Covington, Kentucky

Photos: Holmes Heads to Sweet 16 After Campus Send-Off

The Holmes Bulldogs boys basketball team left Covington Tuesday morning en route to its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2009 when the state championship trophy was brought back to campus.

Head Coach Jason Booher and the team got a send-off at the school, appearing on stage in the auditorium and then marching through the hallways clapping hands with the entire student body (except for the juniors who were taking the ACT in the field house).

With a 31-2 record, Holmes heads to Lexington and Rupp Arena for a 1:30 p.m. match-up Wednesday with Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park. Booher says his team is ready for what some Kentucky high school basketball pundits are calling one of the best fields ever assembled.

Booher, in his fourth year at Holmes, said the team was forced to runt he gauntlet in the Ninth Region tournament. The Bulldogs have been near the top of the region all season long and were forced to play the other top three teams in consecutive order, dowing all of them: Newport Central Catholic in the first round, Cooper in the semifinals, and finally Covington Catholic in the title game.

Star sophomore point guard James Bolden hopes the momentum carries from the Bank of Kentucky Center at Northern Kentucky University, where the Bulldogs claimed their regional title, to Rupp Arena at the University of Kentucky.

"It would mean the world to me," Bolden said. "It's every little boy's dream."

Bolden, the team's leading scorer and one of the most exciting players in the state to watch, has been offered a scholarship from Xavier University in Cincinnati with two seasons of high school ball still ahead of him.

Booher has been to the state tournament five times with his four previous trips coming as head coach at Shelby Valley High School which he led to a state title in 2008.

The team was escorted from campus by Covington Police led by Chief Spike Jones, a Holmes alumnus, before parting ways at Walton.

The River City News will have Holmes updates from Lexington starting Wednesday afternoon. Follow RCN on Facebook and Twitter.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

PHOTOS FROM THE HOLMES PEP RALLY:

Holmes Coach Jason Booher

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