Sweet Sixteen (KHSAA State Basketball Championship)
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association boys' and girls' state basketball championships are single elimination tournaments held each March featuring 16 high schools. Colloquially known as the Sweet Sixteen (the KHSAA holds a trademark on the phrase), the tournament takes place over four days at Lexington's Rupp Arena for the boys and Bowling Green's E. A. Diddle Arena on the campus of Western Kentucky University for the girls. The state tournaments begin with District tournaments (usually with four, but sometimes with three or five teams) at sites across the state, district winners and runners-up advance to sixteen regional tournaments (usually eight teams each) with the Regional Champions advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Seeding for the Sweet Sixteen is determined by a blind draw, broadcast on statewide television.
Since its 1918 inception the Sweet Sixteen has built a legacy that includes dynasty teams and dramatic underdog stories. The tournament is particularly noteworthy in that it is only one of three state tournaments (Hawaii and Delaware are the others) without a class system dividing small schools and larger schools into separate championships. The possibility of a small rural Kentucky school defeating a large consolidated school or schools from Lexington or Louisville for the state championship are a large part of the statewide appeal for the tournament. Such Hoosiers-like stories are not uncommon for the tournament such as in 1995, 1996, and 2010 when Breckinridge County, Paintsville and Shelby Valley (located in Pikeville) defeated much larger schools to win the boys' state championship. Also in 1994 M.C. Napier High School (located near Hazard), (it would be consolidated into Perry County Central High School), claimed the girls title. They would play one more season in 1995 before consolidation. In the boys 2010 Championship game, Shelby Valley with an enrollment of under 600 students defeated Louisville Ballard the twelfth largest high school in Kentucky.
Another emotional story came in the 1981 boys' tournament, when Simon Kenton High School of Independence, whose students were forced into involuntary exile after a series of natural gas explosions in October 1980 destroyed much of the school, won the state title. However, the greatest finish in Boys Sweet Sixteen history came in the 1982 State Championship game between Laurel County and North Hardin led by high school All-American Robbie Valentine. With the game tied and one second remaining, Laurel County's Paul Andrews hit a desperation 50-foot shot to win the game 53-51.
The unique nature of the tournament and NBA-style pre-game and post-game ceremonies and celebrations at the finals draw fans throughout the state to both tournaments. Crowds for the boys' tournament usually total around 120,000 fans during the week and the finals typically draw 15-20,000 spectators.
- 1 Notable athletes who have competed in the Sweet Sixteen
- 2 2014 Houchens Industries KHSAA Girls Sweet Sixteen
- 3 2014 Whitaker Bank KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen
- 4 KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen State Champions
- 5 KHSAA Girls Sweet Sixteen State Champions
- 6 Schools With at Least Three Boys State Championships
- 7 Schools With at Least Two Girls State Championships
- 8 Notes and references
Notable athletes who have competed in the Sweet Sixteen
Boys (high school team/college team(s))
The following is a list of Notable players that have competed in the Sweet 16:
- Kristie Combs (M.C. Napier, Kentucky)
- Brittany Edelen (Washington County, Kentucky)
- Kyra Elzy (Oldham County, Tennessee)
- Ukari Figgs (Scott County, Purdue)
- Lisa Harrison (Louisville Southern, Tennessee)
- Clemette Haskins (Warren Central, Western Kentucky)
- Kathy Spinks Grizzell (Belfry, Tennessee)
- Crystal Kelly (Sacred Heart, Western Kentucky)
- Charlotte Marshall (Shelby County, Western Kentucky)
- Shannon Novosel (Lexington Catholic, Evansville)
- Chelsea Chowning (Lexington Catholic, Xavier/Kentucky)
- Toni Slaughter (Shelby County, Louisville)
- Jaime Walz (Fort Thomas Highlands, Western Kentucky)
- Kim Warfield (Conner, Western Kentucky/Northern Kentucky)
- Christi Osborne (Conner, Virginia Tech)
2014 Houchens Industries KHSAA Girls Sweet Sixteen
March 12–16, 2013 Bowling Green, Kentucky; Ed Diddle Arena
- = Overtime (one per overtime)
|First round||Quarterfinals||State Semifinals||State Championship|
|2||Henderson County (24-5)||48|
|15||Shelby Valley (24-6)||48|
|9||Newport Central Catholic (29-4)||52|
|6||Louisville Butler (28-3)||54|
|11||Lexington Lafayette (27-3)||61|
|14||Perry County Central (23-6)||38|
|1||Marshall County (30-5)||54|
|George Rogers Clark||45|
|10||George Rogers Clark (26-7)||79|
|George Rogers Clark||56|
|7||Louisville Sacred Heart (27-7)||61|
|8||Anderson County (27-4)||75|
|3||Meade County (16-16)||51|
2014 Whitaker Bank KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen
