin. Lost to Logan County in semifinals in 1984. Seven other times they've won their opener but lost in second round. 2. Danville Stats: 50 district championships, 12 regional championships, 15 state tournament games won Last Trip: 1990; lost to Clay County in first round. Closest: Another early basketball power, Admirals were second to St. Xavier in 1926 and Ashland in 1934. Danville has only two state tournament wins since World War II, the last coming over Bowling Green in the first round in 1973. 1. Paducah Tilghman Stats: 60 district championships, 23 regional championships, 14 state tournament games won Last Trip: 2010; lost to Shelby Valley in first round Closest: Runners-up in 1953 and 2002 by almost identical scores. Lafayette whipped Tilghman, 84-53, in Memorial Coliseum in 1953 and Lexington Catholic rolled the Blue Tornado, 83-53, at Rupp Arena in 2002.
  10. Perhaps no decade in American history was a fundamental to the future of the nation as was the 1940s. The decade began with the country mired in a depression and an inevitable world war brewing in Europe and Asia. December of 1941 saw the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the almost immediate mobilization of American soldiers and wartime industry. By war's end, over 400,000 Americans were dead. Nearly 75 million people died across the globe. The United States and its allies would emerge victorious, with the Marshall Plan helping stimulate economies across Europe that led to unprecedented economic success in the next decade in America. Many professional athletes left their respective sports to serve and high school athletes were no different. Students left school - and their basketball teams - to join the military, often staying for the duration of the conflict. Basketball wasn't immune to the war but with the United States geographically isolated sports were able to continue. Participation numbers of both athletes and schools decreased during the decade. In 1940, 541 teams participated in the KHSAA postseason. By 1943, that number was down to 474. Some schools didn't have enough players to field teams but would return to play by the end of the war. Others schools simply closed their doors. Because of war rationing and travel restrictions, from 1943-1945 the KHSAA switched from 64 to 128 districts. In most cases, existing districts, which already tended to be large, were split in half, often along county lines. Because of that change, only district champions advanced to the region tournament. The KHSAA would go back to 64 districts in 1946, although for that one year they continued allowing only district champions to advance to the region tournament. By 1947 that format was back to what it still is today. The Sweet 16 in 1943 is unique in that it is the only state tournament not played in a single location. Region winners were placed in four team sectionals across the state (Paducah Tilghman High School, Male High School in Louisville, Maysville High School, and Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond), with the champions advancing to a final four at Alumni Gym in Lexington. In basketball, the 1940s marked the glory days of eastern Kentucky hoops. Invigorated by a booming coal economy, schools throughout the mountains had some of the greatest success. Six state champions came from the eastern edge of the state; Inez won the first of two in their history, while Hazel Green, Hindman, Harlan, Breckinridge Training, and Maysville all won their only championships. Western Kentucky had their own share of success, with Brewers famously finishing the 1948 season undefeated, the last team in the state to accomplish that feat. That followed a state runner-up finish the previous year. Central City and Dawson Springs each advanced to the championship game during the decade, too. ***** This article is the third of ten that will endeavor to rank the ten best programs in the state during each of the ten decades of Kentucky high school basketball. There is some science to the rankings: teams were awarded 1 point for a district championship, 2 points for a region championship, 3 points for each state tournament game won, and 5 points for a state championship. Part 1: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388637.html Part 2: https://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/kentucky-high-school-388648.html#post6805328 ***** 1. Maysville (51 points) District Championships: 9 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 9 State Championships: 1 (1947) One of the seemingly forgotten powers of Kentucky basketball is Maysville High School. Maysville won every district tournament game they played in during the 1940s (they were suspended by the KHSAA in 1940). The Bulldogs won five region tournaments and had tremendous success at the state tournament, beating Brewers in 1947 before losing to Brewers in the 1948 final. Maysville's 51 points is the smallest amount to finish first in a decade, perhaps a testament to the balance and quality of Kentucky high school basketball during the decade. Maysville's Buddy Gilvin (17) tries to block a Brewers shot in the state final 2. Harlan (50 points) District Championships: 4 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 11 State Championships: 1 (1944) Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones and his fellow Harlan Green Dragons were the pride of the 13th Region, winning four consecutive titles from 1942-1945. Harlan County was the king of coal during the decade and with numerous coal camps and schools dotting the landscape, just advancing to the region was a challenge. Harlan's first trip during the decade ended with a championship game loss to Lafayette in 1942. They'd beat Dayton for the crown in 1944 before a third place finish capped 1945. Jones would go on to a distinguished athletic career in three sports at the University of Kentucky, while Harlan wouldn't play in a state tournament until 1964. 3. Owensboro (45 points)) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 9 State Championships: 1 (1949) The last state championship of the decade was the first for Owensboro. The Red Devils have won four state titles to date and have made 44 appearances in the Sweet 16, a state record. Just like Harlan, Owensboro was led by a future University of Kentucky legend, Cliff Hagan. Hagan scored 41 points in the state championship victory over Lafayette, a state finals record that would stand for twenty years before Ron King put in 44 for Louisville Central against Ohio County in 1969 (Richie Farmer would score 51 in a loss to Ballard in 1988). Hagan would eventually be a five team NBA All-Star, would later be the athletic director at the University of Kentucky, and the baseball stadium would be named in his honor. Cliff Hagan (18) and the 1949 Owensboro Red Devils state championship team 4. St. Xavier (43 points) District Championships: 0 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 11 State Championships: 0 How can a team win five region tournaments and eleven games at the state and never win a district crown during the decade? It is a little bit complicated. From 1940-1951 there were no district tournaments for Louisville city schools. Male, Manual, and St. Xavier each advanced straight to the 7th Region tournament where they then played for a berth in the Sweet 16. (Flaget would join the trio in 1946). Louisville schools such as Fairdale, Fern Creek, and Jeffersontown did exist at the time but were part of the Jefferson County school system and thus played in a different district and region. St. Xavier and Male split the ten region titles during the decade. St. X gets the higher nod because of their eleven wins in the Sweet 16, although they never hoisted a trophy like their arch rival Male. It was close but no cigar for the Xaverians throughout the decade, finishing second to Inez in 1941 and Hindman in 1943, while taking third on two other occasions. St. Xavier's 1949 region champions at the Jefferson County Armory 5. Brewers (42 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 1 (1948) Where is Brewers? Geographically speaking, about 25 miles southeast of Paducah and about 20 miles northwest of Murray. But during the mid- to late-1940s it was the basketball center of Kentucky. McCoy Tarry's Brewers Redmen won four region titles between 1944 and 1948. They were runners-up to Maysville in 1947 before turning the tables on the Bulldogs the next season. Brewers finished the 1948 season 36-0, the last undefeated team in state history. Almost as soon as they appeared, Brewers was gone. The Redmen won a district title in 1954 and one game in the region that year, but never again advanced to the state tournament. Following the 1956, Brewers combined with Hardin to form South Marshall High School. Brewers players await the presentation of the 1948 state championship trophy 6. Inez (38 points) District Championships: 6 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1941) Inez High had a great run in the 1930s, winning five region championships and were ranked by BGP as the fifth-best team of the decade. The ranking might be one spot lower in the 1940s, but it comes with something the Indians had never had before - a state championship. In 1941, everything clicked for the tiny school in far eastern Kentucky. Inez won an astonishing 40 games (against only five losses) and beat St. Xavier for the state title. Inez, with only 50 boys in the school, beat St. Xavier with close to 1,200 students. Not only were the Indians up against numbers, their gym had burned mid-January and they had to practice and play the remainder of the season ten miles away in Warfield. Inez defends against St. Xavier in the 1941 championship game 7. Lafayette (37 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1942) No team won multiple state championships in the 1940s but the stage was set late in the decade for Lafayette to establish themselves as the team to beat in the 1950s. Lafayette beat Harlan for the 1942 title and lost to Owensboro in the 1949 championship game. Playing in the difficult Lexington district, Lafayette was runners-up in 1943, 1944, and 1945, but because of wartime district adjustments did not get to play in the region tournament. Basketball's game speed changed from the first part of the decade to the last. This was in part due to improved players and tactics, but also as a mimic to the style of "racehorse basketball" made famous by Adolph Rupp at UK. To wit: Lafayette averaged 41.5 points per game in the 1942 state championship tournament. The Generals would average 57.8 as runners-up in 1949. 8. Male (36 points) District Championships: 0 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 (1945) As mentioned previously, Male didn't participate in a district tournament throughout the decade due to the small number of Louisville schools and the odd alignment. Male owned the back half of the decade, winning five consecutive region titles from 1944-1948. The 1945 club, led by Ralph Beard and head coach Paul Jenkins, beat Central City by twelve to win the state championship. Beard would go on to a sterling career at the University of Kentucky and played two years in the NBA before pleading guilty to involvement in a nationwide point shaving scandal. 9. Hazel Green (34 points) District Championships: 5 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 6 State Championships: 1 (1940) If your team is called the Bullfrogs then you'd better be good. Laurel County's Hazel Green High School was always good. In 1940, they were great. Hazel Green waltzed past Highland, Jamestown, and Danville to win the 12th Region tournament. It was more of the same at the state as the Bullfrogs beat St. Xavier, Morganfield, Inez, and Ashland. Raymond Combs scored 11 points for the winners but it was very much a balanced attack. Hazel Green would win two more region championships in the decade and finished fourth in the 1942 state tournament. Four Hazel Green Bullfrogs jump for a rebound 10. Hindman (31 points) District Championships: 8 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 4 State Championships: 1 (1943) Extreme isolation in eastern Kentucky during the early 1900s led to the establishment of "settlement schools" throughout the region. Settlement schools are social reform institutions established with the purpose of educating mountain children and improving their isolated rural communities. Hindman, in Knott County, is still operating as a settlement school and focuses on Appalachian crafts and the study of folk songs. During the 1940s, Hindman was also focused on basketball and settling any doubt of who was the best team in the 14th Region. Hindman dominated district play, winning eight of ten titles. The Yellowjackets won three region crows and four more times finished second. It was at the Sweet 16 where they had their greatest success. No rubes - they had lost the 1939 state championship games - Hindman won the 1943 title following the unique sectional format. Hindman beat Henry Clay and Harlan at Eastern Kentucky University before moving on to Lexington where they defeated Benton in the semifinals and St. Xavier in the finals.
