District seeding games to get serious this week

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By Mike Farner

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - Very little has been decided heading into the final month of the regular season as it pertains to the seeding for the upcoming 24th District basketball tournaments.

    That will all change this week as all five programs will be in action against each other either on Tuesday or Friday.

    The biggest games will be on Tuesday at Fairdale as Bullitt East pays a visit. In both the boys’ and the girls’ play, no team has lost a 24th District seeding contest. Both of the Fairdale teams are 3-0 while Bullitt East’s squads are both 1-0.

    In addition, Southern will travel to North Bullitt on Tuesday. On Friday, Bullitt Central will be in Mount Washington to take on Bullitt East.

    The final district meetings will be the following Friday when North Bullitt plays at Bullitt East.

    Both of the 24th District Tournaments will be played the week of Feb. 22 at Southern.

    (The recent news that there will be no realignment for at least three years means that the 24th District Basketball Tournaments will rotate back to Bullitt Central next season.)

    Of course, the seeding process has changed a great deal this season. For the first time since the first year of the alignment, the district teams are using just one game during the regular season for seeding purposes. In fact, the two Jefferson County teams are playing their Bullitt County counterparts just once each. The Bullitt County squads have continued to play each other home-and-home with the second meeting counting toward the seeding process.

    The two Fairdale teams are a step ahead of everyone else, having already played three of their required four games. Neither the Bulldogs nor Lady Bulldogs’ can do any worse than second in the standings and will wrap up the top spots with wins on Tuesday.

    Since Bullitt East has already beaten Southern in both boys’ and girls’ play, they will take over the driver’s seat with wins on Tuesday. Realistically, the Charger squads have already beaten both Bullitt Central and North Bullitt in the two ‘non-counting’ contests this season and will favored to win the rematches at home.

    So, while other things can still happen, the Tuesday night games at Fairdale will go a long way in shaping the seeding for the district tournaments.

    In the girls’ contest Tuesday, Bullitt East will be looking to bounce back from the poor showing in the Louisville Invitational Tournament. The silver-lining is that the loss on Wednesday meant that the Lady Chargers could look ahead to Fairdale a little earlier in practices on Thursday and Friday before the snow hit.

    Fairdale, the runner-up to Bullitt East last season in the district, has been incredibly inconsistent in its first season under head coach Al Northington who coached Iroquois to the state championship last season. The Lady Bulldogs were downright awful in losing 49-32 to Bullitt Central in the Doss holiday tournament, but then came back two weeks later to beat the Lady Cougars 59-53 in the regular season game that counted in the seeding process.

    The team has also lost a mystery game to Iroqouis and just last week lost 64-25 to Holy Cross.

    On the boys’ side, Fairdale was the pre-season top pick amongst the local coaches to take the top spot again this year after beating Southern in the championship game a year ago. Coach Gregg Longacre’s team has been good this season, but not great, with an 10-10 record against a pretty strong schedule.

    Still, since winning the first four games of the season, Fairdale has not won more than two games in a row. Just this past week, North Oldham beat Fairdale by three points two days after Bullitt East had beaten North Oldham by four points.

    Comparing scores can be dangerous. Plus, Fairdale will be at home on Tuesday.

    The Bulldogs have a potent lead punch from Quintrel Morris, Anthony Claypool and Josh Stroud.

    At this point, if I were a betting man (and I’m not), I would have to say that the winner of the Tuesday night games at Fairdale will be the number one seeds and the losers will be second.

    On the boys’ side, Southern appears locked into the third spot with Bullitt Central fourth and North Bullitt fifth.

    The girls’ will then have Bullitt Central in the number three spot with the winner of the North Bullitt-Southern game on Tuesday fourth and the loser fifth.

    Remember, the four and five seeds will meet in the first game of the tournament and the winner will then take on the number one seed. The second and third seeds then will meet in the other semi-final.

    Still, upsets happen and often do this time of year. That is why everyone should get out and watch some games this week.