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Saturday, July 26, 2014

What did we learn from county tournament?

Posted Friday, January 11, 2013, at 6:45 PM

Congratulations to the Linton-Stockton Miners, who took out Union, Shakamak and White River Valley to win the Greene County Invitational.

It was the Miners first GCI championship since 2006 and fourth overall. Two-time defending champ Eastern Greene is still the all-time leader with 12 county tournament titles.

There were a fair share of blowouts, but there also were some close, competitive games.

The championship game included a little bit of both as the Miners were cruising with a 32-19 lead before White River Valley discovered the 3-point line, making seven treys in an entertaining fourth quarter.

But in the end, the Miners put up 24 points over the final eight minutes, enough to compensate for the 31-point outburst by WRV and hold on for a 56-50 victory.

The only good thing about the Sam Dyar knee injury, that will likely sideline him for the rest of the season, is that the Miners will have more than half of a season to adjust to his loss. Dyar will be missed, but as someone once wrote, "Next Man Up." Injuries are just part of sports.

Keith Fulk, Ryan Woodward and Joe Dieball have been doing yeoman's work in the backcourt lately, from a layman's point of view. That trio, along with Jackson Bohnert and Bryant Jackson, will ultimately decide if the Miners can win the elusive sectional in March at North Knox.

Austin Karazsia and Dess Fougerousse will get their 40-45 points per game, but it is always the role players that are the X-factor in tournament games. Miles Hutchison was that way for Eastern Greene last year, especially defensively.

The Miners are still ranked among the elite in Class 2A in the latest Associated Press high school boys basketball poll.

The 9-2 Miners are No. 7 this week.

I was trying to figure out if we found out anything else about the teams at the GCI.

The review on most is mixed at best, but WRV had two good wins against Bloomfield and Eastern Greene before coming up short in the title game.

The Wolverines, along with Shakamak, will likely be among the favorites at their own Class A WRV Sectional in March.

I would never count out a team coached by Vance Edmondson, who's Clay City Eels finished the GCI off with two wins, including avenging an earlier loss to Bloomfield.

Shakamak was a play or two short of pulling off the upset against the Miners in the semifinals, losing 70-62 in double overtime. Any time you have a kid capable of scoring 30 on any given night (Brodie Crowe); it is a good place to start.

Although Kyle Schubla played really well down the stretch in the third-place game victory over Eastern Greene and earned all-tournament honors, Patrick Green also could have earned a spot on that squad.

A lack of communication kept me from voting for the all-tournament team. Schubla and Green will be vital to any success the Lakers have and Green also was deserving of one of those 10 spots.

Fougerousse and Karazsia would have been co-MVPs on my ballot. The Miners would not have won without major contributions from each of them.

Fougerousse, a 6-5 senior forward, took home the award, deservedly so, and more importantly the Miners captured the team hardware.

Bloomfield coach Matt Britton and Eastern Greene coach Levi Carmichael watched their respective teams lose 2 of 3 at the county tournament.

Eastern's losses were closer, but neither was happy about taking a step or two backwards.

Teams have been concentrating more on trying to slow down EGHS leading scorer Tyler Brough and are trying to make other players beat them. Brough, always a threat to score, has seen his scoring average dip to 18 points per game.

I love the effort of Thunderbird forward Kurtis Stille, a lefty who looks for contact and always finds a way to contribute.

Although Linton-Stockton and Sullivan probably would have to be considered sectional co-favorites in Class 2A, BHS and EGHS are very capable of causing havoc at tourney time.

And not to forgo the ladies, the draw for their state tournament pairings will be Sunday, Jan. 27.

The sectionals will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 5 and conclude with championship games on Saturday, Feb. 9. Sullivan will host the Class 2A and Clay City will be host to a five-team Class A sectional.

Sunday, Feb. 17 will be the evening the boys tournament pairings are announced. The sectionals at North Knox and WRV will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 26 and conclude on the first Saturday in March, as always, this year March 2.

Happy New Year.

B.J. Hargis is the sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at hargisbj@gmail.com.


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