March Madness hits Morehead

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

It was a great week/weekend for Morehead area coaches and teams.

Stand up if you're from Morehead.

Could there be a better place to be this basketball postseason?  Certainly, it's the epicenter for hoops in this state right now.

Rowan Co. was making its first Boys Sweet 16 appearance since 2005.  Coach Shawn Thacker, in his third year with the Vikings, has been a head coach for a dozen.  He was making his first trip to "the greatest show in hoops" as a head coach.

All Thacker and Co. did last week was run through their bracket, knocking off Daviess Co., Wayne Co. and Bullitt East, before taking state champ Christian Co. to double-overtime.  Last Saturday's championship game is being billed as one of the Sweet 16's greatest.

Last Thursday, another Rowan Co. school made history when the Morehead State Eagles, led by hot coaching prospect Donnie Tyndall, took down Louisville in the NCAA Tournament's second round.

The Eagles, a 13-seed, made school history by advancing to the tournament's third round for the first time.  They eventually were knocked out of the NCAAs by Richmond. 

Tyndall was rewarded with a new four-year contract worth $230,000 per season, making him the highest paid coach in the Ohio Valley Conference.  Still, don't be surprised if several schools make a run at Tyndall, who spurned offers after a similar run in 2009.

A couple of Mid-South Conference teams with Morehead connections made the NAIA Fab Four this past weekend.  Georgetown College, led by Happy Osborne, was making its 30th appearance in the national tournament - that's a record. 

Osborne and the Tigers lost a heartbreaker to Mountain State on Monday.  The Georgetown coach is a Morehead State grad and later served as an assistant under Wayne Martin.

The state's newest national champion is Pikeville College.  The Bears took Kansas City by storm, making an incredible run to the title game, where they knocked off Mountain State in overtime.

Coach Kelly Wells is a native of Morehead, played for Rowan Co. and led the Vikings to three-straight Sweet 16 appearances in the 80s.  Wells adds his national title to the state championship trophy he earned as coach at Mason Co.

So, congratulations to all the basketball fans, players and coaches of Rowan County and Morehead.  It's been a heckuva week.

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