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Sweet 16 pairings drawn, 8th girls get 3rd, 8th boys get 2nd

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By Brad Stephens

The road to a 2014 state title won’t be easy for any team coming out of Region 8.

Brackets for the girls and boys Sweet 16 tournaments were drawn Monday afternoon during a special KHSAA selection show.

The Region 8 girls champion will face the Region 3 champ in the first round of the Girls Sweet 16 at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13 at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. Meanwhile the Region 8 boys champ will face the Region 2 champ at noon Wednesday, March 19 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

On the girls side, Oldham County and South Oldham both have good shots at advancing to the region tournament, which will be played at Grant County. Once there, they’d have to get past the No. 1 team in the Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous ratings, Anderson County, and/or No. 4 Simon Kenton to advance to state.

Once at the state level, a Region 3 opponent, likely Owensboro Catholic, Ohio County or Daviess County, would be the first round matchup.

The winner of that game would face the winner of a Region 5 vs. Region 7 matchup the next night, meaning No. 2 Elizabethtown, No. 6 Sacred Heart or No. 8 Ballard could be waiting.

On the boys side, South and OC are rated No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in Region 8. When they or North Oldham head to Henry County for the region tournament they’ll likely have to deal with Collins, which is rated second in the region, and Simon Kenton, which is rated fourth.

Once at the state level, a Region 2 opponent, likely statewide No. 5 Hopkinsville, will play the Region 8 champ. Hopkinsville beat South 74-52 last March in the first round of the Sweet 16.

Henderson County, rated second in Region 2, could challenge Hopkinsville for that spot.

If the Region 8 champ makes it past that test, two days later they’ll face the winner of the Region 7 vs. Region 3 contest. That means No. 1 Ballard, No. 4 Trinity or No. 19 Manual could be waiting.