Week 6 wrapped up the holiday break, some District action commenced this past week but most of the District rivalry games are still in front of us. There are some clear contenders (Wayne, Danville, Lincoln), some potential contenders with the talent to win the Region that have yet to play their best (Mercer, West Jessamine), and some rising young potential contenders that could really shake things up if they continue to improve (Pulaski, Somerset, Garrard). The next tier is for Boyle County alone, who doesn’t currently appear to be a serious contender but that could change with the return of Smith and Hotchkiss. East Jessamine has shown some improvement, and while they are probably not yet a contender they certainly can play the spoiler role if they continue to get better.

45th District games are going to be huge, Danville and Garrard both have District wins under their belt but the fun is just beginning. Not only is a really good team or two going to fail to reach the 12th Region tournament, but some lucky District champion is possibly going to have to face a top-3 team in the opening round. The 45th runner-up will likely have a tougher road in the 12th, so every District game will be critical. That is usually the case, but with the 45thbeing so strong and deep this year it is magnified in that District.

Here is a look at the Week 6 results, rankings, and Week 7 key match-ups:

1. Wayne County – The Cardinals went 2-0 this week, starting with a win over Perry County Central 66-48 at home.The following night, Wayne traveled to Lincoln County to take on 10th Region power George Rogers Clark (GRC) in the Patriot Classic and came away with an impressive 69-57 victory. GRC has some talented players, but at least on this night the Cardinals looked to be the better team. They took control of the game early, maintained composure when the game got quite physical late in the first half, then held off a GRC rally late in the 4th quarter. Wayne County is possibly the best 3-point shooting team in the Region, hovering around 40% for the season; they play solid defense, but it’s their scoring balance and ability to get good looks on offense that sets them apart. If there were a statistic for good shot selection, the Cardinals would likely lead the Region in it.

2. Danville – The Admirals continue to roll and are now 14-1, their lone loss being to #1 Wayne County. Danville opened 45th District play at Lincoln County on Friday this past week, and with a 30-30 halftime tie it appeared the game was going down to the wire. As has been the pattern in a few other games this season, the Admirals came out of the halftime locker room with heightened defensive intensity and dominated the second half on their way to a 63-47 win on the Patriots home floor. The Admirals followed this win with a home victory over Casey County on Saturday, 70-59. Danville seems to play with multiple gears, they size teams up early and lock them down late physically, making good use of their athleticism and are likely the best defensive team in the Region when they do so. An important week in the 45th District is up next, at Boyle County on Tuesday and home vs. Garrard County on Friday.

3. Lincoln County – The Patriots hosted District rival Danville this past week, played well in the first half but succumbed to a strong defensive showing by the Admirals in the second half on the way to a 63-47 loss. Lincoln bounced back the following night with a 43-41 home win over Hopkinsville. The Patriots hold on the #3 spot as they do appear to be one of the top three teams in the Region, and they will have at least one other shot at the Admirals for 45th District supremacy.

4. West Jessamine – West hosted North Bullitt on Friday this past week and won 72-67, then traveled to face Newport Central Catholic (NCC) on Saturday where they surrendered a 10-point second half lead and lost 67-65. The Colts played both games without leading scorer Dalton Bruner, who has been battling illness and unable to practice or play. West played well offensively in both games, ball movement and shot selection was improved over what was demonstrated in December; not having Bruner on the defensive side of the ball may have hurt the Colts more than on offense, as against NCC they struggled to stop penetration and close out shooters while surrendering their second half lead. West plays host twice this week, to top-10 power Lexington Christian on Tuesday and District rival East Jessamine on Friday.

5. Mercer County– Two wins for the Titans this week, starting with a 67-59 home win over East Jessamine on Friday. Mercer then traveled to Adair County to play Louisville Eastern in the Lindsey Wilson Classic on Saturday and came away with a 50-36 victory. The Titans play Western Hills on Tuesday in the new ‘2A Classic’. The three-pronged attack of Baughman, Lewis and Drakeford continues to make Mercer a threat to beat anyone in the Region, but Pulaski and Somerset are rapidly improving and pushing both the Titans and West Jessamine for a claim on the #4 and #5 positions in the Region.

6. Pulaski County – The Maroons may be hitting their stride, they traveled to Boyle County on Wednesday this past week and won 51-40 and took down Rockastle County at home on Friday by a score of 73-65. Pulaski is doing it with a balanced scoring attack as four players (Fraley, Combs, Oaks, Heath) are averaging in double figures. This is a huge week for the Maroons, starting with a District game at Somerset on Monday, a tough road trip to Lincoln County on Tuesday, a home game vs. Southwestern on Friday, and a matchup in Southwestern’s Iron Warrior Classic Saturday afternoon vs. Montgomery County. We should learn a lot this week about how Pulaski is going to stack up in the Region the rest of the way, their lone loss within the 12th came in week 2 against West Jessamine and they own a road victory over #1 Wayne County. The Maroons are primed to move up the rankings with a good showing this week.

