ColonelMike's Avatar
Week 2 of the 2018-19 season is in the books, and there have been some interesting - some might even say, "surprising" - scores already. I prefer to say that they are "thought-provoking", because how this region is going to shake out this year continues to look like a mystery that won't be solved in December.

Among the scores of note over the past week involving 8th region teams:

North Oldham lost, 78-76 - but took #8 Ballard to the wire as the surprising Mustangs take a 4-2 record into week 3.

Grant County and South Oldham played a nail-biter that South won, 80-75, after leading by just 1 point after three periods.

Williamstown put the 2017-18 season when they went 2-29 in the rear view mirror for good with a 2-1 week and the Demons are not only 3-3 overall, they're sitting at 2-0 in district 32 seeding play.

Simon Kenton stayed undefeated, getting a quality win over Lafayette, 90-81.

Oldham County outlasted Highlands, 58-54, five days after Bluebirds took down defending state champion Covington Catholic.

Gallatin County demolished Louisville Iroquois, 72-46 - the most points scored against the Raider-Wolves this year and the fewest points scored by Iroquois so far.

After all was said and done, we have a few changes in the rankings:

1 Walton-Verona (5-0) Last week: 2 The Bearcats have the region's best record heading into Week 3, and are one of only three region 8 teams that are still undefeated (Oldham Co 4-0 and Simon Kenton 3-0 are the other two). The Cats have a nice balance of an inside and outside game, and their 16 point shellacking of Gallatin County probably is the most impressive victory in a battle of 8th Region contenders so far. This past week, W-V whipped Trimble County, 81-40, and defeated Anderson County 58-45. No stats have been posted on the Bearcats yet.... This week, Walton takes on Eminence on 12/10/18 before hosting Oldham County in perhaps the biggest 8th Region matchup of December.

2 - Collins (4-1) Last week: 1 The Titans went 2-0 this past week, defeating Franklin County by 11 and Shelby County by 15. As expected, Dayvion McKnight and Marcellus Vail continue to lead Collins; Vail had 20 points against Franklin and McKnight had 18 points and 12 boards. Collins' only loss to date was to #2 ranked Trinity, but the Shamrocks blasted Collins by 32 points. Coming up this week is a tough matchup against Madison Central on 12/11, although MC is a somewhat disappointing 2-2 on the season. On 12/15, Collins plays North Bullitt.

3 - Oldham County (4-0) Last week: 3 Oldham County hasn't put it all together yet, but the Colonels are still 4-0 and own a big victory over 9th region power Highlands. The Colonels, who replaced 4 starters from last year's state Final 4 team, have excelled at spreading the wealth around, with different players leading the way. In the last game - vs Highlands - the Colonels were led by senior Matthew Teague with 17 points; 6'5" senior Christian Harper put up an all-region caliber performance, scoring 16 points, grabbing a dozen rebounds, and block / altering countless shots. Oldham ends the year with arguably the toughest schedule in the region, though: 12/11 - Grant County (4-2) 12/14 @ #13 Walton-Verona (5-0), 12/15 Taylor County (6-0), 12/17 #1 Scott County (5-0, and the last year's state runner-ups), 12/18 Gallatin County (4-2), 12/21 #14 George Rogers Clark (3-1), #12 Central Hardin (4-1), and #11 Campbell County (3-1). That's 5 ranked teams in the next 8 games, and the other three teams have combined records of 14-4...

4 - Simon Kenton (3-0) Last week: 4 The Simon Kenton Pioneers had two impressive wins this week, blasting Ryle by 26 and then defeating the Lafayette Generals, 90-81. The Lafayette win was impressive as the Generals had recently knocked off Madison Central, one of the top-ranked teams in region 11 according to pre-season polls. SK has yet to post any stats yet.... This week: 12/11 @ Conner 12/14 vs. Shelby County 12/15 @ South Oldham

5 - Gallatin County (4-2) Last week: 6 The Wildcats have two losses to higher-ranked teams; dropping a narrow 2 point decision to Collins and losing to W-V by 16. But the Wildcats have been very successful against everyone else. Troy Coomer leads the way with 17.4 ppg / 6.4 rebounds and Wyatt Bowen is scoring at a 14.4 clip. The wins this week were good wins, even though Gallatin was favored against both opponents. Gallatin beat Henry County 93-55 (Henry had not allowed over 72 points so far this season), and then defeated Iroquois, 72-46 at Iroquois. Iroquois' record of 1-4 isn't impressive, but the Raider-Wolves gave up more points to Gallatin than they had surrendered all year, and Iroquois' 46 points was the fewest scored by the team so far this season. Gallatin opens District 31 seeding play this week; the defending district champs go on the road at Owen County on 12/11 and at Carroll County on 12/14.

