Monday, March 11, 2013

Bluegrass Madness

While most basketball fans think of the NCAA tournament as March Madness, many Kentuckians will tell you that the Kentucky State High School Basketball Tournament just as big of a deal.

Teams across the Bluegrass state compete in district and regional tourneys, hoping to earn a coveted spot in the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

This year the championship was played on Sunday, the first time in tourney history, and more than 17,000 fans watched Madison Central rally from a 16-point deficit to post a 65-64 victory over favored Louisville Ballard.

It was a memorable event for Madison Central coach Allen Feldhaus Jr., who played on Mason County's squad that lost to Simon Kenton in 1981 title game before more than 21,000 fans. His dad, Allen Feldhaus, was his coach.

The boys state tournament has been held annually since 1916, with the first officially sanctioned tourney by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association two years later. 

March Madness continues this week with the girls state tourney at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. It's been an annual affair since 1975 and brings the same degree of competitiveness as well as fervor from the fans.

The boys and girls tournaments are special for the teams, schools, counties, towns and cities that are represented as well as the cheerleaders and fans who support them to the final horn.

The Madison Central boys received a heroes welcome in Richmond including a parade aboard fire trucks through the center of town. It's an experience the players, students and community will never forget. And no doubt the girls champion will be accorded the same reception when they return to their hometown this weekend.

Until the next time...


  1. That turn out is very impressive for a High School tourney! It's amazing, though, the impact that a win can have on the local well being! No doubt a great experience for those high school kids!

  2. Sandie, today the young men were recognized at the state capitol, with resolutions passed by the State Senate and House of Representatives. High school sports have always been important in Kentucky.

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