High School Basketball

First Sunday finals a success beyond 'wildest dreams'

Madison Central players celebrated with their trophy Sunday after winning the state basketball championship.   Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Madison Central players celebrated with their trophy Sunday after winning the state basketball championship. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff Lexington Herald-Leader

The 96th KHSAA Sweet Sixteen finals will be remembered for Madison Central's stunning 65-64 victory over Ballard. It will also be remembered as the first title game played on Sunday.

Traditionally, the state semifinals and finals are both played on Saturday, but the format was tweaked this year, and it looked like a big success.

Saturday night's semifinals, featuring Madison Central-Hopkinsville and Ballard-Montgomery County, drew 20,172 to Rupp Arena.

Sunday afternoon's championship attracted 17,351, the largest attendance for a finals since 2009.

"I think a lot of us envisioned it would do well," KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said of the new format. "But you couldn't in your wildest dreams thought it'd be perfect. This was perfect.

"The atmosphere for the kids, oh gosh, it was great. We needed it. It's a shot in the arm across the board."

The unofficial five-day attendance was 123,363, an average of 15,420 per session. In 2012 the average was 13,221 per session.

The KHSAA will study the numbers and get other feedback on how the tournament went before deciding whether to go with the Sunday finals in the future, or return to the Saturday format.


Fans at Madison Central's boys' basketball championship game against Ballard in Rupp Arena

Game photos from the championship matchup Sunday

Video replay: Watch how Madison Central won



Madison Central fans cheer team to championship

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Madison Central's Ken-Jah Bosley after his three-pointer with under five seconds left gave his team the Boys' State Tournament title with a 65-64 win over Ballard.

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Madison Central star Dominique Hawkins talks to media after his team's dramatic 65-64 win over Ballard in Boys' State Tournament final.

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Madison Central coach Allen Feldhaus, Jr. talks to media on floor of Rupp Arena after his team came from 16 points down to beat Ballard 65-64 in finals of Boys' State Tournament.

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Madison Central's Quan Taylor, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds, talks about the Indians winning the state championship.

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