4th Region Week 9 Review
1) Bowling Green (18-3) - 1/22 67-51 W #8 Franklin-Simpson, 1/25 54-48 W #3 Warren Central, 1/26 59-54 W at #2 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 1
This Week: 1/29 vs. #10 South Warren, 2/1 at John Hardin
I went out on a limb a bit a week ago in not moving Bowling Green down after a loss, and they rewarded that with unquestionably the best week any team had in the region. The Purples faced some adversity with the departure of senior Davion Dice, but shot 52.6% in a win over Franklin-Simpson before clamping down defensively in holding Warren Central and Allen County-Scottsville to a combined 102 points and less than 38% shooting on back to back nights. The win over Warren Central was critical as it now means that the Purples would have to either lose to South Warren for the first time ever or Warren East for the first time in 21 years to not sew up the top seed in district play. It was a perfect response from Bowling Green six days after dropping one at Central, getting strong efforts from sophomore Isaiah Mason (18 points) and freshman Turner Buttry (14 points). Against AC/S, the only other team with a legit claim to the top spot in the region, BG held the Patriots without a field goal for the entire second quarter, and never trailed in the second half despite the tight score. Judging from the rest of season schedule, unless there's a truly shocking result, the Purples have this top spot locked in.
2) Allen County-Scottsville (17-4) - 1/22 73-66 W at #9 Greenwood, 1/26 54-59 L #1 Bowling Green
Previous Rank: 2
This Week: 1/29 at #8 Franklin-Simpson, 2/1 vs. #11 Monroe County
The Patriots had already taken home a megaton win over the 14th District this season in knocking off Warren Central, and entered their game against Bowling Green a perfect 5-0 against the district. No team outside the district has beaten both Warren Central and Bowling Green in the same season since 2007/08, and that remains true. On Tuesda, Brett Rippy and Mason Shirley punished the Gators to the tune of a combined 50 points in a game the Patriots shot 54.5% from both the field and the three point line. They did not enjoy nearly that type of groove against Bowling Green despite being at home. The Purples are a much better defensive team, and held the Patriots to 38% shooting from the field and their second lowest point total of the year. Despite that, the five point loss reinforces what most already knew - the Patriots are dangerous and are capable of winning the region. Can they do it if they have to knock off two district 14 opponents to get there? That remains to be seen, but they can go toe to toe. They'll get a chance to wrap up the top seed in the 15th when they host Monroe County on Friday.
3) Warren Central (11-7) - 1/22 64-54 W #10 South Warren, 1/25 48-54 L at #1 Bowling Green
Previous Rank: 3
This Week: 1/29 at Taylor County, 2/1 at #12 Warren East, 2/2 vs. Collins
That record sure does look ugly for a Warren Central team that went 31-6 last season, but they've clearly mostly righted the ship. A week after falling behind and staying behind against South Warren, the Dragons never trailed, jumping out to a 22-9 lead after one quarter and never letting it get closer than 6 afterwards. They led by as many as 19 in the final quarter before a late push by South made the score closer. The Dragons did miss out on a chance to all but secure the top seed in the district when they fell at Bowling Green on Friday night, and likely they will have to settle for the 2 seed in district play. The Dragons shot a putrid 36% in that game and were just 6/21 from three, unable to find a rhythm against a Purple defense that is smothering. Bowling Green hasn't lost a game at home this season, and the Dragons could not overcome that. Their two games against the Purples were decided by a combined 10 points - there's every reason to believe the possible neutral court matchups to come are 50/50 games. This week - and all weeks moving forward - they have a schedule that may ugly up the record further. They visit a tough Taylor County team that is 16-4, host BGP-ranked Collins (16-5), and in between have a critical road game at Warren East where a win would guarantee them no worse than the 3 seed in the postseason. A 1-2 week may not be unexpected, 2-1 would be very good, and 3-0 would be spectacular. But ultimately, that East game is the most important.
