February is here!! For most teams districts will start on or around the 20th, what teams are going to gel? Who will get hot and win the 8th region in 2017? There are 3-4 teams as of right now with the hot hand, that does not mean something can change in these last 3 weeks of the season. This month usually contains senior night as well for kids and maybe their last home game of their career, a reflection on some of our seniors in the 8th region and what they have meant to the region. Who is going to POY in the 8th region? How about COY? All are some questions that I will address in our summary before district play begins. I hope everyone stays healthy as the make "the run to Rupp". The DRAW for the state tourney is Feb 1st, lets hope we get a favorable draw for once.

1. Oldham County Colonels
They are keeping the #1 spot, and with 19 wins going into February why not? Their schedule has been hard and should pay off down the stretch, keeping the Colonels focused is Coach Zerhusen's job rest the way. Their defense is stifling and just wears on you as the game goes on. How about Jackson Gibson? Maybe the best true PG in the region, he has to be an all region player, and in consideration for POY next season for sure. He gets teammates involved and scores when he has too. Colonels got wins vs. Shelby, KCD, and an OT win at Central Hardin. They play Louisville Eastern and Simon Kenton this week.

2. Collins Titans
Getting healthy and doing it fast is what Coach Gaither hopes happens these last couple weeks. Some of the younger kids have played a lot the last 3-4 weeks and will do nothing but help the Titans moving forward. The Titans are led by Cochran and Turner, who are match up problems for the rest of the region, and a PG in McKnight that will be special for the next 3-4 years. They lost to Woodford by 1 on the road and got a big win vs. Anderson, which secured the #1 overall seed in the district. They have Male, Owen and Harrison this week.

3. South Oldham Dragons
The Dragons appear to have got rid of team sickness and injury's as they got 3 wins over North Bullitt, Iroquios, and Carroll County this past week. Still being led by Griffin, Franklin, and Young in scoring, but others are starting to produce as well. The Dragons got North Oldham and Gallatin this week, and may not show alot of stuff to the Mustangs as they will play each other in the district tourney in a couple weeks.

4. Walton Verona Bearcats
This team has played some good basketball the last couple weeks and represented our region well at the All A. They got a win over Danville in the opening round and went toe to toe with Lexington Christian for 27 minutes until losing by 15, that score was a lot closer than it ended up. They are led by Miles, but Clinkenbard has really stepped up lately to lead this young team. They also beat Williamstown in a thriller before the All A tourney started. They have Trimble, Whitfield Academy and Grant County this week. Will they have the All A let down?

5. Spencer County Bears
The Bears are improving and hoping to make the regional tourney this year, especially for their younger kids, gaining that experience is ultra important. They do not know if they are the 2,3,4 seed right now, as they have a game left with Shelby County later on. However this team will be a hard out for anyone the rest of the way. They beat Eminence and got a huge win over Anderson, lost to CAL at the end of the week. They have Carroll and Henry County this week.

6. North Oldham Mustangs
As I mentioned on several occasions, this team is dangerous and will be a hard out rest the way. Winners of 7 straight, and some impressive wins to say the least. Mustangs have 2 guards that can flat out beat you in Henry and Wheeler. They beat North Bullitt, and John Hardin this week. A big one with South Oldham this week and Carroll County. I contemplated moving them up to the 4/5 range, after this week they will have that chance.

7. Anderson County Bearcats
Can we please take a famous word from Aaron Rodgers "Relax", the hard part is the Packers got hot late in the year, can the Bearcats do the same? They obviously have dealt with some internal stuff, made some decisions and are moving on. Can they have some younger kids step up? I do not see why not, as other teams are seeing the fruits of their freshmen/sophomores right now. Cobe Penny will need some help moving forward if they are going anywhere in the tourney. Garmon has to be more of a factor down the stretch. They lost to Spencer and Collins this week, and they too don't know what seed they are 2,3,4? The have Gallatin, Frankfort and Lincoln this week. I am anxious to see the Gallatin game results against a team that I think will be at the regional tourney.

