There’s a good chance next year’s KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16 will have its semifinals and championship game on separate days, just as it did this year in Rupp Arena.
KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett said splitting the games over two days and not playing twice on a Saturday worked out fine.
“For this year, it worked out well,” Tackett said before Sunday’s championship game. “From the fans, coaches and even the kids, I’ve heard nothing but good things. Already we’ve issued more tickets through seven sessions than we did at all eight sessions last year.”
Last year’s eight sessions totaled 105,766 spectators, according to attendance figures on the box scores. This week’s seven-session figure totaled 106,048. Add the 17,315 who attended Sunday’s final between Madison Central and Ballard and the figure is 123,363.
“Today’s attendance is just a bonus,” Tackett said. “We only moved the boys’ tournament up a week to free Rupp Arena for the NCAA.”
The game between Kentucky and Florida on Saturday at noon caused the split this year and Tackett noticed the difference.
“When the semifinals were played on Saturday mornings, everybody was trying to wake up,” he said. “Obviously, our first Saturday night semifinals had a different atmosphere. Everybody was primed and ready to go.”
If the semifinals are held on a Saturday again next year, they will be earlier than this year’s 7:30 and 9 p.m starts. “We needed extra time for the Rupp Arena clean-up,” Tackett said. “This is a big house.”
A decision on the 2014 tournament format will be made in April.
* Hawkins draws MVP selection: Madison Central’s Dominique Hawkins, who scored 107 points in four games, was named tournament MVP by The Lexington Herald-Leader. Hawkins was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Ken-Jah Bosley and Quan Taylor. Runner-up Ballard was represented by Quinten Snider, Kelan Martin and Lavonne Holland. Other selections were Omar Prewitt and Brian Wallace of Montgomery County, Jordan Majors and Jaqualis Matlock of Hopkinsville, Camron Justice of Knott County Central, Brandon Price of John Hardin, Peyton Puckett of Graves County and James Bolden of Covington Holmes. Price is the only repeat selection from last year.
* Woods receives Sanford award: Landry Woods, son of Wayne County coach Rodney Woods, was named the Ted Sanford Award winner. The award, given annually by The Courier-Journal, includes a one-time $1,000 scholarship. It is named after the first commissioner of the KKSAA and honors a player for his basketball ability, academics, sportsmanship and citizenship. Other award winners: KABC Larry Conley ultimate teammate, Hawkins; National Guard leadership, Dontez Byrd, Ballard; Forcht Bank/National Insurance sportsmanship/spirit, Daniel Parke, Madison Central. Sweet 16 academic awards ($1,000 each) went to Nicholas Conway, Fleming County, and Parke.