2016-2017 12th Region Season Preview

  1. #1
    by SHS Future is offline Premium Member
    2016-2017 12th Region Season Preview




    Basketball in Kentucky is only a few weeks away and excitement is building across the Bluegrass. Last year the Mercer County Titans were cream of the crop in the 12th Region and one of the best teams in the state. Casey County had a Cinderella run in the post season falling in the 12th Region finals. What team will have their dream season and represent the 12th Region in Rupp Arena? Who will be this year’s surprise team? All these questions and more await us as the 2016-2017 basketball season is set to begin.

    Here is a look at the 2016-2017 basketball preseason rankings:



    1) Pulaski County Maroons
    Is this the year Pulaski County finally returns to Rupp Arena? They have had some really good teams over the years, but just can’t seem to get over the hump. It has been since 1992 and the Maroon faithful are itching to make their way to Lexington this season. To help them get there, they have brought in new head coach John Fraley to manage this team full of potential. John is the son of former legendary coach Dave Fraley who led Pulaski County to the state championship in 1986. Two talented juniors by the name of Steven Fitzgerald and Danny Butt have moved across town and now wear the maroon and white. Steven is a potential division 1 shooting guard with range and has an excellent ability to penetrate off the dribble. He can also leap out of the gym. Danny Butt typically handles the point but will also post you up. These two will join senior guard Landon Powell and senior forward Trevon Sylvester to make the Maroons the favorite to win the 12th Region. Also, don’t be surprised when you see a freshman named Colton Fraley make his way into the lineup. This team has all the components to not only take the 12th Region, but to also make a run in the state tournament. If this team can come together and play as one without being selfish, the sky is the limit this year. The Maroons have a difficult schedule for 2016-2017. They kick off their season with Louisville Trinity, play Henry Clay, Louisville Butler, Bardstown, and play in the Central Bank Classic at Lexington Christian during the Christmas Holiday.


    2) Southwestern Warriors
    Southwestern is once again among the top teams in the 12th Region this preseason. Over the past few years they seem to consistently be one of the elites of the 12th Region. New coach Chris Baker moves from the assistants chair to taking the helm of Warrior basketball. Coach Baker has some slots to fill with the transfer of two big starters but the team he has is experienced and knows how to win. The Warriors will be a very good scoring team. They shoot the ball extremely well and the three point shot will be utilized in abundance. The Warriors return senior point guard Peyton Gover and shooting guard Peyton Cundiff. A familiar face returns to the lineup in senior guard Hunter Cromer who sat out last season. Returning junior forward Logan Dykes will maintain the paint while fellow juniors Hunter Stevens and Matthew Jones will contribute from the perimeter. Southwestern’s biggest obstacle to overcome will be their size and how they handle a team with height. But what they lack in height, they make up for in athleticism and shooting ability. Look for high scoring games when the Warriors step on the floor. The Warriors have Central Hardin, George Rogers Clark, and Lawrence County all on the December calendar to get them ready for district and 12th Region play.


    3) West Jessamine Colts
    West Jessamine has been in the 12th Region since 2006. Of their eleven seasons in the 12th Region, the Colts have been to the 12th Region Tournament ten times winning it in 2009 and 2010. Although they lost six players from last year’s roster, they do return a senior laden team including talented shooter Isaiah Okesson, point guard John Davis, guard Joseph Gilbert, forward Kendall Peters, and forward Bradley Tullar. These seniors hope to regain the 46th District crown which Mercer County has kept from them over the past two years. Also, look for transfer senior forward Ty Caudill and sophomore Dalton Bruner to help contribute to the Colts success this season.
    West Jessamine always plays a difficult schedule and this season is no exception. They will be cohosting The Farmers Bank of Jessamine County Tournament and participating in Lexington Catholic’s Traditional Bank Holiday Classic over Christmas break. They also have out of region teams such as Tates Creek, Bardstown, Lexington Christian, Dixie Heights, and Paul Laurence Dunbar to help prepare them for the post season.


