by Alan B. Gibson
The fun begins on the local hardwood Friday
High school basketball is off and running for a new season, and as you can tell from this week’s coverage, the Bulldogs had a nice night to get the campaign started picking up a win over the Rockets of Rockcastle County.
Anytime you can leave Rockcastle with a “W” – it’s an accomplishment, but to take the win in overtime fashion offers up a couple of observations.
I wasn’t able to make the trip Monday night, but Brett did the coverage and he returned home with a few observations about the contest.
The Dawgs fell behind early, but never gave up and were able to claw their way back into the game to tie the score by the final buzzer.
During the overtime period, Clinton County rallied behind a couple of nice plays to grab the momentum away from the host Rockets, and cruise to the 63-56 victory and a 1-0 start on this young season.
In short, he noted two things – the Bulldogs showed the most heart and determination between the two teams on the floor, and it was very clear that Clinton County won the coaching category on Monday night as well.
As for the Lady Dawgs, they headed in the opposite direction on Monday night to take on 4th Region opponent Franklin-Simpson over in the western portion of the state.
The Lady Bulldogs, according to a post-game report from head coach Darrell Thompson, held their own in this opener until the 4th quarter, when trailing by just six points, the Lady Wildcats put on a three-point shooting clinic and rallied to eventually claim a 68-47 win.
Still, considering they trailed by single digits in the final quarter, and looking at the fact that they managed to post a 47 point offensive effort against a highly touted Franklin-Simpson squad, things certainly look promising for the season ahead.
Local fans shouldn’t pass up the chance to grab the action of an early double-header this Friday night in the Lindle Castle Gymnasium, as we host the Australian National teams from Maribyrong Sports Academy.
Girls’ tip off at 6:00 p.m. – get in on this season early – see ’ya Friday night
All together now – “G-day, mate.”
Gary “Runt” Thomas – 1949 – 2012
Older Clinton County basketball fans will remember the firey-red curly haired Gary “Runt” Thomas who ran the action out front on what many considered to have been Coach Lindle Castle’s last truly “great” team at Clinton County High School.
As a 10-year old youngster just beginning to follow the game, this 1966-67 team is one of the first I can remember watching in the old Clinton County High School gymnasium. The squad featured the likes of Thomas, Wayne Ryan, Hollis Thrasher, Gary Farley, Johnny Speck and Jerry Perdue to name just a few.
Thomas, a senior on the 1966-67 team that finished the year as a 4th Region semifinalist, lost his bout with cancer last week.
“Runt” as he was called – stood only 5’ 7”, and while he wasn’t known for his high scoring ability, he was a great ball-handler and could always manage to spot an open teammate underneath – most often that team’s top scorers, either Wayne Ryan or Hollis Thrasher. That squad put together a performance that resulted in one of Clinton County’s highest scoring games ever, when they more than doubled the offensive effort of the old Ferguson High School (in Pulaski County) by picking up an 111-52 victory.
Local historian and Albany attorney David Cross spoke with Thomas’ brother Rudy during the visitation and sent along this humorous story about Thomas, who in addition to his skills on the hardwood, also possessed some nice baseball talents.
“He was better known as a shortstop in baseball, however, and it was said that he was as good a shortstop that ever played locally. He was so good that he and another unnamed Clinton Countian went to Cincinnati Reds tryout camp in the late 1960s. Gary and the other local knew they would have to get up early, so they went and spent the night. A bit bored, the boys got out on the town and stayed out—enjoying the neon wonders and fruits of city life rarely seen by a young lad from Seventy-Six, Kentucky.
“Runt ended up not exactly on top of his game the next day. His senses a bit dulled, the Reds instead signed another young Kentuckian-Doug Flynn, who went on to play 11 years in the majors with the Reds and several other teams.”
Condolences to the family.