The Edmonson County Archery Team is headed to the state tournament in Louisville today. Listen as head coach Chris Shelton discusses this year's team and his hope for a strong finish that could allow them to qualify for the national competition later on.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats overcame a shaky first inning and a 3-0 deficit to defeat Cumberland County 5-4 at home on Tuesday night.
Junior Logan Minton started on the mound and went 5 innings. He also went 1-4 with a double. Tanner Woodcock provided two innings of relief as he notched the win.
The Wildcats tied things up in the 5th inning 4-4 and put runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Holden Skaggs hit a deep foul down the right field line allowing pinch runner Gabe Lindsey to score from third for the walk-off win.
Edmonson County improves to 4-0 on the season. Coach Bo West said that while his Cats are winning games, they are still learning each other and finding the elements to make things run as smoothly as possible.
"Until they learn me and learn what it takes to be a team, there are going to be slow spots," he said with regards to a shaky start and some low-energy innings. "But we're focusing and working toward playing the entire game from start to finish."
Coach West said he had a positive outlook on this year's lineup in spite of losing seniors on last year's squad.
"I think we have more depth and we have good leadership, and of course, we've still got good kids," he said. "But it's early and we're all still learning what we can do. Sometimes it might take 10-12 games to really learn your team."
The Wildcats are scheduled to play Russellville away on Thursday, South Warren at home on Friday, and both Todd and McLean county at home on Saturday.
Other highlights for the Wildcats were Dylan Waldrop who went 2-3 with an RBI and a run, Logan Lindsey swiped four bases, Walker Hazel was 1-4, Hunter Garrett had an RBI, Caleb Skaggs went 1-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Holden Skaggs was 1-4 with a double and the game-winning RBI.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Wildcat senior center Iszic Blankenship was honored last night at the Owensboro Sportscenter as he was named to the 2017 Region Three All-Tournament Team.
Blankenship averaged 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game this season for the Wildcats. In the first round of the region tournament, he led Edmonson County with 16 points and 15 rebounds in a 54-43 loss to eventual Region 3 Champion Meade County.
Head Coach Mike McClintic said the honors were well deserved.
"Iszic had a great season for us and put up a very solid performance during the region tournament," he said. "It's even more important to note that he played through an illness during that game and also sat through over half of the second quarter. His teammates saw he was finding success and made a great effort to get him the ball."
Blankenship said it was a bittersweet moment because he'd rather have shared the experience with his teammates.
"I'm grateful and honored, but obviously, I'd rather be here with my team. I think we're just as good and could compete with either team here (at the the Region 3 Finals, Daviess and Meade County)," he said. "I'm proud though, that we walked away as seniors with a district championship. I'm thankful Coach Mac was here with me tonight. I'm going to miss my coaches and team."
Meade County claimed the Region 3 title, winning over Daviess County 52-50, after they hit two free throws in the final seconds.
The Wildcats finished the season with a 19-10 record and claimed the first district title in Edmonson County in 24 years.
Darren Doyle, story: Jerika Simon, photos:
Lady Cat junior guard Caitlin Simon was named to the First Team All-Third Region today at the Region 3 Tournament finals at the Owensboro Sportscenter. In addition, she was also named to the All-Third Region Tournament team. Simon scored 34 points in the first round loss to Muhlenberg County.
Head Coach Kevin Jackson was also honored during today's final as he was named Owensboro Messenger/Inquirer Region 3 Coach of the Year, which was voted on by 15 Third Region Coaches.
Since Jackson's return to Edmonson County last season, the Lady Cats have compiled an overall record of 40-22.
Coach Jackson said he was humbled by the Coach of the Year award.
"Awards always mean more when they are voted on by your peers. I'm really honored and want to share these awards with a great bunch of assistant coaches," he said. "Our staff is like one big family. Speaking of family, I also want to thank my wife Debbie, our kids and grandkids for letting me spend so much time at EC coaching. Running a successful program is a total team effort."
Jackson also said that Caitlin has worked very hard to improve her game. She ended the season averaging 21.2 points per game and moved into third place on the all-time scoring list for Lady Cat Basketball.
"We look forward to what the future holds for Caitlin and the returning Lady Cats," said Jackson.
Caitlin said that this season started out with a lot of question after losing lots of senior experience.
