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I took to Twitter and Facebook, asking our readers for cool stories about the girls' Eighth Region tournament or the Sweet 16. I got this classic from Melinda Daugherty, a Lawrenceburg native who now lives in Florida.
Daugherty, whose granddaughter, Corrin Robinson, played a huge role in Anderson County's Sweet 16 berth, was unable to be at North Oldham for the regional tournament. She kept up on Twitter and knew Corrin had hit two free throws that tied Simon Kenton and brought Anderson all the way back from a 10-point deficit in the last 1:30. Of course, the Lady Bearcats prevailed, 70-68 in overtime.
Corrin is also a standout shortstop on the Anderson softball team, which will open the season on March 26.
In an e-mail, Melinda said her son, Rodney Robinson, called Thursday morning to talk about the game.
She wrote, “(Rodney) said when the family got home from the game they were getting Corrin' s reaction. She said, 'Dad, I was sitting on the bench with about 1minute and 30 seconds to go, 10 points behind and I thought to myself, 'I am NOT practicing softball tomorrow. I'm going to the state tournament!'
“And, she is.”
Bearcat Den really was a Sixth Man
As the Lady Bearcats were waiting to cut down the nets following their win over Simon Kenton, Anderson assistant coach Wayne King made sure I noted the Lady Bearcats had one huge advantage last Wednesday.
“I hope you will say something about the student section,” King said. “They were a big factor for us tonight.”
I had already made a note that the crowd Wednesday might have been the largest I have ever seen at a girls' high school basketball game, other than the Sweet 16. That, in itself, was remarkable as last Tuesday's snow had forced a postponement of the final. Neither school was in session last Wednesday and the final decision on whehter to play was not made until mid-day Wednesday.
I had also said on Twitter that the crowd was easily in favor of Anderson. After the game, some estimated the Lady Bearcats had a 2-1 or 3-1 crowd advantage on a neutral court.
“We would be at the foul line and all you could hear was our crowd,” Anderson junior Makenzie Cann said. “You would look over there and see our student section going all the way to the top.”
While Simon Kenton was visibly tired, it is not out of the question that The Bearcat Den rattled some of the Pioneers at the line as Anderson was making its comeback.
Anderson coach Tony Kays also noted how the fans played a role.
“In the second half, when we were pressing, Simon Kenton had the ball in front of our bench and in front of our student section,” Kays said. “Coach Stowers (Simon Kenton coach Jeff Stowers) was yelling instructions to his team. I could not hear him at all and I am sure his players couldn't.”
The student section had been sparse in the first two regional games, but Kays noted, “When it counted, they where here and came through.”
Anderson girls beat a great program last week
I would be remiss if I did not share a final girls' Eighth Region note.
Simon Kenton has a GREAT program. That was a team that was very unimpressive earlier in the tournament, but the Pioneers left all they had on the floor last Wednesday.
Their coach, Jeff Stowers is nothing but first class. He's demanding and expects excellence, but in the time I have been acquainted with him, he has been first class all the way.
Last Wednesday was the fourth time in eight years Anderson County and Simon Kenton battled it out of the Eighth Region title. Both have won twice.
They have played two other times in the tournaemnt with Simon Kenton taking both.
It has become quite a rivalry with two outstanding programs, but a rivalry that has been played with class.
Anderson and Simon Kenton will probably battle it out for regional supremacy again next year.
Comment at www.theandersonnews.com.