March 19-23, 2013 Lexington, Kentucky; Rupp Arena
* = Overtime (one per overtime)
|First round||Quarterfinals||State Semifinals||State Championship|
|8||South Oldham (22-4)||62|
|7||Louisville Trinity (29-5)||55|
|10||Scott County (32-3)||77|
|16||Fleming County (24-9)||66|
|11||Campbell County (21-8)||56|
|15||Johnson Central (25-6)||58|
|1||McCracken County (24-8)||81|
|12||Wayne County (31-1)||74|
|14||Knott County Central (25-6)||58|
|4||Bowling Green (27-6)||65|
|6||Pleasure Ridge Park (26-7)||70|
|13||Clay County (23-8)||78|
|9||Covington Catholic (29-2)||80|
- All games of the Sweet Sixteen can be seen live and archived at the KHSAA's iHigh.com web page at this link 
KHSAA Boys Sweet Sixteen State Champions
|Year||Champion||Score||Runner-Up||Venue||Most Valuable Player|
|1917||Owensboro||12-9||Somerset||Centre College, Danville|
|1918||Lexington||16-15||Somerset||Centre College, Danville|
|1919||Lexington||21-17||Somerset||UK Gymnasium, Lexington|
|1920||Lexington||56-13||Ashland||UK Gymnasium, Lexington|
|1921||DuPont Manual||32-17||Union Academy||UK Gymnasium, Lexington|
|1922||Lexington||52-27||Frankfort||UK Gymnasium, Lexington|
|1923||DuPont Manual||41-17||Clark County||UK Gymnasium, Lexington|
|1924||Lexington||15-10||Fort Thomas||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1925||DuPont Manual||40-11||Winchester||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1926||St. Xavier||26-13||Danville||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1927||Millersburg||34-25||London||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1928||Ashland||13-11 (4OT)||Carr Creek||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1929||Heath||21-16||Corinth||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1930||Corinth||22-20||Kavanaugh||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1931||DuPont Manual||34-23||Tolu||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1932||Hazard||15-13||Male||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1933||Ashland||33-25||Horse Cave||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1934||Ashland||26-13||Danville||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1935||St. Xavier||32-18||Newport||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1936||Corbin||24-18||Nebo||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1937||Midway||30-22||Inez||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1938||Sharpe||36-27||Maysville||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1939||Brooksville||42-39||Hindman||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1940||Hazel Green||35-29||Ashland||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1941||Inez||35-27||St. Xavier||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1943||Hindman||29-26||St. Xavier||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1944||Harlan||40-28||Dayton||Alumni Gym, Lexington|
|1945||Male||54-42||Central City||Armory, Louisville|
|1946||Breckenridge Training||68-36||Dawson Springs||Armory, Louisville|
|1950||Lafayette||55-51||Clark County||Armory, Louisville|
|1951||Clark County||69-44||Cuba||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1952||Cuba||58-52||DuPont Manual||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1953||Lafayette||84-53||Paducah Tilghman||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1954||Inez||63-55||Newport||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1955||Hazard||74-66||Adair County||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1956||Carr Creek||72-68||Henderson||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1957||Lafayette||55-52||Eastern||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1958||St. Xavier||60-49||Daviess County||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1959||North Marshall||64-63||DuPont Manual||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1960||Flaget||65-56||Monticello||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1961||Ashland||69-50||Lexington Dunbar||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1962||St. Xavier||62-58||Ashland||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1963||Seneca||72-66||Lexington Dunbar||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1964||Seneca||66-56||Breckinridge County||Memorial Coliseum, Lexington|
|1965||Breckinridge County||95-73||Covington Holy Cross||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1966||Shelby County||62-57||Male||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1967||Earlington||54-53||Covington Catholic||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1968||Glasgow||77-68||Seneca||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1969||Central||101-72||Ohio County||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1970||Male||74-59||Richmond Madison||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1971||Male||83-66||Anderson County||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1972||Owensboro||71-63||Elizabethtown||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1973||Shawnee||81-68||Male||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1974||Central||59-54||Male||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1975||Male||74-59||Henry Clay||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1976||Edmonson County||74-52||Christian County||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1977||Ballard||68-59||Valley||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1978||Shelby County||68-66 (OT)||Covington Holmes||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1979||Lafayette||62-52||Christian County||Rupp Arena, Lexington|
