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The basketball season is almost here, weíre less than 9 days away from tryouts and practices as teams get prepared for the upcoming season. Lots of changes have took place over the summer in the 14th region from coaches leaving to players leaving. Perry County Central is the favorite but the region is wide open, more open then itís been in recent memory. Hereís the rundown of the 14th Region Season Preview;

1. Perry County Central (25-5): The Commodores were destin to win the 14thregion crown last season but was knocked off in the championship game by Buckhorn 54-51. Perry County Central comes into this season as the favorite to win the region crown, with top players; Damon Tobler, Austin Hill, Noah Back returning and two transfers that the Commodores picked up from June Buchanan, Princewill Anosike and Idris Akinyemi, and not to mention the schedule Coach Hoskins has put together for his ĎDores, this should put the Commodores as the favorite to win the region crown and go on to the KHSAA Sweet 16.

Notable Games: 12/3 vs. Buckhorn; 12/6 @ Clay County; 12/10 @ Harlan County; 12/13 vs. Cordia; 12/16 vs. Johnson Central; 12/17 @ Hazard; 1/10 vs. Powell County; 1/14 @ Anderson County; 1/19 vs. Letcher Central; 1/20 @ Wolfe County; 1/21 @ Casey County; 1/24 @ Lexington Catholic; 1/28 vs. Hazard; 1/31 @ Leslie County; 2/3 vs. Knott Central; 2/10 @ Breathitt County

2. Cordia (15-10): The Lions are now post season eligible after a two year suspension from the KHSAA. The Lions were thought to be a contender for the region crown this season but with the departure of head coach, Rhodrick Rhodes. Newly head coach, Josh Hurt will still look to get and keep the Lions on track for a region crown.

Notable Games: 12/3 vs. Lafayette; 12/10 @ Clay County; 12/13 @ Perry central; 12/15 @ Letcher Central; 12/17 vs. Knott central; 1/16 @ Knott central; 1/19 @ June Buchanan; 2/4 vs. June Buchanan; 2/7 vs. Letcher Central; 2/9 vs. Buckhorn; 2/13 @ Knox Central; 2/16 vs. Harlan County; 2/18 @ Rowan County

3. Knott County Central (11-14): After winning the region for 4 straight years, the Patriots took a hard bump last season, not even making it out of district tournament. The good news for the Patriots? They return all of their scorning from last season and should be in the market for yet another region crown.

Notable Games: 12/2 @ Wolfe County; 12/3 vs. Casey County; 12/6 vs. June Buchanan; 12/8 vs. Leslie County; 12/10 vs. Scott County; 12/13 vs. Hazard; 12/15 vs. Pike Central; 12/17 @ Cordia; 1/10 vs. Letcher Central; 1/10 @ Sheldon Clark; 1/12 vs. Shelby Valley; 1/16 vs. Cordia; 1/19 vs. Johnson Central; 1/21 vs. Campbell County TN; 1/24 @ Letcher Central; 1/28 @ June Buchanan; 1/31 @ Powell County; 2/3 @ Perry Central; 2/7 @ Buckhorn; 2/8 @ Magoffin County; 2/11 vs. Breathitt County; 2/17 @ Rowan County

4. Letcher County Central (21-10): The defending 53rd district champions will be in the hunt not only for another district title but also a region crown with returning star player, Torrell Carter (2nd leading scorer in state as a SO and 4th as a junior) along with Letcher returns, senior guard Austin Caudill, junior forward/center Elijah Raglin among several other players that played key roles for the Cougars last season.

Notable Games: 11/29 @ Harlan County; 12/2 vs. Jackson City; 12/6 vs. Betsy Layne; 12/15 vs. Cordia; 12/28 vs. Prestonsburg; 12/29 vs. Magoffin County; 12/30 vs. Trimble County; 1/5 @ Leslie County; 1/6 vs. Wolfe County; 1/10 @ Knott Central; 1/13 vs. June Buchanan; 1/17 @ Buckhorn; 1/19 @ Perry central; 1/21 vs. Estill County; 1/24 vs. Knott Central; 1/28 @ Powell County; 2/2 @ June Buchanan; 2/7 @ Cordia; 2/14 vs. Hazard; 2/16 vs. Pike Central

5. Wolfe County (21-9): The Wolves had a good season last year going 21-10 but falling 61-57 in OT in the opening round of the 55th district tournament to eventual district champ, Jackson City. The Wolves will be locked and loaded for another run and with all three top scorers returning, could spell disaster for any of the other 4 top 5 teams.

Notable Games: 11/28 @ Lexington Catholic; 12/2 vs. Knott Central; 2/6 @ Leslie County; 12/13 vs. Jackson City; 12/16 @ Breathitt County; 12/23 vs. June Buchanan; 1/6 @ Letcher Central; 1/16 @ Powell County; 1/20 vs. Perry central; 1/24 vs. Estill County; 1/26 vs. Breathitt County; 1/31 @ Jackson City; 2/6 vs. Paintsville; 2/9 @ Sayre; 2/11 @ Estill County; 2/14 vs. Powell County

6. Breathitt County (20-14): For the first time since 2009-10 season, the Bobcats didnít win a district title. The bobcats took a small hit due to graduation but return enough talent from last seasonís team that could make them a threat for another district crown and possibly make some noise in the region tournament.

