If speeding was a basketball violation, the Paul Laurence Dunbar girls' team would be due in court.
Fortunately, the Lady Bulldogs are instead due on court — Western Kentucky University's E.A. Diddle Arena.
That's where the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' State Basketball Tournament tips off a four-day run Wednesday.
Dunbar will face 9th Region champion Boone County in Wednesday's second game, at 2:30 p.m. EST.
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Dunbar (28-6) won the 11th Region title playing under Sarah Van Horn, its third coach in three years.
The Bulldogs went 12-13 last year and were ousted in the first round of the 43rd District Tournament.
"Their defense and their ability to listen," Van Horn said in explaining how things have turned around. "I came in with ... a total new plan. These kids have just taken it and ran away with it.
"I always wanted to play an up-tempo defense, man-to-man, and make teams hate playing you as far as their offense — they can't get anything going. But you have to have the right personnel for it and, luckily, I do.
"I have these kids with the speed and athleticism to force other teams into mistakes. It's not necessarily that we can shoot the ball that well or we make tremendous passes and things like that. We just try to force the other team into making their own mistakes. Then, when they do, we capitalize, and we make them pay."
Jordin Fender and Kierra Muhammad, both 5-foot-2 juniors, energize the Dunbar defense. Not surprisingly, both also have double-digit scoring averages, thanks to an ability to convert turnovers into transition baskets.
"We have also proven that we can run the half-court game," Van Horn said. "... People think that's an Achilles' heel, but we can do that, too, and I think that's what makes us so dangerous."
Complementing the quickness is the inside presence of 6-2 Brooke Todd and 5-10 Lakeena Parks.
Morgan McEldowney, the lone senior in the starting lineup, uses her 5-9 frame to help inside and can be deadly from three-point range.
The Dogs are deep on the bench, too, led by Shakeema Jackson, Lexus Edwards and Indya Raglin.
Boone County (30-3), the 9th Region champion, counters with arguably the best player in the state, Sydney Moss.
The 5-11 senior is averaging 22.8 points and 10 rebounds. The daughter of former pro football receiver Randy Moss will play for Florida next season.
"She has just such great skill and versatility in her game," said Nell Fookes, in her 27th season as coach of the Rebels. "She can play all five positions well. She has great hands, great instincts to play. Her mind always seems to be a step ahead of everybody else out on the basketball floor.
"She can shoot the three. She can take it to the hole. She's a great rebounder offensively and defensively. She handles the ball well."
When defenses pay extra attention to Moss, that can free Lydia Nash, also a 5-11 senior.
The Rebels have some speed, too, in point guard Jessica Jones.
Van Horn, an All-State player for Morgan High School in southeastern Ohio, went on to become a two-time NCAA Division II All-American for West Virginia Wesleyan. She averaged 20.1 points and nine rebounds as a college senior, graduating in 2009.
A math teacher, she is engaged to Sy Bridenbaugh, the brother of one of her college teammates. The wedding is set for June, and the couple is closing on a house this week.
Van Horn has her mind on the Sweet Sixteen, though, and how to beat Boone County.
"Moss is going to be a tough matchup for us," she said. "But we're going to try and do what we do to everybody and play some up-tempo defense, and focus on shutting down their second and third options and continue to use our balanced scoring to carry the load."