Faulkner twins leaving quite a legacy at Caverna
BY MIKE FIELDS
Madison and Mason Faulkner, the highest scoring twins in the history of Kentucky high school basketball, aren’t ready for their careers at Caverna to end just yet.
Madison, a 5-foot-8 senior, poured in 42 points to lead Caverna’s girls to a 68-52 victory over LaRue County in the 18th District semifinals Tuesday night. They will play host Green County for the district title Friday night before heading on to the 5th Region tournament at Hart County next week.
Mason, a 6-2 senior, had 31 points to spark Caverna’s boys past LaRue County 54-43 in the 18th District semifinals Tuesday night. They will play host Green County for the district title Friday night before heading on to the 5th Region tournament at Nelson County next week.
“It’s been a long journey, from no one knowing about either one of us to a lot of people knowing about both of us,” Mason said. “We’ve worked hard to get here, and if we have one more time to step on the court, we’re not going to take it for granted.”
Madison finds it hard to believe their senior seasons are coming to a close. “I never thought it’d come this fast,” she said. “It’s kind of crazy.”
Cornelius Faulkner, their dad and Caverna’s school superintendent, has mixed emotions as he sees his twins’ basketball days with the Colonels wind down.
“It’s special and it’s sad at the same time,” he said.
The Faulkners will leave a remarkable legacy as Caverna’s all-time leading scorers and rebounders in girls’ and boys’ basketball, each with more than 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Cornelius Faulkner, who coached them both when they were young and served as Caverna’s girls’ coach for eight years before giving up the reins this season, isn’t surprised by the twins’ crowning achievements.
“I set the bar set pretty high for them from day one,” he said. “I really thought they’d be really good basketball players because they worked at it.”
They’ve also got basketball genes. Cornelius was a starter on Hart County’s 1989 Sweet Sixteen team and he played college hoops at St. Catharine. Tick Rogers, Kentucky’s 1992 Mr. Basketball at Hart County who went on to play at Louisville, is their cousin. Rogers’ daughter, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, won a state title at Marion County and signed with Kentucky before transferring to Western Kentucky. Owensboro Catholic senior star Mikayla Berry is also their cousin.
“It’s like everybody in the family plays basketball,” Cornelius said.
Madison, who’s among the top 10 girls’ scorers in the state with a 24.0 average, said her dad made sure that she and her brother developed an all-around skill set, and he put a special emphasis on ball-handling. “He taught us that if we got in a tight situation in a game, we could depend on our ball-handling to get us through.”
Mason credited his father for instilling a work ethic in him. “He told me that no matter what, you gotta keep working, even when nobody’s watching, and it’ll pay off in the end. And I think it has.”
Mason, who signed with Northern Kentucky University last fall, has been the top boys’ scorer in the state the past two years. He averaged 30 points and 9 rebounds as a junior, and he’s bumped those numbers to 36 points and 11 rebounds this season. He had a career-high 57 points in a win over Hart County, and he had 50 points and 20 rebounds in a loss to 5th Region favorite Taylor County.
(Mason and Taylor County star Quentin Goodin were voted co-players of the year in the region and are among the Mr. Basketball finalists.)
Madison is still undecided on where she’ll play college ball. She has an offer from Lindsey Wilson and is planning a visit to Asbury. Her dad said Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee are also showing interest.
Madison, who’s one minute older than Mason, is also just ahead of her brother in scoring. She’s closing in on 3,200 points, about 100 ahead of him. Not that they’re keeping count.
“They’re not worried about that,” Cornelius said. “Right now they’re serious about just wanting to win and keep going.”
And keep adding to their legacy as Kentucky’s most accomplished basketball twins.
You could call it an amazing coincidence that there was another set of Faulkner twins that were Kentucky high school basketball stars not that long ago.
Ethan and Evan Faulkner led Elliott County to three consecutive state tournaments starting in 2007. Both were all-staters, and both scored more than 2,000 points in their careers. Ethan, coincidentally, also played at NKU.
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