High School Basketball

Mike Fields' 10 questions

Ten questions going into the 2008-09 season:

1. Can Scott County boys' coach Billy Hicks keep all of his star players (and their parents) whistling the same happy tune until March?

2. Will Jeffersontown boys' coach Jeff Morrow be a model of decorum when he returns from a KHSAA-imposed suspension at mid-season?

3. Will Madisonville star Jon Hood be able to sort his way through all the junk defenses that opponents are going to throw at him and put up Mr. Basketball numbers?

4. Can Lexington Christian star Anna Martin become the first Lexington player to win Miss Basketball?

5. Can Elliott County's runnin' and gunnin' Lions become the first 16th Region team to win the boys' Sweet Sixteen since the 1961 Ashland Tomcats?

6. Will the race for Miss Basketball come down to a battle between UK signee Adia Mathies of Iroquois and Louisville signee Ashley Rainey of Warren East?

7. Did hanging chads or lost ballots cause Pleasure Ridge Park's boys to be left out of the pre-season top 25 for the first time in more than 20 years?

8. Will Lexington Catholic's boys' and girls' teams suffer any competitive harm from the city public schools not scheduling them this season?

9. How many more victories can Marshall County girls' coach Howard Beth add to his already incredible total of 751 in 28 years?

10. Who'll make the stronger defense of their state title — Mason County's boys or Butler's girls?

Cool-name players

Boys

■ Storm Cherry of Lexington Christian

■ Scooter Lightfoot of Warren Central

■ Yorel Shemwell of Owensboro

■ Fonz Custard of Harrison County

■ Fabian Curry of Union County

■ Colt Barnhill of East Carter

Girls

■ Olivia Fruit of Henderson County

■ Finnja Ramcke of Franklin County

■ Charisma Payne of St. Patrick

■ Porsha Justice of South Laurel

■ Amber Crombie of Bryan Station

■ Katie Kitchen of Campbell County

Future Cats at play

If you want to see University of Kentucky signee Jon Hood of Madisonville in action, he'll play in the King of the Bluegrass at Fairdale starting on Dec. 19 and in Lexington Catholic's Holiday Classic starting on Dec. 26. His Maroons also play South Laurel in the Kentucky Prep Classic at Montgomery County on Jan. 10.

Central Kentucky fans will have lots of chances to watch future Cats Dakotah Euton of Scott County and Vinny Zollo of Clark County, including a face-to-face showdown in UK's Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 18.

Clark County is also in Lexington Catholic's Holiday Classic. Before that, the Cards play Doss in the Kentucky Bank Shootout at Clark County on Dec. 20.

Scott County visits Lexington six times — at Tates Creek (Dec. 9), Paul Dunbar (Dec. 16), Lexington Christian (Jan. 3), Bryan Station (Jan. 16), Henry Clay (Feb. 6) and Lexington Catholic (Feb. 14).

Bench jockeying

Coaching nomad Curtis Turley is ready to start his first season at Warren East needing one victory to reach 600 for his career. This is the 11th school on Turley's 31-year coaching resume.

Among other notable coaching changes: Marty Cline switches from girls' coach to boys' coach at Madisonville and has Mr. Basketball favorite Jon Hood; Fairview legend Jeff Hall is returning to coaching at Glasgow, where his son Cameron will be a sharpshooting junior; former Newport Central Catholic boys' coach Ron Dawn, who has been out of coaching for seven years, returns as NewCath's girls' coach; Matt Ratliff succeeds Paintsville legend Bill Mike Runyon; and Tony Talbott, a longtime assistant for Lexington Catholic's girls, takes the reins of the Lady Knights.

Five family ties

■ Shelbi Tyra of Grayson County is the granddaughter of University of Louisville legend Charlie Tyra.

■ Sydney Moss of Ryle is the daughter of NFL star Randy Moss.

■ Makayla Epps of Marion County is the daughter of former UK point guard Anthony Epps.

■ Elizabeth Prewitt of Montgomery County is the daughter of former UK star Lea Wise.

■ Alex Jones of Elizabethtown is the daughter of former U of L standout Charles Jones.

All-State bloodlines

■ Vee Sanford of Lexington Catholic. (Dad Vince starred at Lafayette.)

■ Russ Middleton of Mason County. (Dad Kelly starred at Mason County.)

■ Clint Stepp of June Buchanan. (Dad Joe starred at Warfield.)

■ Wesley Cox of Ballard (Granddad Wesley starred at Male.)

■ Montell Morones of Bryan Station (Dad Nimbo Hammons starred at Bryan Station.)

Sophs are coming!

Kentucky's high school basketball Class of 2011 is shaping up to be exceptionally strong. The current crop of sophomores includes George Fant and Jordan Shanklin of Warren Central, Robbie Stenzel and Vinny Zollo of Clark County, Ryan Fucci and Marcellus Barksdale of Tates Creek, Josh Stroud of Fairdale, Josh Forrest of Paducah Tilghman and Trey Williams of Greenup County. The list doesn't include Tony Kimbro Jr., who would've been a sophomore at Manual but transferred to The Christ Church in North Carolina. There's a chance he'll be back in Kentucky next season.

March Madness

■ The Houchens Industries Girls' Sweet Sixteen is March 11-14 in WKU's Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

■ The National City Boys' Sweet Sixteen is March 18-21 in Rupp Arena in Lexington.

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