Gals, schedule the hair and nails appointments. Guys, rent those tuxedoes.
Snap a few selfies and hop in the limos.
Don't forget Instagram!
Ah, he must be talking about prom, right?
Nope, it's time to spiff up and stroll down the red carpet for The Point Guard's 16th Region Academy Awards!
But first, a few pre-party items ...
1. Johnson Central (22-6)
2. Fleming County (21-9)
3. Rowan County (21-10)
4. Boyd County (19-13)
5. Ashland (20-9)
6. Lawrence County (20-10)
7. Lewis County (16-13)
1. East Carter (29-2)
2. Boyd County (23-8)
3. Ashland (21-8)
4. Lewis County (20-10)
5. Johnson Central (19-11)
6. Fleming County (19-10)
7. Rowan County (13-14)
While The Independent initially reported that Lewis County's Brett Ruckel tallied 29 points in a 63rd District Tournament win over Russell, the official book listed Ruckel with 30. That gives Ruckel six games of 30 or more points, including two 40-point performances, on the season.
Lawrence County's Austin Chaffins notched 30 in the Bulldogs' valiant effort against Johnson Central. They lost by two in overtime, becoming 57th District runners-up.
Crye Me a Record
Area high school sports stat guru Curtis Crye has been our unsung hero more times than readers know. Thanks to Crye, here are just a few statistical nuggets to feast your eyes on:
—Rowan County's girls have qualified for 38 consecutive 16th Region Tournaments, and 39 of 40 overall.
—Ashland's boys will play in their 23rd straight region tournament (1992-2014), a streak that ties the regional record held by the Tomcats (1959-81).
—The 64th District boys champions have won 22 region quarterfinal games in a row. The last such first-round loss occurred in 1991. Boyd County won that title this year.
Tweet the PG
Follow the Point Guard, @DindependentQB, and sports writer Zack Klemme, @zklemmeADI, for local sports news and scores.
Come Back Tuesday!
Snyder the Greek struck gold again with his district tournament championship picks. Nine of the 10 predicted champions claimed titles.
Couple that with the dead-on prognosticated score of last season's girls' region championship, and STG is on a roll!
Both the girls and boys region tournament picks are coming up in Tuesday's edition.
The Dime (Oscars Style)
The following "awards" are selected by me, and me only. They are intended to give some extra recognition to the student-athletes who work hard and excel as well as spark discussion among all of you who enjoy watching and reading about the game they play. All of the selections are based solely on this season, including the district tournament.
—Costume Design (girls) — This category recognizes the most interesting or most unique uniform I saw this season.
The Oscar goes to … Boyd County.
The Lady Lions broke out the black uniforms with red letters and numerals on a few occasions this season. I'm no fashion expert, but these were pretty stylish.
—Costume Design (boys) — See above description.
The Oscar goes to … Greenup County.
If the neon-yellow highlighter uniforms weren't enough, the rainbow array of sneakers pushed the Musketeers over the top. From hot pink to mix-and-match bright yellow-and-green shoes, Greenup County gave Skittles a run for their money in the district tournament.
—Best Director (girls) — With a bevy of top-notch coaches in the region, it's always a challenge to narrow the list to one.
The nominees: Bill Bradley (Ashland), Hager Easterling (East Carter), Jay Fite (Lewis Co.), Pete Fraley (Boyd Co.), Mandy Layne (Russell), Kristy Orem (Fleming Co.), Jen Williams (Rowan Co.).
And the Oscar goes to ... Hager Easterling.
On the cusp of 400 career wins in 18 seasons at the helm — and 30 victories in 2013-2014 — Easterling has headed up a team centered on offensive balance and solid defense.
—Best Director (boys) — See above description.
The nominees: Greg Adkins (Elliott Co.), Randy Anderson (Boyd Co.), Brandon Baker (East Carter), Buddy Biggs (Ashland), Joe Hampton (Lewis Co.), Mark Starns (Fleming Co.), Shawn Thacker (Rowan Co.).
And the Oscar goes to ... Mark Starns.
A year after guiding the Panthers to their winningest season in history, Starns and company again produced 20-plus wins. Since taking over Fleming County, the second-year coach hasn't lost to rival Rowan County in nine attempts. The team was without star point guard Darion Burns until February.
