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Fourth Region Rankings

1) Warren Central (18-3) - 1/23 69-56 W at #11 South Warren, 1/26 57-66 L #2 Bowling Green
Previous Rank: 1
This Week: 1/30 vs. Taylor County, 2/2 vs. #7 Warren East, 2/3 at Elizabethtown

A huge run in the second quarter decided each game for the Dragons this week. Unfortunately for them, only one of those was by them. The Dragons blew open the game against South Warren with a 19-1 run, turning a 4 point lead into 22 midway through the quarter. Perhaps it was ominous that the Dragons then sleptwalked through much of the rest of the game, including immediately allowing 9-0 after that run, but their win put them in striking distance of the best record in school history and clinching the top seed in the district. But that was before the Purples smothered Central in a decisive 21-2 run - including 15 in a row - in the second quarter of their game on Friday, flipping a 10 point lead into a 9 point deficit for the Dragons. Most have observed that Bowling Green is likely the only team that can beat Central in the region - now everyone knows that is the case. Central remains the favorite and has the #1 spot still due to the Purples having an additional region loss, but the Dragons have some soul searching to do, and must find the drive and energy that they had in their first game against Bowling Green. Lest the Purples suspect blood in the water....

(Useless note - the Dragons have never had a perfect January. If Central beats Taylor County on Tuesday as expected, this would be the 13th season that they went through January with only a single loss, including 11 times in the last 17 years. This would be the 5th time out of those 13 that Bowling Green was the lone blemish - including four of the past six occurrences. I had it all keyed up for a cool stat but nooooooooo.)

2) Bowling Green (15-7) - 1/22 60-43 W #13 Franklin-Simpson, 1/23 55-50 W at Muhlenberg County, 1/26 66-57 W at #1 Warren Central
Previous Rank: 2
This Week: 1/30 at #11 South Warren, 2/1 vs. University Heights, 2/3 vs. Adair County

Meanwhile a season that was looking a bit lackluster after a loss to Barren County to open the month has brightened considerably. The Purples have now won six of seven since that setback. While they didn't look their best against Franklin or Muhlenberg, and are down a man with Eli Thurman out until at least district, they came up big when they had to in spoiling Warren Central's homecoming, and launching right back into consideration for the top seed in the district. It's their 11th win out of 13 against Central, and they did it with their smothering defense. Usually it's the full court pressure that unnerves teams, but this time it was in the halfcourt set, with the Purples making Central fight for every open look, and feeding off the energy of every missed shot. The Purples held Central to 42% shooting (19/45), and used a very strong night at the foul line (22/26) to make up for their own somewhat lackluster shooting (21/45). BG needs only beat South Warren on Tuesday and Warren East on February 9th to clinch at least a tie for the #1 seed. They haven't lost to East in 20 years - they've NEVER lost to South. Look out, things are looking up for BG.

3) Monroe County (14-6) - No Games
Previous Rank: 3
This Week: 1/30 at #6 Glasgow, 2/2 vs. #15 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/3 vs. North Hardin (at Clinton County)

The Falcons sat the week out thanks to a hole in their schedule where the All "A" was supposed to go - they lost to Clinton County in the finals a week before. Glasgow's loss to Barren County means all Monroe County has to do is win on the road at Glasgow on Tuesday to sew up the top spot in the district. Lose, and they'll need a win on Friday against the Patriots to force a three way tie. Glasgow won the first matchup 80-79.

4) Clinton County (15-8) - 1/25 69-51 W Robertson County, 1/26 33-57 L Walton-Verona
Previous Rank: 5
This Week: 1/30 vs. Campbellsville, 2/2 vs. Madison Southern, 2/3 vs. Somerset

The Bulldogs saw the end of a season high six game win streak when they fell to Walton-Verona in the All "A", but that's a BGP top-20 team. No shame there for Clinton County, which has already grabbed the top spot in the 16th District. Everything now is about readying for the region tournament, and they play only a handful of region games for the rest of the regular season. None are this week.