  11. Basketball was born at the Springfield YMCA in 1891 under the auspices of Dr. James Naismith. Designed as a game to provide exercise for young males during the cold winter months when outside play was almost impossible, a game whose object was to place a leather ball in a suspended basket soon spread across the country. Few places saw it take hold as strongly as the commonwealth of Kentucky. Records exist of school teams in Kentucky playing basketball as far back as 1902 and in all likelihood they were even playing before then. No governing body administered any control over interscholastic play in the state and therefore games were typically nothing more than neighboring schools or perhaps neighboring counties playing friendly (or unfriendly) games against one another. In 1916, Centre College in Danville hosted eight schools from across the state in an invitational at Boyle-Humphrey Gym. Operated by the Athletic Board of Centre College, the tournament served as more of an open house for potential students than a state championship. And it worked, at least according to a post-tournament article in the Kentucky Advocate. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was founded in 1917 with close to twenty schools ostensibly to "hold a rein on athletics throughout the State and correct any irregularities, while the conference would have the same power and would stage the big games in every sport" (Courier-Journal, 8 April 1917). State tournaments in 1918, 1919, and 1920 were still a hodgepodge of teams from different areas of the state. Seven teams participated in 1918, followed by eight in 1919, and sixteen in 1920. There was no such thing as districts or regions in the sense that exists today, although participants had to progress through one of the various interscholastic associations across the state. Beginning in 1921, the state was divided into ten districts with champions advancing to the state tournament at the University of Kentucky. Two western Kentucky districts, hosted in Paducah and Owensboro, saw large numbers of schools compete, with Paducah bettering six others to win the crown on their home floor and Owensboro besting eight neighbors to take their championship. Clark County was the winner of twelve competitors in the Winchester district. However, some districts were lightly contested. Manual, Male, and St. Xavier competed for the District 4 title in Louisville. District 7 stretched from Paris to Danville to Somerset and finally to Monticello. District 10 had only one member, Pikeville College Academy, who advanced to the state tournament automatically. The next year saw an expansion to eighteen districts, which remained the magic number until the completion of the 1926 season. It is important to add at this point that while today we think of the "district" tournament as the first of three steps to the state tournament, in the early days it was the first of merely two. District winners advanced to the state tournament prior to 1927; there were no regions. In 1927, the state began using a tournament method that is the foundation of the same style still used nearly 100 years later. Kentucky was divided into 24 districts. The larger half of schools within the district competed for the Class A championship and the smaller half competed for the Class B championship. Both winners then met for an overall district title, although both were guaranteed a berth in the region tournament the following week. Class A and B winners from each district then funneled into six regions, where again the larger half of schools were classified as A and the smaller half B. Depending upon the makeup of the district, a team could easily be Class A in one tournament and Class B in the other. Much like the district tournament, the winners of each class met for the region championship, although both were assured a state tournament appearance, where the same classed method was again used. One year later, in 1928, the state would expand slightly to 32 districts and 8 regions, with both region winner and runner-up advancing to the state tournament, the Sweet Sixteen. ***** This article marks the first of ten that will endeavor to rank the ten best programs in the state during each of the ten decades of Kentucky high school basketball. There is some science to the rankings: teams were awarded 1 point for a district championship, 2 points for a region championship, 3 points for each state tournament game won, and 5 points for a state championship. There are some provisions included in the formula. First, while technically tournaments won between 1921 and 1926 were known as district tournaments, since the winner advanced to the state tournament, they are credited with a region tournament title and the subsequent two points instead of only one. Second, only teams that won the actual district and/or region final are given the points. If you won the Class B portion of a tournament, but then lost the ultimate final to the Class A winner, only the Class A school received points. It is far from a perfect system, but it is the best method to make a difficult judgment of teams from across the commonwealth. Finally, as the game evolved and more teams added basketball, district tournaments became harder to win. As consolidation of small schools into larger county schools began in the 1950s and 1960s, fewer teams made up districts and championships were hoarded up by fewer and fewer schools. Some of the earliest winners are long since faded into memory, while others are independent school districts that have managed to hang on for over a century. It is possible that athletic success, especially in basketball, might have been what developed strong alumni bases and civic pride which has kept those schools open when so many of their small neighbors have gone away. But enough sentimentality...on to the rankings! ***** Part 1: The 1920s (Since the KHSAA began in 1918, we're including the first two years to make this a 12-year decade) 1. Lexington (97 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 6 State Tournament Wins: 19 State Championships: 5 Far and away the superior program of the early days, Lexington High School, now known as Henry Clay, dominated all comers on the way to five state championships between 1918-1924. The best of the championship clubs was likely the 1922 version, which routed Frankfort, 55-7, in the state final and proceeded to win the national basketball championship in Chicago the next month. 2. Manual (71 points) District Championships: 1 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 15 State Championships: 3 An early basketball powerhouse in Kentucky, what the Blue Devils of Lexington didn't win, the Crimsons of Manual did. Only one district championship belies the difficulty of regularly competing with St. Xavier and Male. Once Manual made it into the region tournament (again, district prior to 1926, but championship advanced to state), the outlying competition rarely matched up. Nowhere was that more obvious than a 111-7 victory of Boston in 1923. State championships in 1921, 1923, and 1925 provided the rare salve to Lexington's titles. Manual's best days were nearly all early. Aside from a championship in 1931 and three trips to the final day in the 1950s, the Crimsons have rarely been at the top of the state since. Their last state tournament appearance came in 1972. 3. Ashland (64 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 7 State Tournament Wins: 14 State Championships: 1 Historically the best program in the eastern quarter of the state, Ashland got started winning early and never let up. The Tomcats were runners-up in 1920 and semifinalists in 1926 before breaking through with a memorable 13-11 quadruple overtime victory over Carr Creek in 1928. Ashland would then win the national championship tournament in Chicago. 1928 Ashland state and national champions 4. St. Xavier (33 points) District Championships: 1 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 7 State Championships: 1 Tied with Monticello with 33 points, will give the edge to the Tigers who managed to win a state title in the decade. Manual was the bugaboo for St. Xavier, with the Crimsons beating X in the 1921, 1923, and 1925 region tournaments, incidentally all seasons that Manual won state crowns. Were it not for Manual, St. Xavier might be considered the best program of the decade. Their championship came in a 26-13 double-up of Danville in 1926. 