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BOYS' 19th DISTRICT TOURNAMENT: Tigers seeking third straight title

February 22, 2013
Bardstown High School

By Darren George

This year’s 19th District tournament takes on an historical feel as the ranks grow by one when things get started Monday at Washington County High School, where Bardstown looks to defend its title for a third straight year.

The Tigers (22-7) completed their district play undefeated in eight games, dominating opponents by an average of 23 points per contest, with only No. 2 seed Bethlehem managing to fall by fewer than 10 points. If Bardstown looks to keep its stronghold on the 19th District, Tiger coach James “Boo” Brewer said the one key factor is stopping the opponent.

“We just got to play defense,” he said. “We must play together and just play hard.”

Brewer says his team’s hard work and dedication has brought them to this point.

“My guys have been in the gym from day one and worked very hard over the summer,” he said. “They worked hard in the weight room and being in condition to play, and it’s all paying off right now.”

The Tigers have a bye in the first round and won’t be in action until 7 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals, where they await the winner of Monday’s Thomas Nelson-Nelson County first-round contest.

“I don’t have any preference. It doesn’t matter who you play, you still have to play the game to advance,” he said. “Therefore, we have been blessed to have the number one seed and no matter who wins, either TNHS or NC, we still have to play the game. In any game we play, we must play (defense) to win.”

Thomas Nelson (6-22) and Nelson County (8-18) split the regular season.

“We need to go in and pay attention to detail to the stuff that they run and to their personnel. The biggest thing for us to do, is to go in and us execute,” Generals head coach Jim Youngman said.

“We have really improved over the past few games. We have gotten a lot better as a first year team. But we really need to focus on what we need to do and I think that’s the key. We have to look at how we want to play and what we want to do,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nelson County Cardinals are trying to rebound from a couple of recent defeats and setbacks, but still look to make some noise in the tournament.

“I think we have improved some offensively, but our main frame has to be our defense and limit them on scoring. The progress has been steady, but not like a rocket ship, but just steady. But I don’t think we played well last week,” Cardinals head coach Bev Hart said.

“We just have to play some really good defense. They (TNHS) have some really good scorers and we have struggled to score all year. We cannot let them go off and have a big scoring night. If we can keep it close, then we’ll have a chance to win,” Hart said.

The other district contest will consist of the Bethlehem Eagles facing the host squad of Washington County.

The Eagles soared past the Commanders in their two earlier meetings. But with that in mind, Bethlehem head coach Artie Braden still isn’t taking their opponent lightly.

“Its a big factor going to play them on their floor. That’s always a concern. They have a real nice basketball atmosphere over there. Another of my concerns is the first time we played them, they played without one of their guards, and he is a real good player. So that’s a little bit of uncertainty, that and it being played on their home floor,” Braden said.

“For us to compete and move on, our seniors will be the key. Its up to them to not lose focus and keep up our intensity,” he said.

The boys’ 19th District tournament will get underway on Monday at 7:30 p.m. with Nelson County facing Thomas Nelson.

Bethlehem will face Washington County Tuesday with a 7 p.m. tip-off. Bardstown will play the winner of the TNHS/NC game Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The Championship game will tip-off at 7 p.m. Friday.

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