Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:59 pm

It’s the most wonderful time, of the year!

We have been thinking about this time of the year since last November when we first came together in The Castle for the Meet the Bulldogs night that kicks off every Clinton County roundball season.

Monday night, we made that short trip across the Clinton County line into Russell County to get the 2020 post-season play underway with the opening round of the 16th District Basketball Tournament.

Unfortunately, we came back with a 1-1 mark, after the Lady Dawgs fell in the opening round to a very strong Lady Laker team that will advance into Thursday night’s championship game to face the winner of Tuesday night’s Metcalfe-Cumberland matchup.

Russell County had just come off of a regular season ending win over the 4th Region’s top rated team, Bowling Green. Don’t be surprised to see the Lady Lakers in next week’s 4th Region Championship game.

On the positive side, our Bulldogs dispatched a hard fighting Metcalfe County squad, 54-47, in a down to the wire battle that had everyone on their feet as the game came down to the final couple of minutes.

Clinton County will head to the championship game on Friday night, going up against Tuesday night’s Cumberland-Russell winner.

Bottom line is that the Dawgs are once again playing for a championship that this advancement might be one of the hardest I’ve seen for us to accomplish in several years. The 16th District is as even from top to bottom as it has been in several years, and the Hornets were a formidable opponent – being the one who cost us a trip to the All A State tournament with that regional win back in January.

Congrats are certainly in order for our Bulldogs and coaching staff as, regardless of Friday night’s outcome, the Dawgs are headed to Bowling Green and next week’s 4th Region Basketball Tournament to compete in the next leg of post-season play.

According to information passed along by our good friend and Official Table co-worker Lucas Thacker, the high school website MaxPreps has noted that this will be Clinton County’s ninth consecutive trip to the 4th Region Tournament – the longest streak of all teams in this region.

Wow – just wow!

Another record falls – after 61 years.

Chase Stines stepped to the free throw line Monday night and dropped in a pair of free throws – something he’s done time and time again during his career as the Dawg’s floor leader.

But when that first free throw drew net at the 4:57 mark of that first quarter in the opening round game against Metcalfe County, it placed him on top of the record list as being the Bulldog who has sank the most free throws in a single season – 228 at that point.

Stines’ record breaking free throw topped the 227 made in a single season by former Bulldog standout and Wall of Fame (Inducted in 2000) Jim DeForest. A mark that Jim achieved in 1959.

4th Region Tourney notes

All of the boys’ district championships in the 4th Region will be played on Friday night this year, meaning we will know on Saturday morning how the 4th Region Tournament pairings will be set. The tournament draw is set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

Boys’ first round games, at WKU’s Diddle Arena, will be on Monday and Tuesday, March 3 and 4, and the semi final and championship games will be Monday and Tuesday, March 9 and 10.

And the goal is . . .

Of course, teams in both divisions, girls and boys, are playing night to night at this point with a single goal in mind – being one of the state’s top 16 teams that will advance to the big prize – the KHSAA Sweet 16 / The Greatest Show in Hoops!

For the first time, both tournaments will be showcased in Lexington’s Rupp Arena, the girls’ coming first this year with a March 11-15 run, followed by the March 18-22 boys’ tournament.

In the meantime – I’m in the gym until March.