100 years of basketball: Bulldogs' 1946 Sweet 16 ride was one to remember

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Humston led regional final rally, state tourney upset

By John Herndon

Lawrenceburg basketball fans had a run to remember in March of 1946 when the Bulldogs surprised he state by making the quarterfinals of the Sweet 16.
Eddie Humston put together a pair of clutch performances for the Bulldogs, first downing Frankfort in the 11th Region final, then upsetting defending state champion Male in the first round of the Sweet 16.
According to the March 14, 1946 edition of The Anderson News, the Bulldogs seemed finished when they trailed Frankfort 29-25 with less than two minutes to go in the 11th Region championship game, held at the University of Kentucky's Alumni Gym. Frankfort began trying to freeze the ball, but Lawrenceburg started fouling. Under the rules of the day, Frankfort elected to take the ball out of bounds rather than shoot free throws.
With the score 29-27, Humston stole an inbounds pass, then drove for a layup. Fouled on the play, Humston completed the three-point play with four seconds left to give the Bulldogs a 30-29 lead that held up. Humston scored 13 points and J.T. Hyatt tallied seven for coach John Morgan Young's team.
Lawrenceburg had won the 42nd District, slipping past Harrodsburg in the final and defeating Lafayette in the 11th Region tournament to get to Frankfort in the final.
A week later, the Bulldogs dethroned defending state champion Male 38-37 at the Louisville Armory, now known as Louisville Gardens.
“Undeniably the classiest performer of the day which brought all 16 tournament squads into action, Humston rifled his pivot shots with unbelievable accuracy as the Blue and White lads held a lead at the end of the first quarter 8-7, at the half 19-17, and at the close of the third period 29-28,” said the March 21 edition of The Anderson News.
Humston scored 22 points for the Bulldogs and held Male star Gene Rhodes, who later coached he Kentucky Colonels of the ABA, scoreless for three quarters. Rhodes finished with five points for Male.
Dawson Springs ended the Lawrenceburg dream with a 57-38 decision in the quarterfinal round. Lawrenceburg led late in the first quarter, but Dawson Springs, which eventually lost in the final to Breckinridge Training, gradually pulled away.
Humston went on to be named to the All-Tournament team. Locally, his heroics in pressure situations rival those of Jimmy Dan Conner and C.J. Penny of later generations.

E-mail John Herndon at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com.