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Prep Sports Report: Holy Cross girls, Newport boys extend win streaks with All “A” Classic title runs

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Basketball teams from the 9th Region swept the All “A” Classic state championships for the first time since 2015 on Sunday when the Holy Cross girls and Newport boys won close games against highly ranked opponents in the tournament finals at Corbin Arena.

In the latest state rankings by media members, Holy Cross was No. 8 in girls and Newport was No. 6 in boys. Both teams will likely climb a few notches based on their tournament performances.

Newport players raise the All “A” Classic state championship trophy following their overtime win in the boys title game. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

Holy Cross defeated No. 4 Pikeville, 56-55, in the girls championship game. Newport knocked off No. 2 Lyon County, 50-48, in the boys semifinals and then took the title with a 69-62 overtime victory against No. 10 Evangel Christian.

Over the last four weeks, Newport (21-3) has won 13 straight games and Holy Cross (19-5) has a 12-1 record. The Indians’ one loss was to No. 2 George Rogers Clark by two points, 59-57, on Jan. 13.

Newport brought home its first All “A” Classic state championship trophy and Holy Cross became the first 9th Region girls team to win back-to-back state titles.

The 9th Region representatives that swept the 2015 small school basketball tournaments played at Eastern Kentucky University were the Holy Cross girls and Newport Central Catholic boys.

This season, Holy Cross has a 2-4 record against girls teams currently ranked among the state’s top 15 and the Indians cancelled their home game against Cooper on Feb. 7 to keep from exceeding their total game limit.

On Saturday, Cooper’s 15-game winning streak came to an end with a 61-56 loss to No. 1 Louisville Sacred Heart in the semifinals of the Louisville Invitational Tournament. That was Sacred Heart’s closest game against an in-state opponent this season.

Newport doesn’t have any state-ranked boys teams remaining on its schedule. But the Wildcats will be playing back-to-back games against two of the 9th Region’s top contenders on Feb. 13 at Cooper and Feb. 15 at home against Lloyd.

Historic significance of Holmes fieldhouse to be recognized at game

The Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame is sponsoring Heritage Games in gyms across the state to recognize their historic significance and the spirit of community that’s an important part of high school competition.

David Evans Fieldhouse at Holmes

One of those games will be Boone County vs. Holmes at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the David Evans Fieldhouse where numerous 9th Region championship games were played over the years.

The fieldhouse will be designated as a Glory Road site and Holmes will receive a  commemorative plaque from Community Trust Bank in Covington to put on display.

The plaque will be presented by Dan Sullivan, a former Northern Kentucky high school basketball player and coach. He is serving as the 9th Region representative for the hall of fame.

For more than 100 years, high school basketball has been embraced by Kentuckians who came together in gymnasiums of various sizes to support their teams. This is the third year that Glory Road sites have been selected for their historical and cultural significance.

Scott schedules welcoming ceremony for new head football coach

Scott High School officials will introduce Justin Franklin as the new head coach of the Eagles football team during a ceremony that’s open to the public at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday in the multi-purpose room.

Justin Franklin

Franklin has been a coach and educator for more than 20 years, according to a press release from Scott. As a head football coach, he has a 24-48 record in seven seasons at two schools.

In his first four years as head coach at Trimble County, his teams compiled a 4-37 record from 2012 to 2015. He became head coach at Carroll County in 2019 and posted a 20-11 record over three seasons, not counting three forfeits in 2021 due to covid pandemic regulations.

Last season, Franklin was the defensive coordinator at North Oldham, a Class 4A team that finished with a 7-5 record and held five opponents to 14 points or less. He’ll be taking charge of a Scott team that’s coming off a 2-8 season when nine of its opponents scored 34 points or more.

Campbell County bowler wins region final against two-time champion

Bryce Sargent became the first Campbell County bowler to win the Region 5 boys singles championship since 2015 and Newport Central Catholic took the girls team title for the second straight year in last week’s tournament.

Sargent, who placed 13th in the boys singles qualifying standings last year, had the highest pin total to earn a berth in the stepladder finals. He defeated two-time region champion Kyan Brewer of Pendleton County, 217-195, to take the title.

In the girls team final, NewCath defeated Simon Kenton, 3-0. Pendleton County took the boys team title for the fourth consecutive year with a 3-1 win over Scott. The girls singles champion was Kree Brewer of Pendleton County.

The top two teams and top four bowlers in the stepladder finals in each region advance to the state tournament Feb. 5-7 at Kingpin Lanes in Jeffersontown.

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