Sunday, March 3, 2013

Graves Co. v. Calloway Co.

We love all parts of the Kentucky Boys' Basketball Championship, and we have fun tracking results from all across the Commonwealth.  But there is no place like home, and no region I enjoy as much as the First.

Since Murray State needed its gym yesterday -- so the Racers could lose at home to SEMO -- the First Region final will take place this afternoon.  The Graves County Eagles (25-8) will be heavily favored to defeat the Calloway County Lakers (23-8) and return to the State Tournament for the first time since 2009.  Since its creation in the mid-1980's, Graves has gone to State in 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2006, and 2009.  Graves County's record in the State Tournament is 3-7, but the 2006 team went all the way to the State Semi-Finals.  Calloway's only trip to State was in 2003 -- the Lakers lost in the first round.

These two teams met back on December 14 at Graves, and the Eagles beat the Lakers 52-43.

Today's winner will play Ohio County in the State Tournament.

The game is being broadcast on WNBS, which can be found at 1340 on your AM dial or on the Internet.  Right now we are in the midst of a one-hour pre-game show that is making me extremely homesick.  Further observations will be posted in the comments.

127 comments:

  1. The Murray Bank tells us that it is involved "in all things Murray."

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  2. The Froggyland announcers are pretty certain Graves is going to win this game.

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  3. The Froggyland guys say that Graves is older and stronger than Calloway. Say that Calloway needs to show its "man card."

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  4. We have a third-grader from Graves County Elementary to sing the National Anthem. As you would expect, she does a great job.

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  5. Now they're showing a highlight package for each of the two teams. The guys on Froggyland Sports are very excited about this -- they say everyone's on their feet watching the film.

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  6. Graves County's coach, Terry Birdsong, was the guy who coached Calloway County to its only regional title in 2003.

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  7. The Lakers are playing Graves County man-to-man, but the folks on Froggyland do not think this will work. They say Calloway has to go to a zone.

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  8. Graves is up 8-3 with 5 1/2 minutes to go in the first. The radio guy is screaming for Calloway to call time.

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  9. Calloway does not call time, and they score to make it 8-5.

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  10. The Lakers have gone into a zone, but the guys on Froggyland say it was ridiculous to spot Graves 8 points at the beginning of the game.

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  11. Graves leads 12-7 with 3:17 left in the first quarter. Calloway calls time after Graves steals the ball and gets a layup. The folks on Froggyland are still complaining about that man-to-man defense.

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  12. Graves takes advantage of a technical on Calloway, and leads 17-9 after one quarter.

    The color commentator on Froggyland is in despair. He says that since Calloway has fallen so far behind, they may not be able to play the zone after all. He was also furious about how Calloway played the last defensive possession. The Lakers opened with a zone, and then switched to a man-to-man -- which quickly turned into free throws for Graves.

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  13. Graves hits a three to go up 20-9. They are on an 8-0 run.

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  14. Graves is shooting 1-7 from three's. The guys on Froggyland don't understand why Graves is shooting over the Calloway zone.

    Graves leads 21-13.

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  15. 3:30 left in the first half. Graves leads 26-15.

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  16. Calloway scores to make it 26-17. The guys on Froggyland say that Calloway has to just chip away.

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  17. Calloway hits a 3 to cut Graves's lead to 26-22. The guys on Froggyland are getting excited. "You're hearing it from the Laker fans now!"

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  18. Calloway misses a layup at the buzzer. But Graves's lead, which was 11 points, is now only four. Eagles lead 26-22 at the half.

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  19. The guys on Froggyland reiterate that Graves made a big mistake by shooting so many threes over the Calloway zone.

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  20. Calloway opens the second half playing man-to-man.

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  21. Graves misses a jump shot ("They can play man-to-man if Graves takes shots like that.")

    Calloway scores to make it 26-24.

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  22. Graves scores twice in a row to go up 30-24. ("You've got to stop that dribble penetration by Graves County.")

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  23. Calloway calls time to talk about what they're doing offensively. The color commentator on Froggyland says "I wish I knew."

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  24. Graves up 32-28 with 4 1/2 to play in the third quarter.

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  25. Graves misses another 3-pointer. They are 2-10 from beyond the arc. Laker ball.

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  26. Calloway scores. Graves leads 32-30. "And the Laker fans on their feet."

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  27. Now Graves has 4 straight points. They lead 36-30.

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  28. Graves scores to go up 40-32, but then Graves is hit with a technical foul for celebrating!

