High School Basketball

Sweet Sixteen preview: Boone County vs. Knott County Central

Game 6

Boone Co. vs. Knott Central

Boone County

Region: 9th Record: 27-7 Enrollment: 1,500

Coach's résumé

Greg McQueary is in his eighth year (158-83) with the Rebels. He has also coached at Bardstown and Caldwell County, and has 307 career victories. He played for Taylor County's 1983 Sweet Sixteen team.

Starters

Player Height Class Points

Zane McQueary 6-6 Sr. 17.6

Cooper Downs 5-10 Sr. 9.6

Chase Stanley 5-8 Sr. 13.8

Keenan Palmer 6-0 Sr. 5.2

Jakeith Pitts 5-8 Sr. 7.0

Scouting report

Boone County is capable of lighting it up from three-point range, but it's been winning lately because of its offensive and defensive execution in the half-court. "That's what you have to do in post-season basketball," McQueary said. Zane McQueary and Stanley are the Rebels' most reliable scorers. Palmer plays bigger than his size and leads the team in rebounding (5.2 rpg). Free-throw shooting is a strength, as the Rebels showed in going 12-for-12 from the line in the fourth quarter of a 54-49 region finals win over Newport Central Catholic.

'First' priority

Boone County has an obvious goal as it plays in the state tournament for the fourth time. It wants to win a Sweet Sixteen game for the first time. Allen Feldhaus Sr., who was a longtime coach at Mason County, was on the Rebels' first region championship team in 1956.

Player to watch

Zane McQueary, the coach's son, is a true student-athlete. "He's scored in the 30s on the ACT and in the 30s on the court," his dad said. Zane McQueary is Boone County's main inside threat, but he's also comfortable on the perimeter. He's shooting 38 percent from three-point range. He's also hitting 84 percent from the foul line (102 of 122). Zane McQueary, who is drawing interest from Division III colleges, wants to major in engineering. "Whatever he decides, he's got his priorities right," his dad said.

Sweet history

This is the Rebels' first state tournament since 1996, and their fourth appearance overall. They're still looking for their first victory.

Knott Co. Central

Region: 14th Record: 28-5 Enrollment: 692

Coach's résumé

B.B. King is in his second year as Patriots coach. He was a former assistant at Knott Central and Letcher Central. He played in two state tournaments for Knott Central (1978 and 1980), and was an assistant on three Patriot teams that made the Sweet Sixteen (1991-93).

Starters

Player Height Class Points

Camron Justice 6-1 Fr. 21.1

Zack Davis 6-2 Sr. 14.6

Evan Hall 6-5 Fr 9.7

Seth Adams 6-0 Sr. 6.1

Simon Christon6-2 Fr. 4.5

Scouting Report

The Patriots start three freshmen and their sixth man is a freshman, but they've played like a veteran team all season. They won the Fayette County Invitational Tournament, and the WYMT Mountain Classic. "I call 'em my babies, and I tell them to leave their toys at home," King said with a laugh. "But they're level-headed and they play like older kids." Justice and Davis are the go-to guys. Hall, whose grandfather was teammates with "King" Kelly Coleman at Wayland, is strong inside (6.5 rpg). Knott Central prefers an up-tempo style. "We're at our best when we get out and run," King said.

Glue guy

Davis missed most of his junior year because of knee injuries and surgeries, but he's been Knott Central's senior leader this season. "He plays so hard, after the game it's all he can do to walk," King said. "He's our leader, our go-to guy." Davis, who got a 33 on the ACT, could play college hoops somewhere, but King said he'll probably attend UK on an academic scholarship.

Player to watch

Justice was something of a phenom last season when, as an eighth-grader, he averaged 20 points for East Ridge. He's even better this season. "He just turned 15, but he plays like he's 18 years old," King said. "He's like a senior out there. He just finds ways to score."

Sweet history

This is the Patriots' ninth time in the state tournament. They've made it to the quarterfinals twice.

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