8th Region Week 5 Review: Collins Still #1 After Rough Week for Region teams

  1. ColonelMike's Avatar
    The last week of the calendar year is typically when teams head off to some out of town place for three days of tournament competition. It's a great environment, a tremendous opportunity to pick up a trophy or two, and a chance to build friendships and memories.

    But if winning proves elusive, then sometimes it's not so much fun.

    Last year, the 8th Region teams truly enjoyed the tournaments in the final two weeks of the season. Walton-Verona did extraordinarily well in the King of the Bluegrass....Oldham County won the Pegasus Sports Best in Hoops...ad infinitum.

    This year...well, the December tournament season was more in the "so-so" category as 8th Region squads went 15-17 through last week. So...it doesn't like a lot of movement in the rankings is justifiable this week as pretty much everyone met some disappointments.

    Week 5 Region 8 Rankings

    1 - Collins (9-3) Current streak: Lost 2 Last week: #1Collins only played one game last week, losing to Cardinal Stritch of Ohio, 64-50. That's two losses in a row to out of state teams - but the Titans don't have to beat any OH teams to win the 8th. And their recent wins over Louisville Male, Madisonville North-Hopkins, and #2-ranked Trinity (especially after Trinity had beaten Collins by 32 on December 3rd) showed a team on a strong uptick. A runner-up finish in the prestigious King of the Bluegrass was nothing to sneeze at, either. I'm not absolutely certain, but I'm relatively certain that 's the highest finish ever for an 8th Region school in the KOB.

    This week, the Titans get two challenges from teams that seem poised to make some noise this year: 1/4/19 Spencer County (Note tip time of 6 pm) and 1/5/19 vs. Grant County (at 2 pm) They've already beaten one strong contender, Gallatin County (by 2); time to see how they measure up against some of the other teams that have a legitimate chance to provide competition in New Castle.

    2 - Walton-Verona (9-1) Current Streak: Won 1 Last week: #2 Walton played one game last week, but got little competition from a rebuilding Owen County squad in a 72-27 rout. Kam Pardee led the way on 8 of 12 shooting for 22 points, including 5 of 6 at the line. Honestly, the margin could have been worse; W-V didn't far so well at the line, hitting only 19 of 31 free throws. Dieonte Miles added 8 points / 10 rebounds for the victors.

    Walton Verona is one of only three remaining teams that are still undefeated in region play; the Bearcats are 6-0 against 8th Region teams, with wins over Gallatin County, Oldham County (by 6, their closest region game so far), Anderson County, Eminence, Owen County, and Trimble County.

    This week, in what has to be the Region 8 Game of the Week: 1/4/19 #2 Walton-Verona vs. #3 Simon Kenton

    3 - Simon Kenton (9-3) current streak: lost 2 Last week: #3SK didn't have much fun in the True Bank Holiday Classic, losing to Newport (12-2) by a final of 84-71 and then falling to Deltona (FL) by a final of 65-58.

    Simon Kenton has now dropped 3 of 4, including two 13 point losses to KY schools (South Laurel and Newport), but those are two of the better teams in the state, so I'm not ready to start bailing on this team. I think this team is more talented, and more disciplined, than some of the more recent teams in Independence; as a result, I think they will bounce back.

    We'll find out real quick: This week, it's SK vs. Walton Verona on 1/4/19 in a huge battle between two top-three region teams with not just region, but district, implications.

    4- South Oldham (12-3) Current Streak: Won 4 Last week: #5 If South was being overlooked by anyone earlier, there's no ignoring them now. The Dragons have the second-most wins in the region (12) and are riding the region's second-longest winning streak (4). They wrapped up 2018 with three impressive wins:

    86-41 over Holmes - the Dragons faced a team they were expected to beat and went for the jugular.
    76-56 over North Oldham - Facing their arch-rivals in a district seeding game, South left no doubt about who's the better team.
    84-72 over Male - a double digit victory over one of Louisville's perennial best.

    Even more frightening for future opponents was South's shooting. Long a strength of the program, this squad appears in mid-season shooting form. Playing Male in their third game in three days - when the legs start getting a little fatigued and one would expect the shooting percentages to be down just a tad - South shot blistering 61.7% from the field overall, 60% from beyond the arc, and 80% from the free throw line.

    Luke Morrison, the region's top scorer, continues to roll, scoring 22 points on 9 of 14 shooting vs. Male.

    This week: 1/4/19 at Iroquois

    5 - Oldham County (9-5) Current streak: Won 2 Last week: #4 As predicted, Oldham has had an up-and-down December as the four new starters coalesce into a team. Oldham County hasn't had 5 losses before January 1 since the 2010-11 team, coached by Jason Holland - and that team "recovered" nicely, ultimately winning the region and going to the Sweet 16.

    Last week didn't start well for the Colonels, as they were whipped by one of the teams they beat in last year's Sweet 16. Campbell County won, 72-48, to gain a bit of revenge. But the Colonels bounced back to beat Conner, 61-51 on 12/28 and Paducah Tilghman, 68-63 on 12/29.