    4) Lincoln County Patriots
    The Patriots will once again be favored in the 45th District this season. They have won the district title the past three years and will be looking to keep the streak alive this season. Coach Jeff Jackson also knows a little about the 12th Region tournament. He has led the Patriots there eleven of the thirteen years he has been at Lincoln County and won the 12th Region in 2007 and again in 2008. So, the Patriots are poised to have another good year and will be led by senior point guard Noah Young. Young averaged 17 points per game for the Patriots last season and will once again be a big factor in the Patriots success this season. Shooting guard Devin Alcorn also returns for his senior season along with fellow senior Tanner Macaninch. The Patriots have a difficult schedule this season getting them prepared for post season play. They kick off the season playing Lafayette and also have Bryan Station, Lexington Catholic, and Anderson County scheduled. They will be playing in Mercer County’s Farmers National Bank – Clash of the Titans and Montgomery County’s Gateway Holiday Classic over the Christmas holiday.


    5) Mercer County Titans
    Last year was the year of the Titans! Mercer County was the 12th Region champions and they were beaten at Rupp Arena in a thriller by the eventual state champions. The Titans not only lost a slew of players to graduation but they also lost their head coach. Well, this is a new year and new head coach Kurt Young is eager to get the season started. There will be some new players being asked to fill spots where some talented players graduated. One familiar face though will be the extremely talented junior guard Trevon Faulkner. Trevon is the best player in the region and is considered one of the best in the state in the class of 2018. He brings from last season an average team high of 18.6 points per game and almost 6 rebounds per game. Senior guards Rhyan Lanham and Jon Dunning, junior forward Garrett Gillespie, sophomore guard Carter Baughman along with transfer Gunnar Gillis will also be contributors for the Titans. The Titans will once again be looking to return to the 12th Region come post season and would love to bring the 46th District title back to Harrodsburg for the third straight year. Mercer County plans on hosting the Farmers National Bank – Clash of the Titans tournament and participating in the Campbellsville High School Holiday Classic over the Christmas break. Along with the 12th Region games, the Titans also have games scheduled with Shelby County, Corbin, Montgomery County, Muhlenberg County, and North Hardin during the regular season.


    6) Casey County Rebels
    The Rebels had a great run in last years’ 12th Region Tournament finishing runner-up to a talented Mercer County team. This year they wish to finish atop the region and place the senior class as one of the best in school history. Speaking of the senior class, the Rebels have three seniors that are four year starters and one that could be the all-time leading scorer once everything is said and done. Shooting guard Jacob Smith averaged just shy of 20 points per game last season and could score well over 2000 points by the end of this season. Add point guard Colin Miller and forward Breece Hayes and you have a team with some excellent senior leadership. Sophomore Maximo Reyes is also expected to be a significant contributor for the Rebels. Casey County also has a new head coach in Jason Price. The question for the Rebels is going to be inside the paint and depth. With a lot of size and strength lost to graduation last season, who is going to step up and help Hayes in the paint. The Rebels are scheduled to play Knott County Central, Madison Central, Perry County Central, Central Hardin, and Taylor County during the regular season to help prepare them for 12th Region play.


    7) Rockcastle County Rockets
    The Rockets could easily be the #2 or #3 team in this year’s rankings if it wasn’t for the preseason loss of the 12th Region’s best big man. Senior Lucas Gentry was last year’s leading scorer for the Rockets averaging 20.8 points per game and he will be out for at least the first part of the season due to hip surgery. If Gentry is able to return he will join a team that looks very similar to last year’s team. With basically everyone returning, the Rockets have an experienced team capable of making a run at the 12th Region title. Point guard Carson Noble and shooting guard John Cornelius return for their senior year along with fellow seniors Thomas Burdette and Jordan Hawkins. The Rockets were one of the highest scoring teams in the region last season so expect a lot of high paced action when they take the floor. This season the Rockets will be playing in the Toyota Classic in Georgetown and are scheduled to play Scott County first game. Corbin and South Laurel are also challenging out of region competition on the agenda this season.


    8) Boyle County Rebels
    Boyle County graduated seven seniors from last year and this should be a rebuilding year for them. But, the Rebels could once again find themselves in the hunt for the 45th District title by seasons end and are a favorite to return to the 12th Region tournament. Anyone who follows 12th Region basketball knows Coach Steve Adams will have a solid defensive team. Last year the Rebels only had nine games where an opponent scored more than 60 points. This year they hope to build on their defensive success with strong play from their junior class as they return point guard Jason Alexander, shooting guard Bryce Slone, and forward Will Bramel. These three juniors can’t do it alone so some of the others who have not had a lot of varsity experience will have to step up for the Rebels to be successful. And the Rebels have a very competitive schedule to break in the inexperience. They start the season playing Bryan Station, Knox Central, North Hardin, Lexington Christian and will also play in the Farmers National Bank – Clash of the Titans at Mercer County and Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County. This Boyle County team should be ready by the time post season comes and no 12th Region team will like seeing the Rebels as an opponent in the postseason tournaments.


