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Daymeon Fishback’s perfect night 20 years ago

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 19, 2016)

When I saw Daymeon Fishback working as a college basketball analyst on the SEC Network the other night, I remembered him not from his playing days at Auburn, but as Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1996. Fishback’s career totals at Greenwood High School: 2,214 points, 916 rebounds, 470 assists, 168 blocked shots and 163 steals.

While looking up those numbers, I came across an interesting nugget. On this date 20 years ago (Feb. 19, 1996), Fishback had 40 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks in a 74-65 win over Monroe County. The eye-catching stat from that game, though, was Fishback’s 16-for-16 shooting from the field, including 6-for-6 three-pointers.

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Football coaching giant Owen Hauck dies

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 17, 2016)

Owen Hauck, whose Boone County football Rebels were the scourge of Lexington teams from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, died this morning. He was 88.

Hauck coached Highlands to the state championship in 1964, and the Bluebirds were state runners-up under him in 1963 and 1966. He guided Boone County to state runner-up finishes in 1986, 1987, 1992 and 1994. The Rebels knocked off Lexington competition on their way to those last four title games.

During one dominant stretch, Boone County went 31-2 against Lexington teams, and it did it in smash-mouth style with a strong, physical offensive line and hard-running tailbacks. The Rebels’ star ball carriers included John Alford, John Ransdell, Tony Law, Brandon Black and, most notably, Shaun Alexander.

Alexander went on to star at Alabama and in the NFL, where he won MVP honors while playing for the Seattle Seahawks.

Alexander noted Hauck’s passing […]

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Anderson Co.’s Glen Drury true to his Bearcats

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 17, 2016)

Glen Drury is an Anderson County institution. Like those famous Lawrenceburg distilleries, Four Roses and Wild Turkey, Drury has been turning out a successful, Kentucky-specialty product for decades.

The proof: Drury, in his 31st season as a head basketball coach in his home county, earned his 500th victory when Anderson County beat Simon Kenton last week.

Drury, as expected, shrugged off praise for the accomplishment. “It just means I’ve just been fortunate to be in this business long enough to get that many wins,” he said. “And it means I’ve been blessed to have had a lot of great players over the years.”

Maybe so, but it also means that Drury has been true to himself, true to his work ethic and true to his hometown.

He’s spent more two-thirds of his 57 years involved in Anderson County basketball.

He played for the Bearcats (class of 1977) before heading […]

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Basketball a passion play for E-town’s Erin Boley

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 16, 2016)

Life is good for Erin Boley.

The Elizabethtown basketball star is the first 3,000-point scorer in school history, already a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky, a Notre Dame signee, a McDonald’s All-American, one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy that goes to the top girls’ player in the nation, a straight-A student, and newly crowned homecoming queen.

Life can get better for Erin Boley, though. At least she’s determined to make it so.

“She’s always been a type-A personality, being a perfectionist in school and everything she does,” said Scott Boley, her dad. “She always wants to get better at everything. She has that passion.”

E-town Coach Tim Mudd will vouch for Erin’s dedication to basketball.

“Her practice doesn’t really start until we’re done with our team practice,” he said. “That’s when she goes to work most days. By herself, with her dad, with me or with whoever she can get to rebound for […]

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Jock Sutherland: Lafayette was ‘utopia’

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 11, 2016)

Jock Sutherland made a brief appearance at the event named his honor — the Jock Sutherland Classic — at Lafayette this past Saturday. He found time to shake hands, chat up a few fans and reminisce about his good ol’ days in basketball.

Sutherland, who will turn 88 next month, was one of the most colorful coaches in the history of Kentucky high school hoops.

He was also one of the most successful. He led three schools to a total of six Sweet Sixteen appearances: Gallatin County (1959), Harrison County (1961, 1962, 1966) and Lafayette (1971, 1979). He retired after leading Lafayette, his alma mater, to the state championship in 1979.

Sutherland guided Gallatin County to the school’s first state tournament in his fourth season there, in 1959. He still stays in touch with those Wildcat players, and had lunch with them recently. “They’re going to be my pallbearers,” Sutherland […]

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Carson Williams: Owen County Rebel with a cause

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 9, 2016)

Carson Williams always puts his team first, so he’s not distracted by speculation about his Mr. Basketball candidacy. The Owen County senior’s single-minded purpose is to lead the Rebels to their first-ever Sweet Sixteen.

