As we head into the final week of the season - a week that will see many squads take it easy as we approach the post-season, here's a look back at a week that settled all of the district brackets and produced one historic result.
1. Campbell County (22-4, 10-0 region, 3-0 37th District). The Camels had already sewn up the top seed in next week's district tournament and could have coasted; but instead went 4-0; toppled one of the powerhouses of the neighboring 9th region, and advanced to the number 2 spot in the most recent Cantrall state rankings. Campbell shot a blistering 31 of 48 from the field against the Pioneers, led by Drew Wilson's 11 for 16 on the way to a 26-point night. The Camels traveled to Falmouth and dispatched the Wildcats of Pendleton County by 36, paced by presumptive 10th Region POY Reid Jolly's 20/12 double-double. The much-anticipated contest with Cooper on Friday did not disappoint as the Camels scratched out a hard-fought 59-53 win with Wilson and Jolly once again leading the way with 42 of the team's 59 points. Coach Russell's crew could have been forgiven for slipping a bit the next day at Hebron, but Jolly was dominant in the 70-48 drubbing of Conner. Campbell is on the road at Boone County and Ryle this week.
2. Clark County (21-6, 8-1 region, 6-0 40th District). For some teams that only play three region games outside their district, it could be hard to pinpoint where they should be in the regional rankings. Not so for George Rogers Clark, who have now won eight straight and remain the solid number two. The Cardinals were road warriors last week, with routs at Madison Southern and Breathitt County sandwiched around a tougher 58-51 triumph over 20-win Knott Central County (apologies to PP92). Brennan Canada was 9-10 from the field against Southern; led the team in scoring and rebounds against KCC with 15 and 8; and did the same with 19 and 12 at Breathitt County. While there is plenty of talent on the Cardinals' roster, Canada has emerged as the go-to guy for Coach Cook. GRC looks to avenge an earlier loss to Frederick Douglass; then entertains a very solid Henry Clay squad in the regular-season finale. The 40th District is set; and the Cards will play Paris in the opening round.
3. Scott (15-10, 7-2 region, 2-1 37th District). It's been Scott and Bourbon exchanging the 3 and 4 slots for a while now, and this week is no exception. Scott started the week with a big 25-point win over Brossart behind Trey Meister's 21. The Eagles followed up with a 74-53 rout of Ryle on the road (that's a literary device called alliteration, by the way); with Meister, David Hunter, Kyren Simpson and Nathan Joyce all reaching double figures (Chad Ohmer didn't play after re-aggravating an ankle the week before). Next was a lackluster loss to Conner in Taylor Mill with Ohmer still on the bench; followed by a convincing 72-54 thumping of Simon Kenton (no Ohmer again). Joyce scored 20 and Meister contributed 19 and 12 in the win over the Pioneers. Scott faces North College Hill (Cincinnati), then finishes up by hosting Cooper this week. They will face Calvary Christian (you read that right) in the 2/3 matchup in the district tournament.
4. Bourbon County (19-9, 9-4, 2-4 40th District). The Colonels took care of business against East Jessamine 87-68 in their only action last week. This week finds Coach Campbell's crew (I did it again) hosting Pendleton County on Monday. Bourbon was able to avoid the dreaded 4th seed in the district tournament; and will square off against Montgomery in next week's opener.
5. Robertson County (19-6, 10-3 region, 3-1 38th District). The Black Devils hit the century mark in blowing out undermanned St. Patrick by 44 on Tuesday, hitting 42 of 70 from the field and paced by Alex Schalch's 28 and 13. Coach Kelsch's guys averaged 100 for the week by following up with a 99-72 thumping of Harrison County by shooting 40 of 60 behind 20+ point efforts from Justin Becker, Sebastian Dixon and Schalch. The Devils should run their win streak to 8 with Bracken, Menifee and Dayton on tap. Although the current class of the 38th, Robertson will match up against Nicholas County in the 2/3 38th District semifinal.
6. Montgomery County (16-11, 7-6 region, 3-3 40th District). The Indians won all three of their games last week, starting with a 42-38 squeaker over district rival Paris and also avoiding the 4 seed in the postseason. The Indians only converted 12 buckets in the game and were outrebounded 33 to 17, but outscored the Hounds 13-2 at the line. Easy home wins over Nicholas County and Pendleton County rounded out the week. Pharoah Davis had a huge 14/15 effort against the Jackets; while Myron Ralls poured in 20 against Pendleton. Powell County and Harrison County provide the opposition in the final week of the regular season, and MoCo faces Bourbon County in the district opener.
7. Bishop Brossart (16-10, 7-3 region, 0-3 37th District). The loss to Scott on Monday was expected; with the Eagles rolling to a 78-53 win. Senior guard and 4th-leading scorer Bryson Weiland (7.0 PPG) dislocated a thumb in the contest and will be unavailable for the rest of the season. Weiland's absence in the next game with Calvary Christian was felt; as the Mustangs fell for the first time to the Cougars in program history on a last-second play, 48 to 46. 3-13 shooting from distance and a 3-8 effort from the charity stripe didn't help. Instead of the anticipated Scott/Brossart 2/3 district semifinal; Brossart will now face Silver Grove in the 4/5 play-in game; and will in all likelihood (never say never) face Campbell County in the semis. This week finds the Mustangs lacing them up against Mason County and Bellevue.
