Lots of exciting action this week in the 9th Region. Holmes and Highlands moved up a lot this week and we have a new #1 team. When looking at the region as a whole, we have only one undefeated team in Beechwood, six teams with only one win, and three teams yet to find a W. I know everyone has their own opinions on who is the best, so enjoy the rankings and analyze all you want.

1. Cooper (3-1): Despite the records and big wins, I’m not ready to move Beechwood or Highlands passed Cooper just yet. The #1 pick has been a hard one this week. A decisive victory against Conner and a narrow win @ Elder was enough to flip-flop Cooper and Covington Catholic. A district match-up against Ryle and a highly anticipated game against Beechwood is on the plate this week for the Jaguars.

2. Covington Catholic (4-1): I know they lost to Highlands, but I still see this team as the one of the best overall teams in the 9th region. The Colonels host Scott on Tuesday and as the week progresses, we will see how the football players impact their offensive flow. I was surprised to see them score only 51 and 63 on Monday and Tuesday.

3. Beechwood (6-0): People can criticize the schedule if they want to, but the Tigers beat a strong 37th District team in Scott on Monday and at times played miles ahead of where the Eagles were during the game. They have three tough games this week in Dixie Heights, Cooper, and Grant County.

4. Newport (3-1): Newport drops one position this week with a 20-point deficit to a very good Campbell County team and a victory over Boone County by a slightly smaller margin than the Beechwood Tigers. The Wildcats play Holmes and Dixie this week and could move up to a top-3 spot once again.

5. Highlands (4-1): Highlands shocked the area Monday night with beating Covington Catholic and should get two more wins this week. They have seen more vertical movement in the ranking then anyone in the 9th region. I’ve always thought that 9th Region Basketball is more fun when Highlands is relevant.

6. Conner (3-1): The Cougars lost by 20 to Cooper on Tuesday. If not for the Bluebird surge, they probably would have stood pat in the rankings. They host a very good Simon Kenton team on Tuesday and should beat Ryle on Friday.

7. Holmes (3-1): The bulldogs deserve a big bump this week with defeating Dixie Heights. They have a tough two-day stretch this week with hosting the Juggs and traveling to Newport. I must admit to being surprised considering their opening night loss to Gallatin.

8. Dixie Heights (2-2): The Colonels have not played well to start the year. Most 9th Region fans predicted 3 wins this past week and they were fortunate (not lucky) to win two. Eventually, I think they will get it together and we’ll see how they handle the red hot Beechwood Tigers on Tuesday.

9. St. Henry (1-4): St. Henry was able to salvage the week by beating Ryle. They could by 4-4 by this time next week. They have a tough draw in a Christmas Tournament, so they need to get some W’s on the board.

10. Ryle (1-4): The Raiders got triple losses this week, including a bad home loss to St Henry. Ryle has got to get better on the glass to have a chance to win. They have two district games this week against Cooper and Conner

11. Holy Cross (1-2): I still need to see some more from my former Latonia neighbors. I dropped them a slot because Holmes played so well. Their scores against Covington Catholic and Campbell County were a little closer than I anticipated. We should all have a better feel for the Indians after the Brossart and Scott games this week.

12. Newport Central Catholic (1-2) The Breds showed some fight against Dixie before giving up 93 points to St. Xavier. We’ll see if they can beat St. Henry Monday before going to Boone County Thursday.

13. Lloyd Memorial (1-2): Lloyd has played some tough games this year. It’ll be a good match-up when they go to Holmes on Tuesday.

14. Ludlow (3-3): The Panthers pushed to .500 this week with victories over Dayton and Calvary. They host Villa Madonna Monday night and St. Henry on Wednesday before traveling to the bustling metropolis of Silver Grove.

15. Boone County (0-5): The Rebels have a chance to get a victory at Williamstown Tuesday. They seemed to play pretty tough against Newport and Conner this last week. I’m not ready to move some of the small schools ahead of them but Tuesday’s match-up is key.

16. Bellevue (3-1): Wins against Silver Grove and Heritage pushed Bellevue’s record to 3-1 this week. Calvary Christian may provide a good test for them. I moved them ahead of Villa this week and we will see what they can do.

17. Villa Madonna (2-5): I thought these boys would start a little stronger. They lost to a very weak Whitfield Academy Saturday which dropped them one ranking. They travel to Ludlow on Monday.

18. Dayton (1-4): The Devils lost a nail biter to Ludlow on Friday in OT. The should be able to get at least one win this week.

19. Heritage Academy (0-3): Heritage lost to Bellevue by 47 this week.

20. Covington Latin (0-3) Latin lost to Bellevue by 56 points this week.