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1. South Laurel (23-4 overall, 16-2 vs. 13th Region opponents)
The Cardinals are winners of 12 straight. Just look who they have beaten during the 12-game run: Wayne County, Harlan (twice), Bell County, Corbin, Williamsburg Harlan County, North Laurel, Pikeville and Knox Central.
Also senior Matt Cromer was named a finalist for Mr. Basketball and was also named KABC 13th Region Player of the Year this past week.

2. Clay County (19-8, 13-2)
The Tigers rebounded from their loss to Bell County and have now won three games in a row after beating Knox Central (88-76), Jackson County (84-70) and Red Bird (81-59).

3. North Laurel (19-8, 9-4)
The Jaguars seem to have turned things around and have now won six out of their last seven games. North Laurel picked up an impressive 85-77 road win over Corbin before beating 14th Region’s Hazard Bulldogs at home on Saturday, 63-60.

4. Harlan County (19-9, 9-4)
I didn’t drop the Black Bears in the rankings, but they sure aren’t playing good. Harlan County saw its three-game win streak come to an end after a 74-60 loss to Madison Southern before falling to Richmond Model 55-51.

5. Williamsburg (15-11, 8-8)
The only team hotter than Williamsburg currently is South Laurel.
Nick Napier’s squad are winners of four straight, which includes victories over Corbin, Whitley County and Bell County. Senior Slaht Hunter averaged 21.3 ppg and 6.5 rpg this past week. He knocked down the game winning 4-point play with under a minute left down one to beat Bell County.

6. Knox Central (18-7, 6-2)
The defending 13th Region champion is struggling at the wrong time. The Panthers are 5-5 during their last 10 games and suffered regional losses at home to both Clay County and South Laurel last week.

7. Middlesboro (18-9, 11-6)
The Yellow Jackets are 9-2 during their past 11 games but did suffer a 61-60 setback at home this past week to OBI.

8. Corbin (14-11, 6-7)
The Redhounds are now 7-7 since Christmas Break with losses against Knox Central, Harlan County, South Laurel, Williamsburg and North Laurel during the stretch.

9. Bell County (10-15, 6-8)
A win over Clay County last week had me thinking the Bobcats have finally gotten over the hump, but they proceeded to two of their next three games which included losses to both Middlesboro and Williamsburg.

10. Harlan (12-14, 7-8)
The Green Dragons’ inconsistent play carried over into this past week. They are 2-4 during their last six games.

11. Oneida Baptist (11-15, 9-10)
The Mountaineers are getting healthy at the right time. They’ve won three of their last four games which lincluded wins over Middlesboro and Lynn Camp.

12. Lynn Camp (13-12, 5-7)
Dinky Phipps’ Wildcats continue to be inconsistent. After putting together a three-game win streak last week, they’ve now lost two in a row. Senior Max Burd has played well, though.
He had a great week, scoring 21 points against OBI then following with a 34-point effort against Harlan and 24 points against OBI as he averaged 26.3 points this past week.

13. Barbourville (10-13, 6-9)
The Tigers are another team that has been tough to figure out. They’re losers of four straight, but have received consistent play from senior Shawn Vaughn, who is averaging 16.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game — both are team beats.

14. Jackson County (12-15, 6-11)
Logan Rose seems to be at 100 percent now and is a threat to score 20 any time he steps on the court. Jackson County is still struggling. The Generals are 1-4 during their past five games.

15. Whitley County (11-17, 3-8)
The Colonels are struggling at the wrong time. They’ve three in a row and eight of their last 10 games.

16. Pineville (9-15, 1-12)
The Mountain Lions are 3-7 in their last 10 games but Sean Phipps has been outstanding. In four games this past week, he averaged 20.8 points, 9 rebounds & 4.8 blocks.

17. Red Bird (6-19, 1-14)
The Cardinals are limping into the final week of regular season play. They’ve lost four in a row and 10 of their last 13 games.