Several Clinton County high school basketball fans were recently a part of a world record setting crowd during the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s 96th Boys’ State Basketball Tournament.
Commonly referred to as the “Sweet 16” as well as the “Greatest Show in Hoops”, the fans in Rupp Arena during the Saturday, March 9 semi-final games were among the largest crowd to ever watch a high school state tournament semi-final contest.
The official world record attendance for the semi-final games were announced as being 20,172.
The announcement came from the Rupp Arena Public Address announcer during the second game of the session between Louisville Ballard and Montgomery County, a contest that the Ballard Bruins won by a score of 59-55.
In the first game of Saturday night’s semi-final world record setting event, Madison Central’s Indians picked up a down to the wire victory over Hopkinsville, 60-56.
Those two games set up the championship matchup between Madison Central and Ballard that was played on Sunday afternoon and eventually saw the Allen Feldhaus, Jr. coached Madison Central squad earn the 2013 Sweet 16 title after another come from behind effort, 65-64.
In 1982, a Friday, March 26 quarter-round game of the tournament between Mason County and Virgie High School saw 21,342 fans on hand, which at the time set the world record for the largest crowd to ever attend a high school basketball game.
That 1982 world record attendance bested the record that had been set just the year before when Mason County was defeated by Simon Kenton high school in the 1981 championship game.
Ironically, during that 1981 world record setting game, Mason County was led by Allen Feldhaus, Jr., a senior on the Royal’s team, who was coaching Madison Central’s Indians when the world record attendance for a semi-final game was set in 2013, some 32 years later.