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Field set for 2020 King of the Bluegrass boys basketball tournament at Fairdale

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 7/8/2020 Jason Frakes, Louisville Courier Journal
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story listed Highlands instead of Beechwood as a 2020 King of the Bluegrass participant. 

Four boys basketball teams from Kentucky that won regional championships last season and a South Carolina powerhouse highlight the field for the 40th annual Chad Gardner Law King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic.

Tournament director Lloyd Gardner announced the field for the prestigious tournament scheduled for Dec. 18-22 at Fairdale High School.

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The tournament traditionally has included 12 teams from Kentucky and four from outside the state. Gardner said travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the 2020 field including 14 teams from Kentucky and two from outside the state.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Ballard players celebrate after the Bruins beat North Oldham 82-72 in the 2019 Kings of the Bluegrass championship game Monday night at Fairdale High School. Dec. 23, 2019 © Matt Stone/Courier Journal Ballard players celebrate after the Bruins beat North Oldham 82-72 in the 2019 Kings of the Bluegrass championship game Monday night at Fairdale High School. Dec. 23, 2019

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“But we have a great field,” Gardner said. “With this pandemic, we didn’t want to lock ourselves into a bunch of things we couldn’t take care of.”

Defending regional champions in the field will be Elizabethtown (Fifth Region), Male (Seventh), Covington Catholic (Ninth) and Martin County (15th). The other Kentucky teams will be Ballard, Beechwood, Bowling Green, Eastern, Fairdale, Marshall County, North Laurel, Oldham County, Spencer County and Trinity.

Dorman of Roebuck, South Carolina, will compete after winning its fourth straight Class 5A state championships last season, finishing with a 30-1 record and No. 2 national ranking by ESPN.

Brentwood (Tennessee) Academy will be the other non-Kentucky team in the field. The Eagles feature 6-foot-2 guard Skyy Clark, one of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2022 and a top recruiting target of the University of Kentucky. Brentwood Academy won the KOB in 2015.

The tournament will feature several top contenders for Kentucky’s 2021 Mr. Basketball award, including Marshall County’s Zion Harmon, Martin County’s Trey James, E’town’s Jaquias Franklin, Bowling Green’s Isaiah Mason, Beechwood's Scotty Draud and Spencer County’s Sam Conley. Top underclassmen will include Ballard junior Maker Bar and sophomores Gabe Sisk and Jack Edelen, Male sophomore Kaleb Glenn and North Laurel sophomore Reed Sheppard.

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Ballard is the defending KOB champion after beating North Oldham 82-72 in last year’s final, giving the Bruins their record fifth title. 

The tournament schedule and bracket will be announced in November. 

Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; jfrakes@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @kyhighs. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/jasonf.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Field set for 2020 King of the Bluegrass boys basketball tournament at Fairdale

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