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1) Warren Central (2-0) - 12/4 81-68 W at Owensboro
Previous Rank: 1
This Week: 12/10 at #3 Glasgow, 12/13 at #16 Franklin-Simpson

Central played only one game this week thanks to Paducah pulling out of their game due to the ACT, but they stayed hot with an 81-68 victory at Owensboro, their second 80+ point effort of the year. Dre Boyd led the way with 19 points on 7/12 shooting, and a perfect 5-5 from the foul line to go with 13 rebounds. The win didn't come easy, as the Dragons trailed after the first and third quarters. A late surge was keyed by an Antonio Barbee basket coupled with an intentional foul on the play. Central has beaten Owensboro 10 out of 11, with the lone loss coming in the state championship year for the Red Devils. The Dragons play a Monday/Thursday schedule this week, and get a measuring stick visit to Glasgow. Central has won 13 in a row against the Scotties.

2) Bowling Green (3-0) - 12/4 92-38 W #3 Glasgow, 12/8 73-68 W Central Hardin (at South Warren)
Previous Rank: 2
This Week: 12/11 vs. #8 Greenwood, 12/15 at McCracken County

I came very close to jumping Bowling Green to the top this week, that's how impressive they were. They opened the week by absolutely shattering Glasgow 92-38 in what was supposed to be a real test. It was the eighth straight win over the Scotties for Bowling Green, but despite the gaudy 54 point margin, it didn't even surpass the 62 points they won by two years ago. The Purples shot 61% in the victory, and were 8/14 (57.1%) from three. 11 Purples scored, led by Isaiah Mason's 18 points on 7/11 shooting. From beginning to end it was pure dominance. They followed that up with a more impressive win over BGP-ranked Central Hardin. The teams put on a shooting clinic early, and the frenetic pace led to a 43-all halftime score. The Purples weathered twelve three-pointers by the Bruins, and when it came to crunch time, they hit their free throws as usual. Trevor Dennis hit four triples on his way to 24 points to lead the team. They really impressed me, showcasing great ball movement to find the open shot and getting to the rim as we are accustomed to. They may be #1 before long.

3) Glasgow (4-1) - 12/4 38-92 L at #2 Bowling Green, 12/7 66-48 W #16 Russell County, 12/8 76-53 W #14 Russellville
Previous Rank: 3
This Week: 12/10 vs. #1 Warren Central, 12/14 vs. #6 Monroe County

You look at that 54 point loss and ask how they can remain this high? Simple - I believe Warren Central and Bowling Green are that far ahead of the rest of the region. Glasgow is better than that margin would indicate. In a lot of ways, I think they gave up against Bowling Green, and it's hard to blame them. They got their souls reaved on their way to a 26-6 first quarter deficit. The game was over at that point. They bounced back with double digit victories over Russell County and Russellville. They have a shot at proving that the blowout was a fluke when they host top ranked Warren Central tomorrow. Win or keep it close, and people can let that BG game slip from their memory. The Monroe County game appears even more critical thanks to Allen County-Scottsville's hot start. The Scotties are still finding their way without Smith, Brents, and Franklin.

4) Logan County (3-1) - 12/4 59-41 W at Ohio County, 12/7 61-46 W #15 Franklin-Simpson
Previous Rank: 6
This Week: 12/10 vs. #6 Monroe County, 12/14 at #10 Todd County Central, 12/15 at #11 South Warren

Logan County pretty much just did what they should in wins over Ohio County and Franklin-Simpson. Both results were expected, and the Cougars are out to a strong 3-1 start to the Tinsley era, avoiding a pitfall against a Franklin-Simpson team that gave them a lot of trouble a year ago and eliminated them from the postseason. They have a benchmark game on tap against Monroe County, who blew them out by 16 a season ago. As with all district games, their trip to Todd County Central is the more important one. Last season the Cougars scratched out a 64-62 win at Todd County. The Rebels are really their only significant competition for the district.

5) Clinton County (4-1) - 12/4 64-58 W at #7 Monroe County, 12/7 78-35 W #17 Metcalfe County, 12/8 48-73 L #5 Greenwood (at South Warren)
Previous Rank: 4
This Week: 12/11 at #15 Cumberland County, 12/14 vs. #17 Russell County

Clinton County maintains a relatively high position despite the blowout loss to Greenwood thanks to the missing link from that game - Jackson Harlan. The WKU commit suffered a fall in their win against Metcalfe County, and sat out the Greenwood game with back spasms. They kept close for a while thanks to Seth Stockton's double double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, but could not hang with the Gators without their 26.3 PPG leader. Their week-opening win over Monroe County appears to be a greater indicator of their stature, with Harlan posting 31 points against the former-16th District rival. By the end of this next week. the Bulldogs should be out to a 3-0 district record and well on their way to yet another #1 seed.

