Bluegrasspreps.com 2017 - Inside the 8th Region - 1-4-18

  1. ColonelMike's Avatar
    First off, many, many thanks to everyone - to Ru, True Blue and Gold, and all of you for your patience in awaiting this week's update. As some of you know, I've been struggling with some health issues that have resulted in my having to deal with rather intense pain at times. Over the holidays, this worsened to the point where the pain was a 24/7 thing, and I simply couldn't concentrate on what I was writing. I was able to do a couple of broadcasts earlier this week, but came home from both so exhausted and in so much pain I wasn't able to draft the update.

    Anyway, I'm doing a bit better. So....you're still stuck with me(!) Thank you for your patience this week...now let's take a look at Region 8 as we start the New Year!

    District Round-up

    District 29 (seeding records)
    Oldham County 1-0
    South Oldham 1-0
    North Oldham 1-0
    Trimble County 0-1

    All three Oldham teams have defeated Trimble County, ensuring Trimble will be the four seed in the 29th district tourney, to be held at North Oldham. We'll start to flesh out the other seeds beginning tomorrow night, when Oldham County faces South Oldham in Crestwood.

    District 30
    Collins 1-0
    Spencer Co. 0-0
    Anderson Co. 0-0
    Shelby County 0-1

    Only one district seeding game so far, as Collins defeated their cross-town rival Shelby County. Lots to be determined here. Shelby plays Anderson this Friday and Collins a week later in two key matchups. Spencer hosts Collins this Friday, a big chance for the Bears to rain on the defending 8th region champs' parade...

    District 31
    Gallatin County 5-0
    Henry County 3-2
    Carroll County 2-2
    Eminence 0-3
    Owen County 0-3

    All the teams in the 31st play each other twice, so the seeding games are well underway. Gallatin has staked out a clear case as the #1 seed in this district. Big game January 5th as Gallatin travels to Carrollton. Meanwhile, Henry County needs to take care of business against Owen County on January 5th to keep the pressure on Gallatin.

    District 32
    Grant County 2-0
    Walton-Verona 0-0
    Simon Kenton 0-0
    Williamstown 0-2

    Not much settled early here, but Grant County has put themselves in as good a position as possible, beating Williamstown twice, while waiting for the two favorites to duke it out. That clash happens January 5th, as SK travels to Walton-Verona.

    On to this week's rankings:

    The Top Five

    1. Oldham County (13-1) Last week: 1 The Colonels continue to set the pace in the 8th this year, even though they dropped their first game of the year while in a tournament in Florida last week (to St. Andrew's Episcopal from Potomac, MD). Despite the loss, Oldham remains one of just five teams in KY who have yet to lose to a Kentucky team. So far, Oldham has the best record against Region 8 teams, going 4-0, with victories over Walton-Verona, Grant County, Anderson County, and Trimble County. Oldham continues to shoot the ball well, hitting 52.9% of their shots overall, despite having played some premier competition. Jackson Gibson continues to make a strong POY case, averaging 17.6 ppg, while hitting 58.2% from the field - an almost unheard of shooting percentage from a guard. Upcoming: 1/5 @ South Oldham 1/6 Oldenberg Academy (IN) at the KY/IN Hall of Fame Classic at Central Hardin HS

    2. Walton-Verona (10-4) Last week: 2 Walton took a couple of tumbles there in the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic, where they went 2-2, but Walton again took on all-comers in a historically strong tournament. Among their wins was a 10 point victory over 11-win Pendleton County; their only loss to a KY team in the tourney was a 20 point defeat in their final game against Louisville Doss in which they shot just 35.9% and scored 42 points, their lowest point total against a KY team. Upcoming: HUGE game in the 32nd district as Walton-Verona hosts Simon Kenton Friday, 1/5/18.

