Top matchups still to come
Get 'em while they're hot: Top 10 high school basketball games matching ranked opponents in the last two weeks of the regular season.
■ No. 4 Trinity at No. 5 Jeffersontown, Feb. 9.
■ No. 17 Boone County at No. 7 Holmes, Feb. 9.
■ No. 18 Corbin at No. 19 McCreary Central, Feb. 9.
■ No. 3 Clark County at No. 14 Lafayette, Feb. 12.
■ No. 11 Lexington Catholic at No. 1 Scott County, Feb. 13.
■ No. 7 Eastern at No. 4 Trinity, Feb. 16.
■ No. 2 Ballard at No. 3 Clark County, Feb. 19.
■ No. 13 Madison Central at No. 13 Franklin County, Feb. 12.
■ No. 3 Mercy at No. 1 Marion County, Feb. 16.
■ No. 2 Manual at No. 23 Butler, Feb 19.
Son also rises
■ Glasgow senior Cameron Hall has watched film of his dad Jeff playing for Louisville in the 1986 NCAA finals. "It's pretty cool looking back and seeing him play. It helps me know where he's coming from when he's telling me what to do." Cameron has learned a lot from his dad, who's also his coach at Glasgow. The 6-foot-1 point guard was terrific in the All "A" Classic, averaging 29 points in three games. "He's a tremendously hard worker," Jeff said. "He puts in the hours to become a good player. He likes challenges, and rises to challenges. He's better off the dribble than I ever thought about being. He doesn't need screens to get his shot off." Cameron has committed to Campbellsville University. "A perfect fit for him athletically and academically," Jeff said.
■ Derek Thornberry, who averaged 11 points in helping DeSales to a runner-up finish in the All "A," is the grandson and grand-nephew of Jerry and Larry Thornberry. They played on Clark County's 1951 state championship team for Coach Letcher Norton. Oddly enough, "Thornberry" was misspelled "Thornsberry" in the All "A" program, and also in the 1951 linescore printed every year in the KHSAA's state tournament program. Derek's father Jeff Thornberry played for Clark County and Morehead State.
■ Shelby Valley star Elisha Justice is closing in on the state career record for steals. Going into the All "A" Classic, he was 27 swipes shy of the state mark of 499 set by Wayne County's William Shearer 15 years ago. Justice was credited with 12 steals in the All "A," giving him 484.
■ Randy McCoy is in his third year as boys' basketball coach at University Heights Academy in Hopkinsville. But he's quick to remind people that his roots are in Eastern Kentucky. (He coached Elkhorn City to the Sweet Sixteen.) At last week's All "A," McCoy said he was very familiar with Shelby Valley's players, who beat UHA in the semifinals. "I know their daddies, grandmas, papaws and third cousins," he said. "They're a unique bunch of kids who've played together for years." He also praised Wildcats Coach Jason Booher for helping Shelby Valley establish its own identity after consolidation. "It's no longer Dorton and Virgie," he said. "It's Shelby Valley." McCoy dressed casually for the All "A" semifinals: blue jeans with a shirt and tie. "You can take the redneck out of the mountains, but you can't take the mountains out of the redneck," he said.
■ Condolences to the family of Travis Byars, a former basketball and soccer standout at Paul Laurence Dunbar, who died last week at age 33. Byars played on the Bulldogs' Sweet Sixteen runner-up teams in 1993 and '94. A ferocious rebounder and defender, he made the all-tournament team in '94. Former Dunbar basketball coach Frank Watson remembered Byars as "a great athlete" and a kid who "enjoyed life, and everybody loved being around him." Cameron Mills, a Dunbar teammate, recalled Byars as "having a great sense of humor, and a constant smile on his face." His survivors include wife Julie, and daughters Ally and Loren. Contributions may be made to the Education Fund for Ally and Loren, c/o Town Square Bank, 150 S. Main St., Nicholasville, KY 40356.
■ Third-ranked Clark County will be without leading scorer Robbie Stenzel when it visits 10th Region rival Mason County Friday night. Stenzel injured his ankle in the final minutes of Tuesday's loss to No. 11 Lexington Catholic. The 6-4 junior guard should be back for the Cardinals' game at No. 15 Lafayette on Feb, 12. Clark County beat Mason County 56-55 on Feb. 6 last year thanks to Stenzel's three free throws with no time left on the clock. Mason County got its revenge by beating the Cards in the region finals.
