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Road to the Region - 8th Region Boys Preview

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By Brian Blair

It is once again time for basketball fans to make their yearly pilgrimage to Henry County for the Boy’s 8th Region Tournament. The tournament has been held in their gym every year since 1963.

This year’s version is sure to be exciting as it is hard to pick a clear-cut favorite to win. Most in the know would say Anderson County is the pick to advance to Rupp Arena and the KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen Championship to be held March 18-21.

The Bearcats finished the season with the best overall record in the 8th Region at 21-5. They also feature one of the best players in the 8th Region, C.J. Penny. Anderson County finished the season by winning 12 of their final 13 games.

They open up play Wednesday against a tough opponent, North Oldham. The Mustangs ended the year at 19-10. The game will be a rematch of the Jan. 20 game that saw Anderson County come out on top with a 69-67 win in Lawrenceburg. The Mustangs, however, were the losers in the 29th District Championship game to South Oldham.

The first game Wednesday night pits two teams who know each other very well as Owen County takes on Grant County. The two split their series during the regular season with each team winning on the other team’s home court.

The bottom of the bracket also features some interesting match-ups.

South Oldham takes on Henry County in the first game Thursday night. The Wildcats are looking to win the 8th Region title for the first time since 1963. They have a shot at reaching the finals. Henry County finished the season with a record of 21-8 while South Oldham finished the year 13-14.

The other game will be a contest between Simon Kenton and Shelby County. The latter are the defending 8th Region champs and would like to head back to Lexington where they reached the semifinals last year before losing to the eventual state champs, Mason County. Simon Kenton was knocked out of last year’s 8th Region Tournament in the first round by South Oldham.