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A year ago, it became apparent that Anderson County had a good boys' basketball team during the Bracken County Holiday Tournament.
The Bearcats return to defend their title and, perhaps, look to find a some answers in some holes that have opened during the first few weeks of the current season.
Last year, few knew how good Anderson really was in a season that eventually ended at 21-9. The Bearcats went to Bracken undefeated, then rolled into the tournament finals where they outlasted a good North Laurel team in the finals. That put the Bearcats at 11-0, the best start ever for an Anderson team.
“The tournament field is a little stronger this year,” says Anderson coach Glen Drury, whose team stood at 3-1 before the Christmas holiday break.
The Bearcats open with Beechwood (1-4) on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 4:45 p.m. and will be heavily favored over winless Deming in the second game on Thursday.
Beechwood, however, lost by just seven to traditional power Mason County which could raise some eyebrows.
In the final pool play game, the Bearcats will be favored against a nice Bracken County team that gave Anderson some trouble in last year's tournament. The teams will play Friday.
The other bracket, however, appears to be a bit stronger. Louisville Iroquois (5-3) would probably be considered the favorite in its first year under former Jeffersontown coach Jeff Morrow. Boone County, the defending Ninth Region champ, has been struggling after heavy graduation losses but large school numbers and some long-standing tradition make the Rebels a team to watch in the tournament.
However, there could be a small school surprise. Augusta, one of the better Class A teams in Kentucky, entered the holidays at 7-1 and boast junior guard Brent Bach, considered by many to be a major college prospect, could make the school known to be more than actor George Clooney's alma mater.
West Carter (1-6) is the other team in the bracket.
The championship game is set for Saturday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m.
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