Lexington Catholic plays host to the 43rd District basketball tournaments this week, but boys' coach Brandon Salsman says the home-floor advantage is negligible.
"We lost to Lafayette and Tates Creek on our home court, but beat them in their gyms," Salsman said. "In this district, anybody can win anywhere. It's comforting to be in familiar surroundings, but the home court isn't a distinct advantage."
Lexington Catholic's boys are the 43rd favorites according to Dave Cantrall's ratings. The Knights are No. 12 in the state. None of the other teams — Lafayette, Lexington Christian, Paul Laurence Dunbar or Tates Creek — are in the top 25, and all of them lost more games than they won in the last month of the regular season.
Dunbar and LCA, who face off in Monday's opening round, have had an especially rough winter lately.
Dunbar has dropped 10 games in a row. LCA, which has been missing senior star Taylor Barnette (ankle injury) since early January, has lost four of its last six games.
"I know they've been on kind of a slide lately, but their guys will be ready to play," Salsman said. "Our district is still loaded with five teams capable of putting things together enough to beat anybody."
Lafayette and Tates Creek will play in Tuesday's semifinals. Lafayette won two out of three against the Commodores in the regular season.
Lexington Catholic will play the Dunbar-LCA winner in Wednesday's semifinals.
In the girls' 43rd, Dunbar is rated as the team to beat. Coach Sarah Van Horn's Bulldogs are No. 9 in the state. Lexington Catholic is No. 23.
The 42nd District at Henry Clay includes a pair of top-10 boys' teams — No. 4 Scott County and No. 8 Henry Clay.
Scott County is heavily favored over Sayre in Tuesday's semifinals. Henry Clay is expecting a tough test from Bryan Station on Wednesday night.
In the girls' 42nd, Bryan Station and Scott County are favored to reach the finals.
The district winners and runners-up will advance to next week's 11th Region Tournament at EKU's McBrayer Arena.