What we learned: 45th District race up for grabs

Published 9:19 am Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 

  1. The 45th District girls title is Lincoln County’s to loose … but it won’t be easy. You don’t win eight of the last nine district titles — including two straight — without receiving a good bit of credit, so we’ll put Lincoln in the driver’s seat in the 45th. And with players like Kaitlynn Wilks and Emma King, it’s not just reputation but talent and production which make us put so much confidence in the Patriots (8-4).

But don’t be surprised when Danville has quite a bit to say about it. Last week, the Admirals won Citizen’s National Bank Classic, putting them on a four-game winning streak and improving their record to 7-6. The Ads are led by a dynamic backcourt in Alyvia Walker, Zenoviah Walker and Ivy Turner, a trio which many teams will have a hard time containing.

And wouldn’t you know it — the first meeting between Lincoln and Danville just happens to come this Friday. Happy New Year, indeed.

  1. Danville wrestling could have at least four student-athletes qualify for the state tournament. Yeah, we’ve got a long way to go before the postseason even becomes a relevant thought, but with strong showings last week at the Tates Creek Invitational, Donlevy Harris, Morgan Sallee and Kelby Gay showed they have what it takes to join heavyweight Jonah Welch in the state bracket.

Harris finished third in the 182-pound weight class, while Gay and Sallee each finished fourth in their classes. Welch didn’t wrestle because of an injury.

As a team, the Ads finished eighth out of 18 teams. Not too shabby for one of the smaller teams in the state.

  1. Is everyone else playing for second place behind the Mercer County girls? The Titans certainly have put themselves in a position to answer that question with a yes. They went 3-1 in Springfield, Missouri, last week, including a 19-point win over the top-ranked team from Texas. Mercer ended the trip with a one-point loss to a team from Missouri, but don’t worry — the Titans came home to thump Notre Dame 72-41 on Monday.
  2. Holiday tournaments are fun, but now the real season begins. Over the last few weeks, most of the area teams have taken advantage of time off school to enter big-time holiday tournaments, but now it’s back to reality in school and on the court. Tonight alone in boys basketball, Boyle County hosts Pulaski County and Danville travels to Mercer County while Lincoln County welcomes in the Ads on Friday. And in girls basketball, Lincoln and Danville will battle on Friday.

These next few weeks will go a long way in determining who’s ready for the grind and who still has work to do.

Follow Jeremy Schneider on Twitter @jschneideramn