It’s been another great year for local prep sports as we have been treated to several fantastic games and moments. Here are the top five moments in local sports in 2019.
1. Barren County Girls Make It to Rupp Arena.
Let’s be honest here. This was an incredibly easy, runaway choice for the top spot.
This moment doesn’t need to be underrated. It’s a very rare occasion both in girls’ and boys’ basketball when a team outside of Bowling Green and Warren Central wins the fourth region tournament. It’s only happened a handful of times this century.
However, Coach Piper Lindsey’s team defied the odds and defeated Bowling Green 47-35 for the Trojanettes' first region title since 2007.
Their showing in Rupp Arena was somehow even more memorable as a sea of burgundy and gold watched firsthand as the Trojanettes defeated Pikeville to advance to the Elite Eight of the KHSAA State Tournament.
Barren County would fall in its next game against a very talented Male team, but that doesn’t take away at all from what was achieved by the Trojanettes.
In several ways, their run showcases so many positive aspects of sports. Underdog story? Check. Amazing fan support that united a school and a town? Check. An unselfish team that sacrificed personal accolades for the betterment of the team? You bet that’s a check.
This was a watershed moment for the area as it shows other teams and schools that this type of run is actually possible. Not only is this the best moment of the year in local prep sports, but it might just be the moment of the decade.
Keep taking a bow, Trojanettes. Their run will never be forgotten.
2. Scotties Beat Trojans in Overtime at District Tournament
Could there be a better moment that encapsulates 15th District basketball than this one?
Despite being the last seed in the district playing the top seed and trailing for almost the entire game, Barren County did not go down without a fight.
It was guard Gavin Withrow who sank a last-second three-point shot to take the game into overtime and give the top seed Glasgow one heck of a terrifying scare.
That kind of craziness is what perfectly defines every boys’ 15th District Tournament. Your overall seed doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you show up because the parity in this district is outstanding.
Sure, Nik Sorrell powered the Scotties down the stretch for the first-round victory, but the Trojans got the best out of the heated cross-town rival. That’s what rivalries in sports are all about.
The two teams will meet for the first time on Jan. 3 since that fateful game which ended Barren County’s season. I think it’s safe to say that both squads will have a lot on their minds not only for the rematch, but for the 2020 District Tournament as well.
3 . Isenberg Wins Regional Golf Title on Home Course
It’s a special moment to win a regional title. It’s even more special to come up clutch and win that title at your home course.
That’s exactly what Monroe County’s Trevor Isenberg did on Oct. 1 at the Hidden Hills Country Club in Tompkinsville.
Not only did the junior take home the regional title, but he was the only player out of the entire field who shot under par with a 67 overall.
I had the pleasure of covering his last hole on the day, and it was pure sports drama at it finest.
Isenberg went into his last hole not knowing where he stood in comparison with the rest of the filed. His tee shot was disastrous as it went straight into the ground and traveled only about 50 yards.
With all the pressure in the world on him in front of his home crowd, Isenberg grew up right in front of everyone's eyes.
He hit a perfect second shot onto the green and right next to the hole. He miraculously saved par on the easy put to the sound of impressed applause from the gallery.
Isenberg could of melted down after the bad tee shot, but he was able to stay the course and secure the dominant showing for the regional title. It doesn't get much better than that.
4. Barren County Girls' Soccer Wins District Title in Double OT
Four-straight district titles. That’s what the Trojanettes achieved on Oct. 6 as they defeated Glasgow in an absolute classic district final.
Thanks to a golden goal from Emma Hughes in double overtime, Barren County downed the Lady Scotties 3-2. It was the second time that Hughes scored in the second half.
The moment becomes even more impressive once you consider that the Trojanettes actually lost both matches against Glasgow in the regular season.
However, Coach Bobby Nyekan’s team improved throughout the season, and Hughes came up big when it mattered most.
Hughes, the tournament MVP, was swarmed by teammates after her district winning goal. She said it was a special experience because of how many players have stepped up over the last four years to allow the Trojanettes to win big games.
I could care less what sport it is. If you win a district title on a game-winning play, it’s bar-none one of the best moments of the year.
5. Glasgow Downs Taylor County on Game-Winning Field Goal
Thanks to the leg of Alex Elizalde, the Scotties defeated bitter rival Taylor County right at the end of regulation for the biggest football win in the area this season.
Yes, Glasgow would eventually lose out to the Cardinals in the playoffs after star quarterback Tanner Abernathy went down with injury. However, the Scotties 31-28 win over Taylor County on Oct. 18 secured a regular-season district title.
Considering that no other team in the area (Barren, Monroe, Metcalfe and Caverna) won a district title or advanced to the third round of the KHSAA playoffs, this was easily the best win of the football season.
Sure, this would've been higher on the list in retrospect if tragedy hadn’t happened in the playoffs, but this was still a great moment.
I had the pleasure of covering Elizalde through the soccer season, and he always came off as a leader and a first-class individual. To see the senior give the Scotties the victory with a last-second field goal was not only a great moment for him, but his school as well.
This is also how I’m going to choose to remember the 2019 Glasgow football team. The Scotties were an extremely talented senior-led unit that, when healthy, was the best team in the district and probably the region.
It’s a shame that the Scotties’ season turned into a big “what if?” But at least this was a moment that is filled with good memories for a team that deserved them.