Mercer County vs. Southwestern (Boys)
12th Regional Tournament Championship
Pulaski County High School
March 6, 2018
Let the record show that Southwestern shocked the state and captured the championship with a 48-46 victory over Mercer County. The Warriors limped into regional play losing five of their last six games including a 39-24 loss to Wayne County in the district tournament and had lost to five of the other seven teams in the regional tournament including several losses to arch rival Pulaski County. They entered the tournament with a 15-14 record and unable to find consistent scoring this year. This is precisely why we play the game instead of just mailing in the results. Evidently Coach Baker and the team saw an opportunity and wanted to give it heir best effort.
They opened tournament play with a 62-60 overtime victory over Boyle County after trailing 12 points in the second half. Now they faced Pulaski County who had already beaten them three times this season and was led by Southwestern transfers Steven Fitzgerald and Danny Butt – party’s over right? Wrong, Southwestern defeats Pulaski County by a score of 53-44. Now they get to face Mercer County led by highly touted Mr. Basketball Candidate Trevon Faulkner. Mercer County led by 13 points in the final quarter and 44-37 with 2:47 left but Southwestern fought back to earn a 46-46 tie.
Mercer County had the ball with approximately 20 seconds on the clock but Kaelin Drakeford missed a three point attempt but the ball was rebounded and passed out to Trevon Faulkner. Faulkner drove to the basket, hit the floor, the ball came loose and Southwestern’s Logan Dykes picked the ball up with approximately four seconds left on the clock and raced to the other end of the court and scored on a layup as time expired to give the Warriors the victory. The Warriors found the magic potion this week, found the necessary consistency, exorcised some demons for this season and added another chapter to some of the rich folk lore of the 12th Region basketball wars.
5-10 Sr. Hunter Stevens led Southwestern with 25 points. 6-2 Sr. Joe Floyd added seven points. 6-2 Sr. Logan Dykes and 6-3 Sr. Jonathon Gallagher recorded six points each.
6-4 Sr. Trevon Faulkner led Mercer County with 19 points. 5-8 Jr. Carter Baughman and Sr. Ty Divine each score eight points.
Mercer County (46) – Faulkner 19, Drakeford 5, Gillis 6, Baughman 8, Divine 8.
Southwestern (48) – Stevens 25, Jones 4, Gallagher 6, Floyd 7, Dykes 6.
A special thanks to some friends of mine that were frantically screaming results and updates to me over their phones and to the many videos that was posted showing the final seconds. Please read some of the excellent stories by some talented writers that covered this event. The stats were relayed to me and hopefully they are somewhat accurate and I only regret I set this game out in person.