16th Region Basketball in Review

True to form, the region was unpredictable at best this week. Ashland fell to out-of-region Mason County. West Carter, Fairview and Menifee County all ranked in the bottom tier of the region picked up unexpected wins. The district tournaments are on the horizon and the outcome of each is still very much a toss up with the exception of, maybe, the 64th. The final week won’t alter the post season matchups, but will provide one last glimpse at the current state of each of the teams.

1. Ashland (20-3) – Surprisingly, the Tomcats only game over the week ended in defeat. The Tomcats caught Mason County’s up and down season on a high point, allowing career highs for multiple players. Viller’s was able to score 41-points in the loss, but it wasn’t nearly enough in a high scoring contest that saw the Tomcats down by 20 points in the second half. The Tomcat’s face West Carter and Russell this week. Regardless of loss, the Tomcats still seem to be a small step ahead of Boyd and Morgan. Ashland ended up with the tougher end of the district draw, facing Fairview in the first round.

2. Boyd County (21-6)
— The Lions had another productive week, collecting 3 wins in 3 games. Boyd picked up a district tying victory against Rose Hill this week, along with good wins against Rowan County and Elliott County. Elliott played the Lions close through the majority of the contest, but Boyd showed toughness in the away matchup, pulling ahead late. The Lions are consistently playing well at every position, and seem to be more comfortable with the Gunner Short adjusted lineup.

3. Morgan County (21-5) —In a week of nail bitingly close matchups the Cougars were able to collect two wins, while dropping one against Fairview. They did collect an overtime victory over the Comets of West Carter, and a 2-point victory over Rowan County. Morgan has proven to be capable of winning consistently, and are very well coached making them a top contender in the Region. They, through luck of the draw, are the top seed in the 62nd, and will face West Carter in the first round. Before that time comes, the Cougars have regular season games against Greenup and Powell Counties.

4. Bath County (14-11)
–This week personifies the season of the Bath County Wildcats. Not only did they split their games, they won the first by 35 and lost the second by 26. The Wildcats lost to West Carter, a very young, but well coached, team. Bath County, behind Pergrem, Otis and Williams are capable of being a very good team, but are also capable of cold, long nights. The Wildcats round out the season with games against Fairview, Johnson Central and Lewis County.

5. Raceland (14-10) —After an upswing the Rams ran off the rails this week, then finished strong with a 30 point victory over Fairview. Leading up to the win, though, Raceland dropped games to East Carter, Lewis County and Bath County. Overall, the Rams looked a bit out of sorts and lackadaisical. Raceland did get scoring from outside of Potter and Weaver this week, but at the same time the big guys weren’t as effective. The Rams have two more chances to work out the kinks before districts, facing Menifee County and West Carter.

6. Russell (12-12) — The Red Devils had another good week with victories over West Carter and Fleming County. Bobby Hale is still the leader of this team, but as in the past few weeks, Whitt is contributing much needed scoring and rebounding. Overall, Russell is one of the most improved teams in relation to where they were at the beginning of the season. Russell will face one of their toughest weeks of the season in the last one squaring off against Elliott County and Ashland.

7. Elliott County (9-12) – The Lions downturn continued this week with disappointing losses to Morgan and Menifee County, before playing Boyd County well, but ultimately falling to the Lions at home. The same issues seem to still be plaguing the Lions, with disorganized and inconsistent play. Losing the coin toss for the districts top spot, means the Lions will face a surging East Carter Raiders team in the first round. Elliott has one more regular season matchup against Russell to work out the kinks.

8. Rowan County (13-14) – The Vikings are still playing much better than early in the season, but still split their games this week defeating East Carter in a close matchup before dropping a tight game to Morgan County. Sizemore and Madden are stepping up and leading a well-coached rowan County squad. The Vikings will face Mason County and Fairview in the final week of the regular season.

9. Lewis County (15-13)
— Lewis County may be the hardest team in the region to figure out, not that many are very predictable. After a couple of rough weeks, the Lions picked up victories this week over Raceland, Greenup County and West Carter. Offut is stepping up at the right time, with contributions from a rotating supporting cast. Lewis County finishes the regular season with Augusta and Bath County.

10. East Carter (10-14) — Even with a loss to Rowan County, the Raiders had a good week with victories over Raceland and Fairview, both away games. The Raiders won, by controlling the tempo of the games and through scoring and hard play, especially from Damron and Bush. The remainder of the year will be an uphill fight for the Raiders, facing Estill County, Boyd County and will face Elliott County in the first round of the district tournament.

11. Fleming County (11-18) — After a rough start to the season Fleming was making a run but had a setback this week, winning two and dropping two. The Panthers defeated Lewis and Bracken County before dropping games to Russel and Buckhorn. Even in defeat, Fleming County is much better than early in the season, behind the play of Crump. They will travel to Greenup County for their final regular season game.

12. Greenup County (7-15) —Greenup County, unfortunately for them, is struggling at the wrong time of the season. Their schedule is not going to get any easier this week with matchups against Boyd, Morgan and Fleming County. If there is a bright spot, they are all at home. Gammon and Hughes have provided the only bit of consistency the Musketeers have had this year, but so far it hasn’t been enough.

13. Fairview (8-17)
—This week typified the season for the Eagles, in that they have struggled with random bright spots. Fairview beat a good Morgan County team but dropped games to East Carter, Raceland and Phelps. With Bath and Rowan County to finish the regular season, the Eagles have Ashland to look forward to in the first round of the district tournament.

14. Menifee County (8-15) — After a long slide Menifee bounced back with big victories over Elliott County and Nicholas County this week. Menifee faces Raceland, Estill County and Williamstown to finish out the season, regardless of outcome it would be hard to see Menifee making a big post season push.

15. West Carter (8-16)
— Coach Webb’s young team pulled off a big win over Bath County this week, but fell to Lewis County, Russell and Morgan County. The end of the season is not looking favorable to the Comets with Ashland and Raceland on the schedule.

16. Rose Hill (7-16) —The Royals played dropped an in-district game against Boyd County, the team they will also play in the first round of the district tournament.