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The Scott County Cardinals returned to the top of the always tough region last season. Compared to years past the overall talent in the 11th Region might be a little down but this region will still produce some of the top players and teams in the state. As always expect the winner of this region to head to Rupp Arena as one of the favorites to cut down the nets.

Team Rankings
1. Scott County
The Cardinals return arguably one of the best squads in the state of Kentucky led by Junior Michael Moreno. Moreno is a superstar who has improved every year and I expect no less this season. The last 2 years the Cardinals season has ended by the hands of the eventual state champion. This team is experienced and deep. Guards Cooper Robb and Bryce Long return and have added guard Diablo Stewart who led Franklin County in scoring the last 2 seasons. Going in Scott County has to be the favorite to repeat as 11th Region Champions.

2. Lexington Christian Academy
Last year was a season of first for the Eagles. First trip to the regional tournament in school history and first district championship in school history. The Eagles are no longer a dark horse in this region. Led by Kyle Rode the Eagles bring back a talented trio of front court players in Rode, Carter Hendrickson, and Austin Hall, although all can play on the perimeter. If the Eagles can find some consistent backcourt play they could knock off Scott County and win the region. On another note, the Eagles are my pick to win the All A State Tournament.

3. Madison Central
The Indians did not win the 44th district last season for the first time in over 20 years. However they did manage to reach the semi finals of the regional tournament after upsetting LCA in the first round. The Indians return 6 of their top 7 players including Isaiah Cozart, who set a state record for blocked shots in a season last year, and leading scorer Dustin Geralds who is sneaky good and a stat sheet stuffer. I wouldn't be surprised to see this team in the region finals.

4. Lexington Catholic
The Knights made it all the way to the region championship game before falling to Scott County last season. Gone is Luke Johnson and his almost 25 points a game. However the Knights do return big man Zan Payne who is a walking double double, and guards TC Price and Javen Hardin who both have substantial varsity playing experience. The Knights will have to find some help from younger guys and bench players to challenge Scott County and LCA for the top spot in the region.

5. Frederick Douglass
The Stallions are the newcomers to the 11th Region but make no mistake they aren't your typical first year program. With district realignment in Lexington taking place some of the better players in the area have fallen into their lap. Leading the way should be Senior Justin Mitchell who was Henry Clay's leading scorer a year ago and started the previous two seasons for the Blue Devils. Also, add in Nathan Mack a sophomore who spent time in Bryan Station's starting lineup, the Stallions should be able to produce a formidable lineup. I have been told they also have the best freshmen group in the area by a long shot.

6. Bryan Station
The Defenders had an up and down season a year ago that ended in the first round of the district tournament with a loss to Scott County. Back for the Defenders are two of the better guards in the region in Eric Boone and Terrance Clayton-Murphy. Boone and Clayton-Murphy could form one of the better backcourt duos in the region if they can get on the same page. Coach Johnson's squad will need to find some front court play to compete with the top dogs in the region.

7. Paul Laurence Dunbar
The rest of the region can take a sigh of relief because Taveion Hollingsworth is no longer suiting up for the Bulldogs. Dunbar will be a totally different team then the past 2 seasons and will play a much different style. All is not lost though, the Bulldogs return starters Jared Gadd and JaQuice Gray along with a handful of other players that have varsity experience. Also, add in Isaiah Allen, who led Tates Creek in scoring a year ago, and the Bulldogs will be much better then people initially expect.

8. Lafayette
Perhaps nobody has had more roster turnover in the last 2 seasons then the Generals. They have graduated numerous starters and key guys over the last 2 seasons. Back for the Generals are Eric Powell and Evan Druex, both who have played plenty of varsity minutes in the past. The Generals do have a nice young group filled with tons of size that will have to play minutes this season.

9. Henry Clay
Nobody in the region was hit harder by the addition of Frederick Douglass then Henry Clay was. Reports I have heard estimate anywhere between 6-9 players with varsity or jv experience are no longer at Henry Clay and instead are at Douglass. Andreus Green and Ramond Jackson are back and both expect to be big time contributors for the Blue Devils. Another big test will be to see how Keaston Brown returns from an injury laden season and offseason surgery. If he returns to form the Blue Devils will end up much higher in these rankings by mid year.

