Thanks to winter deciding to impose its will, school has been out for the better part of the last week for several districts across Kentucky. That means, unfortunately, that basketball games have been postponed or outright canceled as a result of the same conditions.
In the last week, multiple marquee matchups have been affected by ice and snow. Let’s take a look at some of those big-time games and where they’re now positioned in the schedule.
Scott County at Bryan Station (7:30 p.m. Jan. 22): A contest between the 11th Region’s top two squads was originally slated for a prime-time Saturday slot (Jan. 13) but was postponed to a Monday — what a way to kick off the week! The previous time had the game tipping soon after a UK basketball game but the new date has no UK events of which to speak; removing that local conflict of interest never hurts. Both teams are ranked highly in the Cantrall Ratings — Scott County is No. 1 and Bryan Station is No. 5 — and are among the top 20 scoring leaders — Scott County is seventh at 77.4 points per game while Station’s 74.3 ppg are good for 15th overall. Eric “Boss” Boone is 12th in the state in rebounding (10.6) while Michael Moreno (9.9) clocks in at 20th; both boys also lead their teams in scoring (Boone at 20.4, Moreno at 20.5).
Cooper vs. Covington Catholic at BB&T Arena (8:30 p.m. Jan. 21) This one’s gonna be played nine days after it was originally scheduled — on a Sunday night instead of a Friday (Jan. 12). The “day of rest” will be anything but for the two teams that are considered 1A and 1B in the Ninth Region. Both have Mr. Basketball contenders on their rosters — Iowa signee CJ Fredrick (CovCath) and Belmont signee Adam Kunkel (Belmont) — and are in the top three in team three-point percentage (CovCath leads the way at 44.4 percent while Cooper is behind Trinity with a 42.5-percent clip). Basketball fans up north could spend their entire afternoon and evening at BB&T Arena if they’d like — the NKU women host Illinois-Chicago at 1 p.m. before three boys’ high school games close out the day: Holmes vs. Newport Central Catholic (5:30 p.m.), Dixie Heights vs. Scott (7 p.m.) and the Cooper-CovCath matchup.
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Louisville Invitational Tournament (semifinals 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Jan. 20, finals 3 p.m. Jan. 21): Manual High School stepped up to host the final two rounds of the boys’ LIT, which for a moment appeared would be canceled for the first time in its 70-year history, this weekend. Trinity, ranked second in the Cantrall Ratings, will take on No. 14 Butler, which is 16-1 and has emerged as a surprise contender in the Sixth Region. The second semifinal pits two other Sixth Region strongholds, Fern Creek (No. 5) and Doss (No. 15), against each other. If chalk holds, Fern Creek and Trinity will get a rubber match as they face off for the third time in six weeks.
Christian County at University Heights (TBD): These Second Region powers began play on Jan. 9 but condensation build-up on the playing floor led to the postponement of the game at halftime with UHA leading 35-32. The two were scheduled to resume the game on Wednesday but the closure of Christian County schools forced a second postponement. UHA has turned its attention to qualifying for the All “A” Classic state tournament and as of Thursday morning no conclusion date had been settled upon. Christian County is scheduled to host the return game on Feb. 6.
Toyota Classic (Thursday-Saturday): Scott County’s annual showcase — a bracketed boys’ tournament coupled with a round-robin girls’ event — had its first night wiped off the slate and one of its boys’ participants (Taylor County) knocked out of the event due to its district cancellation policy. So, Lafayette vs. Oldham County (No. 8 vs. No. 12 in the Cantrall Ratings) now were to play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Scott County Middle School. Scott County vs. Woodford County also was bumped to 7 p.m. Thursday, when LaRue County and Wayne County were originally supposed to play. Those two were still to play at that time, but at SCMS. Hopkinsville, originally scheduled to play Taylor County, now will receive a bye to the semifinals, which are scheduled for Friday (7 and 8:30 p.m.). The championship game is set for 8 p.m. Saturday.
▪ In addition to those major games and events, several All “A” Classic regional schedules were disrupted by the weather. Most of the tournaments that haven’t finished play will conclude on Saturday or Sunday. The girls’ statewide tournament begins Wednesday and the boys’ edition tips on Thursday.
▪ The Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic was one big event not affected by winter weather because it was originally scheduled for this weekend, when temperatures are supposed to get high enough to melt away the mess. The two-day, 13-game girls’ showcase features two of the top teams in the nation — Riverdale and Hamilton Heights Christian, two Tennessee squads ranked No. 5 and No. 10, respectively, in USA Today’s Super 25 national rankings — as well as Mercer County, ranked 22nd overall by USA Today, first by the Kentucky Associated Press and second in the Cantrall Ratings.
Two University of Louisville signees — Mercer County’s Seygan Robins and Butler’s Molly Lockhart — will play in the event as well as two McDonald’s All-Americans in Jazmine Massingill (signed with Tennessee) and Elizabeth Balogun (Georgia Tech), both stars for HHC. Other Kentucky participants are Sacred Heart (No. 2), Butler (Cantrall No. 6), Male (No. 10), Manual (No. 11), Mercy (No. 13), Eastern (No. 16), Bullitt East (No. 25) and Franklin County. You can see the full schedule at bit.ly/2ETOCyy.