8th Region Week 10 in Review - Oh My Gosh

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    8th Region Week 10 Review: Oh My Gosh

    Have you ever heard of “diagnosis by exception”? This term is used to describe situations where doctors have to diagnose an illness or condition by methodically eliminating numerous other diagnoses, each more likely than the actual diagnosis. Eventually, after multiple labs, imaging, and tests, the doctors eliminate all the likely diagnoses and land upon the correct diagnosis.

    This year, that looks like how we’re going to ultimately choose the 8th region favorite. And I have a feeling, with just two weeks left in the regular season, that we still have tests to run.

    Honestly, I felt that this season would take several weeks to sort itself out. But I also thought that by now – with just two weeks left in the regular season – that a dominant team or two would have stepped up. Instead, things have only gotten murkier.

    Last week, the top 6 teams in the 8th region rankings – Simon Kenton, Collins, Walton-Verona, Oldham County, South Oldham, and Gallatin County – went a combined 7-8. Of course, many of the games were against each other, but the 7-8 mark displayed how the top 6 teams are continuing to show that this region is still completely up for grabs with no dominant team.

    Those internal matchups didn’t clear much up. They were practically all close games, and nobody has been able to establish a clean slate against region rivals.

    Simon Kenton beat South by 5 at South Oldham, and Walton-Verona. But they lost to Oldham County and Gallatin County.

    Collins edged Gallatin County by 2, Grant County, #2 Trinity, and #18 Male. But they also lost to #2 Trinity, #18 Male, and South Oldham at home.

    Walton-Verona beat Gallatin County twice, Oldham County by 6, Madison Central, and Spencer County. But they lost to Simon Kenton, Ballard, and #1 Scott County.

    Oldham County beat Simon Kenton at SK, Gallatin County by 1, South Oldham by 3, Spencer County by 7, Highlands, Taylor County, Butler, and Central Hardin. But while the Colonels had a number of quality wins, they also have about an equal number of losses to quality teams: #19 Walton-Verona by 6, Highlands by 2 (in a rematch at Highlands), #1 Scott County, Grant County (on a last-second desperation three), #14 Campbell County, #6 Waggener, and George Rogers Clark.

    South Oldham is the only 8th region team to have beaten #17 Collins, overcoming a second-half double deficit deficit to win in Shelbyville. The Dragons also defeated Grant County, Lafayette, and #18 Male. But the Dragons lost to Oldham County by 3, Spencer County by 4, and Simon Kenton by 5.

    Gallatin County had been looking for quality region wins, and last week they broke through in a big way. The Wildcats now own a 3 point win over SK at SK, and a 4 point win at South Oldham. But the Wildcats have lost to #17 Collins by 2, Oldham County by 1, and #19 Walton-Verona.

    There’s a lot of movement in the top six this week. As a reminder, this ranking is based on where I think these teams are TODAY; this is NOT a prediction of where they will rank at the end of the season, or who will win the region. Simply put, some of the teams that moved up, will have their weaknesses exposed in the next two weeks, while others that moved down will get their feet back under them and will vault upward.

    So, after many flips of a quarter, here is this week’s rankings:

    1 – Walton-Verona (18-5, 11-1 vs 8th Region) – last week: #3 Kentucky High School Sports - Latest Articles state rank: #19 – The Walton Verona Bearcats didn’t have a perfect week, but then again, they only played one game, an out-of-region matchup with the state’s #1-ranked Scott County Cardinals. Walton lost that game, 74-46, but pretty much everyone is getting humbled by the Cardinals this year.

    One of two state ranked teams in the 8th, Walton-Verona is ranked #19 statewide by Kentucky High School Sports - Latest Articles.

    Walton-Verona moves into the #1 position in this ranking for a few reasons: 1) At 18-5, they have the best overall record in the region. 2) at 11-1, they have the best record against other 8th region teams. 3) They lost their only game last week, but the Bearcats have won 9 of their last 11, and among their victims during that stretch were Gallatin County, Spencer County, and #14-ranked Campbell County. Finally, 4) they have the stingiest defense in the region, allowing just 46 points per game. With this defense, they will always be in the game against 8th region foes, giving them a chance to win even when their offense is a little “off”.

