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1) Warren Central (6-1) - 12/20 84-40 W Macon County (TN) (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/21 39-57 L Pikeville (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/22 74-47 W Ryle (at Gatlinburg-Pittman)
Previous Rank: 1
This Week: 12/27 vs. Moore (at Taylor County), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Taylor County)

Central emerged as the final unbeaten in the region just like last year, and just like last year, saw it end in hideous fashion of their second Christmas tournament game. 364 days after putting up only 39 against Oldham County last year in their first loss of that season, they managed only 39 against Pikeville, a team looking for a measure of revenge for getting knocked from the Sweet 16 last season. They held the Dragons to 14 points in the second half and 30% shooting for the game. It was bad. The good news for Central is that this is extremely common for them. In the last eight years they have been held below 40 points eight times. Six of those came between December 16th and December 28th. They tend to round into better form after the holidays.

2) Bowling Green (7-2) - 12/18 68-62 W at #3 Logan County, 12/20 64-42 W Daviess County (at Owensboro Sports Center), 12/21 55-58 OT L John Hardin (at Owensboro Sports Center), 12/22 69-31 at Apollo
Previous Rank: 2
This Week: 12/27 vs. Murray, 12/28 vs. TBA, 12/29 vs. TBA

The Purples began the week with a laugher that turned into a very serious challenge. The Purples led by as many as 20 points before Logan County closed to as few as three before Bowling Green hit their free throws and hung on for their ninth straight win over the Cougars. Bowling Green was held to just one field goal in the fourth quarter, but likely got a bit of a wake-up call on finishing out strong. They followed that with a 2-1 trip through the Owensboro Invitational, narrowly missing out on a shot at the title with an OT loss to surging John Hardin. The Purples fell behind by as many as ten on two occasions in the first half before battling back to take the lead in a back and forth second half. They ultimately didn't make a basket in the extra session, but it was still a good showing against the undefeated Bulldogs. Bowling Green hosts the Meijer Classic this week. They have not dropped a game in their holiday tournament since 2014.


3) Logan County (8-2) - 12/18 62-68 L #2 Bowling Green, 12/20 84-50 W Hopkins County Central (at Butler County), 12/20 77-64 W Caldwell County (at Butler County), 12/21 55-71 L Webster County (at Butler County)
Previous Rank: 3
This Week: 12/27 at Nelson County, 12/28 vs. Boyle County (at Nelson County), 12/29 vs. Meade County (at Nelson County)

Restored to a perfect record thanks to a retroactive forfeit from their season opener, the Cougars saw it slip away a second time in their loss to Bowling Green. Logan County could have buried their heads and taken the beating by the Purples, but showed a lot of heart in battling back to make it a real game in the fourth quarter. Psychologically, that's a boost a lot of the region needs when playing teams from District 14, particularly Bowling Green and Warren Central. They followed with a 2-1 run in Butler County's Limestone Bank Christmas Classic. Their lone loss was a head scratching 71-55 decision to a Webster County team that had just lost to Franklin-Simpson, but perhaps the Cougars should earn some leeway as it was their fourth game in four days, and they had played two the day before. Already the preseason 13th District favorite, their December run has cemented that.

4) Clinton County (8-3) - 12/20 66-52 W #10 South Warren, 12/20 52-64 L Monterey (TN), 12/21 63-77 L Elliott County, 12/22 74-64 W Christ Prebyterian Academy (TN)
Previous Rank: 4
This Week: 12/27 vs. Montgomery Bell Academy (TN) (at Pigeon Forge (TN)), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Pigeon Forge (TN)), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Pigeon Forge (TN))

Jackson Harlan and Seth Stockton continue to do the lifting for the Bulldogs. Harlan is averaging 26.1 per game with Stockton up to 15.5. They went 2-2 in their Christmas tournament, notching a region win over South Warren in between dropping decisions to Elliott County and Monterey (TN). Just over 1/3 of the way through the season, Clinton County is basically meeting expectations. They've allowed some closer decisions than expected against their 16th District brethren, but they've still won them all.

