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Prep Sports Notebook: Campbell County boys basketball coach closing in on career milestone

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Aric Russell’s bid for 400 career victories as a boys basketball coach was sidetracked Saturday when his Campbell County team lost a shootout with Boyd County, 110-107, in a double-overtime game at Nicholas County.

It was the most points the Camels have scored in Russell’s 13 seasons as their head coach, but it wasn’t enough to top a Boyd County team that’s averaging 86.4 points per game and scored 107 and 109 points in two previous victories this season.

Campbell County coach Aric Russell

In the final seconds of the second overtime period, Boyd County freshman Jacob Spurlock made a 3-point shot and pair of free throws to secure the victory. He finished with 31 points and Campbell County senior Ayden Hamilton had 38.

Russell’s record as a boys basketball coach now strands at 398-251 in 22 years. He has compiled a 274-131 record in 13 seasons at Campbell County after posting a 124-120 mark in nine seasons at Newport.

Before taking charge of the Newport boys program, Russell was the girls head coach and had a 51-32 record in three seasons. So his total record as a head coach is 449-283.

Campbell County will be at Walton-Verona on Wednesday and at Scott on Friday. The game against Scott will decide the top seed in the 37th District tournament.

St. Henry coach Dave Faust is two wins away from breaking the 9th Region record for career victories in boys basketball. He has a 459-383 record in 32 years with the Crusaders going into games at Boone County on Thursday and at home against Bluegrass United on Friday.

The current 9th Region boys record-holder is Kenney Shields, who compiled a 460-257 record in 23 seasons at Highlands and St. Thomas high schools.

Highlands dynamic duo will be inducted into KHSAA Hall of Fame

Jared Lorenzen and Derek Smith were such a dynamic duo on Highlands High School football and basketball teams that it was good to see they’ll be inducted together into the Dawahare’s KHSAA Hall of Fame on April 30.

Lorenzen and Smith were sophomore starters on a Highlands basketball team that was state runner-up and posted a 33-4 record in 1996-97. They led the Bluebirds back to the state tournament the next two years.

Derek Smith, left, and Jared Lorenzen

In football, Lorenzen was a record-setting quarterback and Smith was a two-way starter for Highlands. They capped their high school careers with a perfect 15-0 record and Class 3A state championship as seniors.

Lorenzen was named Mr. Kentucky Football in 1998 and Smith was second in the voting. A few months later, Smith was also runner-up in the Mr. Kentucky Basketball balloting.

They both went on to play football at the University of Kentucky and Lorenzen, who passed away in 2019, still holds the UK record for career passing yards (10,354).

This year’s other hall of fame inductees with Northern Kentucky connections are Newport Catholic basketball player Dave Cowens, former Ludlow football coach Randy Reese and former Lloyd football coach Dan Goble.

Cowens scored a team-high 20 points in NewCath’s 88-56 win over Holmes in the 1966 9th Region championship game. He went on to play for Florida State University and remains the team’s all-time leading rebounder. He played 13 seasons in the NBA for the Boston Celtics and was named the league’s most valuable player in 1973.

Ludlow won its first and only Class 1A state football championship under Reese in 1975. Goble spent 37 years as a football coach at four high schools and guided Lloyd to a 12-1 record while he was there.

Cooper grad among top scorers in Sweden’s pro basketball league

Senior forward Whitney Lind became the second Cooper girls basketball player to surpass the 2,000-point mark in career scoring last week, but she’s still 428 behind Lexi Held, the team’s all-time leader.

Lexi Held

Held netted 2,430 points for the Jaguars and is now one of the leading scorers in Sweden’s women’s professional league. In her first 12 games as a starting guard for the Norrkoping Dolphins, she scored 257 points for a 21.4 average that ranked fourth in league statistics.

Held has scored 20 points or more in nine games and is among the league leaders in free throw percentage at 84.4 (54 of 64). She is also averaging 3.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game for the 8-4 Dolphins, a team based in a city about 100 miles southwest of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

In her final season at Cooper, Held had the state’s second highest scoring average (28.3) in girls basketball. She continued her career at DePaul University where she started in 89 consecutive games and the team compiled a 63-26 record with her in the lineup. 

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