4) Clinton County (16-6) - 1/24 63-66 OT L Shelby Valley (at Eastern Kentucky University)
Previous Rank: 4
This Week: 2/1 at Madison Southern, 2/2 vs. #5 Glasgow
The Bulldogs got a tough draw in the state All "A" tournament, and could not bring down a tough Shelby Valley team that nearly took down University Heights in the semis two games later. The Bulldogs trailed 60-55 with 1:37 left in regulation, but closed the gap a mere 35 seconds later. But in overtime they never led and they could not hit a game-tying three point attempt to fall by three. Jackson Harlan had 28 points and 8 rebounds for Clinton County, with Stockton adding 16 points and 6 rebounds. As it stands now, Clinton County has just six games left on the schedule, and their most difficult remaining may be the home matchup with Glasgow next Saturday. The Bulldogs have still fallen only once in region play, a blowout loss to Greenwood in December, in a game that Harlan did not play. They have been pushed several times, but have yet to fall again.
5) Glasgow (14-8) - 1/22 51-73 L at LaRue County, 1/25 62-60 W #7 Barren County, 1/26 68-60 W #5 Logan County
Previous Rank: 6
This Week: 1/29 at #11 Monroe County, 2/2 at #4 Clinton County
The Scotties took it on the chin in a blowout loss to BGP-ranked LaRue County, but closed the week with strong efforts at home, including another tight win over Barren County in a game they had to have. The 62-60 decision gives them two wins over the Trojans by a combined 7 points, and keeps alive their slim hopes of claiming the district's top seed. It does mean they can finish no worse than third in district play. There were four lead changes in the final three minutes, but Nik Sorrell was a perfect six of six from the line to help the Scotties close it out. He led the Scotties with 21 points in the victory. Glasgow needs a win over Monroe County on Tuesday but then would be rooting for Monroe County win over Allen County-Scottsville on Friday to set up a potential district-tying matchup on February 4th at AC/S. Tonight Glasgow completed the second of a strong back to back with a 68-60 win over Logan County, who entered the night tied for the best record in the region at 17-3. That allowed the Scotties to leapfrog them in our rankings, giving them their best rank in nearly two months.
6) Logan County (17-4) - 1/22 65-61 W at #7 Barren County, 1/25 61-47 W #16 Russellville, 1/26 60-68 L at #6 Glasgow
Previous Rank: 5
This Week: 1/31 at #17 Todd County Central, 2/1 vs. Northeast (TN)
The Cougars obviously are still having a stellar season, but the cracks have begun to appear a bit in the last two weeks. First, it was allowing Franklin-Simpson an opening to tie the district when they fell 57-52 to the Wildcats last Friday. Now it's the loss to Glasgow tonight, dropping them to 2-2 in their last four games. It's minor, and they responded to a similar lull in December with seven straight wins. Still, that's been enough to slide them from their season high rank of 3 in early January to 6th now. They scorched the nets for nearly 60% shooting in their win over Barren County on the road on Tuesday, then grabbed their fourth straight win in the Clash of the Cats on Friday. They close out district play when they visit Todd County Central on Thursday, which would assure them of no worse than a tie for the top spot in District 13.
7) Barren County (11-10) - 1/22 61-65 L #5 Logan County, 1/25 60-62 L at #6 Glasgow, 1/26 59-58 W #17 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 7
This Week: 1/28 vs. #16 Russellville, 1/29 vs. #9 Greenwood, 2/2 vs. Daviess County
This week tracked very much like a lot of weeks for Barren County this year. They showed they can play with the top tier in the region, but not quite close it out. They also showed they can nearly blow it against the worst in the region. After falling against Logan County and Glasgow by a combined 6 points, the Trojans needed a free throw by Gavin Withrow with less than 10 seconds remaining to pull out a home win over the Todd County Central Rebels, a game you would think they'd win comfortably. The Trojans aren't a team that you're going to feel comfortable facing in the first round of district, but they're also a team that you'll think you should beat.
