By Jim Turner

Posted on January 23, 2017 9:18 PM

Classes won’t be dismissed this week when the Russellville Panthers play in the All A Classic state tournament in Frankfort, but students who attend the games will be granted excused absences, Superintendent Leon Smith has announced.

Coach Phil Todd’s team will play 15th Region champion East Ridge in far Eastern Kentucky Thursday at 9 a.m. Russellville time in a first-round game.

Superintendent Smith, Principal Kim McDaniel and others on the administrative team have met to discuss how to handle this as a school.

Because of the early start time and three-hour drive, we do not expect many people to be able to make this trip,” Smith says. “Therefore we will be in school on regular schedule. If any student wants to attend the game, we will grant an excused absence. Mrs. McDaniel is working out a process to verify that you were in attendance in order to get the excused absence.”

If the Panthers win, they will play at 4 p.m. Russellville time Friday.” We will go to school a half day IF WE ARE PLAYING ON FRIDAY). Stevenson Elementary will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. and Russellville Junior/Senior High School will dismiss at noon,” Smith says. “Our cafeteria staff will provide a sack lunch for all students. This will provide four hours of travel time for families who want to attend the quarterfinal game

”Since we have an early game on Thursday morning, we will know by 12:00 on Thursday if we will have a half day or full day on Friday. By going this route, we will not have to make up any missed days for the state tournament.”

The Panthers earned a berth in the state Class A tournament with wins over Clinton County, Monroe County and Todd Central last week.

On paper, the Panthers and Coach Randy McCoy’s Warriors seem evenly matched. East Ridge has a 12-7 record and has played in three tournaments, going 6-3 in those games, including a 48-45 overtime win over Sheldon Clark in the Class A regional finals.

The Panthers are 13-6 and are 6-4 in three tournaments, including a 70-69 overtime win over Sheldon Clark in the Traditional Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic.

These two teams are among the 16 which qualified for state among the 120 Class A teams which began tournament play.


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