BluegrassPreps.com's Seventh Region update and rankings - 12/18/17
Three weeks into the season and we are down to two unbeaten teams in the Seventh Region, the Trinity Shamrocks and the Waggener Wildcats. Both face big challenges this week, with Trinity playing in the ultra-competitive King of the Bluegrass tournament and Waggener facing Scott County and George Rogers Clark (and Covington Holmes).
Conversely, there now are no winless teams remaining in the Seventh Region. Seneca and Central were the last to get on the victory train, and they did so in impressive and exciting fashion this week, with Seneca beating St. X in overtime and Central beating Manual in double overtime.
This week brings the highly-anticipated King of the Bluegrass tournament at Fairdale, an annual highlight in Louisville’s high school basketball season. Many of the state’s top-ranked teams will be participating, including Trinity and Ballard from the Seventh Region. It is always high quality basketball over the course of multiple days. I wish all fans of Kentucky high school basketball could make it to at least some of the King of the Bluegrass tournament. And I wish someday I will make it into the South’s best hospitality room.
1. Trinity Shamrocks (5-0)
Trinity did not play this week and thus remained 5-0 and atop the Seventh Region rankings. They also are ranked no.1 in BluegrassPreps.com’s top twenty state rankings. Jay Scrubb is leading the Rocks in both scoring (20.4 ppg) and rebounding (9 rpg), with David Johnson contributing 16.6 ppg, Justin Powell 12.2 ppg, and Stan Turnier 10.6 ppg. Trinity travels this week to Fairdale to defend its 2016 championship in the King of the Bluegrass tournament. Trinity also won the King of the Bluegrass in 2009. Trinity’s first round match-up is with Anderson County Tuesday night.
2. Ballard Bruins (3-1)
The Bruins finally returned to the hardwood this week when it beat Christian Academy 84-51. Ballard then traveled down the Mountain Parkway to play in the Pikeville Invitational, where the Bruins took care of business against Boyd County (95-68) and Pikeville (90-69). The Bruins’ balance is shown by the scoring averages of their top three scorers, as Tyrese Duncan is at 13.5 ppg, Dorian Tisby is at 12 ppg, and Marshon Ford is at 12.3 ppg. This week, Ballard joins Trinity in the King of the Bluegrass tournament at Fairdale. As a four–time champion, nobody has won more King of the Bluegrass titles than Ballard. The Bruins open the tournament Tuesday afternoon against Walton-Verona and face a potential second round match-up against Covington Catholic.
3. Waggener Wildcats (6-0)
I got to see Waggener for the first time this season earlier this week when they beat Atherton 86-73. The Wildcats definitely play a lot of players and get up and down the court very quickly. Their defensive pressure led to a lot of turnovers. Waggener followed up that win with a 69-62 win over Bullitt East. J.J. Kalakon leads the Wildcats in scoring at 14.8 ppg, although there are seven Wildcats averaging at least 6 points per game. It will be quite impressive if the Wildcats remain undefeated after this week, as their next opponent is highly-regarded Scott County (who beat Ballard earlier in the year). After facing Scott County, Waggener will play Covington Holmes and then faces George Rogers Clark in the Kentucky Bank Challenge at Rowan County.
4. St. Xavier Tigers (5-2)
St. X started the week with a 62-61 overtime loss to Seneca, which was Seneca’s first win this season. But that is not as bad as it sounds, as Seneca’s schedule has been brutal. Plus, the Tigers were welcoming back several players from the Tiger football team that had advanced to the Class 6A championship game. The Tigers ended the week y beating Christian Academy 68-51 and then beating Barren County 53-43 in the Barren Hoops Classic. The Tigers travel to Owensboro this week to play in the Owensboro Invitational Tournament. It looks like the Tigers will open against the Daviess County Panthers, who currently sit at 6-1 and just beat the Owensboro Catholic Aces. That could be a good one.
5. Male Bulldogs (5-3)
After winning its first five games of the season, Male has now lost three in a row. Its first loss was to Sixth Region favorite Fern Creek, who beat the Bulldogs 70-61. That loss was followed with losses to another highly-regarded team from the Sixth Region, Butler (69-48), and to Tenth Region member Mason County (75-64). The Bulldogs head to Lexington this week to play in the Peoples Exchange Bank Holiday Invitational, where they open against Whitley County.
6. Seneca Redhawks (1-5)
Seneca got its first win of the season with an impressive 62-61 overtime win over St. X on Tuesday. Later in the week the Redhawks lost to Doss 78-64, thereby completing their six game stretch against most of the best teams in the Sixth and Seventh Regions. This week the Redhawks play Iroquois on Tuesday before heading to Paducah to play in the Paducah Tilghman Christmas Tournament. Games there against Tilghman and University Heights will be challenging.