5) Barren County (13-9) - 1/23 67-54 W at #8 Logan County, 1/26 60-53 W #4 Glasgow, 1/27 56-48 W at #10 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 7
This Week: 1/29 at #12 Russellville, 1/30 at #8 Greenwood, 2/2 vs. Hart County

The Trojans entered this week having received a standing 8-count (to use a boxing analogy). They were 10-9 and looking a bit wobbly. The month has seen a high (68-64 road win over Bowling Green), but many lows (four game losing streak, very close wins over ACS and Franklin). This week got them back on track, with a double digit road win against Logan County and a road win at Todd Central sandwiched around the important district win over Glasgow. Jared Coomer hit his first four from the floor en route to 28 points in that win, giving them a shot to play back into the top seed. They'll now root for Glasgow to knock off Monroe County - who has twice beaten Barren - to put them in position for #1. If that game doesn't go their way, they'll have to beat the rival Scotties a third time in the district tournament.

6) Glasgow (17-5) - 1/22 48-45 W #14 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/23 48-63 L LaRue County, 1/26 53-60 L at #7 Barren County, 1/27 62-58 W #6 Warren East
Previous Rank: 4
This Week: 1/30 vs. #3 Monroe County, 2/3 at #9 Logan County

Glasgow has had a top notch year, but perhaps some cracks in their armor are appearing. They had to weather a last second three that would have sent their game against ACS into overtime, and then dropped two straight, including their return game against Barren County. That was a game they just absolutely needed to have, as losing it cost them control of their destiny in the fight for #1. They need to beat Monroe County on Tuesday, then have Monroe beat ACS, then win the tiebreaker among them, Monroe, and Barren to get #1 and a likely trip to region. It's an uphill climb.

7) Warren East (12-9) - 1/22 60-54 W #9 Greenwood, 1/23 67-59 W at #12 Russellville, 1/26 61-82 L at #9 Greenwood, 1/27 58-62 L at #4 Glasgow
Previous Rank: 6
This Week: 1/30 vs. #16 Cumberland County, 2/2 at #1 Warren Central

Best of times and worst of times this week for East. The Raiders overcame a late deficit against Greenwood to get a needed district win to open the week and then finally beat Russellville after two previous losses the next night. But then on Friday they got absolutely CRUSHED at Greenwood, which would have all but clinched their spot in the 2/3 game, and kept them in contention for the district's top spot. The Raiders still have road game against Warren Central and Bowling Green, two games they will not be favored in. They get a tune-up against Cumberland County before they attempt to break an 11 game losing streak against Central.

8) Greenwood (11-11) - 1/22 54-60 L at #6 Warren East, 1/23 58-54 W #14 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/26 82-61 W #6 Warren East, 1/27 79-62 W #16 Cumberland County
Previous Rank: 9
This Week: 1/30 at #5 Barren County, 2/2 vs. #11 South Warren, 2/3 #14 Franklin-Simpson

Greenwood had Warren East's week, but in reverse. They took a brutal loss on the road to open the week, coming back from a double digit deficit against East to take the lead, before a questionable technical foul while down 1 eliminated any hope they had of winning that game. They were similarly down big to the Patriots before Jack Roberts recovered his form from last year's district tourney, dropping 21 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to complete a huge comeback. That springboarded into Friday where Roberts again had a huge game, posting 25 alongside Ben Carroll's 24 as the Gators crushed East with 64% shooting. That at least gives them a small chance of getting out of the 4/5 game in the postseason (they likely need East to lose out), but they'll face the first step towards that on Friday when they host South Warren, who stunned them 61-60 back in December. 2 out of 3 wins this week would guarantee they enter next week with a winning record.

9) Logan County (11-11) - 1/23 54-67 L #7 Barren County, 1/26 74-64 W at #12 Russellville
Previous Rank: 8
This Week: 1/29 at Hopkinsville, 2/3 vs. #6 Glasgow

While Logan County would have loved a win over Barren County to open the week, their win over Russellville in the second Clash of the Cats was the crucial one. The win wraps up their district slate at 5-1, and gives them the #1 seed outright. The only negative there is that they appear likely to face Franklin-Simpson, who has twice defeated them this year (only one counted towards district). Still, the Cougars have won 4 of 5 and have their most wins in three years, while pursuing their first region tourney berth and winning record since that same season.

10) Todd County Central (12-9) - 1/23 60-37 W Webster County, 1/26 68-61 W at #13 Franklin-Simpson, 1/27 48-56 L #7 Barren County
Previous Rank: 10
This Week: 1/30 vs. Hopkinsville, 2/2 at Crittenden County

The Rebels got the season sweep of Franklin-Simpson behind 50% shooting and standout games from Nolan Barrow (25 points, 7/11 shooting) and John Calvery (24 points). It's their first sweep of the Wildcats in the regular season since 2001/02, so it's been a minute. Todd Central made the region finals that year, and it was their next to last region tournament berth. The Rebels are hoping to duplicate as much of that success as possible. Nolan Barrow leads the team with 17.1 PPG and is shooting 50% from three (44/88).

