LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — High school boys basketball teams from all across the Commonwealth will head to Lexington this week for the KHSAA Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena.
Defending champion George Rogers Clark has made it back to the state tournament after winning the Region 10 title and has its eyes set on another trophy. Its quest for a repeat begins with North Laurel on Thursday.
“They have a great opportunity and we talked about that this is something you could dream about for the rest of your life is the moments you could experience in the next six days and with the matchup like a Reed Sheppard you know a guy who you’re gonna be seeing play on that floor for the next four years you have your opportunity now you gotta go get it,” GRC head coach Josh Cook said.
Frederick Douglass made it through a difficult Region 11 tournament to earn a spot in the Sweet 16, and will put its 28-game winning streak on the line in the first round against Martin County on Thursday. The school will look to win its first-ever state title in basketball, months after winning its first-ever state title in football back in December.
“You know I was talking to coach (Nathan) McPeek (Douglass head football coach) the other day we just talked about how winning breeds winning here at Douglass and the football team’s success those kids know how to win I just think that our winning attitude in our school and with all of our sports programs has been a big help to our team this year,” Douglass head coach Wes Scarberry said.
While GRC and Frederick Douglass enter as some of the favorites, Woodford County is a team flying under the radar after pulling off an upset in the Region 8 tournament, knocking off favored North Oldham and then beat Collins in the region title game, both wins being by more than 20 points. They kick off the state tournament on Wednesday morning against Jeffersontown.
“Jeffersontown they’re a lot like us they’re a scrappy well-coached team so we’re looking to the challenge we’ve been preparing for them like they’ve been preparing for us but we’ll just go out and play hard and hopefully we can come out victorious like we’ve been lately the past couple games we’ve played we’ve improved on our defense and we just want to keep on improving,” Woodford County head coach Jaron Brown said.
First-round games will be played on Wednesday and Thursday, with the state quarterfinals on Friday, semifinals on Saturday afternoon and the championship game later on Saturday evening.
Sacred Heart won the girls KHSAA Sweet 16 tournament last week, with GRC giving them a good fight in the state semifinals but lost a close one.