16th Region Basketball in Review

1. Ashland (20-2) – The Tomcats continued their winning ways this week, with 3 victories including convincing wins over Elliott County and Spring Valley, WV. Ashland carried over some cold shooting from last week in the first half of the Elliot game but Chase Villers found his rhythm in the second half, finishing with 25 points. The Tomcats are also getting substantial contributions from Brandt off the bench. The Tomcats have completed district play and will most likely finish tied with Boyd County at the top of the 64th. Ashland faces Mason County, Rowan County and Johnson Central this week.

2. Boyd County (19-5) — The Lions had a productive week, collecting 3 wins in 3 games while spreading points, rebounds and responsibilities among seven players. In a win against East Carter Taylor Smith was able to connect on six 3 point attempts. Reese Robinson had a game high 20 points and 13 rebounds in a crushing defeat of Fariview, and Gunner Short had 20 points in a win over Rowan County. Along the way Stewart continued his consistent play, while Taylor is offering production in scoring and those non-measured stats. The Lions look to tie Ashland for a top spot in the district with a victory over Rose Hill this week before facing Elliott County.

3. Morgan County (19-4)
—In the seemingly endless game against Elliott County, the Cougars picked up a win over the Lions this week, improving to 2-1 over Elliott County. The Cougars also picked up a win over East Carter but looked less than impressive against the Raiders zone. The deliberate pace seemed to throw Morgan off forcing bad shots and inconsistent play. Blake Evans shot particularly well in both games, especially from beyond the arc, leading Morgan in scoring in both games. Prater wasn’t far behind in production, while picking up the focus of both opponents defensive scheming. The Cougars will face West Carter, Fairview and Rowan County this week.

4. Bath County (13-10) –The Wildcats continued their up and down season this week losing contests to Russell and Rowan County before defeating a surging Raceland. By virtue of their win over Raceland I’m going to leave them in the same position as last week, but I can personally see Bath County ranked 12 as easily as I can 4. The next 6 teams, especially, are toss ups in terms of rank in the region. A bright spot for Bath this week was big nights from Brown and Otis, offering points to the regulars. Bath needs to take advantage of this week with games against Augusta and West Carter.

5. Raceland (13-8)
—The Rams continued to play well behind the play of Potter and Weaver, with wins over Lewis County and Greenup County, before falling to the unpredictable Bath County Wildcats. With the mid-season emergence of the two big men and contributions of others, Raceland looks to be a dangerous team heading towards district and regional tournaments. Raceland will face Lewis again this week before East Carter and Fairview at home.

6. Russell (10-12) — The Red Devils had a good week with victories over Bath and Lewis County’s. Even with down games Hale is still leading his team, but what the Devils needed most, they have found…scorers. Russell had 5 players in double figures in their win against Bath County, none of which were Hale. The Red Devils are much improved from the beginning of the season, and look to improve on their record with games against West Carter and Fleming County this week.

7. Elliott County (9-10) – The Lions had a rough week this week, but they also had rough competition. The Lions picked up losses to two of the best in the region, Ashland and Morgan County, after collecting a win over the Comets of West Carter. The Lions are still plagued with inconsistent, seemingly disorganized play. They have a full schedule this week, facing Greenup and Menifee before playing Boyd County at home.

8. Rowan County (12-12) – The Vikings split games this week, with a win over Bath County before falling to Boyd County at Boyd County. Madden and Sizemore are playing well, behind the play calling of Thacker, but struggle with focus and defense at times. Rowan County has a rough week ahead with games at George Washington (WV) and Ashland.

9. East Carter (8-11) — The Raiders couldn’t have been looking forward to this past week with Morgan and Boyd County on the schedule. Even thought they both ended in defeat, the deliberate play and zone defense caused both opponents trouble and disrupted their normal rhythm. The Raiders will continue to play slow ball but they are going to have to find consistent scoring to turn these close games into wins. East will face Rowan, Raceland and Fairview, all away this week.

10. Lewis County (12-12) — After a good win over Rowan County this week, Lewis dropped two, Raceland and Russell. Both teams are on an uptick at the moment, but Lewis seems to be following the inverse path. The Lions have had stretches of impressive play this year, but have been very inconsistent as of late. Lewis looks to reverse it’s fortune this week with matchups Raceland, Fleming and Greenup.

11. Greenup County (7-14)
—Seemingly nothing went right for the Musketeers this week. Greenup dropped all four games, losing to Wheelersburg, Lawrence County, Raceland and Paintsville. A lack of experience is showing in a lack of focus and defense. Greenup looks to change it’s fortune in matchups against Elliott and Lewis this week.

12. Fleming County (9-16) — After a rough start to the season Fleming is making a comeback of sorts. The Panthers picked up two wins this week before losing to a much better Montgomery County team. Josh Crump, consistently improving, put up 42 points in a game against Harrison County. They look to continue their improvement against Lewis, Bracken and Russell.

13. Fairview (7-15) —Following a good win over Raceland, the Eagles struggled and lost games to Boyd County and Phelps. In what was a close game early in the year, Boyd County defeated the Eagles by nearly 30. Fairview is rather inexperienced and it shows, especially away from their home court. The Eagles face Morgan, East and Raceland this week.

14. Menifee County (6-13) —The Menifee County slide continued this week, dropping two more games including a matchup with Fleming County. Barnett is still playing well, but lacks the support to improve above their current status. Menifee will face Elliott and Nicholas this week.

15. West Carter (7-13)
—West Carter’s split games this week, but played Elliott closely at home. Coach Webb is working with his kids, but they are young and struggling. The Comets will face Morgan, Russell, Bath and Lewis this week.

16. Rose Hill (7-14)
—The Royals dropped three games this week. The Royals will have a difficult start to the upcoming week, with an in-district game against Boyd County.