1. Owensboro Red Devils
Coach: Rod Drake -- Last Year: 23-8 - 3rd Region & 9th District Champions
Key Losses: Darion Wimsatt 19 ppg
: The Red Devils defeated Breckenridge County in overtime, to win the 3rd Region title last season. An injury to their best player, Darion Wimsatt may have cost them in the Sweet 16, but the Devils are primed for another run in 2020. They return a ton of size in their front court in Gavin Wimsatt (10 ppg / 7 rpg), Jaden Greathouse ( 9ppg / 6 rpg) and Issac Humphrey. They also return Amari Robinson Wales, who is coming of a big sophomore season. Expect Robinson-Wales to step into the scoring role left by Wimsatt. The Devils are also bringing in a class of freshman who won the middle school state title last season. Freshman Kenyatta Carbon, Talas Taylor, Cayman Powell and Ethan Pendelton could contribute to this years team. On paper, the Devils are, by far, the deepest team inside the region. As usual, Coach Drake will test his team with a difficult schedule. They will see University Heights, Warren Central, Elizabethtown and Bowling Green this season.

2. Owensboro Catholic Aces
Coach: Tim Riley -- Last Year 18-12 - 3rd Region Semifinalists
Key Losses: John Parker 15 ppg / 8 rpg, Peyton Survant & Ty Vincent
While the Aces lost their leader in John Parker, they will return a very nice cast this season. As soon as Drew Hartz's Mr Football campaign comes to an end, he should step right in as the leader of this Owensboro Catholic team. They also return sophomore point guard Brian Griffith and defensive star Andrew Riney. Coach Riley will look to talented but inexperienced youth to step up and make impacts this season. Guys like Jai Webb, Braden Mundy and Sam McFarland should give the Aces solid minutes. Webb, 6-7, has a chance to be a breakout star this season. There is also word of a solid post player, who has transferred into the program. That should help battle Owensboro in the front court. Coach Riley and the Aces have scheduled big this season with games against Chrisitan County, Central Hardin, Castle, and John Hardin.

3. Ohio County Eagles
Coach: Tony Hopper -- Last Year: 15-16 - 10th District Runner Up
Key Losses: No double digit scorers
Ohio County is coming off what many looked at as a rebuilding year. The Eagles return almost everyone who contributed last year and are expected to have Q Jennings rejoining the roster after 1 year at Grayson County. Sharpshooters Trey Lewis and Tripp Manning will man the back court, while Shane Frady, Grant Tichenor and Hunter Pharis should handle front court duties. Keep an eye on freshman Elijah Decker. Decker logged key minutes as an 8th grader last season and should provide a big lift for the Eagles off the bench. When Tony Hopper has had great success, its been because of steady guard play and the Eagles return the most steady back court in the region.

4. Muhlenberg County Mustangs
Coach: Kyle Eades -- Last Year: 16-11 - 10th District Champions
Key Losses: Nolan Davis, Landon Gunterman
Muhlenberg County is coming off a district title and closed the season strong. Leading scorer, sophomore Nash Divine returns after a great summer in the AAU circuit. The Mustangs also return contributors Issac Rose and Trey Lovell, who can score in bunches. Look for Hayden Perkins to man the paint and returns as the teams leading rebounder. Coach Eades could also turn to an incoming electric freshman, Chandler Moore. It always seems that the Mustangs schedule up, and this year is no different. They have games against Hopkinsville, Bowling Green and a holiday tournament at Lexington Christian.

5. Apollo Eagles
Coach: Steve Barker -- Last Year: 3-25
Key Losses: The Eagles didn't lose 1 player from last seasons roster
Some may raise an eyebrow at the top 5 rankings for the Eagles after a 3 win season last year. Coach Steve Barker had Apollo competing in every game at the end of the season last year, with very limited varsity experience. Look for Malik Wilson (11 ppg) to be a standout for Apollo all season long. He is arguably the most athletic player in the region. Role players like Harrison Bowman, Cameron Frantz, Ryan Ash, and Dan St Claire will all improve after a year of big minutes under their belt. Mid season transfer Jamen Kinison is expected to contribute at point guard and should lower the amount of unforced errors this season. A player to watch for Apollo is sophomore, Dylon Talbott. He flashed moments of brilliance last season, and should take a big step forward after a year in Apollo's strength and conditioning program. Apollo plays a schedule that should have them ready for an always tough 9th district tournament.