"We had confidence in Coach Jackson and this team and our abilities along with (senior) Maddie (Cline) stepping up this year," she said. "They led us to the best season of basketball I've ever gotten to play. I love playing for Coach Jackson, I admire his drive and determination in making us a fundamentally sound and hard working team. I'm really excited to see what next season holds.
Coach Jackson and her teammates weren't the only ones she credited.
"I'm thankful that God has given me the ability to play the game that I love and blessed to stay fairly healthy this far."
Also, Coach Jackson is scheduled to accept the KABC or Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches 3rd Region Girls' Coach of the Year on Friday, March 10th at the Girls State Tournament being held at Northern Kentucky University.
It's time to wrap up with Basketball, but there's plenty more happening at ECHS! This week, we get a Band and Color Guard update from the young lady in our Senior Spotlight, Kolbie Vincent; also, Coach Jeremy Garmon previews Lady Cat Softball. Why wait? Listen now!
Be sure to follow @wildcatslive, @JOscarJr, and @WynCaudill on Twitter!
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle photos:
If anyone goes looking for Wildcat effort, hustle, and heart today, you'll have to go to the court at the Owensboro Sportscenter, because that's where Edmonson County left all of it last night in a 54-43 season-ending loss to Meade County in round one of the Region 3 Tournament.
The Wildcats had trouble knocking down shots early and the size and aggression of Meade County had Edmonson County shuffling in the first quarter. The Green Waves jumped out to an early 13-6 lead.
Meade County's star player, 6'7" James Baker blocked and altered many Wildcat shots and it took EC a quarter and a half to adjust. The Cats began to turn things around in the second as Edmonson's Iszic Blankenship found success by taking it straight to the rim as EC outscored Meade 17-14 in the quarter and narrowed their deficit to 27-23 at the half. Blankenship led the Wildcats with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Edmonson County came out strong in the third quarter and tied it at 27 all on two free throws by Bailey Board after being fouled on a drive. Each team traded buckets and Board tied things up again at 31-31 with two more free throws but a 9-0 run on three consecutive three-pointers by Meade County had the Wildcats reeling.
Edmonson County bounced back with a 7-0 run of their own, capped off by Tucker Cole's driving basket in the lane with the foul. His converted three-point play cut it to 40-38 with 6:04 left, but that's as close as the Wildcats would get. Edmonson County's shots went cold again and Meade went on a 13-0 run that put the game out of reach for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats out rebounded the Green Waves 43-41 but shot an icy 23% from the field for the game. They were 0-10 from the three-point line.
It was the final game for five Wildcat seniors; four of which were starters: Iszic Blankenship, Bailey Board, Daniel Caudill, and Caleb Skaggs, as well as senior Peyton Talley. While the season didn't end as they and their teammates would have hoped, players were still positive about the year.
"It was a season to remember," said Bailey Board. "There were only 9 (Edmonson County) teams that won the district and the other team won the state, so being in that top ten is awesome. Winning the district was our goal all year. Playing for EC was a dream come true and memories that last a lifetime."
Board finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. He finishes the 2017 season as the Wildcats' leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assist per game.
Daniel Caudill said much of the same and added that not much seemed to go in the way of the Wildcats.
"Our shots were off, then they were on," he said. "We managed to keep it close, but just couldn't make enough plays. The season has been special--we started of slow, but we grew together and we were a family by the end of the year. Everybody knew their role and we accomplished something this county has wanted for a long time. It's been a blessing to play for this county."
Blankenship was not only fighting against Meade County post players, but through an illness and didn't feel well at all throughout the game; however, he found a way to overcome it as he led the Wildcats. He discussed the end of the season.
"Last night was tough. They were a really good team and I was under the weather," he said. "I think everyone was a little stressed because we weren't ready for our season to end and it's a lot of pressure."
Even with the loss, he said his senior season as a Wildcat has still been the best yet.
"We accomplished a lot as a team and our coaches pushed us to be a family. I've built a bond with these guys because of that, and that's irreplaceable."
Blankenship finishes the season averaging 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game.
Caleb Skaggs fell short of his 14 ppg average last night and obviously wasn't happy with the end result; however, he was still able to reflect on the season as a whole and what it meant to him and his team.
"From the beginning, we had a saying, 'end the drought,' and we worked on it all season," he said regarding the 24 years between district titles. "We accomplished something that hadn't been done in our lifetime with winning a district championship. I wouldn't trade these four years with all these guys for anything. To all the players, coaches, and fans, thank you for all your support and I love you. Good luck to all my underclassmen and also my seniors, love you guys--YAHTZEE."