    3. Collins (9-4) Last week: 3 The Titans remain at #3, despite taking two losses recently. The reason? Though the Titans weren't very competitive in the two losses, the defeats were to two of the top 5 teams in the state: Ballard (lost by 31) and #1 Trinity (lost by 23). The Titans also played Newport, a ten win team from the 9th region, and beat the Wildcats by 14 points. Collins continues to be an extremely balanced offensive team, with four players averaging in double figures. Nick Fort leads the way at 17.1 ppg while connecting on 57.6% of his shots(!) Jacob Feltner has hit 36 threes (at 43.4%), and Dayvion Knight and Marcellus Vail are both averaging about 12 ppg. Upcoming: 1/5/18 - at Spencer County in a key district matchup 1/6 @ Grant county and 1/9 @ South Oldham.

    4. Simon Kenton (9-3) Last week: #4 The Pioneers went down to the Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge at South Laurel and came back still looking for a defining signature win. After whipping Whitley County in the first game, the Pioneers faced 11-win North Laurel and 10-win South Laurel, and dropped two games by 7 and 5 points, respectively. It continues to be difficult to gauge where this team rates within the 8th region, because they haven't played an 8th region foe to date, but that will change tomorrow night when SK travels to play at Walton-Verona. Upcoming: 1/5 @ Walton-Verona 1/6 Johnson Central

    5. Gallatin County (12-3) Last week: #5 The Gallatin County Wildcats continue to roll up the wins and cementing their status as the favorite in the 31st District. Gallatin has won their last two games, and four of their last five, to improve to 12-3, but their wins continue to come with question marks. An weak schedule has made it difficult to measure the Wildcats; before drubbing Eminence in their last outing, Gallatin had defeated their four previous opponents - all teams with losing records - by just a combined 21 points. Still, Gallatin got a big win early in the year when they scored over 50 points in the second half en route to an 11 point win at Collins. And the word out of Warsaw is that this is another disciplined, cohesive Jon Jones team - and one that is extremely stingy defensively, giving up just 50.3 ppg. At 48.3% overall and 34% beyond the arc, the Cats shoot the ball well, and with three players averaging in double figures, led by Troy Coomer's 16 ppg (almost four players, as Wyatt Bowen averages 9.5 ppg....), Gallatin is hard to guard. Upcoming: 1/5 @ Carroll County in a key 31st district seeding game.

    Three surging teams:

    6. South Oldham (9-5) Last week: 7 South moves up this week, ironically, in part due to an impressive performance in a loss. The Dragons have won 3 of their last 4, including victories over 8-win Marion County and 10-win McCracken County. In the finals of their own Jeff & Julie Beyke Classic, the Dragons dropped their most recent game, but just 60-52 to the 13-0 Butler Bears. Devin Young - who has hit 41 threes this year at 42.7% - continues to be the top scorer for South, and Luke Morrison and Peyton Hicks form the rest of the "big three", but South's recent surge has largely been due to the supporting cast coming into its own. In South's last six games, six different players have scored in double figures. As a team, South continues to score points in bunches, averaging 72.3 ppg.... Additionally, this team's growth to date may also reflect the growth of point guard Sam Beard, who seems to be coming into his own at the 1 spot. upcoming: 1/5/18 - vs. Oldham County in a key 29th district seeding game in Crestwood. 1/9 vs. Collins 1/13 vs Elizabethtown

    7. North Oldham 7-7 Last week: 8 I have to admit it, the Mustangs have impressed me with their rapid improvement. After a 1-4 start, North has won 6 of its last 9 games, including victories over Spencer County and Elizabethtown. At the same time, two of those three losses (the third was to a Pennsylvania school) were to George Rogers Clark, one of the top 2 teams in the tenth region, by two points on a last-second putback (after North had led by 12 in the first half) and to powerful Waggener by 8 in a game that was a 2 point game with less than a minute to play. Simply put, the Mustangs have improved by leaps and bounds in a short, short period of time. Justin Rose continues to lead the way at 19.2 pg / 6 rebounds, but Dylan Yates is giving him good scoring support at 10.4 per contest. How good North is will be severely tested over their next three games as they follow the Waggener game with Valley (8-4), Butler (13-0), and Oldham County (13-1). Butler and Oldham County are two of the last five teams in the state without a loss to a KY team.... Upcoming: 1/5 Valley 1/6 Butler 1/12 @ Oldham County