|1980||Owensboro||57-56||Doss||Freedom Hall, Louisville|
|1981||Simon Kenton||70-63||Mason County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Troy McKinley (Simon Kenton)|
|1982||Laurel County||53-51||North Hardin||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Todd May (Virgie)|
|1983||Henry Clay||35-33 (3OT)||Carlisle County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Steve Miller (Henry Clay)|
|1984||Logan County||83-70||Bourbon County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Fred Tisdale (Logan County)|
|1985||Hopkinsville||65-64||Clay County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Wendall Quarles (Hopkinsville)|
|1986||Pulaski County||47-45||Pleasure Ridge Park||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Reggie Hanson (Pulaski County)|
|1987||Clay County||76-73 (OT)||Ballard||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Richie Farmer (Clay County)|
|1988||Ballard||88-79||Clay County||Freedom Hall, Louisville||Richie Farmer (Clay County)|
|1989||Pleasure Ridge Park||75-73||Wayne County||Freedom Hall, Louisville||Andy Penick (Pleasure Ridge Park)|
|1990||Fairdale||77-73||Covington Holmes||Freedom Hall, Louisville||Jermaine Brown (Fairdale)|
|1991||Fairdale||67-63||Tates Creek||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Jermaine Brown (Fairdale)|
|1992||University Heights||59-57||Lexington Catholic||Freedom Hall, Louisville||Darren Allaway (University Heights)|
|1993||Marion County||85-77||Paul Laurence Dunbar||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Anthony Epps (Marion County)|
|1994||Fairdale||59-56||Paul Laurence Dunbar||Freedom Hall, Louisville||Rashawn Morris (Fairdale)|
|1995||Breckinridge County||70-63||Pleasure Ridge Park||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Patrick Critchelow (Breckinridge County)|
|1996||Paintsville||71-53||Ashland Blazer||Rupp Arena, Lexington||J.R. VanHoose (Paintsville)|
|1997||Eastern||71-59||Fort Thomas Highlands||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Trent Coward (Eastern)|
|1998||Scott County||89-78||Paintsville||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Rick Jones (Scott County)|
|1999||Ballard||71-47||Scott County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Will Partin (Ballard)|
|2000||Elizabethtown||79-69||Lexington Catholic||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Antwain Barbour (Elizabethtown)|
|2001||Lafayette||54-49||Male||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Robert A Madison (Lafayette)|
|2002||Lexington Catholic||83-53||Paducah Tilghman||Rupp Arena, Lexington||DeMetrius Green (Lexington Catholic)|
|2003||Mason County||86-65||Ballard||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Chris Lofton (Mason County)|
|2004||Warren Central||66-56||Mason County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Brock Whitney (Warren Central)|
|2005||South Laurel||70-59||Warren Central||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Walt Allen (South Laurel)|
|2006||Jeffersontown||61-48||Apollo||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Ceedrick Ware (Jeffersontown)|
|2007||Scott County||56-50||Ballard||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Bud Mackey (Scott County)|
|2008||Mason County||57-48||Covington Holmes||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Darius Miller (Mason County)|
|2009||Covington Holmes||67-63 (2OT)||Louisville Central||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Ricardo Johnson (Holmes)|
|2010||Shelby Valley||73-61||Ballard||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Elisha Justice (Shelby Valley)|
|2011||Christian County||65-63 (2OT)||Rowan County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Anthony Hickey (Christian County)|
|2012||Trinity||71-53||Scott County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Nathan Dieudonne (Trinity)|
|2013||Madison Central||65-64||Ballard||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Dominique Hawkins (Madison Central)|
|2014||Covington Catholic||59-51 (OT)||Scott County||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Nick Ruthsatz (Covington Catholic)|
|2015||Owensboro||74-58||Bowling Green||Rupp Arena, Lexington||Justin Miller (Owensboro)|
Championships, by schools
- The following is a list of all schools that have won at least one KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Championship, along with what years they have won their championship(s).
