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Prep Sports Notebook: Beechwood, Walton-Verona advance to elite eight in All “A” Classic baseball

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Beechwood will play Walton-Verona in the first round of the All “A” Classic state baseball tournament at 3 p.m. Saturday at Eastern Kentucky University.

Both teams won sectional playoff games to advance to the elite eight in the small-school state tournament bracket. Walton-Verona edged Highlands Latin, 4-3, on Thursday and Beechwood rolled to a 12-2 win over Nicholas County on Sunday.

Beechwood pitcher Mitchell Berger (File photo by Dale Dawn)

A single by junior Lance Coleman in the bottom of the seventh inning drove in the winning run for Walton-Verona in its sectional game. That win lifted the Bearcats’ record to 13-3, but they went 0-3 during the Doc Morris Invitational over the weekend, including a 4-3 loss to Beechwood on Saturday.

One day after that close victory, Beechwood took a 8-1 lead in the first three innings of its sectional game against Nicholas County and went on to post its 16th win in 17 games. The Tigers’ winning pitcher was junior Mitchell Berger, who is now 5-0 on the mound. He gave up two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts.

Beechwood had nine hits in 24 at-bats for a .375 team batting average in Sunday’s game. Junior right fielder Cameron Boyd hit three home runs and Berger went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.

Walton-Verona was the All “A” Classic state runner-up last year. Beechwood has won the small-school state championship five times, including back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019 under coach Kevin Gray. In the opening round of the 2018 state tournament, Beechwood got past Walton-Verona, 8-7, in 10 innings.

The All “A” Classic state softball tournament will begin Saturday with pool play. Villa Madonna will face Lynn Camp, Knot Central and Russellville in its poll. The two teams will the best record in each pool will advance to the eight-team championship bracket.

Brossart boys basketball coach stepping down after two seasons

At his team’s post-season awards banquet on Sunday, Scott Code announced that he is stepping down as Brossart boys head basketball coach after two season to be more available for his family.

Brossart posted records of 13-11 and 12-19 under Code, who was an assistant coach for 13 seasons before taking charge of the program in 2001 after his older brother, Mike, resigned as head coach of the Mustangs.

Brossart is also looking of a new head coach of its girls basketball program to replace Garren Parker, who guided the team to a 20-11 record last season.

Simon Kenton, Ryle and Holmes are the other local schools with basketball head coaching vacancies. Simon Kenton is expected to announce its new girls head coach this week. Ryle and Holmes are just beginning the search process for boys head basketball coaches.

Cooper graduate will finish college basketball career with Ohio State

Cooper graduate Sean McNeil will complete his college basketball career at Ohio State University next season as a graduate student with one year of eligibility remaining.

After playing for West Virginia University the last three seasons, McNeil entered the NCAA transfer portal. The 6-foot-4 guard was being courted by several major college programs and chose Ohio State over Cincinnati, Louisville, Indiana, Virginia and Texas Tech.

Last season, McNeil averaged 12.2 points per game and shot a team-high 36.8 percent from 3-point range for West Virginia. He scored 900 points as a Mountaineer, averaging 10.1 points in 89 games, and made 155 treys.

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