George Bellamy has been coaching high school basketball for more than three decades and thought he had seen just about everything that could happen in hoops.
Then came Kayla Day's performance for Bellamy's Fairview girls against Prestonsburg on Monday night. Day, a senior averaging 26 points a game, had 49 in the Lady Eagles' 67-55 victory.
So this: Fairview led 29-26 at halftime, and Day had all of her team's points. Then she got the Lady Eagles' first 11 points of the second half. That added up to 40 points for Fairview on the scoreboard, and 40 points for Day in the scorebook.
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Bellamy had no clue it was happening. When a reporter asked him after the game if he knew Day had all of the Lady Eagles' points in the first half, he said he had no idea. The reporter asked Bellamy if he thought anybody was aware of the stunning development. "Probably the other four girls who hadn't scored," Bellamy said with a laugh. Two of his assistant coaches knew, but didn't tell him.
Bellamy said Day is not a typical big scorer. "We've been in a begging process the last couple years trying to get her to shoot more. Monday night she started jacking up threes, and when you add those to her normal game, she's going to score a lot."
Day, who began her career at Rose Hill, has more than 2,000 points, including those 40 in Monday's remarkable run. "The good thing about it, she did it in a competitive game," Bellamy said. "I know I've never seen anything like it in my life, and I guarantee you I'll never see it again."
■ Pleasure Ridge Park hasn't played in the boys' Sweet Sixteen since 2006, the Panthers' longest state tournament drought in Dale Mabrey's 31 years as coach. But PRP may be ready for a return to Rupp Arena next month. It's rated tops in the 6th Region and shares the No. 2 spot in the state with Ballard, behind No. 1 Trinity. The Panthers gave Trinity a stern test last week before losing 79-70. PRP (21-5) is led by 6-foot-4 Max Clemons, a Bellarmine signee who's averaging 19 points. Clemons played point guard before taking on a more versatile role this season. Jeril Taylor, whose dad, Charlie, was a PRP star in the mid-1990s, and Cortez Macklin, whose dad, Danyell, was a Mr. Basketball candidate at PRP in the early '90s, are also senior leaders. "I love this team," Mabrey said. "A great group of individuals with great character and great spirit." These Panthers are reminiscent of Mabrey's best teams. They use a swarming defense to fuel an up-tempo offense that leads the state in scoring (81 ppg). PRP must fight through a thicket of contenders in the 6th Region, including No. 5 Moore, No. 7 Bullitt East and No. 14 Jeffersontown.
■ East Jessamine's boys had the comeback of the week. They trailed host Paul Laurence Dunbar by 18 at halftime and by 11 with less than 90 seconds left, but rallied to win 96-91 in overtime Tuesday night. CJ Boyd, Cody Collins and Timmy Bradshaw led the Jaguars (21-4) to their 10th consecutive victory. For Dunbar, it was a second heart-breaking defeat in a row, following a triple-overtime 70-68 loss to Tates Creek last Friday. A bright spot for the Bulldogs against East Jessamine was 6-6 junior Taylor King, who had 36 points (28 more than his average), six rebounds and six blocked shots.
■ Perry County Central girls' coach Randy Napier has seen senior star Kendall Noble take her game to another level the last two weeks as she regains her form after knee surgery last year. "I see more zip, more life in her legs, and more confidence in her game," Napier said. Noble has put up eye-catching numbers in her last four games for the No. 5 Lady Commodores, including a quadruple-double (15 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals) in a win over Leslie County, and a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, eight steals) against Knott County Central.
■ Dixie Heights sophomore Brandon Hatton is already the second-leading scorer in the program's history with 1,507 points. He should take over the top spot early next season from Drew Powers, who had 1,880 points in the early 1990s.
■ Ray Brewer has been chairman of the boards for Sayre this season. He grabbed his 500th career rebound last Friday, and had a career-high 21 in a win over Nicholas County this week. He's averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds. Coach Ted Hall expected Brewer to be a force in the middle, but the 6-6, 245-pound junior has exceeded expectations. "As the season's gone on, he's gotten more and more comfortable, and our other guys have done a good job getting him the ball in situations where he can score." Brewer is a Division I baseball prospect as a pitcher and hitter.