    The Graves fans are furious, and the guys on Froggyland say this was ridiculous. "If you make a mistake {by calling one technical}, you don't make it up with another one."

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  29. 1:15 left in 3d Quarter. Graves County leads 42-34.

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  30. With 26 seconds to go in the third, Graves calls time to set up a final play. Graves's shot is blocked, but the ball goes out to an Eagle who hits a three-pointer at buzzer. With 8 minutes to go, the Eagles lead 45-34.

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  31. Graves County is up 49-34 with 4:59 to play, and "this thing is getting away from Calloway County."

    But the guys on Froggyland say that a young Calloway team has had a great learning experience, and that the Lakers will be tougher next year.

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  32. Meanwhile, over at Diddle Arena, the Warren Central Dragons lead the Russell County Lakers 9-7 with 4:03 to go in the 1st.

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  33. With 3:37 left in the game, Calloway gets its first bucket of the 4th Quarter. They still trail 50-37.

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  34. At Diddle Arena, Warren Central leads Russell County, 16-13, through one quarter.

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  35. Bluegrass Basketball ‏@BluegrassBball
    Remember if Russell County upsets Warren Central coach Willie Feldhaus would join his brother at the Sweet 16.
    3:13 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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  36. With Graves County leading 58-44, and just a few minutes left, a Graves player commits a foul to prevent a layup. One of the Graves fans yells "Good foul." On Froggyland, the commentators say that this is totally wrong, as Graves doesn't want to stop the clock for any reason. They express hope that the Graves fans will put away the stupid pills.

    To be fair, the Froggyland guys are being good sports about the whole thing. They assure us that Calloway has been beaten by a better team.

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  37. The guys on Froggyland tell us that next year, "the guys from McCracken County will throw their hat in the ring." They don't seem to think McCracken County will make much noise in the region.

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    1. I await the return of Heath basketball, as soon as population growth leads to a new high school in the western part of the county.

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  38. With 15 seconds left, Graves County pulls its starters so they can get an ovation.

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  39. Zach Greenwell of Bowling Green's Daily News reports that Warren Central played 12 players in the first quarter. The Dragons are pressing, and the Laker Country radio guys say Russell County is definitely disturbed by the pace and intensity. Warren Central leads, 22-15. Tyler Robertson, the Russell County senior who scored 38 in the semifinals, is playing with two fouls.

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    1. I can't tell you how intimidated I am by the schools in Warren County. I don't ever expect any team from Warren County to lose -- in any sport -- to any Kentucky school from west of Louisville.

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  40. Graves County is going to state, as they beat Calloway County 63-53. But Calloway will return the core of its team, and they should be good next year.

    The Froggyland guys assure us that there is "no question" we are sending our best team to Rupp.

    And so ends another basketball season in the Jackson Purchase. May the Eagles finally break our drought and bring home the big trophy.

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    1. Joey Fosko ‏@JoeyFreaknFosko
      Next up for Graves' Eagles ... Ohio County's Eagles. who barely beat Calloway in Ohio's Christmas tournament.
      3:22 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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  41. Chad Young ‏@wkctpd
    Is there anyone left in Russell Springs?
    2:55 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

    Micheal Compton ‏@mcompton428
    appropriate that Russell Co is wearing the white unis. They have the crowd today
    2:58 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013


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  42. Halftime: Warren Central 29, Russell County 24.

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  43. The Dragons' second-year head coach is William Unseld, a nephew of Wes who starred for some excellent Warren Central teams in the early 1990s.

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    1. The Laker Country radio guys are not impressed with Coach Unseld's frequent substitutions. "It's more like a football game."

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    2. "Would you rather have a car with holes in it, or no car?"

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  44. Russell County High's girls play Bowling Green's in the Fourth Region semis tomorrow night at Diddle Arena.

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  45. Lakers open with second half's first six points to take their first lead, but Warren Central responds with two layups. Dragons lead, 33-30.

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  46. Laker Country: "Warren Central is so quick and so tenacious on the defensive end."

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  47. Warren Central's lead is 34-32.

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  48. 1:41 to go in the third ... Dragons up, 36-34 ... "Warren Central is playing more deliberate on the offensive end, and that's what we want to see from the Laker side ..."

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  49. Through three quarters: Warren Central 38, Russell County 34.

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    1. Kevin KU Unseld ‏@kyku85
      This Is It!!! Goin Into The 4th Qtr Warren Central 38 Russell County 34
      4:00 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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  50. Replies
    1. My high-school rooting scenario is pretty much ...

