Speaking of Sports: AAU Basketball. RHS power-lifting, RHS softball
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Five present and former Logan County Cougars were members of a team which won the Junior Class Division of the Blue Chip Hilltopper HoopFest at Western Kentucky University this weekend.

Troy Graham , a senior at LCHS, was a starter on the team, which also included players from Bardstown, Elizabethtown, John Hardin and Caverna. Twin Lancaster, who will return for the Cougars, played most of the game and scored his team's final three points in the 64-59 win over The Truth, a talented team from the Louisville area, including a dunk at the buzzer. The Truth had a 6-9 and a 6-7 player. Torin Graham and Sajuan Watkins from Logan saw action in the first half. Fellow Cougar Aratan Martinwas available if he had been needed.

Several of the championship games, including this one, were played on Diddle Arena’s main floor. Barry Bilyeu, a KHSAA official from Auburn, who is an LCHS graduate, called the game along with former Franklin-Simpson player Kendrick Adams. Another LCHS grad and KHSAA official, Trey Turner, called three of the championship games.

Lady Cougars coach Scot MacAllister filed this report for The LoJo: “Regular season girls basketball for players from Logan County may have ended weeks ago but don’t tell the kids and coaches from the Logan County and Russellville school systems, as both have been hard at work improving their game. The Blue Chip Hilltopper HoopFest Midwest Youth Basketball Tournament was held at WKU this past weekend with local players and coaches representing the area well.

Taleia Mason and Rachel Barnett, 7th graders at Olmstead School, played up a level in the 8th grade girls division. Mason’s Kentucky Blast team and Barnett’s Indiana-Kentucky All-Stars went 1-2 in pool play with Mason’s Blast defeating Barnett’s All-Stars 46-44.

“The 9th grade division saw two teams with Logan County ties as players from Logan County High School and the Logan Ice travel team combined to form LC Swag and Kapreshia Powell, Logan County Lady Cougar, 8th grade Kentucky Blast team competed in the same division and pool. The LC Swag team was represented by Laura Hunt, Maegann Hardison, Meg Lindsey, Deja Thompson, Hannah Statton, (Lady Cougars), and Desirae Powell and Cierra Johnson (Logan Ice). The Swag were coached by Chad Hardison of Lewisburg, went 0-4 for the tournament, gaining valuable experience. Powell’s Blast team went 1-2 before falling to Southern Indiana in the finals.

“A Logan County/Russellville combined team played in the high school varsity division under the LC Swag name. Coached bySheryl Arauz (former high school standout Sheryl Hubbard), The Swag went 0-4 with every pool game being close, decided by an average of five points. The Swag was composed of Kesa Neblett and Amber Sydnor of Russellville High and Jaylin Jones, Kate Brooks, Miranda Rone, Shannon MacAllister, Kayla MacAllister, Maegan Williams, Kate Brooks, and Kara Lyons of Logan County High.”

Scot MacAllister, who coached the 9th Grade Blast team to a 3-1 record in the 10th grade division, said, “I was pleased that we had so many girls from our program and feeder programs playing and working on their game. This is the kind of commitment it takes to be able to compete with teams not only in our district but also our region. I was extremely proud of the girls in our high school program who initiated putting the two teams together to get the experience of playing against that level of competition. Special thanks to Sheryl Arauz and Chad Hardison for agreeing to coach and hand the logistics of running the teams.”

Kayla MacAllister had considered playing college ball but instead will be attending Murray State University, where her brother Tim is the student assistant for the Racer Men's Basketball team. She will be using her full Governor's Scholar Scholarship, pursuing a degree in English.

Coach MacAllister says another former Lady Cougar, Miranda Rone, will be signing an athletic/academic scholarship to play college basketball and pursue a degree in accounting. An announcement is expected soon.

The LoJo
The Russellville football team hosted a power-lifting competition on Feb. 26. Football players
and Coach Matt Day’s weight training class members participated, in addition to student from Hopkinsville, Trigg County, Warren Central, Todd Central and South Warren

The Russellville team placed fourth overall, with the following students placing:
Cody Jenkins , 1st in 195 lb. class, and biggest bench press (340 lbs.); Scott Tsosie, 1st in 135 lb. class; Caleb Wills, 2nd in 155 lb. class; Barrett Croslin, 2nd in 125 lb. class; Taylor Sydnor, 2nd in 145 lb. class; Ron Todd, 4th in 175 lb. class;Darrius McGuire, 4th in 220 lb. class; Dustin Morgan, 5th in 175 lb. class; and Coty Sydnor, 3rd in 125 lb.class.

The LoJo
Veronica Johnson is so devoted to Russellville High School sports that she decided the best thing for the softball team was for her not to try to continue as its coach. After a couple of tough years and a rough start this season, she resigned recently, noting: “With a lot of careful consideration, I decided that it would be in the best interest of the RHS girls softball program to step down in order for them to go in a new direction."
She told the LoJo: “I love coaching softball...I didn't do it for the money, because if that were the case, I wouldn't have been doing it. I put in a lot of long hours of practice, paperwork, games, etc.! I grew up around sports...football (Dad started taking me to games when I was about 3), softball (I played girls softball, co-ed, church league, and coached parks and rec softball all while Ashley was growing up and I still umpire for parks and rec during the summer), baseball (I played little league baseball with Darwin, Mark, P.J. and that bunch), I coached parks and rec soccer when it first started here (even though I knew NOTHING about the game), tennis (I took lessons from Sandra Brown starting in third grade)...everything except basketball-but I have been keeping the books for Dedra for a few years now. I LOVE everything sports related!”
Her dad is one of Russellville’s greatest players ever. Her brother, also named Larry, was quarterback of the Panthers’ last state championship football team. Her daughter, Ashley Bland, was an outstanding softball player for the Panthers and now is a talented sports photographer. The former little leaguers she mentioned-Darwin Washington, Mark Thompson and P.J. Jones-went on to play professional baseball. Dedra is Lady Panthers basketball coach Dedra Adler.
Athletic Director Phil Todd is coaching the team the rest of the season with help from Greg Meacham. The Lady Panthers won their first game, beating Fort Campbell 24-14. Laura Beth Marksberry pitched the win.
Johnson says, “I wish the players and Coach Todd the best of luck the rest of the season and will still go to some home games to cheer them on! I now have more time to put into my new part-time business (I'm selling A.C.E.-appetite control and energy), which is keeping me very busy, and finishing up my Master's degree at WKU. I should graduate in December.”

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