1926 St. Xavier head coach Brother Constant 5. Monticello (33 points) District Championships: 1 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 0 The same thing that eluded Monticello in the 1920s would continue to elude them throughout their history. The Mountaineers (they wouldn't be the Trojans until 1939) made regular appearances in the state tournament during the 1920s but never advanced to a championship game. A four-point loss to Ashland in 1920, two-point loss to Manual in 1921, and one-point loss to Winchester in 1925 show how close the margin between great and champions really is. 6. Owensboro (32 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 7 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 Owensboro is the most successful basketball program in state history, but statewide success was slow to arrive. (Owensboro won the 1917 "state" tournament, although technically it was just an invitational and isn't counted in state records). Owensboro didn't lose a district or region tournament game until 1928, a win streak of 34 games. It was the state tournament that held back the Red Devils, and in particular it was their offense in the state tournament. Owensboro averaged just 17 points per game in state tournament losses in the 1920s, while averaging 30 points per game in wins. 7. Winchester (32 points) District Championships: 0 Region Championships: 4 State Tournament Wins: 8 State Championships: 0 Surprisingly, at least based on geography, Winchester participated in districts and regions with eastern Kentucky schools. This was in part due to a lack of competitors in the mountain areas in early Kentucky basketball. It proved advantageous for the Shawnees who played in five state tournaments during the decade. Elimination came with a wallop for Winchester, losing by an average of 29 points in their state tournament losses. The '20s would be the high water mark for the school, as they made their last state tournament appearance in 1926 and would close after the 1960 season. 8. Heath (25 points) District Championships: 1 Region Championships: 2 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 1 When you think far western Kentucky basketball you almost immediately think of Paducah Tilghman. However, it was tiny Heath High School in West Paducah that was the earliest power in the Jackson Purchase. Heath made three trips to the state tournament in the decade, culminating in a 21-6 championship victory over Corinth in 1929. The win would be their last ever in the big tournament, with first round losses following in 1931 and 1933. Heath closed in 2013. 9. Frankfort (25 points) District Championships: 0 Region Championships: 5 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 While close to Lexington, Frankfort didn't compete in the same district or region as Lexington in the early days like they do today. That helped make Frankfort the capitol of the fifth and later seventh district. Opponents such as Shelbyville, Lawrenceburg, and Kavanaugh were no match for the Panthers, who won sixteen consecutive district tournament games after losing their first ever to Georgetown in 1921. Frankfort's best appearance in the state tournament was the aforementioned 55-7 blowout loss to Lexington in the 1922 finals, but five trips to the state tournament in the decade is still impressive. 10. Holmes (24 points) District Championships: 3 Region Championships: 3 State Tournament Wins: 5 State Championships: 0 Northern Kentucky basketball was slow to start in comparison to much of the rest of the state. Holmes participated in the 1918 state tournament, losing twice in the preliminary round, but there wasn't even a true northern Kentucky region (think Boone/Kenton/Campbell county) until 1923. Highlands advanced to the finals in 1924, but it was Holmes who had more wide-ranging success, winning district titles in 1927, 1928, and 1929 along with region titles in 1926, 1927, and 1928. The Bulldogs best performances in the state were Class A final losses in 1927 and 1928. ***** The Next Best 11. Pikeville - 23 points 12. Henderson - 22 13. Millersburg Military Institute - 19 14. Somerset - 18 15. London - 18 16. Clark County - 17 17. Carrollton - 15 18. Paris - 15 19. Danville - 14 20. Highlands - 13 21. Hazard Bible Institute - 13
  12. How unique is your school's nickname? Odds are, not very unique at all. Of the 280 KHSAA member schools, 27% have one of six nicknames. As you might expect the top six are all of a rather generic variety. Eagles is the most common mascot in Kentucky, found at 17 schools. There are 15 Wildcats in the state, 13 Panthers and Tigers, and 10 Bulldogs and Cardinals. Just below those are 9 Colonels and 9 Cougars, along with another 8 Raiders. Fifty-five schools have mascots not found at another school in the commonwealth (this is stretched slightly as Ashland, Bethlehem, Louisville Collegiate have separate nicknames for their boys and girls teams; it also should be noted that this article makes no distinction among school who use 'Lady' in front of their girls team names). Some of the most unique include animals (Bracken County Polar Bears, Campbell County Camels, Greenwood Gators, Notre Dame Pandas, Owsley Count Owls), colors (Bowling Green Purples, Manual Crimsons), jobs (Danville Admirals, Estill County Engineers, Marshall County Marshals, Washington County Commanders), weather (Hopkins County Central Storm, Meade County Green Waves, Paducah Tilghman Blue Tornado), and the just downright absurd (Bethlehem Banshees [girls], Lloyd Memorial Juggernauts, Louisville Collegiate Amazons [girls], Sacred Heart Valkyries, St. Francis Wyverns). Most likely there is a reason your school uses the name it does. I encourage you to research their name, colors, and whatever else you can about your school. No matter the nickname, all 280 schools in Kentucky are unique!
  13. On Wednesday, 3/9, I had a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. I got to meet Coach Tony Dungy. This is the way it happened..... I first experienced All Pro Dad Day at Mason County Intermediate School in the fall of 2014 with Trosper. All Pro Dad is Coach Tony Dungy's program which is part of the larger organization, Family First. When I became the Random Drug Test Coordinator at Mercer County Schools, I wanted to start All Pro Dad Day here. Matt Stanfield, the Principal at Mason County Intermediate, helped to point me in the right direction and we were able to start a chapter here at Mercer County this fall. My Dad was a huge fan of Coach Dungy. Coach Dungy is open about his faith in Jesus Christ. He is also a tremendous role model for coaches, husbands, & fathers. When I would be a knucklehead and struggling in all 3 roles, my Dad pushed me toward Coach Dungy's materials. My Dad & Steele Harmon got me copies of Uncommon & Quiet Strength, both written by Coach Dungy. The books did make a big difference for me and my family. They were so good that we used them as Bible Studies at Trinity United Methodist Church in Maysville. Coach Dungy's commitment to Christ and his family, in addition to being a great football coach, earned my Dad's respect and admiration. For me, my connection to Coach Dungy was my Dad. He was the one that pulled me in that direction and gave me those books that helped me be a better person, husband, father, & coach. When I became the head football coach at Mercer County, I made our helmet decal a sword. I told our kids that the sword was symbolic of the sword that David used to chop off Goliath's head. Coach Dungy had shared the story of David & Goliath prior to their victory over the Patriots in the AFC Championship game leading up to the Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship in 2007. Coach Dungy had told the Colts to be themselves, like David had been when he defeated Goliath. He also told them to have their swords ready, to be able to "FINISH". I told our guys that the sword was to remind them to "FINISH" a drill, a play, a practice, a game, and especially the 4th quarter. I was coaching back in my hometown, following in my Dad's footsteps, and Coach Dungy was impacting our program. My Dad passed away on Thursday evening October 1st, 2015. October 2nd was understandably a brutal day with all that went with saying good bye to my Dad. It was also a Friday, which meant that we had a ballgame to play that night, on the field my Dad had coached his teams 40 years earlier. I finally got home that Friday around 2 pm. I had a couple hours to rest before getting ready for our game. As I sat there, listening to the rain hit the roof, I felt overwhelmed by the loss of my Dad, what I was facing in taking care of my mom, returning to my hometown to be the head football coach of a football program that had fallen on hard times which had a current record of 1-5, and all that went with everything I was experiencing. Thoughts like ...."I can't do this."