14th Region preview: Bulldogs looking to get back to state tourney
Tony McGuire — Sports Editor
The Hazard Bulldogs will begin their season with one thing in mind: getting back to Rupp Arena for the Sweet Sixteen. The Bulldogs’ last trip was three years ago.
The Bulldogs will put a senior laden team on the floor as five seniors will return (Chris Hudson, Matt Thompson, Josh Hollon, Collier Mobelini and Mack Hall). Hazard will also have five juniors (Hunter Hardy, Austin Roberts, Dustin Hughes, Michael Vires, and Jalen Olinger), and five sophomores (Griffin Wells, Blake Nidifer, Cade Fletcher, Chase Caldwell and Hunter Roberts). They will also dress several freshmen (Conner Whitaker, Ryan Smith and Anthony Hughes).
Hazard will be looking to build upon last season, which saw the Bulldogs finish with a 23-6 record. Their season ended in the first round of the 54th District tournament with a 50-42 loss to Perry Central.
As for the upcoming season, Coach Al Holland expects his Bulldogs to again be competitive in the 14th Region, though they will also be playing a tough out-of-region schedule. Next month the Bulldogs will travel to Lexington Catholic to take part in the Republic Bank Classic, while also competing it the Holiday Classic at Daviess County.
When evaluating his own district and region, Holland noted some teams that will provide tough competition.
“I feel that the district will have Perry Central and Hazard at the top,” said Coach Holland of the upcoming season. “As far as the region goes, the top team has to be Knott County until someone beats them. After that I think it will be Perry Central, Hazard and Cordia.”
When asked if he thought there were any dark horses in the region, Coach Holland commented, “I think Breathitt County could be a dark-horse, and Buckhorn as Coach Noble has all of his players returning from last year.”
Hazard Bulldogs 2013-14 Schedule
Dec 2, 13 Lee County away 7:30 PM
Dec 6, 13 Breathitt County away 7:30 PM
Dec 12, 13 Powell County home 7:30 PM
Dec 13, 13 Perry County Central away 6:00 PM
Dec 16, 13 Harlan County away 7:30 PM
Dec 20, 13 Allen County-Scottsville at Lexington Catholic 8:30 PM Republic Bank Classic
Dec 27, 13 Owensboro Catholic at Daviess County 8:00 PM Holiday Classic
Dec 28, 13 Henderson County at Daviess County 6:15 PM Holiday Classic
Dec 29, 13 Meade County at Daviess County 2:00 PM Holiday Classic
Jan 3, 14 Harlan home 7:30 PM
Jan 4, 14 Wayne County at McCreary Central 4:30 PM Southern Kentucky Shootout
Jan 7, 14 Shelby Valley home 7:30 PM
Jan 10, 14 Harlan away 7:30 PM
Jan 13, 14 Jenkins 6:00 PM 14th Region All “A” Classic
Jan 22, 14 Wolfe County away 7:30 PM
Jan 24, 14 Breathitt County home 7:30 PM
Jan 25, 14 Jackson City away 7:30 PM
Jan 29, 14 Knott County Central home 7:30 PM
Feb 1, 14 Estill County away 5:30 PM
Feb 3, 14 Jackson City home 7:30 PM
Feb 6, 14 Letcher County Central home 7:30 PM
Feb 8, 14 Perry County Central home 4:00 PM
Feb 11, 14 Buckhorn home 7:30 PM
Feb 13, 14 Wolfe County home 7:30 PM
Feb 17, 14 Harlan County home 7:30 PM
Feb 20, 14 Knott County Central away 6:00 PM
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