STANFORD — Steve Adams is perfectly content to wait to send the Boyle County boys onto the regional tournament stage.
Boyle, the only area team to win a district championship this week, will play in the last of the four 12th Region Tournament first-round games Monday and Tuesday at Lincoln County.
Its coach said that’s a good thing for the Rebels, because it gives them a little more time to rest and to gather information on their opponent, Somerset, a team that none of the current players has faced and that Adams and his staff didn’t know a great deal about prior to today’s regional draw.
“I do like the Tuesday game time. We get a little bit of rest,” Adams said.
The Rebels also get more time to learn about the Briar Jumpers, whom they haven’t faced since December 2008.
Somerset won four straight games and eight of its last 11 before losing to Pulaski County 83-63 in Friday’s 47th District final. The Jumpers split two games with Pulaski and beat Wayne County during their late-season run.
“What little bit I do know, I know they like to play a lot of zone, they’re big, and they’ve had a real good year, so we’ll have our hands full,” Adams said. “We’ll just have to find out as much as we can here today and in the morning, and get ready to practice on Sunday afternoon and Monday.”
Boyle, which reached the regional finals last year, repeated as 45th District champions with a 67-54 victory over Lincoln on Friday.
46th District runner-up Mercer County will face 48th District champion and defending regional champion Southwestern for the second time in 13 days in Tuesday’s first game, and Lincoln will meet 46th District champion West Jessamine in Monday’s second game.
The semifinals will be played Friday, and the championship is March 2.
Southwestern handed Mercer an 84-57 defeat in the Titans’ final regular-season game Feb. 14, but Mercer coach Brian Britt said his team will be more focused on the Warriors in the rematch.
“We were still working on preparations for (district tournament opponent) East Jessamine, and that’s the game plan we came in with the first time against them. Obviously, that’s not the game plan we need to come in with the second time,” Britt said. “They will be the focus. Obviously a great team. They didn’t lose a whole lot from last year’s team and their state semifinal run, and they’ve got five or six quality players.”
The Warriors jumped on the Titans early in the Feb. 14 game at Southwestern, filling the basket and forcing 10 turnovers to take a 28-12 lead after one quarter.
“They shot the ball well. Of course, we were preparing for East Jessamine, and we were sagging a lot, even against Southwestern, and they shot the ball extremely well. Going into this game, we’ll have to be able to contest all shots and be a little bit more active on the defensive end.”
Lincoln and West Jessamine also met during the regular season, though it was much earlier. The Patriots lost 64-62 at home on Dec. 11.
“They’re playing real, real well right now. They’re very good,” Lincoln coach Jeff Jackson said. “Damon (Kelly) does such a great job coaching his kids. They believe in his system, and they execute well and they defend well and they’re physical. We’ve got our hands full, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Jackson said the regional should be a good one — and good for his young team.
“We’re playing a lot of young kids, and the experience of playing in a regional tournament on our floor will benefit us down the road, and if we get hot and shoot the ball well and defend well, you never know what can happen,” he said. “It’s going to be a good tournament, I think. We’re excited about hosting it and excited about playing in it.”
The opening game Monday matches the teams with the two best records in the region: 47th District champion Pulaski County and 48th District runner-up Wayne County. Wayne defeated Pulaski 74-72 on Jan. 18 in Monticello.
Pairings for the girls 12th Region Tournament will be drawn Sunday. First-round games will be played Wednesday and Thursday at Pulaski County.
Boys 12th Region Tournament
At Lincoln County
Monday, Feb. 25
Pulaski County (23-6) vs. Wayne County (24-7), 6 p.m.
West Jessamine (17-11) vs. Lincoln County (15-17), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 26
Southwestern (22-8) vs. Mercer County (16-13), 6 p.m.
Boyle County (15-12) vs. Somerset (18-9), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 1
Pulaski County-Wayne County winner vs. West Jessamine-Lincoln County winner, 6 p.m.
Southwestern-Mercer County winner vs. Boyle County-Somerset winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.