5) Monroe County (6-5) - 12/20 45-76 L Owensboro Catholic (at OIT), 12/21 52-63 L Hopkinsville (at OIT), 12/22 67-75 L Owensboro (at OIT)
Previous Rank: 5
This Week: 12/27 vs. Bullitt East (at Bowling Green), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green)

Monroe County can take solace in the fact that they're still 2-0 in the 15th District race, and that's the most important thing. Because the Owensboro Invitational was not a good experience for them. They went 0-3, and lost by an average of almost 17 PPG. Not much for the Falcons to do but learn from it and move swiftly along. They may have a chance to cross swords with some in-region teams in the Meijer Holiday Classic this week.

6) Glasgow (6-4) - 12/19 56-77 L Clay County (TN) (at Barren County), 12/20 81-46 W Lighthouse Christian (TN) (at Barren County), 12/21 80-68 W Elizabethtown (at Barren County)
Previous Rank: 6
This Week: 12/28 at #8 Barren County

The Scotties broke out of their mini-slump with a pair of wins in the Barren Hoops Classic. They opened that tourney with a third consecutive loss, but posted their highest point totals of the year with 81 & 80 in their wins over Lighthouse Christian and Elizabethtown. They'll play their fourth straight game at Barren County when they visit there to take on the Trojans this week. For now, we have them ranked second in the 15th District, but a loss there would drop them to 0-2 in the standings.

7) Allen County-Scottsville (9-2) - 12/18 72-59 W at #12 Todd County Central, 12/20 68-44 W Fairview (at Raceland), 12/21 73-60 W at Raceland, 12/22 71-72 L Paintsville (at Raceland)
Previous Rank: 7
This Week: 12/27 vs. Sayre, 12/28 vs. TBA, 12/29 vs. TBA

The Patriots continue their resurgent season, narrowly missing out on getting to ten wins in just eleven games when they lost on a miracle three pointer at the buzzer to Paintsville, denying them the Derby Classic title. Still, that's an 8-2 Paintsville team that they essentially let off the hook. The Patriots won nine games all last season, and the ninth win came on February 8th. It's safe to say first year coach Brad Bonds has more than earned his keep so far.

8) Barren County (5-5) - 12/19 66-72 L Elizabethtown, 12/20 61-57 W Clay County (TN), 12/21 58-52 W Lighthouse Christian (TN)
Previous Rank: 8
This Week: 12/28 vs. #6 Glasgow

The Trojans exit the week at .500, and that's a pretty good picture of the team so far. They lost their first game, then won their next. Lost two straight, win two straight, lose two more in a row, then win their last two. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. Already 0-2 in district play, their game against bitter rival Glasgow takes on heightened importance. If they drop to 0-3, their chances of being in the #4 seed come postseason will skyrocket. It would also drop them to 0-2 in district play at home, forcing them to try to recover on the road.

9) Franklin-Simpson (4-6) - 12/18 47-42 W at #9 Greenwood, 12/20 61-58 W Webster County (at Butler County), 12/21 63-67 L Caldwell County (at Butler County), 12/21 68-70 L Hopkins County Central (at Butler County)
Previous Rank: 11
This Week: 12/27 vs. Owensboro Catholic (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Allen County-Scottsville)

If not for Allen County-Scottsville, Franklin-Simpson would be the most stunning early season development. The Wildcats won only seven games last season, and after starting 0-3 this year, appeared on their way to a similar effort. But the Wildcats have grabbed wins over Warren East, AC/S, and now added Greenwood on the road at the start of this week (albeit without Jack Roberts for the Gators). They also added a win over a Webster County team that drubbed Logan County, but could not sustain the effort with a pair of losses to Caldwell County and Hopkins County Central. They play in Allen County-Scottsville's holiday tournament this week before a pair of crucial 13th District games to open January.

10) Greenwood (5-4) - 12/18 42-47 L #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/20 80-46 W Hart County (at Edmonson County), 12/21 69-58 W Green County (at Edmonson County), 12/22 39-34 W Grayson County (at Edmonson County)
Previous Rank: 9
This Week: 12/27 vs. Henderson County (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Allen County-Scottsville)

Greenwood remains a difficult team to rank thanks to the absence of Jack Roberts with a broken hand. Despite that, they are 4-1 since Roberts went down, and followed their loss to Franklin-Simpson with an unbeaten run through Edmonson County's Caveland Classic. Their 39-34 win over Grayson County marked the least points they've allowed in two years and is just the second time ever they have won while scoring less than 40 points.

