Week 5 was all about holiday tournaments, and most 12th Region teams participated in an event. There was a wide variety, some faced top-25 in-state powers, some traveled out of state, while others played some softer competition. The results were a mixed bag, perhaps the biggest surprise being an 81-79 upset of Madison Central by an up-and-coming young Somerset team who made a strong showing in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Classic and moved up two spots in the rankings as a result.

Entering 2019, the 12th Region is still up for grabs but three teams remain a notch above the rest, with Wayne, Danville and Lincoln currently being the teams to beat. Two of those three are in the 45th District, so we will get at least two Danville-Lincoln matchups that will help further define the picture. The next tier of contenders are currently West Jessamine, Mercer, Pulaski and Somerset, any of these could jump into the top group with some improvement or refinement, all have the capability. This second tier could also grow, as teams get healthy and find their stride in January.

Here is a look at the week 5 results, rankings, and Week 6 key match-ups:

1. Wayne County – Despite a 67-62 loss to Beechwood, the Cardinals retain their #1 position. Beechwood is 12-1 vs. in-state competition and is proving to be one of the better teams in the strong 9th Region, so this is really not a bad loss for Wayne County. The Cardinals bounced back with two comfortable wins, 83-47 over Cumberland County and 73-66 over Newport Central Catholic. Senior Guard Aubrey Weaver continues to stake a claim for Player of the Year (POY) consideration with consistent performances, averaging 17.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and is the Cardinal’s go-to player against the stiffer competition. Wayne County hosts Perry County Central on Friday this week, then travels to Lincoln County on Saturday to take on 10th Region power George Rogers Clark in the Patriot Classic.

2. Danville – The Admirals coasted to three easy victories this week in their home tournament over Webster County, Metcalfe County and Whitefield Academy. Danville also picked up a new player, a transfer from neighboring Boyle County, as Freshman Aden Slone will be joining the Admirals. Things will get much tougher for Danville this week as they open District play at Lincoln County on Friday, followed by a home game vs. Casey County on Saturday.

3. Lincoln County – Lincoln traveled to warm weather this week to play at Windermere Prep (Florida) in the Rock Holiday Classic, where they went 1-2 against teams from Florida, Georgia and West Virginia. The Patriots open up a 5-game home-stand this coming Friday against 45th District foe Danville, then play host to Hopkinsville on Saturday in the Patriot Classic. Senior Guard Blake Smith continues to shoot the ball consistently well and provide stability in the backcourt for the Patriots.

4. West Jessamine –The Colts opened the week in the Central Bank Classic at LCA with a comfortable 68-59 win over Covington Holy Cross. In the semifinal game vs. Central Hardin, West fought back from an early deficit to tie the game just before halftime in what looked to be a game that would go down to the wire. The Colts came out flat in the second half, however, playing without Senior Guard and POY candidate Dalton Bruner (disciplinary action), and Central Hardin pulled away to win 74-54. Bruner also then sat out the 3rd Place game vs. top-10 Campbell County, but the Colts played well and were competitive in a 72-60 loss. West plays host on Friday this week to North Bullitt then travels to face Newport Central Catholic on Saturday.

5. Mercer County– The Titans dropped a close contest to undefeated Clay County, 63-61, but followed that up with victories over Floyd Central (67-58) and Daniel Central (SC), 64-63. Senior Carter Baughman continues to lead the way for Mercer with 23.5 points per game, but other players are starting to take some of the scoring load off of Baughman. After a slow start to the season due to injury, Junior Kaelin Drakeford has become a key scoring option alongside Baughman and fellow Junior Jamisen Lewis as the Titans attack becomes more balanced. Mercer hosts East Jessamine this Friday and travels to Adair County to play Louisville Eastern in the Lindsey Wilson Classic on Saturday.

6. Pulaski County– The Maroons traveled to Florida to play in the Sunshine Classic this past week and defeated White County (Tennessee) 74-72, and played South-Doyle (Knoxville), TN and a team from Freeport, Bahamas. Pulaski travels to Boyle County on Wednesday and hosts Rockastle County on Friday.

