Just when it appeared that the dust was settling in the Region and the rankings were solidifying, Week 9 happened. We had different types of breakouts – flu in Jessamine County, three-point shooting in Mercer and Lincoln Counties – along with another week where some potential chinks in the armor were revealed with the Region #1 team, and unfortunately new injuries popped up that could have a big impact going forward. Cumulatively, these things not only shook up the rankings a bit this week but may represent a pivot in the direction this Region is headed.

Week 10 is a big one for a lot of teams, and many questions could get answered, such as:

1) Can Danville bounce back from a disappointing exit from the All “A” State Tournament and demonstrate their dominance in the 45th District this week?
2) With the recent underwhelming performances by the two teams alternating in the #1 spot all season, Danville and Wayne, have teams outside the 12th figured out a formula to beat these teams which can be mimicked effectively by teams within the Region?
3) There has been inconsistency all season in the next tier of teams below Danville and Wayne. Which of these teams is best suited to put together three consecutive tough tournament wins? Will one of these teams be revealed this week?

Here is a look at the Week 9 results, rankings, and Week 10 key match-ups:

1. Danville –This was a big week for the Admirals as they competed in the All “A” State Tournament at EKU in Richmond. Danville opened with 16th Region favorite Elliott County. The Admirals trailed throughout the first half and were behind 37-32 midway through the 3rdQuarter when they forced turnovers on 4 consecutive possessions during a 10-0 run, on their way to a 64-49 win. Game two was against Shelby Valley and sharpshooting Junior Cody Potter, where Danville took a frustrating 47-30 loss. The Admirals struggled on both ends of the floor in this one. They shot 11 for 48 from the field and missed several open layups, struggling to find any sort of offensive rhythm as Shelby Valley’s defense seemed to force Danville into 1-on-1 mode. The Admirals typically rely upon their defense to generate a lot of their offense, but Shelby Valley committed very few turnovers so Danville got very few looks out of transition. If time of possession was tracked, Shelby Valley would have dominated it; the Admirals applied good defensive pressure at the beginning of each possession but seemed to ease up after Shelby Valley reversed the ball a couple of times, often leading to open back cuts or easy looks at the rim. Danville has another big week ahead with two District games, Tuesday at Garrard County and Friday at home against Lincoln County, followed by a Saturday matchup at Rockcastle County.

2. Wayne County – Only one game for the Cardinals this week as they end their three-game losing streak with a 66-55 District home win over Southwestern. Wayne County hosts Casey County on Tuesday this week then plays at McCreary Central on Friday.

3. Lincoln County – The Patriots went 2-0 this week, starting with a 67-45 home win over McCreary Central on Tuesday night. On Friday, Lincoln prevailed in a big District game over Boyle County, 68-56, gaining a measure of revenge for their 51-46 loss to the Rebels just two weeks ago. In this 45thDistrict matchup, the Patriots got hot from deep in the 3rd Quarter and broke open a tight game, then held off a rally by the Rebels and pulled away for the comfortable victory, finishing 7 for 13 from behind the three-point arc. After losing three of the last four games going into this week, Lincoln appears to have righted the ship as District Tournament time approaches. The Patriots have three games this week, a home game against Southwestern on Tuesday followed by road trips to Garrard County and Pulaski County on Friday and Saturday.

4. West Jessamine – Influenza shut down Jessamine County schools for a few days this past week, and per county policy all games and practices were cancelled. It remains to be seen what kind of impact this might have on the Colts, who were just starting to hit their stride in recent weeks, as they will go eleven days between games and only be able to get in one practice before their game at Boyle County on Tuesday. West also plays on Friday at crosstown rival East Jessamine, then on Saturday against Western Hills in the Gary Moore Classic at Franklin County.

5. Mercer County– The Titans only had one game this past week as their Friday game against East Jessamine was a casualty of the flu epidemic, but it was a big one. Mercer traveled to Boyle County on Tuesday night and came away with a convincing 77-60 win. The Titans exploded offensively against the Rebels, going 11 for 21 from behind the three-point arc. Mercer County and East Jessamine have rescheduled their game in Nicholasville for this coming Monday night, the Titans also have a home game with Pulaski County on Tuesday and travel to play Burgin on Thursday night.

6. Boyle County – It is difficult to know where to rank the Rebels. While playing at full strength, two weeks they looked like a Region contender. This past week they lost two games at home, 77-60 to Mercer County and 68-56 to District rival Lincoln County. Against the Patriots, Junior Guard Grant Hotchkiss, who had just returned from injury a couple of weeks ago, sat out the second half of the game with a shoulder injury (no word on severity) and Boyle struggled handling the ball without him. Lincoln was on shooting lights out in the game, so it may not have made a difference, but going forward the Rebels will struggle without a healthy Hotchkiss. Reese Smith is a difference maker and Boyle can beat anyone on a given night with him on the floor, but they will need both players if they are going to make a serious run at the Region title. Boyle has another big week ahead, a winnable Tuesday night game against a West Jessamine team that has been off for a couple of weeks, and a huge District battle at #1 Danville on Friday night.

