High School Basketball

Coaching legend to face former school, player in Sweet Sixteen quarterfinal

Scott County head coach Billy Hicks was upset with a call as Scott County played Trinity in an opening round game at the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen state basketball tournament being played Wednesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington. This is first quarter action.
Scott County head coach Billy Hicks was upset with a call as Scott County played Trinity in an opening round game at the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen state basketball tournament being played Wednesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington. This is first quarter action. cbertram@herald-leader.com

The Corbin-Scott County matchup in the quarterfinals of the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen pits the state’s No. 1 team, Scott County, against the top team out of eastern Kentucky, Corbin.

It also puts Cardinals Coach Billy Hicks in the position of coaching against the first school he led to the Sweet Sixteen, as well as against one of his former pupils; Redhounds Coach Tony Pietrowski played for Hicks as part of the Corbin team that reached the 1991 quarterfinals.

“Coach Hicks has been a great mentor to me, especially early in my coaching career. It’s obvious how good of a coach he is with the things he’s done throughout his career,” Pietrowski said. “ ... I have a lot of love and respect for Coach Hicks, and everything that he did for Corbin when he was here.”

Pietrowski took over at Corbin in 2001. Hicks has been at Scott County since 1994. The two have met once before in the state tournament; the master took the win in a 68-49 first-round game.

Hicks was silently rooting for Corbin before his Cardinals faced off against Trinity on Wednesday

“Corbin always has been and always will be a very special place to me,” Hicks said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it hadn’t been for Corbin. It is a little special (to play against Corbin), but heck, how can you make the Sweet Sixteen any more special than what it is?

"I was so proud (of Pietrowski). Before the game, we spent all this time — it seemed like two months — getting ready for Trinity, since we last played, but I kept on sneaking out to watch the Corbin game because, and no disrespect to Estill County, but I was really pulling for Corbin.”

Corbin defeated Estill County, 50-40, in the first round on Wednesday. Scott County defeated Trinity, 54-53.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

Corbin vs. Scott County

What: Sweet Sixteen quarterfinal

When: Noon Friday

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