Team overcomes adversity from power outages to secure Sweet 16 berth at Rupp

Team overcomes adversity from power outages to secure Sweet 16 berth at Rupp
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:18 PM EST
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WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The Woodford County High School boys’ basketball team was crowned champions of Region 8 Tuesday night.

The win came while thousands in Woodford County were still in the dark and continued to recover from last week’s windstorm.

The team has faced adversity all year long and their situation only got tougher when Mother Nature decided to sting the Yellow Jackets last Friday at a pivotal point in the season.

“That’s the last thing we expected was the power to go out,” said Coach Jaron Brown. “We were scrambling to find a place to practice.”

Brown says the storm not only took them away from their home gym, but it challenged his players in their everyday lives.

Senior Aden Nelson’s home lost power for three days.

“It was tough just preparing for the game because I usually watch teams on YouTube on the big screen,” Nelson said.

Right in the middle of the 8th Region Tournament, they struggled to prepare.

“A lot of our teammates lost power. It was hard to communicate with them,” said sophomore Jasper Johnson.

But the team stayed strong and shined a light into the darkness together on Tuesday night to claim its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1986.

They say the difficulties their county faced over the past week pushed them that bit harder to make history.

The Yellow Jacket players say they’re ready to take on Rupp Arena, but Coach Brown wants them to take it one game at a time. That starts Wednesday at 11 a.m. when they play Jeffersontown.

Woodford County Schools are also closing that day so people can go support the Yellow Jackets.

The Woodford versus Jefferson game kicks off the action on the boys’ side of the bracket next week. Other area teams involved include Frederick Douglass, George Rogers Clark and North Laurel.