6) Monroe County (4-1) - 12/4 58-64 L #4 Clinton County, 12/7 56-53 W #9 Barren County
Previous Rank: 7
This Week: 12/10 at #5 Logan County, 12/11 at #17 Russell County, 12/14 at #3 Glasgow

The Falcons got 24 points out of Chandler Clements, but their 3/23 shooting from three ultimately denied them any chance to knock off the higher ranked Bulldogs last Tuesday. They appeared on their way to another loss when they hosted Barren County, trailing almost the entire game, including 45-38 entering the fourth. Eight straight points to open the quarter gave them their first lead, and Grayson Rich gave them the win with a three pointer from the top of the key with two seconds remaining. The big district win springboards them into a week where they will visit Logan County to start and end the week with another road district game at expected favorite Glasgow.

7) Allen County-Scottsville (4-0) - 12/6 74-71 OT W #5 Greenwood, 12/7 79-63 W at #12 Cumberland County
Previous Rank: 11
This Week: 12/11 vs. #12 Warren East, 12/14 at #9 Barren County, 12/15 vs. #16 Franklin-Simpson

The Patriots still have a ways to go to make me search further back than 2008/09 to find a better start - they went 10-0 to open that season - but they are trying hard to get there. Their most dramatic win to date came in a home 74-71 overtime win over Greenwood, won courtesy of a Mason Shirley halfcourt three pointer as time expired. They were three of Shirley's 27 points, 22 of which came in the second half. They stayed hot with the road win at Cumberland County. Each of their games has seen them score between 71 and 79 points, a remarkably consistent effort. Suddenly, they are favorites in all their pre-Christmas games (for now). They open the week with another 14th District opponent in Warren East, but we'll find out exactly what they're made of when they visit district foe Barren County on Friday.

8) Greenwood (1-2) - 12/6 71-74 OT L at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/8 73-48 W #4 Clinton County (at South Warren)
Previous Rank: 5
This Week: 12/11 at #2 Bowling Green, 12/14 vs. #11 South Warren

It seems unfair to ding the Gators so harshly for the loss to Allen County-Scottsville, and it isn't their fault Jackson Harlan didn't play on Saturday, but we just can't be certain of exactly what they have in that win. We do know that they continue to get standout performances from Jack Roberts and Isaac Stansbury, with each bursting into double digits in all three games the Gators have played on the year. They led most of the game against Allen County-Scottsville before faltering late, snapping a five game winning streak over the Patriots. They have two district games this week. We wouldn't give them much hope of snapping a 14 game skid against Bowling Green - and they haven't won AT Bowling Green in nine years - but their contest against bitter rival South Warren bears definite monitoring. The teams split the regular season a season ago before the Spartans broke Greenwood's heart in the district tournament on the same Greenwood court they will meet on Friday. Staying out of the 4/5 game is always critical, and a South Warren win would slide Greenwood alongside Warren East in the danger zone for that.

9) Barren County (1-3) - 12/7 53-56 L at #7 Monroe County
Previous Rank: 9
This Week: 12/10 vs. Edmonson County, 12/11 at Caverna, 12/14 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville

The Trojans have managed to remain close in their losses, but have continued to find the sledding difficult without Jared Coomer. They led for the first three quarters of their game against Monroe County, but couldn't hold on for the win. They finally return home after opening the year with four straight road games. The game against Allen County-Scottsville suddenly can't be taken for granted thanks to the strong opening showing by the Patriots. They haven't lost to AC/S since the 2013/14 season.

10) Todd County Central (2-4) - 12/3 66-110 L at University Heights, 12/4 57-55 W East Robertson (TN), 12/7 68-64 W at #14 Russellville
Previous Rank: 10
This Week: 12/11 at #11 South Warren, 12/14 vs. #5 Logan County, 12/15 vs. Ohio County (at Muhlenberg County)

The Rebels began the week with a completely understandable smackdown at UHA. Just nothing to be done there. But they finally climbed into the win column with an out of state win against East Robertson and a comeback win against Russellville to start 1-0 in district play. John Calvery is out to an 18.5 PPG average through six games, including 17 in the win at Russellville. They have another big district game this week when they host Logan County, who they dropped a pair to last season - the only 13th District team to beat them.

