There's no argument any longer.
Billy Hicks is the winningest coach in Kentucky high school basketball.
Hicks' second-rated Scott County team edged Dunbar 75-72 Friday night for what the Kentucky High School Athletic Association deems to be his 857th career win. That breaks what had been a tie with Central's William Kean.
Hicks disputes the numbers, insisting that he has 10 more wins from his first season as a coach. As far as record totals, though, the 10 games are moot. Not to Hicks, though.
"Those 10 wins they're not accepting are the 10 hardest wins any team ever worked for in their life," Hicks said.
Hicks was certainly happy with his latest win, whatever number anyone wants to call it.
Trent Gilbert scored 39 points as the Cardinals (28-2) won their 20th game in a row. Scott County also beat Dunbar on Dec. 21, 80-60.
Gilbert, a 6-foot-1 senior and a Mr. Basketball finalist, made 10 of 16 shots from the field, going 4 of 8 from three-point range, and sank 15 of 16 free throws.
"Free throws were probably our biggest thing, and staying calm," Gilbert said. "I thought down the stretch we stayed patient on offense. Our defense lacked a little bit. They got rolling and we didn't get any stops for a few possessions."
Dunbar (12-16) gave a game effort while losing its fourth in a row.
"You've got to admire Dunbar, the spirit they played with and the heart they showed," Hicks said. "We did, too, at times. I thought it was a tough ball game and we had to do some things to win the ball game."
Taveion Hollingsworth and Darius Williams scored 13 points apiece for the Bulldogs. Donnie Lewis added 12.
"Our guys played really hard tonight and followed the game plan, stayed with it even when we got down a little bit," Dunbar Coach Scott Chalk said. "(We) made a good run there, so I was pleased with the effort."
Tied at 18 through one quarter, Dunbar led 32-31 at halftime.
A 26-13 third quarter seemed to put Scott County in control. The Cardinals gradually opened a seven-point lead, then scored eight in a row and were up 57-45 through three quarters.
Dunbar scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to make it a five-point game.
A Hollingsworth three-pointer with little more than half a minute left cut Scott County's lead to 70-67.
After Gilbert hit two free throws, Jordan Lewis scored to make it a three-point game with 12.7 seconds left.
Scott's Teddy Ware made two free throws at 11.2, only to have P.J. Corio drain a three-pointer for Dunbar.
Gilbert made a free throw with 2.4 seconds left, but was denied a second because of a lane violation.
That left Dunbar with a last-ditch chance, but Donnie Lewis' 20-footer from the left wing hit off the backboard and rim as the horn sounded.
Scott County scored its last 12 points at the foul line, and all but two of its fourth-quarter points at the stripe.
Gilbert went 11-for-12 in the fourth quarter alone.
"I'll do anything to win," he said. "If it takes making 40 free throws a game, I'll do it. If it takes none, I'll do it. It's just all about getting the win."
Scott Co. 75, Paul Dunbar 72
Scott Co. (28-2) — Banks 2, Jones 5, Gilbert 39, Crank 6, Long 4, Ware 7, Murray 8, Martini 4.
Paul Dunbar (12-16) — D. Lewis 12, J. Lewis 2, Corio 9, Brown 2, Black 8, Hollingsworth 13, Davis 4, Williams 13, Clark 4, Hurst 4, Ward 1.
Scott Co. 18 13 26 18—75
Paul Dunbar 18 14 13 27—72
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.