High School Basketball

Girls' Sweet Sixteen pairings

The last time Scott County and Rockcastle County met on Western Kentucky's Diddle Arena floor, it was a game loaded with confusion and controversy.

It was the semifinals of last season's Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen, and it included 11 ties, 10 lead changes and a contested end to the game that had fans booing and throwing things onto the floor as armed police officers escorted officials off of it.

The Cardinals advanced to the championship game and the Rockets, featuring Louisville signee and Miss Basketball front-runner Sara Hammond, were left to wonder what could have been.

They might just get to find out in the first round of the same tournament in March.

That matchup between the 11th Region and the 12th Region was the most eyebrow-raising one as the drawing for the girls' Sweet Sixteen was announced on Friday.

If the two current region favorites and top-10 teams advance, it will be a rematch of last year's semifinal.

Rockcastle County has been dominant this season, earning a No. 2 ranking in Dave Cantrall's Rating the State while reeling off 10 straight wins. The Rockets haven't fallen to an in-state opponent this season.

Scott County has been surging, too, with a top-10 ranking and a six-game win streak. But the 11th Region has several top 25-caliber contenders.

The 7th Region could be its own state tournament this season, with four teams ranked in the top 16, led by No. 1 Manual and followed closely by defending state champion and fifth-ranked Mercy.

Sacred Heart is No. 11 and Jeffersontown No. 16. The winner of that mini state tournament will meet the winner of the 2nd Region in the first round on March 9 in Bowling Green.

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