February 15, 2013

On The Rebound: Story could have many different endings

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — It’s like a movie where you can pick your own ending. I could write this column three times and make a case for Clay County, Jackson County, or North Laurel to win the boys’ 49th District Tournament.

Clay County is 4-0 against the other two teams. That isn’t very convincing when you consider the wins over Jackson County were by a combined two points.

You don’t think North Laurel can catch fire and win this tournament and more? The Tigers had two wins over North Laurel last season, including a 36-point rout in Manchester. But it was North Laurel that came out on top in the region.

Although some teams are getting a measure of revenge for Clay County’s years of dominance, they have not been able to wrestle the 49th District title away. Clay County has won the 49th District nine straight years. The last time they lost in the district tournament was a 52-51 thriller to Rockcastle County in the 2003 finals. The Rockets are no longer in the 49th District.

Since losing the title in 2003, the Tigers have a record of 54-3 against district opponents. Along with the previously mentioned loss to North Laurel, the Jaguars also picked up a 68-56 win over Clay County in the 2010 Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament. The only other district loss in nine years was a 2004 loss at OBI.

If you think North Laurel will come out on top, I won’t argue. If your pick is Jackson County, there is plenty of evidence in their favor. But if you follow history and trends, it’s hard to pick against the Tigers.

North Laurel coach Brad Sizemore explained it well.

“They are used to winning. Clay County is always there at the end and they expect to show up and win those games,” Sizemore said. “That’s kind of half the battle really.”

The Girls’ 49th District Tournament is being played in Jackson County, but the girls’ championship still goes through Clay County.

The Lady Tigers haven’t lost a 49th District Tournament game since they fell in the championship game in 2005. That season they lost to Rockcastle County in the finals. The Lady Rockets are no longer in the 49th District.

Since that loss, Clay County has won seven straight 49th District titles. They have won 35 straight 49th District games. There have been a few close calls. Clay County needed overtime to hold off North Laurel 50-49 in the 2010 49th District championship game.

The last time one of the current 49th District teams beat Clay County was 2003 when both Jackson County and North Laurel knocked off the Lady Tigers in the regular season.  Rachel Gaynor coached the Lady Jaguars to a 50-49 win. Nine days later Greg Parrett, now the Jackson County boys coach, led the Lady Generals to a 54-36 win. That was not your typical Clay County team with the Lady Tigers losing in the first round of the district tournament that year.

This season has been much more typical Clay County. Two of the Lady Tigers five losses have been in overtime. The other three losses were by a combined eight points. Clay County has lost twice to 13th Region opponents. They fell by three points to a Whitley County team that has since lost four starters to injuries. They also lost at Corbin to a Lady Redhounds team that may be the hottest team in the region.

Clay County is winning behind a strong and efficient inside attack of Cheyenne Madden and Morgan Chestnut. Madden averaged 17.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Her 67 percent field goal shooting ranks third in the state. Clay County as a team ranks No. 1 in field goal percentage.

Chestnut is almost equally effective at 15.6 points and seven rebounds per game.

Then you have to worry about Talaura Mathis on the outside, who ranks among the state leaders in three-pointers at 2.6 per game.

The Lady Tigers are ranked No. 18 in the state with good reason. This tournament will not do anything to hurt that ranking.

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
Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
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