Story by Terry Boehmker for the NKyTribune. Click here to read the original story online.
The Ryle boys’ basketball team that lost 14 of its last 18 regular-season games will be playing in the 9th Region tournament next week at BB&T Arena.
In a 33rd District semifinal game on Wednesday, Ryle junior forward Vince Rankin made an off-balance bank shot as time expired in the second overtime period to give his team a 67-65 win over Boone County.
One of Ryle’s four wins during the final seven weeks of the regular season came against Boone County and that game was decided in overtime. The Raiders have an 11-18 record going into the district championship game against Cooper (22-5) at 7 p.m. Friday at Ryle.
Two other teams with records below the .500 mark won district semifinal games Wednesday to earn 9th Region berths. St. Henry (12-15) defeated Lloyd, 68-45, in the 34th District and Holy Cross (13-15) defeated Holmes, 69-63, in the 35th District.
Holy Cross took a 52-44 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Holmes cut it to 54-51 on a stick-back basket with less than five minutes remaining. After a 3-point goal by Holy Cross senior point guard Jordan Niehaus revived the Indians, they made 12 of 18 free throws in the final minutes to come away with the victory.
It was Mike Listerman’s final game as head coach at Holmes and closed the book on his career. In 17 years as a head coach at three schools, Listerman compiled a 306-192 record.
The eight-team field for next week’s 9th Region boys’ tournament will include Cooper, Ryle, Dixie Heights, St. Henry, Covington Catholic, Holy Cross, Newport and Newport Central Catholic.
NewCath edged Highlands, 61-59, in the 36th District semifinals on Wednesday to earn a regional tournament berth for the 10th consecutive year.
Simon Kenton and Walton-Verona are the 32nd District finalists who will advance to the 8th Region tournament at Henry County High School. Campbell County and Scott are the 37th District finalists who qualified for the 10th Region tournament at Mason County High School.
Draws to determine first-round pairings for the regional tournaments will take place over the weekend after all of the district playoffs are completed.
District championship games:
32nd DISTRICT AT WALTON-VERONA
Thursday (Girls) — Walton-Verona vs. Simon Kenton, 7 p.m.
Friday (Boys) — Walton-Verona vs. Simon Kenton, 7 p.m.
33rd DISTRICT AT RYLE
Thursday (Girls) — Ryle vs. Conner, 7 p.m.
Friday (Boys) — Cooper vs. Ryle, 7 p.m.
34th DISTRICT AT LUDLOW
Friday (Girls) — St. Henry vs. Dixie Heights, 6 p.m.
Friday (Boys) — St. Henry vs. Dixie Heights, 8 p.m.
35th DISTRICT AT TWO SITES
Thursday (Girls) — Holmes vs. Holy Cross, 7 p.m. at Notre Dame
Friday (Boys) — Covington Catholic vs. Holy Cross, 7 p.m. at Holmes
36th DISTRICT AT HIGHLANDS
Thursday (Girls) — Highlands vs. Newport Central Catholic, 7 p.m.
Friday (Boys) — Newport vs. Newport Central Catholic, 7 p.m.
37th DISTRICT AT CAMPBELL COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
Thursday (Girls) — Campbell County vs. Scott, 7 p.m.
Friday (Boys) — Campbell County vs. Scott, 7 p.m.