    The ‘Cats’ average margin of victory is tops in the region, at +15.2 ppg.

    If the region comes down to inside play, Walton-Verona will definitely be one of the favorites, with 6’9” Dieonte Miles (13.8 ppg / 6.4 rebounds) and Kameron Pardee (13.9 ppg) dominating the inside.

    The Bearcats, due to their loss against Simon Kenton, appear headed for a relatively difficult first round game in the 32nd district tournament as they will face a 15-9 Grant County Brave team that has improved since last year and who shoots lights out.

    This week:

    2/5 vs. Lloyd Memorial 2/6 vs. Henry County 2/8 vs Madison Central (Walton-Verona previously defeated Madison Central, 62-50, in the King of the Bluegrass Tournament.)

    2 – Simon Kenton (16-6, 6-2 vs. 8th Region) Last week: #1 Maybe there’s a region 8 ranking curse; one week after SK advanced to the top spot, they dropped two region 8 matchups by the narrowest of margins, and they fall to #2.

    SK fell victim to a hot-shooting Gallatin County team to kick off last week. The Wildcats hit an amazing 70% from the field (28 of 40), 8 of 13 beyond the arc (61.5%) and 13 of 17 at the line (76.5%) in stunning the Pioneers by three points, 77-74.

    Reeling from that loss, Simon Kenton ran into an angry Oldham County team that had just fallen to the state’s 6th-ranked team, Waggener, on the road. The Colonels’ aggressively attacked the SK defense and won, 72-71, in overtime.

    Despite the back-to-back losses, SK doesn’t fall far this week. This is still one of the region’s elite. The Oldham game stats are not yet online, but in the six games prior to that, SK shot over 50% in all six games, going 5-1 during the stretch. The Pioneers are also getting solid contributions from a number of sources. Against Gallatin County, Kelly Niece led the way with 23 points, but he got solid support from Robbie Krohman (17 points), Jeremy Davis (13), and Logan Schwartz (12 points / 10 rebounds). The Pioneers shot 50.9% against Gallatin, but probably were ultimately undone an unusually low number of free throw attempts; the Pioneers went to the line just three times. They made all three, but Gallatin outscored them, 13-3, at the line as the Wildcats hit 13 of 17 at the stripe.

    As long as Simon Kenton keeps shooting like they have – both inside and out – they will be hard to beat. Niece (48.9%) and Davis (43.2%) are particularly lethal from beyond the arc. As a team, SK has shot 532 three point attempts, nearly half of their total shot attempts.

    This week: 2/5/19 at #14 Campbell County 2/8 at Scott High

    3 – Oldham County (16-9, 7-2 vs Region 8) Last week: #4 – Oldham County may be the most perplexing team in the region this year. The defending 8th region champs replaced 4 starters from last year’s Sweet 16 Final Four team, and basically all of the subs. A new point guard had to be cultivated, and the offensive points had to come from new sources.

    By and large, the results have been surprisingly good against what is arguably the most challenging schedule undertaken by an 8th region team this year (which says a lot, because region 8 teams really took on some rough schedules this year across the board). The Colonels have come up with as many quality wins as anyone in the region with victories over Butler (the pre-season #1 pick in the 6th region), Central Hardin (ranked at the time of the game), Simon Kenton, South Oldham, Spencer County, Highlands, and Taylor County. But the Colonels have lost to a number of top-level squads, too, falling to #1-ranked Scott County, #14-ranked Campbell County, #19 Walton-Verona (by 6 points), #6-ranked Waggener, George Rogers Clark, and Highlands in a rematch of their December game.

    The Colonels’ biggest struggle has been consistency. At many times, they look as if they could, or even should, be the favorite to win the region. We saw this in wins over South Oldham and Simon Kenton. But at other times – such as in a 75-54 loss to Waggener – the Colonels failed to perform at either end of the court, creating doubts.

    Matthew Teague (12.2 ppg) and Christian Harper (11.8) lead the team in scoring, but Oldham’s late-season surge has been keyed by the ever-improving shooting of senior guard Cole Mesker, who is averaging 9.7 ppg and hitting 38% from beyond the arc.

    Inside, the key is Harper, a human jumping jack that is hitting over 59% of his shots and averaging 6.2 rebounds per game.

