- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Coaches, players and fans of the 5th Region had to pleased with the draws for the 2013 KHSAA Boys’ and Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls’ State Basketball Tournaments.
The 5th Region champion plays the winner of the 16th Region on the second day of the Boys’ Sweet 16, which will be held March 6-10 at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m.
The 16th Region hasn’t produced a boys’ state champion since Ashland won it in 1961. Rowan County advanced to the state final two years ago before losing to Christian County, 65-63 in double overtime.
“I think whoever gets to the state tournament from our region, it’s a good draw,” said Elizabethtown coach James Haire, who has won two region titles and guided the Panthers to the 2000 state title. “It’s one of the better draws that we’ve had in a long time. Nothing is easy at the state tournament, but it’s a good draw.”
The 5th Region avoided the powerhouse regions such as the 6th, 7th and 11th regions. The 5th Region couldn’t meet a team from one of those regions until the semifinals. If the 5th Region champion wins its first game, it would play either the 4th Region or 10th Region champion in the quarterfinals.
“I think the team that wins the region has a good shot of winning a game or two before it runs in to one of the favorites,” said North Hardin coach Ron Bevars, who has won 12 region titles. “There’s not really a good draw, but some draws are better than others. You want to avoid the Louisville and Lexington regions. But you see good teams come from other regions.”
John Hardin (16-3) won the region championship last year and is considered one of the favorites this season along with North Hardin (15-7), Elizabethtown (11-7), Bardstown (18-5), Bethlehem (17-3) and LaRue County (13-6).
“I think people should be happy with the draw,” John Hardin coach Mark Wells said. “I feel like whoever wins the 5th Region should feel like they have a chance, but everyone is there because they are good.”
Fleming County (16-3), Russell (19-6), Ashland (14-8) and Boyd County (14-9) are among the 16th Region favorites.
This year’s Boys’ Sweet 16 will feature a Sunday finish. Most years, the semifinals and final are played on a Saturday, but this year because of the University of Kentucky playing March 9 at home, the semifinals will be Saturday night and the final will be at 2 p.m. March 10.
“It will be interesting to see the Sunday game,” Bevars said. “Playing two games in one day is tough. I know teams play a lot during the summer and often play more than once, but playing in that atmosphere and environment, it takes a toll. It’s not only physically draining, but it’s emotionally draining. I think getting a good night’s rest will be good for the kids.”
The Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16 will be held March 13-16 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. The 5th Region champion plays the 4th Region champion at noon on the first day of the tournament.
Undefeated Marion County, which has won three consecutive titles, is considered the region favorite. Elizabethtown (16-5), North Hardin (18-5), Nelson County (16-4) and LaRue County (16-4) could challenge the top-ranked Lady Knights.
Monroe County (16-4), Bowling Green (18-4), Glasgow (15-4), Allen County-Scottsville (16-3) and Russell County (16-3) are among the 4th Region favorites.
Brackets with official times and pairings are available on the Riherd’s/KHSAA Scoreboard and the KHSAA website on the basketball home page. Tickets for the Boys’ and Girls’ Sweet 16 are on sale now. Tickets are $120 each for a lower arena, full-tournament package; and $70 each for upper arena.
Chuck Jones can be reached at (270) 505-1759 or email@example.com.