    9) Somerset Briar Jumpers
    The Jumpers were very young team last season starting four sophomores and they took their lumps. But, this year those young Jumpers will be upperclassmen and have a lot of experience under their belts. Somerset will bring a balanced attack with senior guard Austin dick, junior guard Kross Grundy, junior point guard Jake Cothron, and junior forward Trae Harmon. Improved big men 6’6” junior Andrew Wilson and 6’5” junior Colin Hartmann also look to make their way into the lineup this year. The Jumpers may be the biggest team in the region which could give some teams matchup problems. If all goes well for the Jumpers, they could find themselves having a very good year and maybe the dark horse to challenge Pulaski County and other powers in the 12th Region. 2013 was the last time Somerset was in the 12th Region Tournament and that year they made it to the championship game. Could this be the year Somerset returns to the 12th Region Tournament? Watch out for this Briar Jumpers team. They may be sitting at #9 in the preseason rankings, but could easily move into the top 5 as the season progresses. Somerset is scheduled to play in the Elleman Contracting Garrard County Holiday Classic and cohost the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic over the Christmas break. They will also be playing in the 12th Region All A Classic in January with hopes of making it to Frankfort for the Class A State Tournament.


    10) Wayne County Cardinals
    The Wayne County Cardinals have had an amazing run over the past few years as they have won three straight 47th District titles, been to Rupp Arena three out of the last six years, and have been a consistent top five team in the region. This year will be a rebuilding year for the Cardinals as they lost four talented players to graduation. But, the Cardinals have a very good junior group that has the potential to continue the tradition that so many Coach Rodney Woods teams have paved before them. Leading the way for the Cardinals will be junior forward Jakson Baker. He has been a two year starter for the Cardinals averaging 8.3 points per game last season and over 8 rebounds per game. Senior guard Logan Britt, junior forward Clayton Shelton, and junior guard Stetson Simpson will find themselves consistently in the starting lineup for Wayne County and be relied upon to be more of a factor this season. Look for the Cardinals to improve as the season progresses and don’t be surprised if the red and white are once again a formidable foe in the 12th Region. This season Wayne County is scheduled to play against Taylor County, Knox Central, Clay County, Lexington Catholic along with their difficult 12 Region competition.


    11) McCreary Central Raiders
    The Raiders sit outside the top ten in the preseason rankings but don’t be fooled. The talent is there and new Coach Jimmy Voight knows this team has a lot of potential. They have taken their lumps over the past two seasons, but the tide is turning and the Raiders know this could be the year they finally make it back to the 12th Region tournament. They will be led by junior guard Hunter Jones and senior forward Devon Hamilton. Last year Jones averaged 14.1 points per game and Hamilton averaged just shy of 12 points. Add juniors Devin Strunk, John Cash, and Brandon Troxtell and you have a team with the talent and experience to challenge the mighty 48th District. McCreary Central will be hosting the Arby’s/KFC Holiday Classic and playing in the Pine Mountain Classic over the Christmas break.


    12) East Jessamine Jaguars
    The Jaguars look to improve on last years’ record of 12-19. With losing 32% of their scoring and 38% of their rebounding to graduation, the Jaguars will look to senior guard Nathan Harper and senior center Logan Gayheart for success. Harper was last years’ high scorer for the Jaguars averaging over 17 points per game. Junior guards Ben Thompson and Drew Cook will also look to contribute. The Jaguars have been to the 12th Region Tournament 7 out of the eleven years they have been in the 12th Region but last year was the first time they missed it two years in a row. They would like to change that this season but a tough 46th District awaits them. The Jaguars open the season with Sayre and play in the Kentucky Bank Challenge in Rowan County and Henry County Invitational over the holiday season. They will also be cohosting the Farmers Bank of Jessamine County Tournament.


    13) Danville Admirals
    The Admirals graduated seven seniors last season which was also 85% of their total offense. So you can basically call this a rebuilding year for Danville. Plus, the Admiral football team is expected to make a deep run in the playoffs so, in all probability, the basketball team will get off to a slow start. But Coach Ed McKinney hopes to have them ready to once again challenge the small schools in the Class A tournament come January. Danville will be playing in the Ellman Contracting Garrard Holiday Classic over the Christmas holiday and will be playing in the 12th Region All A Classic.