    8. Spencer County (9-5) Last week: 9 The Bears also move up this week as they are one of the hottest teams in the 8th Region, having won 6 of their last 7. A young team, Spencer has a lot of freshmen on this squad, but one - Sam Conley - has really made a difference since coming back from an injury. In the six games before Conley returned, the Bears scored over 60 points just three times....in the eight games since, they have hit the 60+ point mark five times. Conley himself leads the team in scoring at 13.1 ppg and his dunk against Nelson County in the Bears' last game was a thing of beauty. Jackson Cole is averaging 12.9 ppg and is something of a statistical anomaly...The 6'0" junior has made 54 field goals so far this year - and 50 of those have been threes. Beyond the arc, Cole is hitting an amazing 45.9% of his shots. Five players average between 8.5 ppg and 13.1 ppg, making this a very difficult team to scheme against, defensively.... Like the Lion in "Wizard of Oz", the Bears simply need a medal to certify themselves as one of the region elites...in this case, the "medal" needs to come in the form of a signature victory. The Bears will get that opportunity in the upcoming games.... UPCOMING: 1/5 vs. Collins 1/9 @ Oldham County

    The Rest - In Flux
    9. Anderson County (4-8) Last week: #6 It's a tough time in Lawrenceburg, where the Bearcats have now lost 5 of their last 6 games, and are currently playing without star center Christian Gritton, who has re-aggravated that ankle injury. As such, Anderson slips three spots this week. Anderson's only quality win over a Kentucky team was their narrow 69-67 victory over South Oldham in mid-December. I continue to believe that Anderson is a lot better than they are showing - with or without Gritton - but they just haven't been able to show it yet. Still, Cobe Penny is Cobe Penny, and he's still the favorite to win the 8th region Player of the Year Award (23.5 ppg) and Dylan Pittman is having a premier season as well, averaging 13.6 ppg. Perhaps most promising for Glen Drury's squad is what appears to be the emergence of Tyler Rice at guard. Time will tell. UPCOMING: 1/5 @ Carroll County

    10. Grant County (5-9) Last week: 10 The Braves are starting to show some life after winning their last two games and averaging 83 ppg in the two. Grant continues to be one of the elite scoring teams in the region, having tallied 61 or more points in 11 of 14 contests this season. Luke Dawalt continues to be the big man on campus - literally - as the 6'4" sophomore is averaging 16 ppg and 9.5 rebounds. He also continues to be one of the region's top outside shooters, hitting 29 of 54 threes for 53.7%. Grant has a great opportunity to make noise against some of the better teams over their next five games. UPCOMING: 1/6 Collins, 1/9 @ Montgomery County 1/12 @ Pendleton County 1/15 Scott County 1/19 Simon Kenton

    11. Carroll County (5-10) Last week: 13 Stockbrokers will tell you it's all about "trends"...and the Panthers seem to be trending up, and they move up two spots this week. A 49-47 win over district rival Henry County in their last game put the Panthers back in the mix for the district #1 seed. It was the fifth game in a six game home stand for Carroll that - to date - has only resulted in 2 wins versus 3 losses, but which has seen the Panthers 1) fall to Bethlehem by just 7, 2) beat St. Francis, 3) lost to a 10-win Central Hardin team by just a 65-61 score, 4) lose to a 9-win Clinton County team by a respectable 12 point margin, and 5) bounce back for the big district seeding win over Henry County. Since a slow start, Carroll has been a competitive team of late and now looks favored to finish at 5-3 in district seeding play, which might give them the #2 seed and put them in the bracket opposite district favorite Gallatin in the 31st district tourney. Wyatt Supplee had 22 points in the win over Henry County, including 3 of 7 threes.... UPCOMING: 1/5 vs. Gallatin County - an upset win over the Wildcats could change the course of the 31st ... 1/9 vs. Trimble County in the 8th Region All-A

