BluegrassPreps.com's Seventh Region update and rankings - 1/15/18
The 71st Louisville Invitational Tournament is in the books, although the story will have no ending. Weather forced cancellation of the semi-finals and finals, leaving everyone to wonder what might have happened in the potential rubber match between Trinity and Fern Creek. Perhaps those teams will face-off again in Lexington later in the season.
This week brings the All A Seventh Region tournament, being held at Louisville Collegiate. I posted a preview of that tournament on Sunday. It has the potential to provide some very good basketball.
Otherwise, teams get back to their regular seasons and start moving toward the end of the season. This week presents several interesting games, including Trinity playing at Waggener and Ballard playing on the road at Doss and Henry Clay. There also is a group of games among the teams ranked just below Trinity and Ballard – in addition to playing Trinity, Waggener plays Male, who also plays St. X. Those games may provide some clarity as to how teams should be ranked below Trinity and Ballard.
This week’s rankings:
1. Trinity Shamrocks (15-1)
Trinity was the only Seventh Region team still in the LIT when the semi-finals and finals were canceled. Trinity beat DeSales 62-52 in the first round, with Jay Scrubb leading the scoring with 23 points and Stan Turnier contributing 17 on 5 for 7 3-point shooting. In the quarterfinals against Male, Trinity played without Scrubb and David Johnson but still prevailed over Male (who also was playing without two of its starters) 53-39. Turnier, who led the Rocks in scoring with 15 points against Male, has become a key offensive contributor for Trinity along with the better known trio of Scrubb, Johnson and Justin Powell. According to the most recent statistics released by the KHSAA, Trinity’s 43.8% 3-point shooting ranks second in the state and its 76.9% free throw shooting ranks first. Trinity has three games scheduled this week, playing at home against Christian Academy on Tuesday, on the road against Waggener on Friday, and at Moore on Saturday.
2. Ballard Bruins (11-4)
Ballard had a nice 79-57 win over Jeffersontown in the opening round of the LIT. Ballard get out to a 15-5 lead early and led 33-21 at halftime. J’Town made some runs but never got near enough to make it a competitive game. Eleven Bruins scored, led by Delonta Wimberly with 15 points. Ballard got out to a 41-28 halftime lead over Butler in the second round of the LIT, but then went 4 for 25 from the field in the second half, allowing Butler to beat the Bruins 60-56. Ballard was 1 for 16 on 3-point shooting for the game. The puzzling thing is that Ballard is not a bad shooting team; they are near 50% from the field for the season and over 30% on 3-point shooting for the season. Ballard is such a good scoring team that it ranks second in the state in team scoring at 80.1 ppg. Yet they can go stretches where they really struggle putting the ball in the basket. Ballard has a challenging week coming up, with away games at Doss, Henry Clay, and Eastern.
3. Waggener Wildcats (12-4)
Waggener trailed Fairdale 55-53 with 4:42 left in the first round of the LIT before going on a 22-6 run to beat Fairdale 75-61. J. J. Kalakon led the Wildcats in scoring with 19 points. Waggener led its second round game against Doss 28-27 at halftime, but the Dragons outscored Waggener 41-22 the rest of the way and beat the Wildcats 68-50. Kalakon had 16 points to again lead the Wildcats in scoring. Waggener faces an interesting week ahead, playing at home against Male Tuesday night and hosting the Trinity Shamrocks Friday night.
4. Male Bulldogs (12-7)
Male opened the LIT with an 75-73 overtime win over Valley. After trailing for most of the game, Male rallied to get back into the game but needed two free throws from Noah Courtney with 1.9 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. After Valley tied the game near the end of overtime, Howard Fleming took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court and hit a layup as time expired to give the Bulldogs the win. Courtney and Jake Evans scored 21 points each in the win over Valley. Male then faced top-seeded Trinity in the second round and did so without two starters (Fleming and Shane Doughty). Trinity likewise was playing without two starters, but proved too much for Male and defeated the Bulldogs 53-39. In two games that likely will impact how the teams right below Trinity and Ballard are ranked, Male hosts Waggener on Tuesday night and St. X on Friday night.
