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1) Bowling Green (12-2) - 1/4 57-56 W at #10 Greenwood, 1/5 61-45 W Muhlenberg County
Previous Rank: 1
This Week: 1/8 at #11 South Warren, 1/11 at #2 Warren Central

Bowling Green very nearly lost their top spot right away after claiming it, but narrowly escaped at Greenwood with a 57-56 victory, their 16th consecutive win over the Gators. It was a night and day difference from the first meeting when Bowling Green scored the first 17 of the game. In this one, it was a back and forth affair, and the Gators took a ten point lead early in the fourth quarter. But while Bowling Green is undeniably a better team when playing from ahead, they are proficient at the comeback too thanks to their pressure defense. They whittled the lead down and took it for good after Isaiah Mason came open for a three pointer with just under a half minute to go. They followed that with a solid 16 point win over Muhlenberg County, who they boast a 10-0 record against. This week is THE week, as they visit Warren Central on Friday. They have won 12 of 15 against the Dragons, and haven't lost at Central since 2015.

2) Warren Central (8-3) - 1/4 77-45 W #12 Warren East, 1/5 71-46 W #8 Barren County
Previous Rank: 2
This Week: 1/7 at #4 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/8 at Hopkinsville, 1/11 vs. #1 Bowling Green

The Dragons bounced back from an awful Christmas break with two blowouts on back to back nights. Both were extremely balanced efforts. Against Warren East, Antonio Barbee led the way with 14 points while Boyd and Brents chipped in 11 apiece. Central trailed just once, at 2-0, and steadily pulled away before gaining a running clock in the third quarter. Against Barren County, the sledding was a bit more difficult. The Trojans scored the first six points and led 11-10 after one. Central took the lead for good at 20-17, but led just 45-39 entering the fourth quarter. It was there that their full court press began to pay dividends, and they jumped out with a 12-1 run to blow the game open. The Dragons hit 11 three pointers in the contest. This week they take on the white-hot Allen County-Scottsville team, visit a seven footer at Hopkinsville, and host their biggest rival in what may well be the first of four matchups this year. Plus, if Central were to knock off ACS on Monday, they'll have the 2A Classic sectional semifinals on Saturday. Big week.

3) Logan County (13-2) - 1/4 87-60 W at #16 Russellville, 1/5 55-47 W #10 Greenwood
Previous Rank: 3
This Week: 1/11 vs. #15 Todd County Central

The Cougars continue to roll, raising their record to 13-2. That would already be good enough for their 5th most wins since 1998 for an entire season. There is a great chance that by two weeks from now they'll have already beaten last season's win total. They hit a season-high 87 points against bitter rival Russellville in their 87-60 road victory on Friday. A 23-5 second quarter set the table, pushing them to a 44-20 halftime lead, and they cruised from there. That win gave them a three game win streak over the Panthers. They followed that up with a second straight win over Greenwood, winning at home 55-47. It is the first time Logan County has won back to back games against Greenwood in 20 years.

4) Allen County-Scottsville (13-2) - 1/4 81-69 W at #6 Monroe County
Previous Rank: 4
This Week: 1/7 vs. #2 Warren Central, 1/11 at #7 Glasgow

The Patriots are also 13-2, sharing the honor of top record in the region with the Cougars. That mark represents their best 15 game start since the 1995-96 season when they started 20-0 en route to the 4th Region title. Their win over Monroe County stakes them a 2-0 record in the 15th District, with both wins coming on the road. Brett Rippy was perfect in the win - he was 7/7 from the field, 4/4 from three, and 10/10 from the line on his way to team-high 28 points. Their 81 points were their highest of the year. The Patriots are easily the best story in the region, having won just nine games last season. This week they get their first giant test when they host #2 Warren Central in a 2A Classic sectional quarterfinal. The Patriots have lost nine in a row to Warren Central, last knocking them off in 2008. You have to go all the way back to 1999 to find the last time they won a matchup with the Dragons at home. They'll complete their road slate in-district on Friday when they visit Glasgow. A win there, and you'd have to think they're near locks for the top seed.

5) Clinton County (11-5) - 1/3 72-39 W Pickett County (TN), 1/4 70-61 W at #15 Metcalfe County
Previous Rank: 5
This Week: 1/8 vs. #17 Cumberland County, 1/11 at #13 Russell County

The Bulldogs keep doing the "out of sight, out of mind" routine, quietly rounding up wins. Harlan and Stockton keep doing what they do, combining to average 42.9 PPG as the best 1-2 scoring combo in the region. They finished their out of state run with a win over Pickett County (TN) - the last of six games against Tennessee teams - before fending off a game Metcalfe County effort the next night in a 70-61 victory. That win moves them to 4-0 in district play, and they can clinch a perfect slate as they complete 16th District play this week.