6. Mclean County Cougars
Coach: Darren Lynam -- Last Year: 11-15
Key Losses: No double digit scorers
Mclean County hired Darren Lynam to take over as Head Coach of the Cougars this season. Lynam comes over a year removed from leading Hancock County to some of their best seasons in school history. It was a great move by the Cougars who return a very talented core of players, led by Logan Paterson. Paterson is the leading returning scorer in the region at 21 points per game. He also pulled 10 boards per outing. He will be joined by sharp shooting Jacob Clark. Clark put up 14 points per game last season. Athletic Brady Dame also nearly averaged a double double last season with 8 points and 10 boards per game. Brayden Bishop will give the Cougars key minutes. If Mclean can find a steady point guard this season, they should be able to compete for a spot in the regional tournament in a loaded 10th district.

7. Breckenridge County Tigers
Coach: Patrick Critchelow -- Last Year 28-4 - 3rd Region Runner Up & 11th District Champs
Key Losses: 3rd Region POY Kobe Poole (21 ppg/ 5 rpg), Cole Tabor, Tanner Whitworth
The Tigers came within seconds of winning the 3rd region title last season. They lost a strong core of seniors that had amazing careers in Harned. All is not lost, however. Kaveon Mitchell will return to lead the Tigers this season. Gritty defensive star, Brock Lucas also returns to the lineup this season. The Tigers may have to take some lumps early, while they adjust to the loss of a lot of senior leadership, but will have enough talent to keep them in the running for another 11th District title.

8. Meade County Greenwave
Coach: Jason Tripure -- Last Year: 12-18 - 11th District Runner Up
Key Losses: Double digit scorers Chezney Weick, Peyton Cole and Chris Armstead
The Waves are going to have to replace a lot of their offensive production from last season. The good news is, they have some young talent that is expected to jump right into those roles. It starts with Chaney Weick. The younger Weick averaged 10 points per game last season. He will be joined by Casey Turner, Mitchell Dozier, Canon Decker and Cooper Crump this season. Expect Coach Tripure to have Meade competing with anyone inside the region by seasons end. He has proven to be one of the most consistent coaches in this region over the past 5 years. A schedule mixed with 3rd Region and 5th Region opponents should prepare them to challenge for an 11th district championship this year.

9. Daviess County Panthers
Coach: Neil Hayden -- Last Year: 10-15
Key Losses: Dakota Walden and Gavin Ray
The Panthers will have hard time replacing the production of Dakota Walden this season. Walden not only averaged 26 points per game last season, but he made everyone around him better. The good news for Coach Hayden, he has a great incoming freshman class. Cole Burch and Decker Renfrow could contribute right away for the Panthers. They will join returning players Christopher Hillard, Cameron Johnson, Will Barron and Ryan Thompson. Coach Hayden has a solid track record of getting the absolute most out of his teams, so you can expect the Panthers to improve as the season moves along and be in position to compete in a very difficult 9th district.

10. Edmonson County Wildcats
Coach: Michael McClintic -- Last Year: 12-18 - 12th District Runner Up
Key Losses: No double digit scorers
Coach McClintic has done a terrific job competing for district titles at Edmonson County. After an up and down regular season last year, the Cats fell just short of their 2nd straight district title, in overtime. They return the core of that team, led by Chaz Wilson. Wilson averaged a double double last season, with 12 points and 10 boards per game. Joining him will be Dalton Decker ( 13 ppg ) and Nick Clemmons ( 8ppg). Edmonson County enters the season as the favorites in the 12th.

11. Grayson County Cougars
Coach: Travis Johnston -- Last Year 17-15 - 12th District Champions
Key Losses: Spencer Sharp and Q Jennings
The Cougars are coming off a district championship last season. Q Jennings has headed back to Ohio County and the Cougars will miss his athleticism. Nolan Shartzer returns to lead this years group. Shartzer put up 13 points and 5 boards last season. Coach Johnston had his team improving all season long last year and has enough young talent around Shartzer to repeat as 12th district champions.

12. Butler County Bears
Coach: Calvin Dockery -- Last Year 14-11
Key Losses: Jaden Hurt ( 14ppg / 6 ppg) and Justin Elms ( 10 ppg)
The Bears will have a chance to win an always wide open 12th District this season. They return their leading scorer in Parker Rice. Rice put up 17 points per game last year and 8 rebounds. Coach Dockery will look to returning role players Soloman Fleener and Levi McMillin to take bigger roles this season. The Bears have a very talented and athletic sophomore class that could emerge this season.

