I apologize to all that my weekly recap was not as complete as I try to make it normally.
Some additional thoughts regarding the trends in the region....
Oldham County - got to see the Colonels roll through the Pegasus Sports Best in Hoops and was very impressed by the three-day, three-game run. At this point in time, Jackson Gibson of Oldham County has got to be one of the top contenders for Player of the Year in the 8th Region. His 35 point game against #10 John Hardin - while hitting 11 of 13 shots - was masterful. Key developments for Oldham: Travis Henderson has played the most aggressive ball I've ever seen this young man play around the glass. Oldham needs to have this December version of Henderson come March if they want to beat the likes of Walton-Verona, with their waves of big men.
Walton-Verona - Like Oldham, W-V really represented the region well this past week, in the toughest holiday tournament in the state. Between OC and WV, the 8th was 6-1 against non-region opponents.
Collins - making the anticipated move up. Collins simply went out and took care of business in the SKIT. The Titans weren't all that impressive in their first two wins, but got the job done - and saved their best effort for the championship game against Scott. Collins has now won 4 straight....#1 Trinity is on tap for January 2nd!
Grant County - got to watch the Braves in three games in the Best of Hoops....I still think this team is better than its record, but Joe Utter's team will have to cut down on the turnovers, and they still must solve the dilemma of who is crashing the offensive glass when Dawalt is shooting the threes. It's a real dilemma: Dawalt is a premier three point shooter (52%!), but when he's outside, it's almost always a one-and-done trip for the Braves if he misses.
Spencer County - like Collins, the Bears are starting to make their move up. Getting Conley back has been huge, and Spencer has lost just once since then. I have to think the Bears have the first week or so in January circled in red. So far, Spencer is 0-2 in the region against two above-average teams; a home game against Collins on 1/5 and an away game at Oldham County on 1/9 will give the Bears a chance to stake a serious claim to top-5 ranking.
Anderson County - Not many teams playing a schedule like Glen Drury's squad. Anderson is just 3-6....but....they've played nine opponents with a combined record of 61-30, including #1 Trinity, Walton-Verona, Oldham County, Mercer County, Bowling Green, ad nauseum. And in their final 17 games, they'll play 10th region powerhouse Campbell County (currently 10-1), Somerset (10-1), Perry County Central (5-4), Central Hardin (6-3), Spencer County (6-4), Collins (7-2), Gallatin County (9-2), Lafayette (8-2), and Simon Kenton (8-1). This is going to be a battle-hardened squad come tourney time....
South Oldham - South has played a credible schedule to date, but they have a big opportunity for some really big wins this week in their own tourney. Ranked teams Butler (undefeated), St. X (in some polls), and Waggener await. The Dragons could really stake out a claim with some key wins this week....
Henry County - The Wildcats need a "feel-good" performance. The Swauger tournament included a loss to Bellevue, which didn't help the resume. The next chance to move the needle upward comes on January 11th, against the 8-win Bullitt Central Cougars. This would seem to be a solid opportunity for the Wildcats to get an upset win and propel what has been a good season to date, perhaps into something more special.
Simon Kenton - Is Kelly Niece the freshman of the year in the 8th region?? If not, he's one of a select few in consideration...Sam Conley of Spencer also merits consideration....Other top freshmen making noise....Trevor Hardin of Henry County...Keishaun Mumphrey of Carroll County... others??