6 - South Oldham (4-1) Last week: 7 Coach Steve Simpson has already had the SOHS basketball court named after him this season, but his team is making its mark early as well. South has been a senior-dominated team for the last few years; this year, 7 juniors dominate the roster, and these seem to be the key players on the squad. South defeated Grant County, 80-75, in a wild one in Crestwood on 12/7, and then followed up with a Saturday victory over Bryan Station, 94-77. Junior Luke Morrison seems to be settling into a leadership role; he's averaging 22 ppg and 7.8 rebounds, and scored 28 in the win over Grant. South goes to Covington Holy Cross on 12/11, then faces off against Lafayette on 2/13. They wrap up a tough week with an 8th region battle against Simon Kenton in Crestwood on 12/15.

7 - Spencer County (1-3) Last week: 5 Spencer County limps into week 3 on a three game losing streak, the longest losing streak in the region at present. Last week, they lost, 72-66, to a pretty good Taylor County team (6-0). The Bears don't have a "bad" loss - their three losses were to a decent Franklin County team, and two undefeated teams in Oldham County and Taylor County. But at some point, you have to win some of those games to get ranked higher. Spencer definitely has the potential, with an explosive starting five, but they are looking for that signature win to get them moving in the right direction. Sam Conley continues to lead the way, averaging 19 ppg / 6 rebounds. He's getting good backup; five Bears are averaging double figures. But the bench has been a bit suspect offensively. Like many teams, Spencer's shooting isn't all that great early (42%), but they are hitting 71.8% at the line. Unfortunatley, the Bears are only getting to the line about 13 times a game. Spencer has a busy week this week, with three games: 12/11 @ Western Hills, 12/13 vs. Jeffersontown, and 12/14 vs. North Oldham.

8 - Grant County (4-2) Last week: 9 Grant continues to show a potent offense, but they entered this year with questions about their defense, which was very porous last year. But while this year's defense still isn't elite (yet?), it's much improved, and the Braves made an impressive showing in Crestwood this past week in a 5 point loss to South Oldham. Grant had led by 8 at the half and trailed by just 1 after three, before finally falling, 80-75. The Braves also defeated Williamstown, 88-32, last week. Ben Vickers is leading the attack at 14 ppg, but is getting plenty of support from Jack Epperson (12.6 ppg / 8.4 reb), Jonas Alger (12.4 ppg), and Luke Dawalt (12.2 ppg / 7.2 reb). This week, the Braves are busy: 12/10 vs. Harrison County, 12/11 at Oldham County, 12/13 vs. Anderson County, and 12/15 vs. Beechwood.

9 - North Oldham (4-2) Last week: 10 The Mustangs have surprised everyone. With a new coach who wasn't hired until one week before practice began, 9 graduated seniors gone from last year's team, and one big learning curve, not much was expected from the Mustangs early on. But North won their first three games of the season, before losing to #17 Male, 61-43 on 12/4 in a game that was pretty close for three quarters. North then defeated Bardstown before losing by just 2 points, 78-76, in a matchup with #8 ranked Ballard, a result that raised some eyebrows across the region. Evidently, first-year coach David Levitch has a magic elixir... The Mustangs are averaging 62.3 ppg and have reached 64 points or more 4 times. Grant Adelson leads the team at 13.5 ppg. North plays Trimble County in a 29th district seeding game on 12/12 and then travels to Spencer County on 12/14.

10 - Anderson County (3-1) Last week: 8 Anderson drops a bit, not so much because of what they've done, but more because of what others have done. The Bearcats are still a bit of a mystery. They split two last week, losing by 13 to Walton-Verona and beating Bethlehem, 64-49. Anderson has not posted any stats online yet, so it's hard to tell some of the things they are doing right or wrong. And their results on the court haven't really given us much insight. They've beaten three lesser teams that they were expected to handle, and lost as expected to the region's top-ranked team. This week: 12/11 vs. Rockcastle County, 12/13 @ Grant County and 12/15 @ Harrison County.


