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It’s that time once again, post season in basketball. We’ve had a lot of good games throughout each region this season and the 14th region is no different. People may feel and believe that there is only one heavy favorite in Perry Central but I feel different. You have Knott Central who won the region 4 straight years going into last season, Wolfe County who only lost to Knott Central, who people think is the only team that can give the Commodores a run for the regional crown, by 5 earlier in the season. Breathitt County who only lost by 9 to Perry Central on Breathitt’s own home floor, the same site as the regional tournament. So lets take a look at the bracket and matchups.

Top Bracket:
March 1st – 6 PM – Letcher County Central vs. Powell County
March 1st – 8 PM – Perry County Central at Breathitt County

Bottom Bracket:
March 2nd – 6 PM – Estill County vs. Buckhorn
March 2nd – 8 PM – Wolfe County vs. Knott County Central

March 6th Semi-Finals
March 7th Championship

Matchups:
Letcher County Central vs. Powell County:
The opening round game of the regional tournament. These two teams met twice during the regular season with Letcher Central winning both games 72-61 (@ Berea) and 78-70 (@ Powell).
The Cougars of Letcher County Central come in as district champions of the 53rd district and have a record of 23-8 (13-5 region). The Cougars got to the regional tournament by defeating Cordia in the semi-finals of the 53rd district tournament 66-57. The Cougars would go on to face Knott Central who blew out Jenkins, 70-67 in the district championship game. The Cougars come in on a 7 game win streak and have won 11 of their last 12 games.

The Powell County Pirates come in as 56th district runner-ups. The Pirates eased passed Lee County 100-61 in the semi-finals of the 56th district tournament but fell to Estill County in the district championship game. The Pirates come in with a record of 20-10 (10-7 region) and have lost 5 of their last 9 games.


Perry County Central at Breathitt County:
The Commodores come in as 54th district champions and they didn’t have a problem winning it. The Commodores eased passed both Leslie County 60-33 in the semi-finals of the district tournament and Buckhorn 74-43 in the district championship game. The Commodores come in as the hottest team in this region with an 8 game win streak and having won 10 of their last 12 games.

The Commodores and Bobcats met once during the regular season, at the same place as the regional tournament, scratching out a 66-57 victory over the Bobcats.

The Bobcats come in as 55th district runner-ups. The Bobcats eased passed Riverside Christian 79-37 in the semi-finals of the district tournament before falling to Wolfe County 70-55 in the championship game. Breathitt County comes in with a record of 18-14 (11-7 region). Breathitt County struggled their at the end of January into February but got it together and went into the district championship game on a 3 game win streak.


Estill County vs. Buckhorn:
The opening round game of session #2 (Thursday Night). Estill County, the district champions of 56th district, under head coach Jon Bentley is having one of it’s best seasons in school history. The Engineers currently sit at 24-7 (11-3 region) and are carrying an 5 game win streak in to the regional tournament and have won 12 of their last 13 games.

The Engineers and Wildcats met once this season, back on January 31st and it was the Engineers pulling out the 67-50 victory over the Bobcats.

Buckhorn comes in as 54th district runner-ups. The Wildcats got past Hazard 57-48 in the semi-finals of the district tournament but fell to Perry Central in the championship game. Buckhorn comes in with a record of 18-14 (11-8 region) and like Breathitt County, the Wildcats also struggled at the end of January, beginning of February, losing 4 straight and 5 of their previous 7 games but have since started playing better ball, winning 5 of their last 7 games so that kinda flip-flopped for the Wildcats into a good way if you’re a Buckhorn fan.


Wolfe County vs. Knott County Central:
The final opening round game of the 2017 14th regional tournament, The Wolves vs. The Patriots. These two met earlier in the season at Wolfe and what a game it was. A game where the Patriots had to come back to win 92-87 in overtime.

Wolfe County comes in as district 55th champions, defeating Jackson City 74-53 in the semi-finals of the 55th district tournament and defeating Breathitt County 70-55 in the district championship game. Wolfe County comes in with a record of 18-13 (15-8 region), having won 5 straight and 8 of their last 9 games, not to mention, all but 2 of those games they won, were by double digits.

Knott County Central is well, Knott County Central. The Patriots always field a good team and this season is no different. The Patriots come in as 53rd district runner-ups. Knott Central comes in with a record of 20-9 (14-3 region)…The Patriots got to the region by cruising past Jenkins 100-56 in the semi-finals of the 53rd district tournament before falling to Letcher Central 70-67 in the district championship game. The Patriots come in having won 8 of their last 10 games.


Top 10 Player Rankings:

1. Torrell Carter (Letcher Central):
Best player in the region, hands down. Mr. Do it everything for Coach Hammonds and his Cougars. Torrell comes into the region averaging 26 points a game. Also shoots 38% from long range. So he can take it inside and shoot it from the outside.

2. Caleb Bonny (Estill County):
Junior guard for the Engineers, does it all. Caleb comes into the region, just 12 points shy of 700 for the season, that’s 23 PPG. Not to mention, he’s made over 200 free throws this season. He maybe short but he knows what to do with the basketball and getting to the line.

3. Deven Stone (Wolfe County):
The best player other than Swayer Denniston to put on a Wolves jersey. Deven has played in every game this season and has scored 700 points, that’s an average of 23 PPG. He also can light it up from long range, shooting well over 40%.

4. Damon Tobler (Perry Central):
One of the Commodores deadly weapons. Damon can play any position on the floor when Coach Hoskins needs him too. He’s also Perry Central’s leading scorer at 17 points a game.

5. Austin Combs (Knott Central):
One of the many great players to ever put on a Patriot jersey. Austin is the horse that makes the Patriots run. Austin comes in the regional tournament averaging 20 points a game for the Patriots.

6. Noah Back (Perry Central):
Another weapon for Coach Hoskins and Perry Central. Noah is more of an outside threat than anything, being as he shoots 41% from 3. If Perry Central is down 3 or more late in the game, I’m sure he doesn’t want the ball in anyone else’s hands other than Noah, especially if he needs 3’s.

7. Austin Napier (Powell County):
80% free throw shooter and leads the Pirates in scoring at 18 PPG.


8. Andrew Doty (Estill County):
One of Three big men for the Engineers. Although he averages just 10 points a game, Andrew is the state’s 2nd leading field goal % player.

9. Max Hernanez (Powell County):
Powell County’s big man. Can get to the rim and when he’s on, he’s deadly. In the 2nd half of the district championship game at Estill County, Max dropped 20 of his 22 points and kept the Pirates within striking distance of the Engineers.

10. Austin Bennett (Buckhorn):
Another top free throw shooter in the 14th region with over 115 free throws made. The Sophomore guard is also Buckohrn’s leading scorer at 17 PPG.


Team Rankings:
1. Perry County Central (24-7)
2. Knott County Central (20-9)
3. Letcher County Central (23-8)
4. Wolfe County (18-13)
5. Estill County (24-7)
6. Powell County (20-10)
7. Breathitt County (18-14)
8. Buckhorn (18-14)
9. Cordia (13-11)
10. Hazard (13-14)
11. Leslie County (17-13)
12. Jackson City (7-24)
13. Owsley County (4-25)
14. Lee County (7-23)
15. Jenkins (5-26)
16. June Buchanan (4-26)
17. Riverside Christian (5-26)