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SPORTS BUZZ for July 1: What were some of the best individual performances by Anderson County athletes this year?
The 2008-09 school year was one of the best in Anderson County sports history, without a doubt. There were some great, great performances through the year by individuals and teams. I am going to list some of the best that I saw. I simply cannot go to every event and missed some of the great moments, but here are some I will not forget.
The top four are pretty easy, given the magnitude of the situation in each one. They are in chronological order.
1. C.J. Penny's 3-pointer sends Anderson County to the Sweet 16. Penny had only hit ten 3-pointers on the season but with everything riding on it, he hit nothing but net against Shelby County back on March 10. Penny shot from about 25-28 feet and the horn went off as his shot headed toward the goal at Henry County. There was no doubt that he got the shot off and swished it, setting off a celebration that had not been seen in Anderson County in a long time. That it came against the Bearcats' biggest rival made it even better.
2. Jacob Brown dominates Shelby County in the 30th District baseball tournament. They called Brown “Teddy” because he is like a big Teddy Bear, but against Shelby County in the district final, Brown was as mean as a Grizzly. He overpowered the Rockets, not with a blazing fastball, but with a knee-buckling curve that looked like it was dropping off a table. There are 21 outs in a regulation high school game and Brown recorded 14 by strikeout. An incredible performance.
3. B.J. Robinson is state runner-up in the pole vault. The field quickly sifted to a pair of vaulters, making for incredible drama. Finally, Robinson went out at 14 feet but it had been a gripping performance that had fans buzzing at Louisville's Cardinal Park.
4. Luke Hawkins comes on in relief of Jacob Brown in the regional baseball tournament championship game. Yet another game with Shelby went down to the wire. Hawkins came in in relief of Brown with the bases loaded and no one out. The tying run was at the plate, but Hawkins shut the Rockets down in one of the guttiest pitching performances ever at Anderson County.
Other great performances in chronological order, or close to it.
--Sam Williams shows how a kicker can change a game at Madison Southern. Perfect on extra points, hit a 40-yard field goal, and the author of a 56-yard punt, Williams was a key player that night and throughout the season. Oddly enough, he was not wearing the jersey he had been assigned but we knew who he was.
--The Anderson boys golf team wins a sudden death playoff to defeat Scott County and win the CKC championship. The pressure at Augusta could not have been greater, but the Bearcats pulled it off.
--Lady Cat soccer dominates Boyle County to win the Boyle tournament.
--Jacob Russell leads Anderson in an incredible comeback at Doss. Just when you were thinking the best the Bearcat football could do was keep the second-round playoff game from becoming a blowout, Russell began clicking with a record-setting night. Anderson was literally inches from the tying touchdown when B.J. Robinson took an onside kick just short of the required 10 yards but ran for a touchdown that would have tied things.
--Lindsay Fultz scores 100 points in three games to start the Anderson girls' basketball season. A 28-point shellacking of Ballard left you with the idea that the Lady Bearcats were going to be awfully good. They were.
--Courtney Turpin dominates Shelby County in softball with a shutout and grand slam.
--Kristen Hamrick pulls a major upset in the regional tennis tournament opener.
--The Bearcat fans. Suffice it to say few schools have the support of Anderson County. Estimates on state basketball tournament ticket sales to Bearcat fans exceeded 7,000. One end of Rupp Arena was a sea of red shirts. But two months later, at the regional baseball tournament final, Anderson fans came through again. Baseball does not draw the crowds of basketball and if you have 250 people even at a post-season game, you are doing good. But on May 27, there was another sea of red shirts in Shelbyville. Bearcat fans outnumbered the hosts by at least 2-to-1.
Why not share some of your great memories of the 2008-09 school year. I am sure I have left some out!