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BOYS' PREP BASKETBALL: North Hardin Shootout features many top players, teams (06/05)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

 

By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com RADCLIFF — Ron Bevars is having flashbacks. Not to worry, North Hardin fans. The Trojans’ veteran boys’ basketball coach is doing just fine. But when he thinks about the talent competing in this year’s North Hardin Summer Shootout, which runs the next two days, Bevars likens it to his 1993 event, which featured eventual Sweet 16 semifinalists Marion County, Lexington Paul Dunbar, Louisville Male and Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park. “We’ve got some good teams coming and I’ve really got to give (longtime North Hardin assistant) Chris Corder credit because he’s the one who put this whole thing together,” Bevars said. “It reminds me a whole lot of ‘93 because the quality of these teams reminds me of those teams.” Sixteen schools – North Hardin (21-8 last season), Central Hardin (21-11), LaRue County (18-11), Meade County (20-8), Campbellsville (10-17), Garrard County (16-13), Mercer County (14-14), Muhlenberg South (14-15), Ohio County (15-12), Pikeville Shelby Valley (24-5), Taylor County (19-12) and Louisville’s DuPont Manual (23-9), Holy Cross (19-10), Male (22-7), Moore (9-22) and Western (9-14) – will play 35 games in two gyms the next two days. There are 18 (11 varsity, seven junior varsity) games today and 17 (11, 6) on Friday. “We’ve been lucky,” said Corder, the scheduling coordinator for the last three years. “The thing I’ve learned by running and going to these things is if you give people good games and run them on time with good officials, you’ll get people to come back.” The event allows two former area head coaches to come back. Former LaRue County coach Paul Handley coaches Western, while ex-North Hardin standout Jason Booher guides Shelby Valley. “Jason Booher is one of the best high school basketball coaches in the state, bar none. He does a great job with those kids. He’s done some really good things, but that’s not surprising. I always thought he’d be a good coach,” Bevars said. “He’s definitely one of my prize pupils.” According to state recruiting guru Rick Bolus of the High Potential Basketball Recruiting Service, Inc., Corder has lured in some of the state’s prize recruits. Using Bolus’ June Edition rankings, five players in his top 22 will be in attendance in 6-foot-4 Manual small forward Jacob Jenkins (rated fifth), 6-4 Manual wing Tony Kimbro (sixth), 6-6 Taylor County power forward Leonard Macon (12th), 6-1 Taylor County shooting guard Chase Cox (17th) and 6-6 North Hardin small forward LaRod King (22nd). Shelby Valley has two players in Bolus’ 27-61 range in 6-10 senior center Deven Adams and 6-5 junior wing Ashley Hatfield. Games are set up different from their winter KHSAA seasons. Varsity games feature two 20-minute halves, while JV games have two 16-minute halves. The clock stops only in the last two minutes of each half. Teams are only allowed two timeouts per game. Giving the Shootout a boost is the 10 officials from the 5th Region Officials Association, who will work as many as six consecutive games without much of a break in between games. “They’ve been great about helping us out with this,” Corder said. “Teams feel like when they come here, they get pretty well called games and that’s not always the case in summer games.” As far as the varsity schedules for the four area teams: n North Hardin plays Taylor County at noon today and Western at 2 p.m. today and Male at 10 a.m. Friday and Manual at 5 p.m. Friday. n Central Hardin plays Holy Cross at 2 p.m. today and Shelby Valley at 4 p.m. today. n LaRue County plays Mercer County at 4 p.m. Friday and Garrard County at 6 p.m. Friday. n Meade County plays Western at 5 p.m. today and Moore at 7 p.m. today. Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758