Notable Games: 11/29 vs. Prestonsburg; 12/2 @ North Laurel; 12/4 vs. Pendleton County; 12/9 vs. Jackson City; 12/10 vs. Estill County; 12/16 vs. Wolfe County; 12/17 vs. Fleming County; 12/20 @ Hazard; 12/22 @ Scott County; 1/5 @ South Laurel; 1/7 @ Morgan County; 1/17 vs. Hazard; 1/21 @ Jackson City; 1/24 vs. Buckhorn; 1/26 @ Wolfe County; 1/28 vs. Montgomery County; 2/4 vs. Johnson Central; 2/7 @ Newport; 2/10 @ Perry Central; 2/11 @ Knott Central; 2/18 @ Leslie County

7. Estill County (11-12): The Engineers had a bumpy road all season last night, in fact, the Engineers didnít win their first game until December 20th when they defeated Washington County in the Garrard County Holiday Classic. Engineers return all starters, in fact, Estill County returns everyone from last season and could make for a special season for the Engineers. They havenít had a 20+ win season in school history, this could be the year it happens.

Notable Games: 12/1 @ Hazard; 12/10 @ Breathitt County; 1/13 @ Powell County; 1/21 @ Letcher Central; 1/24 @ Wolfe County; 1/31 vs. Buckhorn; 2/3 vs. Powell County; 2/11 vs. Wolfe County

8. Hazard (19-5): All 5 of Hazardís losses were to region opponents, other than 5 opponents, Hazardís entire schedule last season was against region opponents. Hazard took a hit at graduation last season when they lost all of their double digit scoring but the Dawgs do return some good young kids that will help them in this rebuilding season.

Notable Games: 12/1 vs. Estill County; 12/8 vs. June Buchanan; 12/13 @ Knott Central; 12/17 vs. Perry Central; 12/20 vs. Breathitt County; 1/17 @ Breathitt County; 1/28 @ Perry Central; 1/31 @ June Buchanan; 2/4 @ Buckhorn; 2/14 @ Letcher Central; 2/17 vs. Powell County

9. Powell County (14-16): The Pirates won the district championship last season but not before pulling out what intended to be an upset from Owsley County 52-50 but the Pirates would bounce back and roll past Estill County 61-45 in the district championship. Pirates took a hit a graduation losing several top scorers from last season but they also return a solid group of key players from last yearís team and a new head coach, Dave Fraley, the same Dave Fraley that took Knott Central to their first state tournament appearance several years ago, this is Coach Fraleyís second stop in Stanton. First time he was the coach of he Pirates he took them to the state tournament back in the 70ís. With Coach Fraley and the kids Powell County has returning that could make for another district title.

Notable Games: 11/29 @ Buckhorn; 12/1 vs. Sheldon Clark; 12/6 @ Scott County; 12/13 @ Owsley County; 12/16 vs. Lee County; 1/5 @ Jackson City; 1/10 @ Perry Central; 1/13 vs. Estill County; 1/14 vs. Russell; 1/16 vs. Wolfe County; 1/17 @ Lee County; 1/27 vs. Owsley County; 1/28 vs. Letcher Central; 1/31 vs. Knott Central; 2/3 @ Estill County; 2/7 @ Leslie County; 2/10 vs. Jackson County; 2/14 @ Wolfe County; 2/17 @ Hazard

10. Buckhorn (19-16): Your probably asking yourself, why is Buckhorn ranked #10 in the preseason rankings after winning the region crown? Buckhorn lost all of their scoring from that team and looks to be in rebuilding mode this season and possibly next.

Notable Games: 11/29 vs. Powell County; 12/3 @ Perry Central; 1/9 vs. June Buchanan; 1/17 vs. Letcher Central; 1/21 @ Leslie County; 1/24 @ Breathitt County; 1/31 @ Estill County; 2/4 vs. Hazard; 2/7 vs. Knott Central; 2/9 @ Cordia

11. June Buchanan (20-10): The Crusaders had a good season last year, falling in the district championship game but advancing to the semi-finals of the regional tournament. June Buchanan went through a lot of changes in the offseason losing head coach Elisha Justice who left for Pikeville and losing several players that transferred to different schools. June Buchanan will look to make it back to the regional tournament again this coming season.

Notable Games: 12/6 @ Knott Central; 12/8 @ Hazard; 12/23 @ Wolfe County; 1/9 Buckhorn; 1/13 @ Letcher Central; 1/19 vs. Cordia; 1/28 vs. Knott Central; 1/31 vs. Hazard; 2/2 vs. Letcher Central; 2/4 @ Cordia.

12. Leslie County (12-13): Leslie had an up and down season last season and didnít even win a single district game, with Buckhorn and Hazard being down this season, now is the time for Leslie to win some district games and make it back to the region tournament.

