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For the past two seasons Taylor County has ruled the 5th Region as Taylor County won the 5th Region tournament the last two seasons and in 2016 Taylor County advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sweet Sixteen where they fell to eventual Sweet Sixteen runner-up, Doss. This season brings a fresh start for the entire region as Quentin Goodin has graduated and David Sloan and Coach Gatewood have left Taylor County for new homes this season. North Hardin and Bardstown look to make the trip to Rupp Arena this year but it won't be easy as Adair County and John Hardin both have the goals, determination and talent to make it Rupp Arena as well. Taylor County has a new coach in Maze Stallworth and they look to win their third consecutive 5th Region tournament. The 5th Region should be very exciting this season as North Hardin has a new student and Adair County had a former student come back to Adair County. There are a lot of questions about the 5th Region that will be answered by March. Enjoy the season!!!!

Top 10 Teams of the 5th Region


1. North Hardin


North Hardin is a co-favorite of the 5th Region and they look to improve upon last year's season where they finished as a semifinalist in the 5th Region tournament. They return Preseason Player of the Year in the 5th Region in senior Tony Jackson. Tony has committed to Coastal Carolina and with his recruitment behind him he looks to focus on leading his teammates to Rupp Arena. Joining Tony this season is senior Trace Young who his back in the state of Kentucky and now a student at North Hardin. Tony and Trace will form a dynamic duo in the 5th Region and along with fellow seniors James Pitre, Trey Peterson and Gavin Root they will be a senior laden team looking to end their high school careers on a high note. Gavin Root will be running the point for North Hardin and has been playing major minutes at the position for 3 years now. Juniors JoJo Dixon and Trevon Cooper along with seniors Trey Peterson and James Pitre will provide athleticism and quickness all over the floor. Freshman newcomer Roger McFarlane will be expected to make an immediate impact and will be seeing major minutes as well. All of the pieces are in place for head coach Mike Cofer to guide North Hardin deep into the region tournament and see the team accomplish the goal of playing in Rupp Arena for a state championship.


1. Bardstown

Bardstown is the other co-favorite of the 5th Region this season as they look to make it back to the 5th Region finals and Coach James "Boo" Brewer looks to return to Rupp Arena. Bardstown will have to replace 5 seniors from last year's team and in most cases that could be troubling but not for this year's Bardstown team. Bardstown will be returning two of the top 10 players of the 5th Region in seniors Kel Livers and Santrel Farmer and along with fellow seniors Daydrian Allen and Trajan Walls not only do they return the bulk of their scoring from last year's team but they are also seasoned vets who know what it takes to make it to the region finals. Daydrian Allen hit 86 three pointers last season and will look to continue to make three pointers at the 36% percentage he made them at last season. With the experienced players returning and Coach Boo Brewer's leadership this Bardstown team is poised to make a deep tournament run in March.


3. Adair County

Adair County returns four starters from last year's 21-8 team and expectations are high in Adair County this season. Senior Chance Melton returns and is entering his 6th year as a starter for Adair County. Chance is less than 300 points away from becoming Adair County's all time leading scorer and also has over 1,000 career rebounds. Junior Corey Melton was the team's leading scorer last season and he will be bringing back his 19 points and 7 rebounds per game to help lead the Indians. Senior Kel Stotts returns to Adair County for his senior year as Kel was a starter for Adair County as a 7th and 8th grader before transferring to Russell County. Kel is known as a bona fide scorer and looks to join the short list of players who have scored over 1,000 career points at two different schools as Kel is 348 points away in an Adair County uniform from accomplishing that feat. Senior Jordan Lashley returns to the team and brings his 3-1 assist to turnover ratio that he managed to compile last season and will be looked at to duplicate that success along with likely guarding opposing teams best guard. Seniors Dylan Feese and Chris Abston return bringing more valuable experience and will see significant playing time. Sophomore guards Layndon Carter and Anthony Payne played quite a bit last season and will also provide quality time on the court as well. With Chance Melton, Corey Melton, Kel Stotts and Cameron Lashley Adair County boasts a quartet of legitimate scoring options that will be tough for any team to stop on a consistent basis. With all of the focus on North Hardin and Bardstown Coach Deron Breeze looks to lead Adair County deep into the postseason and possibly under the radar.


