A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prep Sports Notebook: High-scoring point guard transferring to high school in North Carolina

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Calvary Christian point guard Mason Rusch, one of the top scorers in Kentucky boys high school basketball the last two seasons, is transferring to a high school in North Carolina for his senior year.

Mason Rusch

Rusch, who ranked seventh in the state with a 25.6 scoring average last season, announced his imminent departure on Twitter last week. His father has taken a new job in North Carolina and Rusch will be attending Clayton High School located near Raleigh, the state capitol.

“I would like to thank Calvary Christian School for investing so much into me and giving me friendships that will last a lifetime,” Rusch tweeted. “I would not be who I am today without the Godly influence Calvary has had on me.”

Rusch began playing varsity basketball for Calvary Christian as an eighth-grader and scored more than 2,000 points over the last four seasons. He was named Division III Player of the Year by Northern Kentucky coaches the last two years when the Cougars finished 20-11 and 19-12 behind his prolific scoring.

As a sophomore, Rusch averaged a career-high 26.7 points that ranked eighth in the state and first among players in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.

Calvary Christian had a 7-6 record against 10th Region opponents last season, including its first win over district rival Brossart in the history of the program. Rusch scored 26 points and got the assist on the game-winning basket in that historic victory. He was later voted second-team all-region by the 10th Region coaches.

Rusch also played soccer for Calvary Christian and scored more than 40 goals over the last three seasons.

KHSAA changes qualifying format for state golf tournaments

Pre-season practice for golf, soccer, volleyball and cross country begins this week and reaching the state tournament in one of those sports will be a bit more challenging this year.

Only one team from each regional golf tournament will move on to compete in the boys and girls state tournaments. In the past, the regional winner and runner-up teams both advanced to the season finale.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association approved that change for the 2019 and 2020 seasons at its Board of Control meeting last week. The general purpose was to reduce the size of the field at the state golf tournaments to make it more manageable. Under the new format, 12 teams will compete in two rounds at both the boys and girls state tournament. Each team will enter five golfers and use the lowest four scores in each round for its team total.

In each regional tournament, the top seven scorers who are not members of the champion team will be individual state qualifiers. That number was increased from four to seven under the new format to give more golfers a chance to take part in state tournament competition.

The KHSAA Board of Control also set the days and times for the state football championship games on Dec. 6-8 at the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field.

The finals begin on Friday, Dec, 6 with Class 1A at 2 p.m. and Class 3A at 7 p.m. The schedule on Saturday, Dec. 7, includes Class 2A at 1 p.m., Class 4A at 4:30 p.m. and Class 5A at 8 p.m. The Class 6A final is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

Basketball players have successful summer on girls select team

The Kentucky Storm Elite girls basketball team made up of players from several area high schools posted a 21-9 record in select team tournaments during the spring and summer.

The team coached by Danny Roller won division championship trophies at two of its six tournament appearances. In the last two weeks, the Storm went 6-0 to win the Run For The Roses in Louisville and 5-1 to place second in the Girls Basketball Association Exposure Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

“The girls really like that last tournament because we won the jayvee division last year and won the freshmen division their freshmen year,” coach Roller said. “We were trying to three-peat and came up five points short (in the title game). But they left it all out there and really played hard.”

The girls on the Storm roster who will be high school seniors this year include Tyra Murphy, Emily Zorich and Macey Burcham of Conner, Abby Mahan of Ludlow, Jalyn Jackson of Campbell County, Kierstyn Ratterman of Bellevue, Alissa Avila of Boone County,  Emma Gutman of Walton-Verona, Shelby Turner of Pendleton County and Ellie Oldendick of Gallatin County.

The team also used four players in the Run For the Roses who will be high school juniors — Laci Reinhart of Dixie Heights, Rory O’Hara of Highlands, Ellie Smith of Conner and Sarah Hicks of Notre Dame.

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