Monday, March 3, 2014

Kentucky High-school Basketball, Girls' Regionals

Kentucky's single-class, single-elimination tournaments in high-school basketball get rolling today with action scheduled in the Ninth Region's girls' bracket. Fourteen of the 16 girls' regionals were to tip today, but then it snowed. So, now, we can all focus on action at the Bank of Kentucky Center on the campus of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights when the 18-11 Saint Henry Crusaders of Erlanger and the 22-7 Highlands Bluebirds of Fort Thomas play at 6:30 Eastern this evening.

Anyway, the 16 eight-team girls' regionals are scheduled to all be finished by Sunday, and then the state tournament is set for March 12-16 in Bowling Green. Until about 7:45 or so at NKU, we have 128 teams with a chance to be the state champs, and here they are as listed by their next games.

First Region at Murray State University--Marshall County (defending regional champ and 2013 state quarterfinalist) vs. Barlow Ballard Memorial, Paducah Tilghman vs. Fulton City, Carlisle County vs. McCracken County and Graves County vs. Murray (No. 19 in The Courier-Journal's Litkenhous Ratings) on Wednesday

Second Region at Henderson County--Hopkinsville University Heights vs. Union County and Smithland Livingston Central vs. Madisonville-North Hopkins on Tuesday and Caldwell County vs. Lyon County and Henderson County (defending regional champ and Litkenhous No. 4) vs. Christian County tomorrow

Third Region at Owensboro Sportscenter--Owensboro Catholic (defending regional champ, 2013 state quarterfinalist and top Litkenhous in region but not in top 20 statewide) vs. Edmonson County and Breckinridge County on Wednesday vs. Muhlenberg County and Ohio County vs. Meade County and Grayson County vs. Owensboro Apollo on Thursday

Fourth Region at Allen County-Scottsville--Glasgow (Litkenhous No. 12) vs. Russell County and Logan County vs. Bowling Green South Warren on Wednesday and Bowling Green (defending regional champ and Litkenhous No. 10) vs. Allen County-Scottsville (Litkenhous No. 16) and Clinton County vs. Franklin-Simpson on Thursday

Fifth Region at Nelson County--Nelson County vs. Caverna and Elizabethtown (Litkenhous No. 1) vs. Adair County on Tuesday and LaRue County (Litkenhous No. 17) vs. Radcliff North Hardin and Marion County (defending regional and state champ) vs. Bardstown Bethlehem on Wednesday

Sixth Region (semifinals and championship at Louisville Valley)--Mount Washington Bullitt East (Litkenhous No. 13) at Louisville Butler (Litkenhous No. 3), Shepherdsville Bullitt Central at Louisville Holy Cross, Louisville Iroquois at Louisville Mercy (defending regional champ) and Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park at Shepherdsville North Bullitt on Tuesday

Seventh Region (semifinals and championship at Valley)--Louisville Waggener at Louisville Male, Louisville Ballard (Litkenhous No. 9) vs. Louisville Central at Valley, Louisville Assumption at Louisville duPont Manual (defending regional champ, 2013 state semifinalist and Litkenhous No. 20) and Louisville Eastern (Litkenhous No. 18) at Louisville Sacred Heart (Litkenhous No. 8) on Tuesday

Eighth Region at Grant County--Independence Simon Kenton (Litkenhous No. 5) vs. Crestwood South Oldham and Gallatin County vs. Shelby County on Tuesday and Buckner Oldham County vs. Henry County and Anderson County (defending regional champ, 2013 state semifinalist and Litkenhous No. 2) vs. Walton-Verona on Wednesday

Ninth Region at Northern Kentucky University--Erlanger Saint Henry vs. Fort Thomas Highlands and Boone County vs. Park Hills Notre Dame (defending regional champ and lost to Marion County in 2013 state championship) tonight and Covington Holy Cross vs. Edgewood Dixie Heights and Newport Central Catholic (Litkenhous No. 15) vs. Hebron Conner on Tuesday

