The ECMS academic team made a strong showing in the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition Governor’s Cup State Finals. The team entered the quick recall portion of the tournament as one of 48 teams from across the state and advanced to the state quarterfinals. Quick recall competition in the Governor’s Cup State Finals begins with pool play matches and then moves on to a single elimination format.
In round one of pool play, ECMS faced Winburn Middle School of Lexington, Kentucky. Winburn was the defending state champion in quick recall. ECMS raced out to an 8 to 1 lead by question 10 of the first half. Winburn responded with 10 unanswered points to take the lead. ECMS rebounded after timeout and held a 14 to 13 lead at half time. ECMS started the second half strongly, but Winburn put together an awesome scoring run in the second half on its way to a 31 to 21 victory.
ECMS faced region 11 champion, Bardstown Middle School, in round 2. The Wildcats played well throughout the first half and had a 14 to 5 lead at half time. ECMS put together an 11 to 0 scoring run early in the second half on its way to a 31 to 14 victory.
In round three, ECMS faced Paducah Middle School. ECMS dominated the game from the outset. The Wildcats took a 20 to 8 lead into the second half. Many ECMS players saw action in the second half as the team won by a score of 30 to 14.
After round three, teams winning two games in pool play advanced to single elimination. Eight of the teams with perfect pool play records gained spots in the Sweet Sixteen. A computer program generated placements for the remaining teams on the tournament bracket. The new pairings showed that ECMS would face St. James School of Hardin County.
St. James defeated ECMS earlier in the season at the Hardin County Schools Knowledge Masters Tournament, but both teams had improved since the earlier meeting.
At the midpoint in the first half, the score was tied at 7 points each. ECMS finished the first half with a flourish and held a 17 to 12 half time score. ECMS opened the second half outscoring St. James 9 to 2. ECMS extended its lead and won by a final score of 37 to 26. The victory earned ECMS a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.
The following morning ECMS matched up against its regional rival, Drakes Creek Middle School. A single point separated the two teams at their last meeting in the regional championship game. Drakes Creek scored the opening two points of the game. ECMS team captain, Eli Pedigo, led the Wildcats in the first half scoring 9 toss up questions. At half time, ECMS held a commanding 26 to 8 lead. By the mid-point in the second half, ECMS extended its lead to 35 to 12. ECMS held off a late surge by Drakes Creek to win by a final score of 40 to 23. The win advanced ECMS to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010.
ECMS faced St. Joseph School of Crescent Springs in Kenton County in the quarterfinals game. St. Joseph started strongly answering 9 of the first 13 questions correctly. ECMS fought back and cut the lead. At half time, St. Joseph led by a score of 19 to 14. ECMS cut the lead to 3 on the opening questions of the second half. St. Joseph continued to play well as ECMS valiantly tried to take the lead. At question 14, ECMS cut the lead to 2 points, but they could never get any closer. While the Wildcats never gave up, they were unable to take the lead and lost by a final score of 37 to 31. The Wildcats’ quarterfinal finish enabled them to be presented with a trophy by Governor Matt Bevin.
“The ECMS coaching staff is extremely proud of our team’s quick recall play in the KAAC Governor’s Cup State Finals," said Coach Greg Grey. "We played well against some of Kentucky’s finest quick recall teams. The progress this team made over the course of the season was absolutely amazing. At the start of the season, we struggled in most of the academic areas, but we consistently scored well in all the academic areas at state. Our eighth graders, Eli Pedigo, Gavin Dooley, and Breanna Dennison provided great leadership throughout the season and especially during the state tournament. Eli and Gavin led the team in scoring in the state finals, but Arey Durbin, Sarah Stewart, and Gavin Rose all contributed key points during the tournament. Daniel Woosley, Ava Lich, and Meredith Hennion scored tossups for the team during their playing time."
Coach Grey continued: "Our two losses came to the teams that ended up number two and three in the state this year. Winburn has become the premiere middle school in the Lexington area in terms of academic competition. St. Joseph displayed a great depth of knowledge combined with exceptional speed. The ECMS team can take pride in a successful tournament run. The crowning achievement to a great season had to be the presentation of the trophy by the governor. In closing, the coaches want to thank the players and parents for their dedication to success and our school system and community for their interest and support.”
Editor's note: The Edmonson Voice would like to congratulate Coach Grey and the ECMS Academic team. Thanks for representing Edmonson County in a bright, positive manner. We're all proud of your accomplishments this year.