13th Region Rankings Jan. 18-Jan. 25
1. South Laurel (14-4 overall, 7-1 ) — Despite dropping a 65-58 decision on Saturday to Taylor County, South Laurel had a pretty darn good week. Good enough to get back into the top spot after defeating Clay County, 70-51, at home. The 19-point win was impressive because the Cardinals just recorded a 67-49 win over the Tigers five days earlier, and didn't show any let down this past Tuesday. South Laurel is now 2-0 against Clay County. The Cardinals’ have three losses against top 25 teams by a combined 10 points. This schedule they are playing will do nothing but help Jeff Davis’ squad down the stretch. And, keep an eye on Andrew Griffith, he’s starting to catch fire, and that spells trouble for opposing teams.
2. Harlan County (14-4, 6-1) — The Black Bears are losers of two straight after dropping a 57-55 decision to Corbin on the road. Since that loss, Harlan County has been on a 10-day layoff. The Black Bears will have a chance to stop the streak Thursday on the road against Clay County, and then back in action again Friday against bell County.
3. Clay County (14-5, 8-2) — Yes, the Tigers are struggling, but with that said, Clay County is still Clay County — they have just as much talent as anyone in the region. Basketball is all about match-ups, and i’m not sure Clay County matches up well with South Laurel. The Tigers have a KEY, and I do mean KEY game against North Laurel Tuesday. A win over the Jaguars could work wonders, and a loss? Well, it wouldn't be good. They also lost Will Sexton to an injury, and he could be out for a while. But it looks as if the Tigers have some help on the way.
4. North Laurel (16-1, 6-1) — The Jaguars are the hottest team in the region. They’re riding a 13-game win streak, and have the most wins in the region with 16. So I’m sure you’re asking why aren’t they rated higher? Well, the lone game they have played against one of the top five teams in the region was a loss at home to South Laurel. Now if North Laurel gets past Clay County Tuesday, then look for the Jaguars to move up. Tuesday’s game is huge for North Laurel. A win over the Tigers could push the Jaguars over the hump.
5. Corbin (10-7, 4-3) — The Redhounds are a dangerous team. Coach Tony Pietrowski has done a fantastic job in getting his players to buy into the roles they are playing. Sophomore Andrew Taylor is playing as good as anyone in the region right now. He’s one of the smoothest players in the region. Corbin picked up a big win at home over Harlan County before knocking off 50th District foe Whitley County on the road Friday. Like I said, keep an eye on this team.
6. Knox Central (9-4, 5-2) — Another team to keep an eye on is Knox Central. The Panthers are winners of five straight while averaging 79 points a contest, as both Chad Marsee and Wade Liford have been dominating lately on both offense and defense. One player that continues to shine is freshman Jaylen Adams. He’s turned into one of the best outside shooters in the region.
7. Whitley County (10-8, 4-5) — The Colonels suffered a tough setback, losing to 50th District foe Corbin Friday at home, 63-49. The loss almost certainly knocks Whitley County out of any chance of being the district’s one seed when they host the district tournament in late February.
8. Bell County (9-8, 4-3) — The Bobcats are one of those teams that could surprise one of our teams in the top five and beat them. The inside play of Zach Partin and outside shooting of Victor Morris makes Bell County dangerous.
9. Barbourville (11-7, 7-3) — The Tigers are winners of three straight after picking up wins over Pineville, Lynn Camp and OBI this past week. Why are these wins big? Well, these are the teams they could face this week in the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament. Barbourville will enter as tournament favorites.
10. Pineville (12-4, 7-2) — The Mountain Lions snapped a two-game losing skid with a 63-44 win over Williamsburg this past week. Prineville will try to knock-off 13th Region All “A” Classic Tournament favorite Barbourville Tuesday.
11. Lynn Camp (10-6, 5-4) — After starting the season 9-1, the Wildcats have struggled, losing five out of their last six games, including four in a row.
12. Harlan (11-7, 4-4) — The Green Dragons are hoping to make some noise in this week’s 13th Region All “A” Classic Tournament. they are 6-1 during the last seven games.
13. Jackson County (6-9, 1-6) — The Generals are struggling. They have dropped six of their last eight games.
14. OBI (5-8, 3-7) — The Mountaineers started strong, but have been struggling since.
15. Williamsburg (1-10, 1-8) — The Yellow Jackets look like they are improved at times, but when still can’t get over the hump.
16. Middlesboro (1-18, 1-12) — The Yellow Jackets only have one win, but keep improving.
17. Red Bird (3-11, 0-9) — The Cardinals are 2-2 during their last four games.