“Mr. Basketball is a nice idea, but my ultimate goal is taking my team to Rupp Arena,” Williams said matter-of-factly.

Williams was speaking moments after he led Owen County past North Laurel 75-71 in overtime in the Jock Sutherland Classic at Lafayette on Saturday. The Rebels’ 6-foot-6 ½ post man delivered 43 points (including 16 of 18 field-goal shooting), 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Williams’ biggest play came in the final seconds of regulation. With the score tied 66-66, North Laurel had the ball and junior star Peyton Broughton went looking for the game-winning shot. He dribbled across the lane and tried to put up a short jumper. But Williams was there to smother the attempt, and […]

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No. 1 Mercer Co. risks spotless record at Lafayette

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 5, 2016)

No. 1 Mercer County will put its perfect record (24-0) on the line against host Lafayette in the Jock Sutherland Classic Saturday night. The Titans are the only unbeaten team in the state.

No. 3 Paul Laurence Dunbar plays Louisville Central in the event. And Owen County, led by senior star Carson Williams, faces North Laurel, led by junior standout Peyton Broughton.

Saturday’s schedule at Lafayette:

  • Owen County vs. North Laurel, 4:30 p.m.
  • Dunbar vs. Lou. Central, 6:15 p.m.
  • Lafayette vs. Mercer County, 8 p.m.

Wes Strader Schoolboy Classic

Bowling Green hosts the Wes Strader Classic on Saturday. The No. 5 Purples will take on Ballard in the nightcap of the quadruple-header.

Saturday’s schedule (EST) at Bowling Green:

  • Bardstown vs. Owensboro Catholic, 3:45 p.m.
  • Doss vs. Warren East, 5:30 p.m.
  • Murray vs. Taylor County , 7:15 p.m.
  • Ballard vs. Bowling Green, 9 p.m.

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Creech has been scoring machine for years

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BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 3, 2016)

Whitney Creech became Kentucky high school basketball’s all-time leading scorer when she poured in 71 points to lead Jenkins past Paintsville 90-87 in overtime Tuesday night. Her career-high performance gave her 4,957 points, eclipsing Jaime Walz’s 19-year-old record of 4,948.

Creech is averaging 50.3 points this season, but she’s been a scoring machine for years. She has averaged 35.0 points over her last 128 games going back to when she was an eighth-grader.

Creech is the latest prodigious point producer from the mountains. Seven of the top eight all-time leading scorers are from the 13th, 14th or 15th region. Walz, who starred at Highlands, is the only exception.

  • Whitney Creech, Jenkins (14th Region) — 4,957
  • Jaime Walz, Highlands (9th Region) — 4,948
  • Geri Grigsby, McDowell (15th Region) — 4,385
  • Kelly Coleman, Wayland (15th Region) — 4,337
  • Kim Mays, Knox Central (13th Region) — 3,952
  • Carolyn Alexander, Hazard (14th Region) — 3,726
  • Camron Justice, Knott Central […]

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  • Signing day a year away for Lafayette star

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    BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 3, 2016)

    National signing day has arrived for high school football players across America. One of the highest rated recruits in Kentucky, however, will have to wait until next year to put his signature on a college letter of intent.

    Jedrick Wills, a 6-foot-5 1/2, 300-pound five-star offensive lineman at Lafayette, is just a junior. Rated the third best OL prospect in the nation in the class of 2017, he already has offers from most of the major powers, including national champion Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee.

    Kentucky is in the mix, too, of course.

    The soft-spoken, even-keel Wills said he’s trying to enjoy the hype-fueled recruiting process.

    Jed Wills, his dad (who is an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Lafayette), isn’t surprised Jedrick is handling all the attention with aplomb. “He doesn’t get too excited. He takes things as they come,” Jed said.

    Jedrick’s […]

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    Edmonson County’s 40th anniversary of Cinderella title

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    BY MIKE FIELDS (Feb. 2, 2016)

    BROWNSVILLE – They’re on the shady side of middle age now. Most of them have gray hair, or gray-flecked goatees or mustaches. Their knees don’t always treat them kindly. Some are retired. One has three grandsons.

