High School Sports

Boys’ basketball: Sayre’s tougher schedule sets it up for All ‘A’ Classic

Sayre’s Jake Duby brought the ball up against Bethlehem last season in Lexington on Feb. 10, 2015.
Sayre’s Jake Duby brought the ball up against Bethlehem last season in Lexington on Feb. 10, 2015. Herald-Leader

Since 2004, Lexington Christian has won all but one boys’ 11th Region All “A” title. They’re favored to claim their 13th in 14 years as the tournament gets underway on Tuesday at Berea.

Sayre, on the other hand, has made it out of the region only once, in 1998. Spartans Coach Rob Goodman likes his team’s chances to compete for a spot in the statewide tournament, but he acknowledged that LCA has the upper hand.

Besides talent, Goodman said, what prepares the Eagles well for the small-school field is their monstrous regular-season schedule. In turn, the Spartans have started to up their game in that department under the third-year head coach. Sayre has played larger schools, such as Anderson County, Boyle County and Woodford County, in addition to those that make up their 42nd District competition.

“I designed that on purpose, to toughen us up and see us get better,” Goodman said. “ ... I’ve been in this 25 years. It’s not just about wins and losses. It’s about seeing your team get better and building the program up.”

While the wins aren’t there this season — Sayre is 6-11 entering Tuesday — the Spartans have shown fight. They took Anderson County and Boyle County to the wire and won a close battle with Beechwood earlier this season.

Junior Jake Duby has cemented himself as the Spartans’ go-to guy. He’s among the state leaders at 24.1 points per game.

“When he’s on top of his game, it’s hard to find many players better in the region,” Goodman said. “ ... Sometimes you get a bad rap for being over here, because here you are in this district with (Bryan) Station, Henry Clay and Scott County and it’s hard to get out. So people automatically assume, ‘Well you just aren’t very good because you haven’t gotten out of your district.’ That’s not the case.”

Duby said the Spartans are starting to find themselves after getting a couple players back from injury. They can make a run in the All “A” and then some, he said.

“I think now we’re really getting back into the flow of things and even though the record doesn’t show it,” Duby said, “I think we can beat some people that y’all will be shocked to hear that we beat.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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