‘Tomcat Tales’ mixes fictional games with real-life tradition

When the 2020 Kentucky high school basketball season abruptly ended without putting down one dribble in the Sweet Sixteen, my heart ached for those 16 schools who had fought so valiantly to earn a place among the state’s elite. They were denied the opportunity to play out their dreams on the Rupp Arena floor because of the coronavirus that paralyzed the world.

It was heartbreaking for each of the regional champions but maybe especially so for the Ashland Tomcats, who had been perfect to that point. They were all dressed up with a 33-0 record and no place to go.

The Tomcats displayed a throwback kind of teamwork that had everybody wanting to watch them play and comparing them to some of the best in Ashland history.

But how would they do against the best of the best?

Sweet 16 games for the 2020 State Tournament were played through computer simulation and stories written using my sportswriter background to “report” the outcomes.

You’ll have to read Tomcat Tales to find out what happened at the Sweet 16 and many more games!

No high school in Kentucky has the tradition of the Ashland Tomcats. They have won 33 regional championships, four state championships, been runner-up four times and a national champion. They were the first team in Kentucky to 2,000 victories – hitting that milestone during the 2020 season. They have more wins than any team in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Tomcat Tales will take readers to 1928 when the Tomcats ruled the state. They have battles with the 1961 Tomcats that won the state championship and even the 2020 Tomcats that were striving to match the record. Every regional champion since 1953 is represented at least once, along with a lot of other years.

Tomcat Tales lets your imagination run wild. Go back in time with me to honor some of the greatest basketball players and coaches to ever walk the streets of Ashland, Kentucky.

It may even make for a perfect dream ending.


Book is $20 or $25 if needed to be shipped by USPS.

Available SOON locally at:
Second Hand Rose (3205 13th Street)
Pollock’s Jewelry (913 Winchester Avenue)

Or send check to:
Mark Maynard
2515 Holt Street
Ashland KY 41101

Click to use Paypal

Include your mailing address to for books that need to be shipped.

By Mark Maynard

Managing editor of Kentucky Today, the digital newspaper of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, since July 2017. Worked 42 years for The Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky, the last 12 as managing editor and editor and the previous 30 before that in the sports department, including 17 years as sports editor. I have been in the business since 1975 with more than 75 writing awards from the Kentucky Press Association. I have also have written eight books, used to run fast but now look more like I have a piano on my back. President of Amy For Africa, a faith-based Christian ministry serving Uganda. I'm a husband to Beth and father to Stephen and Sally, grandfather to Brooks and human to Opie!

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