Sweet Sixteen Preview: Both Trinity, Marion County have shot at the history books

mfields@herald-leader.comFebruary 16, 2013 

  • Mike Fields' boys' predictions

    1st Region: Marshall County

    2nd Region: Hopkinsville

    3rd Region: Ohio County

    4th Region: Warren Central

    5th Region: John Hardin

    6th Region: Bullitt East

    7th Region: Ballard

    8th Region: Collins

    9th Region: Newport Catholic

    10th Region: Montgomery County

    11th Region: Madison Central

    12th Region: Southwestern

    13th Region: Harlan County

    14th Region: Perry Central

    15th Region: Johnson Central

    16th Region: Fleming County

    Mike Fields' girls' predictions

    1st Region: Marshall County

    2nd Region: Henderson County

    3rd Region: Muhlenberg County

    4th Region: Monroe County

    5th Region: Marion County

    6th Region: Mercy

    7th Region: Ballard

    8th Region: Anderson County

    9th Region: Notre Dame

    10th Region: Montgomery County

    11th Region: Madison Central

    12th Region: Lincoln County

    13th Region: Clay County

    14th Region: Perry Central

    15th Region: Shelby Valley

    16th Region: Ashland Blazer

    Boys' region sites

    1st Region: Murray State

    2nd Region: Hopkinsville

    3rd Region: Owensboro Sportscenter

    4th Region: WKU

    5th Region: Hart County

    6th Region: Valley

    7th Region: Valley

    8th Region: Henry County

    9th Region: NKU's Bank of Kentucky Center

    10th Region: Mason County

    11th Region: EKU

    12th Region: Lincoln County

    13th Region: Corbin Civic Center

    14th Region: Knott County Central

    15th Region: East Ky. Expo Center at Pikeville

    16th Region: Morehead State

    Girls' region sites

    1st Region: Murray State

    2nd Region: Caldwell County

    3rd Region: Owensboro Sportscenter

    4th Region: WKU

    5th Region: Green County

    6th Region: Bellarmine and Valley

    7th Region: Bellarmine and Valley

    8th Region: North Oldham

    9th Region: NKU's Bank of Kentucky Center

    10th Region: Nicholas County

    11th Region: EKU

    12th Region: Pulaski County

    13th Region: Corbin Civic Center

    14th Region: Perry County Central

    15th Region: East Ky. Expo Center at Pikeville

    16th Region: Morehead State

    Sweet Sixteen schedules

    Boys' KHSAA Sweet Sixteen March 6-10 in Rupp Arena

    March 6 (first round): 12th Region vs. 11th, noon; 9th vs. 6th, 1:30; 1st vs. 3rd, 6:30; 2nd vs. 8th, 8.

    March 7 (first round): 4th vs. 10th, noon; 16th vs. 5th, 1:30; 15th vs. 7th, 6:30; 14th vs. 13th, 8th.

    Girls' Houchens Industries/ KHSAA Sweet Sixteen March 13-16 in WKU's Diddle Arena

    March 13 (first round): 4th vs. 5th, 1 p.m. 10th vs. 16th, 2:30; 8th vs. 2nd, 7:30; 13th vs. 15th, 9.

    March 14 (first round): 12th vs. 3rd, 1:30; 7th vs. 6th, 2:30; 1st vs. 14th, 7:30; 11th vs. 9th, 9.