7. Manual Crimsons (2-5)
Coming into the week at 1-4 and on a three game losing streak, Manual got back on the winning side of things early in the week with a 71-46 win over Southern. Friday night, Manual lost to Central 77-74 in double overtime in what was Central’s first win. Kenyan Jacob is scoring 15 points and pulling down 9.3 rebounds per game for the Crimsons, who play this week in the Graviss McDonald’s Woodford County Invitational.
8. Christian Academy Centurions (2-4)
Christian Academy faced a couple tough opponents this week, falling to Ballard 84-51 and St. X 68-51. According to the statistics most recently posted for Christian Academy, Jacob Dupps leads the Centurions in scoring at 12 ppg, followed by Wyatt Allison at 10.2 ppg. The Centurions will participate in the Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic in Gatlinburg, Tennessee this week.
9. Atherton Rebels (3-4)
Atherton lost this week to Waggener (86-73) and Western (61-50), which so far is Western’s sole win this season. The Rebels then bounced back on Friday to beat Kentucky Country Day 60-53. Jacob Pulford has been a consistent scorer for the Rebels, and Keion Bentley has had some big games, including a 24-point performance against Waggener. The Rebels will join Manual in playing in the Graviss McDonald’s Woodford County Invitational.
10. Eastern Eagles (1-6)
Eastern went winless at the Buffalo Wild Wings Shootout, losing to host Pike County Central 60-47 and to Johnson Central 61-49. Going into the Buffalo Wild Wings Shootout, Jacob Robinson was leading the Eagles in scoring at 13.2 ppg. This week, Eastern will play at Franklin County before being one of three Seventh Region teams playing in the Kentucky Bank Classic at Rowan County.
11. Central Yellow Jackets (1-4)
Central got into the win column Friday night with a 77-74 double overtime win over Manual. A close game throughout, Central used its edge in quickness to offset Manual’s size advantage. Coach Bibby has the Yellow Jackets playing hard. This week the Yellow Jackets will join Waggener and Eastern in playing in the Kentucky Bank Challenge at Rowan County.
12. Louisville Collegiate Titans (8-1)
Congratulations to the Louisville Collegiate Titans, who went 3-0 in the Louisville Collegiate Classic with wins over Brown (86-62), Walden (81-27), and Villa Madonna (70-58). Chez Moore is averaging 19.7 points and 8.7 rebounds for the Titans. Collegiate now boasts an impressive 8-1 record and moves ahead of the Country Day Bearcats in this week’s rankings. The Titans head to Western Kentucky this week to participate in the Bulldog Classic in Fulton.
13. Kentucky Country Day Bearcats (3-4)
Country Day lost both of its games this week, losing 50-47 to Shelby County and 60-53 to Atherton. The Bearcats are competing, but came up short in both of those games. Solomon Mathis is averaging 21.8 ppg for the Bearcats, who will join Christian Academy in playing in the Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic in Gatlinburg, Tennessee this week.
14. St. Francis Wyverns (6-1)
St. Francis bested Portland Christian 67-52 in its only game this week to move to 6-1 for the season. The 6-1 record is the best start ever for a St. Francis team (the 5-1 record matched the previous best achieved in the 2013-14 season). Coach Patrick Jackson is doing a good job with the Wyverns. St. Francis hosts Villa Madonna Friday night in their only game this week.
15. Portland Christian Eagles (1-3)
Portland Christian lost early in the week to St. Francis 67-52 and late in the week to Fort Knox 73-60. Quincy Dye continues to lead the Eagles at 24.3 ppg and 11.3 rpg. The Eagles host the PCS Holiday Classic on Thursday and Friday of this week.
16. Shawnee Golden Eagles (2-7)
The Golden Eagles dropped all three of its games this week, to Moore (64-40), North Bullitt (75-47), and Glasgow (81-63). The Eagles were within 1 of Glasgow at halftime before the Scotties pulled away in the second half. Shawnee’s sole game this week is a Monday night home game against Elizabethtown.
17. Brown Bears (3-6)
Brown played in the Louisville Collegiate Classic this week, beating Walden (71-54) but losing to Villa Madonna (68-66) and the host Collegiate Titans (86-62). The Bears play at St. X on Tuesday before participating in the PCS Holiday Classic at Portland Christian later in the week.
18. Walden Wolverines (1-5)
Walden went 0-3 in the Louisville Collegiate Classic this week, losing to Collegiate (81-27), Villa Madonna (73-54), and to Brown (71-54). The Wolverines led Brown 21-10 at the end of the first quarter and were tied at halftime before seeing the Bears pull away. The Wolverines are off until early 2018.