    This Oldham team is showing all the signs of being a contender by the end of the year - they've defeated Spencer County and Gallatin County - and even their losses to region 8 teams have been very close: a six point loss at Walton-Verona and a 3 point loss on a hail -mary three by Grant County at the buzzer.

    But Oldham still has questions to answer, most importantly, their shooting. Their overall shooting is going up - but it still sits at just 41%. From the outside, Oldham has three point shooters, but their percentage is sitting at a sub-par 29.5%.

    Next game: 1/4/19 - at Beechwood (12-2) This will measure how much Oldham grew over the holidays; Oldham was beaten by Campbell County; Beechwood defeated Campbell.

    6 - Gallatin County (9-3) Current streak: Won 3 Last week: #6 Gallatin County did not play last week. The Wildcats are looking for that signature win over an 8th region contender. They are 3-3 overall against 8th Region teams - wins over Henry County, Carroll County, and Owen County (making them 3-0 in district 31 seeding games) - with losses to more highly-regarded Collins, Walton-Verona, and Oldham County.

    Cats fans will be quick to point out, however, that they lost to Collins by just 2 points, and rallied from a 5 point deficit with less than a minute to play to ultimately lose by just 1 to Oldham County.

    This week: 1/2 vs. Eminence (31st district seeding game) 1/4/19 vs. Carroll County (31st district seeding game), and 1/5/19 at Adair County. Gallatin could finish this coming week with the #1 seed all but clinched if they beat both Carroll and Eminence this week, which would put them at 5-0 in district play.

    7 - Grant County (13-4) Current Streak: won 6 Last week: #7 Grant County enters 2019 with the region's most wins (13) and longest winning streak (6). In fact, the 13 wins are more than Grant County has ever won in December since before 1997-8. (the closest they came was 2012-13, when they won 12 games in December).

    The Braves are still giving up a lot of points, defensively, but the defense has improved over last year, allowing the Braves' prolific offense to push ahead of most opponents.

    Last week was a good week for Grant County as they won the Henry County Invitational Tournament, defeating Western Hills (77-74) on the 27th, East Jessamine (72-64) on the 28th, and Bishop Brossart (50-42) in the championship game on 1/29/19.

    In the tourney, Grant hit 55% from the field, nearly 50% from beyond the arc, and over 80% at the line.

    The 1-2 punch of Luke Dawalt and Jack Epperson seems to be paying off; Grant is getting more offensive putback opportunities.

    8 Spencer County (7-6) Streak: Won 3 Last week: #8 Spencer has struggled early, and seemed "so close" to breaking through....well, that sound you heard may have been Spencer "breaking through". The Bears have won three straight as they went down to Pigeon Forge and won the King of the Smokies tournament. They beat Archbishop McNicholas (Cincinnati, OH), 43-41 in the final.

    We haven't seen Spencer play many region 8 teams yet, but they've been engaging with some of the areas best teams - and occasionally getting their noses bloodied. But that will give this young Bears team a great opportunity to mature quickly.

    As of now, they've faced two region teams, defeating North Oldham and losing to Oldham County in a game where they fell behind by double figures, and rallied to make it close late.

    This week: 1/2 vs. Nelson County 1/4/19 - One of the biggest games in the region this week, as the Spencer Bears travel to play at Collins.

    9 - North Oldham (6-9) Current streak: lost 2 Last week: #9 North went 1-2 last week, and has lost 8 of their last 10, so the fact that they stayed put at #9 in the rankings may seem strange. But last week's one win was over Jeffersontown - a win that is looking better every day, as the Chargers are now 10-4. North ended the week with two losses to two of the best teams in the area, a 20 point defeat at the hands of arch-rival South Oldham ad a 29 point defeat against Pleasure Ridge Park.

    As is frequently the case, shooting made all the difference. North shot just 30.9% against South and 28.6% against PRP.

    On the other hand, against Jtown, 8th grade point guard Dallas Roberts had 20 points and Tyler Higdon 19 points and 9 boards as South hit 47.5% from the field and 58.3% from beyond the arc. Luke Berry added 14 and Grant Adelson had 10. When North shoots like that and has that kind of balance, we've been impressed by what they can do. Consistency, however, is going to have to improve for North to have a chance to get out of the 29th District.

    This week: 1/4/19 - at Valley (girl/boy doubleheader)

    10 - Carroll County (7-5) Current Streak: lost 1 Last week: #10 So far, the Panthers are the surprise team of 2018-19. Fans in Carrollton are taking th time to enjoy the moment; the last time Carroll had 7 wins before 1/1 was six seasons ago.

    Last week, Carroll County went 1-2 against three Florida teams in the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Florida.