    If the Colonels’ pressure defense is clicking – generating Oldham’s strong transition game – and the Colonels are hitting shots, Oldham County will be one of the last teams standing.

    This week will be quite the challenge:

    2/5/19 – vs. #17 Collins in a rematch of last year’s 8th Region tournament round 1, a game won by Oldham. 2/8/19 – at #4 Covington Catholic in a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 Final Four game.

    4 – Collins (17-8, 6-1 vs. 8th Region) Last week: #2 Kentucky High School Sports - Latest Articles state rank: #17 – It was a rough week for Collins, who dropped 2 of 3 games. The Titans opened the week against #18-ranked Male, losing 69-46. The Titans bounced back, defeating St. Xavier, 56-43, before dropping their last game of the week, 66-54, on the road at Warren Central in Bowling Green.

    Collins is going through a rough stretch against a group of some pretty good teams, losing 4 of their last five games.

    No updated stats were posted online for these three games, but Collins has perhaps the best guard duo in the state of company in Marcellus Vail and Dayvion McKnight. Ironically, McKnight gets a lot of his points at the rim, while Vail – who shoots the jumper well – is not really a major three point threat.

    Collins will be a tough out in the post-season; the Titans are the favorites to win the 30th district and coach Chris Gaither’s always-aggressive defense can make it very hard to score against the Titans, who give up just 56 ppg. Unfortunately, the Titans have one of the lowest “victory margins”, winning their games by an average of just 4.7 points per game.
    This week will be a pretty challenging week for Collins:

    2/5/19 – at Oldham County, a game I’m looking forward seeing 2/8/19 – vs DeSales

    5 – Gallatin County (16-5, 10-4 vs. region 8) Last week: #6 - Not many teams are as hot as the Wildcats, who hold the region’s longest winning streak (4) and have won 10 of their last 12 games. Despite piling up the wins, the Wildcats had some doubters, and the main question mark surrounded the lack of win over a region contender.

    Last week, Gallatin took care of that issue with two impressive road wins.

    The Wildcats first traveled to Simon Kenton to challenge the newly anointed #1-ranked 8th region team. When the dust settled, Gallatin had brought back memories of the 1985 Villanova Wildcats, who beat the top-ranked Georgetown Hoyas in the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament by shooting over 78.6% from the field. The Gallatin version of the Wildcats shot an amazing 70% from the field, 61.5% from beyond the arc (8 of 13) and 76.5% from the line (13 of 17). Final: Gallatin County 77, SK 74. Four Wildcats reached double figures, with Troy Coomer scoring 25 points and Wyatt Bown scoring 17. It was Simon Kenton’s first loss to an 8th region foe this year.

    Gallatin then traveled to Crestwood, KY, to face the South Oldham Dragons, winners of 3 of the past 6 region 8 titles and another team that was surging. With Troy Coomer scoring 32 points and Jarin Rassman tallying 30, the Wildcats claimed another 8th region victim on the road, winning 79-75 while scoring 11 points more than their average points per game.

    By my count, that was head coach Jon Jones’ 412th win as Gallatin County’s coach.

    At 16-5, Gallatin looks like a pretty solid bet to win 20 or more games for the third year in a row, and they are the odds-on favorite to win their third consecutive 31st district crown (they have not lost to a 31st district foe this year).

    If finishing the season strong is important, then Gallatin is looking more and more like a contender.

    This week, the Wildcats will be heavily favored in three games:

    2/5 vs Trimble County 2/7 at Eminence 2/8 vs. Owen County

    6 – South Oldham (18-6, 7-4 vs region 8) Last week: #5 - One of only two teams with 18 wins already (Walton-Verona being the other), the Dragons are a scoring machine. The Dragons are averaging an incredible 81.3 ppg with the end of the regular season nearly here. This after South graduated 9 seniors from last year’s squad, including 4 starters. This group can just flat-out SHOOT. 51.6% overall; 43.0% three pointers, and a region 8 – best 77.8% at the line.

    Last week, South played four games, going 3-1, as they whipped Carroll County, 103-71, topped Christian Academy of Louisville, 80-57, and swamped Manual, 89-49. But the week ended on a sour note for South as Gallatin County topped South on the Dragons’ home court, 79-75.

