The final week did not produce any changes in the Top 4 and they likely will all advance to the Regional Tournament barring any first round upset in district. Butler, Fairdale, and Fern Creek all received 1st seeds in their district tournament allowing them to meet #4 seeds in the 1st round. Getting to the District Championship is almost as important if not more than winning it as both teams advance to the Regional tournament. After the final rankings is a brief preview with predictions of who makes the Regional Tournament in 2018.
1. Butler (26-2): Butler ends the regular season as the #1 ranked 6th region team after being ranked #4 in the Pre-Season ranking. Only losses to Trinity and DeSales prevented an undefeated season. Butler needed to replace their 3 top scorers from last season and they did so by committee. Coach Goodin plays 10+ players on a regular basis and the entire team has bought into a team brand of basketball this season. What is most impressive is the Bears have won 9 games this season by 5 points or less. They expect to win and that is a good trait come tournament time when games get inevitably close as you advance.
2. Doss (21-6): The Dragons were picked third in the Pre-Season ranking and come in as the #2 team as the season ends. The big question mark leading into the season was whether the new Coach from Henderson County, Coach Stone, and the player he brought with him from Henderson County, Taye Calloway, would be able to bond with the returning Doss players. Both have came in and in quick order made positive impacts.
3. Fern Creek (21-6): Fern Creek was the top pick in the Pre-Season ranking but they end the year as the #3 choice. Upon returning four starters from last year's 35-3 team the Tigers were the safe pick to be at the top. After winning the KOB the Tigers were 10-1 and seemed to validate their high expectations. However, in 2018 they are only 9-3 and suffered their first loss in the 6th region in 2 seasons when they lost to Doss during the LIT.
4. Fairdale (20-9): Fairdale went from being picked 7th in Pre-Season to a 4th ranking spot in this final listing. The turn around from 13-17 last season to 20-9 this season is remarkable. Fairdale did it with offense and a team that shoots as well as the Bulldogs can be dangerous if they heat up in the post season.
5. Pleasure Ridge Park (18-10): The Panthers were picked to come in right behind Fern Creek as the #2 early favorite, but they had to work toward the end of the season to rise back to the 5th spot this week. PRP finished 5-2 over their last 7 games and the two losses were to Butler by 1 & Doss by 6 so they are not far behind the leaders.
6. Iroquois (19-10): The Raiders made a huge jump from a Pre-Season #12 rank to a Top 6 position in the final rankings. They have won 6 in a row and 8 of their last 9 games. Coach Morrow has done an excellent job and in the last week beat Valley to place in front of the Vikings in this week's listings.
7. Valley (18-10): Valley had a Pre-Season rank of #5 and ends the season dropping just a bit to the #7 spot. Valley has lost 3 of their last 5 and two in a row. However those losses were to teams ranked in front of them such as Fairdale by 2, Iroquois by 4, and Doss by 6. Valley's Curt Lewis was voted as the finalist from the 6th Region for Mr. Basketball by the KABC membership.
8. DeSales (14-14): DeSales was picked to come in 6th and ends up in the 8th position this final week of rankings. This team had some major swings over the season beating Butler, but also losing to Western.
9. Bullitt East (15-15): Bullitt East was picked 9th in the Pre-Season rank and that is exactly where they come in to end the regular season. After winning 4 in a row, they lost their last 3 of the season.
10. Jeffersontown (14-12): Jeffersontown after winning 4 in a row lost their last four games but to tough competition- Bullitt East, Iroquois, Doss, and Butler. They only lost to Butler by 2. After being predicted to come in 10th, that is exactly where they finish.
11. North Bullitt (13-15): Pre-Season pick of 15 was a bit low as they come in 11th.
12. Southern (11-13): Pre-Season had the Trojans at 14, but they end at the #12 spot.
13. Holy Cross (15-12): Entered the Pre-Season as the #8 team and is finishing at the #13 ranking spot.
14. Moore (6-20): Entered Pre-Season at #13 and now come in at #14.
15. Western (4-21): Entered Pre-Season at #11 and now come in at #15.
16. Whitefield Academy (14-13): Picked to come in 19th was not giving Whitefield Academy enough credit. They end at #16 and ahead of Bullitt Central who they beat in the last week of the season.
