2012-2013 Kentucky High School Basketball Preview - 6th Region Boys
Bullitt East has been the class of the 6th region for the past two years, beating PRP in two consecutive 6th Region Championship games. Last season they did it on a Trey Rakes buzzer beater that got a fair share of national publicity. The Chargers didn't survive their first game in the state tournament, though, as they ran into eventual state champion Trinity.
No changing of the guard is expected this season, Bullitt East is again the favorite followed closely by PRP. Butler and Fairdale will both hope to play spoiler and crash the state tournament. Southern will be the favorite in the 23rd district, although Moore and first year Head Coach Richard Gatewood will likely challenge them. Doss and Jeffersontown are the other favorites to make the 6th Region Tournament. If these teams made the 6th Region Tournament it would be the same group that made it last season.
There are a number of new head coaches in the region. Moore, Southern, Iroquois and Western all will be sporting new head coaches. Southern's new head coach Shedrick Jones took the job after leading Moore to the best record in Region 6 last season.
Preseason 6th Region Rankings
1. Bullitt East (2011-2012 Record: 27-5) - Senior Forward Derek Willis (committed to UK) is the superstar of Troy Barr's squad; he averaged 18 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last year. However, fellow juniors Rusty Troutman (committed to Bellarmine), Trey Rakes and Elliot Young are all capable of leading the Chargers on any given night. Bullitt East may play the toughest schedule in the state matching a difficult in-state schedule with some of the top national tournaments. These include the Whataburger in Dallas, TX and the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, MO. The Chargers are likely to be state champion favorites along with 7th Region favorite Ballard. Other impact players include Hunter Noffsinger who transferred in from Muhlenberg County, Rhett Troutman, Ezra Troutman, Derek Jones, Tyler Sharpe, Chris Embry and Tyler Bacon.
2. Pleasure Ridge Park (2011-2012 Record: 26-7) - The Panthers have been bested by Bullitt East in the last two 6th Region championship games. And Coach Mabrey lost Jeril Taylor, Cortez Macklin and Max Clemons off last year’s team. However they return two of the top juniors in the state in Antonio McDaniels and LaMontray Harris. Combine those two with Butler transfer D'Angelo Hunter, Senior Forward Robert Sawyer and football star Taywan Taylor and you have a team that's as talented as any in the state. The Panthers will look to finally knock off the Chargers on their quest for a second state title. Other impact players include Bryce Byrd, John Oyler, Jovante Lavender, Khalid Raheem, Greg Davidson, Richard Gaines, Drew Glass and Hunter Stevenson.
3. Butler (2011-2012 Record: 19-11) - Butler lost Jalen Palm off last year’s team, who's now at Monmouth and D'Angelo Hunter who transferred to Pleasure Ridge Park. However, Coach Purley returns Senior Guard Demetrius McReynolds who is one of the top players in the region and the state. McReynolds will team with fellow Senior G Rashawn Ferrell and Sophomore G Jeremiah Bell to form one of the best backcourts in the state. If the Bears can find a solid frontcourt rotation then Bullitt East and PRP may be in trouble. Other players to watch include Kermit Malone and William Johnson.
4. Fairdale (2011-2012 Record: 13-17) - Gregg Longacre's squad is highlighted by three players who averaged more than 12 points per game. Junior G Cory Thomas (12.2 ppg), Senior G/F Josh Payne (12.4 ppg) and Senior G/F Boo Crabtree (12.5 ppg) will all need to step up their games if they hope to knock off PRP in the 21st District. Other players to keep an eye on include Caleb Longacre, Darren Lowrey, Jordan Clark, Raymont Blincoe and Joe Cox.
5. Jeffersontown (2011-2012 Record: 21-11) - Coach Clay Moody comes into his second season having to replace a ton of scoring from last year’s team. Desmond Dorsey, DeMichael Jackson, Daniel Ross, Diondrey Holt and Greg Minor are all gone, a combined 52.5 points per game. Moe Hendricks will be the top returnee (8.7 ppg and 2.2 rpg), he'll be joined by Daniel Williams (3.2 ppg) and Devonte Haskins (2.6 ppg and 1.1 rpg). Other players to watch include Brandon Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Khalid Minor, Mikal Howard and Fairdale transfer Richard Deloney.
6. Doss (2011-2012 Record: 17-13) - The Dragons lose Rex White, Stephon Bryant and Dawonye Lawson from last season. However they return stud Junior Forward Montrelle Little who emerged at the end of last season for Doss. Doss also has a bevy of sophomore talent in F Tyler Jefferson, G Dajon McCarley and G Dujuanta Weaver. Other players to look out for include Senior Guards Deontai Smith and Ronnell Colbert and junior forward Dajzon Dukes.
7. Southern (2011-2012 Record: 22-10) - Former Moore Head Coach Shedrick Jones takes over a squad that loses three starters from last season in Aaron Baker, Patrick Horsley and Alan Almanza. They do return a trio of Senior Guards in Deon Yelder, Randall Pickett and Myron Godall. Senior C Dantrelle Bell is expected to hold down the fort in the paint.
