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Two weeks into the season, the favorites are still the favorites, but we have started to learn some things as the games have been played:

...Except for District 30, the favorites seem to have stepped forward in each district. Walton-Verona (32nd), Oldham County (29th), and Gallatin County (31st) seem to have established themselves as the clear front-runners in their respective districts. In the 30th, the view seems a bit more muddied. Defending 8th region champ Collins? Slumping Anderson? Up-and-coming Spencer?

...nobody can shoot free throws, or at least, it sure seems that way. Some schools haven't filed stats reports yet (SK, Henry County, Williamstown), and others have only filed a game or two (North Oldham, Anderson) but at least six schools are showing free throw shooting percentages of less than 60%. Only Grant County (79.4%) is reporting team free throw shooting of over 70%.

...three teams remain undefeated: Walton-Verona (3-0), Oldham County (5-0), and Simon Kenton (4-0).

...three teams continue to look for their first victory: Anderson County (0-3), Owen County (0-4), and Williamstown (0-4). One of the latter two will break that slump this week, as Owen and Williamstown face off in Owenton on 12/14/17.

...Big games this week:

12/12/17 Henry County (2-1) vs. Carroll County (2-2) Winner probably makes the case to be the strongest contender to Gallatin County and the most likely to join the Wildcats as 31st district representatives in the Roy come March.

12/12/17 Collins (3-1) vs Madison Central (4-0) Defending 8th region champion Titans with a chance for a big victory against an undefeated 11th region squad.

12/15/17 #1 Walton-Verona (3-0) at #2 Oldham County (5-0) Big-time 8th region matchup as the two top-ranked teams in the region face off in a December matchup. Whether or not Miles plays for W-V could be pivotal.

12/15/17 Gallatin County (5-1) vs Carroll County (2-2) Gallatin can firmly establish their role as the top dog in the 31st with a win over Carroll. Coupled with a win over Owen on 12/12, Gallatin could be 4-0 in district play at this point.

12/15/17 Spencer County (2-3) at North Oldham (1-4) Spencer is probably better than their record, and North has faced a brutal December schedule with an inexperienced lineup. In addition, Spencer's similarity to South Oldham means North will get an idea how they will fare against district rival South Oldham in this game.

This week's rankings, based upon the teams' status today

1. Walton-Verona (3-0) Last week: 1 The Bearcats had a very productive week, and hardened their grip on the top spot, beating 31st district power Gallatin County and 30th district power Anderson County. Not only did the Cats get both wins, but they won both games in convincing fashion, defeating both teams by 20 points, despite losing 6'9" center Dieonte Miles to a shoulder injury in the Gallatin game. The Bearcats feature four players averaging double figures, plus Austin Lay, who's averaging 9.3 ppg. Brennan Stanley, the transfer from Williamstown, is not just fitting in, he's leading the team in scoring at 12 ppg. Furthermore, Walton-Verona features the region's stingiest defense, surrendering just 43.3 ppg. this week: 12/11 vs. Eminence, 12/15 at Oldham County

2. Oldham County (5-0) Last week: 2 Likewise, the Colonels had a busy and productive week, winning three games easily, defeating Anderson County by 20, district rival Trimble County by 43, and sixth region power DeSales by 24. Both Anderson and DeSales were expected to challenge the Colonels, and yet, Oldham took control of both games in the second quarter. Jackson Gibson is certainly laying out a strong early case for POY honors; the senior guard scored 20 versus Anderson and hit 11 of 15 shots in a 26 point outing versus DeSales. Oldham is shooting nearly 60% from the floor while leading the region in scoring at 81.6 points per game. This week: 12/12 at Grant County, 12/15 vs Walton-Verona

3. Simon Kenton (4-0) Last week: 3 The Pioneers are our third unbeaten team, and posted wins last week versus Ryle, 66-53, and Dixie Heights. Freshman Kelly Niece is proving to be every bit as good as advertised - and maybe better. Paired with Zach Kelch on the inside and a bevy of sharp-shooting guards on the outside, the Pioneers may have one of their best teams in a few years. this week: 12/12 vs. Conner 12/15 vs. Beechwood

4. Gallatin County (5-1) Last week: 5 The Wildcats took their first loss last week, as Walton-Verona pulled away late for a 20 point win over Gallatin. But Jon Jones' squad rebounded to blast Henry County, 72-52, making a statement win certifying that Gallatin is the early 31st district favorite. Gallatin continues to shoot the ball well, hitting 51% from the floor and 40% beyond the arc. Inexplicably, the Wildcats are only shooting 57% at the line... Troy Croomer is averaging 17 ppg for the Cats, and he is shooting well at the line (14/15 for 93.3% as of the most recent stats), but the rest of the team is barely hitting 50% at the stripe. This week: 12/12 vs. Owen County 12/15 vs. Carroll County as Gallatin could take a firm hold on the race for the district number one seed this week.