17. Bullitt Central (17-12): Picked to come in 16th, they finish at #17.
18. Beth Haven (6-20): Beth Haven finishes 18th after being picked to come in at #17 in Pre-Season.
19. Evangel Christian (3-20): Was picked 18th in Pre-Season, but comes in the last spot.
21st District- Held at Valley. Holy Cross vs. Beth Haven winner plays Fairdale on 2/20 & Valley vs PRP on 2/21. Championship is @ 8 PM on 2/23. Prediction- Valley vs. Fairdale in Championship with Valley winning on their home court.
22nd District- Held at Doss. Iroquois vs Western winner plays Butler on 2/21 & Doss vs. DeSales also on 2/21. Championship is @ 7:30 on 2/23. Prediction- Doss vs. Butler in Championship with Doss winning on their home court.
23rd District- Held at Southern. Evangel Christian vs Bullitt Central winner plays Southern on 2/21 & North Bullitt vs. Moore also on 2/21. Championship is @ 6 PM on 2/23. Prediction- Southern vs. Moore in Championship with Southern winning on their home court.
24th District- Held at Fern Creek. Whitefield Academy vs Fern Creek & Bullitt East vs. Jeffersontown on 2/21. Championship is @ 7:00 on 2/23. Prediction- Bullitt East vs. Fern Creek in Championship with Fern Creek winning on their home court.
The Top 10 to watch in the post season is tough to choose from in the very deep 6th region. So many top players are very close, but these top ten will be key to their team's post season success. Listing in alphabetical order:
Taye Calloway- Doss Senior came from the 2nd region to rejoin his former Henderson County Coach in the 6th region and picked up right where he left off back at Henderson County. Calloway can get hot and when paired with his teammate, Stephon Franklin, makes for a dangerous backcourt.
Luke Ezell- Bullitt East needs to get past Jeffersontown to get back to the Regionals this year. Having Luke Ezell run the point and be able to score or get his teammates good looks makes that a pretty good chance they will. Luke may not be the biggest out there, but he sure is one of the toughest as he finishes his career at Bullitt East hoping for a return to the Regionals.
Stephon Franklin- Franklin is the 2nd senior from Doss that is on the list to watch this post season. Franklin has been to Rupp before as a Sophomore and that taste to get back after missing last year is what makes this strong bodied lead guard a threat to return.
Gerald Gray- Gray was expected to be part of an outstanding senior backcourt along with Trey Hill, but only Gray remained healthy all season for the Panthers. He has picked up his level of play to keep Pleasure Ridge Park a threat by having a very solid season and will need to continue to do so as his backcourt mate returns for a run at Rupp together.
Curt Lewis- The Valley Vikings pin their hopes on a 6th region post season run squarely on the broad shoulders of their Senior Mr. Basketball Finalist as voted by KABC 6th region members. No team has a single player like Curt Lewis that is capable of volume scoring while doing many other things so important for his team that could result in a capable run through the Regionals.
Ahmad Price- Only the Fern Creek team has a backcourt that has started together for 4 seasons complimenting each other as well as Ahmad Price does with Anthony Wales. Price excels at scoring at the basket when slashing or hitting mid-range jumpers and is an outstanding rebounder who is a great competitor.
Glenn Queen- This senior Point Guard is very experienced playing major minutes in all four of his Fairdale seasons, but has driven team success this season by shooting less and facilitating more in his final season. Glenn is one of the best in the 6th at attacking the basket when his team needs a score, and during the post season that is a weapon that helps teams advance.
Markelo Sullivan- Fairdale has another Senior who has channeled his last season into his best. There is not another outside shooter in the 6th who has shown as steady of a 3 point stroke and Fairdale has rode his hot hand all season. If Sullivan gets going, he is a difficult person to stop because he gets his shot off even when defended well.
Anthony Wales- Fern Creek has enjoyed post season success in the past under their very experienced point guard, Anthony Wales. In his junior season he showed how valuable he is running a team from the point guard position as the Tigers made their first ever State Tournament. This season he has had to focus more on finding shots to increase his scoring output while still being an unselfish facilitator. When Wales has been at his best in doing this, the Tigers rarely lose.
Jaquay Wales- Although it may seem odd that Butler only has a single person on the Top 10 list, it is because the Butler team is so balanced with many contributors. Several of their starting five, including Junior Maurice Tolley, could be on this list as he is their leading scorer. However, the leader of this team is Jaquay Wales. Jaquay is not as explosive of a scorer as some missing from this list, but make no mistake that he will be a critical piece of leading Butler to post season success with his steady play as their senior lead guard.
Last edited by True blue (and gold); Feb 20, 18 at 08:57 AM.