7. Somerset – Two road wins this week, 70-66 over Rockcastle County and 72-56 at Casey County, keep the Briar Jumpers at #7. Junior Forward Jase Bruner went off at Rockcastle, going for 27 points (on 10-11 shooting) and 11 rebounds in a dominating performance. A huge District rivalry game is up next, Somerset hosts Pulaski County on Tuesday before traveling to Anderson County ono Friday. The Briar Jumpers are starting to have the look of a potential contender, the matchup with the Maroons will be a good litmus test.

8. Garrard County – The Golden Lions dropped a road game Montgomery County on Wednesday this past week, 76-66, but returned home for a critical 45th District matchup vs. Boyle County on Friday and prevailed in a hard-fought battle, 51-49. The win over Boyle included a couple of milestones, Junior Braden Sebastian passed the 1,000-point mark and coach Ryan Young now has victories over each 45th District in his short tenure at Garrard. This team and program is headed in the right direction and is now a threat to beat any team in the Region, and while Sebastian is scoring the ball (25.4 points per game) at a high level the surrounding cast is strong enough to make the Golden Lions competitive. Only one game this week but it is a tough one, Garrard travels to Danville on Friday night to play the #2 Admirals in a 45th District matchup.

9. Boyle County – The Rebels dropped a Wednesday home game vs. Pulaski County this past week, 51-40, and followed that up with a road trip to Garrard County on Friday where they lost a close one, 51-49. The young Rebels have their work cut out for them this week, hosting #2 Danville on Tuesday before traveling to #3 Lincoln County on Tuesday.

10. East Jessamine – The Jaguars are showing consistent improvement week to week and move up a few spots this week as a result. This past week they played well vs. #5 Mercer County in a 67-59 loss, are now 7-8 in the Region and have been competitive in every game since their beat down at Lincoln County a few weeks ago. Senior Tyler Pitney continues to be the anchor averaging a double-double in points and rebound, while Sophmore Ben McNew has become a dependable threat from the 3-point line. East hosts Western Hills on Tuesday in preparation for their huge District rivalry game at West Jessamine on Friday. The Colts seem to be regressing a bit so the Jaguars have a real chance to take this rivalry game.

11. Rockcastle County – The Rockets dropped two close ones this week, at home to Somerset on Wednesday (70-66) and on the road at Pulaski County (73-65) on Friday, dropping them to 3-10 on the season, 1-6 in the Region. Rockcastle travels to North Hardin on Tuesday this week, then plays 47th District foe Casey County on Friday night in an important seeding matchup.

12. Casey County – The Rebels had a difficult week, dropping a 72-56 home game to an improving Somerset team on Friday and losing 70-59 at Danville on Saturday. Casey plays at Anderson County on Tuesday this week before hosting a big District game vs. Rockcastle County on Friday.

13. Southwestern - Southwestern had only one game this past week, and not an easy one as they played top-10 Lexington Christian at Lincoln County on Saturday in the Patriot Classic, losing 68-49. The Warriors host Jackson County on Tuesday this week, travel to Pulaski County on Friday, then host Nelson County on Saturday in their Iron Warrior Classic event.

14. McCreary Central - McCreary played only one game this past week, a 78-65 loss at Williamsburg on Friday evening. The Raiders have a home game vs. Williamsburg on Tuesday and travel to take on #1 Wayne County on Friday evening.

15. Burgin – The Bulldogs moved to 10-1 with a 53-50 win over Rose Hill Christian on Saturday. Burgin will have that nice record tested this week when they play host to Berea at home on Tuesday, they then travel to play Frankfort Christian and Silver Grove on Thursday and Saturday.

16. Danville Christian – One game this week for the Warriors, a 67-55 loss to Frankfort Christian, they play Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) on Thursday.

17. Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) – KSD did not play this past week, they face Danville Christian this coming Thursday.

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

Tuesday, January 8
Pulaski County at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Lexington Christian at West Jessamine, 7:30 p.m.
Danville at Boyle County, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, January 11
East Jessamine at West Jessamine, 7:45 p.m.
Garrard County at Danville, 7:30 p.m.
Boyle County at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Casey County at Rockcastle County, 8:00 p.m.
Southwestern at Pulaski County, 7:30 p.m.