  • Dave Cantrall's Rating the StateBoys' top 25

    Team (region) Power index

    1. Lou. Trinity (7th) 87.3

    2. Ballard (7th) 87.0

    3. Bullitt East (6th) 84.9

    4. John Hardin (5th) 82.6

    5. Madison Central (11th) 82.4

    5. Pleasure Ridge Park (6th)82.4

    7. Henry Clay (11th) 82.0

    8. Montgomery Co. (10th) 81.9

    9. Hopkinsville (2nd) 80.9

    10. Holmes (9th) 80.6

    11. Newport Catholic (9th) 80.4

    12. Butler (6th) 79.9

    13. Paul Dunbar (11th) 79.8

    14. Lafayette (11th) 79.7

    14. Scott Co. (11th) 79.7

    16. St. Xavier (7th) 79.1

    16. Warren Central (4th) 79.1

    18. Fairdale (6th) 79.0

    18. Pulaski Co. (12th) 79.0

    20. Male (7th) 78.4

    21. South Oldham (8th) 78.3

    22. Bowling Green (4th) 77.7

    22. Collins (8th) 77.7

    24. North Hardin (5th) 77.6

    25. Cov. Catholic (9th) 76.8

    Girls' top 25

    Team (region) Power index

    1. Marion Co. (5th) 90.0

    2. Anderson Co. (8th) 83.9

    3. Henderson Co. (2nd) 81.8

    3. Manual (7th) 81.8

    5. Madison Central (11th) 81.2

    6. Notre Dame (9th) 80.9

    7. Mercy (6th) 80.8

    8. Ballard (7th) 80.3

    9. Clay Co. (13th) 79.0

    10. Lou. Christian (7th) 78.7

    11. North Hardin (5th) 78.6

    12. Bowling Green (4th) 78.5

    13. Lincoln Co. (12th) 78.3

    14. Butler (6th) 77.8

    15. Nelson Co. (5th) 77.6

    16. Monroe Co. (4th) 77.4

    17. Elizabethtown (5th) 77.3

    18. Sacred Heart (7th) 77.2

    19. Simon Kenton (9th) 76.8

    20. Assumption (7th) 76.4

    21. Lafayette (11th) 76.3

    22. Danville (12th) 76.2

    22. Highlands (9th) 76.1

    24. Adair Co. (5th) 75.9

    24. Southwestern (12th) 75.9

Louisville Trinity and Marion County, the No. 1 boys' and girls' basketball teams in the state, both have a shot at doing something that hasn't been done in decades.

Defending state champion Trinity could become the first boys' team to win consecutive titles since Fairdale went back-to-back in 1990 and '91.

Marion County could become the first undefeated girls' champion since Marshall County was perfect in 1984.

As the post-season begins with district play on Monday, Marion County looks like a prohibitive favorite to win the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' State Tournament in WKU's Diddle Arena.

Trent Milby's Knights were hardly tested while going 30-0 in the regular season. They had one close encounter — a 61-58 victory over Science Hill, Tenn. They pummeled everybody else by at least 15 points.

Trinity was rated No. 3 in the pre-season behind 7th Region rival Ballard and two-time defending 6th Region champ Bullitt East. The Shamrocks jumped to No. 1 when they beat Ballard in the finals of the Louisville Invitational Tournament in mid-January.

If Mike Szabo's team can survive the 7th Region battles, it will be favored to cut down the nets at the conclusion of the KHSAA Boys' State Tournament in Rupp Arena.

To whet your appetite for the Sweet Sixteens, 16 nuggets to chew on:

1. It'll be a shock if No. 1 Trinity and No. 2 Ballard don't have another showdown in the 7th Region tournament. Trinity clipped the Bruins 58-55 in last year's region semifinals. The Shamrocks beat Ballard 53-52 in the LIT finals last month thanks to James Quick's free throw with one second left.

2. Holmes' boys (27-1) came oh-so-close to an undefeated regular season. Their loss was to Newport Central Catholic 88-85 in double overtime last week. Jason Booher's Bulldogs would consider a 9th Region title sweet consolation.

3. Anderson County fans have left the gym smiling a lot this winter. Their boys' and girls' basketball teams are a combined 47-4. Glen Drury's boys are 20-3 but rated only seventh best in the 8th Region. Tony Kays' girls are 27-1 and rated No. 2 in the state.

4. Owensboro Catholic star Becca Greenwell led her team to the All "A" Classic state title while playing on a shaky knee. Is she healthy enough to carry the Aces to the Sweet Sixteen?

5. Madison Central's boys and girls are both rated No. 5 in the state by Dave Cantrall and favored to win 11th Region titles. Two other schools' boys and girls are picked tops in their region — Montgomery County in the 10th and Perry County Central in the 14th.