8. Gallatin County Wildcats
The Wildcats are putting together a nice season. Jon has to be up for COY honors in my opinion, coming off 2 hard seasons, and putting this team in spots to win games. They are still being led by Mason Wilson who has to be an all region selection. The Wildcats defeated Henry County and Lloyd Memorial this week. They have a chance to prove themselves this week vs. Williamstown, Anderson County and South Oldham. A rough stretch for sure, but the Wildcats want to be tested late in the year, something Coach Jones has always done.

9. Williamstown Demons
Playing better and have their eyes focused on making the regional tourney. I have been around this region for almost 20 years and can not recall the Demons being involved BUT they also was in a district with Scott County in the past. Some history guy "Calling Colonel Mike" can help maybe. The Demons lost Walton in a great game, and beat Henry County this week. They have Gallatin, Trimble and Ryle this upcoming week.

10. Grant County Braves
The Braves are one of the good story's of our region this year, a pleasant surprise. They got a win over East Jessamine in OT, and lost to Scott High this week. They placed 4 guys in double figures in their win. They have Henry, Walton and a very good Mercer County team this week.

11. Simon Kenton Pioneers
This team is needing someone to step up besides their big 2 in Kelch and Hawkins. They too can get hot and be dangerous in the tourney, with 2-3 weeks left in the season they better move it along. They got 2 wins over Harrison and Boone County, and lost a close one to Dixie Heights. They have Owen and Oldham this week. If Hawkins can handle the pressure of the Colonels that score might be interesting.

12. Eminence Warriors
The up and down roller coaster that are the Warriors. They beat Carroll, and Owen this week, lost to Spencer County. They are led still by Jenkins around 28ppg, one of the tops in the state. They have Llyod Memorial this week, and only 2-3 games left for the year. They could get rusty or improve, either way they know they got Henry County first game of the district, those 2 split in regular season, districts are played in the ROY.

13. Shelby County Rockets
Been a rough year for the Rockets, they have 7 seniors, and just do not seem to have that leader in the locker room. Can they be a threat here on out? I think yes, they have a new coach and that takes time to develop chemistry, they have some talent, but time is running out. The Rockets took a beat down to Oldham, and lost at Western Hills. They have a favorable schedule moving forward, they have Atherton, Frankfort and Central Hardin this week.

14. Henry County Wildcats
These Wildcats are hard to figure out. They have beaten some teams ahead of them in my ranking and them they will lose to someone that makes you scratch your head. They lost to Gallatin, and Williamstown, and got a win over Owen. They have Grant County and Spencer this week, a chance to prove themselves.

15. Owen County Rebels
I was so used to putting the Rebels at #1, #2 it just seems odd to put them down here. Being at a smaller school these things happen. But look for Coach Duvall to build and be back at some point. The Gallatin boys suffered through it the last couple seasons. They lost to Grant, Eminence and Henry this week, all within about 3-5 points, so they are close. They have shot I think at upsetting someone, so be careful with the Rebels. They have a hard schedule coming up, Simon Kenton, Bourbon and Collins. They made their schedule hard last year for that group and are paying the price this last month.

16. Carroll County Panthers
The Panthers have lost 12 straight, Ryle, Eminence, and South Oldham this past week. They too are going through that small school cycle. They have Spencer and Norht Oldham this week so it does not get any easier.

17. Trimble County Raiders
The Raiders lost to Western Hills, and Frederick Fraize BUT they got a win over Brown, and we are happy for the Raiders. They have Evangel, Williamstown and Walton Verona this week.

Player of the Week:
Jackson Gibson for Oldham County Colonels- Jackson averaged 15ppg in the Colonels 3 wins this week, and has led them to an undefeated record in the 8th region and a record of 19-4. His teammate Zack Larimore pumped in 38 points, 13 rebounds (16-20 FG) against KCD as well!!

Games of the Week:
North Oldham @ South Oldham Jan 31st
Oldham @ Simon Kenton Feb 3rd
Collins @ Male Jan 31st
Grant County @ Walton Verona PART 2
Anderson @ Gallatin County Feb 1st