5. Collins (3-1) Last week: 6 Gallatin County apparently just made Collins angry. The Titans, since dropping a game to Gallatin, have been on a mission, blasting a decent Frankfort squad, 78-38, and whipping county rival Shelby County, 55-32. Nick Fort is playing like a man possessed, and has scored 20 points or more in three of the four Collins games (he scored 12 in the other game). Like Oldham's Jackson Gibson, Fort is making an early case for POY honors. Fort is averaging a double double at 19.8 ppg / 10 rebounds. The Titans have also gotten back some of the players they had been playing without, such as Nick Eades and Kyle Perdue. Collins is shooting well (51.6% overall and 42.6% from beyond the arc), though they are shooting just 59.6% at the stripe. As a result, the Titans are tied for second in the region in scoring at 70.3 ppg; they are third in scoring defense, giving up just 47.5 ppg. This week: 12/12 @ Madison Central 12/14 @ North Bullitt.

#6 Anderson County (0-3) Last week: 4 Hard to believe it, but Anderson County simply isn't playing all that well right now, despite the talent. Cobe Penny, the heavy favorite for 8th region Player of the Year honors, is averaging over 25 ppg, but has been inconsistent at times as he's often been asked to handle the point for Glen Drury's Bearcats. Dylan Pittman has looked brilliant at times, and Christian Gritton is starting to come along after an ankle injury, but the Bearcats have largely been a three-man show in the early going, and they have been overwhelmed by Walton-Verona and Oldham County in early road contests. The Cats have managed just 53 ppg (13th best in the region), while allowing 70 ppg (15th). Shooting will have to improve if the Cats are to contend; they currently are hitting just over 41% from the field and 58% at the line. This week: 12/12 Rockcastle County, 12/14 vs. South Oldham 12/16 vs. Harrison County

7. South Oldham (4-1) Last week: 7 South Oldham is off to a typical South Oldham record at 4-1, but this is anything but a typical South squad. The Dragons are struggling from beyond the arc, hitting just 28.7% of their shots - unheard of in Crestwood. Still, the Dragons have won all but one game - and that loss came on the road on a night when leading scorer Devin Young was out with an injury. Young is off to a "Player of the Year caliber" season, leading South in scoring at 16.7 ppg / 6.3 rebounds, while connecting on 10 of 18 threes (55.6%!) and 10 of 10 free throws. Sophomore Luke Morrison is also having a strong December, connecting for 15.8 ppg. South showed some moxie this past week, escaping in two close contests, 48-47 over Spencer County and 90-86 over Grant. This week: 12/11 vs. Covington Holy Cross and 12/14 @ Anderson County

8. Spencer County (2-3) Last week: 8 If South is #7, then perhaps Spencer County should be #7a . as the Bears battled South essentially to a draw this past week, dropping a one point decision to the Dragons only after South's Devin Young hit a last second shot and then blocked Spencer's "last-last" second shot. Spencer has dropped three games by a total of just 9 points....they are currently on a two game losing mini-streak after falling to Bullitt East by six after the South game. Jackson Cole is making a name for himself outside the arc; he has hit 15 of 31 threes for a whopping 48.4% and is averaging 11.8 ppg to lead Spencer County. This week: 12/12 vs. Western Hills 12/15 @ North Oldham

9. North Oldham (1-4) Last week: 10 The Mustangs continue to struggle in scoring points, but they will benefit from what has been a pretty aggressive early schedule, with games against Iroquois, Male, Bardstown, St. Xavier, and a much improved Frankfort squad. Justin Rose is the real deal, and capable of putting up points in bunches, but the rest of North's squad is still trying to find the offense, as North has yet to score 60 points in a game. This week: 12/13 @ Trimble County 12/15 Spencer County

