Mason County Tries To Repeat

By: Gary Ball
By: Gary Ball

The Tenth Regions’ defending champion is also the National City KHSAA Sweet 16 defending champion from Mason County. Coach Chris O’hearn and the Royals are trying to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time in Kentucky high school basketball.

The Tenth Regions’ defending champion is also the National City KHSAA Sweet 16 defending champion from Mason County. Coach Chris O’hearn and the Royals are trying to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time in Kentucky high school basketball. Not since Stan Hardin coached Fairdale in back to back state titles in 1991-92, has a team repeated as the state boy’s state champion.

It will be a big task for the Royals to contend for the title in the very strong Tenth Region. Clark County has been ranked in the top 20 all season, along with Mason County. Scott High also has a strong team, and Bishop Brossart could challenge Mason in the first round game Saturday at NKU. The Royals rely routinely on a good team concept to win basketball games. They have won 21 games to date heading into tenth region play this weekend.

Senior guard Russ Middelton heads up a strong senior class for Mason County. Russ is heading to Georgetown College to continue his basketball career next year. Fellow senior Keith Downing also logged heavy minutes last year in the title run. Sophomore Treg Setty has been a big scorer of late for the Royals offense, averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds in his last ten games. Senior Ryan Hamm has also had a steady hand for Mason County. Football Quarterback Neal Pawsatt rounds out the team and has given a big lift to the Royals who had to replace Trevor Setty, and Mr. Basketball Darius Miller.

For the Royals to enjoy another tournament run it will take a tremendous team effort from the entire squad. One thing I like about Mason County the times I have seen them this year, is their ability to pass the ball to open teammates. You can tell that they have played together for many years and it really shows on the court. Winning a state title in any sport is nearly impossible so repeating is even more difficult. However, if team play is the number one prerequisite to repeat, then Mason County will be a contender.

The Mason County Royals are the Team of the Week and will be on The Scholastic Ball Report on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. on WKYT Channel 27.
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