6. Twenty years after Anthony Epps sparked Marion County to a state title, his daugther Makayla will try to do the same. Anthony's Knights had a 38-2 record. Makayla's Knights could finish 39-0 and give her bragging rights over her dad.

7. How dominant have Marion County's girls been? They've played seven games against teams currently No. 1 in their regions. The Knights beat Madison Central twice, by 31 and 22 points; Paducah Tilghman by 25; Henderson County by 27; Bowling Green by 23; Mercy by 15 and Manual by 16. Marion County has won 46 of its last 47 games. The loss was to Manual 58-54 in last year's state finals.

8. Three boys' coaches with more than 800 victories apiece have a shot at getting their teams to Rupp Arena: North Hardin's Ron Bevars, Pleasure Ridge Park's Dale Mabrey and Scott County's Billy Hicks.

9. According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the year of the snake. Is it too late for a nickname change to Copperheads, Diamondbacks, Rattlers or Pythons?

10. Beware of little ol' Cordia, which could be a surprise in the 14th Region. If the Lions get to the boys' state tournament for the first time, it'll be a homecoming for Coach Rodrick Rhodes, who played for UK from 1992-95.

11. Several All "A" Classic state participants have a chance to make some noise in March. The boys' contenders include Bardstown (5th Region), Newcath (9th), Bishop Brossart (10th), Knott County Central (14th), Pikeville (15th) and Russell (16th). The girls' contenders include Murray (1st), Webster County (2nd), Owensboro Catholic (3rd), Monroe County (4th), Gallatin County (8th), NewCath (9th), Bishop Brossart (10th), Danville (12th), Leslie County (14th) and Magoffin County (15th).

12. Hopkinsville's boys are on a roll. The defending 2nd Region champs have won 18 in a row, and all but two of those victories have been by at least 10 points.

13. If Montgomery County's boys win the 10th Region, Happy Osborne will get to coach in Rupp Arena for the first time since his Georgetown College Tigers lost to UK 85-63 in a 2005 exhibition game.

14. There could be close to a full slate of 2013 Mr. Basketball candidates playing and campaigning in Rupp, including Derek Willis and Rusty Troutman of Bullitt East, Dominique Hawkins of Madison Central, Darryl Hicks of Trinity, Omar Prewitt of Montgomery County and Jack Whitman of Lexington Catholic.

15. If Cantrall's ratings correctly predict the state final fours, the boys' semifinals will be Madison Central vs. Hopkinsville, and John Hardin vs. Trinity; the girls' semifinals would be Marion County vs. Anderson County, and Manual vs. Madison Central.

16. The boys' Sweet Sixteen finals will be on Sunday afternoon (March 10), which means a whole lot of prayin' will be going on Sunday morning.


