Madison Central's boys lost their first game of the basketball season Tuesday night, falling 64-49 at Henry Clay. When Barney Thweatt heard the news, 225 miles away in Benton, Ky., he smiled. "Glad to hear it," he said. "I was sweating out Madison Central going undefeated."
Thweatt has nothing against Madison Central. He just likes to be able to say that he played for Brewers, the last unbeaten boys' state champion in Kentucky, which went 36-0 in 1948.
When Brewers had its perfect season, it was the first to accomplish that feat since Ashland in 1928. That means the Redmen, coached by McCoy "Red" Tarry, are the only undefeated boys' state champs in the last 84 years. Thweatt said he realizes it's much harder to go unbeaten nowadays because teams play more demanding schedules. "But being selfish, I hope it doesn't happen again," he said.
Thweatt, 82, whose home in Marshall County affords him a beautiful view of Kentucky Lake, still works out every day and watches lots of basketball at night. He's enjoying himself this season, with three of his favorite teams doing very well. Murray State is 21-0, UK is 22-1 and Marshall County is 22-1.
Never miss a local story.
Thweatt noted that the Sweet Sixteen draw matches the 1st Region (home to Marshall County) against the 11th Region (home to Madison Central). "I thought Marshall County might have to be the one to knock off Madison Central," he said. "Now I don't have to worry."
■ Covington Holy Cross won the boys' Touchstone Energy All "A" title, and Walton-Verona won the girls' small-school championship, but Louisville Collegiate's boys won the hearts of everybody in the Frankfort Convention Center last week. Collegiate, the third-smallest school in the field, stunned Bishop Brossart 57-52 in overtime in the first round, then beat Danville 54-48 in the quarterfinals. Bryce Overstreet, Ryan Perry and Andrew Steggeman led the way. After each victory, the Titans went into the stands to celebrate with their fans. Collegiate lost to eventual champ Holy Cross 64-49 in the semifinals, but that didn't lessen the Titans' sense of achievement. They returned home heroes. They were honored at a school assembly Tuesday morning, and the semifinals' trophy was put on prominent display. First-year coach Joel Morris said reaching the final four was "beyond anybody's wildest dreams." Collegiate beat St. Xavier in the district tournament last year, but Morris said beating Brossart was a bigger upset because the Mustangs were rated higher than St. X, and this shocker came on the big stage of the All "A." "Collegiate just doesn't win those type of games," he said.
■ Stan Steidel, one of the All "A" founders, said everybody was happy with the tournament's first time in Frankfort after being held in Richmond the past 20 years. "The city (of Frankfort) backed us from the start. Everything we asked for, they provided. The (Frankfort Convention Center) arena is just right for what we're doing, and we had great crowds and a lot of fun." Total attendance was 34,781, about 3,000 more than the tournament averaged in Richmond the past three years. The All "A" is contracted to stay in Frankfort the next two years.
■ The All "A," which became a statewide event in 1990, will reach the one million mark in attendance next year. The All "A" organization has already hit $1 million in scholarship money awarded, including $94,000 that went to 94 students this year. Steidel said 530 students applied for the scholarships.
■ Newport Central Catholic's girls, who lost to Walton-Verona 38-36 in overtime in the girls' All "A" finals on Sunday, beat the Lady Bearcats 54-25 in a rematch Wednesday night.
■ Indianapolis hosts the Super Bowl this weekend, and two Kentucky high school boys' basketball teams will soak up some of the atmosphere. Madison Central will play Sheldon Clark in Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon in Indy. Afterward, the teams and their fans will visit the Super Bowl Village downtown before returning to the fieldhouse for an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic that night. The high school teams will get to watch the pros in pre-game workouts and mingle with some of the players. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Madison Central Coach Allen Feldhaus said. Sheldon Clark Coach Kevin Spurlock agreed. "It's something neat to do," he said. "The kids are pretty excited." Madison Central is taking a bus to Indy on Saturday morning and returning home Saturday night. Sheldon Clark is staying overnight in Batesville, Ind.
■ St. Henry boys' coach Dave Faust got his 300th victory when the Crusaders beat Lloyd last week. Faust has a record of 301-243 in 19 years. He led St. Henry to the All "A" title in 2003, and a Sweet Sixteen berth that year.
■ Mercer County girls' coach Chris Souder got his 300th win when his team beat Pulaski County last week. Souder is in his 16th season as head coach, the last 13 at Mercer County, and has an overall record of 301-174. He joined the 300 club a couple weeks after senior Savannah Taylor reached the 1,000-point plateau.
■ Fairview's Mike Terry was 6-for-6 on three-pointers in the third quarter against Ashland Blazer, but his hot shooting and 35 points weren't enough. The Tomcats won 71-53. Terry, a 6-foot-7 senior, is hitting 36 percent of his threes (43 of 119), and averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds.
■ Franklin County's Ryan Timmons, one of the fastest athletes in the state, uses his speed to excel in three sports. The 5-11 junior is the Class 2A champ in the 100-meter dash. He's a star receiver in football with a scholarship offer from Kentucky. And he's a terrific point guard in basketball. After he had 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Lafayette this week, Generals Coach Mike Mendenhall III said Timmons' speed on the court reminded him of Anthony Hickey, who led Christian County to the state title last year and was Mr. Basketball. Mendenhall was an assistant at Lexington Catholic last year when Hickey had 31 points, nine steals, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Christian County past the Knights in the Sweet Sixteen.
■ Larry Morton, a 6-3 junior who was Bryan Station's leading scorer the first half of the season, has been dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons, Coach Mike Allen said.
■ Morgan County has gotten a lift from 6-9 Jagos Lasic, a foreign-exchange student from Serbia who became eligible at mid-season. Lasic is averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds. He had 19 points and 19 rebounds in a win over East Carter this week.
■ Next month is the 30th anniversary of Paul Andrews' half-court shot that gave Laurel County a 53-51 victory over North Hardin in the Sweet Sixteen finals. That 1982 Cardinals team will be honored when North Laurel plays at South Laurel on Friday night. North will wear gray Laurel County jerseys, and South will wear red Laurel County jerseys. Many of the players from the '82 title team are expected to attend.
■ Elizabethtown will honor its 1972 Sweet Sixteen runner-up team when the Panthers play Fort Knox on Friday night. The game will be at TK Stone Middle School, which was E-town High School in 1972. Coach Ray Vencill's Panthers, led by star Chuck Rawlings, lost to Owensboro in the state finals.
■ Lexington Catholic grad Scott Schuette is getting lots of playing time as a freshman shooting guard at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Schuette is averaging 18 minutes a game, shooting 35 percent from three-point range and averaging 4.6 points. He had 11 points against Florida Southern last week.
■ Nicholas County's Caleb Pope, who rushed for 2,338 yards and 28 TDs in 12 games last fall, will play football and run track at Georgetown College.
■ Bourbon County has hired former Boyle County assistant John Hodge as its new football coach. He replaces Johnny Poynter, who had a 17-17 record in three years with the Colonels.
■ Brian Washington, who was football coach at Paris in 2005 and '06, has signed on for a second stint. He replaces J.J. Everage, who had a 4-38 record in four years with the Greyhounds. Washington led Paris to a 7-4 record in '06, its last winning season.
■ Henry Clay senior Gentel Blair signed to run track at St. Augustine College in Raleigh, N.C. Four Henry Clay soccer players also signed this week: John Manga (Cincinnati), Gracia Kabange (Berea), Kate Dishon (Kentucky Wesleyan), and Olivia Max (Dayton).