■ Lexington Catholic retired the jersey of former star David Graves during Thursday night's game against McCreary Central. Fittingly, that game was played in the Knights' old gym where Graves starred in the late 1990s. He is still Lexington Catholic's third all-time leading boys' scorer with 1,967 points. In his senior season (1997-98), he helped beat Oak Hill Academy and Chicago Whitney Young as the Knights rose to No. 3 in USA Today's national ratings. Graves, who went on to have a solid career at Notre Dame, is only the fourth Lexington Catholic boys' player to have his jersey retired. Mort Fraley, Danny Haney and Frank Kornet are the others.
■ Lewis County will retire the jersey of Ralphie Davis (Class of 1956) between the girls' and boys' basketball games Friday night. Davis was an all-state player for the Lions who went on to play with Oscar Robertson on two NCAA runner-up teams at the University of Cincinnati. He played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and St. Louis Hawks.
■ Henry Clay will host the Al Prewitt Classic on Feb. 13. The schedule for the boys' basketball event: Nicholas County vs. Oldham County, noon; Sayre vs. Nelson County, 1:30; Bourbon County vs. Green County, 3; Madison Southern vs. Danville, 4:30; Fairdale vs. Lafayette, 6; Henderson County vs. Henry Clay, 7:30.
■ Seventy-six boys' and girls' teams will take part in Riverside Christian's fifth annual Appalachian Wireless Riverside Prep Showcase on Feb 12-13. Games will be played at Breathitt County, Jackson City, Lees College and Riverside Christian. Needless to say, it's the biggest high school hoops event in the state.
■ East Carter girls' coach Hager Easterling, who has averaged more than 20 wins in his 14 years with the Lady Raiders, notched his 300th victory this week. East Carter has the best record (18-3) in the 16th Region this season.
■ For the first time in 44 years, Newport Central Catholic has a new football coach. Eddie Eviston, who played for the Thoroughbreds in the mid-1990s and went on to star at Georgetown College, will succeed Bob Schneider, who retired as the state's all-time winningest coach. Eviston has leadership credentials. He was named the Herald-Leader's Sportsman of the Year in 2001 after he quarterbacked Georgetown to back-to-back NAIA national titles and won his third straight NAIA Player of the Year award. Eviston, 30, told the Cincinnati Enquirer he knows he faces a challenge. "There are a lot of expectations. But I'm ready to fill that role." Eviston played for the Kentucky Horsemen indoor team for five years. He has been a NewCath assistant the past five years.
■ A day after celebrating his 18th birthday Western Hills' quarterback/defensive back Dylan Curry signed with Louisville on Wednesday. He will be a "grayshirt" and enroll in January. Curry passed for 5,000 yards and ran for 1,000 in his career. He will play either tight end or defensive end in college.
■ Evan Menchen, who played football at Clark County last fall, has received an appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. The academy had more than 10,000 applicants, and Menchen is one of 1,500 accepted.
■ The Central Kentucky Umpires Association will meet Wednesday at Madison Central High School at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in umpiring high school or middle school baseball will be welcomed. For information contact Bill Bradley (859) 626-7981 or email@example.com, or Keith Morgan (606) 864-8203, or firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Tates Creek baseball player Trevor Gott, who has signed with UK, has been selected as a 2010 Under Armour Pre-Season All American, and has been invited to its All-American tournament in Tucson, Ariz.
■ The Fayette County wrestling championships are at Tates Creek Saturday. The finals are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tates Creek is the defending champ.
■ Five Lexington Catholic soccer players made their college choices: Sarah and Kerry LeBrun (EKU), Chelsea Smith (WKU), Ciara Thomas (Savannah College of Art & Design), and Brandon Johnson (DePauw).
■ East Jessamine's Aubrey Cage and Kelsi Toth have signed to play college soccer at Campbellsville and St. Catharine, respectively. East Jessamine Coach DeAngelo Wiser called Kelsi's story "a dream come true" after she tore an anterior cruciate ligament last summer and missed her senior season last fall.
■ Four Woodford County girls' soccer players signed to play on the college level: Amy Morford (Tusculum), Callie Reichenbach (Georgetown), Katrina Ott (WKU) and Lyndsay Vance (EKU).
■ Tates Creek volleyball player Abi Wheeler has signed with Asbury, where she will join her older sister Hannah.