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1. South Laurel (1-1 overall, 0-0 vs. 13th Region competition)
The Cardinals were able to rebound from their loss to Scott County and notch a big win during Friday’s Legacy Nissan Classic win over Tennessee’s Athens Prep.
Junior Matthew Cromer scored 33 points in the 88-80 win while senior JJ Ramey added 28 points. The duo was also the leading scorers during South Laurel’s 96-65 loss to top-ranked Scott County.
A loss is a loss, but I feel a whole lot better about this Cardinals team after I saw Scott County knock off No. 4 ranked Ballard by 28 points.

2. Knox Central (1-0, 1-0)
The Panthers began the season with an easy 77-49 win over 51st District foe Pineville.
They picked up the 28-point win with the services of Nick Martin and Dane Imel, who missed the game due to coming off of football season.
Dalton Elliot (21 points) and Zachary Elliott (19 points) led the way in the win over the Mountain Lions while both Martin and Imel are expected to play during this week’s WYMT Mountain Classic Tournament. Knox Central will look to repeat as champions of the event.

3. Corbin (1-0, 1-0)
The Redhounds cruised to an easy 73-52 win over Cordia during the Legacy Nissan Classic this past Saturday.
Matthew Taylor came up big with 24 points while Chase Sanders followed with a 19-point scoring effort.
If both Taylor and Sanders continue to produce like they did against Cordia, Corbin will be a tough team to beat.

4. Harlan County (1-0, 0-0)
Four players scored in double figures during the Black Bears’ 76-56 blowout win over Breathitt County this past week.
Alex Pace delivered a 19-point, five-rebound effort while Elisha Smallwood added 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Harlan County will get a tough test this week in the WYMT Mountain Classic. The Black Bears’ first round opponent is host Perry Central.

5. Clay County (2-0, 2-0)
The Tigers have picked up two big regional wins this past week against Bell County (69-57), and Harlan (67-57).
Clay’s two Connors (Robson and Farmer) dominated in the win over the Bobcats. Robinson dished out a game-high 22 points while Farmer added 15 points.
The Tigers will join both Knox Central and Harlan County in this week’s WYMT Mountain Classic.

6. North Laurel (1-0, 0-0)
The Jaguars wasted little time in putting away Pineville this past week.
North Laurel built a 34-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back during its 66-28 win over the Mountain Lions.
Cole Kelley and Clay Sizemore each had 12 points apiece while Landon Young added 10 points, and seven rebounds. Eighth grader Reed Sheppard finished with six points in the win.
The Jaguars will have three games this week with a home contest Tuesday against Madison Southern, and a road game on Friday against Leslie County before going up against Sayre and Richmond Model Saturday.

7. Williamsburg (1-0, 1-0)
The Yellow Jackets are going to see what they’re made of during their next three games with matchups against Class A teams Lynn Camp (at home on Thursday), and road games against Harlan (Saturday) and Barbourville (Monday, Dec. 10).
Williamsburg won its season-opener by defeating Red Bird, 85-55.

8. Harlan (1-1, 1-1)
The Green Dragons are going to make some noise this season. Harlan picked up a 68-65 52nd District win over Bell County, but fell to the Clay County Tigers on Saturday, 67-57.
Keep an eye on Jordan Akal. He had 19 points and seven rebounds against Bell County while Killian Ledford scored a team-best 23 points.

9. Barbourville (2-0, 2-0)
The biggest surprise so far this season has to be Cody Messer’s Barbourville Tigers.
The Tigers handed Whitley County a 46-42 loss and followed with an impressive 69-66 win over Middlesboro.
Shawn Vaughn leads Barbourville with a 17-point scoring average while Matthew Gray is averaging 12 points per game.

10. Middlesboro (0-1, 0-1)
Lewis Morris’ squad left stunned after dropping a 69-66 loss to Barbourville. Many considered the Yellow Jackets the team to beat in the upcoming 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament, but now it looks as if either Harlan, Williamsburg or Barbourville are the frontrunners.

11. Bell County (0-2, 0-2)
Look for the Bobcats to continue to improve as the season progresses. Football star London Stephney leads the team with a 13.5 scoring average.

12. Whitley County (2-1, 0-1)
The Colonels are off to a hot start, but did lose to Barbourville this past week. Jerry Overbey’s squad has a 50th District road matchup with South Laurel Tuesday. A win over the Cardinals would be huge.

13. Lynn Camp (2-0, 0-0)
New faces join the Wildcats this season, yet Lynn Camp is off to its winning ways.
Coach Dinky Phipps has guided his team to wins over Jellico, Tenn. and White Academy with road games against Red Bird and Williamsburg on the agenda this week.

14. Red Bird (1-1, 1-1)
The Cardinals has a big 69-62 victory over Jackson County this past week, but suffered an 85-55 loss to Williamsburg over the weekend after having a handful of starters miss the game.

15. Oneida Baptist (1-1, 1-0)
The Mountaineers remain a hard team to figure out. Oneida Baptist did manage to come away with an 83-72 win over Pineville this past week.

16. Jackson County (1-2, 0-1)
The Generals suffered a 69-62 setback after opening the season with a win over Estill County. I’m still trying to figure how things will pan out for Jackson County.

17. Pineville (0-3, 0-3)
The Mountain Lions are in rebuilding mode, and they’re going to have to do it without coach JD Strange. After 34 years of coaching high school basketball, Strange has stepped down as the Mountain Lions coach.
Strange’s son, James David, who was a star basketball player for the Mountain Lions, has been named interim coach for the remainder of the season.