4. John Hardin


John Hardin looks to rebound from a disappointing finish to last year's season as they were bounced in the first round by district foe Central Hardin. Returning one of the top players in the region in junior Mickey Pearson John Hardin looks to have a different ending to this year's season. Returning with Mickey Pearson will be senior Devonta Guillory who many believe is also a top 10 player in the 5th Region. Pearson and Guillory will form a strong 1-2 punch for John Hardin and if junior Anthony Witherspoon is able to recovery from a football injury then John Hardin's 1-2 punch will become a treacherous three. Replacing Matt Miller won't be an easy feat but if these three are able to play up to expectations then not only will they be able to smoothly replace Matt Miller but they will also have a good chance to erase the taste of last year's district tournament disappointment out of their mouths. District 17 is the toughest district and Coach Jared McCurry will have his hands full but has some talented players at John Hardin to help make it through district tournament play and into region tournament play.


5. Taylor County


Taylor County has the tall task of not only replacing 2015-16 Mr. Basketball finalist Quentin Goodin but also replacing 2016-17 Mr. Basketball candidate David Sloan who initially transferred to Ballard but is now at a prep school finishing his high school career. New head coach Maze Stallworth will have his hands full but the cupboard isn't bare at Taylor County as seniors Dylan Gaines and Ezra Oliver return to lead Taylor County this season. Led by Gaines and Oliver the Cardinals of Taylor County look to mix their experience and leadership with the new faces at Taylor County expected to step up. Coach Stallworth's success at Casey County helped him become one of the top choices to replace Coach Gatewood and Coach Stallworth looks to bring his coaching prowess to the 5th Region and it is clear his coaching ability is one of the reasons many in the 5th Region feel that Taylor County will be one of the top teams in the region. Taylor County is looking to win their third 5th Region title in a row and now that Goodin, Sloan and Gatewood are no longer there teams will be looking to exact some revenge on Taylor County.


6. Central Hardin


Central Hardin faces the same story line as Taylor County as they have some important players to replace and they are also adjusting to a new coach in Matt Nickell. Coach Nickell takes over the Central Hardin program from Coach James Wright and looks to improve upon last year's trip to the semifinals of the 5th Region tournament. Central Hardin boasts a nice mixture of experience, talent and hard workers. Having gone to the semifinals of the region tournament last season the team understands what it takes to be successful and will be expected to do what it takes to win games. In order for Central Hardin to reach their full potential each player will need to do their jobs and the expectation is that they will not only do their job but will work hard to get the job done. Four players return to this year's team with varsity experience. Seniors Mason Rothrock, Stephen Thompson, Reece Iler and Trent Wood all return this season and will provide quality experience to this year's team. New faces expected to make an impact this season are seniors Darius Barbour, Jackson Pawley and LCris Weathers. Sophomore Jacob Hobbs will also be expected to have an impact as well. As mentioned earlier District 17 is an extremely competitive district and likely the toughest one in the 5th Region. Fortunately for Central Hardin they have the experience and mentality to help get them back to the 5th Region tournament.


7. Larue County

Larue County returns their entire team from the 2015-16 season which saw their season end in the first round of the district tournament from the hands of Caverna. Larue County went 13-12 last season and having their entire team return is what lands them at #7 in the preseason rankings. Derek Goode brings back his 18 points a game to hopefully lead Larue County to the 5th Region tournament this season. Junior Cameron Dawson, sophomore Shane King and freshman Mark Goode also return with their double digit scoring averages as they all look to improve upon the results of the 2015-16 season.


8. Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown will be a team full of upperclassmen as juniors and seniors dominate the roster. Junior Darius Harding shows promise as a talented player who will likely be one of the leaders of Coach James Haire's team this season. Elizabethtown finished 6-20 last season but their roster full of upperclassmen is what leads many to believe that Elizabethtown will be a top 10 team in the 5th Region this season.


