9th Region Week 4 Review: Changes in the top 4 and Stagnation in the middle

  1. #1
    by PP1 is offline Suspended
    A few surprises this week with Beechwood’s victory and Conner’s brain fart. The hardest part was ranking teams 8-11. These four average squads are having a hard time finding any momentum this year and if they resent being referred to as “average” then they have the power to fix it. There is not a lot of action to go watch between now and the new year with the exception of a couple regular season scheduled games and a tournament in Williamstown. After the new year, the 34th district will start to take shape with each team in the district playing one district opponent before the 9th. It may be worth taking in a game on January 2nd when Ryle takes on Boone County in an important match-up to avoid being the #4 seed in the 33rd district tournament.

    I'll get out to some of the local games this week and give some updates. Feel free to follow me on twitter: @theshepherd2018.

    1. Cooper (9-1): Cooper easily holds the top spot for the third straight week. They won three games in the Philip Wood Classic against average-above average competition. I was surprised to see them participate in this tournament when looking at the other teams in the field. They will face Bardstown in their opening game at the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic. The Jaguars have two players averaging 8 rebounds a game and as a team they are shooting free throws at a 72% clip.

    2. Beechwood (10-1): The Tigers created quite a buzz in the Boy’s Forum as they defeated Campbell County Friday night. The Tigers have now swept the top three schools in the 37th District. Beechwood deserves to move to the #2 spot when looking at their overall body of work. I can’t give any information on their opponents in the Lake Cumberland Classic, but as the New Year arrives, they host both Harrison County and Oldham County.

    3. Covington Catholic (7-3): I don’t know if this is the right move or not, but I’m dropping the Colonels a slot this week. They lost to two Cincinnati teams, one of which (Taft), has not had an extremely impressive basketball history, but I admittedly know nothing about either of those teams this year. They only beat New Cath by 16 and other teams previously ranked below them have a had more impressive week. I’ll get a better overall feel the first few weeks of January when they play Newport (Jan 2nd) and Cooper (Jan 11th).

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    4. Newport (9-1): I was close to dropping the Wildcats to 5th this week. I saw them in person for the first time against Conner and they were lucky to get a “W.” I don’t like using the word “lucky” in sports because I don’t believe in it, but Conner handed them the win in a way that I have never seen before. I used to live next door to Newport High and I want them to do well this year, but I do see a lack of discipline on this team on the offensive side of the floor and a lack of communication on the defensive side. They can take the ball to hole well and can shoot from the floor (45 FG%) but unless they start moving without the basketball, this team is vulnerable. I know they are 9-1 this year, but they need to continue to improve in order to have a successful post-season run. They did have a good win against Highlands on Monday.

    5. Highlands (6-3): Highlands lost twice this week, but no one beneath them pushes them out of the #5 spot. It’s hard for me to judge Ohio teams because I just don’t follow them like I used to. After a trip to Florida, the Bluebird play Scott and Simon Kenton back-to-back which is an opportunity for them to turn heads or cause sighs among us NKY fans.

    6. Lloyd Memorial (6-3): Lloyd won three games this week to bump Conner out of the #6 spot. They performed well in the Grant County Invitational and avenged a previous loss to Mike Code’s Mustangs. I really do long for the Lloyd Invitational Tournament that used to take place this time of year. The Juggs are off until December 29th when they host Ryle.

    7. Conner (5-4): The Cougars missed a chance to move up in the rankings this week. I’ve never seen a team hand a victory away in the manner they did. All the boys had to do was stand still, up four with 8 seconds left when a shot is taken, the shot is missed and the rebound bounces to the 3-point arc, Harding picks it up and is fouled as he shoots a three. The only thing that can beat you is a 4-point play, if he makes it, then inbound, shoot free throws, and make them go the length of the floor in 5 seconds. Had Conner bounced back against CHCA they probably would have held on to the #6 slot and they do have a chance to play some decent competition at Lexington Christian this week. There are some good players on this team, I think they could even win a game at NKU in the regional tournament. They have a good coach on the sideline and the ability to make some noise, I hope they can get it going the second month of the season.

    8. Newport Central Catholic (4-6) It’s hard to know what to do with these “middle of the road” teams because neither NCC, Holmes, St. Henry, or Dixie want to step up and show their superiority. The Breds did win a game at the Simon Kenton tournament this week. They drew Madison Central in the Lake Cumberland Classic so we’ll see how it goes.

    9. Holmes (4-7): Holmes won a game this week but also lost to Campbell County by 25. Neither St. Henry or Dixie did enough to bump them, so they remain #9. They played so well the second week of the season, I hope they can find a groove again and play well against other 9th region competition.

    10. St. Henry (3-8): The Crusaders lost three games this week, but the competition was pretty good. Coach Faust’s career was the topic of discussion in a few threads in the Boys forum this week, he is a well-respected coach in the 9th region and works very hard; that being said, the Cru’ needs to step up after the Holidays as they have some big district match-ups headed their way prior to the All A tournament.