13. Hancock County Hornets
Coach: Mike Orr -- Last Year: 6-22
Key Losses: Jaxson Gray 17 points per game
The Hornets are coming off a disappointing season. Coach Orr, in his second year, will look to mix in a very talented freshman class with guys like Mason Potts and Eric Elder. Potts and Elder put up 9 points per game each. The Hornets have a schedule that should garner some wins, but they will need to make up ground if they want a shot to compete with Meade County and Breckenridge County in the 11th district.

14. Whitesville Trinity Raiders
Coach: Nathan West -- Last Year 13-16
Key Losses: Trenton Morris ( 13ppg), Joe Brown and Cameron Wright
The Raiders bring a lot of youth and balance back to the court this season. Expect them to compete for a regional tournament spot again this season. They will be led by Ethan Howard, who is the top returning scorer for the Raiders at 10 points per game. Look for Brenden Wathen and Landon Hall to give valuable minutes for Coach West this season.

15. Cloverport Aces
Coach: Jason Hurst -- Last Year 1-28
Key Losses: No seniors lost
First year Coach Jason Hurst takes over with an experienced returning cast this season. Noah Pate is the top returning scorer at 12 points per game and is also the teams leading rebounder at 8 boards per outing. Xander Jennings and Devon Farris both contributed last season as well. With the schedule the Aces play, double digit wins would be a solid goal for the first year Head Coach.

TOP 10 PLAYERS - The Region is so young and graduated so much last year, that it makes it very difficult to rank the players. These rankings are simply based on the eye ball test from what they showed last season. Expect this list to look much different by the end of the season.

1. Gavin Wimsatt - C - Owensboro - Gavin was the best player on the floor for most of the 3rd Region Tournament last season, as a freshman. He stepped up and led the Devils to state when Darion Wimsatt had to leave the game due to injury. Once he gets into basketball shape, expect him to be in the running for player of the year.

2. Amari Robinson Wales - G - Owensboro - Flashed as a sophomore with multiple 20 point games. He finished the season at a 10 points per game average. That should increase with a larger role in the offense this season.

3. Drew Hartz - G/F - Owensboro Catholic - the Mr Football Candidate broke onto the scene for the Aces basketball team last season, and at times looked like their best player. He will be stepping into the leadership role of a younger team this season. His numbers should increase with a larger role this season.

4. Logan Patterson - F - Mclean County - Patterson returns as the regions top scorer at 21 points per game. He averages a double double with 10 boards per game as well. Look for him to have a player of the year caliber season under new head coach Darren Lynam.

5. Malik Wilson - G - Apollo - Wilson may be the best overall athlete on this list. He sat half the year last season, but when he returned to the lineup he showed that he had really improved as a scoring threat from anywhere on the floor. Malik is also one of the best defensive players in the region.

6. Kaveon Mitchell - G - Breckenridge County - Mitchell only averaged 7 points per game last season, but his ability to defend the perimeter was his primary role last season. This year he will be asked to do a lot more, and with his athleticism, expect his offensive output to increase, while maintaining his spot as one of the top defensive players in the region.

7. Nash Divine - G - Muhlenberg County - Nash is coming off a freshman season where he led the Mustangs in scoring at 12 points per game. He had a fantastic summer and will be looking to increase those scoring numbers this season as the sophomore leader of his team.

8. Parker Rice - C - Butler County - Rice is arguably the best big man in the region. He is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 17 points and 8 boards. With the graduation of his teammate, Jaden Hurt, you can expect those numbers to rise even more this season.

9. Chaz Wilson - F - Edmonson County - Chaz doesn't get a lot of love inside the 3rd Region because Edmonson County is so far out of the heart of the region but the kid can play. He put up a double double average as a sophomore with 14 points and 10 rebounds per game.

10. Trey Lewis - G - Ohio County - Trey is one of the best 3 point shooters in the region, shooting it a 41% clip last season. With a couple of years of varsity experience under his belt, he should thrive in Coach Hoppers system this season.

FRESHMAN WATCH LIST - Expect there to be a lot of top performing underclassmen in the 3rd Region this year. Here are some Freshman that should see some solid minutes this season...

Kenyatta Carbon - Owensboro - Led OMS to a state title at the point guard spot
Cole Burch & Decker Renfrow - Daviess County - were a big part of one of the only teams that beat OMS last season
Elijah Decker - Ohio County - has already logged several key minutes for the varsity Eagles
Chandler Moore - Muhlenberg - a versitle 6-3 kid who can shoot or play down low. He can also bring the ball up the floor if needed. Could provide some immedate minutes for the Mustangs.