Tuesday, December 18, 2018


The 38th Annual Chad Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass will once again feature a field loaded with talent from across the Bluegrass state and the country. Half of the Courier-Journal’s Kentucky Preseason Top 10 teams will compete for the prestigious title. The event which annually hosts the Kentucky’s top high school basketball teams features ten teams ranked in the Top 25 in the state, including regional favorites from the second, fifth, seventh and eighth regions. There’s plenty of individual talent as well with five of the state’s top 10 players competing in the event. This year’s field also includes six former King of the Bluegrass Champions. Former champions Ballard, Brentwood Academy, Fairdale, Madison Central, Male and Trinity have combined to capture 14 King of the Bluegrass titles

The 2018 Chad Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass will open with a four-game slate on Wednesday. Former King of the Bluegrass Champion and 9th ranked Male will open play against the 12th ranked Collins. The Bulldogs, making their first tournament appearance since 2010, are led by the junior duo of Howard Fleming and Tyren Moore. The eighth region favorite, Titans, are led by 6’1” guard Dayvion McKnight, one of the state’s top ranked juniors. In the second game of the  day, the 2nd ranked Shamrocks of Trinity will take on16th ranked LaRue County. The Shamrocks, ranked 78th in the country by MaxPreps and the favorite in the seventh region, are led by University of Louisville signee and Mr. Basketball front-runner David Johnson. Trinity will be looking to make their fourth straight trip to the KOB championship. The Hawks, the favorite in the fifth region, are led by the trio of TreVon Smith, Mark Goode and Anthony Adkins. The 7:30 game on opening night will feature 5th ranked Madison Central taking on 13th ranked Walton-Verona in a match-up of two of the state’s top seniors. The Indians, making their first tournament appearance since 2012, are coming off a 25-8 finish last season and were picked to finish second in a loaded 11th region. They are led by 6’8” Western Kentucky signee Isaiah Cozart, the state’s fifth ranked player. Walton-Verona, who finished last season with a 26-6 record and a Runner-up finish at the Kentucky All A Classic, is led by 6’11” Xavier signee Dieonte Miles. The final game of the evening will feature Kentucky’s 4th ranked Bruins of Ballard taking on unranked Spencer County. The Bruins, who hold the record for the most wins in tournament history at 56, return a talented roster led by the senior duo of Walter Johnson and Alexander Holley. The Bears, making their first ever King of the Bluegrass appearance, are coming off a 20-8 finish last year and are led by 6’2” sophomore Sam Conley.

Thursday’s first round action opens with a pair of stellar out-of-state match-ups. In the opener it will be 2015 King of the Bluegrass Champion Brentwood Academy of Nashville, TN taking on South Miami of Miami, FL. The Eagles of Brentwood Academy finished last season with a 25-5 record capturing their fourth straight Tennessee Division II Class AA State Championship. The former champions are led by junior guard Marcus Fitzgerald and Randy Brady, the nation’s 19th ranked sophomore. The Cobras come into the event ranked 4th in Florida’s Class 9A and are coming off a 20-5 record advancing to the state quarterfinals last season. South Miami is led by Barry University signee Toru Dean.  The second match-up of the day features South Shore of Brooklyn, NY taking on Evanston of Evanston, IL. The Vikings of South Shore, ranked 71st in the country by MaxPreps, are coming off a New York Class AA State Runner-up finish. South Shore is led by 6’9” Florida International commit Isaiah Richards. The Wildkits are coming off a 27-6 record and 3rd place finish in Illinois’ Class 4A last season. Evanston is led by senior guards Lance Jones, a Southern Illinois signee, and Jaheim Holden. Thursday’s 7:30 game will feature the host Fairdale Bulldogs taking on 24th ranked Madisonville-North Hopkins. Fairdale is coming off their first 20-win season since 2007-08 and is led by junior Tristan Bertrand. The Maroons will be led by juniors Kenny White and Ksuan Casey. The final first round match-up will feature 7th ranked University Heights and 11th ranked Lexington Christian. The Blazers of University Heights, favorites in the second region, are led by Xavier signee and Mr. Basketball contender KyKy Tandy. Lexington Christian, the defending Kentucky All A State Champion, is led by 6’7” Liberty signee Kyle Rode.

The 2018 Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass will continue with the quarterfinal round beginning at 4:30pm Friday with all 16 teams in action. All 16 teams will return to the courts on Saturday for a full slate of games beginning at 4:30pm with the semifinals scheduled at 7:30 and 9:00pm. The final day of action will tip off at 3:00pm on Sunday with the Championship game scheduled for 7:30pm.

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