The state-ranked Franklin County Lady Flyers’ dreams of reaching the Sweet Sixteen are within reach.
And Saturday FCHS found out which teams will be standing in its way when the KHSAA 11th Region Tournament draw was held and pairings were announced. All game, for both boys and girls, will be played at the Frankfort Convention Center.
The Lady Flyers (24-6), ranked fourth in the Herald-Leader’s Cantrall Ratings and 13th in Associated Press state poll, will open the week-long tournament against Madison Southern (20-7) Monday at 6:30 p.m.
“No easy wins regardless. You’re going to be in three heavyweight fights this time of year to try and go to the state tournament and our kids understand that,” said FCHS coach Joey Thacker, whose team went 10-1 in regional games this season.
“Anybody here can get hot for three days and history tells us that the quality of this tournament is as good as anywhere in the state of Kentucky. We’ll see what happens.”
If FCHS wins that first game, a potential rematch with Lafayette (24-3; ranked top 10 in state) could come in the semifinals. LHS plays Scott County (17-11) in the second game Monday.
“If we face them in the second round, that means we won on Monday,” said Thacker, whose team lost to LHS 58-56 in the second game of the season. “We talked to our kids in the districts about two-team brackets. We want to play in two-team brackets and right now we have a two-team bracket with Madison Southern.”
Western Hills (16-12), which lost by 31 to FCHS in the 41st District Tournament championship game Friday night, is in regionals for the first time since 2009. WHHS will face Henry Clay (16-11) Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. with the winner taking on the winner of Tuesday’s first game between Madison Central (15-14) and Paul Laurence Dunbar (23-7).
“We’re excited about being there for the first time in awhile,” said WHHS coach Buddy Ritchie, whose team went 5-6 in regional games this season.
“They are very athletic and have some very good bigs. We’ll have to play a smart game. If we shoot the ball well early and get confidence, I think that will help a lot.”
On the boys side, FCHS (15-12) will take on Madison Central (21-10) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. That winner will play the winner of Lexington Catholic (19-11)-Scott County (29-3; ranked top five in state), the second game Wednesday.
“It’s tough. There’s no easy way out,” said FCHS coach Tommy Johnson, whose team won nine of its 12 regional games this season. “Madison Central is a good team, physical team. They’re a tough matchup for us.”
FCHS is coming off a tough 67-66 loss to Woodford County Friday night in the 41st District Tournament championship game.
“We have a good group of seniors and they’re ready to bounce back and get that bad taste out of their mouth from that tough loss,” Johnson said. “That’s one thing we’ve been able to do all year is bounce back after tough losses.”
WCHS (16-14) will play Madison Southern (13-16) in the final first-round game Thursday at 8:15 p.m. The two teams split this season with WCHS winning the first game 75-65 and MSHS winning the second game 73-49.
That winner will face the winner of Henry Clay (17-12)-Lafayette (18-10; ranked top 15 in state), which will play the first game Thursday.
“We’re excited for the opportunity, we’re excited just to come out there,” said WCHS coach Scott Hundley, whose team went 10-9 in regional games this season. “Once you get to regionals anything can happen. We’ve played most of these teams so we know what they look like and we’re not going to be scared of them. We’re looking forward to doing the same thing next week.”
11th Region Tournament
at the Frankfort Convention Center
Madison Central (21-10) vs. Franklin Co. (15-12), 6:30 p.m.
Lex. Catholic (19-11) vs. Scott Co. (29-3), 8:15 p.m.
Henry Clay (17-12) vs. Lafayette (18-10), 6:30 p.m.
Woodford Co. (16-14) vs. Madison Southern (13-16), 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, 1:30 and 3 p.m.
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Franklin Co. (24-6) vs. Madison Southern (20-7), 6:30 p.m.
Lafayette (24-3) vs. Scott Co. (17-11), 8:15 p.m.
Madison Central (15-14) vs. Dunbar (23-7), 6:30 p.m.
Henry Clay (16-11) vs. Western Hills (16-12), 8:15 p.m.
Friday, 6:30 and 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.