    14) Garrard County Golden Lions
    Garrard County will have a new face at the helm of this year’s basketball team. Coach Josh Young takes over the Golden Lions program with hopes of improving from last year’s record of 15-15. It will be a tough task in the 45th District but Garrard County does returns guard Jacob Barker and forward Parker Daily for their senior season. The Golden Lions will be hosting the Elleman Contracting Garrard Holiday Classic and playing in the Hyden Bank Christmas tournament in Leslie County over the holiday break.


    15) Burgin Bulldogs
    The Bulldogs had a great season last year with a record of 15-14, but lost four of their top six scorers for this season. Senior forward Jordan Hurst is the top returner for Burgin who averaged 8.4 points per game and over 10 rebounds. Senior guard Micah Dunn averaged 6.8 point per game last season and will be highly relied upon this year. The Bulldogs will be hosting the Coach David Feeback Classic, and also playing in the Robertson County Adidas Classic and the 12th Region All A Classic this season.


    16) Kentucky School f/t Deaf Colonels
    Coach Mike Yance will be taking the Colonels on the road once again this season to challenge the best hearing impaired schools in the region. They will be travelling to Tennessee to play in the Viking Classic, Pennsylvania for the WPSD HC Classic, Ohio for the Mid-American Classic, and to Florida for the 65th Annual Boys’ Deaf Mason-Dixon Tournament. Good luck to the Colonels in their season ahead.



    Top Players:

    1) Trevon Faulkner (Mercer County) Junior – A potential Division 1 combo guard, Trevon averaged almost 19 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Titans last season. He is one of the top juniors in the state of Kentucky and considered by many the top player in the class of 2018.

    1) Steven Fitzgerald (Pulaski County) Junior – Steven has exploded on the AAU scene the past 2 summers and has received offers from some mid to high major Division 1 programs. He is an explosive guard with unbelievable leaping ability. He is considered the top player in the class of 2018 by many scouting sources.

    3) Peyton Gover (Southwestern) Senior – Peyton is the top point guard in the 12th Region. He is a very smart, unselfish player that shoots the ball extremely well.

    4) Lucas Gentry (Rockcastle County) Senior – Lucas is considered the best post player in the 12th region but hip surgery this past summer could keep him off the floor until January or later.

    5) Treyvon Sylvester (Pulaski County) Senior – Treyvon is an agile post player who averaged almost 15 points and 7 rebounds per game last season for the Maroons.

    6) Jacob Smith (Casey County) Senior – Jacob averaged almost 20 points per game last season for Casey County and helped lead the Rebels to a 12th Region Championship appearance for the first time in over 24 years.

    7) Noah Young (Lincoln County) Senior – Noah is a quick point guard who averaged almost 17 points per game last season for the Patriots. He is the leader on the floor and has a knack for the game.

    8) Danny Butt (Pulaski County) Junior – Danny is a strong guard with range that can take the defender off the dribble or post them up inside. He sees the floor well so he plays point guard quite often.

    9) Landon Powell (Pulaski County) Senior - Landon averaged over 17 points per game as the point guard for the Maroons last season.

    10) Colin Miller (Casey County) Senior - This will make Colin’s fourth year as the starting point guard for Casey County. He averaged over 15 points per game last season for the Rebels.

  2. #2
    PurplePride92's Avatar
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    Great stuff, SHS!!!!!!! I know the Boyle County Rebels are ready to get the season going!!!!!

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    Observation from watching Pulaski on Saturday:

    Landon Powell barely touches the ball. And when he did, he shot some pretty atrocious bricks. Danny Butt was playing the 1 and bringing the ball up while Landon played off the ball.

    Also, they never look in the post to Sylvester. He even yelled "Give me the ball" one time when he had the post defender on his back. He didn't get the ball.....

    The concern would be if they will have long term chemistry issues. Long season. Lots of time to get stuff fixed.
    Last edited by PurplePride92; Nov 15, 16 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Rule 8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousCoach View Post
    Observation from watching Pulaski on Saturday:

    Landon Powell barely touches the ball. And when he did, he shot some pretty atrocious bricks. Danny Butt was playing the 1 and bringing the ball up while Landon played off the ball.