    12. Henry County (7-7) Last week: #11 The Wildcats are struggling a bit, having lost their last two and 5 of their last 7. Three of the five losses were to teams with losing records. Henry has balanced scoring...five players average between 7 - 11.4 ppg, with Landon Morgan leading the way at 11.4 points / contest...but the Wildcats as a team are averaging just 56.3 ppg. Still, the Cats largely control their own destiny in the battle for the #2 seed in the 31st district. Seeding games vs Owen County on 1/5 and at Eminence on 1/16 will be pivotal; Henry will be favored in both and can go into their final seeding game vs. Gallatin County with a 5-2 seeding record. Even if Gallatin defeats them, a 5-3 mark may be good enough for the #2 seed. UPCOMING: 1/5 vs. Owen County 1/6 vs. Lloyd Memorial 1/9 vs. Walden 1/11 vs. Bullitt Central

    13. Trimble County (6-8) Last week: #14 The Raiders have actually lost 7 of their last 10, but Trimble has played some pretty tough teams during that stretch, including South Oldham, North Oldham, Oldham County, and Berea. The schedule starts to get a little easier from here on out, and there are some hints that this veteran Trimble team is improving. In the Raiders first 7 games, they averaged 58.9 ppg; in the last 7, the Raiders have averaged 69.6 ppg. Reece Webster has the hot hand; after scoring just 6 points in the season opener against Burgin, Webster has been in double figures in 12 straight games, with a high of 29 points against North Oldham. UPCOMING: 1/5 vs Southwestern (Hanover, IN), 1/9-Carroll County (8th Region All A) 1/16 @ Gallatin County

    14. Shelby County (2-11) Last week: #12 Didn't think this was possible two weeks ago - Shelby County ranked this low - but the Rockets have gone from a team losing close games to good teams to a team that's just struggling to find a win, period. The Rockets have tons of potential, but right now are riding the region's second-longest losing streak at 7. The trip to Bardstown for the Nelson County Classic was a tough pill for this proud program, as Shelby lost all three games they played, including losses to Nelson County (4-10) and Caverna (6-8). The Rockets shot just 37.9% over the three games. The first task may be finding a "go-to" scorer: Taurius Robinson currently leads the Rockets in scoring and rebounding at 7.7 ppg and 6.5 rebounds / game. Wouldn't be surprised to see this team mount a late-season surge; there's too much talent on this squad and five of the Rockets' losses to date have come by 5 points or less. But in a challenging 30th district, the Rockets may be a long-shot to make the region. UPCOMING: 1/5 - Anderson County. This is a big seeding game for two teams currently struggling. 1/12 - @ Collins

    15. Eminence (8-8) Last week: #15 Eminence is doing some things right, and as a result, they've won 7 of their last 9 games, righting the ship after a 1-6 start. Right now, the Warriors are starting to beat the teams they should beat, and taking care of business in those games is always the first order of business. Eminence, however, is just 1-5 against 8th Region opposition, and is coming off a 78-52 shellacking at the hands of 31st district power Gallatin County, in which the Warriors made just 34% of their field goals. Still, despite an 0-3 mark in the district to date, Eminence still has the opportunity to win enough seeding games to get a 3 seed in the district tournament, which would put them in the bracket opposite district favorite Gallatin County. UPCOMING: 1/5 vs. Williamstown 1/9 @ Owen County 1/13 @ Owsley County

    16. Owen County (2-11) Last week: #16 Owen heads into this weekend on a four game losing skid, but plays Friday against Henry County in a game that is probably a must-win to keep the Rebels out of a 4 or 5 seed in the district tourney. Lack of offense continues to be the problem for Devin Duvall's team; the Rebels have scored 50 points or more in only 4 games this season, while shooting just 41.8% from the field, 26.1% from beyond the arc, and 58.7% at the line. UPCOMING: 1/5 @ Henry County 1/9 Eminence (8th Region All-A)

