The Male Bulldogs are the Seventh Region team of the week. The Bulldogs got my attention when they beat Collins early in the week by a 69-46 margin and then, in a classic Seventh Region basketball game, took down the Trinity Shamrocks 77-74 in 3 overtimes. Certainly, Male seems to be playing its best basketball as the post-season approaches.
So does Ballard. After winning two games on the same night earlier in the week, Ballard beat Madison Central and Isaiah Cozart 80-69 on Friday night. Waggener also keeps winning, and had a nice win over Seneca this week. Central has only lost 4 games this season.
What does it all mean? At a minimum, it shows the quality of play in the Seventh Region this season, a fact confirmed by the latest Cantrall rankings appearing in the Lexington Herald-Leader, which has 4 Seventh Region teams in the top 15 and another at no. 23. And maybe it also means that the upcoming Seventh Region tournament is not as much of a foregone conclusion as some people have been thinking.
1. Trinity Shamrocks (19-7)
Trinity remains at the top even though it incurred another loss this week. Trinity beat Atherton 57-36 to start the week and then handled Lexington Catholic 56-30 before squaring off against the Male Bulldogs Saturday night. In a truly great game, Trinity lost to Male 77-74 in three overtimes. David Johnson was tremendous in the loss, scoring 35 points to lead all scorers. Trinity has only one game on its schedule this week, a Friday night home game against Lexington Lafayette.
2. Waggener Wildcats (21-3)
Waggener went 2-0 this week and has won its last 5 games. Led by JJ Kalakon’s 20 points, the Wildcats beat Oldham County 75-54 early in the week and then beat Seneca 67-58. Waggener is now just one win away from matching Waggener’s school record for wins in a season (22). The Wildcats should reach that milestone sometime this week, during which the Wildcats face Collegiate and Eastern.
3. Ballard Bruins (16-8)
Ballard employed split squads on Tuesday night, winning away games against both KCD (94-68) and Portland Christian (73-46). One of the highlights of the Portland Christian game was the appearance in the game by Sam Ajagbe, who scored two points. Ajagbe is a manager for Ballard who has gotten a lot of attention this season for what a great job he does for the Bruins. Ballard finished the week with an 80-69 win over Madison Central. Ballard has now won five games in a row and nine out of its last ten games, suggesting they are coming together just in time for the post-season. We should see if that is the case this week, as Ballard plays Seneca, Male and Frankfort.
4. Male Bulldogs (16-8)
The Male Bulldogs served notice they will be a force to contend with in the post-season, going 4-0 this week. The Bulldogs started the week with a 72-56 win over Western and then beat the Collins Titans 69-46. The Bulldogs followed that up with a 70-61 win over the Eastern Eagles. But the Bulldogs saved the best for last, beating the Trinity Shamrocks 77-74 in three overtimes on Saturday. Elijah Priest, averaging 2.5 ppg, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of the third overtime to give the Bulldogs the victory. The immediate celebration by the Bulldog faithful was fun to watch. Male plays Brown and DeSales before a big Seventh Region match-up with Ballard on Friday night.
5. Seneca Redhawks (17-8)
The Redhawks escaped with a 74-73 overtime win over Manual to start the week. Timothy Gordon led the Redhawks with 24 points. Seneca then had an impressive 86-57 victory over Jeffersontown, which was the Redhawks’ fourth win in a row and ninth in their last ten games. The win streak came to an end Friday night when Seneca fell to Waggener 67-58. Seneca faces a challenging week this week, with games against Ballard and Central.
6. Central Yellowjackets (14-4)
Central improved its record to an impressive 14-4 with 2 wins this week. The Yellowjackets easily outdistanced Atherton 72-44 and then took down the Jeffersontown Chargers 74-62. Central has games against 25th district foes Shawnee and St. Francis along with a game against Seneca this week.
7. St. Xavier Tigers (14-7)
St. X started the season 9-0, but have gone 5-7 since then. This week, with Sam Boarman leading the way with 23 points, the Tigers beat the Collegiate Titans 85-56. Friday night, St. X lost to Collins from the Eighth Region 56-43. The Tigers take on Fern Creek and Manual this week.
8. Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions (12-13)
Despite getting double figure scoring from Eric Mowder II (16 points), Tyler McDaniel (13), and Brayden Daniels (10), CAL lost to South Oldham 80-57 to start the week. The Centurions rebounded from that loss with a 53-34 win over Bullitt Central. CAL has games with Iroquois and Eminence this week.
9. DuPont Manual Crimsons (8-16)
Manual started the week with a 74-73 overtime loss to Seneca, an impressive showing despite it ending in a loss. The Crimsons’ other game this week, a 89-49 loss to South Oldham, was not as impressive. Manual has now lost its last five games. The Crimsons play the Saints this week, facing St. Francis on Monday and St. X on Friday.
10. Eastern Eagles (9-13)
Eastern lost both of the games it played this week, falling to Pleasure Ridge Park 60-47 and to Male 70-61. With those two losses, the Eagles have lost their last 5 games. On this week’s schedule for Eastern are games with Central Hardin, Waggener, and Atherton.
11. Louisville Collegiate Titans (12-10)
Collegiate fell to St. X 85-56 early in the week before squaring off again against the KCD Bearcats, who had beaten the Titans earlier in the All A Classic Seventh Region tournament final. The result was different this time, with the Titans prevailing over the rival Bearcats 72-65. Joey Leachman led the Titans with 20 points, while Chez Moore contributed 19 and Drew Manning 18. Collegiate faces Waggener and Spencer County this week.
12. Shawnee Golden Eagles (11-11)
Shawnee beat the Louisville Tigers, a home school team, 63-46 before losing to the Doss Dragons 63-56. Shawnee has won only once in its past five games. The Golden Eagles have a home game against Central this week along with road games against Meade County and Pleasure Ridge Park.
13. Kentucky Country Day Bearcats (10-12)
KCD fell to the Ballard Bruins 94-68 before facing off against rival Collegiate in a re-match of the All A Seventh Region tournament final. Collegiate turned the tables on the Bearcats and gave KCD its third straight loss by a 72-65 margin. The Bearcats have three games on the schedule this week, taking on North Hardin, Evangel Christian and Frederick Fraize.
14. St. Francis Wyverns (9-11)
St. Francis had a successful 2-0 week, beating the Louisville Tigers, a home school team, 57-47, and then traveling to Northern Kentucky and beating Villa Madonna 69-43. With a strong finish, the Wyverns can achieve a winning season record, which would be only the second time in their history the Wyverns have achieved that level of success. St. Francis will be busy this week, with challenging 25th district games against Manual and Central along with games against Beth Haven and Hancock County.
15. Portland Christian Eagles (11-9)
Portland Christian fell to Ballard 73-46 before participating in the Calvary Cougar Classic, where the Eagles lost to the host Calvary Christian Cougars 66-60 in the first round. The Eagles played Immaculate Conception Academy of Norwood, OH, on Saturday, but I have not yet seen a score from that game. Portland Christian faces a couple teams from Central Kentucky this week, with games against Danville Christian and Burgin.
16. Atherton Rebels (2-19)
The Rebels are having a tough year. Atherton lost to Trinity 57-36 early in the week before losing on Saturday to North Oldham 67-50, extending Atherton’s losing streak to 9 games. The Rebels hope to get back in the win column this week, with games against Sayre, Whitefield Academy and Eastern.
17. Brown Bears (6-16)
The Bears had a nice 73-52 win against Beth Haven (Jai’Rus Bibb has 23, Josiah Bibb had 21) before falling to Rock Creek Academy of Sellersburg, IN 72-56 and Ballard Memorial 55-48. Brown is scheduled to play Male, Moore, and Bardstown Bethlehem this week.
18. Walden Wolverines (14-9)
Walden went 3-1 for the week. The Wolverines started the week with a 68-62 loss to Eminence but rebounded with a 63-47 win over Frederick Fraize. Walden followed up that win with a 68-46 win over L.I.G.H.T., a home school team from Danville, and a 67-55 win over Jackson City. Walden’s 14 wins matches the school record for wins in a season. With three games on its schedule (Evangel Christian, Silver Grove, and Covington Latin), Walden should set a new school record for wins in a season this week. The Wolverines should also be on their way to the first winning season in Walden history.