With my second day of 13th Region action out of the way (I didn’t travel Monday), I’ve decided that the road that takes you to Harlan, the Kingdom Come Parkway, was aptly named. I’m unsure of whether that has always been the name of the stretch of road that leads to Harlan County, but if it wasn’t, it should have been. Sure, there is plenty of scenery to gander at as you travel to the 13th Region Tournament, but I have to admit, the short trip down Cumberland Falls Highway is one I’d much rather be taking this time of year.
I’m sure that when the decision was made to allow Harlan County to host the region tournament, the powers-that-be assumed that teams would still enjoy the big-setting atmosphere, along with the passion and excitement that goes along with playing high school games in a high school gym, but there’s a little more to it than that in my opinion.
At The Arena, all the teams were playing on a neutral floor due to the fact that other than a few preseason tournaments, no team had played on the floor enough to adjust to the setting. The fact that none of the teams (at least none that I’ve talked to) in the 13th Region Tournament were given a practice session in the gym to me is something that I don’t feel is fair.
It ain’t over ‘til its over
When you talk about good finishes, this year’s tournament has had its share of them and we’re only three days in.
While Monday’s games were drama free as far as the late moments of the game, Tuesday night both games were not decided until the final seconds with Harlan County and North Laurel holding on for the wins, thanks to turnovers on the final play in both games.
If the opening game of the girls’ 13th Region Tournament is any indication on how the rest of the games will play out, all parties involved better hold on to their hats in the late stages.
After jumping out to a sizeable lead in the first half, the Whitley County Lady Colonels found themselves needing a last-second shot to avoid overtime against the five-time defending region champs, the Clay County Lady Tigers.
The good news for the Lady Colonels was they had been in this situation already this season against Clay County as Brandi Smith came through at the buzzer. Well, she did it again Wednesday on a layup from the baseline to send the Lady Colonels to the semifinals to face Bell County. The win extends Larry Anderson’s career as head coach for at least one game. Whether it goes any further, we’ll have to wait and see.