Lady Railsplitters earn rematch with Wingate in NCAA regional semifinals

HARROGATE, Tenn. – The No. 13/20 and third-seeded Lincoln Memorial University women’s basketball team has one game down and five more to go. After defeating Clayton State 87-58 in the NCAA Southeast Regional Quarterfinals on Friday. They now advance to face Wingate in the semifinal at 5 p.m. Saturday.

LMU is currently 27-4 overall. They are currently ranked 13th in the WBCA/USA Today NCAA Division II Coaches Poll and 20th in the final D2SIDA National Media Poll.
Continue reading Lady Railsplitters earn rematch with Wingate in NCAA regional semifinals

St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls State Tournament: George Rogers Clark 81 Harlan 63

Harlan’s fast start not enough as George Rogers Clark roars back to slay the Lady Dragons in state tournament play. Here’s the box score from the game and an updated state tournament bracket.

13th Region Boys Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Academic Team

Recognizes players that are seniors and have a GPA of 3.5 or better

Dalton Callebs Bell County HS
Ethan Gambrel Bell County HS
Victor Morris Bell County HS
Jordan Smith Bell County HS

Logan Gabbard Clay County HS
Trevor Sams Clay County HS
Will Sexton Clay County HS

Tanner Barnes Corbin HS
Connor Hopkins Corbin HS
Zach Maquet Corbin HS
Sam Taylor Corbin HS

Cameron Carmical Harlan County HS
Treyce Spurlock Harlan County HS
David Turner Harlan County HS

Hunter Carroll Jackson County HS
Lucas Moore Jackson County HS

Tanner Wells Knox Central HS

Peyton Broughton North Laurel HS
Brett Gaynor North Laurel HS
Zach Steely North Laurel HS

Will Adams Pineville HS
Trent Lefevers Pineville HS

Junior Kitoko Red Bird
Maombie Tshishingu Red Bird

Zac Feltner South Laurel
Jared Grubb South Laurel

Hagen Hawn Williamsburg
Bruce Ballou Williamsburg

13th Region media members name their boy’s award winners for 2016-17

Several members of the media covering boys’ 13th Region basketball have named their award winners for 2016-17.

13th Region Media Coach of the Year
Tony Pietrowski, Corbin

13th Region Media Newcomer/Breakthrough Player of the Year
Nick Martin, Knox Central

13th Region Media Player of the Year
Peyton Broughton, North Laurel

13th Region Media First Team
Peyton Broughton, North Laurel
Andrew Taylor, Corbin
Jared Grubb, South Laurel
MarkelleTurner, Knox Central
Cameron Carmical, Harlan County

13th Region Media Second Team
Wade Liford, Knox Central
JJ Ramey, South Laurel
Will Sexton, Clay County
Corey Johnson, Whitley County
Treyce Spurlock, Harlan County

13th Region Media Third Team
Trent Lefevers, Pineville
Bruce Hopkins, Lynn Camp
Brian Gray, North Laurel
Cody Carnes, Pineville
Chase Sanders, Corbin

13th Region Media Honorable Mention (Listed in order of number of points received)
Ryan Anders, South Laurel; Tanner Harris, Jackson County; Tanner Boggs, Lynn Camp; Darrin Calloway, OBI; Killian Ledford, Harlan; Nick Martin, Knox Central; Jacob Bundy, Lynn Camp; Logan Gabbard, Clay County; Connor Bain, Barbourville; Tyrese Simmons, Harlan County; Bryson Asher, North Laurel; Trevor Sams, Clay County; Austin Napier, Red Bird; Caleb Rose, Williamsburg, Kaleb Osborne, North Laurel; Dylan Wilson, Whitley County.

Lady Railsplitters headed to Georgia to face Clayton State in NCAA’s

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Lady Railsplitters are going dancing for the first time since the 2002-03 season as they were awarded the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament bid Sunday evening. They are the number three seed and will face sixth-seeded Clayton State on Friday in Columbus, Ga.

The Lakers are currently 24-6 and finished second in the Peach Belt Conference’s West Division. They lost to Lander in the Peach Belt Tournament Quarterfinals on Saturday.

Other teams in the regional are Columbus State, Anderson, Limestone, Lander, King and Wingate. Continue reading Lady Railsplitters headed to Georgia to face Clayton State in NCAA’s

13th Region Boys Basketball Coaches Association honorees

These honorees were chosen by the coaches in the region. They were not allowed to vote for their own players.

Harlan County boys win 13th Region Tournament

Harlan County’s Cameron Carmical shot the lights out and he and his teammates shot down the often repeated theory that shooters don’t shoot well in large open arenas.  Carmical hit 5 of 6 three point attempts in the championship game and 12 of 14 three point shots over his last two games of the regional tournament at The Corbin Arena. The Black Bears as a team made 24 of 38 shots in their 67-65 championship game win over Corbin and they needed every one of them to win their first ever regional basketball championship.  They advance to Rupp Arena to take on the winner of Region 10, either 30-4 Campbell County or 20-12 Scott. Corbin, who owned two wins over Harlan County during the regular season, finishes 27-6.