|Ashland||4||1928, 1933, 1934, 1961|
|Ballard||3||1977, 1988, 1999|
|Breckinridge County||2||1965, 1995|
|DuPont Manual||4||1921, 1923, 1925, 1931|
|Fairdale||3||1990, 1991, 1994|
|Henry Clay||6||1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1983|
|Hindman High School||1||1943|
|Lafayette||6||1942, 1950, 1953, 1957, 1979, 2001|
|Male||4||1945, 1970, 1971, 1975|
|Mason County||2||2003, 2008|
|Millersburg Military Institute||1||1927|
|Owensboro||5||1917, 1949, 1972, 1980, 2015|
|Pleasure Ridge Park||1||1989|
|Scott County||2||1998, 2007|
|Shelby County||2||1966, 1978|
|St. Xavier||4||1926, 1935, 1958, 1962|
KHSAA Girls Sweet Sixteen State Champions
|1975||Louisville Butler||60-43||Barren County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1976||Louisville Sacred Heart||68-55||Louisville Butler||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1977||Laurel County||48-46||Paris||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1978||Laurel County||63-48||Breathitt County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1979||Laurel County||43-36||Lexington Lafayette||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1980||Louisville Butler||65-49||Franklin County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1981||Pulaski County||50-42||Marshall County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1982||Marshall County||48-44||Louisville Mercy||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1983||Warren Central||57-49||Whitesburg ||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1984||Marshall County||55-53||Belfry||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1985||Whitley County||38-37||Louisville Atherton||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|1986||Oldham County||49-48||Franklin-Simpson||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|1987||Laurel County||50-48||Louisville Doss||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|1988||Louisville Southern||57-34||Oldham County||Civic Center, Frankfort|
|1989||Clay County||48-44||George Rogers Clark||Civic Center, Frankfort|
|1990||Lexington Henry Clay||62-50||Louisville Southern||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|1991||Laurel County||33-31||George Rogers Clark||Civic Center, Frankfort|
|1992||Louisville Mercy||44-38||Clay County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1993||Nicholas County||48-46||Warren East||Civic Center, Frankfort|
|1994||M.C. Napier||88-56||Fort Thomas Highlands||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|1995||Scott County||68-45||Pulaski County||Civic Center, Frankfort|
|1996||Union County||44-37||Central Hardin||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|1997||Hazard||54-38||Elizabethtown||Civic Center, Frankfort|
|1998||Elizabethtown||45-37||Montgomery County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|1999||Lexington Catholic||57-42||Louisville Assumption||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2000||West Carter||58-50||Shelby County||McBrayer Arena, Richmond|
|2001||Lexington Catholic||36-34||Louisville Manual||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2002||Louisville Sacred Heart||57-46||Jackson County||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2003||Louisville Sacred Heart||42-40||Lexington Catholic||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2004||Louisville Sacred Heart||43-34||Lexington Catholic||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2005||Lexington Catholic||59-54||Clinton County||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2006||Lexington Catholic||69-52||Rose Hill Christian||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2007||Lexington Christian||71-62||Louisville Iroquois||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2008||Louisville Butler||58-57||Franklin-Simpson||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2009||Louisville Iroquois||55-47||Elizabethtown||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2010||Louisville Mercy||71-61||Scott County||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2011||Rockcastle County||62-60||Louisville Manual||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2012||Louisville Manual||58-54||Marion County||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2013||Marion County||52-36||Notre Dame||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2014||Louisville Butler||49-38||Elizabethtown||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
|2015||Covington Holy Cross||35-32||Allen County-Scottsville||Diddle Arena, Bowling Green|
Schools With at Least Three Boys State Championships
|1||Lexington Lafayette||6||1942, 1950, 1953, 1957, 1979, 2001|
|1||Lexington Henry Clay||6||1918, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1983|
|2||Owensboro||5||1917, 1949, 1972, 1980, 2015|
|3||Ashland||4||1928, 1933, 1934, 1961|
|3||Louisville Male||4||1945, 1970, 1971, 1975|
|3||Louisville Manual||3||1921, 1923, 1925, 1931|
|3||Louisville Saint Xavier||3||1926, 1935, 1958, 1962|
|4||Louisville Ballard||3||1977, 1988, 1999|
|4||Louisville Fairdale||3||1990, 1991, 1994|
Schools With at Least Two Girls State Championships
|1||Laurel County||5||1977, 1978, 1979, 1987, 1991|
|2||Lexington Catholic||4||1999, 2001, 2005, 2006|
|2||Louisville Sacred Heart||4||1976, 2002, 2003, 2004|
|2||Louisville Butler||4||1975, 1980, 2008, 2014|
|5||Louisville Mercy||2||1992, 2010|
|5||Marshall County||2||1982, 1984|
Notes and references
- Unlike other schools in Harlan County, Harlan High did not participate in the 2008 consolidation that created Harlan. Harlan High is operated by the Harlan city school district, a separate district from that of the county.