5. St. Xavier Tigers (9-7)
The Tigers played an epic three overtime game against Butler in the first round of the LIT. Aided by two technical fouls called on Butler in the fourth quarter, the Tigers tied the game with 14 seconds left in regulation to force the first overtime. James Taylor hit a shot at the buzzer to tie the game at the end of the first overtime, while neither team scored in the final 1:32 of the second overtime. Butler took the lead with about a minute left in the third overtime and held onto that lead, the final score being 84-81 in Butler’s favor. Pierce Kiesler led the Tigers with 27 points and 8 rebounds. James Taylor added 21 points. Next up for the Tigers are a home game against DeSales on Tuesday and an away game at Male on Friday.
6. Seneca Redhawks (6-9)
Seneca won the only game it played this week, beating Moore 85-72. The Redhawks survived its killer early season schedule and now have won five games in a row. The Redhawks host the Atherton Rebels Friday night.
7. Manual Crimsons (7-9)
Manual got back in the winning column with a 59-51 win over Louisville Holy Cross this week. Eli Roberts led the Crimsons with 12 points and also had 8 rebounds. For the season, Roberts is averaging 11.1 ppg, third best for the Crimsons, behind Kenyan Jacob’s 12.9 ppg and Noah Hawkins’s 11.7 ppg. Manual has a home game against Atherton Tuesday night and plays at Shawnee Friday night.
8. Eastern Eagles (6-10)
Eastern ran into a hot shooting Holy Cross team on Monday night and fell to the Crusaders 77-63. The Eagles have a big week ahead, playing Central Hardin, Ballard and McCreary Central over the course of four days.
9. Atherton Rebels (6-8)
Atherton sat out this past week. The Rebels have two road games this week, at Manual Tuesday night and at Seneca Friday night. Atherton lost to Manual 61-50 on December 20, so the Rebels have a chance to reverse things on Tuesday.
10. Central Yellow Jackets (3-8)
Central won the only game it played this week, beating Western 77-62. The Yellow Jackets now have won 2 of their last three games. Central plays at Fairdale on Wednesday and at Portland Christian on Friday.
11. Christian Academy Centurions (6-10)
Christian Academy lost to Jeffersontown 66-43 this week. CAL is now 3-9 against Kentucky teams this season. The Centurions have two road games this week, at Trinity on Tuesday and at Spencer County on Thursday.
12. Louisville Collegiate Titans (15-4)
The Titans suffered a 66-63 double overtime loss to Shawnee this week, certainly a disappointing loss for the Titans. Collegiate hosts the All A Seventh Region tournament this week. The Titans are the number 2 seed and play number 3 seed St. Francis on Thursday.
13. Kentucky Country Day Bearcats (7-5)
The Bearcats did not play this past week. They have a home game against Moore on Tuesday night before starting play in the All A Seventh Region tournament on Thursday as the number one seed, facing the winner of the Whitefield Academy-Brown first-round game. Solomon Mathis remains the main source of offense for the Bearcats, averaging 20.7 ppg.
14. St. Francis Wyverns (7-7)
The Wyverns lost to Rock Creek (IN) 82-72 on Wednesday. They had a game against Walden scheduled for Saturday that was rescheduled for tomorrow night, which they will play before playing the host Collegiate Titans in the All A Seventh Region tournament on Thursday.
15. Shawnee Golden Eagles (4-13)
The Golden Eagles had their best win of the season this week, beating Louisville Collegiate 66-63 in double overtime. Shawnee will compete in the All A Sixth Region tournament this week, opening against Portland Christian on Tuesday. Those teams just played on January 6, with Shawnee prevailing 48-47. Shawnee also has a game on its schedule against Manual on Friday night.
16. Portland Christian Eagles (5-7)
Portland Christian did not play this week. Quincy Dye remains the leading scorer in the Seventh Region at 23.6 ppg and is among the leading rebounders in the state at 13.4 rpg. The Eagles face Shawnee in the All A Sixth Region tournament on Tuesday, where they will look to avenge a 48-47 loss to Shawnee on January 6.
17. Brown Bears (4-12)
Brown played once this week, a 78-47 loss to Bullitt Central. Brown plays in the All A Seventh Region tournament this week, opening against Whitefield Academy on Tuesday. Brown will try to reverse the outcome of its December 8 game against Whitefield, won by the Wildcats 67-51.
18. Walden Wolverines (1-10)
Walden lost to Henry County 78-43 early in the week before losing to Beth Haven 68-58 on Thursday. The Wolverines were scheduled to play St. Francis on Saturday, but weather caused that game to be rescheduled to tomorrow night. Walden also will play at Burgin Friday night.