by Ron Harrison
Day One - Wednesday March 10th
Scott County 80
Barren County 60
There were four games played on the opening day of the tournament. The
first game of the afternoon session pitted Scott County (33-1), defending
state champion and Number 6 ranked team in the nation, against Barren County
(24-7). A crowd of 18,145 watched a scrappy Barren County squad trail by
only 59-53 with five minutes to go in the game before Scott County pulled
away to win 80-60. Scott County was led by 6-5 Jr. forward Scott Hundley
with 21 points and 12 rebounds, 6-3 Sr. guard A.W. Hamilton tallied
18 points and 10 rebounds, and 6-3 Sr. forward Bryant Harris added
17 points and 12 rebounds. 6-1 Sr. guard Rick Jones also chipped
in with 13 points. Barren County was led by 6-5 Sr. forward Bradley
Haynes with 16 points and 9 rebounds, and 6-1 Sr. guard Spencer
Clemmons also tallied 16 points.
Madison Central 76
Clay County 63
Game 2 pitted Madison Central (29-4) against Clay County (27-3). The
teams had played twice earlier this year, with each team claiming a victory.
Madison Central maintained a single digit lead throughout and pulled away
to win by a score of 76-63. Madison Central was led by 6-3 Sr. forward
Kenneal Jenkins with 18 points which included three crowd-pleasing
dunks. 5-9 Sr. guard Brandon Fritz added 17 points and 6-10 Sr.
Marquis Estill, hampered by foul problems and a knee injury added 13
points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Clay County as usual was led by their
fine Sr. guard duo of 6-5 Stephen Asher with 21 points and 5-11
Antwan Henson with 22.
Paducah Tilghman 59
Fleming County 49
The first game of the evening session pitted Paducah Tilghman (28-5)
against Fleming County (24-8). Paducah finally prevailed by a score of
59-49. Tilghman was led by 5-10 Sr. guard Chris Wilson with 17 points
and 6-3 So. guard/forward Brett Jones added 16 points. 6-1 Sr. forward
George Wilson had 10 points, 14 rebounds, and played outstanding
defense on Fleming County's star forward 6-5 Sr. Josh Graham. Graham
led Fleming County with 13 points.
Pleasure Ridge Park 76
Perry County Central 59
Perry County Central (25-6) went into the final game of the day attempting to upset a highly regarded (30-4) Louisville PRP squad. Perry Central gave PRP quite a scare leading 39-37 and only trailing 60-59 in the fourth quarter. PRP forced several turnovers in the last two minutes and eventually won 76-59. Perry Central was led by 6-7 Sr. center Brian Kilburn with 20 points and sharp-shooting D.J. Sims, a 6-0 Sr. guard contributing 15 points on 5-8 shooting from the 3 point line. PRP was led by their fine Sr. trio: 6-0 guard Michael Griffith with 26 points, 6-4 guard Duane King, a Pennsylvania signee, with 15, and 5-11 guard Kevin Paschel added 14 points. 5-8 Jr. guard Kenyon Tutt also added 8 points and hit two key 3-pointers when the outcome was in doubt.
Day Two - Thursday March 11th
Muhlenberg North 47
Boyle County 43
Muhlenberg North (26-7) and Boyle County (23-7) took the floor for the
first game of the Thursday afternoon session. Boyle County pulled out to
a 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Muhlenberg North scrapped
back to lead 20-18 at half-time. The game was close throughout the second
half, but Muhlenberg North held on to claim a 47-43 victory. B.J. McCoy,
a 6-2 Jr. forward led a balanced attack for the victors with 15 and 6-2
So. point guard Patrick Sparks chipped in with 14 Derek Springate,
a 6-0 Sr. guard/forward who works both inside the paint and outside the
three point line led Boyle County with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Henderson County 62
The second game of the afternoon session featured Highlands (25-6) against
Henderson County (24-5). Henderson County survived a slow start which resulted
in being 12 points behind at the end of the first quarter 20-8. The game
was tied at 44 at the end of the third quarter. Henderson County pulled
ahead in the final period and Highland's comeback ended a basked short
as Jared Lorenzen missed a mid-court desperation shot to end the
game. Henderson pulled off a mild upset with a 62-60 victory. Brent
Gibson, a 6-5 Sr. forward led five Henderson County players in double
figures with 15. Highlands was led by their dynamic Sr. duo and Kentucky
football signees 6-6 Derek Smith with 31 points and 13 rebounds,
and 6-4 Jared Lorenzen with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
North Hardin 64
The first game of the evening session pitted North Hardin (25-5) against
Louisville Ballard (27-7). Ballard is the only team to own a victory over
Scott County this year. This game was billed as featuring power against
power. Ballard plays a front line of rising 6-9 So. Brandon Bender,
6-8 Jr. Mac Wilkinson, and 6-5 Jr. Cedric Knight. North Hardin
counters with 6-9 Sr. Louisville signee Joe Sykes and 6-6 250 pound
Sr. forward Derrick Dorsey. This matchup never totally materialized
as Sykes got in early foul trouble. The game was tied 32-all at half-time,
but Ballard pulled away to lead 52-41 at the end of the third quarter.
