Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted June 21, 2022 at 3:08 pm

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Title IX turns 50

Although the idea of sanctioned high school sports for girls was slow to take off in many areas of Kentucky, here in south-central Kentucky, girls’ sports was quickly embraced.

Clinton County and the entire 4th Region was on board with the idea from the get-go, and when that first sanctioned girls’ basketball team dressed out in blue and white, the crowds were there and behind them.

The Title IX Act that made that possible was signed into law 50 years ago this week, and a couple of years later, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association jumped in with both feet and sanctioned girls’ basketball in Kentucky for the first time since it had been halted in 1932.

Clinton County High School fielded its first official girls basketball team for the 1974-75 season, and hired a young Lois Haddix to be the first coach of our beloved Lady Bulldogs.

With a 14 game season that first year, Coach Haddix and company got off to a rough start, finishing with a 4-10 record and lost to the Lady Tigers of Gamaliel in the opening round of the 16th District Tournament, 43-40.

Still, there were some bright spots in that season.

We beat Cumberland County twice, including in the second game of the season after losing the opener to Monticello 48-37.

We split games with Gamaliel in the regular season before losing in the aforementioned 16th District Tournament.

Lora Haddix, the coach’s daughter, led the Lady Dawgs in scoring with 152 points, followed closely by another well recognized roundball figure in Lady Bulldog history, Lynn Scott Starnes, who currently is one-half of the sister-brother team doing play by play on WANY at every roundball game.

Starnes, who calls games now with her brother, Sid Scott II, finished that first year with 103 points after dropping in a free throw against Cumberland County to put the first ever Lady Bulldog score on the Clinton County home scoreboard.

Saundra “Rock” Riddle led that inaugural team in rebounding with a season total of 105.

It was during the second season for Clinton County girls ‘basketball that Coach Haddix and the Lady Dawgs completely turned things around, and from that point on, Clinton County became, and remains, a well respected program across the 4th Region, with a storied history.

After that 4-10 season, the Lady Dawgs finished the 1975-76 season with a 17-6 mark and after a three game sweep across the 16th District Tournament, defeating Metcalfe County, Tompkinsville and Cumberland County, earned its first 16th District Championship.

“Rock” Riddle discovered she could drop in a basket from the corner and earned leading scoring honors on the year, playing in all 23 games and finishing with 382 points, although that corner shot in 1975-76 was only worth two points and not three as would be the case under today’s rules.

Haddix followed with 273 points, Jennifer Dyer with 249, Scott with 142 and Susan Cash with 116 points and the Lady Dawgs would earn five 16th District championships in a row, two for Coach Haddix and three for Coach David McFarland, who followed her when she decided the program was headed in the right direction and it was time to hand the reigns to someone else.

In the 1976-77 season, Haddix became the first girls’ basketball coach to see one of Clinton County’s teams surpass the century mark in scoring when it annihilated Pine Knot 102-6.

That squad ended the year with a quarter-final loss in the 4th Region Tournament to Allen County/Scottsville, 64-48, capping the Lady Dawgs season with a 21-3 mark.

Today, with a host of sanctioned girls sports at CCHS, it’s hard to realize that just 50 years ago, the only girls in blue and white uniforms here were the cheerleaders who were on the sidelines for the boys’ games.

Thanks to Title IX for changing that, and thanks to the late Lois Haddix and all of those pioneering early Lady Bulldogs for leading our program in those first years, and pointing girls’ athletics at CCHS into the right direction.

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