10. Grant County (1-5) Last week: 11 The 2017-18 Grant County team may be this year's "South Oldham" team; the Braves are putting up threes in bunches, and making just over 10 a game. Jonas Alger, Luke Dawalt, and Chase Good are all making 2-3 threes per game for the Braves, who have four players averaging in double figures. This past week, the Braves scored 94 points in a win over county rival Williamstown and put up 86 in a narrow four point loss to South Oldham. Grant is one of the highest-scoring teams in the region (#2 at 70.3 ppg), but is next to last in scoring defense (#17, at 75.8 ppg). This week: 12/12 vs. Oldham County 12/14 @ Harrison County

11. Shelby County (1-4) Last week: 9 The Rockets slide two spots this week after dropping a narrow three point decision to Christian Academy of Louisville and a 23 point decision to Collins. Shelby continues to struggle to find points, averaging a region-8 worst 46.0 ppg. The Rockets are hitting a mere 42.9% of their shots, and only 59.7% at the line; leading scorer Taurius Robinson is the only Rocket in double figures at 10.8 ppg. The Rockets need to be able to open up the perimeter a little more; through their first four games, Shelby had hit just 14 threes. This week: 12/12 vs. KY Country Day, 12/16 vs. Monroe County

12. Henry County (2-2) Last week: 12 Henry County split two last week, beating district and county rival Eminence, 77-65, before losing to district favorite Gallatin County, 72-52. Henry has not posted any stats yet, but it is worth noting that the Wildcats have surrendered 65 or more points in all four of their games. Two district seeding games this week will give the Cats a chance to put themselves in a favorable position for the district tournament as Henry could conceivably be 3-1 in district play after this week. This week: 12/12 vs Carroll County 12/15 @ Owen County

13. Carroll County (2-2) Last week: 13 Carroll basically holds pat this week after beating district rival Owen County by 13 and losing to Southwestern (IN) by 10. Like Shelby County, the concern here is that Carroll has minimal perimeter game; the Panthers hit just 10 threes in their first three games. Shooting continues to be a concern; at 39.0%, the Panthers are one of the worst shooting teams in the region. Wyatt Supplee leads the offense at 14 ppg; Keishaun Mumphrey is a threat to average a double-double, averaging 9.3 ppg and 9.3 rebounds. This week: 12/12 @ Henry County 12/15 @ Gallatin County

14. Trimble County (3-3) Last week: 14 The Raiders are on a pace to easily outstrip last year's victory total of just 4 wins, and are likely to finish with anywhere from 13-15 victories in a tremendous improvement over last year. Trimble pushed their record to 3-1 with a victory over Owen County last week, before dropping back-to-back games to Oldham County and Berea. Reece Webster (12.7 ppg) leads the Raiders, and Shane Mills is on the cusp of a double-double at 10.3 ppg / 9.2 rebounds. This week: 12/13 vs. North Oldham 12/15 @ St. Patrick

15. Eminence (1-5) Last week: 16 The Warriors got their first win of the season last week, a 60-52 victory over Williamstown. Four Warriors are averaging in double digits, led by Maurice Richardson at 19.0 ppg / 7 rebounds. Holding Eminence back is shooting; at 38.0% from the field, the Warriors are among the region's worst-shooting teams. Eminence is looking at a very busy week, with four games between now and Saturday. After a brutal opening to the week against Walton-Verona, the Warriors have three very winnable contests. This week: 12/11 @ Walton-Verona 12/13 Riverside Christian 12/14 Frederick Fraize 12/16 @ June Buchanan

16. Owen County (0-4) Last week: 15 The Rebels continue to struggle, dropping games last week on the road to Trimble County by 19 and to Carroll County by 13. Domenick Barnette leads the Rebels at 10.5 ppg, but Owen is hitting just 42.2% from the floor, 24.5% from beyond the arc, and a mere 55.3% at the line. Coach Devin Duvall is looking for offense (Owen is averaging just 48.8 ppg) and defense (the Rebels are surrendering 65 ppg). This week: 12/12 @ Gallatin County 12/14 Williamstown 12/15 Henry County

17. Williamstown (0-4) Last week: 17 The Demons dropped two last week to Grant County (94-38) and Eminence (60-52). Williamstown is looking long-term; at present, the team is 16th in the region in scoring at 48 ppg and 17th in scoring defense at 82.0 ppg. There is work to be done. Three road games this week don't make the task any easier. This week: 12/12 @ Boone County 12/14 @ Owen County 12/16 @ Lloyd Memorial