Region: 2nd Record: 31-4 Enrollment: 1,072
Tim Haworth is 79-14 in three seasons at Hoptown. He played at Murray State University and was an assistant there two years under Mick Cronin, who's now at Cincinnati. Haworth also was an assistant at Murray High and Hopkinsville.
Player Height Class Points
Jaqualis Matlock 6-2 So. 14.5
Tra Edwards 6-2 So. 9.7
T.J. Elam 6-1 Sr. 9.0
Jamonte Davis 6-5 Jr. 6.8
Jordan Majors 6-3 Sr. 20.4
The Tigers will play as many as 11 players. "We definitely share the basketball very well at the offensive end, and we're going to get after you defensively," Haworth said. Hopkinsville also reached the Sweet Sixteen a year ago, falling to Southwestern in the first round. Haworth thinks that experience will help this week: "Last year, we got up there and I started a freshman and sophomore, we had a really young team and I think some of our guys were kind of shell-shocked ... and the moment kind of got to them a little bit. Fourth quarter, we kind of settled down and tried to play our style of basketball. We cut it to about six with about three minutes to go, but we could never get back over the hump. We played good enough defense to win, but we didn't execute well enough on the offensive end." Southwestern won that game 52-41.
Ride 'em Cowboy
Jaqualis Matlock started as a freshman last year, averaging 13 points and 10.5 rebounds. Now, he's at 14.5 points and 9.4 rebounds and, according to Haworth, drawing interest from college coaches. Among them are Kentucky native Travis Ford of Oklahoma State.
Player to watch
Jordan Majors has been an elite scorer all four years for the Tigers. With a 6-11 wingspan, "he's able to score in a lot of different ways," Haworth said. Perimeter shooting, posting up or driving to the hoop, Majors is Hoptown's top threat to score. In addition, he's averaging 5.4 rebounds a game.
The Tigers are making their second consecutive state tournament appearance and sixth overall. Hopkinsville won the title in 1985, defeating Clay County in the finals.
Region: 8th Record: 24-7 Enrollment: 1,194
Steve Simpson is 238-143 in his 13th season at South Oldham.
Player Height Class Points
Mitch Catinna 6-0 Sr. 8.9
Michael Haysley 6-1Sr. 4.7
Matthew Haysley 6-1 Sr. 12.6
Kyle Young 6-0 Jr. 9.7
Shae Goodlett 6-0 Sr. 16.4
The Dragons make up for a lack of size with proficient three-point shooting — 38.3 percent as a team, with 248 makes — and determination. "We have a lot of guys that have the green light," Simpson said of his long-range shooters. Top three-point assassins are Matthew Haysley (48-for-122) and Mitch Catinna (45-for-108). As for determination, South Oldham finds a way to compete for rebounds even though it has no starter taller than 6-1. "Our kids have really bought into positioning," Simpson said. "We try to, defensively, stay in position so that we ... can rebound. Because we don't have the size to just jump with people. On nights that they do that, we compete pretty well on the boards." Matthew Haysley leads the team with 7.7 rebounds a game. "We're not a huge team, so we're an up-tempo team when we can be," Simpson said. "We shoot it pretty well."
Simpson on leading the Dragons to the Sweet Sixteen: "God has really blessed me in 28 years in this business and allowed me to work with kids. I'm really, really blessed that He allowed me to stay around long enough to take a team to the state tournament."
Player to watch
"Shae Goodlett is 6-foot, that's just stretching every part of his body," Simpson said. "He's a 6-foot kid that plays like he's 6-6. He had 33 the other night. We throw it to him on the post, there's always a 6-4, 6-5 guy on him. He's a very intelligent post player. Everybody that watches Shae play just falls in love with how he plays the game of basketball. ... I've never really seen a kid at that size battle the way he does against bigger guys." Goodlett is shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 80.1 percent at the free-throw line, and adds 6.0 rebounds a game.
South Oldham, which opened in 1989, is making its first state tournament appearance.
2013 Sweet Sixteen Preview Ballard's talented trio eye title
Mike Fields: You never know at the state tournament
Sweet Sixteen tournament bracket
Pre-season team, player ratings
Game 1 (Noon, Wed.): Wayne Co. vs. Madison Central
Game 2 (1:30 pm, Wed.): Holmes vs. PRP
Game 3 (6:30 pm, Wed.): Graves Co. vs. Ohio Co.
Game 4 (8 pm, Wed.): Hopkinsville vs. South Oldham
Game 5 (Noon, Thu.): Warren Central vs. Montgomery Co.
Game 6 (1:30 pm, Thu.): Fleming Co. vs. John Hardin
Game 7 (6:30 pm, Thu.): Johnson Central vs. Ballard
Game 8 (8 pm, Thu.): Knott Co. Central vs. Clay Co.
Region players and coaches of the year
Past boys' Sweet Sixteen champions