Some Random thoughts before handing out some imaginary awards:
• Would have been interested to see how good Bryan Station would have been with a healthy Dishman all season.

• Impressive coaching job by Nate Valentine at LCA to have success with mostly freshmen and sophomores. If Trevor Hill and Tre King had been consistent, LCA would have had a realistic shot to make the region for the first time ever.

• Disappointed with Frankfort this season. The senior heavy team failed to make the regional for another year.

• I don’t think anyone realized just how bad of shape Tates Creek was in. They were consistently bad all year long and their only quality win of the season came in December against Russell County.

• Imagine how different the 11th would have looked if Luke Johnson stayed at Lafayette instead of going back to Catholic……

• Model consistently overachieves. If their district were seeded instead of drawn, they likely play at game in the regional tournament. Kudos to their coaching staff.

• Sayre was much worse than I expected. Take Jake Duby off that roster and they’re probably not better than the Henry Clay freshman team. I’m not sure Sayre will ever be a regional contender.

Before previewing the 11th Region Title Game, here’s a quick rundown of regular season awards as awarded by the one person committee of me.

Most Outstanding Player: Taveion Hollingsworth, Dunbar. The best player on the best team in the region, Tay has had some monster scoring nights and is as consistent as you will find in the region. He averaged 20.9 PPG on 53.7% shooting with 35% from 3 and nearly 80% from the line. He also chipped in 5.3 rebounds per game. If you watched Tay play, you likely came away impressed with his consistency and never forcing shots. Without a doubt, he was the most outstanding player in the 11th this season.

Most Valuable Player: Luke Johnson, Lexington Catholic. I watched several Lex Cath games this year. Whether it was in person or online, one thing was very clear. If you take Johnson off that roster, Lex Cath would be a good JV team at best and would be near the bottom of the region all season long. Where Hollingsworth has Darius Williams and Jordan Lewis to help, Luke had to do it all for the Knights.

Coach of the Year: Billy Hicks, Scott County. Yes he’s been around for a million years and sure he has approximately 45 assistant coaches, but no one expected Scott County to seriously compete this year and no one thought they could lead the region in wins and be ranked in the state most of the season. Coach Hicks was able to enjoy a lot of success while relying on Freshmen and Sophomores. The Cardinals will compete Monday night for a regional championship and look to be the favorites for the next 3 years.

11th Region First Team (No Particular Order):
Taveion Hollingsworth, Dunbar
Darius Williams, Dunbar
Luke Johnson, Lexington Catholic
Pun Tisdale, Henry Clay
Ross Jenkins, Lafayette

11th Region Second Team (No Particular Order):
Michael Moreno, Scott County
Kyle Rode, Lexington Christian
Demarcus Kennedy, Franklin County
Jordan Lewis, Dunbar
Leander Ridgeway, Henry Clay

11th Region Championship Preview:
Scott County (29-5) vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar (28-6)
2 of the top 3 teams since the season started, the Cardinals and the Bulldogs are on a collision course for Monday night at EKU. Two and a half weeks ago, Dunbar ran Scott County off their home court, winning 81-51. That was one of the more shocking results of the regular season.

Matchups:

Backcourt – Dunbar holds a big advantage here as Darius Williams, Jordan Lewis and Taveion Hollingsworth are the best backcourt in the area and possibly the state. While Cooper Robb, Bryce Long, Glenn Covington and the rest of the Cardinal guards are very good, Dunbar has the backcourt advantage over almost every team in the state.

Frontcourt – Advantage to Scott County here as Michael Moreno and Cooper Watts are, in my opinion, considerably better than Dontell Brown, Tre Homer and whoever else the Bulldogs run out there on Monday. Moreno is skilled and Watts is tough while Brown is mainly only a garbage man around the rim.

Coaching – Billy Hicks against Scott Chalk may seem like a good matchup on paper, but I am not a Chalk fan and think he does less with more than any coach at a big school in the state. If the game comes down to Xs and Os and adjustments, I’ll take Billy Hicks over Chalk every time. And I’m not a Coach Hicks fan.

X-Factor – Pace. Dunbar likes to run and Scott County will too, but if they’ve watched the tape from Dunbar’s losses, they’ll notice that if you can keep the Bulldogs at 60 points or less, they have a good shot at beating them. Dunbar failed to break 60 in 3 of their 6 losses and only scored 63 in another loss. If Scott can make the game be about half court execution, their chances of victory increase exponentially.

Prediction: Dunbar 72, Scott County 62

Thanks for reading all season! Hopefully the 11th will be well represented at Rupp by either Scott County or Dunbar.