Mike Fields' boys' predictions

1st Region: Marshall County

2nd Region: Hopkinsville

3rd Region: Ohio County

4th Region: Warren Central

5th Region: John Hardin

6th Region: Bullitt East

7th Region: Ballard

8th Region: Collins

9th Region: Newport Catholic

10th Region: Montgomery County

11th Region: Madison Central

12th Region: Southwestern

13th Region: Harlan County

14th Region: Perry Central

15th Region: Johnson Central

16th Region: Fleming County

Mike Fields' girls' predictions

1st Region: Marshall County

2nd Region: Henderson County

3rd Region: Muhlenberg County

4th Region: Monroe County

5th Region: Marion County

6th Region: Mercy

7th Region: Ballard

8th Region: Anderson County

9th Region: Notre Dame

10th Region: Montgomery County

11th Region: Madison Central

12th Region: Lincoln County

13th Region: Clay County

14th Region: Perry Central

15th Region: Shelby Valley

16th Region: Ashland Blazer

Boys' region sites

1st Region: Murray State

2nd Region: Hopkinsville

3rd Region: Owensboro Sportscenter

4th Region: WKU

5th Region: Hart County

6th Region: Valley

7th Region: Valley

8th Region: Henry County

9th Region: NKU's Bank of Kentucky Center

10th Region: Mason County

11th Region: EKU

12th Region: Lincoln County

13th Region: Corbin Civic Center

14th Region: Knott County Central

15th Region: East Ky. Expo Center at Pikeville

16th Region: Morehead State

Girls' region sites

1st Region: Murray State

2nd Region: Caldwell County

3rd Region: Owensboro Sportscenter

4th Region: WKU

5th Region: Green County

6th Region: Bellarmine and Valley

7th Region: Bellarmine and Valley

8th Region: North Oldham

9th Region: NKU's Bank of Kentucky Center

10th Region: Nicholas County

11th Region: EKU

12th Region: Pulaski County

13th Region: Corbin Civic Center

14th Region: Perry County Central

15th Region: East Ky. Expo Center at Pikeville

16th Region: Morehead State

Sweet Sixteen schedules

Boys' KHSAA Sweet Sixteen March 6-10 in Rupp Arena

March 6 (first round): 12th Region vs. 11th, noon; 9th vs. 6th, 1:30; 1st vs. 3rd, 6:30; 2nd vs. 8th, 8.

March 7 (first round): 4th vs. 10th, noon; 16th vs. 5th, 1:30; 15th vs. 7th, 6:30; 14th vs. 13th, 8th.

Girls' Houchens Industries/ KHSAA Sweet Sixteen March 13-16 in WKU's Diddle Arena

March 13 (first round): 4th vs. 5th, 1 p.m. 10th vs. 16th, 2:30; 8th vs. 2nd, 7:30; 13th vs. 15th, 9.

March 14 (first round): 12th vs. 3rd, 1:30; 7th vs. 6th, 2:30; 1st vs. 14th, 7:30; 11th vs. 9th, 9.


Dave Cantrall's Rating the StateBoys' top 25

Team (region) Power index

1. Lou. Trinity (7th) 87.3

2. Ballard (7th) 87.0

3. Bullitt East (6th) 84.9

4. John Hardin (5th) 82.6

5. Madison Central (11th) 82.4

5. Pleasure Ridge Park (6th)82.4

7. Henry Clay (11th) 82.0

8. Montgomery Co. (10th) 81.9

9. Hopkinsville (2nd) 80.9

10. Holmes (9th) 80.6

11. Newport Catholic (9th) 80.4

12. Butler (6th) 79.9

13. Paul Dunbar (11th) 79.8

14. Lafayette (11th) 79.7

14. Scott Co. (11th) 79.7

16. St. Xavier (7th) 79.1

16. Warren Central (4th) 79.1

18. Fairdale (6th) 79.0

18. Pulaski Co. (12th) 79.0

20. Male (7th) 78.4

21. South Oldham (8th) 78.3

22. Bowling Green (4th) 77.7

22. Collins (8th) 77.7

24. North Hardin (5th) 77.6

25. Cov. Catholic (9th) 76.8

Girls' top 25

Team (region) Power index

1. Marion Co. (5th) 90.0

2. Anderson Co. (8th) 83.9

3. Henderson Co. (2nd) 81.8

3. Manual (7th) 81.8

5. Madison Central (11th) 81.2

6. Notre Dame (9th) 80.9

7. Mercy (6th) 80.8

8. Ballard (7th) 80.3

9. Clay Co. (13th) 79.0

10. Lou. Christian (7th) 78.7

11. North Hardin (5th) 78.6

12. Bowling Green (4th) 78.5

13. Lincoln Co. (12th) 78.3

14. Butler (6th) 77.8

15. Nelson Co. (5th) 77.6

16. Monroe Co. (4th) 77.4

17. Elizabethtown (5th) 77.3

18. Sacred Heart (7th) 77.2

19. Simon Kenton (9th) 76.8

20. Assumption (7th) 76.4

21. Lafayette (11th) 76.3

22. Danville (12th) 76.2

22. Highlands (9th) 76.1

24. Adair Co. (5th) 75.9

24. Southwestern (12th) 75.9

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com

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