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Henry Clay wins Sweet Sixteen, 1983

Posted on March 22, 2015 | in Uncategorized | by
Henry Clay's Greg Bates' put-back at the buzzer gave the Blue Devils a 35-33 triple-overtime victory March 19, 1983 over Carlisle County in the finals of the Boys' Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena. It was Henry Clays' sixth state title in boy's basketball and they have not won another crown since. Bates scored 9 points for Henry Clay and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Herald-Leader file photo

Greg Bates’ put-back at the buzzer gave the Henry Clay Blue Devils a 35-33 triple-overtime victory on March 19, 1983, over Carlisle County in the finals of the Boys’ Sweet Sixteen Tournament in Lexington. It was Henry Clay’s sixth state title in boys basketball and its first since 1924 when the school was known as Lexington High. Henry Clay has not won another crown since this 1983 title. The 19,200 at Rupp Arena were given high drama as every possession became a test of wills in what has been described as one of the most spine-tingling Sweet Sixteen games ever played. Each team had a chance to win at either the end of regulation or the two other overtimes. With four seconds left in the third extra period, Steve Miller shot a 15-footer from the left baseline. It rimmed out, but Bates snagged the rebound and put it in as the horn sounded. “I was just in the right place,” he said of his dramatic shot. “He sure was,” said Miller, who was voted the tournament MVP after scoring 69 points and grabbing 34 rebounds in four games. “The play was supposed to have me shooting from the free throw line, but it didn’t work out that way. But this way turned out just great.” Bates scored nine points for Henry Clay and was named to the All-Tournament team. The win capped the Blue Devils season with a flourish, winning its final 18 games for a 32-2 record. Herald-Leader Archive Photo

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