6) Monroe County (7-8) - 1/4 69-81 L #4 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 6
This Week: 1/7 at Taylor County, 1/8 at #14 Metcalfe County, 1/11 at #8 Barren County

What to do with Monroe.... I left them in place this week mostly due to the strength of the teams they lost to during the break. But the Falcons have now slid to a 7-8 record, and have lost six of seven. They simply could not slow down the Patriots on Friday night, dropping their first district contest of the year while allowing a season-high 81 points. The loss wasn't Chandler Clements' fault. The senior forward had more than half his team's points with 39 on the night. They face a resurgent Taylor County and a plucky Metcalfe County team before wrapping up the week with a return game with Barren County. The Falcons won a home game against the Trojans 56-53 in early December.

7) Glasgow (8-5) - 1/4 55-63 L #11 South Warren, 1/5 82-56 W at #13 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 7
This Week: 1/7 vs. #12 Warren East, 1/11 vs. #4 Allen County-Scottsville

Speaking of what to do with... what was that loss to South Warren? Improbably, the Scotties have only beaten South Warren in Glasgow a single time, and their 55 points in the loss represents their second lowest output of the year. That it came within a stretch of five games where they scored 80 or more three times just makes it even more head-scratching. They simply did not answer the bell to start the game, falling behind 16-3 before the end of the first quarter, and never closing to less than four after that point. Sorrell led Glasgow with 19 in the game. They righted the ship with a blowout win over Todd County Central the next night, but Glasgow will have to be much better to defeat Warren East in the 2A Classic sectional semifinals on Monday.

8) Barren County (6-7) - 1/4 78-76 2OT W at Adair County, 1/5 46-71 L at #2 Warren Central
Previous Rank: 8
This Week: 1/8 vs. #12 Warren East, 1/11 vs. #6 Monroe County

The Trojans started the week with what is undoubtedly their best win of the year so far, going to Adair County and taking one down in double overtime. Four players scored in double digits in the game, led by Will Bandy's 18 points. Barren County shot a blazing 56% from the field in the contest and were 8/19 (42.1%) from three. The next night, not so much. Content to play a slow pace, the Trojans only attempted 8 three pointers, hitting only 1, and were just 40% from the field. It's a sign that in-region, they still have a long way to go to close the gap. I will say, freshman Aden Nyekan is a joy to watch and looks like the future of the team. He poured in 16 against Warren Central, getting to the rim very well.

9) Franklin-Simpson (7-7) - 1/4 47-37 W #13 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 9
This Week: 1/11 at #16 Russellville

The Wildcats picked up a big district win with a 47-37 decision over Todd County Central. They caught a big break when big man John Calvery had to leave for Todd with a broken tooth (!). The entire offense flows through Calvery for the Rebels, and the Wildcats had little difficulty holding them to just 37 points. While the wins have kept coming, the Wildcat offense has returned to slumbering just a bit, averaging just 52 PPG in these last three wins. They can surpass last season's win total with a win on the road on Friday.

10) Greenwood (6-8) - 1/4 56-57 L #1 Bowling Green, 1/5 47-55 L at #3 Logan County
Previous Rank: 10
This Week: 1/8 vs. #15 Todd County Central, 1/11 vs. #12 Warren East

The Gators unfortunately are not strangers to having a chance at a big win over Bowling Green slip through their fingers. Friday marked the third time in the last four years that they've dropped a single digit decision to the Purples, with the two others coming in overtime losses. Notably, two years ago the Gators had it won against a team that ultimately would win the state championship. This time, the Gators had a ten point lead but they went cold in the fourth quarter, and failed to mark Isaiah Mason on what would prove to be the game-winning three. Ben Carroll had a good look on a lob off an inbounds pass for the win, but the game ended like the last sixteen against BG - they lost. Greenwood has lost four in a row, but all have been pretty close. They still do not have Jack Roberts back, so it's a good sign they've been so competitive without him.

11) South Warren (5-10) - 1/4 63-55 W at #7 Glasgow
Previous Rank: 11
This Week: 1/8 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/10 vs. #17 Cumberland County

Boy, did South Warren need that win. They had lost four in a row, and with Bowling Green on the horizon, they needed some positive momentum. The Spartans punched Glasgow in the mouth with a 16-3 start, and were sterling from the line, hitting 20 of 28 on the game, with 15 makes in the fourth quarter. Every time it seemed Glasgow was climbing back in, South would push back again. The only reason they don't climb higher is because it's really their only decent win at this point, and they're still just 2-8 in their last ten games. They play Bowling Green and Warren Central four times in their next seven games - they're a combined 0-38 against the two teams.

