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Longtime rival looks to sting Bearcats on Friday

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By John Herndon

Separated only by the Kentucky River and the state high school basketball alignment, Anderson County and Woodford County have had some memorable basketball battles over the years.

When the teams meet Friday, Feb. 8, it should be no different.

Woodford, with a 16-7 record through games of the weekend, visits Anderson with one of the Yellow Jackets' strongest teams in recent years.

"They are very athletic," says Anderson coach Glen Drury. They will give us some problems with that."

Travis Swan leads Woodford in scoring and rebounding, with 12.5 points and 6 rebounds a game.

"We expect a hard fought game," Drury said. "Woodford is good. They are very quick."

Woodford has beaten Shelby County, considered by many Anderson's chief threat to district and regional crowns, and Oldham County on the season. The teams have played four common opponents with very similar results across the board.

Anderson is considered a slight favorite in the Litkenhous ratings that appear in the Louisville Courier-Journal. The Bearcats took last year's contest 55-50 and the year before, Anderson won 54-49. Woodford last won with a romp in 2005.

Anderson has won 8 of the last 10 in the series and Woodford has not beaten Bearcat coach Glen Drury on the Anderson floor since he took over in 1987-88.

Tuesday, Anderson will travel to Eighth Region rival Henry County for the final regular season game against a regional foe. A year ago, Henry fielded the best Wildcat team in years and extended the Bearcats twice.

Anderson escaped with a 52-51 win over Henry in the first round of the Eighth Region tournament and won by four points at Anderson in February.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, most of that team graduated and Henry has struggled to a 5-16 record through the weekend. The Wildcats have lost 14 of their last 16.

Drury, however, says Henry is improving. "Coach (Jason) Holland is really doing a good job over there," he said. "They will come out and play hard."

Henry might have turned some heads with close losses to Gallatin County and Owen County in recent weeks, but Anderson should be heavily favord to extend its winning streak over the Wildcats which dates to 1989.