The King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic annually brings together some of the best boys’ basketball teams from Kentucky and around the nation just before Christmas at Fairdale High School.
Now tournament director Lloyd Gardner is expanding on the brand with this weekend’s inaugural Forcht Bank King of the Bluegrass Showcase. The two-day event at Fairdale will have 10 games — nine boys’ and one girls’ — and feature some of the nation’s top talent.
Four of the Kentucky teams are in the Top 20 of The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings: No. 1 Ballard, No. 6 Pleasure Ridge Park, No. 12 Iroquois and No. 14 Doss.
But the big draw figures to be 6-foot-5 junior guard Luke Kennard of Franklin, Ohio, who has the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville on his short list and is averaging 39.7 points per game.
Kennard’s Franklin High squad will face Taylor County at 6 p.m. Saturday. Taylor County features 6-3 guard Quentin Goodin, ranked among the nation’s top sophomores.
Other out-of-state teams are Acworth (Ga.) Allatoona, Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian and Jeffersonville.
Allatoona is 21-0 and No. 1 in Georgia’s Class 5-A. Christ Presbyterian (24-1) is No. 1 in Tennessee’s Class 2-A and won the 2011 and 2012 King of the Bluegrass championships before skipping the event this season. Christ Presbyterian will face Ballard at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Other standout players in the event include Ballard’s Quentin Snider (U of L signee) and Kelan Martin (Butler signee), PRP’s Lamontray Harris, Augusta’s Brent Bach (the state’s leading scorer at 29.1 ppg), Knott County Central’s Camron Justice (committed to Tennessee) and Doss’ Montrell Little.
Here is the schedule:
* Doss vs. Thomas Nelson, 4:30 p.m.; Moore vs. Augusta, 6; Fairdale vs. Acworth (Ga.) Allatoona, 7:30; Pleasure Ridge Park vs. John Hardin, 9Friday:
* Iroquois vs. Allatoona, 1:30 p.m.; Fairdale vs. Jeffersonville, 3; Fairdale vs. Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian (girls), 4:30; PRP vs. Knott County Central, 4:30; Taylor County vs. Franklin (Ohio), 6; Ballard vs. Christ Presbyterian, 7:30Saturday:
Oldham County hires Shatzer as football coach
Mike Shatzer, who coached the past four seasons in Montgomery, Ala., has been named football coach at Oldham County. He replaces Matt Brown, who went 33-38 in six seasons with the Colonels.
Shatzer, 42, is a native of Chambersburg, Pa., and attended Millersville (Pa.) University. He has a 34-32 record in six years as a head coach — two at Center (N.C.) South Stanly, three at Montgomery Catholic and last year at Park Crossing.
“My wife is from Cincinnati, and we were looking around for something close to there,” he said about coming to Kentucky. “I have two sons who are 8 and 6, and Oldham County has a great reputation for academics and athletics. It’s a great fit for us.”
Shatzer said he will run a “blue-collar program.”
“We’re going to run the football, whether it’s out of the I-formation or a two-back or a spread,” he said. “On defense we’ll be aggressive and tackle well. We will be fundamentally sound on defense.”
Oldham County finished 2-9 last season, falling to Male 48-0 in the first round of the Class 6-A playoffs.
* The 24th annual Joe B. Hall Prep Classic, which was snowed out Saturday, has been rescheduled for Feb. 9 at Montgomery County. The event has been reduced from five to four games because Trinity and Holmes won’t be able to participate.
The new schedule: Fleming County vs. Knott County Central, 1 p.m.; Perry County Central vs. Hopkinsville, 2:30; Wayne County vs. Montgomery County, 4; Henry Clay vs. Pulaski Southwestern, 5:30.
* Larry French, who coached the Boyle County football team to Class 4-A state titles in 2009 and 2010 and a 72-11 record over six seasons, is the new coach at Pulaski Southwestern. He replaces Andy Stephens, who stepped down after 2½ seasons.
* The draws for the boys’ and girls’ state basketball tournaments will be held at 1 p.m. Monday and be streamed live at KHSAA.org.