Ohio-Kentucky Challenge showcases talent from two states

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2002

PEDRO -- Ohio is a football state. Kentucky is a basketball state. Let's find out how true that really is.

The Rock Hill Redmen will attempt to disprove the belief that Kentucky is a more basketball-oriented state than Ohio by hosting the first annual Ohio-Kentucky Challenge.

Four games will get underway at 2 p.m. Saturday in the new Rock Hill High School gym.

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The Green Bobcats face Elliott County, Ky., in the first game.

At 4 p.m. will be Manchester and Rowan County, Ky., followed at 6 p.m. by the Portsmouth Trojans and Morgan County, Ky.

The nightcap will feature the host Redmen of Rock Hill and the Lewis County (Ky.) Lions.

Elliott County lost six of 12 players from late year including all-Area player Steven Kidd who transferred to Rowan County.

Elliott County, 16-13 last season and 62nd district champions, will start five seniors.

Rowan County will benefit from Elliott's loss of Kidd.

The 5-foot-9 senior guard averaged 27 points a game last season, and he has led the Kentucky area in scoring the past two seasons.

However, the Vikings have little experience back from last season's 24-6 teams.

"Kidd's a player. He'll throw it up from anywhere," Rock Hill coach Marty Mills said.

Morgan County has four returning starters from last season's 22-8 team that lost in the regional semifinals to Rose Hill.

Nick Havens, a 6-6 senior center, leads the veteran team along with the perimeter shooting of Whitney Perry, Ryan Phipps, and Whitney Allen.

"Havens and Perry are two real nice players," Mills said.

Lewis County has four of its top six players back from a 9-16 team. Monday the Lions beat Greenup County for the first time in 17 years.

Tyler Clark averaged 19 points a game last year including a 31-point performance against Russell.

"Clark can shoot, but he can penetrate and dish. He's gotten stronger and he does a good job running their offense," Mills said.

Manchester is the unfamiliar Ohio team, but Mills said the Greyhounds are a solid, up-tempo team.

"Manchester has a nice point guard who puts it up from anywhere," Mills said. "They should have beaten Portsmouth."

Admission is $5 for the entire session and fans may obtain an all-day

hand stamp.