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Road to Rupp: March 1st Edition

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Fittingly on today, the first day of March, the road to the centerpiece of Commonwealth scholastic sports, the Kentucky Boys Sweet 16, begins.

Tonight’s action will take place in the 4th, 6th and 7th Regions and below you will find a complete listing of games and a small preview of each contest.

4th Region

Barren County vs. Clinton County

The Trojans of Barren County enter their opening round game with a 26-5 record, the second, best in the region, and are 15th District Champions having defeated Allen County-Scottsville and Glasgow for the crown.

The Clinton County Bulldogs come into the game with a 15-13 record as the 16th District runner-up. The Bulldogs defeated Cumberland County in the opening round but fell to Russell County in the finals.

Barren County won the only meeting between the two schools on February 18th in lopsided fashion, 62-43.

Warren Central vs. Franklin-Simpson

Traditional 4th Region power, the Warren Central Dragons, have struggled this season and enter the region tournament with an 18-12 record. The Dragons are the 14th District runner-up. They beat Warren East in the opening round of district play but lost a nail-biter to rival Bowling Green in the finals.

13th District champions Franklin-Simpson have posted an impressive 24-4 record this season which is the third best in the 4th Region. The Wildcats’ defeated Todd County Central and Russellville to clinch the district.

The Wildcats defeated the Dragons on January 5th in the team’s regular-season meeting, 61-47.

6th Region

North Bullitt vs. Bullitt East

Derek Willis’ alma mater, the Bullitt East Chargers, enters a blockbuster matchup with North Bullitt with a region best 25-5 record and a lot to prove following an upset loss against Fern Creek in the 24th District finals. The Chargers decimated Whitefield Academy in the opening round of district play.

The Eagles of North Bullitt High School faced a scenario opposite of their opponents when they squeaked by Bullitt Central and then blasted Moore to win the 23rd District to improve their record to 23-6 on the season.

Bullitt East won the only head-to-head matchup between the two teams on February 12th, 80-71.

Pleasure Ridge Park vs. DeSales

The PRP Panthers currently hold an uncharacteristic 16-9 record but do enter tonight’s game as 21st District Champions after waxing both Fairdale and Valley.

DeSales advanced to the region tournament by virtue of wins over Iroquois and Butler in the 22nd District Tournament. However, a loss to Doss in the finals dropped the Colts’ record to 9-20 for the season.

Neither team played one another during the regular season.

Fern Creek vs. Moore

The 18-12 Fern Creek Tigers earned a surprising 24th District title after dispatching traditional powers Jeffersontown and Bullitt East.

The Moore Mustangs boast a paltry 10-17 mark on the season and advanced to the regional tournament after defeating Southern before taking an avalanche of a defeat in the 23rd District Championship against North Bullitt.

Moore defeated Fern Creek in the team’s only regular season meeting, 61-47.

Doss vs. Valley

The 24-5 Doss Dragons begin defense of their region title after conquering Western and DeSales in the 22nd District.

The Valley Vikings look to put an embarrassing defeat to PRP in the 21st District Finals behind them. Valley is 21-11 and defeated Holy Cross to earn a trip to the region.

Doss won the two team’s first meeting in January.

7th Region

The 17-11 Central Yellow Jackets beat Portland Christian and DuPont Manual to win the 25th District.

Serial state runner-up Ballard beat the Christian Academy of Louisville to punch their ticket to the regional dance but fell to Eastern in the 28th District Finals. The Bruins are 21-10 on the season. Ballard beat Central in January.

Trinity vs. Male

The Trinity ShamrockS (26-6) are the defending regional champs. Trinity blew out Atherton and survived a game Waggner squad to win the 27th District.

Male (25-5) look to end over a decade long Sweet 16 drought and prove that their loss to St. Xavier in the 26th District finals was an aberration on an otherwise stellar campaign.

Trinity did defeat the Bulldogs by 16 points earlier this year.

St. Xavier vs. Waggner

The Tigers of St. X (21-10) defeated Male in overtime to win the 26th District and look to avenge an early season loss to Waggner.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats (15-12) came close to upsetting Trinity in the championship round of the 27th District.

Eastern vs. DuPont Manual

The Eastern Eagles (17-11) beat favored Ballard to win the 28th District and look to dispatch the DuPont Manual Crimsons (17-12) who are the runner-up of the 25th District.

The Crimsons dropped two narrow decisions to the Eagles during the regular season.