    Wyatt Supplee continues to impress; he had 39 points (including 5 threes) in the win over Bradenton Christian. For the season, he's averaging 24.4 ppg and making a run to be the region's top scorer. Keishaun Mumphrey is near a double-double, averaging 11.5 ppg / 9.9 rebounds. And David Duncan gives the Panthers a third scoring option at 10 ppg.

    With a win over Grant County under their belts, and a relatively close 11-point loss to district favorite Gallatin County, the Panthers are being to make believers out of folks. They'll get a chance to show whether they've taken their game to a whole new level this Friday, 1/4/19, when they travel to Warsaw to face off with the Wildcats for the second time this year. A road upset and the Panthers could find themselves the #1 seed in the 31st this year.

    11 - Anderson County (6-6) current streak: lost 1 Last week: #11 Anderson split two games last week, beating Bath County, 65-58 and losing to Johnson Central, 81-61. In other words, they beat who they were expected to beat and lost to who they were expected to lose to. AC hasn't updated their stats over the last five games....

    There just isn't anything to show Anderson is making a move up - or down - yet.

    This week: District seeding game on 1/4/19 vs. Shelby County.

    12 - Shelby County - (5-8) Streak: Won 1 Last week: #12The Rockets dropped 2 of 3 last week, but salvaged the week by ending it with a win over Holmes, 63-50. What's encouraging about the week for the Rockets is that the offense seems to have started showing some life. Shelby managed 65 vs. Dixie Heights and 63 vs. Holmes.

    Next game: Rivalry game; district 30 seeding game vs. Anderson County 1/4/19

    13 - Trimble County (4-7) Current Streak:: Lost 4 Last week #13 Trimble did not play last week. As we come to the end of the year, the region should be taking note of guard Reese Webster, who's averaging 17.1 ppg on 58.8% shooting, including 44.8% of his threes and 81.1% at the line.

    Trimble is going to have to close the scoring gap if the second 2/3 of the season is to look different: in 7 of their 11 games, the Raiders have surrendered 70+ points. And in 9 of 11, they've given up 60+.

    This week: 1/4/19 - Southeastern (IN)

    14 - Williamstown (5-10) Current streak: Lost 5 Last week: #15 Williamstown is in the midst of a five game losing streak (including three last week), but the Demons have been impressive in defeat. Last week, they dropped three games by a total of just 11 points. And Dawson Springs and Prestonsburg - while not powerhouses - have been competitive this year at times. These weren't real "pushovers".

    Williamstown faces the toughest path of all to reach the region tourney, with Grant County, Simon Kenton, and Walton-Verona in their district, but the improvement from last year is definite.

    This week: 1/4/19 at Bracken County and 1/5/19 vs. Fleming County

    15 - Henry County (3-8) Current streak: Lost 2 Last week: #14 Henry drops a week after going 1-2 last week, but struggling to compete in their Henry County Inv. Tournament. After opening with a 63-60 win over Iroquois, the Wildcats were manhandled by Bishop Brossart by 16 and East Jessamine by 14.

    Stats have been inconsistent for Henry, but it appears that rebounding is a major culprit holding this squad back, although Trevor Hardin had a double-double against Iroquois, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 boards.

    This week: 1/4/19 at Owen County

    16 - Owen County (2-10) current streak: Lost 4 Last week: #16 Owen's only game was a 72-27 loss to Walton-Verona. In that game, Owen hit just 8 of 31 shots (25.8%) and 1 of 8 three (12.5%). They did hit their free throws, but only shot 13, hitting 10 (76.9%). Owen has some size, but couldn't matchup up with Walton's size, managing just 17 total team rebounds.

    It's hard to shoot well aqainst W-V, that's for sure. Owen's leading scorer, Noah St. Clair, hit just 1 of 13 shots in the game.

    This week: 1/4/19 vs Henry County

    17 - Eminence (1-9) Current streak: lost five Last week: #17 Eminence did not play last week. During their current five game losing streak, the Warriors have lost each game by an average of 46.2 points.

    Eminence needs to find the momentum they had last New Year's. On 1/1/18, the Warriors were 8-7 overall and had won 7 of their last 8 games. If they can find some inspiration, they can start to change their fortunes in district 31.

    Besides North Oldham (0-4 vs. Region 8 teams), Eminence is the only team in the region that has yet to win a region game (0-6).

    This week: 1/2/19 at Gallatin County 1/5/19 vs. Thomas Nelson

    That's all 'till next week!

    Last edited by True blue (and gold); Dec 31, 18 at 06:38 PM.

  2. #2
    BigVMan23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 13
    Near Frankfort

    Anderson also beat Lewis County in the Dan Schwartz Classic to get to the championship game against Johnson Central. For some reason it isn't showing on the KHSAA scoreboard.

  3. #3
    theguru's Avatar
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    Nov 00


  4. #4

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    Nov 18

    Very excited to see how this SK vs. Walton game plays out. Guard heavy/likes to play fast SK vs. Slower pacing/bigger Walton. If SK is hitting shots, they'll be tough to beat!