This was not a great week for Seventh Region teams. Teams were spread across the Commonwealth plus Tennessee and Florida playing in Holiday tournaments, and only one escaped without a loss; the Waggener Wildcats went to Pensacola, Florida, and returned as champions of the Crusader Classic. Congratulations to the Wildcats. Every other team that played this week lost at least once, and many lost multiple games.

Most teams have not had an opportunity to update their statistics on the KHSAA website, so I am a little light on stats this week. I am hoping teams can catch up on those this week.

While many teams are off this week, Friday brings the Trinity-St. Xavier rivalry game, which is being played at Bellarmine this year. And then on Saturday, Trinity plays Scott County at South Laurel. I don’t know if David Johnson will be back for those games.

Another event of note this week is the announcement of the field and pairings for the Louisville Invitational Tournament. The LIT, which looks to be very competitive this year, at least among the top teams from the Seventh Region, will be played the week of January 14.

TEAM RANKINGS


1. Trinity Shamrocks (9-4)

Playing without David Johnson throughout the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tennessee, Trinity saw Stan Turnier step up on the offensive end as the Rocks ended up going 1-2 in the tournament. The Rocks opened the tournament with a 60-44 win over Dobyns-Bennett of Kingsport, Tennessee, with Stan Turnier and Kolton Rice each scoring 17 points. Trinity played well against its next opponent, Carmel Christian of Matthews, North Carolina (a top 25 team nationally), but lost 55-49. Turnier again scored 17 points, and got support from Ethan Hodge, who added 16 points. Turnier scored 24 points in Trinity’s third round game against Columbia Cardinal Newman, but the Rocks fell by a 60-58 margin. On the season Johnson is averaging 15.7 ppg while Turnier is averaging 13.7. The Rocks have a big week coming up, playing rival St. Xavier Friday night before heading to South Laurel on Saturday to play no. 1 Scott County.

2. St. Xavier Tigers (10-2)

St. X’s unbeaten streak came to an end in Sarasota, Florida, where the Tigers went 1-2 in the Suncoast Classic. St. X fell to Sarasota Booker 59-50 before losing a tough one 60-57 to Hialeah Champagnet Catholic in double overtime. The Tigers rebounded to win their third game in Florida, a tight 42-41 victory over Bradenton Braden River. St. X plays rival Trinity Friday night at Bellarmine and then hosts the Brown Bears on Saturday afternoon.

3. Waggener Wildcats (12-1)

Waggener traveled to Pensacola, Florida and won the Crusader Classic. The Wildcats started with a comfortable 71-39 win over Crawfordsville Wakulla, then beat Milton 51-42, and completed the tournament with a 53-40 win over the host Pensacola Catholic 53-40. The Wildcats play Moore on Thursday and Jeffersontown on Friday.

4. Ballard Bruins (7-6)

This was not a very good week for Ballard, as the Bruins went to the Next Level Hoops Fest in Brentwood, Tennessee, and came home empty-handed. Ballard first lost 77-51 to Memphis Whitehaven, then fell 61-58 to Atlanta Woodford Academy, and on Saturday lost to the host Christ Presbyterian Academy 57-54. The Bruins play at Floyd Central (IN) on Thursday and at PRP on Friday.

5. Central Yellowjackets (10-3)

Central finished as runner-up in the City of Middletown Holiday Classic. The Yellowjackets beat Paul Lawrence Dunbar 67-58 and Southern 67-57 (Devin Perry had a big game with 26 points and 7 rebounds) which extended its win streak to 10 games before falling 77-66 to Lexington Lafayette in the championship game. The Yellowjackets do not play this week.

6. Male Bulldogs (9-4)

The Bulldogs went 2-1 and finished as runner-up in the Jean Schumm Operation Parent Classic at South Oldham. Male opened the tournament with a 68-55 win over Shelby County and followed that with a 56-51 win over Pleasure Ridge Park, to advance to the championship game. There, the Bulldogs fell to the host South Oldham Dragons 84-72. The only game on Male’s schedule on the KHSAA website for the upcoming week is a “TBA” on Saturday.

