Region: 4th Record: 28-6 Enrollment: 988
William Unseld is in his second year as Dragons coach. He was an assistant to Tim Riley for seven years and was on the staff of five state tournament teams. Unseld played for Warren Central in the early 1990s.
Player Height Class Points
Nay Walker 5-10 Sr. 13.0
Chris Porter-Bunton 6-4 Jr. 10.8
Byron Carver 6-3 Jr. 12.5
Rondell Green 6-1 Jr. 5.4
Kaelon Dickerson 5-11 Sr. 9.8
Warren Central plays pressure defense and a running style, and it has the athletes to do it. "We play good defense, we've got guys who can shoot (Walker and Dickerson, in particular), and we've got a big guy (Carver) inside," Unseld said. Bunton-Porter is another low-post player. The Dragons balanced attack is triggered by point man Green, who averages almost five assists. Warren Central was 9-5 in early January, but once its football players rounded into basketball shape, the team got on a roll, winning 19 of its last 20.
Warren Central's football team went 11-2, with both losses coming to eventual state champ and arch-rival Bowling Green. Three basketball starters were key contributors in football. Green, a running back/defensive back, generated more than 700 yards and had 14 touchdowns. Porter-Bunton, a receiver/safety, had 35 catches for 588 yards and 6 TDs. Carver, a tight end/defensive end, had 21 catches for 374 yards and 8 TDs.
Player to watch
Carver, who weighed 240 pounds for football, has trimmed down to 220. He's still a big body inside, "with great hands and great feet," Unseld said. "He's very skilled, very nimble and a heck of a passer. We try to go to him as much as we can."
Warren Central is in the Sweet Sixteen for 13th time, and for the ninth time in the last 12 years. The Dragons won the title in 2004 and were runners-up in '05.
Region: 10th Record: 31-4 Enrollment: 1,238
Happy Osborne is making the most of his first season as a high school coach. He was at Georgetown College for 31 years, 15 as head coach. He had a record of 456-81 and a NAIA national title in 1998. He left the Tigers in 2011 to become an assistant at Tennessee Tech. He spent one season there before moving back to his home state to coach at Montgomery County.
Player Height Class Points
Omar Prewitt 6-6 Sr. 23.3
Bryan Wallace 6-0 Jr. 16.1
Darius Jones 6-3 Jr. 10.5
Chase Hall 6-4 So. 5.3Tyler Jones 6-0 Sr. 8.9
Montgomery County is among the highest scoring teams in the state (76 ppg), but that's not what makes the Indians successful. "The key for us is to be good defensively," Osborne said. "Our goal every game is to get 40 deflections and hold our opponent under 35 percent (shooting)." They do it with aggressive, trapping man-to-man. Prewitt is the primary scorer, "but he doesn't have to carry us. We're able to score from other spots," Osborne said. Wallace is quick off the dribble, and Jones' athleticism makes him a threat. Osborne expects Warren Central to play the same up-tempo style as his Indians. "Both teams want to get after it, so it should be fast-paced and fun for fans to watch," he said.
When Osborne was 7, his dad, Happy Sr., coached Williamstown to a district title. "I remember them throwing me in the shower, and I remember the ride home that night," Osborne said. "It was an unbelievable experience, and probably why I became a coach." Osborne and his dad, who also coached at Falmouth, Gallatin County and Pine Knot, regularly attended the Sweet Sixteen as fans. "Now I'm going as a coach, and it's a thrill for me," Osborne said. "And it's obviously a thrill for the people in our community. They've lost their minds they're so excited."
Player to watch
Prewitt, whose mom is former UK star and Centre College coach Lea Wise-Prewitt, is closing out his high school career in style. He's also a finalist for Mr. Basketball. "Omar's had a tremendous year," Osborne said. "He's been a team leader for us. He can score, rebound, he's an excellent passer and handles the ball well." Prewitt, who has signed with William & Mary, is the Indians' all-time leader in points (2,581), rebounds (1,046), three-pointers (341) and blocked shots (225).
Montgomery County's only other state tournament appearance was in 1995, when it lost to PRP in the quarterfinals.
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