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5th REGION TOURNAMENT: Hawks play Wednesday

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By Chuck Jones

 Area rivals will meet in the Boys’ 5th Region Tournament for the first time in more than a decade, while familiar foes could play one another once again in the postseason.

The 17th District champion Elizabethtown Panthers (21-8) face rival and 18th District runner-up LaRue County (16-13) at 6 p.m. at Wednesday in the quarterfinals at Marion County’s Roby Dome.

The Panthers have won 12 straight over LaRue County, including a 64-38 victory at Charlie Rawlings Memorial Gymnasium on Jan. 27. This is the first time the teams have met in the region tournament since Elizabethtown’s 74-71 win in triple overtime in 2002.

In the nightcap Wednesday, 20th District champion Taylor County (25-6) plays 19th District runner-up Thomas Nelson (16-12) at 8:15. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season. This marks Thomas Nelson’s first trip to the region tournament.

John Hardin (17-8) and Bardstown (23-6) have met in the previous three region tournaments, including twice in the first round. This year if they play it will come in the semifinals.

John Hardin, which is the 17th District runner-up, faces the 18th District champion Green County Dragons (18-11) at 6 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals. The teams haven’t played since the Bulldogs won, 79-44 on Feb. 11, 2011. John Hardin senior Patrick Anderson and junior Elijah Smith were on the roster that season, but didn’t play much.

The 19th District champion Tigers play the 20th District runner-up Adair County Indians (17-13) at 8:15 p.m. Thursday in the final quarterfinal. The teams met in the last week of the regular season as Bardstown won, 60-48 at Adair County’s John Burr Memorial Gymnasium.

The semifinals are set for March 10 at 6 and 8:15 p.m. with the championship slated for March 11 at 7 p.m.