When Scott County beat Bryan Station last Friday, Cardinals Coach Billy Hicks counted it as his 857th career victory, which meant he had eclipsed William Kean of Louisville Central as the state's all-time winningest boys' basketball coach.
But he wasn't in the mood to celebrate.
Only a couple of hours before the Scott County-Bryan Station game, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association sent out a news release saying Hicks' career victory total had been reduced because of 10 forfeits from his first season (1978-79) at Evarts, and several discrepancies between Hicks' season-by-season records and those kept by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches.
The KHSAA revised Hicks' win total down to 837.
Counting Scott County's subsequent wins over Bryan Station and Male, Hicks now has 839 wins, according to the KHSAA. That's 17 short of Kean's record of 856. Unless, of course, you go by the KABC's revised win total for Kean of 847.
Thoroughly confused? Join the club.
Hicks strongly contends that Evarts didn't forfeit all 10 wins from his first season, that an ineligible player only dressed for one of those games. Hicks is trying to get former KHSAA commissioner Tom Mills to back him up on the matter. Meanwhile, Joe Angolia of the KHSAA found two Associated Press newspaper stories from 1979 quoting the Evarts' superintendent that it would forfeit all 10 wins. Angolia also found a reference to the forfeits in KHSAA Board of Control minutes. In addition, Angolia is trying to verify nine wins in Hicks' last three seasons at Corbin and his first season at Scott County.
Hicks is upset that the KABC has contested his victory total. He thinks former North Hardin coach Ron Bevars of the KABC has an axe to grind. "I think it's terrible for the (KABC) to carry out business in this manner against a fellow coach," Hicks said. "It's rude and disappointing. Everybody turns a blind eye to the fact that Ron Bevars is in charge of this."
Bevars said he and the KABC are only exercising due diligence. "It's nothing personal," he said. "We don't want to hurt anybody. We just want to get it right."
It seems inevitable that Hicks and Dale Mabrey of Pleasure Ridge Park will both surpass Kean's victory total. Mabrey has an undisputed 828 career wins, 11 behind Hicks. The third-winningest active coach is Steve Wright of Southwestern with 640.
■ Defending 16th Region champ Fleming County has been without senior star Darion Burns this season. He's almost six months into his recovery from knee surgery. Panthers Coach Mark Starns said he hopes Burns can be back in the lineup by early February. "He's been doing every drill with us except contact drills," Starns said. "But the doctors won't even think about giving him a release (for full action) before the end of January." The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 17.4 points and 5.7 rebounds last season, but Fleming County has missed more than his numbers. "We've not only missed his scoring ability, but his defensive prowess, and when he's on the court everybody else's confidence is soaring," Starns said. "He's our backbone when he's out there." The Panthers have played pretty well without him. They're 12-6, led by senior Troy Steward (19.8 ppg). Also averaging in double figures are Austin Crisp (14.9), Brady Saunders (13.8) and Wilder Williams (11.6). Starns thinks Fleming County is still very much a contender in the region. "When the dust settles, I think it'll be us, Ashland or Rowan County."
■ The 24th annual Joe B. Hall Prep Classic Saturday could feature a battle of unbeatens between Wayne County and host Montgomery County. If Wayne County wins at Pulaski County on Friday night, it will be 19-0. If Montgomery County wins at Bourbon County on Friday night, it will be 17-0. Saturday's action begins at 1:30 with No. 4 Hopkinsville vs. No. 15 Henry Clay, followed by No. 20 Southwestern vs. No. 23 Perry Central at 3:15; No. 12 Knott Central vs. Fleming County at 5; No. 1 Trinity vs. No. 8 Holmes at 6:45, and Wayne County vs. Montgomery County at 8:30.
■ PRP, which was No. 2 behind No. 1 Ballard in the pre-season boys' basketball polls, didn't play up to its rating in the Republic Bank Holiday Classic the week after Christmas. The Panthers looked disinterested and lethargic in a 67-51 loss to Newport Central Catholic, a game in which they trailed by 27 points in the second half. But give PRP Coach Dale Mabrey credit for getting his team on the right track. The Panthers are undefeated in 2014, including an 81-73 overtime win over Ballard in the finals of the Louisville Invitational Tournament. PRP senior LaMontray Harris earned MVP honors by averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds in four LIT games.
