1) Bowling Green (26-2) - 2/6 79-71 OT W at #3 Greenwood, 2/7 83-61 W Owensboro, 2/10 101-69 W at #7 Warren East, 2/11 69-45 W Male
Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/14 vs. #3 Russellville
The week began with what was easily the biggest test that they have faced in the district and region in quite some time. For the first time since the 2015 Region Semifinals, a region team took them to an overtime session, and in-district, it's the first time since the last district or region loss BG took, a 64-58 OT loss to Warren Central in 2015. But much like the 2015 Region Semis against Barren County, their opponent in some ways was complicit in letting them escape with poor free throw shooting. Greenwood had the opportunity for as many as four free throws and the ball, already holding the lead, with less than 40 seconds remaining. They hit one, and turned it over on their next possession. After BG tied the game, a Greenwood steal should have led to a potential game-winning layup, but instead they settled for a jumper that missed, and it was all Purples from there. Bowling Green followed that up with a pair of blowout wins, including their first 100+ point effort in 14 years. All that stands between them and a second consecutive undefeated 4th Region run is a home game against #3 Russellville. BG will be heavily favored.
2) Franklin-Simpson (21-6) - 2/9 70-29 W #14 South Warren, 2/10 75-43 W at #11 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/14 at #9 Warren East, 2/16 vs. #16 Glasgow
The Wildcats are 12-3 since the start of 2017, and had one of their easiest weeks yet in blowout victories over South Warren and Allen County-Scottsville. In their win over South Warren, they shot a scorching 56% from the field and 63.6% from three. Those are the kind of efforts they will need more of as they begin to make their charge towards a potential third meeting with Bowling Green. This week they should have no trouble running over Warren East and Glasgow as tuneups to their district tourney meeting with Logan County.
3) Russellville (18-9) - 2/6 62-53 W #6 Warren Central, 2/10 78-59 W at #10 Todd County Central
Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/14 at #1 Bowling Green, 2/17 vs. #13 South Warren
The Panthers continued a super-solid 2017 calendar year, moving to 11-4 since January 1st. All of those losses were quality, with a pair of losses to Franklin, a loss to Christian County, and their All A loss to NewCath. This week they snapped a 10 game losing streak to Warren Central, winning for the first time since 2008, breaking away from a 48 all tie late. They wrapped up a 4-2 district slate with a 78-59 win over Todd County Central, who they will try to beat a fourth time in the district tournament next week. Their marquee matchup this week is an awaited road trip to Bowling Green. The Panthers have not beaten the Purples since 2008, and haven't won at BG since 2007.
4) Warren Central (15-13) - 2/6 53-62 L at #4 Russellville, 2/7 44-46 OT L Owensboro Catholic, 2/10 51-39 W at #3 Greenwood, 2/11 53-55 L Elizabethtown
Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/14 vs. #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/17 vs. John Hardin
The Dragons aren't all that deserving of this rank, but events away from the team have elevated them. Their three losses of the week are very much indicative of the season since losing Ziyan Milliken - close, but can't finish. The Dragons have faded in the fourth quarter of many games, and have been unable to maintain small leads or battle back from narrow deficits. They never led Russellville, but battled back to a tie midway through the fourth, only to have a turnover and lapse on defense eliminate any hope they had. After leading a very good Owensboro Catholic team for most of the second through fourth quarters, the Dragons missed a three for the win in regulation, then gave up an offensive rebound putback with 4 seconds left to fall to the Aces. Then against Elizabethtown, the Dragons played from behind much of the evening, then turned it over down 2 with 16 seconds left, and missing a three at the buzzer for the win. In the middle of all of that was a great gift from Greenwood in more ways than one, that will be discussed below. Warren Central has some talent, but too much inconsistency and too many injuries to prove a serious threat to the teams above them.
5) Clinton County (19-8) - 2/6 59-43 W McCreary Central, 2/10 72-78 OT L at #9 Monroe County
Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/13 vs. #13 South Warren, 2/16 at #6 Barren County
The Bulldogs remain the enigma they have been for almost the entire season. It's not the record - it's the opponents. Most of Clinton County's wins have come over poor teams, and often with struggles. And their losses are often blowouts, and not necessarily to teams they should lose to. The latest was an overtime loss at Monroe County, the second time this year that Clinton County found themselves in overtime with the Falcons. That this came a week after Monroe lost to ACS - a team who Clinton County also struggled with a week before that - makes it difficult to build confidence in the Bulldogs. They'll have a prove-it game against Barren County on Friday, before beginning their walkover on the way to the 4th Region tournament that is the 16th District tourney.
