The Lexington Catholic-Scott County boys' basketball rivalry, which sparked to life with an electrifying shot in the 1998 Sweet Sixteen, has had a little bit of everything over the past 13 years.
Now something new: a first-round showdown in the 11th Region Tournament when No. 3 Scott County plays No. 5 Lexington Catholic on Thursday night.
The region shootout starts Wednesday in EKU's McBrayer Arena in Richmond.
"I've come to love big games, and this should be one for sure," Scott County Coach Billy Hicks said. "I know the crowd should love it."
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These teams have a colorful post-season history, beginning with a classic game in the state semifinals in 1998.
Scott County scored 11 points in the last 36 seconds and beat the nationally ranked Knights 85-82 on Rick Jones' three-pointer at the buzzer. The Cardinals went on to win the state championship.
Lexington Catholic got its revenge two years later when it beat Scott County 52-47 in the Sweet Sixteen semifinals.
Since Scott County moved from the 8th Region to the 11th in 2006, the Cards and Knights have met in the region semifinals three times.
Their hoops' series couldn't be closer. They've played 20 times since '98, and each has 10 victories (including a game forfeited by Lexington Catholic in 2003).
"We've played so many great games against each other in front of large crowds, so why not have one in the first round of the region?" Knights Coach Brandon Salsman said.
Scott County beat Lexington Catholic 85-81 on Feb. 12 in a game that ended with tempers flaring.
The region tournament begins Wednesday night with another rivalry renewal: No. 11 Tates Creek vs. No. 21 Henry Clay. The Blue Devils hold a 63-49 edge in the series that started 45 seasons ago.
Tates Creek beat Henry Clay twice during the regular season, 50-49 in overtime, and 53-42.
In other first-round games, Woodford County plays Madison Southern, and Madison Central takes on Franklin County. In the regular season, Woodford County edged the Eagles 51-50 in overtime, and Madison Central beat the Flyers 62-54.