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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Region draws

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By Nathaniel Bryan

GREENSBURG - For the first time in five seasons, there will be a different championship game pairing in the Girls' 5th Region Basketball Tournament.

At Sunday morning's draw meeting for the eight-team, single-elimination tournament, the Elizabethtown Lady Panthers and the Marion County Lady

Knights were finally drawn into the same side (bottom) of the bracket.

The two had been separated the past four years, allowing Elizabethtown to beat the Lady Knights for the 2009 title at Nelson County and for Marion County to beat Elizabethtown for the title in 2010 (at Hart County), 2011 (Marion County) and last year (Central Hardin).

During last week's district tournament finals, Elizabethtown notched a 52-46 win over the North Hardin Lady Trojans in the 17th District, the LaRue County Lady Hawks rolled after halftime to a 61-40 victory over the Caverna Lady Colonels in the 18th District, the Nelson County Lady Cardinals scored the game's first nine points in a 57-35 win over the

Washington County Commanderettes in the 19th District and Marion County eased to a 72-41 decision over the Adair County Lady Indians in the 20th District.

The tournament begins Wednesday as Nelson County (26-5) plays North Hardin (24-7) in the 6 p.m. quarterfinal before LaRue County (25-5) meets Adair County (24-8) in the 8 p.m. quarterfinal.

Wednesday's winners will meet in Sunday's 2 p.m. semifinal.

On Thursday, Elizabethtown (22-7) meets Caverna (15-14) in the 6 p.m. quarterfinal, while Marion County (32-0) - the state's only unbeaten team - takes on Washington County (16-13) in the 8 p.m. quarterfinal.

Thursday's winners meet in Sunday's 6 p.m. semifinal. The gym will be cleared following the first semi.

The final is set for 7:30 p.m. March 5 (Tuesday). The 5th Region champion plays the 4th Region winner (Allen County-Scottsville, Bowling Green, Franklin-Simpson, Glasgow, Metcalfe County, Russell County, Todd County Central or Warren Central) at 1 p.m. March 13 in the first round of the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet Sixteen(r) Basketball

Tournament at E.A. Diddle Arena on Western Kentucky University's campus in Bowling Green.

Tickets are $7 per session for each of the five sessions (Wednesday,Thursday, first game Sunday, second game Sunday, championship). Passesfor cardholders (KHSCA, KHSAA, KASA and 5th Region Officials'Association) are good for the cardholder only. No advance tickets will be sold. Doors open for each session one hour prior to tipoff for that session's opening game.

The top team, or district winners for the first round, in each bracket is the home team. Home fans should sit across from the scorer's table.

No handheld signs or signs on sticks (giant faces) are permitted.

All games will be officiated by three-person crews from the 12th Region(Lexington area).