    11. Dixie Heights (4-7): Dixie won twice this week but also lost a pair of games. They should beat Pleasure Ridge Park on Thursday before their district games on the 4th and 7th. I saw some Arlan Gentry highlights on the news, I did not mention him in my original top ten players and he may be their best overall player; however, I am not in practice every day.

    12. Holy Cross (4-5): The Indians went 2-1 this week but lost big to Grant County. Pete Knochelmann has average almost 8 rebounds a game this season living up to his pre-season report. Holy Cross will stay put for the time being but have a chance to move up with their trip to Lexington Christian.

    13. Ludlow (7-6): The Panthers beat two small school this week before taking a whipping from Newport. All 7 of their wins have come against small schools and 4 of their losses have been against big schools if you count Newport and South Dearborn. The Panthers have a good record by beating teams that they are evenly matched against, this is a testament to Coach Sullivan’s ability to put the boys in the correct spot. I wish they had Ryle and Boone County on the schedule, but they will face St Henry in the All A Tournament.

    14. Ryle (2-8): I’m just going to go ahead and do it. I’m moving Ryle below a small school. If the Raiders want to move up, then beat Lloyd and Boone County in the next week and a half. They did beat a team from South Carolina but they have not updated their stats in a while.

    15. Villa Madonna (3-6): The Vikings got a little momentum this week with beating Bellevue and a team at Gatlinburg-Pittman to move up two slots. I’ve been to the Gatlinburg-Pittman tournament before, it usually hosts some decent schools. The Vikings have a district game against Lloyd coming up on the 3rd. In my preview, I said they could play with Lloyd Memorial, I hope they are able to make it a good game.

    16. Boone County (1-9): The Rebels lost two game this week. They may be looking at January 5th before they have a chance to win again. They are playing 3 days in the Henry County Invitational.

    17. Bellevue (3-6): Bellevue failed to find the win column in their own tournament this week. For some reason they have elected to participate in the Traditional Bank Classic. I do not see them winning any games in this tournament either. Kind of makes Holiday basketball a bummer for a coach.

    18. Dayton (2-8): The Devils lost a game this week and I thought about dropping them to #19 but they beat Silver Grove by 2 and Heritage beat Silver Grove by only 1. Coach Volpenhein seems like a nice guy and he was very accommodating to my middle school team this past week in his tournament. Dayton plays Heritage in January, so we’ll see how things shake out. I do not expect Dayton to win any games before they play the Eagles.

    19. Heritage Academy (1-4): Heritage got their first victory against the Trains this week. It was a nail biter 65-64, all kidding aside, I bet it would have been a fun game to watch.

    20. Covington Latin (0-8) Latin must have picked up two game late. Last week they had nothing scheduled.
    Last edited by Jumper_Dad; Dec 24, 18 at 04:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Mustang's Avatar
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    IMO Holy Cross has taken a big step forward.
    First defeating Scott, and then avenging a previous 20 point loss to a very good South Oldham team.
    While I too was surprised that Grant County handled them, I always regard the host school in a multi-day tournament to improve their odds by getting to stay home and I think it showed in their win over the Tribe.

    With that said, I think Grant County is a superior product to what they have produced over the past few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
    IMO Holy Cross has taken a big step forward.
    First defeating Scott, and then avenging a previous 20 point loss to a very good South Oldham team.
    While I too was surprised that Grant County handled them, I always regard the host school in a multi-day tournament to improve their odds by getting to stay home and I think it showed in their win over the Tribe.

    With that said, I think Grant County is a superior product to what they have produced over the past few years.
    Saw a post by Holy Cross the KHSAA scoreboard is wrong. The Indians lost 73-59 not 73-49 as has been reported.

    I had the chance to see them against South Oldham at Grant County and if they’re #12 in the region then the top 11 are very good.

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    @HSBballfan24 and @Mustang You both make good points about Holy Cross. MY thinking was that it was only 9 days ago when they were 1-4 and since then they beat a weak St. Pat's team and a good South Oldham team. They did beat Scott but then lost by 24 points to Grant County, a team that South Oldham defeated.

    Spots #8 to #11 are hard to rank because they all have losing records and they haven't played each other yet.

    I love the discussion though. It's what makes this fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    @HSBballfan24 and @Mustang You both make good points about Holy Cross. MY thinking was that it was only 9 days ago when they were 1-4 and since then they beat a weak St. Pat's team and a good South Oldham team. They did beat Scott but then lost by 24 points to Grant County, a team that South Oldham defeated.

    Spots #8 to #11 are hard to rank because they all have losing records and they haven't played each other yet.

    I love the discussion though. It's what makes this fun.
    Lost by 14 to Grant County at Grant County. I have no dog in the fight but don’t see any team ranked 7-11 that have 2 better wins than Scott and South Oldham. Both on neutral sites.

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    All good points.

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    Looks to me like CCH and Newport play on Jan. 2 and not Jan. 3.

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    Agree on Cooper as the clear favorite. At this point, it isn’t close, as they blasted the number 2.

    Beechwood got a great win, albeit, at home against an out of region opponent (always a tough situation), and that game had its fair share of BGP controversy (fouls, officiating, etc.). Goetz has Draud and the boys humming at this point and they’ll be really tough to beat at home. Probably looking at the All-A champs, too.

