Brossart Upsets Mason County - Mustangs Will
Make Their First
Trip To Rupp
Cinderella role suits Brossart
By Terry Boehmker, Post staff reporter
The list of top contenders for this week's boys' state high
school basketball tournament doesn't include Bishop Brossart.
This is the Mustangs' first appearance in the Sweet 16.
And a lot of people are surprised the small-school team
made it after finishing the regular season with a 13-12 record.
But Brossart peaked during the playoffs and defeated Mason County, 52-50, in the 10th Region championship game on
Saturday when a last-second shot by senior forward Justin Seiter rolled around the rim and dropped through the net.
''It's fine with me if teams (in the state tournament) see us as a Cinderella and overlook us,'' Seiter said. ''A lot of 10th Region
teams didn't expect us to win that tournament, and it worked to our advantage.''
Brossart (19-13) will make its state tournament debut against 1st Region champion Graves County (27-3) at 1 p.m. Thursday
at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
That gives the Mustangs three days to put their remarkable run at the regional title behind them and focus on the task ahead.
But that won't be easy. After losing in the 10th Region final two years ago, the Mustangs are savoring their success.
''It's just a great feeling to do something at Brossart that's never been done before,'' Seiter said.
Brossart coach Willie Schlarman had to take some drastic measures to prepare his team for a run at the regional title.
In early January, he benched his starters and put five junior varsity players on the court for the opening tipoff.
''From that point on, we didn't start those five guys until we got to the district and region (playoffs),'' Schlarman said.
''I tinkered around, trying different lineups at different times just to see how they'd react. Losing wasn't as important as finding
out what was best for the team.''
The experiment worked. Brossart won three district games and three regional games to earn a berth in the state tournament.
''Coach said he wanted people on the floor who were going to get the job done,'' Seiter said of Schlarman's shakeup. ''Some
people got upset, but he got the message across.''
During the regional tournament, Seiter scored 60 points in the three games, including 28 in the championship final.
But he said defense carried the Mustangs to the title.
''Our half-court defense is what really got us going (in the playoffs),'' he said. ''We mix it up with different zones and
man-to-man and box-and-chasers. We try to throw new things at teams so they don't know what to do.''
Graves County is also a good defensive team, allowing 43.9 points per game after holding four of their five playoff opponents
to 42 points or less.
But Schlarman said the tough schedule his players faced should prepare them for whatever Graves County has in store.
''The one thing this year has done for our kids is make them mentally tough,'' Schlarman said. ''They've experience some
heartaches. We lost a lot of close games in February, but they just persevered. And it all came together for us in the district and
|This Article Appeared In The Kentucky Post on Monday, March 13, 2000 After Brossart
Had Defeated Mason County 52-50 the Previous Saturday Night
To Win Our First Ever 10th Region Championship
Our 19-12 Mustangs, who were making their first ever trip to the State Tournament, had drawn 27-3 Graves County who
were making their fifth appearance in eight years. The Eagles were coming out of Region Number One which was
comprised of perennial powerhouses Paducah Tighlman and Marshall County. Graves County is a 4-A School and was the
second largest school in the tournament. Brossart on the other hand was the second smallest team in the sixteen team field.
The Mustangs were rumored to be twelve to fourteen point underdogs entering the ballgame.
Dubbed Cinderella by the media we created and hung signs around school that stated "Cinderella With An Attitude" and
"Cinderella Is Coming To Rupp and She's Bringing Princess With Her"
(Princess was the nickname given to Justin Seiter by Trainer Chris Holtz and his teammates)
Schlarman Thrilled To Go Back as Coach
By Terry Boehmker, Post staff reporter
Willie Schlarman played in two Kentucky boys' state basketball tournaments
and he was an assistant coach on a team that made it to the state championship
But he said returning to the Sweet 16 as Bishop Brossart's head coach is the
greatest thrill of all.
''I haven't come down to earth yet,'' Schlarman said Sunday as he made
preparations for the Mustangs first trip to the state tournament after winning
the 10th Region title.
''This is the neatest thing that could happen because I told these young men
for the last three years if they believed in me, and each other, they could do it.''
Schlarman was a starting forward on Highlands teams that made back-to-back state tournament appearances in 1982 and 1983.
He continued his playing career at Northern Kentucky University and took a job as a customer service representative after
After a few years in the business world, he returned to Highlands as an assistant coach and helped guide the Bluebirds to the
state final in 1997.
He became head coach at Brossart in 1997-98 and took the small-school team to the 10th Region final his rookie season.
Now he's taking the Mustangs to the state tournament as the 10th Region champs.
''This year, we knew there was a lot of parity in the region,'' said Schlarman, who has a 63-31 coaching record in three years at
Brossart. ''I kept telling our guys it was possible (to win it) if got on a roll, and that's what happened.''
After losing five of their last six regular-season games, the Mustangs won six straight playoff games to earn a berth in the state
''In all honesty, we're playing pretty good right now,'' Schlarman said.