North Hardin's hustle and offensive rebounding brought them back in the
fourth quarter, but Ballard survived to win 67-64. Ballard was led by 6-0
So. guard/forward Adam Chiles with 15 and Bender added 11 points
and 8 rebounds. North Hardin was led by 6-0 Sr. guard Marcus Hyche
with 20 points. Derrick Dorsey added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Boyd County 51
The final game of the evening pitted Pikeville (29-5) against Boyd County
(17-15). Boyd County managed to peak at the right time and won their region
to advance to the state tournament. This was a close game with Pikeville
pulling away midway through the fourth quarter to win 58-51. Chase Gibson,
a 6-4 So. forward led a balanced Pikeville attack with 17 points. 6-3 Jr.
point guard Tyler Zornes led Boyd County with 20 points.
Business picks up on Friday, March 12 with the quarterfinals.
Scott County (34-1) vs. Madison Central (30-4)
Paducah Tilghman (29-5) vs. Pleasure Ridge Park (31-4)
Muhlenberg North (27-7) vs. Henderson County (25-5)
Ballard (28-7) vs. Pikeville (30-5)
Day Three - Friday March 12th
Scott County 80
Madison Central 67
A crowd of 23,965 fans witnessed the first quarterfinal game of the
day with Scott County (34-1) taking on Madison Central (30-4). The first
quarter lived up to expectations with Madison Central leading 20-16 at
the end of the first quarter. Marquis Estill, the Madison Central
6-10 Sr. center already hampered with a knee injury, suffered an injury
to the other knee in the first half and was used sparingly the rest of
the game. Scott County led 33-32 at the half and pulled away to win by
a score of 80-67. Scott County was led by the usual trio of 6-1 Sr. guard
Rick Jones with 26 points, 6-3 Sr. guard A.W. Hamilton added
20 points and 6-5 Jr. forward Scott Hundley tallied 17 points and
9 rebounds. Madison Central was led by 6-3 Sr. forward Kenneal Jenkins
with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Marquis Estill added 14 points and
3 rebounds in 14 minutes of play.
Paducah Tilghman 52
Pleasure Ridge Park 49
The second quarterfinal pitted Paducah Tilghman (29-5) against Louisville
PRP (31-4). PRP raced to a 21-7 lead and still led 21-12 at the end of
the first quarter. Paducah Tilghman stormed back, earning a 27-27 tie at
halftime. The score remained close throughout the second half and Tilghman's
5-10 Sr. guard Chris Wilson scored on a driving 8-footer with 19
seconds left for the decisive basket. 6-3 So. guard/forward Brett Jones
iced the game with two free throws in the final second to secure the 52-49
win. Paducah Tilghman was able to match PRP's speed and athleticism to
gain the upset victory. Brett Jones led the victors with 19 points,
while PRP was led by 6-0 Sr. guard Michael Griffith with 22 points.
Henderson County 73
Muhlenberg North 71 (2 OTs)
Muhlenberg North (27-7) and Henderson County (25-5) locked up in the
third quarterfinal to treat the fans to the most exciting game in the tournament
so far. The game was close throughout and the score was tied 58-58 at the
end of regulation. The first overtime ended up deadlocked at 62-all. Henderson
County finally squeaked by Muhlenberg North 73-71 after the second overtime.
Henderson County was led by 6-4 Jr. forward Ervin Miller with 17
points and 9 rebounds, 6-0 Sr. guard Tim Barnes with 15 points,
and 6-0 Sr. guard Brandon Fisher added 14 points. Muhlenberg North
was led by 6-2 So. guard Patrick Sparks with 19 points. 6-0 Jr.
guard Nick Ray tallied 16 points and J.R. Reynolds, a 6-3
Sr. forward, added 15 points.
Louisville Ballard (28-7) entered the fourth quarterfinal game with
a huge size advantage over Pikeville (30-5). Pikeville trailed by only
23-20 at halftime, but Ballard's front line of 6-9 So. Brandon Bender,
6-8 Jr. Mac Wilkinson, and 6-5 Jr. Cedric Knight proved too
much as Ballard pulled away to a 63-46 win. Ballard was led by
Knight with 18 points, while Pikeville was led by 6-4 So. forward Chase
Gibson with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Scott County (35-1) vs. Paducah Tilghman (30-5)
Henderson County (26-5) vs. Ballard (29-7)
Day Four - Saturday March 13th
Scott County 78
Paducah Tilghman 75 (OT)
Scott County (35-1) met Paducah Tilghman (30-5) in the first semifinal
game. Scott County got off to a fast start and led 24-13 at the end of
the first quarter of play. Paducah Tilghman steadily chipped away at the
lead and cut Scott County's margin to 3 points (32-29) at halftime. The
second half battle had Tilghman tasting victory when they led 61-56 in
the final minute, but two late three pointers by Scott County's 5-10 Jr.
guard Casey Alsop tied the score at 64 at the end of regulation.