      1. Heath over anyone
      2. Little over big
      3. Public over private

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    2. That's pretty much how I roll, although I would have "West over the Rest" as my number 2 principle.

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  51. Dragons surge to a 44-35 advantage. Laker Country: "That's how Coach Unseld does it. If you make a good play and are a little gassed, he pulls you out and sits you down for about 30 seconds and then sends you back in there."

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  52. 3:55: 47-40 ... timeout, Russell County ...

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  53. 47-46 ... 2:19 to go ... Warren Central then throws away an inbounds pass (I think), but the refs rule that they had allowed a timeout call from the bench before the play (I think) ... whatever, it will be Dragon ball ...

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  54. Laker Country: "They're a little nervous now, Warren Central is."

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  55. Warren Central rebounds its own miss and then converts a three-pointer: 50-46. 1:12 to go ...

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  56. "It's everything we thought it would be," Laker Country says of the Fourth Region final.

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  57. BT ‏@Brittney014
    I think right now is the loudest Diddle has been all year. Russell County is hype right now.
    4:13 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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  58. Russell County twice rebounds its own misses but is then called for a foul. Warren Central makes both free throws: 52-46.

    Laker turnover ...

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  59. Warren Central misses the front end of bonus free-throw opportunity, and now Russell County has one of its own coming ...

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  60. Sorry ... house interruption ... 7 seconds to go ... Warren Central up six and headed back to the line ...

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  61. First time to regional finals in 56 years for Russell County. 26-6 season.

    Warren Central, the 2005 state champ, is headed back to the Sweet Sixteen.

    56-48 final from Bowling Green.

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  62. And, so, the city game in the suburbs: Covington Catholic vs. Covington Holmes for the Ninth Region championship, from Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights.

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  63. The Holmes Bulldogs are 30-2; the CovCath Colonels, 27-6. The teams have played each other twice this season:

    -- Holmes 71 at CovCath 60 on Jan. 8
    -- CovCath 73 at Holmes 72 on Feb. 22

    Tri State Sports Radio/iHigh.com is streaming audio of the game.

    Among the Twitter feeds to follow for this game are @RecorderWeber, @NKYSports and @nkyFAN.

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  64. If you do a Twitter search of "Holmes," you get a lot of Sherlock, some Covington, a little Larry and the occasional Rupert.

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    1. ಌಌಌ Joe Jimenez ಌಌಌ ‏@rishuDeshi18
      El ruido de un beso no es tan retumbante como el de un cañón, pero su eco dura mucho más. Oliver Wendell Holmes
      5:26 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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  65. 9-7, Holmes, midway through first quarter ... four three-pointers between the teams so far ... "I'm not even going to try to keep up with lead changes," admits the Tri State Sports Radio/iHigh.com play-by-play dude.

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  66. Now only the 9th Region is left:

    CovCath leads Holmes 26-15 with 5:41 left in the 1st half.

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  67. After consecutive Colonel three-pointers, Holmes calls timeout.

    "Covington Catholic has opened up a can!"

    5:41: CovCath 26, Holmes 15.

    Nick Ruthsatz, who hit both of the threes, has 14 points already for the Colonels.

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  68. Parker Osburg ‏@ParkerOsburg
    I despise both Holmes and CovCath. I hope the championship ends in a tie
    5:26 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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    1. I actually prefer both of these teams to Highlands.

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  69. I will gladly contribute money to help Tri State Sports Radio pay anyone who normally broadcasts high school basketball on the radio to call these games. I'm sure the guys from Fleming County could have done this game -- or you could have hired the guys who normally do Mason County. Just anyone who understands radio broadcasting.

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  70. Holmes now fighting back: They trail 31-29, but I have no idea how much time is left in the 1st half.

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  71. CovCath leads 33-31 with 50 seconds left in the first half.

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  72. CovCath leads 35-31 at the half. Something hugely controversial happened at the end of the half, but I have no idea what it was.

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  73. Holmes surge--led by its own big star, James Bolden--pulls Bulldogs into 31-31 tie late in the first half, but CovCath goes into the break with a 35-31 advantage. And then, per the Tri State Sports Radio/iHigh.com guys, CovCath coach Ruthsatz got into some broohaha before heading into the locker room.

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    1. The Tri State Sports Radio/iHigh.com guys said Holmes assistant Mike Listerman, a former head coach at CovCath, "jumped the chicken" of current CovCath coach Ruthsatz and compared the confrontation to "Schwartz/Harbaugh."

