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1. Harlan County (14-3, 6-0) — For the third time this season, we’ve got a new No. 1 team in the 13th Region. This time around, it’s the Black Bears, who disposed of former No. 1 South Laurel 52-46 in the semifinals of the WYMT Classic. Guard Cameron Carmichael continues to shine, and poured in a game-high 32 points in the six-point victory. Harlan County fell in the WYMT Classic finals to Perry Central, 53-47. It’s going to be an interesting two weeks for the Black Bears with road games against Corbin, and Clay County before facing Bell County at home.

2. South Laurel (12-3, 5-1) — The Cardinals fell from the top spot for the second time this season after dropping a 52-46 decision to new No. 1 Harlan County in the semifinals of the WYMT Classic. South Laurel responded in a big way, though, handing No. 3 Clay County its worse loss of the season, 67-49. South Laurel also limited the Tigers to its lowest scoring output of the season, as senior Andrew Griffith led the way with 22 points. The Cardinals’ main strength is its defensive play. They have limited seven teams so far this season to their lowest scoring output of the season. Now that’s pretty impressive.

3. Clay County (12-4, 6-1) — The Tigers fall a spot to No. 3, a spot I really never expected to see Clay County at this season, but with that said, the season is still young. Clay County is struggling both offensively, and defensively right now, and need to get some more players involved on offense while picking up their play on defense. Clay County averaged 74 points per game while allowing only 54 after its first 10 games, since then the slate has gotten harder, and the Tigers have struggled, going 3-3, while scoring 58.3 points per game while allowing 57.8 points per game during their last six games.

4. North Laurel (13-1, 4-1) — The Jaguars are the hottest team in the region while riding an impressive 10-game win streak, and they do have a case for maybe being No. 3. But with that said, I dig some research and looked up North Laurel’s, Clay County’s, Harlan County’s and South Laurel’s strength of schedule so far, which in turn was my deciding factor to keep the Jaguars in the four spot, and Clay at the No. 3 spot. At the present time, South Laurel’s opponents have a combined record of 139-79 (.637); Clay County’s opponents have a combined record of 103-64 (.616); Harlan County’s opponents have a combined record of 119-112 (.515) and North Laurel’s opponents have a combined record of 92-110 (.455). But with that said, North Laurel is talented enough to beat any of the top three in the region, and the Jaguars’ will get a chance at Clay County at home on Jan. 19.

5. Knox Central (7-4, 3-2) — Last week’s 37-point loss to South Laurel might have been the wake-up call Knox Central needed. The Panthers are 3-0 since the loss while averaging 80 points per game with wins over Barbourville, Lynn Camp and Powell County. Both Chad Marsee and Wade Liford have been a force in the paint. Marsee has recorded a double-double during that three-game stretch while Liford is averaging close to 20 points. Another player to keep an eye on is freshman Jaylen Adams, who could very well be one of the region’s best shooters. He had five three pointers against Lynn Camp and knocked down a crucial trey and scored nine fourth quarter points during his team’s win against Barbourville.

6. Whitley County (10-7, 4-4) — The Colonels are barely hanging on to the No. 6 spot, and their game against Corbin Friday will decide if they stay, move up or move down in the rankings.

7. Barbourville (9-7, 5-3) — The Tigers had a 14-point lead on the road against Knox Central this past week, but ended up losing. The one-two punch of Markelle Turner and Brent Perry is one of the best in the region, but just like Clay County, Barbourville needs more scoring options.

8. Corbin (7-7, 1-3) — The Redounds snapped a two-game losing skid by defeating Williamsburg, 79-29. Things do get tougher soon with match-ups against Harlan County, Whitley County and Knox Central on the horizon.

9. Bell County (9-7, 4-2) — The Bobcats have quietly put together a solid season behind the play of Zach Partin. They can make more noise Tuesday if they can get past No. 2 South Laurel.

10. Pineville (11-3, 6-1) — The Mountain Lions picked up a big win over Lynn Camp on the road, but fell at home to Barbourville, 91-74.

11. Lynn Camp (10-4, 5-3) — The Wildcats are still searching for that elusive district win with losses to both Pineville and Knox Central this past week. A couple of bright spots has been the play of Jacob Bundy and Bruce Hopkins. Hopkins is one of the most underrated guards in the region while Bundy continues to be one of, if not the best-kept secret in the region. The sharpshooter scored 29 points against Knox Central this past week.

12. Harlan (10-7, 3-4) — The Green Dragons are getting close to the top 10.

13. Jackson County (6-7, 1-4) — The Generals picked up a 67-47 win over Oneida Baptist Saturday.

14. Oneida Baptist (5-4, 3-4) — The Mountaineers are another team that is struggling.

15. Williamsburg (1-8, 1-7) — The Yellow Jackets trailed 42-4 at the end of the first quarter to Corbin before losing, 79-29.

16. Middlesboro (1-16, 1-11) — The Yellow Jackets continue to lose, but they are improving each and every game.

17. Red Bird (1-9, 0-7) — The Cardinals suffered consecutive blowout losses to North Laurel this past week.