Inside the 4th Region (1/9/17)
Fourth Region Rankings
1) Bowling Green (12-2) - 1/3 70-44 W at #9 Barren County, 1/7 73-70 W Dixie Heights (at Muhlenberg County)
Previous Rank: 1
This Week: 1/10 at #16 South Warren, 1/13 at #5 Warren Central, 1/14 vs. Dunbar (at South Warren)
The snow took some edge off the week for the Purples, who were due to face off against Greenwood, who played them within single digits back in mid-December. Bowling made due with a shellacking of Barren County in a rematch of last season's region finals, and then pulled out a tight one with Dixie Heights in Muhlenberg County, where Dixie showed off a three point barrage. This week has some big games, with the always dangerous cross-town rivalry with Warren Central on tap, and then a rematch with defending state champ Dunbar, who knocked them out of the Sweet 16 last season.
2) Franklin-Simpson (10-3) - 1/3 49-37 W at #3 Warren Central
Previous Rank: 2
This Week: 1/9 vs. #11 Todd County Central, 1/10 vs. #8 Monroe County, 1/13 at #3 Russellville, 1/14 vs. Owensboro Catholic (at South Warren)
It wasn't always pretty, but Franklin-Simpson passed the test of their #2 ranking with a road win at Warren Central, their first win at Central since December of 2004. The Wildcats trailed 20-16 at the half and 33-29 after three due to cold shooting, but dominated the fourth quarter 20-4. While holding the Dragons scoreless for the final 4:41 of the game, Franklin-Simpson scored twelve straight points to break the 37 all tie. This week has one of the two most important games on their schedule, when they visit #3 Russellville in one of the games that will decide the #1 seed in the district.
3) Russellville (9-5) - 1/3 85-61 W Ohio County, 1/6 75-65 W #10 Logan County
Previous Rank: 5
This Week: 1/12 at Muhlenberg County, 1/13 vs. #2 Franklin-Simpson
The Panthers have been a bit up and down, and far too reliant on Bradshaw, but finally find themselves back where they started, #3. Their win over a solid Ohio County team is probably their most impressive performance of the year, with six players in double digits, all between 10-15 points. They were led by Micah Naylor, who was a perfect 4/4 from downtown to lead the Panthers to a 7/11 shooting clip behind the three point arc. As mentioned above, their matchup with Franklin is a crucial district contest, especially at home.
4) Greenwood (9-7) - 1/3 60-66 L Daviess County
Previous Rank: 4
This Week: 1/10 at Adair County, 1/13 vs. #6 Warren East, 1/14 at #15 Allen County-Scottsville
Their loss against Daviess County wasn't exactly the best result, but they continue to get a much more balanced performance than a season ago, when Crump seemed to be relied on for everything. Both Chris Agro and Alex Fee are averaging in double digits alongside Crump, and Jack Roberts is now just behind with 9.2 PPG. Not many of the top-flight teams in the region can boast solid supporters alongside their stud scorers, but the Gators can. They get a tough test from Adair County on Tuesday before hosting a big district game against a surging Warren East squad.
5) Warren Central (10-4) - 1/3 37-49 L #2 Franklin-Simpson, 1/7 48-39 W #9 Barren County
Previous Rank: 3
This Week: 1/13 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/14 vs. Hopkinsville (at South Warren)
The loss to Franklin-Simpson wasn't what knocked the Dragons down, although it didn't help. A nightmare fourth quarter cost them a shot at an impressive win against the Wildcats, and it didn't appear the funk had left them by the time they played a flagging Barren County team on Saturday. The Dragons fell behind 10-0, failing to score in the first half of the quarter, before recovering to trail 12-10 after one. Then, they failed to score in the first half of the second quarter, again putting them behind the 8-ball. It wasn't until a finishing 19-8 kick in the fourth that Warren Central was able to gain and keep the lead. It's been a few lackluster performances since losing Ziyan Milliken, and offensively, the Dragons will need a significant uptick heading into two daunting games this weekend.
6) Warren East (9-3) - 1/3 84-57 W #12 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 6
This Week: 1/10 at #9 Barren County, 1/13 at #4 Greenwood, 1/14 vs. Shelby County (at South Warren)
The Raiders are probably bitter about the snow taking away a potential upset shot against Warren Central, as Warren East is one of the hottest teams in the region. Winners of 8 out of their last 9 - including 7 of their last 8 since Trequon Patterson joined the team - East has averaged nearly 72 PPG in their last seven games, holding opponents to 60. And they continue to get steallar scoring from Patterson, who is already up to 221 points through 8 games for a 27.6 PPG average. After a tuneup with Barren County, they'll visit Greenwood in their search to avoid Bowling Green in the district tournament.
7) Clinton County (11-5) - 1/3 72-61 W Pickett County (TN)
Previous Rank: 7
This Week: 1/10 vs. #14 Cumberland County, 1/13 at #13 Russell County
It was a quiet week for Clinton County, and the next week should remain quiet as they will continue their roll through the 16th District. One notable stat from their win over Pickett County - the Bulldogs attempted 38 free throws, hitting 25. A lot to take away from that, from great job getting to the line that many times, but a terrible percentage shooting them!
