Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted March 16, 2021 at 11:39 am

March Madness is here – altered, but here

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the problems across the board it has caused, we’re a little late getting to the high school post-season stretch – March Madness – but we’re here, finally.

It’s 16th District Tournament week and already Clinton County’s Bulldogs have assured themselves another trip to the championship game, and another trip to the 4th Region Tournament.

The Bulldogs assured their roundball season plays on with a Sunday afternoon opening round win over host Cumberland County, 60-53. Next, the Dawgs will head into the championship game on Thursday night, going up against Metcalfe County.

From there, the Bulldogs will head to the next level of play, the 4th Region Tournament. This year, again due to COVID alterations, the regional tournament will take on a different look, with all first round games being hosted at the home site of the four district winners – boys and girls.

Second round and championship games will then go to Diddle Arena in Bowling Green – again, both boys and girls.

Our Lady Bulldogs are slated to meet up against Metcalfe County in that opening round game of 16th District play on Wednesday night of this week, with the winner advancing to Friday night’s championship game. All 16th District games are being hosted this year by Cumberland County.

Of course, the eye is on the big prize in all of this, and that’s a trip to the Sweet 16 KHSAA State Tournament. Both the girls’ and boys’ Sweet 16 tournaments will be held in Lexington’s Rupp Arena, where the girls’ event was just getting underway in 2020 when everything shut down and everyone went to the house in hopes of avoiding COVID-19.

Boys’ Sweet 16 is first with March 31 – April 3 dates, followed by the girls’ Sweet 16, April 7 – April 10. Both events will go back to the old system of finishing play on Saturday, with a semi-final round in the morning and a championship game that night.

Go Big Blue!

Bol Kuir pulls 42 boards

Most followers of high school hoops in Kentucky took notice of the 7-foot-3 inch center who came to Belfry High School this year to play his first year of basketball.

Kuir pulled down 43 rebounds, along with 25 points and eight blocked shots last week in a double overtime win against Lawrence County. Kuir is playing in Belfry this year because he was ruled ineligible to play in Virginia, so he just did a hop and a skip, literally, across the state line to play for the Belfry Pirates.

So, what does that have to do with Clinton County basketball?

Well, it means that our own Larry Hatfield (Class of ‘73) moves down a notch in the record pages of KHSAA basketball achievements.

Hatfield, for many years, had held down the No. 5 spot in most rebounds in a game, with 38.

Larry, who was one of the first members of the Clinton County Basketball Wall of Fame, had that big rebounding night against Auburn on January 26, 1973. I’ve heard him tell that story before, and he admits that for the most part, he was at the right place, at the right time on 38 occasions and the ball just kept landing in his hands.

Hatfield now holds the No. 6 spot in the record books, with the new entry of Kuir last week.

Russ Melton, who played for Fredonia, holds the top spot with the 48 rebounds he pulled down in 1957, while King Kelly Coleman’s 42 rebounds in 1959 moves from No. 2, down a spot to No. 3.

It’s finally roundball tournament time…

Don’t call me until mid April!