March 1, 2013

On The Rebound: Whitley County, Middlesboro shock the region

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — It’s a shocking thing to wake up on a February morning to find out that Clay County has lost in the 13th Region Tournament. I didn’t go to Wednesday night’s opener of the Girls’ 13th Region Tournament. At current gas prices, I could put a down payment on a home for what it cost to drive to Harlan County.It may have been worth it to see this game. Whitley County edged the Lady Tigers 56-54. You can’t call it a fluke because the Lady Colonels also won at Clay County on Dec. 10, 58-55. With the injuries the Lady Colonels have suffered this season, four starters lost, it didn’t look like they would be the biggest threat to the Clay County reign. The earlier loss ended a streak of 61 straight wins against 13th Region opponents for Clay County. The last time Clay County lost in the 13th Region Tournament was 2008 when South Laurel punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 with 74-64 win at Knox Central.

Or maybe we should have put more credence into the post season farewell tour of Larry Anderson. The long-time Whitley County coach has announced his retirement after 26 seasons leading the Lady Colonels. Coach Anderson remains one of the favorite coaches I have covered in a long sports writing career. He was very patient with me as a young sports writer. When I saw him recently he was the same friendly coach Anderson. He threw his arm around me and had some very nice things to say to an old sports writer. The timing of this win for the Lady Colonels could not happen at a better time or to a more deserving coach.

As I contemplated the Clay County loss, I tried to decide which of the two major upsets was bigger. Clay County girls losing or the Corbin boys falling in their first-round game to Middlesboro. 

You could vote for the Clay County loss because they were the heavy favorite and a four-time defending champion. My vote would go with Middlesboro-Corbin. The Redhounds came into the tournament as the hottest team. Corbin opened a big early lead on a Middlesboro team they had beaten by 17 on Jan. 8. The Yellow Jackets were in a five-game post Christmas losing streak at the time. The Middlesboro squad, led by five seniors, did get some quality wins after shaking off that losing streak.

Corbin has now lost in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament two straight years. In 2011, they lost to Bell County in overtime of the championship game.

Despite Monday’s loss, this has to rank among the best coaching jobs by Corbin’s Tony Pietrowski, who had to replace a lot from last year’s team. Corbin ended the regular season with the region’s best record and was on a nine-game winning streak when they lost. 

What we have left is a boys’ tournament all four teams can win. Harlan County has to be favored because it is their home court. Clay County is 1A because they are Clay County and arguably playing the best. North Laurel grades slightly lower because of their up and down season, but pretty sure no one wants to play them now. Middlesboro? Middlesboro coach Russell Thompson pointed out to his team that North Laurel won the tournament last year as a district runner-up. They believe it now and that makes them dangerous.

I give an edge to Corbin in the girls’ tournament. Granted I have not seen Harlan County play this year and the Lady Redhounds only beat them by one in Corbin.

But the way this tournament has gone, don’t count anyone out just yet. Corbin or Harlan County could lose before this column comes out.


Text Only
  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: A little effort can make a big difference

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gordon Wayne Weston

    Gordon Wayne Weston, 61, of London, Ky., passed away Friday, June 27, 2014, at his home surrounded by his loving family. 


    July 3, 2014

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results