The top 6 teams in the 6th region are all very close, not a lot separates them. Fern Creek has now won 19 6th region games in a row between the last two seasons and until someone in the 6th knocks them off they remain #1. Butler deserves #2 after winning all of their games this season so far. But those two are not going to run away from the pack as this region is so very competitive at the top.
When January comes around in Metro Louisville, everyone associated with High School basketball gets excited for the Louisville Invitational Tournament (LIT) that kicks off beginning the 2nd week of the New Year. In 2018 the 1st round of the LIT begins on January 8th. Leading up until then teams look to improve on the 1st part of the season and use the upcoming week to get a game or two in before the best 16 teams in Louisville square off for Jefferson County bragging rights. This edition will try to impart the highs and lows of the 1st part of the season and identify the seeding for those who received the invite to participate in this traditional event that the basketball community in Louisville treasure.
1. Fern Creek (11-3): The obvious high to the season is winning the ultra competitive King of the Bluegrass where they defeated both Covington Catholic and Trinity on consecutive nights after beating two power programs from Seattle & Portland as well. But they also have had victories over Pleasure Ridge Park, Doss, and the past state champion from Missouri in a showcase game held in St. Louis. The low was following up the KOB championship and going 1-2 at the Arby's Classic where their losses were by a combined score of 5 points. Both losses were to teams that had glossy records entering this very competitive holiday classic down in Bristol, TN. Despite having 3 losses, they remain at the top of the rankings based on who they have beaten this season. Fern Creek's competitive scheduling should pay dividends in the end. #2 seed in the LIT.
2. Butler (13-0): The Bears high point is sitting undefeated after 13 games to open the season. With DeSales and North Oldham next week before the LIT begins, Butler should be 15-0 before they open against St. Xavier who they already have beaten 61-43. This is a great start to the season and a testament that Butler is for real. The last time they were undefeated before the LIT they ended up winning the event. Will this team do the same? It is hard to find any low point when a team is 13-0, but if any questions remain it would be whether the Bears have been tested with their early schedule. The best teams on their schedule were likely a 1 point thriller over Valley to open the season and a 3 point victory over Newport Central Catholic in a holiday event. Neither of those teams are likely threats to win their respective regions, so the LIT will give a chance for Butler to test their team against a step up in competition. If seedings prevail, the Bears would need to beat Ballard, Trinity, and Fern Creek to win the LIT. If they do that, all remaining questions are off the table as they would have ran through a gauntlet to win the LIT title. #5 seed in LIT
3. Pleasure Ridge Park (10-3): The championship of the Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic sits as the high point of the season for the Panthers as well as a good showing at the Northwest Florida Shootout where they only lost one game in overtime to go with 2 wins. They have beaten the teams they were supposed to beat in the remainder of their games. The low moments were the opening season loss to Fern Creek where they were dominated in the first half and also their 54-57 loss to district rival Valley. #7 seed in LIT
4. Doss (11-4): The Dragons had nice Holiday event showings going 5-2 over both events with only a one point loss to Rocky River, NC who played into the championship game at the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic in Lexington. Doss also lost to a very good Lafayette team 40-48 in their other event so good progress is being made as they adjust to a new coach and teammate from Henderson County. The best victory in the season so far is a 70-67 win over Henry Clay. The lowest point is probably not being able to gain a victory over the toughest 4 opponents on the season....Fern Creek, Christian County, Lafayette, and Rocky River, NC. Doss is winning the games they should much like PRP, but missing a key signature win on the season. #3 seed in LIT.
5. Valley (8-4): The Vikings went 2-1 at the Apollo Invitational after doing the same at the Paducah Invitational so their Holiday outings were fairly successful. Each loss was very close (1 point) so the Vikings nearly went 6-0 over the break. The early district win over PRP rates as a very high point, and the low point was the 0-2 start which included losses to Butler and Waggener. Oddly 3 of the 4 Valley losses were by a single point so while that is encouraging they are playing teams close, there could be a pattern building of not being able to win the close ones down the stretch. #8 seed in LIT.
6. Fairdale (8-4): The biggest high had to be the competitiveness shown at their own Holiday tournament where they went 2-2 with wins against Bowling Green and Lexington Christian while falling to Cooper and Ballard. The other high is their discovery of a very potent offense as they scored 93 against Ballard. Their low may be the fact that they are not showing the defense that Coach Hicks is known to want to build his teams around. 5 times they have let teams reach 75 points or more. #11 seed in the LIT.
7. Iroquois (9-5): The Raiders went 2-2 at the Lake Cumberland Classic losing to both Paducah Tilghman and Pulaski County who each are top teams in their respective regions. The high for Iroquois is they have continued to improve under Coach Morrow each season and are a solid +.500 record at this point. The low is their 1-2 region record and an early loss to Atherton in the beginning of the season. #14 seed in the LIT.
8. Jeffersontown (9-4): The Chargers were the Caveland Classic champions going 3-0 including a victory over Adair County in the final. Their high point is they have now won 5 in a row and Coach Duncan is beginning to change their culture to a winning attitude. The low point was a blowout loss to Pleasure Ridge Park and a double digit loss to Valley. They have to find a way to beat the better teams still in order to contend in the 6th. #13 seed in the LIT.
9. Bullitt East (8-7): Bullitt East is showing life in their Holiday events going to the final in the Owensboro Invitational before losing to the host school. Their high point is winning 5 of their last 7 games. The low point is a 1-2 regional record with their lone win over Whitefield Academy. #10 seed in the LIT.
10. DeSales (6-7): The Colts went 2-1 at each holiday tournament they participated in. Their high point was a 58-51 win over Warren Central that is a team who figures to either win or contend for the 4th region title. The low point was losing 5 of their first 6 games of the season. #16 seed in the LIT.
11. Southern (7-4): High is a 5 game winning streak entering the New Year, but the low is 2-3 region record with losses to Doss, Fairdale, and Holy Cross and only wins against Western and North Bullitt. # 15 seed in LIT.
12. Holy Cross (8-5): High point is a 3-2 regional record. Low point is they still are not competitive against the better 6th region teams as seen with close to 20 point losses to Fairdale and PRP.
13. Moore (4-8): High point is win over Bullitt Central. Low point is a 1-4 record in the region with only the win over Bullitt Central.
14. Bullitt Central (10-4): High point was a win over Atherton. Low point was a 55-64 loss to Moore.
15. North Bullitt (5-7): High point was a very competitive game that they ended losing to Jeffersontown, 52-58. Low point is they are still looking for their first region win on the season.
16. Whitefield Academy (7-5): High point is 5 victories over their last 6 games. Low point is their 0-2 district record indicating another early exit when district tournaments begin.
17. Western (1-13): High point must be their only win over Atherton. Low point is the other games, 13 losses.
18. Beth Haven (3-8): High point is their regional win over Evangel Christian. Low point is their 3 other regional games resulted in losses (one was by 49 points).
19. Evangel Christian (1-9): High point is the lone win over Covington Latin. Low point was the loss to Beth Haven 48-54 which could have resulted in their first regional victory this season.