Notable Games: 12/6 vs. Wolfe County; 12/8 @ Knott Central; 1/5 vs. Letcher Central; 1/9 Hazard; 1/21 vs. Buckhorn; 1/31 vs. Perry Central; 2/3 @ Buckhorn; 2/7 vs. Powell County; 2/11 @ Hazard; 2/18 vs. Breathitt County

13. Jackson City (14-16): Jackson City defeated Breathitt County last season to win their first district championship in 10 years, last time the Tigers had won their district championship was 2005-6. Jackson City lost most of their scoring from a year ago so getting back to the region tournament wonít be an easy task.

Notable Games: 11/28 @ Hazard; 11/29 vs. Leslie County; 12/2 @ Letcher Central; 12/6 vs. Buckhorn; 12/9 @ Breathitt County; 12/13 @ Wolfe County; 1/3 @ Wolfe County; 1/5 vs. Powell County; 1/18 @ Leslie County; 1/21 vs. Breathitt County; 1/31 vs. Wolfe County; 2/7 vs. Estill County; 2/10 vs. Hazard.

14. Lee County (9-19): The Bobcats had yet another rocky season last year going 9-19 (2-5 districts). Jr guard Joe Shelton will look to get the bobcats back on the path to the region tournament but it wonít be easy especially with a new head coach (Chuck Purdue) and learning a new system.

Notable Games: 12/1 @ Buckhorn; 12/6 vs. Hazard; 12/15 vs. Jackson City; 12/16 @ Powell County; 1/3 @ Wolfe County; 1/7 @ Jackson City; 1/9 Owsley County; 1/17 vs. Powell County; 1/20 vs. Estill County; 1/27 @ Estill County; 2/16 @ Breathitt County; 2/17 vs. Wolfe County; TBD vs. Owsley County

15. Owsley County (7-20): The Owls have had rocky seasons for the past several seasons, will 2016-17 be the season they finally upset Powell or Estill and make it back to the region tournament?

Notable Games: 12/2 @ Leslie County; 12/13 vs. Powell County; 12/21 vs. Hazard; 12/23 vs. Estill County; 1/3 vs. Leslie County; 1/9 Lee County; 1/16 @ Buckhorn; 1/20 @ Lee County; 1/21 vs. Wolfe County; 1/27 @ Powell County; 2/3 @ Wolfe County; 2/6 @ Estill County; 2/13 @ Breathitt County

16. Jenkins (1-29): The Cavaliers loan win last season was a 70-47 win over #17 Riverside Christian, will they get more wins this season or will it be another long season for the Jenkins Cavaliers?

Notable Games: 11/28 vs. Knott Central; 12/9 vs. Letcher Central; 12/19 @ Leslie County; 1/6 @ June Buchanan; 1/10 Breathitt County; 1/17 @ Knott central; 1/20 vs. Leslie County; 1/21 @ Cordia; 2/6 vs. June Buchanan

17. Riverside Christian (2-26): The Rams will look to build on their 2 games that they won from last season but playing a hard schedule as they do, may play a factor in that.
Notable Games: 1/30 vs. Wolfe County; 12/1 @ Breathitt County; 12/12 vs. Breathitt County; 12/28 vs. Jenkins; 1/7 @ Wolfe County; 1/16 @ Jackson City;

Top 10 Players:
1.Torrell Carter (Letcher Central): 2nd leading scorer in the state as a sophomore and 4th leading scorer as a junior last season. Torrell averaged 26.3 points a game last season for the Cougars and will look to do the same this season.

2.Isaac Caudill (Knott Central): One of two of the top leading scorers for the Patriots last season and is one of many weapons Coach King will have this season as the Patriots look to bounce back and win another region crown.

3.Austin Combs (Knott Central): Averaging 18 points a game last season, was the highest leading scorer for the Patriots and third leading scorer in the region behind Letcher Centralís Torrell Carter and Estill Countyís Caleb Bonny.

4.Caleb Bonny (Estill County): Averaged 22 points a game for the Engineers last season and will be the main horse that they go to this season and next on their pursuit of 20 wins in a season.

5.Damon Tobler (Perry Central): Damon played and a big role in Perryís success since heís been at PCC and will continue to do the same this coming season.

6.Camron Turner (Jackson City): Averaged 14 points a game for the Tigers last season, Camron will be the main guy that newly head coach, Corey Hoskins will go too.

7.Noah Back (Perry Central): Another talented player for the Commodores, along with Tobler and many others. Back will play a big role in Perryís success this season after averaging 12 points a game last season.

8.Deven Stone (Wolfe County): Coach Creech always has great big guys and great guards and Deven is one of them. Averaging 15.4 points a game for the Wolves last season.

9.Oumar Keita (Cordia): Cordia Bigman Oumar Keita averaged 6 points a game and 4 boards a game last season for Coach Rhodes and the Lions. Oumar was just upgraded to 85 (4*) recruit per ESPN. Ranked 1st in the state, 17th at his position.

Joe Shelton (Lee County): One of many outstanding guards/players that Lee County has produced. Averaged 18 points a game last season and shot 33% from long ran