7. Somerset – The Briar Jumpers played one game this past week, a 64-52 victory at Barbourville where their good perimeter shooting continued, going 6 for 11 from deep. Somerset has a tough three-game road trip this week, playing at Madison Southern on Monday, at North Laurel on Tuesday and a District game on Friday at Pulaski County.

8. Pulaski County – Two comfortable wins for the Maroons this week, 56-45 at Russell County on Tuesday and 81-54 at Rockcastle County on Friday. This coming week is a big one for Pulaski and a chance to see where they currently stack up in the Region as they travel to play Mercer County on Tuesday, host District rival Somerset on Friday, then play Region #3 Lincoln County at home on Saturday.

9. Garrard County – Having dropped five of six games coming in to the week, the Golden Lions needed a recovery week and they got it, going 2-0 with victories over Richmond Model and Bluegrass United (homeschool). Garrard’s home stand continues this week but the competition gets much tougher, they host District foe and Region #1 Danville on Tuesday, have another District battle on Friday as they host Lincoln County, followed by another home game on Saturday against 13th Region power Corbin. Big week for the Golden Lions.

10. Southwestern – The Warriors defeated visiting Cordia 77-73 on Tuesday this past week where Junior Forward Braden Sims had a huge game, going for 37 points and 14 rebounds. Southwestern also traveled to Wayne County where they played well against the Region’s #2 team, falling 66-55. The Warriors play at Lincoln County on Tuesday, host Casey County on Thursday, and travel to play Western Hills on Friday this week.

11. Casey County – Three home wins for the Rebels this week, 82-44 over Danville Christian, 53-48 over Adair County, and 63-54 over Russell County (avenging an earlier 68-65 loss from two weeks back). Casey has a tough road trip to Wayne County on Tuesday this week, then travels to play at District rival Southwestern in what should be a close matchup.

12. East Jessamine – The Jaguars have now dropped six straight, losing this past week on the road to Rockcastle County, 38-36. The Jessamine County flu epidemic postponed their scheduled District game against Mercer County, it will now be played on Monday night at East Jessamine. East also hosts Madison Southern on Tuesday, then hosts their biggest game of the season against crosstown rival West Jessamine on Friday. Until Senior Forward Tyler Pitney returns to the lineup, however, the Jaguars may continue to struggle.

13. McCreary Central – The Raiders dropped two games this past week, 67-45 at Lincoln County and 67-64 at Cumberland County. McCreary is off until Friday this week when they play host to #2 Wayne County.

14. Rockcastle County – The Rockets went 2-1 on the week, opening with a nice home win over East Jessamine, 38-36. Rockcastle also defeated Oneida Baptist 84-50 before bowing to Pulaski County on Friday, 81-54. The Rockets play at Richmond Model on Tuesday this week, host Williamsburg on Thursday, then play #1 Danville at home on Saturday.

15. Burgin – It was a very busy and notable week for the Bulldogs. Senior Guard Cameron Hurst reached the 1,000-point milestone, and Coach Don Irvine announced that after 18 years with Burgin he will be retiring at the conclusion of the season. Burgin defeated Eminence and Walden, and dropped games to Evangel Christian and White Academy (TN), and are now 13-6 on the season.

16. Danville Christian – The Warriors went 0-3 this past week, losing to Casey County, Evangel Christian and Berea. One game is on the slate for this week, a Friday night trip to Owsley County.

17. Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) – A road trip to Mississippi for the Mason-Dixon Tournament resulted in two losses, to South Carolina School for the Deaf and Tennessee School for the Deaf. A lone game awaits this week, at Oneida Baptist on Wednesday night.

Key 12th Region Games of the Week:

Monday, Januay 28
Mercer County at East Jessamine, 7:30 p.m.
Somerset at Madison Southern, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 29
Danville at Garrard County, 7:30 p.m.
Pulaski County at Mercer County, 7:30 p.m.
West Jessamine at Boyle County, 7:30 p.m.
Southwestern at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Casey County at Wayne County, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 31
Casey County at Southwestern, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 1
Boyle County at Danville, 7:30 p.m.
West Jessamine at East Jessamine, 7:30 p.m.
Lincoln County at Garrard County, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne County at McCreary Central, 7:30 p.m.
Somerset at Pulaski County, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 2
West Jessamine vs. Western Hills, 2:30 p.m. (played at Franklin County)
Corbin at Garrard County, 3:30 p.m.
Lincoln County at Pulaski County, 7:30 p.m.