7. Seneca Redhawks (8-6)

Seneca went 1-2 in this week’s Ashland Invitational Tournament. The Redhawks opened with its sixth straight win, a 72-63 victory over Pendleton County, who was playing without the injured Dontaie Allen. Seneca’s win streak ended with a 79-70 loss to DeSales, which was followed by a 64-51 loss to Henry Clay. This week, the Redhawks host the Western Warriors on Friday.

8. Louisville Collegiate Titans (8-6)

Collegiate played in the Magnolia Bank Holiday Classic at LaRue County, where they went 1-2. The Titans were tied with Muhlenberg County at 47 late in the game before falling 60-49. The Titans were then beaten 60-37 by Southwestern before beating Carlisle County 51-47. The Titans have a home game against Thomas Nelson Thursday night.

9. Eastern Eagles (7-6)

I saw Eastern play for the first time this week and thought the Eagles looked good. They lost to Southern 71-67 in overtime in the first round of the City of Middletown Holiday Classic, but then beat Paul Lawrence Dunbar 54-51 and Manual 55-45. The Manual win was a reversal of the result of their first game against the Crimsons, a game which Manual won by 10. The Eagles are playing some young players and appear to be getting better as the season progresses. This week, the Eagles play Mercer County at Adair County on Saturday as part of the Lindsey Wilson College Classic.

10. Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions (6-6)

Christian Academy went 1-2 in the Ashland Invitational Tournament this week. CAL dropped its first game there to Henry Clay 72-59 and then fell to Boyd County 60-44. The Centurions bounced back from those setbacks to beat Pendleton County (who was playing without Dontaie Allen) 69-44. The Centurions play at Christian Academy of New Albany, Indiana, Friday night before hosting Fairdale on Saturday.

11. DuPont Manual Crimsons (4-10)

Manual played in the City of Middletown Holiday Classic this week, going 1-2. The Crimsons lost in the opening round to Lexington Lafayette 82-56 before beating the Atherton Rebels 61-53. Manual finished the tournament with a 65-55 loss to the host Eastern Eagles. The Crimsons do not play this week.

12. Shawnee Golden Eagles (7-6)

Shawnee played in the Beth Haven Holiday Classic this week, easily beating Frankfort Christian 75-37 before falling to Richmond Model 66-63. For the season, Lejuantre Gray leads the Golden Eagles at 11.1 ppg, although he is getting substantial help from Jermon Boyd (9.6) and Josiah Bivens (9.4). The Golden Eagles do not play again until January 8.

13. Kentucky Country Day Bearcats (6-9)

The Bearcats participated in the Beth Haven Holiday Classic this week, going 2-1. KCD beat the Louisville Tigers Home School team 76-48 and the host Beth Haven Bearcats 82-59 before losing to Richmond Model 64-56. KCD plays only once this upcoming week, a Friday night home game against Bullitt East.

14. St. Francis Wyverns (3-4)

The Wyverns went 1-2 this week, starting with a good 61-60 win over McLean County on Thursday. Noah Sparks hit two free throws in the game’s final seconds to give the Wyverns a 4-point cushion, just enough to ensure the win despite McLean County’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. St. Francis then went on the road and suffered losses at the hands of Butler County (74-61) and Edmonson County (73-57). The Wyverns have home games against Whitefield Academy and Western this week.

15. Portland Christian Eagles (6-3)

Portland Christian lost the only game it played this week, falling to Butler County 78-63. The Eagles play at Calvary Christian on Saturday.

16. Brown Bears (4-10)

Brown went 1-2 in this week’s Beth Haven Holiday Classic, losing to Richmond Model 66-34 and to Frankfort Christian 74-72 (Frankfort Christian’s first win of the season) before beating Heritage Academy 80-67. The Bears face a tough match-up with the St. Xavier Tigers on Saturday.

17. Atherton Rebels (1-13)

Atherton finished 0-3 in this week’s City of Middletown Classic, falling to Mayfield (73-59), Manual (61-53), and Paul Lawrence Dunbar (76-51). The Rebels are off this week.

18. Walden Wolverines (7-1)

The Wolverines did not play this week. Walden breaks in the new year with a home game against Frederick Fraize on January 1 and then plays at Hancock County on Saturday.