8. Moore (2011-2012 Record: 28-5) - Head Coach Richard Gatewood is among the youngest in the state. And despite Moore losing Mekale McKay, William Bryant and Daquan Boyd the Mustangs return a very good squad. Both Sanford brothers return- Jaelin is a Junior Guard and Jamon is a Senior Guard. James Yates is the main returning frontcourt player; he averaged 4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 25 games last season. The Mustangs also feature two new players down low in 6'5" junior forward Justin Richardson who transferred in from Manual and senior forward Damon Robinson who last played at Trinity. Yates, Richardson and Robinson will be needed to take a major step up in order for the Mustangs to compete this season. Izajah Armstrong will be the leader of this team both vocally and by example, other players to keep an eye on include Javaughn Jackson, Trey Drake, Trae Stott, DeShawn Seewright and Cameron Fries.
9. Iroquois (2011-2012 Record: 14-11) - New Head Coach Jeff Morrow will be looking to build Iroquois into the same kind of powerhouse he made Jeffersontown. However, it'll take some time; he'll first have to replace Montez Buford and James Drabo. Senior Devon Johnson and Demetray Foster are the most veteran returnees. 6'5" Sophomore Paris Ward is still raw but if Coach Morrow can mold him into shape he could be special. Other players to watch include Troy Vaughn Smith, Trey Anderson and Pierre Malitshanga.
10. Western (2011-2012 Record: 11-20) - Terrence Moorman comes in trying to improve on an 11-20 record from last season. The Warriors lost Charles Jacobs, Armond Langford and Patrick Moore off last season’s team, but return plenty of talent. This includes Junior Center Chris McCraw, Senior Forward Kenneth Wachira and Senior Guard Bryson Harris. Other talented returnees to watch include Carl Brown, Jamel Clay, Justin Love, Patrick Moore, Terrell Howard and Tevin Cowherd.
11. Fern Creek (2011-2012 Record: 17-14) - Coach Layfield lost 5 key players off last year’s squad in Jamie Carr, Justin Newby, O'Brien Hobbs, Jermaine Lee and Michael Parrish. He does return 6'5" Junior Forward Joe Jackson along with Senior Guard Alex Avery and Senior Forward Deon Wimberly. Other players to watch include Cameron Brown, Marti White, Scott Gecole and Shariff Williams.
12.Bullitt Central (2011-2012 Record: 21-9) - The Cougars lose the majority of their scoring from last season’s team. Caleb Craddock, Ryan Schnellenberger, Damon Shepherd, Randy Hurst, Corey Smith and Luke Whitmore are all gone. Senior Guards Aaron Duckett and Jake Gillard are notable returning players. Other players to watch include Kevin Ford, Brett Bourland, Alex Cromer and Zach Martin.
13.DeSales (2011-2012 Record: 11-16) - Coach John Mingus loses his top three leading scorers from last year in Evan Bingham, Duncan Cameron and Brandon Brooks. Matt Bouchard (6.3 ppg), Nathan Roush (8.5 ppg) and Mike Schurfanz (5.2 ppg) all return to give DeSales a very solid group of juniors. Other notable players include Chase Shellman, Nick Phillips, Hunter Tubb and Matt Schullman.
14.Evangel (2011-2012 Record: 10-16) - Evangel has a senior oriented team that plays well together. Evangel is led by Micah Sellinger , a 6'5 swing man who will be a college prospect. Sophomore Matt Gabbard transfered in from Fern Creek he will be a big spark for the Eagles. The 6 seniors (Sellinger, Abram Brinley, Noah Fulks, Jared Galvan, Noah Miller and Jacob Cordy) have been together all four years and run their plays like a well-oiled machine and score the ball well. It is Coach Washington’s 3rd season and he will likely have his best team yet. Other players to watch include Jeff Montgomery, Justin Metheny, Trenton Bain and Justin Bishop.
15. Holy Cross (2011-2012 Record: 9-21) - Coach Durham loses 5 key players off last year’s team in Cody Couch, Dyaln Bickel, Kendall Hammerstrom, Jake Kaelin and Justin McGohon. They do return last year’s leading scorer Dominique Mack who averaged 10.1 points and 5 rebounds per game. Other noteworthy returnees include Aaron Stahl, Norman Ellis and Jack Schmitt.
16. North Bullitt (2011-2012 Record: 16-14) - Brain Courtney's Eagles lose leading scorer Brandon Goeing along with Shane Hardin, Ryan Collins, Zach King and Adrian Wethington. Leading returnees include Jarred George, Zac Lamkin and Jalin Ratliff. The Eagles feature a solid sophomore class composed of G Ricky Dunnavon, G Dominique Ellis, PF Zack Gearlds and C Shelby Rose. Lucas Johnson, Justin Clayton and Jack Barnett are other players to watch.