- This school was later consolidated with Scottsville High School to form today's Allen County-Scottsville High School.
- As her name suggests, she is indeed the daughter of Clem Haskins.
- Sister of current Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz.
- Now Henry Clay High School.
- The predecessor to today's Paul G. Blazer High School.
- This is not the school that is today incorrectly referred to as "Clark County", properly known as George Rogers Clark High School. This was one of the two schools that merged to form "GRC".
- The predecessor to today's Highlands High School, also in Fort Thomas.
- This is the other school that merged to form today's George Rogers Clark High School.
- Closed in 2003.
- Later merged into Laurel County High School, which would win a boys' state title in 1982 and several girls' titles. Laurel County split in 1992 into today's North Laurel and South Laurel High Schools.
- Consolidated into today's Knott County Central High School.
- This is the "Heath" of the 1997 Heath High School shooting. The district that operates Heath, the McCracken County Public Schools, has received state approval for plans to consolidate its three current high schools into the new McCracken County High School, which it opened on August 9th 2013.
- Consolidated into today's Grant County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Anderson County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Crittenden County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Caverna High School.
- Consolidated into West Hopkins High School, which was in turn consolidated into today's Hopkins County Central High School.
- Consolidated into today's Woodford County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Sheldon Clark High School.
- Consolidated into North Marshall High School, which would win a state title of its own in 1959. Still later, North Marshall was consolidated into today's Marshall County High School in 1974.
- Absorbed by Mason County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Bracken County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Knott County Central High School.
- Consolidated into Muhlenberg North High School in 1990, which in turn consolidated with Muhlenberg South High School in 2009 to form today's Muhlenberg County High School.
- Consolidated into South Marshall High School, which would itself consolidate in 1974 to form today's Marshall County High School.
- Later absorbed by Sedalia High School, which would in turn be consolidated into today's Graves County High School.
- Tilghman did not participate in the 2013 McCracken County consolidation, as it is operated by a separate school district.
- Consolidated into today's Henderson County High School.
- Consolidated into today's Marshall County High School in 1974.
- Closed in 1974.
- This is not the modern Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, but rather Lexington's former black high school, from which today's "PLD" indirectly took its name.
- In August 2010, the Shelby County High attendance zone was cut roughly in half with the opening of the new Martha Layne Collins High School.
- Consolidated into South Hopkins High School, another of the high schools which would eventually consolidate into today's Hopkins County Central.
- Closed in 1989, with its attendance zone moved into that of Madison Central High School.
- Split in 1992 into today's North Laurel and South Laurel High Schools. The old Laurel County High building houses South Laurel.
- Consolidated into today's Shelby Valley High School.
- This school still exists, but with a smaller attendance zone, as it spawned Southwestern High School in 1993.
- This school still exists, but with a considerably smaller attendance zone, having spawned Western Hills High School in 1981.
- Later consolidated into Letcher County Central High School.
- This school still exists, but has a considerably smaller attendance zone, having spawned first South Oldham High School and later North Oldham High School.
- As noted in the main text, this was Napier's last year of existence, as it would be consolidated into Perry County Central High School that fall (autumn).
- This was after Pulaski County High had spawned Southwestern.