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Clay County Captures Title With OT Win Over Ballard
Take me home country roads!
For the first time since 1956, when 14th Region representative Carr Creek captured the Boys" State Tournament, a mountain team will bring home the Kentucky state title. 13th Region ballclub Clay County led by tournament MVP Richie Farmer captured the coveted title with a thrilling 76-73 overtime victory over Ballard in the championship contest last Saturday evening at Rupp Arena.
The victory marks Clay County coach Bobby Keith's first state title in his 17-year stint at the helm of the Manchester school. The victory marked Clay County's 35 win in 37 tries this season.
"I think every coach that coaches in high school has a dream to win the state championship," said Keith, a Manchester native. "I feel like it's one thing in my lifetime that we've accomplished, and it's a great feeling."
"It's the greatest," said Farmer afterwards. "We've always wanted to bring it back home and now we finally have."
Farmer, a 6-foot junior, scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down six rebounds to help the Tigers pull out their fourth win in three days of play. Teammate Russ
Chadwell scored 19 points, followed by brother Russ Farmer with 14. However, Ballard could have very easily been crowned the champs.
With 11 seconds remaining in regulation Richie Farmer was at the line for a one-and-one opportunity. If he made both Clay County would own a three-point lead, and with Ballard out of timeouts, in the driver's seat.
He made the first, making the count 65-63. His second attempt, meanwhile, was too strong and Ballard had one opportunity left.
Well, make that four.
Ballard got four attempts and Leonard Taylor's tip in beat the final buzzer, thus tying the game at 65-all, and forcing the only overtime period of the tournament.
"I really stepped up their with the intentions of making both free throws," said Richie Farmer, recapping the last 11 seconds of regulation. "After I missed the second one
CLAY COUNTY (76)
Nam* mln fy-a rt-j rb a
Kevin Jackson . 33 2-5 2-3 5 0
Russell Chadwell 35 8-15 3-6 4 3
Charlie Robinson 14 0-0 0-0 2 0
Russell Farmer 35 5-9 4-4 7 1
Richie Farmer . 35 12-26 3-4 6 4
Eugene Rawlmgs 21 2-3 6-8 6 0
Total! 1 75 29-5* 18-25 38 8 9 78
BALLARD (73) Nam* mln tg-a ft-a rb i pi Ip
Leonard Taylor 35 4-7 0-0 15 I 0 8 Kenneth Madin 29 8-17 0-0 11 0 4 16 Chris Riesenberg 14 0-0 0-2 5 0 2 0
Mark Bell........ 35 6-26 3-4 8 4 5 15
Allan Houston . . 35 11-21 2-2 5 13 24 Jamie Trowell ... . 13 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 2
Bill Lacey ....... 2 2-2 0-010 2 4
Eric McDuffie ... 12 2-4 0-0 0 0 3 4
Total! 175 34-80 5-8 48 8 19 73
Clay Co............... 16 14 15 20 11—76
Balland............... 14 14 19 18 8—73
Field-goal shooting Clay Co . 50 0. Ballard. 42 5 Free-throw shooting Clay Co . 72 0. Ballard. 62 5 Technicals none Turnovers Clay Co.. 7. Ballard. 8 Officials Marvin Moore. Ernie Liggett Attendance 19.000 (est)
we went down and all we had to do was get a rebound. But we couldn't come up with it and they scored to send it into overtime.
"Going into overtime I felt that all we had to do was to work our regular gameplan and
try and come out ahead."
Heading into the three-minute period, reserve Eugene Rawlings cashed in a pair of free throws, as the Tigers led 67-65. But back came Ballard. The game was knotted when Bruin reserve Eric McDuffie canned an eight-footer.
Russ Farmer, the younger brother of Richie, hit two charity tosses with 2:32 left. Clay County now led 69-67. But. . .but for the 24th time during this tightly-fought battle, the score was tied when Allan Houston put in a Mark Bell miss. Houston almost matched Richie Farmer point for point during (he evening. The smooth 6-foot-4 sophomore contributed 24 points on the evening.
But it was Richie Farmer's night—'I've dreamed about it since I was just a little boy," he added with a big grin.
It was his turnaround jumper from 14 feet at the 1:44 mark which gave the Tigers the lead for keeps. Following a Bell miss, Kevin Jackson was fouled and hit one of two free throws with only 25 ticks left.
Bell's layin cut the margin to one, 72-71. but a pair of clutch free throws from both Russ Chadwell, the hero of Clay County's win on Thursday , and Rawlings clinched the win.
The Rupp Arena crowd listed at 19,000 at Saturday night's showdown perhaps saw the best game of the tournament. It was nip-and-tuck for the entire 35 minutes. Clay County's biggest lead on the evening was five points (76-71) while Ballard's largest advantage was four points (47-43). In the first half, no team led by more than two points.
[Continued On Page 14]
FIRST ROUND March 25-26
QUARTERFINALS March 27
SEMIFINALS March 28
FINALS March 28
Mason Co. 68
Mason Co. 62
Marshall Co. 71
LaRue Co. 68
Rowan Co. 48
LaRue Co. 56
Clay Co 90
Clav Co. 62
Clay Co. 78
Warren Central 45
Madison Central 75
Madison Central 74
Oldham Co. 64
Oldham Co. 68
Madison Central 58
Clay County 76
March 25-28 At Rupp Arena