...."How will I do this?" filled my mind. As I sat there, absolutely in over my head & overwhelmed with grief, my cellphone began to ring and it said "Tampa, FL". I answered the phone. It was a young lady named Kaleigh and she asked me how I was doing. I told her not very well and why. With incredible grace, she expressed her sorrow & sympathy. Then, in the best way she could, she informed me that I had won the All Pro Dad Day Back to School Contest. I told her I didn't know there was a contest. She said I had won, and that I had a choice of prizes. One choice was they would fly me to Tampa to meet Coach Dungy. I told her, "You can stop there. That is the prize I want." When I got off the phone and told my family, it was a mixture of tears, joy & disbelief. It was a moment that had my Dad written all over it. It seemed like my Dad had only been in Heaven a few hours but had begun pulling strings for me. I definitely got the message that God loved me, that He was in charge, and that He could do anything he wanted, whenever He wanted to do it. As I made the trip to Tampa, while there, and the return trip, I thought about my Dad. I wished that he could be with me. It felt like he was with me. When I arrived in the office on Wednesday morning, before meeting Coach Dungy, I got to hug Kaleigh and Candice, who had set up the meeting for me. Another young lady told me that she was sitting next to Kaleigh while we talked on the phone, October 2nd. I felt like I was meeting family members for the first time. When I got to meet Coach Dungy, Pat encouraged me to tell him the story about the phone call on the 2nd. Coach Dungy looked at Pat and asked. "How did he get picked?" Pat told him that it was 100% random. I had shared with Coach Dungy about our helmet decal, his sword. Coach Dungy concluded, "this was a God thing." Coach Dungy then shared with me that his Dad was alot like mine. He shared stories that I could relate to as a father, husband, son, coach, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ. My meeting with Coach Dungy was brief. But, it was powerful. I really can't put into words what it was like or the impact it made on me. The way that the staff at Family First treated me also got my attention. Their kindness was genuine and sincere. Those wonderful people made a big impression on me in a very short period of time. There is no one I admire & respect more than Coach Dungy. If you had asked me "Who would you most like to meet?", the answer would have been "Coach Tony Dungy." As I began the flight back that sunny morning, I was overwhelmed with joy. I thought alot about my Dad, Stephanie, my children, my family, my players, the coaches and experiences that God has used in my life to draw me closer to him. God is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. He is bigger than anything we will ever face. He is the source of every good thing. I am thankful that at a time I was at the end of my rope, God chose such a wonderful way to communicate His love. I don't know what the future holds, but I know the same God that allowed me to meet Coach Dungy will be there for every step of the way. BlackShoes&WhiteShoeStrings: Meeting Coach Tony Dungy
  14. 2020 15th Region Champions – Martin County Cardinals – State Tournament Preview Season Overview: Martin County opened the season against a tough schedule, going 5-8 coming out of December. The team was still trying to figure its identity and players were still discovering their ultimate roles. Expectations had been high going into the season and tempers were flaring in the stands and on the bench. The Cardinals were able to weather the storm, right the ship, and ended up being better for it. It’s also important to note that early on the competition level was extremely high as Martin County played in the King of the Bluegrass and Lexington Catholic Tournaments. This competition level would prepare them for a post season run 37 years in the making. They would close the season white hot and are currently on a 13 game win streak (15 of last 16). The seasons journey would see many milestones for the Cardinals. They would go undefeated in their new gym and cut down the 57th District nets, ending a four-year regional tournament drought. Trey James would cross the 1,000-point mark and 1,000-rebound mark while committing to Wake Forest University and breaking the KHSAA all-time shot block record held by Isaiah Cozart (Madison Central). Brady Dingess would hit the 1,000-point mark and take home 15th Region Tournament MVP honors. Ethan-Smith Mills would cross the 1,500-point mark. Braxton Maynard would also hit the 1,000-point mark. Freshman 6th man Parker Davis would throw down his first career dunk and then add to his total. Overall the team saw many milestones, but none greater than returning to Rupp Arena for a community that has lost two of the sports figures, had a shortage of water and is economically struggling with the lack of mining. Quick Reference Guide Head Coach: Jason James Head Coach Career Record: 71-86 (0.4522) (Currently in 1st Season at Martin County: 5th Overall) (49-74 while coaching Sheldon Clark [2016-2019] 22-12 while coaching Martin County [2020-present]) Enrollment: 505 Mascot: Cardinal Colors: Red, White, and Columbia Blue Founded: 1973 (Consolidation of Inez and Warfield into Sheldon Clark – Renamed Martin County with new school opening in 2019-2020 calendar year) District: 57th All Time Record: 22-12 Sheldon Clark final record = 651-664 (0.4951) Regional Titles: 1: 2020 [sheldon Clark won (1) in 1983] Record Previous 5 Years (As Sheldon Clark): Overall (72-80) vs. 15th Region (45-41) 2018-19 10-20 (Lost 57th District) 2017-18 11-20 (Lost 57th District) 2016-17 19-12 (Lost 57th District) 2015-16 9-22 (Lost 57th District) 2014-15 23-6 (Lost Regional Semifinal) What to Expect at the State Tournament: The Martin County Cardinals will do what they have been doing. They will play solid half-court defense with Trey James anchoring the middle of the paint and guards pressuring the ball on the perimeter, often switching all screens. With James in the middle, the defense is kinda like a one-man zone with the four guards forcing everything to the paint. As long as James is not in foul trouble, it forces teams to score from the 12 to 17-foot range and that is tough to do in today’s game. They will also put Ethan Smith-Mills on the other team’s best player and have him either face-guard or give zero help. This team will press on an emergency basis only. On offense the Cardinals will look to run opportunistically, but typically run sets to get attack the middle and corners of the defense. Outside shooting is not a problem as every player can knock down triples outside James. The Cardinals typically go six deep and rarely beyond that. When Parker Davis comes in, look for traps on ball screens and the occasional 1-3-1 zone with James in the middle. This team never panics and has a belief in themselves rarely seen. They are well coached and well drilled in their style. They trust one another and play unselfishly. In short, this is a team that does not beat its self and does not let runs take them out of their game. They are fun to watch. Martin County Starters 1. Brady Dingess (Sophomore) PG 6’1’’ – Brady Dingess is perhaps the most improved player in the region and the steady force behind Martin County’s run to Rupp Arena. He is smooth with the ball and never changes his demeanor on the court regardless of the situation his team is in. Dingess took home 15th Region Tournament MVP honors, posting impressive games throughout the tournament to include the game winning steal and layup in overtime to beat Pikeville (Regional Semifinals). Dingess plays a lot like James Hardin with his ability to draw fouls by getting into the defender on dribble drives. He shoots it well in all three phases (inside, midrange, 3FG and FT’s). Dingess is the engine that makes the team go! He enters the state tournament leading his team in scoring at 16.5 ppg and assists at 4.3 apg. 2. Braxton Maynard (Senior) G 5’11’’ – Maynard is the heart of the team and a player that plays with a lot of passion. Last season he was forced to play the point guard (Dingess played at Paintsville) and gained valuable experience both handling the ball and running the offense. This experience has allowed Martin County to have two excellent ball handlers on the floor at all times, as Maynard can take people off the dribble and set up the offense. But that is Maynard’s secondary roll on this squad. He plays with a ton of confidence and has been the guy who has hit the big shot or got the big rebound for his team. He enters the state tournament 10.2 ppg and 3.1 rpg. 3. Ethan Smith-Mills (Senior) SF 6’2’’ – Smith-Mills is a Martin County native who is the best on ball defender on the team. Night in and night out, he gets the assignment of guarding the best player on the opposing squad. Smith-Mills is a lefty who has the ability to shoot from deep and he usually finds himself open in corners. He is capable of scoring the ball as he proved by scoring over 1,500 points at Allen Central, Floyd Central and now Martin County. Expect to see him face guarding someone full court and scoring when open. Smith-Mills enters the state tournament averaging 9.5 ppg and is second on the team in rebounding averaging 4.7 rpg. 4. Jordan Dalton (Junior) G 6’2’’ – Junior guard Jordan Dalton provides toughness, clutch shooting and the ability to feed the post for the Cardinals. He has a knack for knocking down big triples, can handle the ball in certain situations and has the shown the ability to effectively guard post players. Typically, Dalton shares the court with sixth man Parker Davis, but during Martin County’s tournament run has played key minutes down the stretch. Dalton is the best passer when it comes to feeding the post and often goes high low to James. If you forget about Dalton, he has the ability to hurt you similar to death by a thousand cuts. 5. Trey James (Junior) F 6’10’’ – The Wake Forest commit is the most disruptive defensive force in the entire state with his ability to block and alter shots at the rim. He already holds the state record for blocks in a career and still has a year to increase those numbers. James plays above the rim and can scores best when fronted by the opposing team (over the top entry passes on the seal). His defensive presence allows Martin County guards to apply lots of pressure on the perimeter, forcing teams to beat them from 14-17 feet. When this team is at its best, James flirts with a triple double in points, rebounds and blocks.