    The Dragons consistently shoot well. Last week, they hit 68.3% against Carroll, 50.9% against CAL, 62.3% against Manual, and 54.9% against Gallatin. Seven Dragons are hitting over 50% from the field overall, five are hitting over 40% beyond the arc, and five are shooting better than 80% at the line.

    Another consistent outcome in South games is the production of junior forward Luke Morrison. Morrison had 27 against Carroll, 25 against CAL, 28 against Manual, and 27 versus Gallatin.

    South is actually surrendering 66.3 ppg, but – thanks to their 81.3 ppg average – they have the second-largest margin of victory (+15.0 points) in the region.

    Like Gallatin County, South is on a roll, overall, having won 10 of their last 13 games.
    South will be the #2 seed in the 29th district tourney, meaning they will play #3 Trimble County in the first round.

    This week:

    2/4 at North Bullitt 2/7 at Central Hardin

    After the top 6, the remainder of the 8th Region hold their spots this week…

    7 – Spencer County (14-10, 5-3 vs. Region 8) Last week: 7 – Spencer seems to be starting to get it together here in the final third of the season. The Bears went 2-1 last week, losing their first game, 58-49, to Pleasure Ridge Park, before beating Trimble County, 69-57, and slamming Rock Creek Academy (IN), 73-47.

    Spencer, winners of two straight, have now won 6 of their last 8. During that stretch, the Bears claimed a victory over South Oldham; the only game they weren’t competitive in was a 20 point loss to Walton-Verona.

    Spencer has a user-friendly schedule in their final five games, and should be favored to win 4 of those five games, and maybe all five. This should give the Bears the opportunity to roll into the district 30 tournament on a strong roll.

    This week:

    2/5 – vs. Shelby County 2/8 – vs. Collegiate 2/9 – at Henry County

    8 – Grant County (15-9, 5-4 vs. region 8) Last week: #8 – The Braves’ formula for success this year is simple: they challenge the opponent to keep up. For the season, Grant County is averaging right at 70 ppg, but they’re giving up 65.1 ppg.

    With the Braves, scoring 60+ points doesn’t guarantee a victory. Last week, Grant opened the week by losing to Beechwood, 76-67, but bounced back to blast Henry County in New Castle, 85-61. The win broke a five-game losing streak, all on the road.

    Throughout the two games, Grant was deadly at the line, hitting 10 of 10 at the stripe against Beechwood, and 10 of 12 against Henry.

    Balance continues to be a strength for Grant; Aaron Hurley led the way with 15 against Beechwood with 14 points, while Ben Vickers scored 14, Jonas Alger had 11, Luke Dawalt had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Jack Epperson had 10. Against Henry, Vickers and Dawalt each had 18, while Hurley and Epperson each had 13. Dawalt and Epperson both posted double-doubles against Henry, as Dawalt had 10 boards and Epperson 14.

    Playing in the brutally tough 32nd district, with Simon Kenton and Walton-Verona, Grant is a definite dark horse, but they have the ability to outscore anyone. If Walton or SK has a mediocre shooting night against Grant, the Braves may well pull the upset.

    This week:

    2/4 – vs. Gallatin 2/7 – at Boone County

    9 – North Oldham (10-15, 1-8 vs. region 8) Last week: #9 – North Oldham continues to develop, but they’re not quite there yet, and playing in the 29th district will be tough to get out of. #4 seed North will have to play #1 seed Oldham County in the first round.
    North won their only game last week, 67-50, over Atherton.

    Dallas Roberts, the 8th grade phenom who starts at point guard for North Oldham, tallied 21 points to lead the Mustangs. Tyler Higdon scored 18 points and grabbed 7 boards; Grant Adelson (who is beginning to finally find his shooting eye) tallied 14, including four threes.
    But the story in Goshen is the young 8th grader. Averaging 14.5 ppg, he leads the Mustangs in scoring, but he’s getting better fast. In the last four games, Roberts has scored 21 points, 19, 26, and 19, averaging 21.5 ppg during that stretch.

    This week:

    2/5 – vs Owen County 2/8 – at Meade County 2/9 – vs. Franklin County

    10 – Carroll County (10-9, 8-5 vs. Region 8), Last week: #10 – No coach is happier in the 8th region right now than Brian Crank of Carroll County. Wyatt Supplee – the team’s leading scorer at 23.1 ppg – returned from an injury and made an immediate impact.