    Also, they never look in the post to Sylvester. He even yelled "Give me the ball" one time when he had the post defender on his back. He didn't get the ball.....

    The concern would be if they will have long term chemistry issues. Long season. Lots of time to get stuff fixed.
    Interesting comments.

    With that said, I believe they beat a good University Heights team by a solid margin.
    Last edited by PurplePride92; Nov 15, 16 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Rule 14

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    Quote Originally Posted by PulaskiAlum View Post
    Interesting comments.

    With that said, I believe they beat a good University Heights team by a solid margin.
    I wouldn't say University Heights is good. They have 3 good individual players on their team but they basically played park ball while their coach sat on the bench and hung out with his assistants for the whole scrimmage.

    Steven was very impressive in the scrimmage. He had a streak of about 15 points in 2-3 minutes. Danny had some nice passes. Sylvester definitely needs post touches though. He can give them an inside presence that most teams in the 12th lack.

    Don't confuse my comments as critical. Just my observations of the scrimmage. And the main thing is that they are ready in February. I do think they are the best team in the 12th.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SHS Future View Post
    14) Garrard County Golden Lions
    Garrard County will have a new face at the helm of this year’s basketball team. Coach Josh Young takes over the Golden Lions program with hopes of improving from last year’s record of 15-15. It will be a tough task in the 45th District but Garrard County does returns guard Jacob Barker and forward Parker Daily for their senior season. The Golden Lions will be hosting the Elleman Contracting Garrard Holiday Classic and playing in the Hyden Bank Christmas tournament in Leslie County over the holiday break.
    Ryan Young. Assistant at Garrard the last two years. Played at Union College and is a 12th Region Hall of Famer from his days at Lincoln County.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousCoach View Post
    I wouldn't say University Heights is good. They have 3 good individual players on their team but they basically played park ball while their coach sat on the bench and hung out with his assistants for the whole scrimmage.

    Steven was very impressive in the scrimmage. He had a streak of about 15 points in 2-3 minutes. Danny had some nice passes. Sylvester definitely needs post touches though. He can give them an inside presence that most teams in the 12th lack.

    Don't confuse my comments as critical. Just my observations of the scrimmage. And the main thing is that they are ready in February. I do think they are the best team in the 12th.
    Oh I just assumed University Heights was rated to be a top 3 team in their region? I would guess they are more athletic than most teams in the 12th? It generally can be tough to make assessments off scrimmages.

    I did not mean to come off as critical, in fact , I enjoy to hear the observation.

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    Nice breakdown.. great read & very nice to know basketball is here!

    Any SO or possibly FR to look out for that would've been considered in the 11-15 range for player rankings?

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    Pulaski looks the part absolutely....but University Heights is not a good team. Two top players; one ok and after that the drop off is huge. Not critical of Pulaski so don't jump down my throat, they look state worthy

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    Quote Originally Posted by PulaskiAlum View Post
    Nice breakdown.. great read & very nice to know basketball is here!

    Any SO or possibly FR to look out for that would've been considered in the 11-15 range for player rankings?
    I can't speak to the 11-15 range but I'll be looking at the progress of these kids this year:

    SO-Carter Baughman-Mercer County
    SO-Dalton Bruner-West Jessamine
    FR-Reese Smith-Boyle County
    FR-Landen Bartleson-Boyle County
    FR-Colton Fraley-Pulaski County
    SO-Zach Thornton-Danville

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousCoach View Post
    Observation from watching Pulaski on Saturday:

    Landon Powell barely touches the ball. And when he did, he shot some pretty atrocious bricks. Danny Butt was playing the 1 and bringing the ball up while Landon played off the ball.

    Also, they never look in the post to Sylvester. He even yelled "Give me the ball" one time when he had the post defender on his back. He didn't get the ball.....

    The concern would be if they will have long term chemistry issues. Long season. Lots of time to get stuff fixed.
    Powell and Sylvester better get used to not touching the ball as much. You know Fitzgerald and Butt are gonna get theirs know matter what. They may get wins but I bet a lot of their teammates wish they would have stayed where they were.

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    Good opportunity for Sylvester and Powell to work on their boxing out and rebounding though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ky playmaker View Post
    Good opportunity for Sylvester and Powell to work on their boxing out and rebounding though.

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    They are definitely going to be doing a lot of that this year.

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    I think Boyle is gonna be on a steep learning curve in December but hopefully can be 12th region competitive come tourney time.

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