  15. For all the BGP cooks out there...amateur or otherwise...we've compiled a cook book made up of all the recipes shared on BGP over the years. We've sifted through our thousands and thousands of threads - including the many chili recipe threads, crock pot recipe threads, soup recipe threads, and all the various others - and we've put all the recipes, to date, into one single downloadable/printable Google Doc available for your use, complete with the names of each BGP member who submitted each recipe. We were able to come up with over ONE HUNDRED recipes posted by BGP users over the years! BluegrassPreps Cook Book DRINKS: Swamprat’s Hot Toddy (Page 1) RockPride’s Hot Toddy (Page 1) jahearme's Hot Bourbon Cider (Page 1) Bengal Maniac’s Jameson Old Fashioned (Page 1) DESSERTS: coldweatherfan’s Bourbon Balls (Page 1) gold sunrise’s Grandmother’s Brown Sugar Pie (Page 21) MAIN DISHES: coldweatherfan’s Hunan Chicken (Page 2) Just Jim’s Asian Jalepeno Chicken (Page 3) NEERFAN’s Wife’s Frisch’s Big Boy Pizza (Page 4) coldweatherfan’s Homemade Thin-Crust Pizza (Page 4) coldweatherfan's Authentic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (Page 5) coldweatherfan’s Chicago Sweet Pizza Sauce (Page 7) gametime’s Baked Pizza Spaghetti (Page 20) big royal daddy’s Bacon-Cheeseburger Meatloaf (Page 21) leatherneck’s Bambi Burger (Page 23) coldweatherfan’s Gourmet Burgers (Page 23) jmoore33’s Sausage Rigatoni (Page 24) gcbballdad’s Chicken Noodle Casserole (Page 25) gcbballdad’s Easy Salsa Meatloaf (Page 25) beechnut’s Vidalia Onion and Potato Casserole (Page 26) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Homemade Goetta (Page 28) woodsrider’s Venison Backstrap Rolls (Page 29) coldweatherfan’s Crock Pot Pulled Pork (Page 30) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Pulled Chicken Barbecue (Page 31) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Cumin & Coriander Venison Tenderloin (Page 38) True blue (and gold’s) Crock Pot Beef Roast (Page 38) True blue (and gold’s) Crock Pot Chicken With Salsa (Page 39) True blue (and gold’s) Crock Pot Roasted Pork Carnitas (Page 39) themayor's Pepperoncini Crock Pot Chuck Roast Hoagies (Page 40) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Crock Pot Swiss Steak (Page 40) nees1212’s Crock Pot Pork Barbacoã (Page 41) hoops5’s Crock Pot Pork Chops (Page 42) coldweatherfan's Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches (Page 43) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Crock Pot Venison Roast (Page 44) UKMustangFan’s Spicy Cajun Crock Pot Pork Tenderloins (Page 44) hoops5’s Crock Pot Sausage Breakfast Casserole (Page 46) TTS_JF’s Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat (Page 46) Jumper_Dad’s Crock Pot Shredded Chicken Barbecue (Page 47) MBWC41’s Jumbo Crock Pot Enchiladas (Page 47) CatsCatsCats’ Chicken Wings (Page 48) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Creamy Crock Pot Chicken (Page 49) coldweatherfan’s Crock Pot Mushroom & Onion Beef Roast (Page 50) Swamprat’s Sausage & Angel Hair Pasta (Page 50) coldweatherfan's Pancetta-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (Page 51) coldweatherfan’s Sloppy Joes (Page 52) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Shepherd’s Pie (Page 53) LCDAWGS19’s Crock Pot Buffalo Ranch Chicken Tortillas (Page 54) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Chicken Tikka Masala (Page 56) 2 Humped Camel’s Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings (Page 57) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Crock Pot Asian Sesame Chicken (Page 58) hoops5’s Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches (Page 58) All Blue’s Crock Pot Pork Ribs (Page 61) MayfieldFan’s Salisbury Steak (Page 62) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Crock Pot Pepper Steak (Page 63) hoops5’s Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken (Page 63) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff (Page 64) MBWC41's Carne Asada Tacos (Page 65) coldweatherfan's Pork Carnitas (Page 66) Colonels_Wear_Blue's 1-Pot Pasta Shells with Mushrooms, Sausage & Peas (Page 67) coldweatherfan's Meatballs & Gravy (Page 68) MBWC41's New Orleans Shrimp & Chicken Pasta (Page 70) coldweatherfan's Bolognese Sauce (Page 71) SOUPS, STEWS & CHILI: Jim Schue’s Classic Bardstown Chili (Page 😎 rjs4470’s Beef & Chorizo Chili (Page 😎 MBWC41’s Italian Sausage Chili (Page 9) True blue (and gold’s) Turkey Chili (Page 9) coldweatherfan’s Chicken Chili (Page 10) coldweatherfan’s Beef & Sausage Chili (Page 11) coldweatherfan’s Chicken Taco Soup (Page 13) MJAlltheWay’s Dad & Grandma’s Chili Recipe (Page 13) CincySportsFan’s Ham & Potato Soup (Page 14) Kygirl’s Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup (Page 14) bugatti’s Taco Soup (Page 15) formerkywrestler's Crock Pot Sausage & Cannellini Bean Soup (Page 15) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Quick & Easy Chicken Corn Chowder (Page 16) I4C’s Buffalo Chicken Chili (Page 17) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Chicken Tortilla Soup (Page 17) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Kentucky Burgoo (Page 18) coldweatherfan’s Bacon Potato Soup (Page 19) newarkcatholicfan’s 3-Meat Chili (Page 22) Coldweatherfan’s Crock Pot Burgundy Mushroom & Venison Stew (Page 27) Coldweatherfan’s Crock Pot White Wine Mushroom & Venison Stew (Page 27) oldrambler’s Chili (Page 32) nees1212’s Easy Crock Pot Chicken Chili (Page 32) 00Rocket28’s Venison Chili (Page 33) Beechwoodfan’s White Chicken Chili (Page 33) nees1212’s Crock Pot White Chicken Chili (Page 41) rockmom’s Crock Pot Potato Soup (Page 42) UKMustangFan’s Crock Pot Beef Stew (Page 43) UKMustangFan’s Crock Pot Chicken & Apple Stew (Page 45) UKMustangFan’s Spicy Jalapeño Crock Pot Chili (Page 49) swamprat’s Crock Pot Pork Chili (Page 50) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Catalan Beef Stew With Mushrooms (Page 55) Jim Schue’s Bean Soup (Page 59) True blue (and gold’s) Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Page 59) littleluck55’s Crock Pot Potato Soup (Page 60) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Crock Pot Hungarian Goulash (Page 61) Colonels_Wear_Blue's Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (Page 72) SAUCES & MARINADES: Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Italian Tomato Sauce (Page 26) BigVMan23’s Carolina-Style Vinegar Barbecue Sauce (Page 35) coldweatherfan’s Pineapple Steak Marinade (Page 35) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Sweet Thai Chili Jerky Marinade (Page 36) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Grippo’s Barbecue Jerky Marinade (Page 36) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Peppered Jerky Marinade (Page 37) yoda1’s Beef Jerky Marinade (Page 37) Colonels_Wear_Blue’s Cajun Seasoning (Page 44) Trouble shooter’s Makers Mark Pork Chop Marinade (Page 48) coldweatherfan’s Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce (Page 53) Colonels_Wear_Blue's Brown Sugar & Garlic Steak Marinats (Page 65) SIDE DISHES, SALADS & DIPS: Jim Schue’s Super Duper Queso Dip (Page 27) formerkywrester’s Refrigerator Garlic-Dill Pickles (Page 34) MBWC41’s Salt-Dill Refrigerator Pickles (Page 35) Oldtimebaseball84’s Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Taco Filling or Dip (Page 41) coldweatherfan’s Calico Beans (Page 57) hoops5’s Crock Pot Baked Potatoes (Page 60) Mr. Know It All’s Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip (Page 62) MBWC41's BLT Pasta Salad (Page 66) Colonels_Wear_Blue's Bacon Ranch Potato Salad (Page 70)
  16. In December of 2007, several of us were standing in the hallways between classes at Mason County HS. It was finals week, just a few days before Christmas break was suppose to start. The weather was miserable, cold & windy. While standing out there, I get a phone call from my good friend, Chuck Smith, who at that time was coaching linebackers at the University of Kentucky. We are freezing, but Chuck is in Florida, enjoying GREAT weather on recruiting. One of the guys I am standing with in the hallways is our head basketball coach, Chris O'Hearn. He is pretty excited. Our basketball team, lead by future Mr. Basketball, UK Wildcat, & NBA player, Darius Miller, is getting ready to fly to Hawaii to play in a Nike Tournament for the best basketball teams in the country. I casually make the comment... "Yeah, all the good coaches are going to enjoy some great weather. The bad ones, like me, are stuck in the cold." The bell rings and I return to class. My classroom phone immediately rings. The voice on the other end says, "Coach Buchanan, this is Travis Davis with American Football Monthly. We would like to do a video on the Triple Screen and some other areas of football with you." I am stunned but really excited. He continues, "We will fly you to West Palm Beach, Florida, to do the videos." He continues to talk. My classroom phone is right next to my door. I am on the phone, checking caller ID, and then sticking my head out the door. This has GOT to be a joke. I am looking around, up and down the hallways for the likely culprits... Coach O'Hearn, Steve Appelman, Fred Hester, Chris Ullery, Seth Faulkner, Larry Harris, Kent Moore (probably just hung up the PA from singing Christmas Carols). I check caller ID and ask again... "Please, now who is this?? Where are you? What is this for?" I really can't believe it and don't believe it. But, it turned out to be legitimate! So, one January morning, when the temperature was below 30 degrees and the wind had blown the kids basketball goal up next to the house, I jumped in the car and headed to the airport in Cincinnati. When I arrived in West Palm Beach, the temperature was in the mid 80's and it was sunny. I was sitting in short sleeves, looking at palm trees. I met Travis and then spent the next 24 hours working with Rex Lardner, filming the videos. This was insane... I was in West Palm Beach, Florida, doing football videos, in late January! I enjoyed working with Travis and Rex. Really good guys who are exceptional in the work they do. For me, the moral to the story is God can do anything He wants to do when He wants to do it. It was a really cool way for God to show me that He loves me. It definitely got my attention. That event has also made me pay closer attention each day as different things happen. God communicates His love to us often through the day. If we are not paying attention, we may miss that. Because of my faith in God, nothing seems too little or too big. When God chooses me to serve Him in the smallest, most menial, humble ways and in a way that would be beneath others, I am good with that. I am serving Him and working for Him. When God chooses big ways, extraordinary ways, even situations that I would be in over my head in my own abilities, I trust Him with the outcome. I don't know what the future holds. But, big or little, I will be content to serve God in whatever way He chooses. And, if He decides to throw in some palm trees here and there, they will just be a great reminder of the incredible phone call that cold day in December of 2007.
