High school notebook: Year of championships a statewide thrill ride

Herald-Leader Staff writerDecember 19, 2013 

Ballard Madison Central Basketball

Madison Central's Ken-Jah Bosley cuts down the net after the KHSAA Sweet 16 championship high school basketball game won by Madison Central 65-64 over Ballard at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Sunday, March 10, 2013. Bosley hit a three pointer at the end of the game giving Madison Central the victory. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

JAMES CRISP — AP

Christmas is still five days away, but the teams and players that won high school state championships in 2013 have already delivered gifts that will keep on giving to their fans for a long time. The best stocking stuffer video highlights would include:

■ Ken-Jah Bosley's three-pointer with five seconds left that gave Madison Central a stunning 65-64 come-from-behind victory over Ballard in the Boys' Sweet Sixteen finals in Rupp Arena.

■ Paul Laurence Dunbar goalkeeper Nick Clark's stop of a Trinity penalty kick that gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 victory in the state soccer finals. It was Dunbar's fourth championship under Todd Bretz.

■ West Jessamine's Fred Allen Meyer and Grace Rose won the boys' and girls' state golf titles at Bowling Green Country Club. West Jessamine became the first school in state history to sweep medalist honors.

■ Pleasure Ridge Park's Blake Stewart scored on Joe Hatcher's squeeze bunt to give the Panthers a 3-2 victory in extra innings over Mercer County in the state baseball finals at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. It was the fifth championship for the Panthers and Coach Bill Miller.

■ Greenwood became the first undefeated state softball champ by beating Owensboro Catholic 8-0 in the finals. The Gators (44-0) were led by pitcher Elizabeth Moss, who went 31-0.

■ Two of the state football title games were won in dramatic fashion. In Class 4A, backup quarterback Browning Becherer's 12-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Sames gave Collins a 37-34 upset of Highlands. In 6A, Clay McKee's 6-yard TD pass to Scott Daniel with 40 seconds left gave undefeated Scott County a 21-14 victory over Meade County.

■ Woodford County wrestler Nathan Boston had a fun week at the state tournament. He pinned all five of his opponents to cap a 53-0 season as 113-pound champ.

■ Western Hills senior Alisha Adair won the 200-meter dash state title for the eighth year in a row. Combined with relay and other individual events, it was her 12th state crown.

Winning streak ends

■ Defending girls' state champ Marion County lost to Pleasure Ridge Park last week, ending the Knights' 41-game winning streak. They went 39-0 last season and won their first two games this season. Laurel County's girls set the state record with 74 consecutive wins in 1978-80. Ashland's boys won 44 in a row in the late 1920s. Sacred Heart's girls had 42 consecutive victories in 2003-04. Marion County's streak is fourth-best in the state record book.

■ LaRue County senior Ivy Brown, the top-rated player in the state and a Western Kentucky University signee, came close to a quadruple-double in a 74-34 rout of Hart County. Brown had 18 points, 15 rebounds, 10 steals and eight assists.

■ Jenkins sophomore Whitney Creech has picked up where she left off last season when she led the state in scoring with 30.2 points per game. Creech is averaging 31.2 points through six games.

■ East Jessamine junior guard Ronnie Carson had a school-record 54 points in a 94-91 loss to Anderson County. He was 16-for-32 from the field, and 22-for-32 from the foul line.

■ Patrick Anderson, who quarterbacked John Hardin's football team to a near upset of Bowling Green in the Class 5A semifinals, had a big game to start the basketball season. After only five practices, Anderson scored a school-record 50 points in John Hardin's 115-108 triple-overtime loss to defending state champ Madison Central. Anderson, a senior guard, shot 17-for-27 from the field, including three of six three-pointers. He made 13 of 17 free throws. He hit three foul shots with no time left on the clock to force the second overtime.

