By LARRY VAUGHT
Mercer County girls became the first public high school to win back-to-back state basketball champions in 40 years when they beat Mercy by 40 points in the title game Sunday.
On Tuesday, the school turned in another historic feat when seniors Seygan Robins and Trevon Faulkner became the first players from the same school to win Miss and Mr. Basketball honors in the same season.
“It’s just a blessing for us both,” said Faulkner, a Northern Kentucky University signee who is one of only seven boys to score over 3,000 points and grab over 1,000 rebounds in Kentucky. “I felt pretty confident, but then I got kind of nervous before I won. I just thank God that I won.”
They were honored during the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation’s ceremony Tuesday at the Lexington Center.
Robins, a University of Louisville signee, was named most valuable player in the state tournament the last two years. She had over 2,600 points along with more than 800 assists and 500 steals in her career. Robins averaged 14.6 points and 2.8 rebounds for Mercer (35-3). She shot 42.8 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from 3-point range and 77.3 percent at the foul line.
Faulkner averaged 26.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for Mercer (27-6). He shot 53 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from 3-point range and 80.9 percent at the foul line.
“It’s just really great to have so much support here for us both tonight,” said Robins. “I think this was something we both thought about but kept in the back of our minds until our seasons ended.
Only three times had the Mr. and Miss Basketball winners came from the same city — Owensboro in 1986 (Apollo’s Rex Chapman and Owensboro Catholic’s Kris Miller) and Louisville in 1989 (Ballard’s Allan Houston and Southern’s Lisa Harrison) and 2005 (Jeffersontown’s Domonic Tilford and Sacred Heart’s Carly Ormerod). It was the first time the Mr. and Miss Basketball winners came out of the same region since 2005 when Tilford and Ormerod won out of the 7th Region.
Faulkner could have won the best dressed award as well for the red sport coat and bowtie he had. He had asked Mercer coach Josh Hamlin about borrowing a coat and they thought an assistant coach had one but it was not the right size.
“I went to JCPenney and tried on two. I really liked the red one, so I got it,” Faulkner said.
So he was dressed expecting to win?
“I wasn’t worried about winning. It was just a blessing to be here and be a candidate. I was thankful to be here just like Seygan was,” Faulkner said.
Robins insisted she was not expecting to win because of the quality of players in Kentucky this season, including UK signee Blair Green and Louisville signee Mykasa Robinson. Both were at the awards ceremony that included the players of the year from each region.
“There were a lot of great 2018 candidates. Nobody really knew who it would be (that would win),” Robins said. “There were a lot of good boys and a lot of good girls. I am just really proud that I won, and Trevon won.
“I am proud of myself and the season I had, but I knew there were also a lot of girls who did things different than I did. I didn’t know who would win. I’m still kind of overwhelmed that it was me.”