11) South Warren (2-2) - 12/7 67-65 W at #8 Warren East, 12/8 93-62 W Edmonson County
Previous Rank: 13
This Week: 12/11 vs. #10 Todd County Central, 12/14 at #8 Greenwood, 12/15 vs. #5 Logan County

That's more like it for South Warren! With some of their football strength returning, the Spartans grabbed a big win at Warren East on Friday night, with a game winning layup with a little more than two seconds remaining by Tayshaun Jones providing the difference. That finished a 13-4 rally that saw the Spartans come back from a 61-54 deficit with just under five minutes left. It provided the first win as coach of a boys' team for Blane Embry since 2010, when he coached at Greenwood. Football star Cam Harrison had 20 points in the win, providing a big boost. They liked the winning so much they followed it by beating Edmonson County up to the tune of a 93-62 victory, equaling the second highest score in team history, and most since a 98-63 win over Ohio County in 2015. Sophomore Jace Carver poured in 27 points in the victory, with star Tyler Martin adding in 21. They'll look to keep the momentum going as they take on three higher ranked teams, with the game at Greenwood serving as the critical contest. The Spartans haven't opened 2-0 in district play since the 2013/14 season, which was the season they came closest to reaching the region tournament.

12) Warren East (3-2) - 12/4 57-50 W #14 Russellville, 12/7 65-67 L #13 South Warren, 12/8 76-41 W Apollo (at South Warren)
Previous Rank: 8
This Week: 12/10 at #16 Franklin-Simpson, 12/11 at #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/15 vs. Trigg County

The Raiders have yet to string together consecutive wins, and the loss to South Warren could prove critical as they try to reach the region tournament for the first time in two decades. East has had balanced scoring through five games, with three players averaging double digits - Adante Barber (12.8 PPG), Ryan Carter (12.2 PPG), and Thomas Maxey (10.2 PPG). They're living and dying by the three, with a three point shot on 45% of their attempts. They hit only 28.8% in their losses. That wasn't a problem on Saturday when they burned Apollo with a 14/26 effort from behind the arc. Their game against AC/S will be the one to watch this week, a squad they've beaten seven out of eight.

13) Russellville (0-4) - 12/4 50-57 L at #8 Warren East, 12/7 64-68 L #10 Todd County Central, 12/8 53-76 L at #3 Glasgow
Previous Rank: 14
This Week: 12/11 vs. McLean County, 12/13 at East Robertson (TN), 12/14 at Muhlenberg County

The Panthers are on a ten game losing streak spanning two seasons, and are 0 for their last 16 games against teams not named Franklin-Simpson. Their loss to Glasgow was the first one this year that came by more than ten points, and they couldn't quite pull out a needed home win against district foe Todd County Central. After four straight games against region competition, they step out this week in search of their first win of the year.

14) Metcalfe County (2-4) - 12/4 74-67 W #12 Cumberland County, 12/7 35-78 L at #4 Clinton County, 12/8 60-62 L Green County
Previous Rank: 17
This Week: 12/10 at #17 Russell County, 12/14 at Hart County

The Hornets have followed each win with two losses, but that second win was crucial, picking up their first district win since 2015 in topping Cumberland County. Tyler London was on fire, going 12/26 from the field, 5/12 from three, and posting 31 points in the win. It's been a while since Metcalfe County has been a threat to make the region - last making it in 2011, but if they can beat Cumberland County, they can absolutely break through. They get a chance to follow it up and start 2-0 in district play when they visit Russell County on Monday.

15) Cumberland County (1-4) - 12/4 67-74 L at #17 Metcalfe County, 12/7 68-79 L #11 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 12
This Week: 12/11 vs. #5 Clinton County

The flip side of the coin is a devastating loss for Cumberland County, which was hoping to challenge Clinton County for the top seed in the district. Not that they can't still, but a loss to Metcalfe County will do them no favors. But Dawson Smith doesn't bear responsibility for it, dropping in 24 points in the loss to Metcalfe County and following that with 17 in a strong effort against Allen County-Scottsville. They'll host Clinton County on Tuesday night.

16) Franklin-Simpson (0-3) - 12/7 46-61 L at #6 Logan County
Previous Rank: 15
This Week: 12/10 vs. #12 Warren East, 12/13 vs. #1 Warren Central, 12/15 at #7 Allen County-Scottsville

The Wildcats have won only two games in their last 19 games, and have yet to top 46 points on the season. Matchups against 14th District opponents and a surging Allen County-Scottsville team will do them no favors. The matchup with Warren Central is part of the Kentucky 2A Championship sectional - an upset win there would make their game against AC/S one for a berth in the sectional semifinals.

17) Russell County (0-3) - 12/7 48-66 L at #3 Glasgow
Previous Rank: 16
This Week: 12/10 vs. #14 Metcalfe County, 12/11 vs. #6 Monroe County, 12/14 at #5 Clinton County

Russell County has yet to be closer than 13 points in a game this season, as they are still recovering from the massive departures from the program in the last two years. They face a gut-check game against Metcalfe County on Monday. The Lakers haven't lost to the Hornets since 2008 - a loss would mean it is time to massively panic about their chances of keeping the region tournament streak alive.