100 years of basketball: Wins over Anderson still vivid for Western fans

-A A +A
By John Herndon

Helen Turner does not hesitate when asked about her best sports memory from her lifetime of love of Western High School.
“Oh, when we beat Anderson High,” she says with a laugh. “I won't ever forget that.”
It actually happened twice, in the 1982 and 1983 30th District Tournament semifinals.
None was sweeter than the Eagles' 72-59 win over the Bearcats in 1982. Western took control of that one early and never trailed, whipping the Bearcats on their home court.
“That was awesome,” Anderson County deputy sheriff Greg Boblitt, then an elementary school student at Western, remembered last week. “I was sitting  in the stands. It was great.”
That night, sophomore Eddie Hatchett led Western with 15 points as coach Paul Watts directed the Eagles to the Eighth Region tournament for the first time in 11 years. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they fell to Shelby County in the district finals, then ran into Oldham County, at the time one of the largest schools in the state, in the first round of the Eighth Region tourney.
“I just remember being so happy about it,” remembers Mrs. Turner, whose husband, Robert, had retired as Western principal two years before. “We drove through town, honking our horns.”
The following season, the teams played in the regular season for the first time, with Anderson taking a 67-52 victory, but in March, Western prevailed again, this time at Henry County, 56-44. Mark Robinson led Western with 15 points, while Terry Duckwall added 13 in that one.
Shelby again won the district final and Carroll County eliminated the Eagles at the regional tournament.
But the ones all Western fans remember were the ones that sent Anderson County packing.
“It was just awesome,” Boblitt said again with a smile.