11 - Shelby County (1-4) Last week: 11 First year coach Eddie Oakley is working to turn around the Rockets and start them back on the path to the "glory years" of old. But it's been a rough start. Last week, the Rockets showed some moxie in a six point loss to CAL before dropping a 15 point decision to district rival Collins. Noah Gordon is leading the way with 12.8 ppg and Taurius Robinson is averaging 11.3 ppg / 7.5 rebounds. Offense - the big problem last year - is still an issue so far this year. In losses to South Oldham, CAL, and Collins, Shelby averaged just 48 ppg, with a high of just 51 against Collins. This week: 12/10 vs. Meade County and 12/14 at Simon Kenton.

12 - Henry County (1-4) Last week: 12 The Wildcats stay put at #12 after dropping two games against quality opponents. Henry fell to DeSales, 72-66, last week and then was hammered by Gallatin County, 93-55. The Wildcats have put no stats online yet. This week, Henry jumps into district seeding play with two road games: 12/11 @ Carroll County 12/14 @ Owen County

13 - Trimble County (2-3) Last week: 13 Trimble holds steady at #13. Last week, the Raiders beat Owen County by 12, but then got routed by Walton-Verona (81-40) and Oldham County (75-41). Rebounding seems to be an issue; the Raiders are averaging less than 20 boards a game. Evan Stevens, Austin Cissell, and Reece Webster are sharing the main scoring load; all are averaging a little over 11 ppg. This week: 12/12 @ North Oldham (district game), 12/14 vs. Eminence, and 12/15 vs. Franklin County.

14 - Carroll County (2-1) Last week: 14 Carroll picked up their first win this week, defeating Eminence, 65-41, and then won at home against Owen County, 67-35. That means the only blemish on their record is a 2-point loss to Trimble to start the season. Wyatt Supplee is averaging 18 ppg, and Keishaun Mumphrey is nearly averaging a double-double at 19.3ppg / 9.7 rebounds. The Panthers still are struggling with their shooting, as they did last year, but most concerning is their free throw percentage, which sits at just 54.8%. That will need to come up by tournament time. But for now, what matters is that the Panthers are 2-0 in district seeding play. This week, Carroll plays at home against Henry County on 12/11, and challenges district favorite Gallatin County on 12/14.

15 - Williamstown (3-3) Last week: 17 The Demons move up two spots this week after convincing wins on back-to-back nights last week. After starting the week with an 88-32 loss to Grant County to fall to 1-3, Williamstown rebounded in grand fashion as they got two double-digit victories on 12/7 (71-58 over Eminence) and on 12/8 (68-51 over Owen County). It appears that last year's 2-29 campaign is firmly in the rear view mirror as Coach Reitz' squad is opening the year competitively. The Demons do have work to do; a 52% mark at the charity stripe could be a recipe for disaster later in the season. But for now, Williamstown has won 5 of their last 10 games dating back to last year, and they are riding a two game winning streak. This week: 12/11 vs. Boone County, 12/14 @ St.Patrick, and 12/15 vs. Lloyd Memorial.

16 - Owen County (1-4) Last week: 15 Owen has now dropped three in a row after a rocky week last week, during which they lost to Trimble County (61-49), Carroll County (67-55), and Williamstown (68-51). Noah St. Clair is leading the way for the Rebels, scoring 17.3 ppg, and Isaac Smith is averaging a double-double at 12 ppg / 11.5 rebounds. The Rebels hope to get their fortunes to improve if they can improve their shooting; right now, the Rebels are hitting just 39.4% from the field. This week includes two district seeding games: 12/11 - vs. Gallatin County 12/14 @ Henry County

17 - Eminence (1-4) Last week: 16 Eminence is simply off to a rough start, but they did get their first victory of the season to wrap up last week, so they enter week 3 on a bit of an uptick. After falling to Carroll County by 24 and Williamstown by 13, Eminence defeated June Buchanan, 62-60. Still, a lot of work remains to be done if the Warriors want to get to the region tournament. At 0-2 in district play, they are already a bit behind the "8 ball" in terms of post-season district seeding. And shooting just 33.3% from the field and 57.6% from the line are numbers that simply have to come up if Eminence wants to make it to the Roy. This week: 12/10 vs. Walton-Verona 12/14 @ Trimble County


That's the way it stacks up this week. Good luck to everyone, especially those with crucial district seeding games this week!


CM