For the 3rd time in 7 years, the Boys Sweet 16 championship faced foes from the 11th and 7th regions. Last year Trinity knocked off Scott County 71-53, ending a dominant post-season run. The 2007 showdown turned into a memorable Sweet 16 Finals when Bud Mackey and Scott County, edged past Twany Beckham’s Ballard Bruins 56-50. This year the game lived up to the hype, resulting in Madison Central’s first State Title after winning in a thrilling comeback fashion 65-64. UK target Dominique Hawkins scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds, finishing the tournament with 107 total points (12th most all-time), earning him Sweet 16 MVP honors.
I was ready to start writing a Ballard victory post after the Bruins went up 16 in the 3rd quarter. Louisville signee Quentin Snider was playing well, hitting a ridiculous shot from 30 feet to end the first half. Then Central came storming back, taking the lead 51-49 with 5:18 to play. The remainder of the game was an intense back-and-forth with a finale that only happens at the “Greatest Show in Hoops”. Hawkins went coast-to-coast for a layup to pull Central within 64-62 with 15 seconds to play. Ballard coughed up the ball on the inbounds, giving Ken-Jah Bosley the opportunity to take the lead with a 3-pointer with only 2.2 seconds left on the clock. Bosley finished with 20 points with Quan Taylor pitching in 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Indians.
UK assistant coach Orlando Antigua and Guard Twany Beckham were 2 of 17,315 in attendance for today’s game at Rupp. Coach O had to see some Dominique Hawkins magic one more time; he had seen them all, he couldn’t stop once he go to the Finals. If Coach O served as Hawkins’ good luck charm, Twany may have been Ballard’s bad luck charm, suffering a loss similar to his last high school game in 07.