High School Basketball

Favorite has to beware of Flyers

The favorite to win the 11th Region boys' basketball title has good size, balanced scoring and a solid half-court defense.

That describes No. 1 Scott County.

That also describes No. 13 Franklin County.

If Scott County is the obvious pick to win the region and a trip to Rupp Arena, Franklin County is an obvious threat to pull an upset.

The Flyers are 21-4 (their best record in 13 years), and they gave Scott County a tough test last month.

Franklin County trailed Scott County 70-67 with less than a minute left in their Feb. 2 meeting. The Cardinals hit six free throws down the stretch and won 76-68.

"Any time you play somebody close who's very, very good, and you feel you had a chance to win, it's a motivating factor that you want to play them again," Flyers Coach Scott Chalk said.

Chalk realizes there's work to be done before Franklin County gets a rematch with Scott County in the region semifinals. The Flyers face Lafayette in their region opener Wednesday night.

Chalk called it a "tricky draw" for his team, considering the Generals just welcomed back 6-foot-4 senior Deron Linton, who sat out the entire regular season with a suspected heart condition.

"Having not had (Linton) all year, they're probably not even sure what they've got," Chalk said. "They're just finding out what they need to do, so they'll be different from anything you've seen scouting them in previous games.

"That makes it a tough draw for us."

But Lafayette has to consider Franklin County a difficult matchup, too.

The Flyers are led by 6-foot-3 senior Barrett Meyer (14.5 ppg), 6-3 junior Vance Hall (11 ppg) and 6-8 senior Andy Donovan (10 ppg). Deron Hicks, a 6-0 senior, and Ryan Conner, a 6-5 senior, average almost nine points apiece.

Since losing to Scott County, Franklin County has won eight in a row, including victories over three ranked teams — Tates Creek, Clark County and Anderson County.

"I think we're playing probably our best basketball of the season," Chalk said.

"Our half-court defense and our rebounding have been the most consistent things we've had. Plus, we've had balanced scoring.

"If somebody tries to take one thing away, we've got other people who can make shots. It's nice not having to rely on one or two guys to do all the scoring."

That's certainly true for Scott County, which has four big scorers in 6-8 Richie Phares (18.5 ppg), 6-2 Ge-Lawn Guyn (15.0), 6-8 Dakotah Euton (14.7) and 6-4 Chad Jackson (12.2).

What will it take for somebody to knock off the Cards, who are riding a 22-game winning streak into the region?

"You're gonna have to play well, and you're gonna have to limit them on the backboards because size is a big factor for them," Chalk said. "But I know our kids are excited about maybe getting the chance to play them again."