Bluegrasspreps.com Inside the 13th Region Weekly Rankings (Dec. 4, 2017)
1. Corbin (2-0 overall, 1-0 vs. 13th Region opponents)
The Redhounds are off to a hot start behind the play of Mr. Basketball candidate Andrew Taylor, transfer Chandler Stewart and Alex Byrley. That’s right, Alex Byrley.
Taylor scored 32 points while Stewart chipped in a healthy 25-point effort during Corbin’s 89-40 win over Pineville while Byrley scored 17 points during his first varsity start to help lead Corbin past Lexington Christian in a 61-54 win during Saturday’s Legacy Nissan Classic.
2. Knox Central (2-0, 0-0)
The Panthers have picked up two impressive wins by defeating both Cordia (71-54) and Mercer County (88-72). After being held scoreless during Knox Central’s win over Cordia, Markelle Turner exploded for a 38-point scoring effort against Mercer County. Turner connected on 12-of-23 shot attempts from the floor while hitting 11-of-13 free throw attempts. Nick Martin finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
3. South Laurel (2-0, 0-0)
The Cardinals remain undefeated after grabbing wins against both Breathitt County (78-54) and Cordia (63-56), but still have a lot of room to grow. Coach Jeff Davis said he expects his team to have some ups and downs early on. South Laurel was led by JJ Ramey’s 23-point effort against Cordia while Matthew Cromer poured in 31 points against Breathitt County.
4. Harlan County (2-0, 0-0)
The defending 13th Region champs have struggled in both wins this season. Harlan County slipped past Letcher Central with a 59-54 win behind an 18-point scoring effort from Andrew Creech while rallying to beat Breathitt County, 66-56.
5. Clay County (2-1, 1-0)
The Tigers are young and dangerous. They won their first two games of the season by defeating Harlan, 75-67, while knocking off Russell County, 90-74. Their lone loss of the week turned out to be a 70-62 setback to Pendleton County. Ryan Rodgers leads Clay County with a 19.7 scoring average while Connor Robinson isn’t far behind with a 19-point scoring average.
6. Whitley County (2-0, 0-0)
The Colonels are quietly off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season. They defeated Garrard County, 67-60, while knocking off Conner, 64-45, in the Kentucky Bank Classic. Senior Corey Johnson has turned in two solid efforts, scoring 28 and 17 points, respectively while Hunter Hollingsworth added 19 points against Conner.
7. North Laurel (2-0, 0-0)
The Jaguars are off to a fast start behind the play of Brian Gray and Adam Sizemore. North Laurel won its season-opener, an 80-58 win over Garrard County, while knocking off Casey County, 70-33.
8. Lynn Camp (2-0, 1-0)
Dinky Phipps’ Wildcats have blow out their first two opponents, knocking off Jellico, Tenn., 82-54, while beating Middlesboro at home, 69-36. Tanner Boggs has come up big so far for Lynn Camp.
9. Bell County (1-1, 0-0)
Coach Frankie Smith’s Bobcats already look improved compared to last season. They opened with a 48-46 loss to Cumberland Gap, Tenn. before drafting Lee, Va., 63-47.
10. Harlan (0-2, 0-1)
Even though the Green Dragons are 0-2, this might be a bit too low for coach Derrick Akal’s squad. Harlan opened the season with a 75-67 loss to Clay County before falling to Shelby Valley, 76-54.
11. Barbourville (1-0, 0-0)
The Tigers opened the season with a 94-59 win over Jenkins.
12. Jackson County (2-1, 2-0)
The Generals lost their season-opener to Russell County (65-59), but rebounded with wins over Red Bird (77-53) and Oneida Baptist (95-82).
13. Williamsburg (1-0, 0-0)
The Yellow Jackets began the Nick Napier era with a 70-42 win over Jellico, Tenn.
14. Pineville (1-1, 1-1)
The Mountains were blown out by Corbin (89-40) to begin the season, but responded with a 39-37 win over OBI as Josh Lawson led the way with 10 points.
15. OBI (1-2, 1-2)
The Mountaineers could surprise some teams this season. They defeated Middlesboro, 63-61, before losing to both Pineville (39-37) and Jackson County (95-82).
16. Red Bird (1-2, 0-2)
The Cardinals started the season off with an impressive 85-60 win over Thomas Walker, Va., but have now lost two straight after falling to Jackson County (77-53) and Williamsburg (70-42).
17. Middlesboro (0-2, 0-2)
It could be a long season for coach Lewis Morris’ and his Yellow Jackets.