    Seems to be some remaining CovCath bias at the top, as usual (maybe). They’ve lost 3 games, and lost to Highlands at Highlands, where Newport defeated Highlands at Highlands, and only has 1 loss, on the road to the #1 team in the 10th. Seems like Newport was discarded because of a “near-loss” on the road in a “trap” game after Highlands and going into winter break. Good thing here is, they’ll play this year, so should get more clarity on that. Maybe CovCath is better, as I know they are improving a younger team.

    I also agree with the Holy Cross posters, as they are vastly improved. I believe they are better than Dixie, NewCath, and St. Henry (who is 3-8 with no really good wins, and a few blowouts...). Wahl is emerging as a really nice player and Knochelmann is doing Knochelmann things. They play well as a team.

    Lastly, I’ll say... look out for Lloyd. They are improving quickly, and have a super talent in Cody. If he can find some legit running mates, they could be dangerous for anyone outside of Cooper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkLife View Post
    Agree on Cooper as the clear favorite. At this point, it isn’t close, as they blasted the number 2.

    Beechwood got a great win, albeit, at home against an out of region opponent (always a tough situation), and that game had its fair share of BGP controversy (fouls, officiating, etc.). Goetz has Draud and the boys humming at this point and they’ll be really tough to beat at home. Probably looking at the All-A champs, too.


    I also agree with the Holy Cross posters, as they are vastly improved. I believe they are better than Dixie, NewCath, and St. Henry (who is 3-8 with no really good wins, and a few blowouts...). Wahl is emerging as a really nice player and Knochelmann is doing Knochelmann things. They play well as a team.
    .
    Very Good. By luck of the draw, Beechwood and Newport play in the opening night play-in round of the All A.

    Also, what do we consider a blow-out? If I get beat by 2 layups and one free throw every quarter, that is a 20 point loss, is that a blow out? Except for Bryan Station, all of St Henry's losses have been by less then 20 points, including losing to Cooper and Cov Cath. A 3-point loss to Conner and an OT loss to New Cath, are reasons why I have them higher then other teams with more than three wins. Holy Cross has at least one 20 point loss (Grant County is apparently debatable) and a 32 point loss to the same team that St. Henry was within 16 of.

    But, what is a good score to lose by? I see the other side of the HC coin too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    Very Good. By luck of the draw, Beechwood and Newport play in the opening night play-in round of the All A.

    Also, what do we consider a blow-out? If I get beat by 2 layups and one free throw every quarter, that is a 20 point loss, is that a blow out? Except for Bryan Station, all of St Henry's losses have been by less then 20 points, including losing to Cooper and Cov Cath. A 3-point loss to Conner and an OT loss to New Cath, are reasons why I have them higher then other teams with more than three wins. Holy Cross has at least one 20 point loss (Grant County is apparently debatable) and a 32 point loss to the same team that St. Henry was within 16 of.

    But, what is a good score to lose by? I see the other side of the HC coin too.
    You make some good points. That said, if you lose by 5 points every quarter, and lose by 20, my answer is YES, that is a blowout.

    Let’s not focus on the losses as much as the wins.... St. Henry has beat Ludlow, Bellevue, and Ryle. They have those 3 wins.

    Holy Cross has 4 wins, 1 more than St. Henry, and have beaten Scott and South Oldham, along with St. Patrick and Boone County.

    I don’t know who would win between HC and St. Henry, but for a week 4 rankings, I’d rank them based on actual wins/losses and not potential or perceived talent.

    Holy Cross has more wins, better wins, and less losses.

    But, then again, who am I. Just a BGP poster like anyone else. Just my opinion. I know you have a tough job and it’s only opinion.

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    There is no clear favorite and no dominant team this year. I could see 5 different teams winning it this year, simply based off who the ball is bouncing for that night. The last 5 years it has been CovCath/Cooper as clear favorites with NCC sprinkled in. There are no GREAT teams this year that can win state, but several GOOD teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewYorkLife View Post

    I don’t know who would win between HC and St. Henry, but for a week 4 rankings, I’d rank them based on actual wins/losses and not potential or perceived talent.
    But then do I have to do that with Ludlow too? They have 7 wins and a winning record. But I like your advice and will probably use it in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PP1 View Post
    But then do I have to do that with Ludlow too? They have 7 wins and a winning record. But I like your advice and will probably use it in the future.
    I think what he’s saying is who they’ve beat and lost to should be taken into account. Quality wins should help teams. Lloyd has a good record but who have they beat besides Bishop Brossart? Holmes hasn’t beat anyone really either.

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    Should see university heights vs cooper in Lexington this week. That should be interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HSBballfan24 View Post
    I think what he’s saying is who they’ve beat and lost to should be taken into account. Quality wins should help teams. Lloyd has a good record but who have they beat besides Bishop Brossart? Holmes hasn’t beat anyone really either.
    This is exactly what I’m saying. HC has two very quality wins. St Henry didn’t have 1, AND they have less wins and more losses. That was my main point... quality wins, as of week 4.

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