6-1 Sr. guard Rick Jones scored 9 points in the overtime to lead
Scott County to a 78-75 win. This was a thrilling game but a heart-breaking
loss for Paducah Tilghman who, except for the late heroics of Alsop and
Jones would have pulled off the upset. Scott County was led by Rick
Jones with 32 points, and 6-5 Jr. forward Scott Hundley with
15 points and 17 rebounds. Paducah Tilghman was led by 6-3 So. guard/forward
Brett Jones with 23 and 6-1 Sr. forward George Wilson with 22 points
and 10 rebounds. Brett Jones is rapidly establishing himself as
a player to watch in the future.
Henderson County 62
The second semifinal resulted in another thriller which pitted Louisville
Ballard (29-7) against Henderson County (26-5). Henderson County roared
out of the gate to lead 29-12 midway through the second quarter. 6-0 Sr.
Will Partin hit two key three pointers to pull Ballard within
10 points (40-30) at halftime. Ballard used their superior size to pound
the ball inside during the second half to get back in the game. Henderson
County led 62-61 with 19 seconds remaining. Ballard called a time out and
worked the ball inside to Brandon Bender, a 6-9 So. who scored the
winning basket with 1.4 seconds to play. Ballard survived the upset and
held on to win a hard fought 63-62 game. Ballard was led by 6-8 Jr. Mac
Wilkinson, with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Bender added 18 points
and 10 rebounds. Henderson County was paced by 6-4 Jr. forward Ervin
Miller with 16 points, and 6-0 Sr. guard duo Brandon Fisher
with 12 points, and Tim Barnes with 11 points.
Scott County (36-1) vs. Ballard (30-7)
Scott County 47
19,465 fans returned to Rupp Arena Saturday night to watch Scott County
(36-1) meet Louisville Ballard (30-7) in the finals of the Kentucky High
School State Tournament. These teams are not strangers, having played three
times previously this year, with Scott County winning 2 of 3 games. Both
teams had extremely tough semifinal games earlier in the day. Scott County
must have been particularly drained by their emotional overtime win as
they got off to a slow start and trailed Ballard throughout the championship
game. Ballard led 21-15 after the first quarter. Scott County cut the deficit
to three, trailing 31-28 at halftime. In the third quarter, the wheels
fell off for Scott County as a result of their own poor shooting and Ballard's
powerful inside game. Ballard led by 20 points (52-32) at the end of three
quarters and coasted to win the game by a score of 71-47. 6-9 So. Brandon
Bender led Ballard with 19 points and 12 rebounds, 6-0 Sr. guard Will
Partin added 16 points, and 6-5 Jr. forward Cedric Knight contributed
13 points and 12 rebounds. Scott County was led by 6-5 Jr. forward Scott
Hundley with 13 points, while 6-1 Sr. guard Rick Jones was held
to 7 points.
Ballard appears to be the team of the future as they have only three
seniors on their roster, and only one, Will Partin, is a starter. However,
let's not forget the wonderful ride Scott County had this year playing
top competition and finishing the season 36-2.
Scott Hundley (Scott County) 6-5 Jr. forward 4 games 16.5 PPG 10.3 RPG
Ervin Miller (Henderson County) 6-4 Jr. forward 3 games 14.7 PPG 10.3 RPG
George Wilson (Paducah Tilghman) 6-1 Sr. forward 3 games 13.0 PPG 10.0 RPG
Michael Griffith (Pleasure Ridge Park) 6-0 Sr. guard 2 games 24.0 PPG 6.5 RPG
Patrick Sparks (Muhlenberg North) 6-2 So. guard 2 games 16.5 PPG 4.5 APG
Kenneal Jenkins (Madison Central) 6-3 Sr. forward 2 games 20 PPG 7 RPG
Chris Wilson (Paducah Tilghman) 5-10 Sr. guard 3 games 11.3 PPG
Mac Wilkinson (Ballard) 6-8 Jr. forward 4 games 10.8 PPG 6.8 RPG
A.W. Hamilton (Scott County) 6-3 Sr. guard 4 games 12.5 PPG 5.8 RPG
Derek Smith (Highlands) 6-6 Sr. forward 1 game 31.0 PPG 13 RPG
Tim Barnes (Henderson County) 6-0 Sr. guard 3 games 13.3 PPG 5.3 APG
Brett Jones (Paducah Tilghman) 6-3 So. guard/forward 3 games 19.3 PPG
Rick Jones (Scott County) 6-1 Sr. guard 4 games 19.5 PPG
MVP - Will Partin (Ballard) 6-0 Sr. guard 4 games 10.0 PPG 4.0
APG excellent floor leadership
Someone deserving must always be left off the all tournament team because
of space considerations. Ballard 6-5 Jr. forward Cedric Knight averaged
12 PPG and 6.8 RPG over four games. This also ended a storybook season
for coach Chris Renner in his first year as Ballard coach.