Tenth Region at Mason County--Bracken County vs. Montgomery County (defending regional champ and 2013 state quarterfinalist) and Nicholas County vs. Covington Scott on Tuesday and Alexandria Bishop Brossart vs. Mason County and Winchester George Rogers Clark (Litkenhous favorite but not in the statewide top 20) vs. Harrison County on Wednesday

Eleventh Region at Frankfort Convention Center--Franklin County (Litkenhous No. 6) vs. Berea Madison Southern and Lexington Lafayette (Litkenhous No. 7) at Scott County on Tuesday and Richmond Madison Central (defending regional champ) vs. Lexington Paul Laurence Dunbar and Lexington Henry Clay vs. Frankfort Western Hills on Wednesday

Twelfth Region at Lincoln County--Casey County (lost to Lincoln County in 2013 regional championship) vs. Wayne County and Danville (Litkenhous favorite but not top 20 in state) vs. Nicholasville East Jessamine on Tuesday and Somerset Southwestern vs. Somerset and Mercer County vs. Boyle County on Wednesday

Thirteenth Region at Corbin--Corbin (defending regional champ) vs. London North Laurel and Bell County (Litkenhous favorite but not ranked in statewide top 20) vs. Lynn Camp on Tuesday and Barbourville vs. Harlan and Clay County vs. Whitley County on Wednesday

Fourteenth Region at Leslie County--Powell County vs. Jackson City, Whitesburg Letcher County Central (defending regional champ) vs. Leslie County, Hazard Perry County Central (Litkenhous favorite but not in the top 20 statewide) vs. Hindman Knott County Central and Breathitt County vs. Lee County on Tuesday

Fifteenth Region at Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville--Paintsville Johnson Central vs. Betsy Layne and Belfry vs. Pikeville on Tuesday and Inez Shelby Valley (defending regional champ, 2013 state quarterfinalist and top Litkenhous in region but not in statewide top 20) vs. Pikeville Pike County Central and Eastern Allen Central vs. Magoffin County on Wednesday

Sixteenth Region at Morehead State University--Boyd County vs. Russell and Grayson East Carter (Litkenhous No. 14) vs. Rowan County on Tuesday and Lewis County vs. Ashland Blazer (defending regional champ) and Fleming County vs. Olive Hill West Carter on Wednesday


  1. And we're down to 127. Highlands beats St. Henry.

  2. And Notre Dame, the 2013 state runnerup, beat Boone, so now we're down to 126 teams. All of the girls but the First, Third and Fourth regions are scheduled to be in action tonight.

  3. Stanford's (fantastic) WPBK is reporting that the 12th Region games have been postponed again. Indeed, I can't imagine that they're actually going to try to play the Seconds up in Henderson tonight either. The roads around our house in Madisonville are still pretty bad.

    HP readers who are using our coverage and the WPA guide to plan their travels this week are advised to double-check tip times with the regional sites before hitting the road.

  4. The Nos. 13 and 18 teams in the C-J's Litkenhous Ratings, Bullitt East and Eastern, respectively, were eliminated in the first rounds of their regional tournaments yesterday. In the Sixth Region, the Lady Chargers of Mount Washington were taken down by the No. 3 team in the last Litkenhous, Butler, 68-58. And, in the Seventh, the Eagles of Middletown were beaten by No. 8 Sacred Heart, 80-64.

    Meanwhile, in the 14th Region, we had our first bonafide upset. The Lady Cougars of Letcher County Central made the trip over to Hyden and lost to the home team, Leslie County, 66-56. Letcher was the defending regional champ, was rated higher in the last Litkenhous and won at Leslie by 11 in the teams' only meeting earlier this season. So it was a big night for Lady Eagles nation in Hyden (and unpleasant,winding trip home through the mountains of southeastern Kentucky for the Lady Chargers and their followers).

    Incidentally, the Kentucky desk apologizes for its error in saying in the root post here that Letcher County Central High is in Whitesburg. That's the county seat, but I learned this morning that the school's in Ermine, of which I had never heard. Per (great) Wikipedia, "Letcher County Central High School was opened in 2005. The school was built to consolidate the three schools of the district: Fleming-Neon High School, Whitesburg High School, and Letcher High School."