No joy in Railsplitter Land as both men and women lose in SAC finals

It was not the finish that had been hoped for as both LMU teams lost in the SAC finals over the weekend.  Stories on both games follow beginning with the story on the Lady Railsplitters.

Lady Railsplitters lose in SAC title game against Wingate 81-61

GREENVILLE, S.C – Foul trouble and cold shooting spelled the end of the No. 11/24 Lady Railsplitters’ chances of capturing the SAC Tournament championship as they fell in the title game 81-61 Sunday afternoon.

The loss drops the team to 26-4 on the season. They are still alive, however and are a third seed in the NCAA Southeast Regional, where they will face Clayton State next weekend in Columbus, Ga.

Josey Harding (Middletown, Ohio) led LMU with 15 points and a game high 16 rebounds. Emily Griffith (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) and Shea Coker (Knoxville, Tenn.) each had 11 points apiece.

Wingate outshot LMU 50.0%-to-33.3% from the field, 57.1%-to-25.0% from three point range and 79.4%-to-60.9% from the free throw line. The Bulldogs’ game plan was to control the rebounds and take it inside to draw fouls, which was successful as they outrebounded the Lady Railsplitters 39-36, had 34 points in the paint to LMU’s 16 and drew 31 fouls off of the Lady Railsplitters, shooting 34 free throws in the process.

SAC Player of the Year Megan Pittman (Liberty, Ky.) put LMU ahead 3-0 with a three-pointer on the first possession. The teams then essentially traded baskets with several ties until Wingate went on a 6-0 run to take a 16-10 lead late in the first quarter. A Rachel Griffith (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) jumper would cut it to 16-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Wingate would open the second quarter on an 11-3 run to take a 27-15 lead. Baskets by Shayla Barrow (Orlando, Fla.) and Karsen Sims (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) would cut the lead to eight before the Bulldogs pulled the lead back out to 37-24 at the end of the half, partly on the back of shooting 54 percent from the field and 67 percent from three point range for the quarter.

The Bulldogs would extend the lead to 20 points to open the third quarter and lead by as much as 24 before LMU began to chip away, trimming the lead back to 40-24 at the end of the period.

LMU would try to mount a comeback on several occasions, including one by Harding in the fourth quarter where she scored eight of her 15 points, but never could get within 16 points as Wingate went on to claim the 81-61 win and the SAC Tournament title.

Queens University wins first SAC Tournament title 75-72 over LMU

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Daniel Camps scored a season-high 29 points to lead the No. 10 Queens Royals (28-3) to a 75-72 win over the ninth-ranked Railsplitters (26-5) in the South Atlantic Conference Championship title game on Sunday evening at Timmons Arena.

The loss snapped a 16-game winning streak for Lincoln Memorial and likely means that the Railsplitters will be heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional next weekend. Queens secured its first-ever SAC tournament title, avenged an 81-79 loss at Tex Turner on January 25 and almost certainly clinched hosting duties for the Southeast Regional.

“I was really proud of our guys,” head coach Josh Schertz said after the loss, which denied LMU of its third SAC tournament title of the past four seasons. “I thought we fought hard. I don’t think either team shot the ball particularly well from the field or from the free-throw line, but I thought our guys competed, stayed in it and gave ourselves chances. We just didn’t make enough plays at the end.”

Both Lincoln Memorial and Queens – two of the nation’s most efficient offenses – struggled on that end of the floor. The Railsplitters shot 45 percent from the field, but went 7-for-21 from three and missed 10 free throws (11-for-21). The Royals shot just 41.7 percent and finished a dreadful 1-for-15 from three-point range, but accounted for a 13-point edge at the charity stripe, where they went 24-for-34.

Free throws ultimately helped the Royals seal the deal in the final minutes, as nine of Queens’ last 18 points were scored at the free-throw line. Foul trouble plagued the Railsplitters throughout the contest as Chris Perry (Bartow, Fla.), Trevon Shaw (St. Helena Island, S.C.) and Emanuel Terry (Enterprise, Ala.) finished with four fouls apiece and the team had 25 total.

“Credit Queens, they made some plays down the stretch and got to the free-throw line relentlessly all game, almost every possession,” Schertz said. “That’s hard to overcome. They did a great job of getting our guys in foul trouble.”

Perry led the Railsplitters with 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds over just 24 minutes of work. Luquon Choice (Laurens, S.C.) scored 15 points with five rebounds and five assists, but finished just 4-for-12 from the field. Cornelius Taylor (Claxton, Ga.) tallied 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting, while Deshawn Patterson (Lenoir, N.C.) lifted LMU with 13 points in 21 minutes off the bench.