■ Johnson Central senior Shane Hall's 17 rebounds against Lawrence County gave him 1,003 in his career. The 6-7 Marshall signee also became the second-leading shot-blocker in state history. He has 407 blocks. J.R. VanHoose of Paintsville holds the record with 541.
■ Bishop Brossart continues its dominance of the All "A" 10th Region. Brossart's boys won the small-school region title for the fourth year in a row and 12th time overall. Brossart's girls three-peated as region champs and got their ninth title overall. The Touchstone Energy All "A" state tournament is next week in Frankfort. Besides Brossart, the only boys' teams to qualify so far are Cordia (14th Region) and Betsy Layne (15th). Besides Brossart, the only girls' teams to qualify are Trimble County (8th), Newport Central Catholic (9th), Harlan (13th), Leslie County (14th) and Paintsville (15th).
■ North Laurel eighth-grader Madison Sheppard had 17 points and seven rebounds in a win over Oneida Baptist. Madison is the daughter of former UK players Jeff Sheppard and Stacey Reed. Stacey played on two state championship teams at Laurel County.
■ Jarrod Polson, who led West Jessamine to the Sweet Sixteen in 2009 and 2010, will have his Colts' jersey retired before Friday's game against Mercer County. Polson, West Jessamine's all-time top scorer with 1,884 points, is in his senior season at UK. He has already earned a degree in business finance and is pursuing a second degree in marketing.
■ Wayne County Coach Rodney Woods played at Tennessee and is a devoted Vols fan, so it's natural that his son Peyton, who's named after former UT quarterback Peyton Manning, is a Tennessee fan, too. Peyton Woods, a 6-3 junior, is among the state's leading scorers with a 26.1 average. While basketball has most of his attention, he'll be rooting for the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl because of Manning. "He's my man," Woods said. "I just like the way he keeps his composure and the way he plays." Woods once met Manning in Knoxville and got to shake his hand. "That was pretty neat," Woods said.
■ Pairings for the girls' and boys' state basketball tournaments will be drawn Feb. 3 at the KHSAA offices and broadcast live by CWKYT in Lexington and WYMT in Hazard. The draw also will be streamed online at khsaa.org. The Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen is March 12-16 in Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. The Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen is March 19-23 in Rupp Arena. Full-session tickets to the state tournaments can be purchased online at khsaa.org/payments/tickets/.
■ Tates Creek football college commitments: wide receiver R.J. Taylor (Wofford), linebacker Marshall Gant (Campbellsville) and punter Jake Ryan (walk-on at UK). The Commodores had a so-so 6-5 record last fall, but they excelled in the classroom. Coach Mike Harmon said 17 players earned a 4.0 GPA or better last semester, and the team had a 3.2 GPA.
■ Caldwell County quarterback Elijah Sindelar, who has a scholarship offer from UK, probably won't make his college choice for a while. Caldwell County Coach David Barnes said in an email he expects Sindelar to make his decision toward the end of spring.
■ Marshall Patterson, who was Fort Campbell's first football coach and led the Falcons to 227 victories and three state titles in 32 years, died Sunday. Mr. Patterson also started Fort Campbell's wrestling program and won a state title in 1971. In 1988 Mayfield beat Fort Campbell for Jack Morris' 200th victory. Afterward, Mr. Patterson said he should have been carried off the field by Mayfield fans because he had lost so many games to the Cardinals. Two years later, Fort Campbell upset Mayfield, giving Mr. Patterson his 200th victory.
■ Steve Duncan has resigned as Murray football coach. He led the Tigers to a 63-16 record in six years, including unbeaten regular seasons in 2009 and 2010. Murray upset No. 1 Caldwell County in the Class 2A playoffs last fall before losing to eventual state champion DeSales in the semifinals.
■ Fred Ray, who was an assistant football coach at Fairview from 2009-12, is the Eagles' new head coach. He replaces Nathan McPeek, who was fired at the end of the regular season last fall.