February 23 – After a week of uncertainty, the Catholic boys of Owensboro and the girls of Hancock County are set to begin their respective journeys in the national All ‘A’ Classic small school basketball tournament.
The annual competition was initially canceled due to inclement weather last week, but demand from coaches, players and parents across Kentucky has forced organizers to rethink their decision. As a compromise, the first two rounds will be hosted by individual schools, with the semi-finals and the championship at McBrayer Arena at Eastern Kentucky University.
Catholic (12-3) will travel to face Region 4 Clinton County (14-2), who have not played since Feb. 13 – a 58-56 loss to Russell County that broke a streak of seven consecutive wins. The Aces, meanwhile, are starting a four-game winning streak, including Saturday’s 54-48 victory over Henderson County.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Catholic coach Tim Riley said of the game against the Bulldogs, which features three players with a double-digit average score.
They are led by 6-foot-5 junior winger Nick Delk, who scores 17.5 points per game, alongside senior 6-3 goaltender Chase Stines (11.4 points per game) and 6-1 senior goaltender. Nick Brown (10.6 points per game).
The Aces will strike back with a squad led by junior 5-8 point guard Brian Griffith, scoring 23.8 points per game. Ji Webb, a 6-5 junior forward, averages 14.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per outing, while 6-4 senior winger Gray Weaver adds 12.9 points per fight.
So far, the season has been a roller coaster when it comes to game planning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Riley said, but he was pleased with his team’s mental focus throughout the season. hectic campaign.
“It’s just a constant of trying to find dates, figuring out who needs a game, where we need to go – things like that,” Riley said. “All I promised them from the start is that if you work hard, I will work all the time to get our next game.
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“You do your best and try to make the most of it.”
Hancock County (4-7), which came off Saturday’s 60-52 victory at Madisonville North Hopkins, will travel to face Metcalfe County (7-4).
“They have a decent record and a few girls who can shoot, but I think we are a great team-up with them,” said HCHS coach Kevin Husk.
Metcalfe County, also known as the Lady Hornets, is punctuated by a trio of first-year guards Kassady London (13.1 ppg), junior Jaycie Harper (12.1 ppg) and junior Braelyn Davis (10.6 ppg).
Hancock County are led by a pair of talented second-year goaltenders Bailey Poole (13.7 points per game) and eighth Karmin Riley (13.1 points per game, 5.1 rounds per minute).
While both teams have seen their fair share of cancellations and postponed games, Husk feels good about his team’s outlook.
“Of course, in a season where you can’t train regularly or play a game for two weeks sometimes you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “You just do with it. We look forward to the opportunity. ”