Prep Basketball: KSD hosting tourney — 11 teams to play in Mason-Dixon

Tuesday January 20, 2009

Prep Basketball: KSD hosting tourney — 11 teams to play in Mason-Dixon

By HAL MORRIS
hmorris@amnews.com

It’s been 11 years since the Kentucky School for the Deaf hosted the boys Mason-Dixon Tournament.

But the Colonels will welcome 10 basketball teams and more than 200 athletes this week for the 57th annual tournament being held at KSD’s Thomas Gym.

To see a pdf version of the tournament bracket, click here.

“I have been very, very much looking forward to this tournament since I became head coach for the KSD boys’ team last year,” KSD coach Mike Yance said. “It is always very nice to have the tournament at home because it is great for the families of our players, KSD students, KSD staff, KSD alumni and the community.”

To prepare for the tournament, the KSD gym received some renovations that athletics director Billy Lange said would “spice it up” for the tournament.

“Having a big tournament like this one run smoothly takes a long time to plan, and it can’t be done at the last minute. It involves a lot of manpower to run a successful tournament, so it requires significant time. (KSD assistant) Byron (Wilson) and I couldn’t have done everything by ourselves. We are so glad and so lucky to have wonderful staff at KSD working with us to make this tournament a great big success,” Lange said.

Lange said the planning for the tournament began last March, and he worked with 33 committees to get everything planned out.

“The hardest part was finding space for the team members from the other 10 deaf schools to stay on campus. About 200 of them will be staying on the campus during the tournament,” Lange said.

KSD is No. 3 seed

The KSD boys are the third seed in the tournament, and play the winner of No. 11 Mississippi and No. 6 East North Carolina at 4 p.m. Thursday. Alabama is the tournament’s top seed and Florida is No. 2.

The semifinals are 6:15 and 8 p.m. Friday, and the finals are at 8 p.m. Saturday.

“Alabama is a heavy favorite because it is a very disciplined team and has very few weaknesses,” Yance said. “Florida is a very solid and well-coached team. South Carolina is very athletic and quick, and can score at will.”

The Colonels (6-6) come in having won three out of their last four games. They are averaging 52.8 points a game and allowing 52.1 points per game.

“I feel very good about the way we have played the last four games. Our offense has done better, and our defensive intensity has started to show some signs of life. However, we do need to work on several things, especially rebounding. If we do a much better job of rebounding, we might have a chance to do well,” Yance said.

“Defense and rebounding are the two areas that we have been putting an emphasis on. I am glad to see us getting better and better as a unit at the right time.”

The girls tournament, which was last in Danville in 2002, returns in 2012.

Although he’ll be in South Carolina for the girls’ Mason-Dixon Tournament, girls coach Scott Johnson is anxious to hear how things run here.

“I know the KSD community is very excited in hosting the boys tournament this year. A lot of preparation has gone into making sure things run smoothly,” Johnson said. “This one time I wish is that the girls and boys tournaments were separate weeks so I could be here. ”

The KSD girls are seeded 11th and play No. 6 Louisiana on Thursday morning.

In addition to the basketball tournament, there will be a cheerleading competition on Saturday at Centre College.
Copyright:The Advocate-Messenger 2009

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