  17. Well friends, the original plan was to provide one more piece of amazing literature prior to Cov Cath's trek through the State Capital (yes, I know). Due to some unfathomable circumstances, our sports lives have come to a screeching and painful halt. I am sure we are all praying and hoping that this, what I consider to be, historic event will pass as soon as it possibly can. We all, even the students, want to return to our normal lives. These are just some random thoughts on the 19-20 basketball season. There are no rankings or a list of the best players or teams. I just wanted to give you all some kind of BGP-Closure. I read this morning that Sam Vinson has taken home the honor of POY. I have not confirmed this but I assume @Rocket Man knows what he is talking about. I saw Sam play on three occasions this year and was very impressed at his skill level, demeanor, and athleticism. Congratulations to Coach Dawn this season on his 500th win and Coach Faust on his 400th. Several players hit milestones in total career points and rebounds. We already have a head coaching vacancy in the region with Coach Dilts leaving Villa Madonna. Coach Dilts seemed to give his all to the Vikings and is not leaving the cupboard bare. There were three new coaches to the region this year in Keeton Belcher (Ryle), Ron Kinmon (Dayton), and Nathan Browning (Boone County) and each left a good impression on their teams. I hope to see these three programs continue to build on the foundation that was set. I thought Holmes improved a lot from last year to this year. Coach Carr seems to be trying his hardest to rebuild this program. Newport had an up and down year but played well when they desperately needed it in the district tournament. The Beechwood Tigers made the 9th region tournament in back-to-back seasons for, what I think, is the first time in school history and the Conner Cougars followed suit with their second consecutive appearance. Congrats to the Crusaders for their performance in the All A and for the Jaguars for continuing to improve as the season progressed. For everyone that saw the 9th Region Championship game, you were treated to a very exciting 4th Quarter. I desperately wanted to point out an officiating flaw at the end of the 3rd Quarter, but did not want to spew negativity after a great effort. I am curious if anyone else noticed and how it could have had an extreme impact in the last two minutes when Highlands pulled to within 2 points. The Bluebirds never backed down and at times had the Colonels on their heels. The Colonels, if memory serves correct, hit six consecutive free throws with their season hanging in the balance to always stay beyond the reach of the Fort Thomas faithful. To hit those free throws with everyone standing and watching took extreme poise and focus. I thank each of you for reading my weekly articles and I hope they made the season more enjoyable for you. While we all have a feeling of wanting and unfinished business reminiscent of Bastion in The Neverending Story, let us keep in mind that this too shall pass and even though some seniors feel cheated, they will end up being just fine in the end... as will you. Godspeed, PP1
  18. Team Rankings... 1. Owensboro Red Devils (19-10) If Owensboro continues to play the way they have over the past few weeks, they will be going to Rupp Arena. Baring a night of a barriage of 3 pointers, it's hard to see a scenario where they loose in this tournament. Freshman PG Kenyatta Carbon has really turned the corner and has become a star late in the season. Mix him with junior big man Gavin Wimsatt and junior slasher, Amari Robinson Wales and the Devils look primed for a back to back title run. 6th man and spark plug Jaiden Greathouse leads the Devils in scoring and won the 9th district player of the year. 2. Muhlenberg County Mustangs (19-11) The Mustangs roll into the rn egional tourament as the hottest team in the 2nd half of the season. They have won 11 of 12 and have played a very difficult schedule to prepare them for this time of year. Junior guard Nash Divine has been fantastic, especially in the 2nd half of the season, averaging nearly 20 points per game during the Mustangs run. 3. Breckenridge County Tigers (20-9) Don't sleep on the Tigers. They have the best player in the region and still have a bad taste in their mouths after last years overtime loss to Owensboro in the regional title game. Kaveon Mitchell poured in 40 plus points in the district championship win over Meade and comes in averaging right at 25 points per game. 4. Owensboro Catholic Aces (18-14) The Aces closed the season with a bit of a losing streak but played very well in their district win over Apollo. They have 2 super sophomores in Brian Griffith and Jai Webb, but for the Aces to reach Rupp, they need their supporting cast to be more involved. Drew Hartz, Gray Weaver and Andrew Riney can all be difference makers for Coach Riley and will need to be if Catholic wants a shot at a Regional Title. 5. Mclean County Cougars (21-11) Mclean County makes their first regional appearance in 5 years this week, after they upset Ohio County this past week. The Eagles had spent more weeks at #1 this year than any other team, but fell short against the Cougars. Logan Patterson and Jacob Clark are one of the best 1-2 scoring punches in the region. 6. Butler County Bears (21-9) The Bears rolled thru the 12th District tournament last week but drew a tough regional draw to open play this week. Parker Rice is an all-region talent but its the supporting cast for the Bears that have been impressive this year. They roll into the Sportscenter with all of their starting 5 averaging over 7 points per game. 7. Meade County Greenwave (10-18) Meade County took down Hancock and pushed Breckenridge in the 11th district tourney last week. Mitchell Dozier is playing his best basketball of the season and has a nice supporting cast that is capable of big games any given night. Coach Tripure has a very solid record in 3rd Region Tournament games since taking over at Meade County but they will have a tough round 1 assignment. 8. Grayson County Cougars (10-21) The Cougars have won 5 of their last 7 games entering tournament play. Nolan Shartzer is a player that could help the Cougars pull a first round upset. He has put up 17 points and 6 boards per game this season. ALL REGION TEAM Logan Patterson - Mclean County - 18 points & 9 boards per game this season. Led Mclean to their first regional tournament in 5 years. Tripp Manning - Ohio County - put up 19 points per game and looked like the best player in the region for a majority of the season. He will be missed at the Sportscenter next week. Jaiden Greathouse - Owensboro - While Greathouse doesn't have player of the year numbers, no player in the region does more little things than he does in limited minutes. He carried the Devils thru the middle part of their season. Parker Rice - Butler County - Rice had a monster year for Butler County, putting up 20 points and 8 boards per game. He can really make his mark on the region with big games this week. Nash Divine - Muhlenberg County - The only junior on this team. Divine has improved all season long and will be a top candidate for player of the year in 2021. 3rd Region Player of the Year - Kaveon Mitchell - Breckenridge County - Mitchell upped his game this season and made a huge jump in production from his junior year to his senior year. As a role player last year he averaged 7 points per game but has stepped into Kobe Poole's spot and raised his numbers to nearly 25 points per game this season, ranking him 12th in the state in scoing TOURNAMENT PREVIEW Butler County vs Owensboro Catholic - Butler County gets rewarded for their district title by pulling the toughest district loser, in Owensboro Catholic. The Aces won their regular season game by 10 points back in mid January. The Bears will need to bring their best defensive effort of the season to have a shot at Tim Riley's Aces who have never lost a first round game at the Sportscenter. PREDICTION: Owensboro Catholic. Breckenridge County vs Mclean County - This is a solid first round match-up on paper. The Tigers defeated the Cougars by 7, back in early February. Mclean will need to find a way to slow down Kaveon Mitchell if they want to have any chance. Mclean will be challenged to match the athleticism of Mitchell. PREDICTION: Breckenridge County Owensboro vs Meade County - While Owensboro is an overwhelming favorite in this game, this could be a tricky match-up. Meade plays very physical and will test the Devils on that end. For Meade to have any shot though, they will need to be able to hit some 3 point shots. The Waves only shot 29.5% as a team from beyond the arc this season. They will have a difficult time containing PG Kenyatta Carbon. PREDICTION: Owensboro Muhlenberg County vs Grayson County - Muhlenberg may come into the regional as the biggest favorite in the first round. They beat Grayson by 28 in their regular season meeting and are playing even better right now. Unless Nolan Shartzer scores in the 40's, its going to be a tough one of the Cougars. PREDICTION: Muhlenberg County CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTION: Owensboro over Breckenridge County
  19. Record: 29-5 School: Hazard Nickname: Bulldogs District: 54th Region: 14th Head Coach: Al Holland State Tournament Appearances: 30 (To my Knowledge). State Tournament Wins: 1 (KHSAA) (2008 They defeated South Laurel in the first round before falling to Shelby County in the second round) Hazard Bulldogs once again start to region supreme on the 14th region. This is the first region tournament win since 2008/9 season. Hazard didn't have an easy way to go as they started out with a 59-47 win over Breathitt County to begin the tournament then rolling past Letcher County Central 65-38 before having to go into overtime to edge out Wolfe County 57-51 in the championship game. The Bulldogs will open up the KHSAA Sweet 16 State Tournament with Fern Creek next Thursday (March 19th) at 12 PM. To my knowledge, these two teams haven't met yet, if they have it was before my time. Hazard comes in 29-5 having won 7 straight and 12 of they're previous 13 games. Hazard is led by JR Wade Phelphrey who is averaging 16.1 points a game and SR Logan Hall who is averaging 13.7 points a game. Seniors Reece Fletcher and Logan Hall dominate the boards with nearly double digit rebounds a game. Hazard has three players shooting 35% from 3 point range and 2 at about 40% from long range. JR Wade Phelphrey (39%), SR Jacob Johnson (38.3%) and JR Jarrett Napier (35%). Hazard has the pieces to make a run but it's not gonna be easy as they will open up with Fern Creek who is coming in 28-6 and have won 15 straight and the winner of this game will more than likely have to deal with Covington Catholic (if they get by West Jessamine) but that's why they play the game. The 14th region as a whole hasn't made it past the first round since Perry County Central done it back in 2017. One thing for sure though, is their will be a new Sweet 16 Champion this season as defending champion, Louisville Trinity had an early exit in they're region tournament. Can Hazard get past Fern Creek and make a run or will they get an early exit?