Camps was the star of the show, though, as the Royals’ forward led all players with 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting and a 7-for-9 mark at the charity stripe. Ike Agusi added 14 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Mike Davis chipped in 10 points and four rebounds. Jalin Alexander contributed nine points on a 2-for-8 effort from the field.

The Railsplitters raced out to an 11-6 lead on a dunk from Perry at the 16:50 mark of the first half, but a 16-4 run put the Royals ahead 22-15 on a bucket from Camps with just under 10 minutes left in the half.

Queens maintained control and took a 25-17 lead on a three-point play from Camps at the 8:40 mark, but a 5-0 run pulled the Railsplitters within three points. The Royals kept Lincoln Memorial at bay until a pair of free throws from Choice knotted the game at 34-34 with 1:21 left. Queens extended the lead back to three points at the free-throw line before Patterson buried a jumper to send the Railsplitters into the break trailing 37-36.

Lincoln Memorial shot just 39.4 percent in the first half while Queens went 14-for-30 (46.7) from the field.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair, but the Railsplitters were never quite able to get over the hump. A three-pointer from Choice put LMU ahead 41-39 at the 18:43 mark, but Queens quickly pushed the lead back to five points less than three minutes later.

The Railsplitters took the lead again at 48-47 on a bucket from Taylor with 14:26 left, but Queens answered and regained a five-point lead at 55-50 at the under-12 media timeout.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Patterson, the second of which was intended as a lob for Terry, gave the Railsplitters their largest lead of the half at 64-61 with 7:44 to go. However, Queens pushed the lead back to four points at 69-65 on a pair of free throws from Davis with 5:22 left.

A tip-in from Perry gave the Railsplitters a 72-71 lead with 2:59 left, but Lincoln Memorial would go scoreless the rest of the way. Agusi scored the final four points for Queens, tying the game with a free throw at the 2:50 mark and knocking down the eventual game-winner with 2:10 left. He later drained another free throw to make it a three-point game.

The Railsplitters had the final possession with 2.5 seconds left on the clock, but the Royals opted to foul Terry on the ensuing in-bounds play to send the big man to the free-throw line. Terry missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and the Royals scrambled to get the rebound to end the game.

All told, the game featured seven ties and nine lead changes with neither team establishing a lead larger than eight points.

The Railsplitters shot 51.9 percent in the second half and limited Queens to 36.7 percent shooting over that same span, but committed 12 turnovers. For the game, the Royals scored 18 points off of 16 LMU miscues.

Lincoln Memorial will learn its postseason fate at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night when the 64-team field for the 2017 NCAA Tournament is announced via a live selection show at the NCAA.com. The Railsplitters are expected to earn their seventh consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky waits for Georgia-Tennessee winner in Friday’s SEC quarterfinal round

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team will be the No. 1 seed in the annual Southeastern Conference Tournament when action begins Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee. The Wildcats, who earned the coveted double bye, will play the winner of the Tennessee-Georgia game on Friday in Nashville, Tenn., at 1 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals.

UK won its 48th regular-season Southeastern Conference championship this season and its fifth in five seasons under head coach John Calipari. The Wildcats clinched a share of the title on Tuesday with a comeback 73-67 victory over Vanderbilt and then won the championship outright with a 71-63 win at Texas A&M on Saturday.

The last time UK was the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament was in 2015, when the Wildcats advanced to the championship game and defeated Arkansas. The Wildcats went on to a 38-1 record that season.

Kentucky has never been lower than a No. 2 seed (conference or division) in the SEC Tournament under Calipari.

Kentucky went 2-0 vs. the Bulldogs this season and 1-1 vs. the Volunteers. Georgia is the No. 8 seed and Tennessee is the No. 9 seed.

UK’s quarterfinal SEC Tournament game will be televised by the SEC Network. If Kentucky were to win Friday, it would play Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. Sunday’s championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.

Both of the semifinals and championship game will be televised on ESPN.

The tournament will tip off Wednesday.

UK leads the league with 29 SEC Tournament titles, including four under Calipari. UK has captured each of the last two titles. The Wildcats are 127-25 all-time in the SEC Tournament, including 42-11 in the quarterfinals. Kentucky is 10-1 all-time vs. Georgia in the SEC Tournament and 11-4 vs. Tennessee.

It’s the third straight season the tournament will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and the fourth time in the last five years.

13th Region Girls Championship: Harlan 59 Harlan County 52

Harlan Independent successfully defended its 13th Region title from last year by snapping crosscounty rival Harlan County’s 25 game winning streak.  The Lady Black Bears had not lost since an 81-80 decision against South Laurel dating all the way back to December 10th.  Harlan had lost to Harlan County three times this season by margins ranging from 7 to 11 points before finally winning in the regional final by seven.

Harlan will now advance to the girls’ state tournament where they will take on George Rogers Clark.  The game is scheduled for March 8th beginning at 8pm at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.