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If all went as expected, the Anderson County boys' basketball team is awaiting the winner of the Shelby County-Spencer County game for the 30th District Tournament championship, Saturday, March 1 at Spencer County High School.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The top-seeded and defending district champion Bearcats were heavily favored to move on past Eminence in Tuesday's first-round game.
While Shelby is favored and, in fact, ranked at the top of the Eighth Region by the Courier-Journal Litkenhous ratings, the Rockets are expected to have quite a tussle with Spencer on the Bears' home court. Shelby defeated Spencer 55-50 at Shelby on Feb. 14.
Spencer, which has not made a regional appearance in nearly a decade, when the Bears were members of the 29th District, will try to counter Shelby's advantage in athleticism with the play of sharp-shooting forward Craig Edwards and an under-rated Zach Shields. Spencer is also expected to try to confuse Shelby with ever-changing defenses.
Shelby and Anderson are rated as virtually dead-even, with the Rockets being named a slight favorite in the Litkenhous ratings while the Bearcats, unbeaten against Eighth Region competition, are the pick by the Rating the State rankings that appear in the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Both the district winner and runner-up advance to the regional tournament, set to begin Wednesday, March 5 at Henry County High School.
Many observers have labeled Anderson as a slight favorite to capture its first regional crown since 1997, but Shelby, North Oldham and Gallatin County are expected to contend. Defending champion Oldham County and Simon Kenton are also expected to be in the fray.
Check www.theandersonnews.com for the latest in Bearcat district and regional tournament news.