    Carroll faced South Oldham in their first of two games last week, and lost, 103-71. Despite the lopsided loss, the Panthers’ were thrilled to see Supplee not only return to action, but come back ready to play. Supplee tallied 30 points in the loss, hitting 12 of 18 shots (67%).

    The Panthers wrapped up the week with a bounce back win over Eminence, 68-43, with Trevor Sandusky leading the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Supplee added 15.
    Carroll is looking at the #2 vs. #3 semi-final game in the 31st district tournament, against Henry County. It won’t be an easy game for either team, but means they won’t have to face Gallatin in an elimination game.

    This week:

    2/5 – vs. Anderson County 2/6 – at Lloyd Memorial 2/8 – vs

    11 – Anderson County (10-10, 3-4 vs. region 8), Last Week: #11 – The Bearcats finally found their groove, winning their only game last week, 54-47, over 11th Region foe Woodford County (17-7).

    It was just the second win for Anderson over a team with a winning record, but this was a significant win. Woodford has a solid team that had already defeated Grant County, Collins, and Shelby County from the 8th region. Woodford had beaten 10th Region power George Rogers Clark by 10, and lost to the state’s #1-ranked team – Scott County – by just two points.

    Maybe Bryan Hyatt has awakened the Cats at just the right time.

    Anderson has three winnable games this week. Let’s see if they can handle success.

    This week:

    2/5 – at Carroll County 2/7 – at Owen County 2/9 – at Bracken County

    12 – Shelby County (7-17, 2-6 vs region 8) Last week: #12 – The Rockets have lost 6 of their last 7, and they dropped 2 of 3 last week.

    They opened the week with a formidable Frankfort team, ranked #20 in Kentucky according to Bluegrasspreps.com. They dropped that game, 66-52 and then lost to Woodford County (17-7), though that loss raised a few eyebrows. The Rockets fell against one of the 11th region’s best teams by just three, 49-46.

    Shelby ended the week with a victory, topping Ryle from the 9th Region, 53-36.

    The Rockets haven’t updated their stats online for the latter two games, which would be interesting.

    This week:

    2/5 – at Spencer County 2/8 – at Henry County

    13 – Henry County (9-13, 6-6 vs. region 8) Last week: #13 – Henry struggled last week, going 1-2, with their only win a 102-69 victory over county rival Eminence. That win was sandwiched between two not-so-competitive losses as Henry fell to Grant County, 85-61, and Washington County, 79-60.

    Sophomore Trevor Hardin continues to tantalize the Wildcat fans. Just a sophomore, he leads the team in scoring at 18.9 ppg and 7.8 rebounds. He’s part of a youth movement in the 8th region this year, a season in which the underclassmen appear to be the best players across the board.

    Henry has some of the strangest shooting percentages in the region. Despite leading the region in field goal shooting at 54.1%, the Wildcats are a dismal 51.2% at the free throw line, the worst in the region.

    Facing a tough Carroll County squad in the elimination semi-final game in the 31st district, Henry needs their defense to get a little stingier; in 5 of their last 6 games, they’ve given up 60 points or more, and the Wildcats have lost four of those five.

    This week:

    2/6 – at Walton Verona 2/8 – vs Shelby County 2/9 – vs. Spencer County

    14 – Trimble County (11-11, 6-8 vs region 8) last week: #14 – Reece Webster was a monster for Trimble County last week, and he led the Raiders to two wins in three games.
    Against Evangel, Webster tallied 22, including four threes, in a 69-59 Trimble win. Trimble followed with a victory at Dayton, 77-53, with Webster tallying a team-high 17.

    The Raiders dropped their third game of the week, 69-57, to Spencer County, but Webster again led the way for Trimble, scoring 20.

    For the season, Webster is averaging 18.3 ppg while hitting 52.8% of his shots.

    This week:

    2/5 – at Gallatin County 2/9 – vs. Owen County

    15 – Williamstown (6-18, 2-7 vs. region 8) Last week: #15 – Williamstown, one of the most improved teams in the region this year, lost their only game last week as they tangled with #19 Walton-Verona, 76-27.