11) South Warren (12-10) - 1/23 56-69 L #1 Warren Central, 1/25 76-68 W at #16 Cumberland County, 1/26 67-64 W Ohio County
Previous Rank: 11
This Week: 1/30 vs. #2 Bowling Green, 2/2 at #8 Greenwood, 2/3 vs. Taylor County

The Spartans came with a much better effort against Central after getting running clocked just five days before, and rounded out the week with a pair of wins to keep them above .500. Assuming they don't add some odd game during the early part of the week, the Spartans will have a winning record in February for the first time in four years. They actually still control their destiny in trying to escape the 4/5 game, and we should know if that's still possible by the end of their game at Greenwood on Friday.

12) Russellville (6-12) - 1/23 59-67 L #6 Warren East, 1/26 64-74 L #8 Logan County
Previous Rank: 12
This Week: 1/29 vs. #5 Barren County, 2/2 vs. #14 Franklin-Simpson, 2/3 at Marshall County

The Panthers remain competitive in most games, but have dropped five of six after falling twice this week. Jacob Naylor had 21 against Logan County, but his 2/9 shooting from three was emblematic of the struggle from the perimeter for the whole team, who went 6/21 from the arc. If they beat Franklin on Friday, they'll set the 13th District tourney in stone, clinching a matchup with Todd Central.

13) Russell County (8-14) - 1/22 78-71 W at #16 Cumberland County, 1/23 64-78 L at Pulaski County, 1/26 63-45 W at Casey County
Previous Rank: 15
This Week: 1/30 at #17 Metcalfe County, 2/3 vs. Marion County

The Lakers are heating up a bit at the proper time, winners of five of their last eight. That included a very close loss on the road to Clinton County, and a pair of wins over Cumberland County, who they will meet in the 16th District tournament in February. Russell County has already exceeded last season's win total, and have a few favorable games still ahead of them. Tate Richardson and Brayton Scales have combined for over 31 PPG.

14) Franklin-Simpson (5-15) - 1/22 43-60 L at #2 Bowling Green, 1/26 61-68 L #10 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 13
This Week: 1/30 vs. Christian County, 2/2 at #12 Russellville, 2/3 at #8 Greenwood

Franklin is still searching for their first victory of 2018, but did briefly break out of their terrible scoring slump with 61 points in their loss to Todd County Central. That modest amount represents their fourth highest output of the entire season. They'll need a win at Russellville to avoid falling to the #4 seed and a matchup with Logan County - although they have beaten the Cougars twice and lost to Todd Central twice. So maybe losing is in their best interest?

15) Allen County-Scottsville (7-14) - 1/22 45-48 L at #4 Glasgow, 1/23 54-58 L at #9 Greenwood, 1/27 56-45 W Caverna
Previous Rank: 14
This Week: 1/30 vs. Hart County, 2/2 at #3 Monroe County

A week of "close but no-cigar" games. "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." "No moral victories." They lost is what I'm saying, but they did have strong showings against Glasgow and Greenwood. The loss at Greenwood in particular was strong aside from the fact that they lost a big lead when Jack Roberts went unconscious on them in the 4th Quarter. The Pats are assured of the bottom seed in the 15th District Tournament, but still have no clue who they'll face. Their last district game is on the road at Monroe County on Friday, who beat them by 17 in Scottsville on January 5th.

16) Cumberland County (4-17) - 1/22 71-78 L #15 Russell County, 1/25 68-76 L #11 South Warren, 1/27 62-79 L at #9 Greenwood
Previous Rank: 16
This Week: 1/30 at #7 Warren East, 2/1 vs. Caverna, 2/2 vs. Washington County

It's now 16 losses in 17 games for the Panthers. It's time for them to gear up and focus on turning the tide against Russell County, their district tourney opponent in three weeks. Any other wins before then will be gravy, and frankly, unlikely.

17) Metcalfe County (4-15) - 1/23 48-66 L at Edmonson County, 1/27 50-62 L Green County
Previous Rank: 17
This Week: 1/30 at #13 Russell County, 2/2 vs. Caverna, 2/3 vs. Campbellsville

Tyler London averaged 17 points in the two losses this week for Metcalfe, who have lost seven of their last eight.