■ Hopkinsville (23-2), the boys' favorite in the 2nd Region, is led by 6-3 junior Jordan Majors (17 ppg) and 6-4 freshman Jaqualis Matlock (13 ppg, 11 rpg) and sophomore point guard Tray Edwards. Hoptown missed 29 of 51 foul shots in its loss to Bowling Green, and missed 16 of 28 in its loss to Muhlenberg County. "I'm the worst free-throw shooting coach in the country," second-year Tigers coach Tim Haworth said with a laugh.
■ Adair County's Kyle Young has joined his dad Jeff (Class of 1990) in the Indians' 1,000-point club. Kyle, a 6-3 senior point guard, is averaging 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Adair (18-8) has gotten a boost from seventh-graders Chance Melton (9.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Kel Stotts (7.6 ppg, 44 percent three-point shooting, hitting 46 of 104).
■ Clay County's 1987 boys' state champs and St. Xavier's 1962 state title team will be honored at this year's PNC/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen on March 17 in Rupp Arena. Laurel County's 1987 girls' state champs will be honored at the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Sweet Sixteen on March 10 in WKU's Diddle Arena. Anyone from those teams wanting to be part of the recognition ceremonies can contact Michael Terry at email@example.com or at (859) 299-5472 by March 2.
■ Nicholas County is hosting the Shoot for the Cure Classic. On Friday, a girls-boys doubleheader between Bourbon County and the host Bluejackets starts at 6 p.m. On Saturday: Washington County vs. Nicholas County (girls), 10 a.m.; Deming vs. Washington County, 11:45; Mason County vs. Fairview, 1:30 p.m.; Harrison County vs. Dunbar, 3:15; Henry Clay vs. Pendleton County, 5; Fleming County vs. Montgomery County, 6:45.
■ Former high school rivals Natalie Novosel (Lexington Catholic) and Anna Martin (Lexington Christian) met again when No. 2 Notre Dame beat DePaul 90-70 on Sunday. Novosel, a senior at Notre Dame, had 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. Martin, a junior at DePaul, had nine points and two assists. Novosel and Martin are on the State Farm Wade Trophy watch list for consideration as the best player in Division I. Both rank in the top 10 in Big East scoring. Martin averages 18.4 points and Novosel 14.9.
■ When former Bryan Station football coach Steve Parker heard last weekend that Dermontti Dawson, one of his former players, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he immediately texted congratulations to the former Pittsburgh Steelers standout center. Parker then made hotel reservations in Canton, Ohio, for Hall of Fame weekend in August. "If I have to crawl to Canton, I'll be there," said Parker, a kinesiology professor at UK. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, the ultimate for a player. It couldn't happen to a better person than Dermontti." Parker helped steer Dawson toward his career path in the early 1980s when he walked up to Dawson in the hallway at Bryan Station and prodded him to come out for football. Parker enlisted two of his players (also future NFL guys) Marc Logan and Cornell Burbage to help get Dawson in pads. "The rest is history," Parker said. Dawson played guard and tackle in high school but never center. In college, UK assistant Jake Hallum told him his best chance of making the NFL would be as a center. Dawson played 13 years for Pittsburgh and in seven Pro Bowls.
■ Kentucky high school sports lost a legend when Charlie Ruter died at his home in Fern Creek on Saturday. He was 91. Mr. Ruter was a teacher, administrator, coach and official in Jefferson County for more than 30 years. He was an internationally renowned track and field official, co-founder of the Mason-Dixon Games, and a member of 12 halls of fame, including the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame. Mr. Ruter was the official scorer for the boys' state basketball tournament for 37 years and girls' state tournament for 15 years. A standout high school athlete in New Albany, Ind., he went on to play basketball and baseball at WKU. Mr. Ruter is survived by Ruth, his wife of 67 years, whom he met at WKU in 1942.
■ Henry Clay, which won its first region wrestling title last year, will try to repeat as champ when the Region 7 tournament is held Friday and Saturday at Western Hills. Henry Clay sophomore Mike Whalen, No. 1 in the state at 106 pounds, is the highest ranked wrestler in the region. Lafayette junior Luke Rearic is No. 3 at 106. Tates Creek senior Terrell Moore is No. 5 at 285, and Paul Laurence Dunbar senior Brad Milford is No. 6 at 113.