17. Beth Haven (2011-2012 Record: 21-9) - It will be hard for Brad Morgan’s Bearcats to have a better season than they did last year, they posted a 21-9 record which included a win in the prestigious Louisville Invitational Tournament. Beth Haven lost Dane Haydon, Sean Brown and Hunter Lacefield off of last year’s team. Seniors Brandon Lamkin, Tyler Brian, Josh Lykins and Brad Pharis will look to lead the team this season. Other notable players include Dakotah McKinney, Logan Davis, Kyle Hampton and Punit Naran.
18. Whitefield Academy (2011-2012 Record: 14-14) - Coach Carr loses his top player off of last season’s squad in Ben Pumpelly. And the Cougars have only four seniors this season in Ryan Ramey, Aaron Johnson, Jacob Harrod and Caleb Buse. They will also have a tough time with Fern Creek, Bullitt East and Jeffersontown in district 24. The good news is the Cougars are experiencing a youth movement with 4 sophomores and a Freshman all returning. Other players to watch are Andrew Patterson, Christopher Harrod, Nathan Getzin and James Daily.
19.Valley (2011-2012 Record: 6-16) - Coach Bailey may not have one of the top teams in the 6th Region this season, but his team will play in the Region’s nicest arena. The Vikings recently dedicated J.C. Cantrell Arena, which will host the 6th and 7th Region tournaments. The Vikings do return a plethora of veteran players though that hopes to build on a 6-16 record from last season, this group includes 8 seniors and 6 juniors. Robert Crittenden and Delrico Farris are both players to watch.
Top Players in the 6th Region
1. Derek Willis (Bullitt East) - The 6’9” Forward is already committed to the University of Kentucky, and is considered to be the top senior in the state. Willis is a dangerous inside-out threat who can knock down jump shots as well as score in the post; he’s also an effective slasher, shot-blocker and rebounder. Willis has a very good cast around him which will keep teams from being able to solely focus on him.
2. Demetrius McReynolds (Butler) - 6’2” Guard McReynolds is one of the top Guards in the state and proved that last season as he paired with Jalen Palm to help lead the Bears to a 19-11 record. McReynolds is very athletic and capable of scoring in bunches. McReynolds starred this Summer with the BA Hoyas and is poised for a breakout senior campaign.
3. Rusty Trotman (Bullitt East) - The versatile 6’5” G/F averaged 16.9 points per game last season, and has been named Team Captain this season for the Chargers. Troutman is a very vocal leader and can score in a variety of ways, both as a slasher and a spot up shooter.
4. LaMontray Harris (PRP) - The 6’7” Forward is considered one of the top juniors in the state after a strong summer with the Louisville Magic saw him pick up Division 1 interest. Harris is extremely athletic and is very dangerous when slashing to the basket.
5. D’Angelo Hunter (PRP) - Hunter, a 6’6” Forward, transferred in from rival Butler and already has a division 1 offer from Manhattan. Hunter is an attacking player who can make the open shot or drive to the basket depending on what he’s given. Hunter also made his name as a lockdown defender for Butler last season.
6. Antonio McDaniels (PRP) - McDaniels rounds out PRP’s loaded junior class and he has also already received a division 1 offer from Northern Kentucky. McDaniels is very capable of finding open teammates, as well as creating for himself, using his athleticism to his advantange.
7. Trey Rakes (Bullitt East) - 5’11” Point Guard is often overshadowed by his fellow senior teammates, but make no mistake Rakes is the top pure Point Guard in the region and one of the best in the state. Rakes makes smart decisions with the basketball and finds open teammates with ease. Rakes is also a very good shooter and has a knack for making big time plays (see 6th Region Championship buzzer beater).
8. Boo Crabtree (Fairdale) - Crabtree a 6’5” G/F led Fairdale in scoring and rebounding last season with 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Crabtree is a decent outside shooter but he excels when driving to the basket and finishing around the rim.
9. Josh Payne (Fairdale) - 6’1” G Josh Payne finished second in scoring and rebounding behind Crabtree last season with 12.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Payne led the Bulldogs with an average of 2 threes per game last season and is also an efficient rebounder.
10. Jeremiah Bell (Butler) - Bell is one of the top sophomores in the state of Kentucky and made his name as the youngest member of the Louisville Magic this summer. Butler will need Bell to replace Jalen Palm’s production if the Bears are to compete in the 6th region this year.
Honorable Mention Top Players in the 6th Region (No Order)
Montrelle Little (Doss)
Randall Pickett (Southern)
James Yates (Moore)
Jaelin Sanford (Moore)
Jamon Sanford (Moore)
Elliot Young (Bullitt East)
Robert Sawyer (PRP)
Cory Thomas (Fairdale)
Caleb Longacre (Fairdale)
Deon Yelder (Southern)
Moe Hendricks (Jeffersontown)
Brandon Johnson (Jeffersontown)
Rashawn Ferrell (Butler)
Devon Johnson (Iroquois)
Chris McCraw (Western)
Bryson Harris (Western)
Micah Sellinger (Evangel)
Joe Jackson (Fern Creek)
Nathan Roush (DeSales)
Dominique Mack (Holy Cross)