7. Somerset – Somerset moves up two spots this week after an impressive showing in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Classic this past week. The Briar Jumpers opened with an easy 81-47 victory over Cumberland County. After falling behind a very strong Beechwood team 50-33 at half, Somerset made a strong comeback and made it a close game before bowing 81-74. In a battle of ranked Sophomores, Somerset’s Kade Grundy put up 32 points while Beechwood’s Scotty Draud had 21 before fouling out in the 4th Quarter. The Briar Jumpers closed out the week with a defining victory Madison Central, 81-79, despite another opponent Sophomore’s strong showing as Kole Brown went 7-of-10 from the 3-point line on the way to 29 points for the Indians. Somerset continues to improve, road games this week against Casey County and Rockcastle County give the Briar Jumpers additional opportunity to demonstrate that they are a contender.

8. Garrard County – Junior Braden Sebastian continues to put up big numbers, including 40 points and 19 rebounds in a 64-52 win over Louisville Iroquois, but Garrard dropped two of three games for the week in the Henry County Invitational. The win over Iroquois was sandwiched between a surprising 65-30 loss to Bishop Brossart and a 66-62 loss to a struggling Boone County team. The Golden Lions travel to Montgomery County on Wednesday this week and host 45th District opponent Boyle County on Friday.

9. Boyle County – Boyle County traveled to play in the Nelson County Classic this past week and went 1-2, dropping games to Meade County and Logan County before a 53-44 victory over the host team Nelson County. With Juniors Reese Smith and Grant Hotchkiss still sidelined with injury and the loss of Freshman Aden Slone (10.0 points per game) to transfer, the young Rebels are currently lacking in both depth and experience and have dropped a couple of spots in the rankings as a result. A Wednesday home game vs. Pulaski County and a road trip to Garrard County on Friday will give the Rebels opportunities to assert their standing within the Region.

10. Rockcastle County – The Rockets traveled to Montgomery County to play in the Gateway Holiday Classic, but played only one game, a 74-67 loss to the host team. Rockcastle hosts Somerset on Wednesday and travels to Pulaski County on Friday this week.

11. Casey County – The Rebels opened their week in the Campbellsville High School Holiday Classic with a 71-60 victory over the host team before dropping consecutive games to Washington County (80-72) and Marion County (99-73). The Rebels may be playing better than the team immediately ahead of them in the rankings, but remain in the 11th position for now due to their home loss to the Rockets back on December 14. Casey County has a difficult week ahead, hosting an improving Somerset team on Friday and then traveling to Danville on Saturday.

12. Southwestern - The Warriors traveled to LaRue County for three more games in the Magnolia Bank Holiday Classic, dropping the opener to Bullitt Central by a score of 63-56. Southwestern rebounded with an easy 60-37 win over Louisville Collegiate before getting bounced by the host LaRue County 80-40. Southwestern has only one game this coming week, and not an easy one as they play top-10 Lexington Christian at Lincoln County on Saturday in the Patriot Classic.

13. East Jessamine – The Jaguars competed this past week in the Henry County Invitational and played well, defeating Boone County 70-68 in the opener before falling to a solid Grant County team 72-64. East rebounded in the final game to defeat Henry County 64-50, going 2-1 for the week. The Jaguars have shown improvement over the holidays and may be primed to make some noise early in 2019, a District game this Friday at Mercer County will provide an opportunity to see if that improvement deserves a move up the rankings.

14. McCreary Central – The Raiders doubled their season win total this past week while playing in the Williamstown Holiday Tournament. An opening 66-56 loss to Rowan County was backed up with a 74-57 win over Dayton and a 56-36 victory over Prestonsburg. McCreary plays only one game this week, at Williamsburg on Friday evening.

15. Burgin – The Bulldogs were off this past week and take a 9-1 record into their lone game this week, at home vs. Rose Hill Christian on Saturday.

16. Danville Christian – Also off this past week, the Warriors next game is January 5 vs. Frankfort Christian.

17. Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) – KSD is off until January 10 when they face Danville Christian.

Key 12th Region Games of the Week:
Wednesday, January 2
Somerset at Rockcastle County, 7:30 p.m.
Pulaski County at Boyle County, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, January 4
Rockcastle County at Pulaski County, 7:30 p.m.
Danville at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Boyle County at Garrard County, 7:30 p.m.
East Jessamine at Mercer County, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 5
West Jessamine at Newport Central Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
Casey County at Danville, 7:30 p.m.
Patriot Classic (played at Lincoln County):
Southwestern vs. Lexington Christian Academy, 1:30 p.m.
Wayne County vs. George Rogers Clark, 4:30 p.m.
Hopkinsville at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.