    The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and 12th region tournaments are scheduled to finally get started today. We'll see. And definitely not the First, which is set to zip through all four of its first-rounders at Murray State on Thursday evening.

  5. Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Region tournaments finally got going Wednesday. Seven other regions continued. Winners included Litkenhous Nos. 1 Etown, 2 Anderson County and No. 20 Glasgow. Madison Central was eliminated by Dunbar, 45-35, so we're going to have a new representative of the 11th Region at the Sweet Sixteen. And Casey County lost to Wayne County, 57-51, so now both the 2013 champion (Lincoln County) and runnerup (Casey) in the 12th are done this season.

    There's a heck of a good matchup happening this evening in the Fourth Region, where the 27-3 Lady Patriots of Allen County-Scottsville host the 20-5 (just) Purples of Bowling Green. BG was ranked 10 to AC-S's 16 in the last Litkenhous, and the Purples are the defending regional champs. But the Lady Patriots won by 10--at Bowling Green--in the team's only meeting of the season, on Jan. 28. I imagine the folks in Scottsville are a tad enthusiastic about tonight's game, given that their girls' season ended at 27-5 a year ago yesterday with an 81-34 (!) loss to the Purples in the regional championship at WKU.

    The Sixth and Seventh regionals are on to their semifinal rounds today, and all four of those games happen at Louisville's Valley High School starting at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Best matchup on paper of the bunch is the second Seventh semi, scheduled to tip at 5 Eastern, between 18-11 Manual Lady Crimsons (defending regional champs, state semifinalists last year and Litkenhous No. 20) and 25-7 Sacred Heart Valkyries (Litkenhous No. 8). But Sacred Heart--"chooser of the slain"--beat Manual by 23 in January, so maybe we're in for a Crimson bloodletting today, too.

    First Region first-rounders are now happening Friday.

  6. The first Sweet Sixteen ticket in either the girls' or boys' tournaments is set to be punched tonight at Morehead State University when the Ashland Blazer Kittens face the East Carter Lady Raiders for the 16th Region girls' title. These teams played twice earlier this season, and East Carter won both (by one at home on Jan. 30 and by 11 in Ashland on Feb. 20). And the Lady Raiders were rated higher in the last Litkenhous, so one would think East Carter is a solid favorite. But the Kittens are the two-time defending regional champions and 11-time 16th Region champs since the KHSAA reinstated girls' hoops in 1975. East Carter, which was eliminated in the first round of the regional tournament last year, has won won 16th championship, in 2004.

    Jason Frakes probably had a hard time staying awake yesterday afternoon at Louisville's Valley High. The margins of victory in the four Sixth and Seventh region semifinals were 27, 15, 45 and eight points. Saturday's championships will pit Ballard vs. Sacred Heart in the Seventh at 5 Eastern and Butler vs. Mercy in the Sixth at 7:30 Eastern.

    Other winners around the state Thursday included Marion County, 54-43 over Bethlehem in the Fifth Region. Marion County is the defending state champ.

  7. McCracken County whipped up on Carlisle County in the First Region last night, 55-33. (#STANGGANG!) Marshall County beat Ballard Memorial by 31, and Tilghman edged Fulton City by 60 (!), 76-16. In fact, it was the Litkenhous favorite in this tournament, Murray, that had the closest go in the marathon opening round at Murray State Friday. The Lady Tigers beat Graves County, 60-56.

    Both 14th Region semifinals were one-point affairs: Powell County over host Leslie County by 70-69 and Perry County Central over Breathitt County by 63-62. Powell and Litkenhous-favorite Perry play at 7 p.m. Eastern today for the championship.

    Johnson Central and Shelby Valley beat Pikeville and Magoffin County, respectively, in the 15th Region semis, and they'll play at 8 p.m. Eastern today for the title. Those teams met once earlier this season, way back on Dec. 5, and the Lady Kats rolled, 66-39, at home in Inez.