    17. Williamstown (0-10) Last week: #17 The Demons continue to search for that elusive first win of the season, and unfortunately have to keep playing on the road. To date, Williamstown has played away from home in 7 of their 10 games, and most of their remaining games are also schedule for the road. Like Owen County, the storyline this season continues to be the difficulty in scoring points; the Demons have been held to 45 points or less in 7 of their 10 games. The road doesn't get an easier; after playing at Eminence in their next game, Williamstown plays Iroquois, Gallatin County, Simon Kenton, and Pendleton County - all on the road or on a neutral court. UPCOMING: 1/5 @ Eminence 1/6 Iroquois (at Whitefield Academy) 1/9 Gallatin County (8th Region All-A)

    NEXT WEEK:
    I'll include with the weekly rankings a preview of the 8th Region All-A Classic

    CM
    Last edited by ColonelMike; Jan 4, 18 at 11:25 PM.

  2. #2

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    Good job,,,,,,Get well..

  3. #3
    Runcible Owl's Avatar
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    Well worth the wait. Thank you.

    Feel better ... now!

  4. #4
    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Big games tonight!

    January 5, 2018

    Oldham County at South Oldham (The Pegasus Sports Network - PSN)
    Collins at Spencer County
    Simon Kenton at Walton-Verona
    Gallatin County at Carroll County
    Anderson County at Shelby County
    North Oldham vs. Valley
    Henry County vs. Owen County

    All of the above - except North vs. Valley - are district seeding games and hold playoff importance.

  5. #5
    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Some additional comments about the above rankings, which I meant to include:

    "Three surging teams" - South Oldham, North Oldham, and Spencer County. Right now, I see these three teams as practically indistinguishable in the rankings. Flip a coin a few times, and arrange #6- #8 however you wish.

    North vs. Valley (tonight)
    South vs. Oldham County (tonight)
    Spencer vs. Collins (tonight)

    The above three games may break up this logjam...?

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    Great job, good read as always.

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    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelMike View Post
    Some additional comments about the above rankings, which I meant to include:

    "Three surging teams" - South Oldham, North Oldham, and Spencer County. Right now, I see these three teams as practically indistinguishable in the rankings. Flip a coin a few times, and arrange #6- #8 however you wish.

    North vs. Valley (tonight)
    South vs. Oldham County (tonight)
    Spencer vs. Collins (tonight)

    The above three games may break up this logjam...?
    These three games did result in some interesting results tonight....

    South Oldham 70 Oldham County 60 - South hands the Colonels their first loss against a KY opponent...

    Collins 66 Spencer County 48 - kind of thought this might be closer, but the defending champs made a statement tonight against a good, but very young, Spencer club.

    North Oldham 63 Valley 47 - huge win for a rapidly-improving Mustang squad and a big win for an 8th region team against a strong team from outside region 8. First really big out of region win for a team not named Walton-Verona or Oldham County this season.

  8. #8
    ColonelMike's Avatar
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    Other big district matchups tonight....

    Walton Verona 65 Simon Kenton 62 - Bearcats playing without Miles still get the big win at home to confirm their claim as the favorites in the 32nd.

    Gallatin County 70 Carroll County 43 - Wildcats' win almost clinches the #1 seed for the district tourney.

    Henry County 53 Owen County 45 - nice win for the HC Wildcats, who had been struggling. Gives them a solid grip on a 2 or 3 seed in the district tourney at Owen County.

    Anderson County 47 Shelby County 38 - The Rockets' heartache continues as the Bearcats shut down Shelby's slumping offense.

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    NEERFAN's Avatar
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    I hope you feel good soon, what you do to advocate 8th region hoops is great. Phenomenal thread!

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