    Williamstown, the youngest squad in the region by far, has lost three in a row and 13 of their last 14. But the final six games of the regular season are a bit more user-friendly; don’t be surprised if the Demons win 3-5 of the six. One year after winning just 2 games, Williamstown could reach 10 wins this year, a remarkable step up.

    This week:

    2/5 – vs. Harrison County 2/7 – vs. Silver Grove 2/8 – at Carroll County

    16 – Owen County (3-17, 2-9 vs. region 8) Last week: #16 – Owen County possesses the one record nobody wants; the longest losing streak in the region. The Rebels have dropped four straight, including all three of last week’s games.

    Ryle defeated Owen, 80-54, Louisville Holy Cross coasted, 69-39, over the Rebels, and Model defeated Owen County, 55-41.

    Owen has a super-busy week, with four games coming up. The Rebels will have to dig down deep to end their losing streak this week:

    2/5 – at North Oldham 2/7 – vs. Anderson County 2/8 – at Gallatin County 2/9 – at Trimble County

    17 – Eminence (2-21, 0-13 vs. region 8) Last week: #17 – Eminence earned a win to start last week, but dropped their next two. The Warriors got it done against Walden on 1/28/19, 68-62, but they followed with back-to-back losses, 68-43 at Carroll County and 102-69 at Henry County.

    It’s been a rough year for Eminence, but if this roster sticks together, they may be special in a few years as they will have far more varsity experience than most teams they will play. This year’s roster includes 2 eighth graders, 6 freshmen, and 1 sophomore…

    This week:

    2/5 – at Beth Haven 2/7 – vs. Gallatin County 2/8 – vs. Christian Academy of Louisville 2/9 – at Powell County

    That’s all for this week! Looking forward to another week of absolute insanity in the 8th Region!

    Last edited by ColonelMike; Feb 4, 19 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2

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    Aug 16

    I don't think South Oldham should be ranked above Spencer and I was very disappointed in the game cancellation between Gallatin and Spencer. I think that is a matchup of two very similar teams. It was a game that I think Spencer County was ready for and I think their defense would have caused Gallatin some trouble. Just an opinion. Spencer's loss this week was to a very good PRP team. That game was played dead even with Spencer down 1 with 1:15 left. Spencer had to foul which led to final score. They are playing very well.

  3. #3
    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Oct 08
    Pegasus Sports Network - Oldham County, KY

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardsrule1972 View Post
    I don't think South Oldham should be ranked above Spencer and I was very disappointed in the game cancellation between Gallatin and Spencer. I think that is a matchup of two very similar teams. It was a game that I think Spencer County was ready for and I think their defense would have caused Gallatin some trouble. Just an opinion. Spencer's loss this week was to a very good PRP team. That game was played dead even with Spencer down 1 with 1:15 left. Spencer had to foul which led to final score. They are playing very well.
    They appear to be peaking at the right time.

    The teams are making ranking extremely speculative as a result of the crazy head-to-head battles. For example, Collins beat Spencer who beat South who beat Collins. Comparison rankings have to be based on much more than those outcomes as a result.

    And the head-to-head contests are so close as to make one wonder if the two teams played a 3-game or 5-game series, which team would win? The one who won the first game by 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 points? Or did things just "go their way" that first night?

    Last edited by ColonelMike; Feb 5, 19 at 12:11 AM.

  4. #4
    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Oct 08
    Pegasus Sports Network - Oldham County, KY

    Gallatin and Spencer would have been a fun game...gotta agree with you there.


  5. #5
    theguru's Avatar
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  6. #6

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    Aug 16

    After watching the Shelby County vs Spencer County game last night I came away pretty impressed with Shelby County. It was a well played intense game. Collins may have a tougher first round game than I originally thought. Shelby has some talent.

  7. #7
    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Oct 08
    Pegasus Sports Network - Oldham County, KY

    Shelby is more talented than most are giving them credit for. They just haven't been able to get any kind of chemistry until lately. Gave Woodford a real run for their money.

    Throw in the fact that Shelby and Collins are rivals, and who knows what happens in the district 30 tournament round 1!


  8. #8
    gold sunrise's Avatar
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    May 02

    What a indepth review. Awesome. Really enjoyed reading it.