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1. Knox Central (12-1 overall, 3-0 vs. 13th Region competition)
The Panthers remain at the top of the region after knocking off Corbin on the road to capture the Cumberland Falls Invitational championship. Senior guard Markelle Turner was named tournament MVP after scoring 24 points during Knox Central’s 73-61 win over the Redhounds. Jaylen Adams added 22 points while Dane Imel finished with 13 points in the win.
Tony Patterson’s squad has now won two big tournament championships (WYMT Mountain Classic and now the CFIT), but knows the season won’t be a complete success unless if they capture the 13th Region championship in a couple of months.

2. Corbin (8-3, 3-1)
Despite falling in the finals to Knox Central in the Cumberland Falls Invitational, Corbin had a successful holiday. The Redhounds posted a 3-2 record while turning in runner-up finishes in both the City of Palms Tournament and the CFIT. Senior Andrew taylor scored his 3,000th career point this past week and added 24 points to his total during the finals of the CFIT.

3. Harlan County (12-1, 5-0)
The defending 13th Region champion Black Bears continue to turn heads by capturing this past week’s Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge championship. Harlan County knocked South Laurel off with a 68-65 win int he semifinals before pulling off a 62-60 overtime win over North Laurel int he title game. Harlan County also had a runner-up finish in the Smoky Mountain Classic before falling to Pleasure Ridge Park, 79-66, in the title game.

4. South Laurel (9-2, 2-2)
The Cardinals’ two losses this season have come by a combined total of nine points against the region’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams. South Laurel has the talent to compete with anyone in the region.
Jeff Davis’ squad fell in the semifinals of the Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge to Harlan County, but respond in the consolation game with an impressive 67-62 win over Simon Kenton.

5. North Laurel (11-2, 2-2)
The Jaguars had a good holiday by going 2-0 in the Kentucky Bank Challenge before posting a 2-1 record in the Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge. North Laurel fell in the title game, dropping a 62-60 overtime decision to Harlan County.

6. Bell County (7-3, 2-1)
The Bobcats have quietly put together an impressive season under new coach Frankie Smith. It’s going to be interesting to see how bell County is going to finish down the stretch. The Bobcats are young, but Smith has them headed in the right direction.

7. Clay County (8-7, 4-0)
The Tigers might have seven posses not he season, but they’re undefeated against 13th Region competition with a 4-0 record. Clay County has a big road matchup with district rival North Laurel coming up Friday. I’ll be able to gauge them more after that game.

8. Jackson County (8-3, 2-1)
I might have dropped the Generals a bit too far in the rankings, but their 63-57 loss to Shelby Valley left me scratching my head. It’s the same Shelby Valley squad North Laurel beat by 31 points just five days before. With that said, Jackson County will have a chance to prove themselves even more with a three-game stretch against Whitley County, Harlan County and Clay County.

9. Whitley County (5-8, 1-3)
The Colonels posted a 2-4 mark during the holidays, but I’m still keeping them above Lynn Camp thanks to their 67-57 win over the Wildcats back on Dec. 15, 2017.Blake Brown looks to be back in the lineup soon which should be an even extra added boost for Jerry Overbey’s squad.

10. Lynn Camp (10-1, 5-1)
Take away Lynn Camp’s loss to Whitley County and the Wildcats would currently be unbeaten. Dinky Phipps’ squad will be tested this week with a home district game against Knox Central Tuesday before finishing the week with district games against Barbourville and Pineville.

11. Barbourville (6-7, 1-3)
The Tigers almost knocked off Lynn Camp not he road before falling on the road, 84-78.

12. Williamsburg (6-5, 4-3)
The Yellow Jackets snapped a three-game losing skid with a 63-40 win over Pinevilel this past week.

13. Middlesboro (7-6, 2-3)
Coach Lewis Morris has the Yellow Jackets off to their best start since 2013.

14. OBI (4-5, 3-5)
The Mountaineers are a dangerous team. They’ve already got wins over Middlesboro and Whitley County this season.

15. Harlan (1-10, 0-5)
The Green Dragons are a hard team to read. Not sure if they deserve to be ranked this low or this could be too high. I need to see them play against some more regional teams first.

16. Red Bird (4-9, 1-7)
Coach David Collett continues to do a fine job with the Cardinals. They posted a 1-2 record during last week’s Hancock County Classic.

17. Pineville (3-8, 1-4)
It’s been a long season so far for coach JD Strange’s Mountain Lions.