  20. I reviewed the quarterfinals in previous article. Bishop Brossart 58 Robertson County 54 George Rogers Clark 81 Augusta 41 Montgomery County 52 Mason County 51 Campbell County 48 Pendleton County 38 Semifinals George Rogers Clark 58 Bishop Brossart 45 Clark County got big games from each of their big 4. Lincoln Bush had 10 points and 16 rebounds. KJ Rucker had 14 points on 4 of 5 shooting from deep. Jared Wellman had 18 points and 7 boards and Jerone Morton had 10 points and 12 assists. Bishop Brossart couldn't get much going on offense. They missed several 3-pointers and layups. The Cardinals were able to alter several of their shots. Montgomery County 76 Campbell County 59 The Indians dominated the Camels inside. Rickey Lovette had 20 rebounds and whole Camels team had 22. Lovette finished with 28 points on 12 of 13 shooting. Brandon Dyer provided outside shooting and finished with 16 points. Hagan Harrison had 18 and Zach Benton added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Jordan Gross had another good game for the Camels. Campbell County heated up from deep in the second half, but it was too little too late. Finals George Rogers Clark 53 Montgomery County 50 The Cardinals used defense to turn a 9-point 1st half deficit into a 3 point win. They kept the Indians' offense off balance all night. The game was also won at the free throw line, with the Cardinals shooting much better from the stripe than Montgomery County did. Jerone Morton's play was the difference in the game. Lincoln Bush had 9 points and 19 boards and KJ Rucker made several key free throws. Rickey Lovette and Brandon Dyer played well for the Indians. Both will return next year along with sophomore Hagan Harrison. The Indians and Cardinals could very well meet again in next year's 10th region finals. George Rogers Clark will play McCracken County at 8:00 p.m. on March 18 in the first round of the Sweet 16. McCracken County is a top 10 team in the state.
  21. As expected, the Male Bulldogs (30-4) and the Ballard Bruins (28-6) will play each other in the Seventh Region final on Tuesday night at Valley High School. Male and Ballard have been at the top of the Region's rankings all season and are among the very best teams in the state. These teams split their two regular season contests. On January 17 in the LIT, Ballard prevailed 71-58 while the Bulldogs won 76-67 two weeks later on January 31. The rosters of both teams are loaded with talent. For example, Male has a double figure scorer who is hitting 46.4% from 3-point range - and he is not Male's best shooter. The 46.4% shooter is junior Cam Pope, who has had a tremendous season and is averaging 10.9 ppg, while the other is Seventh Region Player of the Year Tyren Moore, who leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 18.2 ppg and is shooting 48.7% from 3's. Jake Evans (8.1 ppg) is a steady point guard who rounds out the Bulldogs' backcourt. Howard Fleming missed most of the season for Male (including the first game against Ballard), but has made the most of things since returning to the floor for the second game against Ballard, averaging 15.8 ppg and 6.6 rpg. Add in freshman Kaleb Glenn, who is averaging a double double at 13.4 ppg and 10.1 rpg (and shoots 73.3% from the field, the highest in Kentucky), plus additional talented players such as Noah Courtney (7.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Dez Lindsay (5.6 ppg), and you realize that Male has a lot to throw at you. So does Ballard, the state's highest scoring team at 82.2 ppg. The Bruins have 7 players averaging 9 ppg or higher, including the freshman backcourt tandem of Gabe Sisk (11.8 ppg) and Jake Edelen (11.2 ppg); big men Rashad Bishop (12.5 ppg, 5 rpg) and Makar Bar (10.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg); plus talented contributors Lewis Richards (12.8 ppg), Josh Minkins (9.4 ppg), and Terrnece McDaniels (9.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg). In its regional semi-final game against St. X, which Ballard won 79-55, the Bruins shot 72% from the field. That will win a lot of games. Male has not lost since the loss to Ballard on January 17, winning its last 15 games. Ballard lost 3 games in February (to Henry Clay, Seneca, and Jeffersonville (IN)), but has looked really good in the post-season, winning its 4 tournament games by an average of 33 points. So who wins Tuesday night? I don't know. Both teams will be ready to play. I look forward to being there to watch it.
  22. Well here we are, another basketball season is about to pass. It seems like just a week or so ago when I published my first 2019-2020 article. I wish all the seniors the best as they move on to post-secondary life. I hope that all of you use your gifts and talents to help your fellow man and make the world a better place. I anticipate a crowded gym and parking lot this evening at NKU, you may want to arrive a wee bit earlier than usual. I will probably try to be on campus by 6:30. I recall in 2015, I tried to make it to the championship game and five minutes after tipoff I was still looking for a parking spot. It is not looking good for me to make a trip to the Sweet 16 this year, so tonight is my last chance to see a high school basketball game. I think this game will be very competitive. Venue: BB&T Arena Time: 7:30 Prediction: I have never had a season where almost everything I predicted would happen has never happened. I have made, I think, 14 calls this year and only 1 of them have come to fruition (Dixie over Lloyd). So round and round we go. It's like Vizzini arguing with Carey Elwes about where the Iocane Powder is when it really doesn't matter because Elwes had spent the last few years building an immunity to Iocane Powder. This is probably the best Highlands team I have seen since I moved to Bellevue, as a 1st Grader, in 1987. Admittedly, I did not pay much attention until around 1995. There are those that feel I have not given the Bluebirds enough love this year in my weekly rankings and the fact that they are playing in the Championship Game would seem to support that. Covington Catholic has been #1 all year and, despite the darts, they continue to perform at a high level. There are some very talented players that wear that uniform. I look forward to seeing the crazies do their thing. So who is going to win? I'll pull a Bobby Heenan move when he was asked who would win the U.S. Heavyweight Championship Tournament final bout between Sting and Meng..."I'll tell you tomorrow."