8. Paris (8-16, 7-7 region, 1-5 40th District). The aforementioned loss to Montgomery County on Monday (one of those "won the stat sheet but lost the game" games) relegated the Greyhounds to the 4 seed in next week's 40th District tournament and a date with the Cardinals of Clark County. The Hounds bounced back with wins over Augusta (Jalen Byars with 26 and 10) and Harrison County (Byars with 17 and 8 in a game that saw the Hounds convert only 15 of 30 from the line) before falling by a bucket at home in overtime to Lawrence County, 57 to 55 (Byars with 17 and 13; Travis Strings with a team-high 20 points). Paris finishes the regular season at Pendleton County and home vs. Tates Creek.
9. Harrison County (9-17, 3-9 region, 1-3 38th District). Harrison split four games in a busy week 11, defeating Williamstown by 13 and Mason County by 5; while finding themselves on the short end against Paris and Robertson County. It was reported that three starters sat out the Robertson County game, although I haven't confirmed it. The Breds will, in an ironic twist, be the favorite as the 4 seed in the district semi against #1 Pendleton County. Harrison travels to Mt. Sterling in their only week 12 action.
10. Calvary Christian (18-10, 7-5 region, 3-2 37th District). Calvary started a three-win week with romps at home over Dayton and Villa Madonna; Mason Rusch netting 24 in each game and ably supported by Cross Dugan's 14 and 21-point efforts. Then came "the pass that shook the 37th".
The Cougars have been looking for a signature win (a defeat of Dontaie-less Pendleton County notwithstanding) for a long time; and finally earned one on the road at Bishop Brossart. Rusch's 26 point night and pinpoint pass to Josh Moran for the game-winning layup gave Calvary a totally unexpected 48-46 win. As a result, Calvary will take on Scott in the 2/3 semifinal. The Cougars visit St. Henry, then participate in the Kentucky Christian Conference regular season-ending tournament.
11. Mason County (11-14, 4-7 region, 2-0 39th District). Mason County went 1-2 in week 11; dropping road games against Highlands and Harrison County, while topping rival Fleming County by 20. Jalen Lofton and Xylon Frey had 16 and 13 respectively in the Highlands contest. Lofton and Frey both posted double-doubles (20-11, 16-12) against the Panthers; with Jeremiah Jones providing the scoring punch against the Thorobreds in a game that saw the Royals claw back from a 16-point second half deficit, only to run out of gas at the end. Mason County finally sees their home floor this week after a "Dave Dudley streak" (six days on the road, for us old-timers); hosting Bishop Brossart and Augusta; and will face Augusta in the 39th District semifinal.
12. Bracken County (11-15, 5-8 region, 2-1 39th District). The Polar Bears dropped a heartbreaker at Fleming County 60-58 on Thursday. Tad Fischer led the Bears with 16 in the defeat. Anderson County then visited The Igloo and held the Bears to under 40 points for the fifth time this season in a 44-38 win. Robertson County, Frankfort Christian and West Carter are on this week's schedule; and Bracken will face off against St. Patrick in next week's district opener.
13. Pendleton County (10-15, 6-9, 3-1 38th District). The Wildcats were defeated handily by Campbell County and Montgomery County in week 11; scoring a total of just 87 points. Clay Monroe reached double figures in both contests. The 40th District provides the week 12 opposition in the form of Bourbon County and Paris; and Pendleton will square off against Harrison County in the district semi.
14. Augusta (9-16, 6-8 region, 3-1 39th District). The Panthers were manhandled by Paris 64-35 on Monday; then put up a valiant effort in a 2-point loss to Greenup County on the road prior to a thrilling 68-67 Senior Night win over Villa Madonna behind (lone) senior Stephen Cordle's 17/13 double-double. Augusta takes on Lewis County and Ludlow prior to their district tournament tilt with Mason County at The Fieldhouse.
15. Nicholas County (5-19, 1-11 region, 1-3 38th District). Nicholas fell to Montgomery County and Western Hills last week; with junior guard Noah Gritton reaching double figures in both games. On the road at Model and St. Patrick this week; then the 38th tourney matchup against heavily favored Robertson County.
16. St. Patrick (1-27, 1-11 region, 0-3 39th District). The young Saints showed well last week but ultimately fell by 5 to Berea and by 3 to Bellevue. Patrick McKay had 21 in the Berea contest. The Saints converted 1 of only 4 free throws at Bellevue. Nicholas County and Villa Madonna at home this week, then Bracken County in the 39th.
17. Silver Grove (7-16, 0-4 region, 0-2 37th District). The Trains fell 64-47 to Williamstown in their only game last week. This week offers repeats of two previous Grove victories - B3 and SCPA (Ohio). Brossart and Silver Grove will meet in the 37th's 4/5 play-in game next Monday.
Week 12 Games to Watch
Bishop Brossart at Mason County, 2/12
Henry Clay at Clark County, 2/14
Harrison County at Montgomery County, 2/15
Cooper at Scott, 2/15