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About 40 minutes before tipoff of Tuesday's Eighth Region Tournament game, I asked Anderson County girls' basketball coach Tony Kays if his team was ready to play.
It was a legitimate question as the Lady Bearcats have had a tendency to play to the competition at times and have slacked a little against teams that they are supposed to handle, such as Oldham. To make matters more interesting, Oldham had a team that many thought could be a spoiler in the region.
Kays chuckled and pointed across the Gallatin County gym where his team was already dressed and had come out to watch Owen County's comeback against Simon Kenton.
“What do you think?” he said. “Looks like they are up and ready to go.”
But with high school sports, you never know. Kays laughed and agreed fully.
Less than four minutes into the game, we knew. Anderson had run off the game's first nine points and for all practical purposes, quickly established that it would be moving on to the regional semi-finals for the fourth straight year.
Guess they were more than ready.
As the Lady Bearcats turned a convincing win into a blowout in the second half – the game was not even as close as the 75-50 final would indicate – the common reaction of neutral observers was shaking heads.
You know, the amazement you have when you see a team simply shred a defense, which Anderson did. It was the kind of amazement you have when you see a team totally lock down the opponent, like Adnerson did Tuesday.
Simply put, the Lady Bearcats pulverized a good team. It was the most impressive performance I have seen in the region since Simon Kenton routed the Lady Bearcats in the 2009 regional final.
But after the game, the Anderson coaches felt the Lady Bearcats are still not where they can be and that they have played better.
One thing about a regional tournament is that it is a three-game set. An impressive performance Tuesday night was just that. When Anderson takes the court against Owen County on Friday night, it will be a totally different game. I will have more on that later.
Gallatin County a good host
It is a long drive from Lawrenceburg to Gallatin County, about 65 miles and 80 or 90 minutes. But Gallatin is a wonderful host. The gym is very nice and gives the feel of what a tournament game should be.
There was a good crowd for the Owen County-Simon Kenton game at 6 p.m. last night but after that one was over, there were a relatively few Anderson County fans and a handful of Oldham faithful in attendance.
While some complain about the long drives to the northern Kentucky schools, Anderson fans can grin and bear it. Next year, the tables are turned when Anderson hosts the regional.
Friday should be a terrific night of girls' basketball with South Oldham vs. Walton-Verona in the first game and Anderson County vs. Owen County in the nightcap.