The 1998 Lex. Cath/Scott county game ranks as the greatest game I have ever seen, being a part of it makes it even more special.That catholic team is the best team I have ever seen in Kentucky. Their coaching staff of Danny, Mike, & Tommy was unsurpassed in Kentucky history. If we had played them 20 times. I would be happy to get one win. The great thing about our tournament is you only have to win one. Rick Jones, A.W. Hamilton, Toby Harris, Mike Scaravilli, Mario McIntyre, Casey Alsop, Chris Wallace led the charge that literally stopped time in Kentucky. When Rick hit the shot cars in Harlan & Georgetown set at traffic lights not moving for several minutes, no one blew horns as they were all listening to the game. WHAS announcer Jock Southerland gave me a copy of the broadcast as he said it was one of the most amazing games he had ever seen.
- We entered the Sweet Sixteen as the favorite as we were ranked No. 3 in the country at the time. But Scott County was also a great team team again that year. We were pre-season #1 in the state and they were #5 and we both had 30+ wins coming into Rupp
- I felt like we were battle tested that season. We traveled more than 5,000 miles around the country. We beat Oak Hill Academy who was Top-10 at the time; we beat #2 Whitney Young in Chicago before a sold-out crowd at DePaul University. We had the talent to compete with anybody in America , but the Sweet 16 is a different beast. It’s a one-shot deal to win and there isn’t anything else like it in High School Sports in America.
- We were going against the best Coach in Kentucky , hall of famer Billy Hicks and he was loaded with talented players like Rick Jones, AW hamilton, Casey Alsop, Toby Harris etc!
- Our game plan was very simple, play our style , take care of the ball , and try to force 15-20 turnovers.
- We weren’t going to try any gimmicks , as that won’t work against a BIlly Hicks coached team.
- We played well in the first half ,but gave up a little momentum when they hit a three right before the half but still were playing our style.
- Our point guard Scott Mendenhall got in foul trouble and that really hurt us in the second half as he meant so much to the team with his ability to run the offense and be a great floor leader.
- We were up five with 48 seconds left in the game and honestly we were one stop away from the game being over. And then they came down and hit that four-point play which really was the play that won them the game. We didn’t do all the right things in the final minute but I’ll give a ton of credit to Scott County as they never quite and played every possesion like it was their last. Scott Mendhall hit a 3 pointer with 3 seconds on clock to tie the game.
- Scott County got the ball out quick and Rick Jones hit a increadible shot to win the game at the buzzer.
- The KHSAA Sweet 16 is such a special tournament and anything can happen. We just happened to be on a the wrong end of an iconic moment.
- As a Coach, we break down all game films and rewatch every play–to this day I haven’t watched that game as I can still replay that last shot 22 years later–haha!
- I loved competting against Scott County and BIlly Hicks as I always knew that to be the best you had to compete aginst the best and boy we had some great battles for many years.