9. Marion County


Marion County loses strong seniors from last year's team that made it to the 5th Region tournament but lost in their first region tournament game. Returning to Coach Montrelle Irvin's team is senior Isaac Lanham, senior Adarius Means, junior Lez Means and sophomore Travis Wiser. Marion County finished 9-23 last season but with the talent they have returning they have made the radar of many people within the 5th Region.


10.
Caverna

Josh Davis takes over as Caverna's head coach this season as Caverna expects to compete for a district championship this season. Caverna has more talent coming back than people may realize led by junior Jobby Howard. Jobby is poised to have a breakout season this year and will be a surprise for people have been paying attention to the other more heralded players in the 5th Region. Seniors Travis Hensley and Devon Paul look to provide the stability on the floor that Caverna will need night in and night out and if Caverna can improve defensively then they will be a tough out. Caverna has won the 18th District Tournament the past two seasons and they will be the champs until proven otherwise.


Best of the Rest:


Nelson County

Senior Max Ryan returns with hopes of leading Nelson County back to the 5th Region tournament. Ryan will be the leading scorer returning and Nelson County will look to improve upon last year's 15-13 season. Nelson County is chock full of seniors as they have a total of 9 seniors on their roster. With that kind of experience Nelson County looks to be in a good position to return to the 5th Region tournament.


Campbellsville

Campbellsville has to replace four starters this year but they return junior Tyrion Taylor who looks to make a name for himself as one of the best guards in the 5th Region. Juniors Ethan Lay, Connor Wilson and Chanson Atkinson should all play meaningful minutes for the Eagles this season as they look to improve upon their 11-18 campaign last season. Junior Logan Cole has a chance to be a force and seniors Micah Corley, Ricky Smith along with freshman Malachi Corley should provide quality depth for the Eagles this season. Lack of size and varsity experience could prove to be an issue for Campbellsville but the will rely on their speed and quickness to win ballgames this year. Malachi Corley should provide depth for the Eagles.


Washington County

Washington County will be led by senior DT Yocum and sophomores Cameron Willis and Drew Yates. DT Yocum is one of the more underrated players in the 5th Region who some feel is one of the top 10 players in the region. DT will look to lead Washington County to the 5th Region tournament.


Hart County

Hart County is young and inexperienced and will also have new head coach Josh Henderson returning to the 5th Region. With a new coaching staff in place rebuilding the program is the top priority but the goal for Hart County is to be playing their best ball the latter part of the season with goals to make the region tournament. Sophomore John Shoulders and junior Logan Qualls bring the most experience to the table and Shoulders is a rising star in the 5th Region. Sophomore Jonathan Minton is a good scorer who has a chance at a breakout season.


Bethlehem

Junior Jacob Taylor and senior Matthew Hagan are the team's leading scorers returning this season as Bethlehem has hopes of improving upon last season's growth and experience gained as they plan to improve enough to be competitive in the 19th District. Any success that Bethlehem has will also come with the aid of seniors John Prescott, Conner Beisler and Sam Talbert.


Green County

Green County has to replace the 30 points a game that Dominique Compton provided. Senior Isaac Landis looks to lead Green County to another winning season and back to the 5th Region tournament.


Fort Knox

Fort Knox will be led by junior Joshua DeRivas and senior Camron Gore as they return to a Fort Knox team looking to improve from their 10-19 season from 2015-16.


Thomas Nelson

Thomas Nelson went 1-30 last season and 2016-17 looks to be another year of building the basketball program at Thomas Nelson.


Top 10 Players:


1. Tony Jackson-North Hardin
2. Kel Stotts-Adair County
3. Mickey Pearson-John Hardin
4. Kel Livers-Bardstown
5. Santrel Farmer-Bardstown
6. Trace Young-North Hardin
7. Chance Melton-Adair County
8. Devonta Guillory-John Hardin
9. Dylan Gaines-Taylor County
10. Derek Goode-Larue County

Best of the Rest:

DT Yocum-Washington County
Jobby Howard-Caverna
Darius Harding-Elizabethtown
Tyrion Taylor-Campbellsville
TraJan Walls-Bardstown