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since the Edmonson County Wildcats, coached by the feisty Bo Davenport, manufactured March magic, won the boys’ state basketball title and, in the process, saved the Sweet Sixteen.

    Edmonson County welcomed back its hoops heroes last Friday night to honor them again for that improbable and inspiring 1976 championship.

    Nine players from the title team returned for the reunion: starters Phil Rich, Chester Bethel, Aaron Goad, Mark Hennion and Kevin Clemmons, sixth man Jeff Doyle, reserves Tim Ashley, Jimmy Cole and Ricky Houchin, along with manager Larry Starnes.

    They gathered in the school cafeteria to reminisce as they looked at yellowed newspapers, game programs and black-and-white photos from that glorious […]

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    Mercer Co. focuses on winning games, not winning streak

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    BY MIKE FIELDS (Jan. 28, 2016)

    NICHOLASVILLE — Mercer County isn’t trying to go undefeated in boys’ basketball this season, but the Titans are trying to win every game.

    There is a difference.

    No. 1 Mercer County ran its record to 22-0 with an 83-79 victory over host West Jessamine Thursday night. The Titans trailed 74-71 with 1:20 left, but led by Trevon Faulkner, they rallied to remain the only unbeaten team in Kentucky.

    Faulkner, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, had 32 points, including seven in the last 1:16.

    Malik Dow, a 6-5 senior, had 17 points. Will Hager, a 6-4 senior point guard, had 16.

    Mercer County made 40 of 50 free throws on the night. Faulkner hit 18 of 19 from the line.

    West Jessamine’s upset bid was led by Siah Holifield’s 27 points and Isaiah Okesson’s 24.

    Mercer County Coach Josh Cook says his players “don’t have time to think about the streak” because they are so focused on the task […]

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    Ervin Stepp appreciates Whitney Creech’s scoring prowess

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    BY MIKE FIELDS (Jan. 25, 2016)

    Ervin Stepp is ready to welcome Whitney Creech into his exclusive club.

    Stepp is the only player in the history of Kentucky high school basketball to average more than 50 points a game for an entire season. Thirty-six years ago as a senior at Phelps, Stepp averaged 53.7 points. (And that was before the three-point shot was introduced.)

    He topped 60 points six times that season, including 75 against Feds Creek. “I had 50 in the second half of that game,” Stepp said. “Man, if I’d only done that the first half too, I would’ve had 100!”

    Now along comes Creech, a senior at Jenkins, who is sporting a 50.6 average, highlighted by a career-high 65 against Jackson County.

    Stepp didn’t know about Creech until last month when his brother Gary, athletics director at Alice Lloyd College, told him about her scoring prowess.

    “I thought somebody might have a shot […]

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    It’s good to be back

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    BY MIKE FIELDS (Jan. 24, 2016)

    So, did I miss anything?

    It’s been eight months since I retired from the Herald-Leader after covering high school sports for 41 years.

    After giving up the gig cold turkey, I filled my time with travel (the British Open at St. Andrews was a bucket-list highlight), grandkids (Candy Land, anyone?), a long honey-do list (I racked up big numbers on my Fitbit while painting the basement), and an autumn wedding (I have three daughters; this was my third misty-eyed walk down the aisle).

    I haven’t missed the deadlines or daily grind of the newspaper business, but I have missed reporting and writing and connecting with people.

    I was looking for a way to get back in the game in a limited way, and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association was gracious enough to give me an opportunity with this blog. I will also revive my dormant twitter account (@MikeFieldsKHSAA).

    I’m not exactly […]

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    About Mike

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    mikefields6After working as a sports writer for 41 years, I needed a break from the daily demands and deadlines of the newspaper business. So in June 2015, I retired from the Lexington Herald-Leader after covering approximately 4,000 high school sports events in my career. In January 2016, I took on the role of freelance writer for the KHSAA. To reintroduce myself: I was born in Pikeville, grew up in Bardstown, graduated from the University of Kentucky, worked at newspapers in Eustis, Fla., Lake City, Fla., Henderson, Ky., and Evansville, Ind., before coming to Lexington in 1980. Email me at mfields@khsaa.org

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