Skaggs was the leading three point shooter on the team for the season, connecting on 73 threes on the year.
Head Coach Mike McClintic took responsibility, as he's always done, for what he said was a poor choice for defense during a 9-0 Meade County run, but had nothing but positive things to say about his kids.
"There's nothing to be negative about," he said. "We just got beat. We picked a bad time to not shoot the ball well, but I can't say enough about these kids. We talked in the locker room about kids coming back, but we're losing five really good seniors and we're going to miss them. But you know, they accomplished some things this year that hadn't been done in a long time."
The remaining box score was Cole 6, Lindsey 5, Vincent 2, Caudill 1.
The Wildcats finish with a 19-11 record, 2017 District Champions, while they were also first runners-up in the All A Region Classic.
Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
The Lady Cats' season didn't end as they would have wanted with last night's 64-60 loss to Muhlenberg County in the first round of the Region 3 Tournament, but according to Head Coach Kevin Jackson, who has been voted the Region 3 Girls' Coach of the Year, his team still has plenty of reasons to stay positive.
The Lady Cats finish the year with a record of 23-9, which is a school milestone for the total number of wins in a single season.
"I'm so proud of these kids. Even if we'd have won by 25 I couldn't have been prouder of the effort they played with," said Jackson. "We'd have been smiling right now had that been the case, but I can't be any happier with the effort they played with, especially the second half."
And a second half effort was imperative after the Lady Cats found themselves in a 31-20 deficit at halftime, after leading in the first quarter with a very solid start.
Edmonson County struggled to hit open shots in the second while Muhlenberg rooted their way into the paint and kept the Lady Cats off the boards. The Lady Mustangs were able to use the rebounding advantage to convert on second and third shots during several possessions.
The Lady Cats narrowed the gap in a strong comeback during the third as their full and half-court trapping defense began to cause Muhlenberg problems, allowing Edmonson County to convert in transition. Peyton Martin's steal and outlet pass to Caitlin Simon tied the game at 34 all after Simon's bucket with 3:50 left in the third, ending a 14-3 run by the Lady Cats.
The run was led by Simon's 34 point performance, with 23 of those coming in the second half.
Muhlenberg was able to recover with a run of their own and regained the lead, 45-40 going into the fourth.
The Lady Cats fought tooth-and-nail until the end, outscoring the Lady Mustangs 20-19 in the fourth, but it still wasn't enough as Muhlenberg held on for the win, ending Edmonson County's season.
"It hurts because we had a chance to win, and it hurts for Maddie," said Jackson. For the team's lone senior Maddie Cline, it was the last game she will play as an Edmonson County Lady Cat.
"It's Maddie's last game. We all talked about how we love Maddie and everything she'd done for our program this year," Jackson said.
Maddie finished with 3 points, which was a huge three-pointer that cut the Lady Mustang lead to 57-54 with 1:31 to go. The shot helped start another run for the Lady Cats. Maddie spoke about the difficulty of last night's loss.
"It was tough for me, knowing it was my last game, but I was very proud of my team last night," she said. "They didn't quit and they laid it all on the floor. That's what it means to be a Lady Cat. They didn't quit all year and helped make this the best senior year possible. These past four years will be memories that I'll cherish forever. I wouldn't trade anything for my time as a Lady Cat. I love my team and want to wish all the underclassmen luck in the coming season," she said.
In addition to Simon's 34 point performance, Katlins Collins added 9, Martin had 7, Skylar Lewis had 5, Cline had 3, and Lauren Ballance finished with 2.
The Lady Cats finish 23-9, the best record in the 43 year history of Lady Cat basketball. They were first runner-up in the District 12 Tournament, first runner-up in the Region 3 All A Classic, swept the Caveland Classic with four wins, saw Peyton Martin join the 1,000 point club, while Coach Kevin Jackson was voted Region 3 Girls Coach of the Year.
The Lady Cats will have four returning starters for next season.
"I told our kids that only one team in the state gets to end their season with a win, and that's the one team that wins the state championship," said Jackson. "Everybody else experiences what we did tonight, just maybe later in the season. It's going to hurt for a few days, but we're going to celebrate with these kids here in a little while. The best record in 43 years is something to be proud of. With the run we got on mid-season, if that's not exciting for next season, I don't know what is."