KSR is covering the Kentucky high school basketball postseason, from the region tournaments all the way to the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena (March 31 – April 3). Over the next week, we’ll be providing previews of each region, updates on each round, and in-depth coverage of the finals. Today, the 5th Region Tournament tips off at Central Hardin High School. Here’s a preview.
There were some high-level hoops played in Hardin County this season.
(All tournament games will take place at Central Hardin)
Monday, March 22, 6:00 PM: LaRue County (18-2) vs. John Hardin (14-5)
Monday, March 22, 8:30 PM: Campbellsville (12-18) vs. Washington County (14-10)
Tuesday, March 23, 6:00 PM: Elizabethtown (16-2) vs. Hart County (12-9)
Tuesday, March 24, 8:30 PM: Bardstown (14-11) vs. Marion County (6-12)
Friday, March 26, 6:00 PM: Semifinal No. 1
Friday, March 26, 8:30 PM: Semifinal No. 2
Saturday, March 27, 6:30 PM: Finals
Team to Beat: Elizabethtown Panthers
The program that was the home of former UK player Antwain Barbour and brought home the state championship in 2000, has another state title contender this season. The Panthers sit at No. 2 overall in the latest KSR Preps Top 25 and have just two losses this year. James Haire has done a great job with this program and they will look to repeat as region champs.
Players to Watch
Jaquais Franklin (Elizabethtown) – The senior guard is scoring 20.1 points per game while shooting a very efficient 60.85% from two-point range. The guard also leads the region’s best team in rebounding.
Amareion Doctor (John Hardin) – The junior plays on the wing for the Bulldogs and impacts the game in multiple ways. Doctor is second on the team in scoring with 15.2 points per game and is second in rebounding with 6.9 boards per game.
Andrew Mason (Bardstown) – The 6-foot-4 wing player has helped carry the Tigers to the postseason. The senior is putting up 19.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per outing while shooting an absurd 67.91% from two-point range.
Carson Childress (LaRue County) – If the Hawks are going to make a run this week, it’s going to be due to Childress’s hot shooting. The sophomore guard has hit 45% of his 100 three-point shots and is a future star of the 5th region.
– The region has three teams in the top-30 of the state’s RPI rankings and two of them (LaRue County and John Hardin) will meet in the quarterfinals.
– Elizabethtown’s Antwain Barbour was the most valuable player of the tournament in 2000 when the Panthers claimed the crown. No 5th region team has won the championship since.
– Elizabethtown and John Hardin met three times in the regular season with the Panthers winning the last two meetings. The rivals could meet again for a fourth time to determine who will head to Rupp Arena.
Attendance at each game will be capped at 25%. There will be limited seating for the entire tournament at Central Hardin.
If you go to the games, remember to share your pictures with us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RoadToRupp. We’ll be posting fan galleries on the site and social media throughout the week.