After losing 19 of 20 games, Meade County High School headed to - WDRB 41 Louisville News

After losing 19 of 20 games, Meade County High School headed to Sweet 16

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MEADE COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) – Following a rough season for the Meade County High School basketball team, they are now headed to the state’s Sweet 16 Tournament.

The team began the 2016-17 season with an 8-1 record, but star senior James Baker severely injured his thumb during a Christmas tournament.

Benched for nearly two months, the team played and practiced without Baker. The Greenwave went on to lose 19 of their next 20 games.

“These kids played hard every day, and they came and practiced hard every day," head coach Jason Tripure said. "You wouldn’t have known if we won 14 in a row or lost 14 in a row. I came in and said 'we need to get better,' and they said it."

Frustration could be seen on and off the court as the team struggled during practices and games.

“It got to us pretty bad," junior Aiden Matthews said. "It’s just like ‘are we ever going to get a win?’”

Baker’s hand had a pin placed in his thumb and his hand was casted for weeks.

The team learned how to fill in the gaps of not having Baker there, which the coach says made each player better and more well-rounded on the court.

Now he is back in the game, the wins are coming back, and last week, the team clinched a spot in the state’s Sweet 16 tournament.

“We’re the underdogs going into the tournament with our record," Matthews said. "Nobody even thinks we have a chance, so it is kind of good motivation to go in there and give it all you got."

Baker's hand is still wrapped up, but it isn’t stopping him from playing games. He currently has six colleges eyeing him with scholarships.

Meade County High School takes on Cooper High School on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

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