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    2. NKY Sports ‏@NKYSports
      Not sure why, but Holmes asst coach Listerman, former Covcath coach runs down court yelling at Covcath coaches at end of half
      5:43 PM - Mar 3, 2013

      nkyFAN ‏@nkyFAN
      Mike Listermann was just hit with the "CovCath reject" cheer from the #ColonelCrazies after causing an uproar with the officials at half.
      5:45 PM - Mar 3, 2013

      Brent Sowder ‏@BrentSowder
      Coach Ruthsatz yells at CovCath students to get rowdy on his way to locker room.
      5:45 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013

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  74. The Erlanger Batting Cages are among the sponsors of today's audio stream.

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    1. For the record, I fully support the stream. I just want better announcers.

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  75. Sophomore point guard James Bolden has 18 points for Holmes at the half.

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  76. CovCath is awarded two free throws (both made) and the ball at the opening of the second half. Now 36-31, Colonels.

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  77. CovCath leads 40-39 early in the 3d Quarter.

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  78. Tied at 42 with 3:15 left in the 3d Quarter.

    The 9th region tournament has just been amazingly good.

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  79. Still tied at 42 with 1:58 left in the third.

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  80. Holmes hits a 3-pointer at the end of the 3d quarter to take a 48-44 lead with 8 minutes to go.

    Holmes outscored CovCath 17-9 in the quarter.

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  81. Holmes makes a three-pointer as the third half expires, and the Bulldogs lead, 48-44.

    Holmes is plus-8 since the technical on Assistant Coach Listerman.

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  82. And a three by the same Holmes player, Palmer, to open the fourth, so now the Bulldogs' lead is 51-44.

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  83. Quan Palmer, who made the three for Holmes at the end of the third quarter, tweets under the name "QPgetbuckets."

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  84. James Bolden is called for his fourth foul with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game.

    I have no idea what the score is.

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  85. TheRoadtoRupp ‏@TheRoadtoRupp
    Bolden called for 4th with 5 and a half to play. Holmes leads CovCath 53-48. #9thregion
    6:15 p.m. - Mar 3, 2013 · Details

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  86. Holmes leads 53-52 with 3:15 on the clock.

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  87. Bolden makes 2 FT's. Holmes leads 55-52.

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  88. With CovCath down 56-52, they hit a layup AND draw the fifth foul on Bolden. Holmes still leads 56-55, but they've lost their best player.

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  89. Holmes scores on an offensive rebound: 58-55.

    I just saw a picture of the Northern Kentucky gym. It is packed for this game.

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  90. With 1:37 left, Cov Cath hits a shot but is called for CHARGING.

    Holmes takes over with a 58-55 lead.

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  91. With 44 seconds left, Holmes was up 59-57.

    Holmes had the ball, and was fouled. They made both FT's to go up 61-57.

    CovCath came back, shot, missed, got the rebound, and HIT A THREE-POINTER.

    Holmes leads 61-60 with 24.7 seconds to go.

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  92. CovCath steals the ball, goes down, shoots, MISSES, Holmes gets the rebound. Holmes is fouled.

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  93. 15 seconds left.

    Holmes misses the first free throw.

    Holmes misses the second.

    CovCath with the rebound.

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  94. CovCath goes down, shoots, MISSES, Holmes gets the rebound and IS FOULED.

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  95. 2 seconds left.

    Holmes misses the first free throw.

    Holmes makes the second free throw.

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  96. CovCath misses a half court shot at the buzzer and Holmes prevails, 62-60.

    What a great game. What a great 9th region tournament. The folks in NoKy should be proud.

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  97. So that's it. Here are next week's first-round matchups:

    Wednesday:
    Wayne Co. v. Madison Central
    Cov. Holmes v. Lou. Pleasure Ridge Park
    Graves Co. v. Ohio Co.
    Hopkinsville v. S. Oldham

    Thursday:
    Warren Cent. v. Montgomery Co.
    Fleming Co. v. John Hardin
    Johnson Cent. v. Lou. Ballard
    Knott Co. Cent. v. Clay Co.

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  98. For the record, I thought this was one of the best Regional weeks I can remember. There were so many great games, and there seemed to be huge crowds all over the Commonwealth.

    MORE LIFE! MORE BASKETBALL!!!

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  99. Hurrah! That was fun. Well done, Go Heath!

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