  8. And in the 16th Region final, Ashland Blazer trailed by five at halftime to East Carter, the Litkenhous favorite that had twice beaten the Kittens earlier in the season, but won by four for its third-straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Aaron Snyder wrote in Ashland's Daily Independent about Alexis Robinson, who won her third-straight regional-tournament MVP. She's a senior who has committed to play at the University of Colorado.

  9. Today's schedule is highlighted by championships in the Sixth (Butler vs. Mercy at 7:30 p.m. Eastern) and Seventh (Ballard vs. Sacred Heart at 5 p.m. Eastern), as well as the 14th and 15th regions.

  10. In addition to Ashland Blazer, Sweet Sixteen-bound are ...

    -- Butler, a 55-47 winner over Mercy in the Sixth Region;

    -- Sacred Heart, a 46-39 winner over Ballard in the Seventh;

    -- Perry Central, a 59-54 winner over Powell County in the 14th, and

    -- Shelby Valley, a 39-30 winner over Johnson Central in the 15th.

    The Litkenhous favorites prevailed in each of those four tournaments.

    The Courier-Journal Litkenhous Ratings fared awfully well in regional semifinal action around the state yesterday, too. In the 11th, Litkenhous No. 7 Lafayette turned back Litkenhous No. 6 Franklin County, 63-54, in Frankfort. And in the 13th, Corbin, the defending regional champ, beat Bell County, the tournament's Litkenhous favorite but not a top-20 team statewide, in a semi played in Corbin, 57-49.

    Also notable from yesterday's results: Marion County, the defending state champ, was taken out by LaRue County, 65-54, in the Fifth Region tournament.

    Championships today: Simon Kenton vs. Anderson County in the Eighth, Montgomery County vs. George Rogers Clark in the 10th, Danville vs. Mercer County in the 12th and Harlan at Corbin in the 13th at 3 p.m. Eastern; Glasgow vs. Bowling Green in the Fourth and Owensboro Catholic vs. Meade County at 3 p.m. Central; Lafayette vs. Dunbar in the 11th at 4 p.m. Eastern; University Heights at Henderson County in the Second at 4 p.m. Central; Notre Dame vs. NewCath in the Ninth at 6 p.m. Eastern, and Elizabethtown vs. LaRue County in the Fifth at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    The First Region is the laggard. Its championship is Monday evening. Today's semifinals pit Marshall County and Tilghman at 2 p.m. Central at Murray State and our Lady Mustangs and Murray at 3:45 (or so). McCracken County lost by 26 at Murray on Dec. 27 and by 31 in western Paducah to the Lady Tigers on Feb. 17, so an upset this afternoon would be a pretty heart-breaking affair for the home crowd.

  11. Our McCracken County Lady Mustangs bowed out of the First Region semis yesterday. Murray (a 53-30 winner over McCracken County yesterday) plays Marshall County tonight at 8:15 at Murray--after the boys' regional semifinals--to determine the 16th birth to the girls' Sweet Sixteen.

    Championships Sunday:

    -- Henderson County over University Heights, 67-54, in the Second;

    -- Meade County over Owensboro Catholic, 66-53, in the Third;

    -- Glasgow, 79-59, over Bowling Green in the Fourth;

    -- Elizabethtown over LaRue County, 73-56, in the Fifth;

    -- Anderson County over Simon Kenton, 49-38, in the Eighth;

    -- NewCath over Notre Dame, 48-46 in overtime, in the Ninth;

    -- Winchester GRC over Montgomery County, 56-46, in the 10th;

    -- Lafayette over Dunbar, 53-40, in the 11th;

    -- Danville over Mercer County, 68-58, in the 12th, and

    -- Corbin over Harlan, 59-40, in the 13th.

  12. Replies
    1. The Lady Tigers beat the Lady Marshals twice during the regular season and then lost to Marshall County in both the Fourth District and First Region championships. “I guess they got better and we didn’t,” Murray's coach says in Edward Marlowe's very good Murray Ledger & Times recap.