8) Franklin-Simpson (11-9) - 1/22 51-67 L at #1 Bowling Green, 1/25 56-47 W at #17 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 8
This Week: 1/29 vs. #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/1 vs. #16 Russellville
The Wildcats cooled their heels a bit after a six game winning streak ended in double overtime to Barren County a week ago. They had a prove-it game against Bowling Green where they (like many teams against BG) found they simply could not hang. They hit just barely over 40% from the field in the loss, allowing the most points in regulation they've given up in over a month. They followed it up with a must-win on the road over Todd County Central to keep the pace in District 13. That sets up a stretch where they'll be home in five of six games, including their final district game against Russellville on Friday. A win there, and they'll guarantee themselves no worse than a tie for the top spot in the district. Tuesday they get to measure against Allen County-Scottsville again, a team they knocked off on the road in overtime on December 15th.
9) Greenwood (9-11) - 1/22 66-73 L #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/25 79-53 W at #12 Warren East
Previous Rank: 9
This Week: 1/29 at #7 Barren County, 2/1 at #10 South Warren, 2/2 vs. Owensboro Catholic (at Warren Central)
The Gators have endured a prolonged difficult stretch that has seen them go 3-7 in their last 10. But they've rarely been buried in any of those games, with only Warren Central knocking them off by more than 10 points, which includes games against Bowling Green and now Allen County-Scottsville. Against the Patriots the Gators had a balanced attack, with four players scoring between 14 and 16 points, led by Noah Stansbury with 16. Ben Carroll had 15 while both Cade Stinnett and Jack Roberts had 14. Each of those players will be crucial in the stretch run for Greenwood, but that game also underscored a depth problem - only five players scored. They snapped a three game losing streak by taking down Warren East on Friday night, with Jack Roberts leading the way with 21 points for his best game since returning from his hand injury. Incredibly, it was Greenwood's first true road win of the year. It sets up possibly the biggest game of the year for Greenwood when they visit South Warren on Friday. A loss there means Greenwood would have to beat Warren Central to have any prayer of getting out of the 4/5 game. A win doesn't necessarily clinch it, but unless South Warren were to have already beaten Bowling Green on Tuesday, it would.
10) South Warren (9-12) - 1/22 54-64 L at #3 Warren Central, 1/25 63-44 W at Ohio County
Previous Rank: 10
This Week: 1/29 at #1 Bowling Green, 2/1 vs. #9 Greenwood
The Spartans could not duplicate their stunning overtime upset over Warren Central when they visited the Dragons on Tuesday, shooting just 37% from the field in the loss. They never led in the game, in contrast to the 14 point halftime lead they held over Warren Central the week before. Tyler Martin was strong as usual, shooting 9/18 for 27 points. But no other Spartan was in double figures. Still, South made it five wins in seven games when they knocked off Ohio County on the road on Friday night. Their next three games are all district games. A win at Bowling Green seems incredibly unlikely given the 35 point loss they took at home three weeks ago, but they can absolutely win in games against Greenwood and Warren East. As mentioned above, the game against Greenwood is basically for the #3 seed. If South wins it, it is hard to envision them not earning the right to play Warren Central in the district tournament, condemning Greenwood to the 4/5 game on Bowling Green's side. Given that South has already beaten Warren Central and has never beaten Bowling Green, you can see how much is on the line.
11) Monroe County (8-11) - No games
Previous Rank: 11
This Week: 1/29 vs. #5 Glasgow, 2/1 at #2 Allen County-Scottsville
Nothing to say this week for a slumping Monroe County team. They needed the time off, and we'll see how they respond when they have a pair of District 15 games this week. Despite how poorly things have gone lately, they can still play themselves into a potential tie for #1 in the district by sweeping the week and then having Glasgow knock off Allen County-Scottsville the next week.
12) Warren East (9-12) - 1/25 53-79 L #9 Greenwood
Previous Rank: 12
This Week: 1/29 at #15 Cumberland County, 2/1 vs. #3 Warren Central
The Raiders have been beset by injury and a tough schedule, and it has left them reeling in a stretch where they've now lost eight of nine games. East has often demonstrated a post-Christmas swoon, but this is much more understandable. The Raiders were actually worse from inside the arc against Greenwood (9/25) than they were from outside (9/23) on Friday - obviously not a recipe for success. Adante Barber had 22 points in the losing effort. The Raiders have a get-right opportunity when they visit Cumberland County on Tuesday before returning home to face Warren Central on Friday. Technically, the Raiders remain alive to get to the #3 seed in district, but would have to win all their remaining district games (which includes a game against Bowling Green who they have not beaten since 1998), have Greenwood lose out, and have South Warren lose to Bowling Green. It's dire.
13) Russell County (6-16) - 1/21 69-64 W #15 Cumberland County, 1/22 45-56 L Pulaski County, 1/25 54-63 L at Casey County
Previous Rank: 13
This Week: 1/29 at #14 Metcalfe County, 2/1 at Jackson County, 2/2 at Marion County
Russell County has just six wins on the year, but critically, four of those have come in district play and three of those counted towards the standings, which keeps them out of the crosshairs of Clinton County in the semifinals. That may ultimately prove to be all that is needed to get them to the region tournament for the 14th consecutive year. They wrapped that up with a 69-64 win over Cumberland County on Monday, their third win over the Panthers this season. Briley Hadley had 21 in the contest with Scott Hamm chipping in 15. They'll have a likely preview of their district semifinal when they visit Metcalfe County on Tuesday. Lose that game, and it becomes definitely a district semifinal preview.
14) Metcalfe County (6-15) - 1/22 63-66 OT L Edmonson County, 1/26 65-72 L at Green County
Previous Rank: 14
This Week: 1/29 vs. #13 Russell County, 2/1 at Caverna, 2/2 at Campbellsville
The surge by the Hornets has stalled in a stretch that has now seen them lose eight of nine games, including falling to an Edmonson County team they beat on the road in December. Still, they remain competitive, losing in overtime to Edmonson County and losing again to Green County, who they've fallen to by a combined 9 points in two matchups this season. Their game against Russell County is critical. The Hornets can clinch a spot in the 2/3 game and avoid Clinton County with a win there. Lose, and it will come down to a road trip against Cumberland County on February 4th.
15) Cumberland County (5-16) - 1/21 64-69 L at #13 Russell County, 1/26 67-64 W McCreary Central
Previous Rank: 15
This Week: 1/29 vs. #12 Warren East, 1/31 at Caverna
The Panthers have now won three of five games to put themselves in to a better stretch, but they still could not solve Russell County, falling for the third time to the Lakers this season. That puts their hopes of getting out of the 4 seed and away from Clinton County on life-support. They must beat Metcalfe County on the 4th, hope the Hornets lose to Russell County this Tuesday, and then win a coin flip for the 3 seed. The Panthers shot 50% in the loss to Russell County, led by Isaiah Dyer's 29 points. It just simply wasn't enough.
16) Russellville (7-12) - 1/25 47-61 L at #5 Logan County
Previous Rank: 16
This Week: 1/28 at #7 Barren County, 2/1 at #8 Franklin-Simpson
The Panthers remain winless in district play, falling for the third straight game overall in a 61-47 decision to Logan County. It's the fourth game of the year where the Panthers failed to top 50 points. Still, they can play their way into the 2/3 game if they can sweep their final two district contests. They start with a visit to Franklin on Friday.
17) Todd County Central (5-17) - 1/25 47-56 L #8 Franklin-Simpson, 1/26 58-59 L at #7 Barren County
Previous Rank: 17
This Week: 1/28 at Butler County, 1/31 vs. #6 Logan County
It's eight straight losses now for the Rebels, despite yet again coming oh-so-close. A single free throw was the difference against the Trojans after they fell by just nine against the Wildcats the day before. Todd County really doesn't have to win the game against Logan County to get out of the 4 seed - a win over Russellville on the 8th would accomplish that - but if they did win that, the scenarios where they fall to 4th would be extremely unlikely.
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