16th Region Basketball in Review

Teams in the 16th were able to play a full schedule for the first time in the last three weeks and it didn’t disappoint. I'm more convinced then ever that the total disparity in the region is minuscule. With Fleming County beginning to win games and the top teams looking vulnerable it appears the region is truly up for grabs.

1. Ashland (17-2)
– The Tomcats came away with two victories this week, but both were hard fought and much closer than most, including myself, would have expected. Early in the week Ashland barely escaped with a 1-point win over East Carter. For one of the first times this year, the brothers Villers had a cold night, but Robinson was able to will the Tomcats to a last second victory. The Tomcats are still the most impressive team in the region but both of their opponents showed that they are vulnerable to defeat. Ashland faces Rose Hill and Elliott County this week.

2. Boyd County (16-5)
— After good wins over Spring Valley (WV) and Sheldon Clark this week, the Lions struggled with an inconsistent Mason, but still collected a win in OT. The Lions laid heavily on the normal suspects…Stewart, Short and Robinson, but also are starting to get consistent production from Taylor and Smith, who had 23 against Sheldon Clark. The Lions have a full week with matchups against Huntington, East Carter, Fairview and Rowan County.

3. Morgan County (17-4) —A week after beating Elliott County, the Cougars fell to the Lions before collecting a win over West Carter to end a two-game slide. The Adkins duo are adding consistent points and minutes to the proven Prater, Helton, and Evans. The Cougars are still a top contender but have shown that they two are subject to defeat by teams in the region and in their own district. With a districts so evenly matched, upcoming games with East Carter and Elliott County this week will be important and telling.

4. Bath County (12-8) –The Wildcats split their two games this week, losing to Fleming County and defeating Bracken County. Bath lost a close one to Fleming in the waning seconds, but more telling is the perceived lack of effort and urgency at times. Pergrem and Williams leading the Wildcats are capable of beating anyone in the region, but at the same time the outcome is at best a toss up at tip off. Bath will see Russell and Rowan County this week in regional matchups.

5. Raceland (11-6)
—As the regional representative for the All A, the Rams faced and lost to Louisville Collegiate before defeating Menifee County at home. Raceland continues to utilize the size and talent of Weaver and Potter to good regional wins. They’ll have a chance to further their recent success in matchups with Fairview, Lewis County and Greenup County. The Rams have shown that they are contenders and belong in the upper grouping of the region as much as anyone.

6. Russell (8-12) — The Red Devils like most of the teams in the region are evenly matched with their regional opponents. So, in what seems like a broken record the Red Devils split their two games, defeating Rowan County and losing to Greenup. What Russell does have at this point in the season that most don’t is good play and production from four players…Whitt, Clark, Jachimczuk, and the leadership of Hale.

7. Elliott County (8-8) – The Lions pulled into a .500 season this week with a victory of district foe Morgan County, avenging a loss from the previous week. The Lions still suffer from inconsistency and disorganization but Dickerson and Evans have the ability to stand out along with Whitley at times. The Lions will face Morgan once again this week along with 62nd district foe West Carter.

8. Rowan County (11-10) – The Vikings had a rough week dropping games to Fleming County and Russell. The Vikings are organized but the execution is inconsistent. Rowan County looks young in their play, and for good reason…they are. They gave a fourth quarter lead to Fleming after holding them almost scoreless in the third. Mistakes and lapses in on court decision making are going to make consistency hard to achieve this season. Rowan County will face Bath, Boyd and Lewis County this week.

9. East Carter (8-11) — In what sounds like a broken record the Raiders split their games this week. Using a deliberate and disciplined game plan the Raiders narrowly lost to Ashland in a game that they were in a position to win to the last seconds. If they are able to maintain that game plan they will be capable of beating anyone in the region. They did pick up a rivalry win against the Comets of West Carter. The Raiders have games against Morgan and Boyd County this week.

10. Lewis County (11-10) —The Lions keeping up the trend, split games this week falling to Boyd County before defeating Fairview. Offut is still providing consistent leadership and scoring along with Wallingford, with contributions from Wright and Okeefe. The Lions have potential but are a few steps away from being where I thought they would be. Lewis County has a full week of R teams in the region facing Rowan, Raceland and Russell.

11. Greenup County (7-10) —The Musketeers only game of the week was a much-needed win over in county rival Russell. In a come from behind effort Hughes had 40 points and Gammon made the key drives and free throws that put the Musketeers over the top. Greenup faces Lawrence County this week along with Raceland.

12. Fleming County (7-15) — Fleming County is starting to make some movement in the region. Fleming picked up good wins this week against Rowan County and Fairview. The Panthers fought hard in a comeback win against Rowan County. Josh Crump has looked solid in the wins, connecting from the three-point line with consistency while leading an organized floor game. There is also rumor that Zac Alexander may be making an appearance in the near future, following a couple weeks of pregame warm ups.

13. Menifee County (6-13)—Menifee County continued its slide this week falling to Raceland and Powell County for their fourth straight loss. Dalton Barnett still looks like one of the best players in the region but the Wildcats are struggling defensively to put it together. Menifee will face a surging Fleming County team this week.

14. West Carter (6-12) —West Carter’s inexperience is showing in their three losses this week. The Comets fell to Rowan, East Carter and Morgan County this week. The Comets only game of the week will not be any easier with a game against in district foe Elliott County.

15. Fairview (6-13) —The Eagles losses this week were confusing at best. Fairview played Ashland very well, losing a close one after fighting hard. The offense for the Eagles is lacking to move them up the list in the region. Their other loss was a 23-point beat down issued by Fleming County. Fairview will have a rough week ahead with Raceland and Boyd County.

16. Rose Hill (7-11) —The Royals split their games this week, playing out of region competition. The upcoming week will put them against district competition in form of the Ashland Tomcats.