8) Monroe County (9-6) - 1/3 74-67 W at #10 Logan County, 1/7 68-51 W #16 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 8
This Week: 1/10 at #2 Franklin-Simpson, 1/13 at #9 Barren County, 1/14 at #17 Metcalfe County
The Falcons couldn't shake loose of Logan County for most of their game last Tuesday, but ultimately pulled away behind another strong performance from Billy Michael Dyer, who had 25. It was the first meeting between the two teams in five years, and Monroe has still not lost to the Cougars since 2001. They followed that with a needed district win over Allen County-Scottsville to reach the halfway point of their district slate at 2-1. They'll get a measuring stick game against Franklin-Simpson before a must-win game on the road at Barren County on Friday. The Trojans won at Monroe County on December 9th in quadruple overtime, and another loss would likely end the Falcons' hopes of obtaining the top seed.
9) Barren County (6-10) - 1/3 44-70 L #1 Bowling Green, 1/7 39-48 L at #3 Warren Central
Previous Rank: 9
This Week: 1/10 vs. #6 Warren East, 1/13 vs. #8 Monroe County
The Trojans continue to struggle, falling to 2-10 after their 4-0 start to the year. The scoring continues to be difficult for Barren County, with only 83 points combined in this week's games, albeit against strong competition. They'll square off against another top 14th District team before hosting the all-important district game against Monroe County on Friday. The Trojans are already 3-0 in the district, and would almost certainly clinch the top seed with another win over Monroe County.
10) Logan County (4-11) - 1/3 67-74 L #8 Monroe County, 1/6 65-75 L at #5 Russellville
Previous Rank: 10
This Week: 1/10 at #15 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/13 at #11 Todd County Central
The Cougars have now lost 6 in a row, and have not won since a 56-26 blowout win over of South Warren on December 17th. Kelby Epley attempted to get the Cougars an out of district win over Monroe County, leading Logan County with 21 points on 9 of 14 shooting, including 3/6 from three. They followed that with a nice effort against Russellville in the Clash of the Cats, losing by a respectable 10 points. They'll have two winnable games this week, but the district contest against Todd County Central is crucial.
11) Todd County Central (3-9) - 1/3 57-84 L at #6 Warren East
Previous Rank: 12
This Week: 1/9 at #2 Franklin-Simpson, 1/13 vs. #10 Logan County
The Rebels have a losing streak of their own, falling in four straight since a December 19th win over Cumberland County. They took it on the chin in a 27 point loss to Warren East, and the road gets no easier with a pair of 13th District opponents. Todd Central has not notched a district win since defeating Franklin-Simpson 65-64 on February 8th, 2014. They don't figure to have much hope of stopping that against Franklin, but perhaps can break a three year losing skid to Logan County on Friday.
12) Glasgow (2-9) - 1/3 70-80 L #16 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 11
This Week: 1/9 at Green County, 1/13 at #15 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/14 at Southwestern
The Scotties have now lost four in a row, with this loss to Allen County being the most surprising of the streak. The 80 points allowed represented a season high score for the Patriots, and the fourth time this season that Glasgow has allowed 80+ (with an additional game allowing 79). Glasgow had swept the Patriots a year ago, and were favored to do so again. The Scotties still have a stronger body of work based on some closer contests, but if they fall again to the Patriots this coming Friday, they'll tumble much further down the rankings.
13) Russell County (3-11) - 1/3 52-82 L at Marion County
Previous Rank: 13
This Week: 1/10 at McCreary Central, 1/13 vs. #7 Clinton County
A year ago, the Lakers opened with a 15 point win over Marion County. Fast forward a year and it was a thirty point drubbing on the road. The good news remains that Russell County is pointed to the future with only two seniors on the team, but they've already suffered their most losses in six years, with nearly two months to go in the season. You have to go back 14 years to find the last losing season for the Lakers. In just a few games from now, they may very well clinch the end of that streak.
14) Cumberland County (5-6) - 1/3 72-51 W #17 Metcalfe County
Previous Rank: 14
This Week: 1/10 at #7 Clinton County, 1/14 at Somerset
The Panthers emerged off a long Christmas break to play a game and then have another canceled by snow, which will ultimately leave them playing only a single game in 20 days by the time they visit Clinton County tomorrow. The good news it that one game was a district win over Metcalfe County, pushing their official district record to 2-1. It's the first time they have posted multiple district wins in four years.
15) Allen County-Scottsville (4-9) - 1/3 80-70 W at #11 Glasgow, 1/7 51-68 L at #8 Monroe County
Previous Rank: 16
This Week: 1/10 vs. #10 Logan County, 1/13 vs. #12 Glasgow, 1/14 vs. #4 Greenwood
The 80-70 win over Glasgow could be used as a rallying point for the season. The Patriots are now 3-4 over their last seven games, and the win over Glasgow puts them on the inside track to escape the 1/4 game in the district tournament. They can virtually assure themselves of that if they can pull off a repeat performance when they host Glasgow on Friday.
16) South Warren (4-12) - 1/7 29-49 L at Henderson County
Previous Rank: 15
This Week: 1/10 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/14 vs. Marshall County
The Spartans have fallen in five straight games, and have not scored more than 50 points in their last six. In all, they have scored over 50 points only five times in 17 games. Their 29 points against Henderson County were not even a season low, having managed only 26 against Logan County in December. With a tough schedule moving forward that features two games against Bowling Green, two against Warren Central, as well as games against Franklin-Simpson, Greenwood, Warren East, Russellville, and Ohio County, it is possible that their January 20th matchup with Russell County is the only prospective win left on the schedule.
17) Metcalfe County (0-14) - 1/3 51-72 L at #14 Cumberland County
Previous Rank: 17
This Week: 1/13 at Adair County, 1/14 vs. #8 Monroe County
15 straight losses for the Hornets, and this won't be the week they have a chance to break that. January 23rd against Thomas Nelson should be circled 8 times.
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