Flyers looking to be the underdog in tourney

Linda Younkin Published:

Franklin County's girls basketball team has had little time to celebrate.

One day after winning their first district championship in seven years, the Lady Flyers found out they'd be playing Dunbar, ranked No. 1 in the state by several polls, in the first round of the 11th Region tournament.

The two teams meet Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at FCHS.

"Obviously it could have been better," Franklin County coach Joey Thacker said about the draw, "but if you're going to play them you'd rather play them here or at EKU than at their place.

"Our kids kind of like the underdog role," he added. "Some people think we're a fluke even though we've had some good wins, and they like it that way."

The winner of Tuesday's game advances to the regional semifinals Friday at Eastern Kentucky University.

The Lady Flyers (19-10) earned the right to host a first-round regional game with their win over Woodford County Friday in the 41st District final.

Dunbar (29-2) lost in the 43rd District final Friday night to Lexington Catholic, 54-51.

"They've been averaging 58 points a game and are only giving up 38 points," Thacker said. "They've had a lot of blowout wins.

"We know they'll come in with fire in their eyes after they lost to Catholic," he added, "and we'll have to do a good job of answering the bell."

Dunbar is led by 6-2 senior Chantelle Pressley, who'll be attending Southern Illinois next year, and 6-3 sophomore Ebony Rowe.

"They're really big," Thacker said about Dunbar. "They're athletic and long. One thing Rowe does very well is run the floor and find her spot in the early offense. If you don't get back she'll really kill you.

"We'll have to rebound like our pants are on fire," he added. "They're so big and athletic, and their big players do a good job of staying active. They're always on the move."

The Lady Flyers come into Tuesday's game on a four-game winning streak, and they've won seven of their last 10 games.

Before Friday's 43rd District final, Dunbar's only loss was 61-57 to Iroquois Dec. 30 in the Lady Invitational of the South at Allen County-Scottsville.

"We have to play loose," Thacker said. "They've earned the right to be talked about the way they are around the state. Their starting five are every bit as talented as the Lexington Catholic team that won back-to-back state championships.

"Our kids understand the situation," he added. "We'll have to bring our "A' game, keep our composure, do the little things to give us a chance, and with nine upperclassmen hopefully we can do that."

Girls 11th Region tournament

TODAY

7:30 p.m. - Woodford Co. (11-19) at Madison Central (19-10)

7:30 p.m. - Madison Southern (11-17) at Henry Clay (14-13)

TUESDAY

7:30 p.m. - Dunbar (29-2) at Franklin Co. (19-10)

7:30 p.m. - Scott Co. (16-13) at Lexington Catholic (27-4)

FRIDAY

Semifinals, at Eastern Kentucky University

7 p.m. - Madison Central-Woodford Co. winner vs. Lexington

Catholic-Scott Co. winner

8:45 p.m. - Dunbar-Franklin Co. winner vs. Henry Clay-Madison

Southern winner

SATURDAY

7:30 p.m. - Championship game at EKU

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