Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted January 19, 2023 at 11:41 am

A quad week of big wins

Every win is important for our Lady Dawgs and Bulldogs during regular season play, but as has been mentioned in these spaces before, wins against our 16th District opponents hold just a little more importance in light of the fact that those games are used to determine seeding order when the post-season tournament brackets are laid out.

Now that our 16th District is a five school district, those games become even more important in that teams hope to be successful enough in regular season contests to be able to avoid what will be considered a dreaded “play-in” game between the fifth and fourth seeded teams.

Both Clinton County squads helped their causes along those lines tremendously last week when we went 4-0 against 16th District opponents.

Facing Cumberland County in The Castle on Tuesday night, then traveling across Lake Cumberland to take on Russell County on Friday night, both the Lady Dawgs and Bulldogs picked up wins on both of their games against these district opponents.

As I said earlier, a win is a win, but some wins just have more bite than others.

Heartbreak night at the Falcon’s Nest

Our Lady Dawgs and Bulldogs both left Tompkinsville with broken hearts Monday night following losses in the opening round of the 4th Region All “A” Classic Tournament.

The Lady Dawgs dropped a eight-point 45-37 loss to the Monroe County Lady Falcons, ending our hopes of advancing to the semi-final round, championship game and eventually the big prize of another trip to Richmond and the All “A” Classic State Tournament.

The Lady Dawgs fell behind late in the first half and were never able to catch up again on a night that saw a game plan that just wouldn’t click for Clinton County.

As heartbreaking as the girls’ loss was, the boys’ loss was even harder to take, just because of how things unfolded.

A back and forth, nip and tuck battle from the word go, the Bulldogs battled through 40 minutes of hard fought basketball, taking the Falcons into double overtime and looking in the final seconds as if they were in fact advancing.

Then, an off balanced shot came from a Falcon from near half-court that bounced and bounced and rolled around and stayed above the rim as the final horn ended the second overtime period, then fell through for the game winning Monroe County basket.

That’s Heartbreak – with a capital H.

Ran into a familiar face Saturday

Spent some time in another Clinton County gym setting Saturday, watching a granddaughter compete in some fifth grade youth basketball games when I looked across the floor at the benches and spotted a face very familiar to Clinton County basketball.

Former Lady Bulldog Head Coach Gary Abbott was sitting on the bench for the Somerset Christian School team.

After the game I spent a few minutes chatting with Abbott, along with one of his former players, Gina Ferguson Thacker, who made her way across the floor just behind me to greet her former head coach.

Thacker, now an assistant coach for the Lady Bulldogs, played for Abbott, graduating in 2002, the year that the Lady Dawgs lost in the KHSAA Sweet 16 to LexCath in the semi-final round.

Abbott said he’s doing well health wise, and noted that he’s enjoying this new role of being on the coaching staff for Somerset Christian.

Readers will remember that Abbott, who was inducted onto the CCHS Basketball Wall of Fame in 2021, suffered through a near fatal bout with COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic.