The 2018 King of the Bluegrass Tournament has come and gone, and it actually raised more questions than it answered, at least in terms of Seventh Region teams. Trinity lost twice, although the injury to David Johnson certainly played a role in that. Ballard lost only to the eventual champion, South Shore from Brooklyn, and its wins included a victory against Trinity. Male went 1-2 in the KOB, its sole victory coming against the host Fairdale Bulldogs. Aside from the KOB, St. X remained undefeated, Waggener continues to play well, and Central has won eight games in a row.

So what does all that mean in terms of this week’s rankings? And more specifically, who should be ranked number one, now that Trinity has lost twice? Well, Trinity has lost to Ballard, who has lost to Waggener, who has lost to St. X, who has lost to nobody. So the Tigers should be number one, right?

While St. X would be a deserving number one, I have left Trinity ranked as the number one team for now, because I still believe Trinity is the best team in the region. Of course, I may be totally wrong about that, and St. X will have the opportunity to prove me wrong on January 4 when St. X and Trinity face off. That should be a fun evening.

Before then, teams from the Seventh Region will be spread out all over playing in holiday tournaments this week. Here's to Happy Holidays and successful basketball to all!


1. Trinity Shamrocks (8-2)

Trinity opened the King of the Bluegrass Tournament with a 67-46 win over LaRue County and then beat Lexington Christian in impressive fashion, besting the Eagles 73-38. But Collins revenged an earlier 76-44 loss to Trinity with a 60-58 victory over the Shamrocks in the KOB semi-finals. While it would be easy to blame the loss on David Johnson getting hurt early in the third quarter and not returning to the game, Trinity actually was behind at the time and came back without Johnson to take a lead before losing to the Titans. Still, based on how well David Johnson has been playing, it is hard not to think his presence would have made a difference. Johnson had 20 points in 2 ˝ quarters against Lexington Christian and had 18 points in the first half against Collins before getting hurt. Johnson sat out the KOB third-place game against Ballard, which Trinity lost 69-65. Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier-Journal reports that the initial diagnosis is that David Johnson has a MCL strain, but is scheduled to see a doctor on Monday. Trinity travels to Bristol, TN after Christmas to defend its title in the Arby’s Classic.

2. St. Xavier Tigers (9-0)

St. Xavier stands as the last undefeated team in the Seventh Region, which is quite impressive given the loss of Pierce Kiesler from last season’s team and the loss of James Taylor after this season had started. Coach Kevin Klein is doing a great job with the Tigers, who won 3 games this week. St. X beat KCD 86-65 at home on Thursday before going on the road for two victories. On Friday, the Tigers beat a good Woodford County team 52-48 in a game in which the Tigers were down by 14 at half before limiting Woodford County to 12 second-half points. On Saturday, St. X moved over to Lexington and beat Frederick Douglass 61-55. Sebian Dillard has emerged as a big-time scorer for the Tigers, scoring 28 in the KCD win and 30 against Woodford County. The Tigers head to Sarasota, FL this week to play in the Suncoast Classic.

3. Waggener Wildcats (9-1)

Waggener continues to play extremely well, having now won five games in a row. The Wildcats started this week with a 74-65 win over North Oldham, with J.J. Kalakon leading the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Christian Academy was the victim on Thursday, as Waggener prevailed over the Centurions 75-37. For the season, Kalakon leads the Wildcats in scoring at 15.8 ppg while also pulling down 8.2 rpg. The Wildcats also go to Florida this week, where they will participate in the Crusader Classic at Pensacola Catholic.

4. Ballard Bruins (7-3)

Ballard continues to show why the Bruins can never be ignored when Seventh Region basketball is discussed. The Bruins opened their participation in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament with a 80-71 win over Spencer County, with Walter Johnson leading the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Ballard followed that up with a 69-52 win over Walton-Verona. The Bruins lost 82-74 to the eventual KOB champion South Shore from Brooklyn, New York before bouncing back to beat rival Trinity 69-65 to claim third place honors. Ballard came back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Trinity. While Trinity played without David Johnson in that game, Ballard has been playing without Alexander Holley all season. Ballard is playing a lot of young players and continues to get better, and they will get even better when Holley returns (which hopefully will happen after the first of the year). Starting the day after Christmas, Ballard will be in Nashville, Tennessee, to play in the Next Level Hoops Classic at Christ Presbyterian Academy.

5. Central Yellowjackets (8-2)

Don’t look now, but veteran coach Doug Bibby has the Central Yellowjackets on a roll, having won eight games in a row after losing their first two. Four of those wins came this week. Central started the week with a 71-52 road victory at North Bullitt, and then won all three of its games at the Great Kentucky Shoot-Out at Manual, beating Jeffersontown (65-62), Doss (70-54), and DeSales (71-66). The Yellowjackets will play this week in the City of Middletown Classic at Eastern.

6. Male Bulldogs (7-3)

Male went 1-2 in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament, losing its opening game 77-66 to Collins. The Male Bulldogs bested the host Fairdale Bulldogs 59-46, but then fell to University Heights and KyKy Tandy 67-65 on a buzzer-beater by University Height’s Taquan Hollowell. Tyren Moore scored 30 points for Male in the game against University Heights. The Bulldogs travel up the road to participate in this week’s Jean Schumm Operation Parent Classic at South Oldham.

7. Seneca Redhawks (7-4)

The Redhawks easily pulled away from Iroquois 78-55 on Tuesday before heading to Orlando, Florida, to participate in the KSA Events Holiday Tournament. The Redhawks represented Kentucky and the Seventh Region well while there, winning all three of its games. After beating the Vanguard School from Colorado Springs, Colorado 70-66, Seneca beat Canon-McMillan from Canonsburg, PA 53-43 and Wayne High School from Ontario Center, New York 77-49. The Redhawks have now won five games in a row. Seneca travels east on I-64 to play in the Ashland Invitational Tournament at the end of this week, playing Pendleton County and high-scoring Dontaie Allen in the first round.

8. Louisville Collegiate Titans (7-4)

Collegiate started the week with a 50-41 loss to Shawnee but then went 2-0 in the Louisville Collegiate Classic, beating Bardstown Bethlehem 55-54 and Wolfe County 84-66. According to the most recent statistics posted by the Titans, Chez Moore is nearly averaging a double-double, scoring 16.8 ppg and pulling down 9.9 rpg. After Christmas, the Titans will play in the Magnolia Bank Holiday Classic at LaRue County.

9. Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions (5-4)

CAL lost to Waggener 75-37 before traveling to Hancock County to participate in the Aleris Christmas Tournament. The Centurions made the most of their time there, beating Frederick Fraize 91-37 and Providence (IN) 70-54. The Centurions are joining Seneca in the Ashland Invitational this week.

10. DuPont Manual Crimsons (3-8)

The Crimsons lost the four games they played this week and currently are on a six-game losing streak. The week started with the Crimsons hosting Fern Creek; after being tied at halftime, the Crimsons fell to the Tigers 56-45. Manual hosted the Great Kentucky Shoot-Out over the weekend, with the Crimsons falling to Doss (58-54), DeSales (76-62), and Jeffersontown (62-43). Manual stays in Jefferson County this week, playing in the City of Middletown Holiday Classic at Eastern.

11. Eastern Eagles (5-5)

Eastern went 2-1 this week. Led by Jacob’ Robinson’s 19 points, Eastern edged Franklin County 63-61 to start the week. At the Kentucky Bank Challenge at Rowan County, the Eagles lost to Boyd County 54-46 but bounced back to beat East Jessamine 60-55. Eastern is hosting the City of Middletown Holiday Classic this week.

12. Shawnee Golden Eagles (6-5)

Shawnee started the week with a nice 50-41 win over Collegiate, giving Coach Dionte Mucker the satisfaction of beating the team he formerly coached. In the Cecilian Bank Tournament at Breckinridge County, the Golden Eagles beat Fort Knox 68-49 before falling to Bullitt East 61-31 and to Breckinridge County 66-51. Shawnee is off until January 8.

13. Kentucky Country Day Bearcats (4-8)

KCD lost the two games it played this week and has lost 6 of its last seven games. Southern beat the Bearcats 88-32 on Tuesday while St. X was the conqueror on Thursday by a 86-65 margin. KCD has posted statistics for its first 11 games, which show that Michael Collis is leading the Bearcats in scoring at 13.4 ppg. Anthony O’Neal is close behind at 12.5 ppg. The Bearcats are idle until after the first of the year.

14. St. Francis Wyverns (2-4)

St. Francis won the only game it played this week, beating the Wolfe County Wolves 61-58 in the Louisville Collegiate Classic. The Wyverns host McLean County on Thursday before going on the road for the weekend, playing at Butler County on Friday and at Edmonson County on Saturday.

15. Portland Christian Eagles (6-2)

Portland Christian won its Holiday Classic this week, beating Covington Latin 69-31 and Evangel Christian 87-54. Quincy Dye continues to average a double-double, averaging 19.3 ppg and 11.3 rpg. The Eagles play once this week, hosting Butler County on Thursday.

16. Brown Bears (3-8)

Brown went 1-1 in the Portland Christian Holiday Classic, losing to Evangel Christian 49-42 and beating Covington Latin 70-21. The Bears don’t play again until after the new year commences.

17. Atherton Rebels (1-10)

Atherton went 0-2 in the Cecilian Bank Tournament at Breckinridge County, falling to Bullitt East 77-56 and to North Hardin 62-45. The Rebels have now lost six straight. Atherton is one of four Seventh Region teams that will be participating in this week’s City of Middletown Holiday Classic at Eastern.

18. Walden Wolverines (7-1)

The Wolverines did not play this week. For the season, Isaiah Cargill leads Walden in scoring at 24.9 ppg while Adam Rudy contributes 18.4 ppg and 10.6 rpg. Walden is not scheduled to play until New Year’s Day.