10. Tates Creek
Jarrod Gay begins his head coaching career this season at Tates Creek. To say the Commodores have under achieved the last few seasons would be a severe understatement. I expect Tates Creek to vastly improve this season with a good young bunch of kids. Led by Sophomore Amari Taylor expect to see the Commodores be much more competitive and win some games you wouldn't expect them to.

11. Frankfort
The Panthers returned to the regional tournament for the first time in over 10 years last season. Back for Coach Barton are big man John Tillman, and guards DaJuan Davis and Junaya Frank. The Panthers have expectations of winning a district championship this season and this might just be the year.

12. Franklin County
The Flyers are vying for their 4th straight district championship under Coach Tony Wise. They will need to replace the scoring of Diablo Stewart as he is now at Scott County. Expect Kyle Stivers and Jordan Courtney to lead the way for the Flyers, who are always better in February then they are in December.

13. Woodford County
The Yellow Jackets graduated 8 seniors a season ago including their top 3 scorers. They do return Brandon Cromwell who started last season and showed signs of being a scorer for Coach Wilson. Expect to see a lot of young faces in the lineup as Coach Wilson has said he could have 13 different players receive playing time this season.

14. Sayre
The Spartans won a school record 26 games last season and reached the region semifinals. Unfortunately they lost a ton to graduation including the school's all time leading scorer Jake Duby and guard Robbie Goodman. Expect RJ Smith to lead the way for Sayre this year with help from Marcus Bowie and Dunbar transfer Will Hairston. They Spartans could be anywhere between 10-14 on this list but for now this is where I will put them.

15. Madison Southern
Coach Buttry's squad won the 44th District for the first time since 1995 last season and won over 20 games. They also graduated more then 80% of their scoring and offense. They return one starter and it will be a "rebuilding" year of sorts for the Eagles. Still wouldn't be surprised to see them in the regional tournament again.

16. Berea
Coach Swords enters his second year as head man of the Pirates and they showed signs of improvement throughout the season last year. Expect David Gadd to lead the Pirates this season after averaging 15 points a game a season ago.

17. Western Hills
The Wolverines return big man Troy Amanor and that's about it. Amanor is a nice player who should average around a double double this season. Coach Cody will need to find someone else to produce for him for Western Hills to have any shot of advancing out of the 41st District.

18. Model
The Patriots will be young and inexperienced. They do return Will Feese who had a nice year last season. Expect him to lead the way.

Player Rankings
1. Michael Moreno - Scott County - Arguably the best player in the class of 2019 in the state of Kentucky. Has already picked up some D1 offers and has numerous interest across the board.

2. Kyle Rode - Lexington Christian - Another top player in the class of 2019 in the state of Kentucky. Currently holds offers from mid major schools and interest from others.

3. Cooper Robb - Scott County - Committed to UNC-Charlotte - If Moreno is the best player on Scott County, Robb is the most valuable. The Cardinals will go as far as he can lead them this year.

4. Carter Hendrickson - Lexington Christian - Committed to University of North Florida - Hendrickson is a knock down outside shooter but also can play in the post. While Rode gets all the attention at LCA, Hendrickson is no sleeper!!

5. Isaiah Cozart - Madison Central - Best shot blocker in the state of Kentucky and on pace to destroy the all time block shot career record. If his offensive game continues to develop he will be a force!!

6. Justin Mitchell - Frederick Douglass - Spent 2 years in the starting lineup at Henry Clay and will now be the go to man for Frederick Douglass. Big strong athletic kid that can get to the rim and rebound on both ends.

7. Zan Payne - Lexington Catholic - Payne was a walking double double for the Knights last season. Expect him to continue his dominance on the glass and improve his scoring numbers this season.

8. Eric Boone - Bryan Station - Boone flirted with a couple triple doubles last season for the Defenders. Heady guard who can get to the rim and push the tempo. Could be a big year for him.

9. Isaiah Allen - Paul Laurence Dunbar - After leading Tates Creek in scoring last season, Allen now will attempt to do the same for Dunbar, who will be looking for a new lead dog.

10. Amari Taylor - Tates Creek - Taylor is possibly one of the best young players in Kentucky. Really improved his jump shot this summer. The Commodores will expect a lot of him this season.