■ Brent Bach has led Augusta to an 8-0 record, the best start in school history. Bach, a 6-foot-2 senior who averaged 26.5 points last season, is averaging 32 points. He had 39 in Wednesday night's win over Lewis County in the semifinals of the U.S. Bank Mike Murphy Classic. If host Mason County beat St. Patrick in Thursday's semifinals, it would set up an interesting showdown with Augusta in Friday night's finals. Augusta beat Mason County in the district semifinals last March, its first-ever victory over the Royals.

■ Lafayette girls' coach Allison Denton won her 200th game when the Generals beat Ryle last weekend. Denton is in her 13th season at Lafayette.

■ On Dec. 17, 1985, Brian Lane had 14 points for Tates Creek in a loss to Madison Central. On Dec. 17. 2013, Harrison Lane, Brian's son, had 14 points for Lafayette in a win over Tates Creek. If Harrison wants bragging rights in this father-son comparison, he shot better than his dad. Harrison was 4-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-8 on three-pointers, and 2-for-2 from the foul line. Brian had 14 points on 6-for-17 shooting and 2-for-3 free throws. Dad played in the dinosaur age before high school basketball adopted the three-point shot.

■ The Republic Bank Holiday Classic boys' basketball tournament at Lexington Catholic next week includes 11 teams rated in the pre-season top 25: No. 2 Pleasure Ridge Park, No. 3 Scott County, No. 6 Knott County Central, No. 8 Warren Central, No. 10 Lafayette, No. 11 Newport Central Catholic, No. 13 Cordia, No. 18 Lexington Catholic, No. 20 Henry Clay, No. 22 Henderson County and No. 24 Male. Henry Clay won last year's tournament.

■ Keeley Rogers became the all-time leading scorer in Powell County girls' basketball last week. The 5-8 senior had 31 points in a win over Hazard, giving her 2,043 in her career.

■ Mike Smith (Paul Laurence Dunbar) is averaging 25.9 points as a freshman at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. The 5-9 guard is the fourth-leading scorer in NCAA Division II, and the only freshman in the top 50.

■ Anthony Hickey, who led Christian County to the 2011 state title and was Mr. Basketball that year, led LSU to a 71-69 victory over Tubby Smith's Texas Tech team Wednesday night. Hickey was 4-for-4 on three-pointers and had four assists. Hickey, a junior, is averaging 10.2 points and four assists.

■ Crystal Land of Bryan Station, who won the state high school bowling championship last season, signed with Campbellsville University on Monday.

■ Former Lexington Catholic football coach Bob Sphire's North Gwinnett team lost to Norcross 31-14 in Georgia's Class 6A finals last Saturday in the Georgia Dome. Norcross, which lost to North Gwinnett 36-17 in the regular season, repeated as state champ. Hayden Sphire, son of the Bulldogs' coach, completed 20 of 41 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns, but was picked off four times.

■ Domonique Hayden (Lexington Christian), a junior running back at Thomas More College, has been named to the American Football Coaches Association All-American team. Hayden led NCAA Division III by rushing for a school-record 2,017 yards and 25 TDs. He also had 10 catches for 217 yards and three TDs. He owns or shares school records for single-game all-purpose yards (366), points in a game (30), points in a season (168), career points (384), rushing yards in a game (327), rushing TDs in a game (five) and career rushing TDs (58).

Jake Collins of St. Xavier kicked a 21-yard field goal with six seconds left to give the Louisville-area all-stars a 24-22 lead, and they added a safety to end the game to win the Best of the Bluegrass 26-22 over the Kentucky stars. Bowling Green quarterback Devin Hayes threw a TD pass to Paducah Tilghman's Darrius Spivey to put the Kentucky stars up 22-21. But St. X quarterback B.J. Nagle led the Louisville stars on a drive that culminated with Collins' field goal.

■ Union County wrestler Brock Ervin, who will go for a fifth individual state title this season, signed with Illinois. Caleb Ervin, Brock's first cousin and a three-time state champ, is a sophomore wrestler at Illinois and is currently ranked 14th in the nation at 149 pounds. Brock is expected to compete at 141, where the Illini also have former Trinity star John Fahy. Union County's Trae Blackwell, a two-time state titlist, signed with Oklahoma.

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

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