11) South Warren (4-7) - 12/20 52-66 L at #4 Clinton County, 12/21 65-90 L Elliott County (at Clinton County), 12/21 77-55 W Monterey (TN) (at Clinton County), 12/22 64-71 L Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN) (at Clinton County)
Previous Rank: 10
This Week: 12/27 vs. Graves County (at Bowling Green), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green)

The temporary bolster of returning football players has crashed into a 1-5 stretch. The lone positive for the Spartans was in defeating a Monterey (TN) team that likewise knocked off Clinton County. The Spartans are averaging just over 61 PPG, which is pretty much right on line with last season's pace.

12) Warren East (7-4) - 12/19 62-58 W Caverna, 12/20 56-48 W #12 Todd County Central, 12/21 63-58 W Muhlenberg County
Previous Rank: 13
This Week: 12/27 vs. Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (TN) (at Ohio County), 12/28 vs. #17 Russellville (at Ohio County), 12/29 at Ohio County

The Raiders took some big steps to erasing some ugly early season losses with a perfect 3-0 run through their Holiday Hoops Classic. East was cardiac in the tourney, winning all three games by a combined 17 points. The Raiders have been extremely balanced in their scoring, with four players averaging between 9 and 11.8 PPG. With their win over Todd County Central, head coach Brandon Combs secured his 100th career win. He now has 61 at Warren East, and his next win will move him into third all-time at East.

13) Todd County Central (4-8) - 12/18 59-72 L #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/19 85-78 W OT Campbellsville (at Warren East), 12/20 48-56 L at #13 Warren East, 12/21 46-51 L Bardstown (at Warren East)
Previous Rank: 12
This Week: 12/27 vs. Daviess County (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Allen County-Scottsville)

The Rebels endured four games in four days, and it didn't go extremely well. They did grab an overtime win over Campbellsville to open the Warren East Holiday Hoops Classic, posting 85 points - their highest total in just over a year. They combined for just 94 points in the next two games. True post John Calvery is averaging 19.5 PPG, but the Rebels just aren't getting much elsewhere.

14) Russell County (2-7) - 12/20 53-70 L Corbin (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/21 55-46 W Robertsdale (AL) (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/22 47-51 L Buckhorn (at Gatlinburg-Pittman)
Previous Rank: 15
This Week: 12/27 vs. TBA, 12/28 vs. TBA, 12/29 vs. TBA

The Lakers picked up their second win of the season in the consolation bracket of the Smoky Mountain Classic, but the problem can be summed up in the fact that their 55 points in that win was their second highest total of the year. They have lost every game where they scored less than 55 so far.

15) Metcalfe County (4-7) - 12/20 71-64 W at Edmonson County, 12/21 63-71 L Grayson County (at Edmonson County), 12/22 74-60 W Hart County (at Edmonson County)
Previous Rank: 16
This Week: 12/27 vs. Whitefield Academy (at Danville), 12/28 vs. Webster County (at Danville), 12/28 at Danville

The Hornets have already equaled their win total from last season, which itself was the most since the 2011/12 season. During the Caveland Classic they avenged an earlier loss to Hart County and picked up a win over host Edmonson County. This is almost definitely going to be the best season in years for Metcalfe County.

16) Cumberland County (2-7) - 12/19 72-64 W #14 Russellville (at Berea), 12/20 68-95 L Robertson County (at Berea), 12/21 77-85 L at Berea
Previous Rank: 17
This Week: 12/27 vs. Somerset, 12/28 vs. TBA, 12/29 vs. TBA

The Panthers got back on the winning track with a region win over Russellville, their first out of district win in the 4th Region in two seasons. Cumberland County has scored between 61 and 77 in every game this season, but must find a way to tighten defensively. Their 77 PPG allowed is worst in the region, and they've given up over 80 points in a game four times.

17) Russellville (3-7) - 12/19 64-72 L Cumberland County (at Berea), 12/20 62-46 W Pineville (at Berea), 12/21 72-51 W Menifee County (at Berea)
Previous Rank: 14
This Week: 12/27 at Ohio County, 12/28 vs. #12 Warren East (at Ohio County), 12/29 vs. Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences (TN)

The loss to Cumberland County may have been bottom for the Panthers, but they did recover with wins in consecutive games for the first time in a year.