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Durham tooting whistle at girls’ state basketball tourney

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Officiating the Manual-Mercy game on Thursday

By Bobby Brockman

Campbellsville High School graduate Robbie Durham is officiating at the girls’ state basketball tournament this week in Bowling Green.
Durham will be unable to referee any games for the undefeated and heavily-favored Marion County Lady Knights since they are from his home region — the Fifth.
Durham, who played football and baseball for the Eagles, joins a long list of local officials to call the state tournament.
Shelby Winfrey called in the Sweet 16 as did the Smith twins (Wayne and Willard) and B.D. Thompson in previous years.
And, the last two seasons, Campbellsville’s Jeff Watson and Wayne Edwards from Green County, officiated the boys’ and girls’ state tournaments, respectively.

Lady Knights can help Marion pull off a double
If Marion County’s Lady Knights go 39-0 and win the girls’ state championship on Saturday night in Bowling Green, the Lebanon school will become only the 13th high school in Kentucky to have their girls’ and boys’ basketball teams win state titles.
Marion County would join in, alphabetical order, Ashland, Clay County, Elizabethtown, Hazard, Henry Clay, Laurel County, Lexington Catholic, Manual, Maysville, Pulaski County, Scott County and Warren Central.
Folks will also note that Ashland and Maysville won girls’ championships in the “early years” before high school basketball re-started in 1975. (The list of state champions appears on page B6.)
Also, Laurel County has since been split into North Laurel and South Laurel while Pulaski County has also been divided to form Southwestern.
Speaking of state champions, since World War II only Ashland, Seneca, Male and Fairdale have won back-to-back titles. (Trinity had the chance this year and a lot of the so-called experts expected Ballard to win this year and next.
Madison Central also has the chance to pull off the double as its girls’ team is in this week’s Sweet 16 field.
Allen Feldhaus Jr. once coached at Green County High School where one of his players’, Trent Milby, now directs the Lady Knights.
So, Green County could pull off their own state title double.
Back to Fairdale, the Jefferson County school is the only high school to win a state title in Freedom Hall and Rupp Arena.

UK trying to avoid the fifth team to do it

Last week’s University of Kentucky victory in Rupp Arena over Florida seems to have enabled the Wildcats to avoid going to the NIT.
By doing so, UK will not be the fifth answer to the trivia question on what teams missed the NCAA Tournament the season after winning the championship.
The answers: Louisville (1986), Kansas (1988), Florida (2007) and North Carolina (2009).

Attendance figures

What two colleges have both their men’s and women’s teams in the top six in basketball attendance?
The University of Tennessee (11,933) leads six schools in women’s attendance ahead of Iowa State (9,921), Connecticut (9,731), Louisville (9,577), Baylor (8,892).
Now you have the other answer — Louisville. The Cardinals were third in men’s attendance behind Kentucky and Syracuse and in front of North Carolina, Wisconsin and Tennessee.
U of L conference switches mean changes in temperatures
Speaking of U of L, the Cardinals’ basketball, football and baseball teams will go from tough schedules to fair slates to even tougher worksheets when they go from the Big East to the America 12 (or whatever name is adopted) to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In men’s basketball, eight Big East teams could make the NCAA Tourney field next week, but only two of those (Cincinnati and Louisville) return in 2013-14.
Connecticut, off probation, and newcomers Memphis and Temple will make up some of the difference, but not for the total loss of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova.
In women’s hoops, only UConn and U of L return out of the top eight.
However, in 2014-15, when Louisville is in the ACC, the Cardinals will again hook up with Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame and join Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia and Miami (Fla.) in men’s hoops and Notre Dame, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina and Florida State in women’s.
• Speaking of schedules, Green County is back on Taylor County’s football slate (on page B4) and it looks like the Dragons and Taylor County might be in the Campbellsville Holiday Classic this December.