—Best Actress in a Supporting Role — Sometimes a player's statistics don't lead to headlines, but his or her value can't be diminished.
The nominees: Jaycey Fite (Lewis Co.), Shelby Gransbery (Ashland), Madison Humphrey (Fairview), Krystal Keeton (Raceland), Alexis Lunsford (Boyd Co.), Tayler Rogers (Bath Co.), Journey Steward (Fleming Co.).
And the Oscar goes to ... Jaycey Fite.
The near 40-percent 3-point shooting sophomore has nailed right at 80 triples this season. When Lewis County beats high-caliber opponents, she is typically a factor.
—Best Actor in a Supporting Role — See above description.
The nominees: Wade Adams (Lewis Co.), Austin Crisp (Fleming Co.), Conner Gauze (Boyd Co.), Hunter Holbrook (Elliott Co.), Zach Kelly (Raceland), Brady Saunders (Fleming Co.), Tyler Stewart (Ashland), Larry Whelan (Rowan Co.).
And the Oscar goes to ... Tyler Stewart.
Stewart doesn't have a stop button. The senior is a master of the little things on both ends of the court, and has quietly racked up some high-scoring efforts.
—Best Actress in a Leading Role — Shining on the court on a game-to-game basis is nearly impossible to do. These players did it best.
The nominees: Savannah Anderson (Lewis Co.), Logan Fraley (Boyd Co.), Bryana Greenhill (East Carter), Martina Lytle (Fleming Co.), Kristen Mayo (East Carter), Sarah Price (Bath Co.), Alexis Robinson (Ashland), Taylor Wheeler (Boyd Co.).
And the Oscar goes to ... Taylor Wheeler.
Wheeler earns this honor for the second straight season. The energetic, strong-willed senior became the Lady Lions' all-time scoring leader, all while leading Boyd County to 23 wins and a district crown. She averaged 16 points and 7.4 rebounds a game, sinking an incredible 159 free throws along the way.
—Best Actor in a Leading Role — See above description.
The nominees: Tristan Burgess (Boyd Co.), Ryne Callahan (Rowan Co.), Grayson Griffith (Boyd Co.), Nick Miller (Ashland), Jordan Perry (Morgan Co.), Brett Ruckel (Lewis Co.), Troy Steward (Fleming Co.).
And the Oscar goes to ... Troy Steward.
A physically stronger and more well-rounded Steward was excellent from the get-go in his senior season, which followed up a fine junior year. A threat both inside and out, Steward dropped 23.4 points a game while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor. He drained 75 of 200 3-point attempts, too.
Steward is already scheduled to compete in the East Kentucky-West Virginia game in Belfry and the Kentucky-Ohio game at Thomas More College.
—Best Picture (boys) — This award goes to the team that produced the most Hollywood-ready script.
The nominees: Ashland, Boyd County, East Carter, Elliott County, Fleming County, Greenup County, Lewis County, Rowan County.
And the Oscar goes to … Fleming County.
From having three brothers on the same team to possessing three father-son combos to having coaches celebrate being fathers again, plenty of storylines encompassed seasons of these teams.
No plot, though, was more captivating than the Panthers'. Coming off a state tournament appearance with a first-year head coach, Fleming County appeared to be clear favorites to make a second straight trip with all of its key players returning. However, when senior starting point guard Darion Burns suffered a torn ACL last summer, the chances of another Sweet Sixteen were significantly slimmer.
Burns, though, made a remarkable recovery and came back in late January. At 11.9 points per game, he is one of five Panthers averaging double figures and looks to be nearing top form.
Who would play Starns's role in the movie? He has suggested George Clooney.
—Best Picture (girls) — See above description.
The nominees: Ashland, Bath County, Boyd County, East Carter, Fleming County, Lewis County, Rowan County, Russell.
And the Oscar goes to … East Carter.
It's been a season to remember for the Lady Raiders. They achieved their highest state ranking (No. 6) in program history. Lone senior Bryana Greenhill has overcome a tremendous amount of adversity in her career — she suffered from a serious bacterial infection in 2011. Easterling's daughter, Kristin, is now a coach on the team.
And, they went 29-2 with just one loss inside the region.
So, since Clooney is Starns, who would play Easterling? Tom Selleck, of course.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.