Sunday, March 22, 2015

Two teams left

The Kentucky High School Boys' Basketball Tournament is the greatest high school athletics competition in this country, if not the world, and once again it has given us a panoply of high drama.  Here's what happened in yesterday's semi-finals:

(7) Owensboro 69, (9) Cov. Catholic 65 (OT)
This was one of the best high school basketball games you will ever see.

Bowling Green 68, Boyle Co. 58
Boyle County appeared to have no gas left in the tank after stirring upsets of Lexington Catholic and Louisville Ballard.

And that sets up the following final:

(7) Owensboro (30-4) v. Bowling Green (31-5)

Here's how Owensboro got here, starting with the Third Region Tournament:

Owensboro 67, Breckinridge Co. 52
Owensboro 72, Muhlenberg Co. 46
Owensboro 87, Meade Co. 57
Owensboro 55, Shelbyville Collins 38
Owensboro 71, Hopkinsville 50
Owensboro 69, Cov. Catholic 65 (OT)

And here's the path for Bowling Green.  So far, the Purples have found the State Tournament easier than the Fourth Region Tournament:

Bowling Green 58, Clinton Co. 47
Bowling Green 68, Barren Co. 67
Bowling Green 46, Warren Cent. 43
Bowling Green 86, Elliott Co. 44
Bowling Green 65, Calloway Co. 57
Bowling Green 68, Boyle Co. 58

Interestingly, neither Bowling Green nor Owensboro had to play a team from the Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh Regions to reach the State Championship.

Owensboro holds the record number of appearances in the State Tournament, with 43.  The Red Devils are 3-0 in the State Final.  In 1949, they beat Lex. Lafayette 65-47.  In 1972, they beat Elizabethtown 71-63.  In 1980, they beat Lou. Doss 57-56.

Bowling Green has never played in the State Final.

The last time two high schools named after towns played for the State Championship was in 1996, when Paintsville beat Ashland.  If you don't want to count that game, because Ashland is known as Ashland Blazer, then you have to go back to that Owensboro/E-Town title game from 1972.

38 comments:

  1. Unusually for a State Final, these teams met twice during the regular season. On January 3, Owensboro won 79-71 in overtime at Muhlenberg County, where the teams met as part of the First Security New Year's Bash. On February 10, Owensboro won 69-66 at Bowling Green.

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  2. The last team from the Third Region to win the title was Breckinridge County, in 1995. The last team from the Fourth Region to win the title was Warren Central, in 2004.

    This is the first time that the Third Region and the Fourth Region have met for the title.

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  3. Jason Frakes that this is the first all-Western Kentucky Final since Edmonson County beat Christian County in 1976.

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  4. Uniform watch: both teams are wearing the uniforms they wore yesterday -- Owensboro is in white, BGHS in purple.

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  5. Owensboro was leading 8-3 about halfway through the first quarter when the KHSAA web page crashed.

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  6. OK, we have now switched to WVJS -- 1420 AM in Owensboro.

    With 2:45 left in the first quarter, Owensboro leads 13-5.

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    1. They are carrying the normal state-wide broadcast.

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  7. In Charlotte, N.C., Michigan State has beaten Virginia 60-54.

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    Replies
    1. Louisville's chances of reaching the Final Four have improved significantly over the last two days.

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    2. I also picked this upset. I think I have a pretty good chance, after Round 2, of leading the WKDZ round-by-round competition--which would be great because I think grand prize is a gift certificate to Lake Barkley State Resort Park.

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  8. After the first quarter, Owensboro leads 16-12. KHSAA web page still down.

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  9. OK, the TV picture is back. Still no sound.

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  10. Now the sound is back. Still OHS 16-12 with 7:33 left in the first half.

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  11. Owensboro is led by two big guys. Justin Miller is 6' 7", and Aric Holman is 6' 9". These two have been the difference for Owensboro in every game I've seen so far.

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  12. Holman, who is averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds in the tournament, hits a jumper to put Owensboro up 20-17 with 5 minutes left in the second quarter.

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  13. Media timeout with 2:58 left in the first half. Owensboro 22, Bowling Green 19

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  14. Owensboro leads 27-23 at the half.

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  15. On the KHSAA broadcast, they're saying that Holman is a senior, that he will go to a prep school next year, and then he may turn up at U of L.

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    Replies
    1. Your guys from Xavier are apparently recruiting him, as well.

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  16. Cameron Mills says that the key to the game so far has been that Holman and Miller are disrupting Bowling Green's offense. So far, the Purples are only 9-30 from the field.

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    1. Mills disagreed with the second and third foul calls on Holman in this quarter.

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  17. Holman now has 11 points and 8 rebounds. Miller has 7 points and 8 rebounds. And Dylan Sanford has 13 points on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Owensboro leads 36-26 with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

    Miller is playing with a groin injury, but he is playing well.

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    1. His coach said at halftime that Miller is "a warrior."

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  18. And now Owensboro is pulling away: 41-26 with 4:06 left in the third quarter.

    Rod Drake, the OHS head coach, played on the 1980 team that won the state title for Owensboro. He is trying to become the first man ever to play for a Kentucky state champion, and then coach that same team to the title.

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    Replies
    1. That is really, really something.

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    2. Rod Drake verbatim on KHSAA radio immediately following the game: "I've been blessed. I've been blessed. I've been blessed. I've been blessed."

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  19. Owensboro now leads 43-26 with 3:13 left in the third. This is making me feel better about what happened to Hoptown.

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  20. Media timeout with 2:37 left in the third quarter.

    Owensboro 45, Bowling Green 28

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  21. Lexington Henry Clay has six state titles, although five of them took place between 1918 and 1924.

    Lexington Lafayette has six state titles, from 1942 to 2001.

    Ashland, Lou. Manual, Lou. Male, and Lou. St. Xavier have four titles.

    Wikipedia claims that Owensboro won the KHSAA title in 1917, but the KHSAA web page does not recognize this title. So if the Red Devils win today, they will join Ashland, Manual, Male, and St. X with four titles.

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  22. Owensboro and Lex. Lafayette would be the only two schools to win at least four state titles since the end of World War II.

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    1. To put Owensboro's success into perspective, neither Tilghman nor Bowling Green has ever won the state title.

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  23. Owensboro continues to dominate play. They are up 49-33 with one quarter to go. The problem for BGHS, as it was for Hoptown, is that going faster plays into Owensboro's hands. Cov. Cath's strategy of packing everything in and making OHS play half-court worked much better.

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  24. Eight straight points by the Purples narrows the Owensboro lead to 59-45 with 4:11 to play, and now Holman and Miller have four fouls apiece.

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  25. With 3:06 left, Owensboro leads 61-49.

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  26. Last media timeout of the season. With 2:55 left in the game, Owensboro leads 63-49 after another basket from Holman. He now has 19 points and 13 rebounds.

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  27. Owensboro WINS THE STATE TITLE, 74 to 58. Congratulations to the Red Devils.

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