  23. Regional Tournament First Round Review Pulaksi County vs. Lincoln County – The Maroons came into the regional ready to make a powerful statement and they did just that by knocking off the reigning champions 62 to 49. The Pulaski defense smothered the Patriots, limiting Jaxon Smith to only 7. Colton Fraley has proven himself to be one of the region’s best on both sides of the ball. West Jessamine vs. Southwestern – The Colts were firing on all cylinders as they put up 84 points to the Warriors’ 56. DeAjuan Stepp led the way with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Waters continues to impress late in the year as he put up 15 points, complemented by 10 rebounds. If the Colts continue their run, it will be in no small part to the contributions of this young man who has come on as of late. Cole Dysinger put up 16 for Southwestern in the losing effort. Somerset vs. East Jessamine – The Jaguars’ defense could not contain the Briar Jumpers as Somerset advances on a score of 77 to 66. Kade Grundy gave a monster performance, producing 34 points. Michael Powell (16 points) and DeQuante Jackson (15 points) led the way for the Jaguars. Danville vs. Wayne County – The Admirals defeated the Cardinals 70 to 60 in a game that saw the second district loser beat a district champion. Thomas Spencer had 27 points for Wayne County, but it was not enough for the multiple threat Admiral offense to be bested. Weekly Preview March 9th at 6:30 PM –Pulaski County vs. West Jessamine: DeAjuan Stepp for the Colts and Colton Fraley for the Maroons lead two teams that also feature a deep roster of contributing players. The Maroons defeated the Colts in Somerset way back on December 7th by a score of 71 to 67 in a game which saw Pulaski’s Zach Travis go off for 23 and Colton Fraley limited to only 6. In the same game, Clayton Winter made a statement with 21 points and 9 boards and DeAjuan Stepp put up a modest (for his numbers) 16 points. March 9th at 8:00 PM – Somerset vs. Danville: This will be round three for the two teams that make up the cream of the crop amongst the All A teams in the region. Somerset has won both matchups, the first being the 72 to 70 overtime win in the All A finals and the second being a beat down by the Briar Jumpers at a score of 82 to 59 in the Briar Patch. If Danville can limit the damage Kade Grundy can do, they will have a chance. If he gets 20 or more, it will be very tough for the Admirals to advance. The winners will play March 10th at Pulaski County at 7:00 PM. Somerset leads the series over Pulaski with 2 wins and a loss. West Jessamine beat Danville by 18 early in December and did not play Somerset in the regular season. Pulaski defeated Danville 92 to 80 on February 16th. Pulaski County remains the favorite and Danville the biggest long shot, but it really is anyone’s tournament to win.
  24. The Boys of the 16th region, after having 3 days off will pick back up at Ellis Johnson arena. The action tips off at 6:30 this evening. For those unable to attend, there is a web broadcast of both games at www.facebook.com/mytowntv Boyd County vs Lewis County The Regional semi-finals kicks off this evening at 6:30. The first game of the night features Boyd County and Lewis County. Boyd County is 19-14 overall and 15-4 against 16th region teams. Lewis County is 17-15 overall and 12-9 against 16th region teams. These teams have played one time this year, on Jan 21 at Lewis County. In that games, Lewis County edged Boyd out 66-64. Lewis was led by Mr Everything, Sam O’Keefe, who had 26 points and 12 rebounds. Boyd County was led by their Mr Everything, Blake Stewart, with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Both teams will look to get more from the charity stripe as both teams shot For Lewis County to win, they will need O’Keefe to be his normal self and will need a solid effort from Kolby McCann and Logan Liles. In the last meeting, Lewis shot 29.4% from the 3-point line. They will look to create better shots from behind the arc to improve that percentage tonight. For Boyd Count to win, they will need Blake Stewart to give the normal Blake Stewart play. They will also need Carson Webb to step up. Boyd County has an advantage in guard play and will need to get as much out of that as they can. Webb and Stewart can do that. This should be a competitive game and one that is fun for the fans to watch. I will lay my prediction down that the Lion will win.  Cheesy, I know, but had to say it. Boyd County 68 Lewis County 62 Ashland vs Rowan County The last game of the night will feature the regional favorites and last remaining undefeated team, no matter what state the losses came in, Ashland Tomcats. Ashland is 31-0 overall and 17-0 against 16th region teams. They will be playing Rowan County. Rowan is 26-7 overall and 17-2 against 16th region teams. Rowan’s only regional losses are to Ashland and Boyd County. These teams have played one time this year on Feb 11 at Rowan County. In that game, Ashland won 68-62. Rowan County was led by their one two punch of Mason Moore and Chase Alderman. Moore had 31 points and 13 rebounds. Alderman has 10 points and 8 rebounds. Ashland was led by Villers with 28 points. Hudson provided the rebounding with 8 rebounds. Hudson and Sellers each also had double digit scoring. For Ashland, the last couple of weeks of the regular season, they looked like a tired team. That included the Rowan County game. Thus far in the tournaments, Ashland has shown no indication of fatigue. Thursday night, they played a Russell team that was within 5 points only a couple of weeks ago. Thursday, Ashland beat them by 20 and it could have been 30. To win, Ashland needs to be relaxed and their normal high energy. They will also need the shots to fall. In the previous Rowan County game, they were 52.6% from the 3-point line. For Rowan County to win, Mason Moore will need to be Mason Moore and Chase Alderman will need to stay out of foul trouble and dominate the paint. He certainly has the potential for 10-15 rebounds and some of those giving put back points. If he is able to be a force in the paint for most of the game, it gives Rowan their best chance to move on. Ashland 74 Rowan County 66
  25. Quarterfinals: #6 Bishop Brossart 58 #3 Robertson County 54 (OT) The Black Devils led almost the entire game, but they faltered down the stretch. Ethan Eilerman hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to force overtime, despite the Black Devils still having a foul to give. The Mustangs consistently went to Eilerman in the 4th quarter and he delivered. He finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Carson Schirmer hit 4 key free throws late in overtime, including a pair to ice the game. Brandon Dice had a great game for Robertson County. He was able to get to the rim with ease and finished with 21 points. Justin Becker had 14 for the Black Devils. Bishop Brossart fouled Robertson County three times late in regulation. Becker missed the front end twice, then hit a pair of free throws to put the Black Devils up 3, before Eilerman’s shot forced overtime. #1 George Rogers Clark 81 #8 Augusta 41 Augusta got off to a 5-0 lead, but George Rogers Clark turned up the heat and put the game away quickly. Jared Wellman had 18, Jerone Morton 17 and Lincoln Bush continued to be a beast on the glass, posting 12 points and 17 rebounds. Wellman has been shooting great from 3-point range all postseason. Augusta was outmatched but battled to the end. Kason Hinson finished with 15 points and 10 boards. #2 Montgomery County 52 #5 Mason County 51 The Indians found themselves in a double-digit deficit with their top two players (Hagan Harrison and Rickey Lovette) on the bench with 2 fouls. But their quick lineup was able to bother Mason County and keep the Indians in the game going into halftime. Brandon Dyer hit a jump shot in the lane with 1:45 remaining to give the Indians a 3-point lead. Mason County later cut it to 1 and had a chance to take the lead but ended up missing a wide-open layup with 30 seconds remaining. The Royals then stole the ball and had a chance to win, but Carson Brammer’s open 3-pointer rimmed out and the Royals were not able to secure the rebound. Hagan Harrison led the Indians with 15 points. Zach Benton had 7 points 3 blocks and 6 assists, including a nice behind the back assist in transition. He fouled out near the end of the game. Dyer finished with 11 points. Alex Schalch had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Mason County. Braden May and Brammer each finished with 11. Tyrell Henry struggled with foul trouble all game and ended up fouling out. #4 Campbell County 48 #7 Pendleton County 33 Campbell County’s Jordan Gross had 24 points and 8 rebounds. He was the difference in the game. Pendleton County took the lead midway through the 3rd quarter, but just didn’t have enough offense down the stretch. Tredyn Thomas led the Wildcats with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Pendleton County slowed the game down and the Camels did not look sharp, other than the good game from Gross. Garrett Beiting hit 3 of 6 threes and finished with 9 points for Pendleton County. The Camels won the turnover battle 12 to 5. Semifinal Preview George Rogers Clark (26-7) vs Bishop Brossart (25-6) Monday, March 9 at GRC - 6 p.m. GRC is the favorite to win the region. Offensively, they have relied on their big three of Jerone Morton, (17 ppg), Jared Wellman (16 ppg) and Lincoln Bush (14 ppg, 13 rpg) all season. KJ Rucker pitches in 11 points per game and provides solid perimeter defense. I expect the Cardinals to focus their defense on Bishop Brossart’s Ethan Eilerman. Expect the Mustangs to slow down the game and rely on Eilerman (20 ppg), Schirmer (15 ppg) and Verst (12 ppg). David Govan will need to try to grab some rebounds away from Bush. Montgomery County (21-12) vs Campbell County (18-14) Monday, March 9 at GRC – 7:30 p.m. Montgomery County has fallen behind in their last three games. They come in as a slight favorite tonight but will need to start strong. Hagan Harrison (18 ppg) has been a scoring machine lately and Rickey Lovette (13 ppg, 9 rpg) changes the game on both ends of the court. Brandon Dyer (8 ppg) makes winning plays and provides 3-point shooting and Austin Eichenberger (9 ppg) has been a steadying presence at point guard, often playing 30 plus minutes a game. Campbell County has a strong showing in the postseason so far. Jordan Gross (16 ppg) has been scoring at an impressive rate. He is a good shooter from deep as is Garrett Beiting (9 ppg). Dane Hegyi (16 ppg) leads the Camels in scoring. The finals will be played on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Note the rankings are based on the 8 team rankings I did when I previewed the 10th region tournament last week.
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