12) Warren East (8-7) - 1/4 45-77 L at #2 Warren Central
Previous Rank: 12
This Week: 1/7 at #7 Glasgow, 1/8 at #8 Barren County, 1/11 at Greenwood, 1/12 vs. Daviess County (at Russell County)

The loss to Warren Central was the 14th in a row for the Raiders in the series, and they've fallen an astounding 45 times in their last 49 against the Dragons. Paired with their 48 straight losses to Bowling Green, and it just shows why it is so difficult for the Raiders to advance. They were able to match Central's pace early, trailing just 25-17 at the end of one. But they managed only five points in the second quarter and 28 total the rest of the way. That leaves the Raiders with a three game losing streak, but they'll be looking to turn it around with a busy week. First up is a 2A Championship sectional quarterfinal at Glasgow. A win there would cause their Saturday game with Daviess County to be replaced by a semifinal matchup. The game at Greenwood is extremely important. The Raiders are 0-2 in district play and already fell to South Warren at home. Any losses to the Gators likely puts them in position for a 4/5 seed in the postseason.

13) Russell County (4-10) - 1/4 76-72 W at #17 Cumberland County, 1/5 43-54 L Whitley County (at South Laurel)
Previous Rank: 14
This Week: 1/8 at McCreary Central, 1/11 vs. #5 Clinton County, 1/12 vs. Casey County

The scores haven't been pretty but Russell County has won some clutch games they had to have against 16th District competition, picking up their second (that counts) with a four point win over Cumberland County. Scott Hamm had 28 points in the contest on 9/15 shooting with ten free throws. Three other Lakers scored in double digits as fully 1/3 of their points came at the line. They'll look to take another crack at district favorite Clinton County, who they fell to 61-52 in their first meeting at Clinton County on December 14th.

14) Metcalfe County (6-10) - 1/4 61-70 L #5 Clinton County, 1/5 84-55 W Dawson Springs
Previous Rank: 15
This Week: 1/8 vs. #6 Monroe County

The Hornets are 4-4 in their last eight and put up a very competitive effort against Clinton County in a 70-61 loss that may be a postseason preview. Boston Devore had 27 points in the loss, hitting 4 of 8 from downtown to pace Metcalfe. The Hornets are in the midst of a four game homestand, and take on former district rival Monroe County on Tuesday.

15) Todd County Central (5-12) - 1/4 37-47 L at #9 Franklin-Simpson, 1/5 56-82 L #7 Glasgow
Previous Rank: 13
This Week: 1/8 at #10 Greenwood, 1/11 at #3 Logan County

The primary focus for the Rebels is likely on beating Russellville when they meet again in February after dropping a game to Franklin on Friday. That loss likely realistically prevents them from chasing the #1 seed. It's a bad beat as big man John Calvery had to leave with a broken tooth. Their 37 points was a season low - no surprise as Calvery averages 18.7 per game. They'll hope to have him back for their district tilt against Logan County.

16) Russellville (5-9) - 1/4 60-87 L #3 Logan County
Previous Rank: 16
This Week: 1/7 vs. Jo Byrns (TN), 1/8 at Caverna, 1/11 vs. #9 Franklin-Simpson

Jacob Naylor continued his excellent senior season with 29 points in Russellville's loss to Logan County on Friday. Naylor is averaging 27.2 per game, and was 11/21 from the field in the contest. The loss dropped the Panthers to 0-2 in district play, and they'll now face a must-win contest against Franklin-Simpson on Friday. Still, they've been rising a bit of late, with four wins in their last six. They should have a great shot to beat Caverna on Tuesday for momentum.

17) Cumberland County (2-11) - 1/4 72-76 L #14 Russell County
Previous Rank: 17
This Week: 1/8 at #5 Clinton County, 1/10 at #11 South Warren, 1/12 at Clay County (TN)

The Panthers have lost six in a row, including two straight to Russell County, who they met in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic as well. They were extremely competitive in the latest loss, falling by just four points. Dawson Smith (21) and Joseph Johnson combined for 39 points, but Cumberland County could not overcome going just 6/21 from the perimeter, and were just 14/20 from the line. They're now 0-3 in district play, with a tough road district game at Clinton County coming up Tuesday.