6) Barren County (14-14) - 2/7 56-39 W at #12 Russell County, 2/10 67-43 W #15 Cumberland County
Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/14 at #17 Metcalfe County, 2/16 vs. #5 Clinton County
The Trojans knocked off a pair of 16th District teams in dominating fashion this week, giving them 8 wins in 11 games. If you could just erase that 2-11 stretch in December, Barren County would likely be much further up these rankings. The Trojans have slowly positioned themselves as a dark horse that could bite a region tournament opponent that is not on their game. They'll continue their 16th District challenge this week, then prepare for their district semifinal against rival Glasgow.
7) Monroe County (14-11) - 2/7 68-44 W at #15 Cumberland County, 2/10 78-72 OT W #5 Clinton County
Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/14 vs. #8 Greenwood, 2/16 vs. #9 Warren East
The Falcons followed a rough stretch that saw them struggle with Glasgow and lose to Allen County-Scottsville with possibly their finest win of the year, a 78-72 overtime victory over Clinton County. That avenged an early December road loss to their former 16th District rivals, and perhaps positioned them for some momentum heading into the postseason. First up in that momentum charge is faltering Greenwood, before senior night against a similarly lagging Warren East club. A win over either would give them their first victory over a 14th District squad since knocking off Warren Central in the 2014 Owensboro Invitational.
8) Greenwood (17-12) - 2/6 71-79 OT L #1 Bowling Green, 2/7 46-43 W #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/10 39-51 L #6 Warren Central
Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/14 at #7 Monroe County
Last Monday, who would have thought the Gators would find themselves here? Their game against Bowling Green was grand, a definite "shoulda won" in which Greenwood let some golden chances slip through their fingers. It was the developments that took place within the next 24 hours that derailed what looked to be an almost certain shot at a 4th Region run. When Dawson Crump and Chris Agro sat out against Allen County-Scottsville, it wasn't necessarily noticed. The news broke before their district finale against Warren Central that Crump and Agro, the two leading scorers for Greenwood, have been suspended through the district tournament. It's a devastating blow that immediately showed itself in a 12 point loss at home to Warren Central, who they'll play in the postseason in 9 days. To make matters worse, Greenwood had to cancel two games due to the 30 game limit, which took away additional chances to get true game practice with the personnel they'll have. There's still hope for Greenwood if they can find a win against Central, but it will not be easy.
9) Warren East (12-13) - 2/7 58-60 L at #14 South Warren, 2/10 69-101 L #1 Bowling Green
Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/14 vs. #2 Franklin-Simpson, 2/16 at #7 Monroe County
It's been discussed before, but the second half of the season has been very unkind to the Raiders in recent years. Since the start of the 13/14 season, Warren East is 35-14 in November and December. Once the page turns to January, that plummets. In January through March of those same seasons, the Raiders are a mere 17-40. East's only wins since January 10th have come over Cumberland County and Glasgow, the 15th and 16th rated teams in the region. This week they fell to South Warren, a team they beat by 23 points when they met December 9th, and their opponent in the 4/5 game of next week's 14th District tournament. That was followed with their 45th straight loss to Bowling Green, allowing the Purples to put up their first 100 point effort in 14 years. The Raiders have talent, but they are almost out of time to figure out how to marshal that and find a way to return to the region tourney. They now have to make sure they can beat South Warren just to have that shot at Bowling Green again.
10) Todd County Central (9-15) - 2/7 77-43 W Trigg County, 2/10 59-78 L #4 Russellville, 2/11 67-83 L at Hopkins County Central
Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/16 at Caldwell County
The Rebels have hung around, putting up some good efforts in losses while stringing together some wins. Whatever ultimately happens the rest of the way, the season has been a success, with an 18-21 record in their last 39 games, and building a foundation that will see their top three scorers return next season. They wrap up with Caldwell County, before squaring off for the fourth time with Russellville.
11) Allen County-Scottsville (10-16) - 2/7 43-46 L at #3 Greenwood, 2/9 63-39 W at #17 Metcalfe County, 2/10 43-75 L #2 Franklin-Simpson
Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/14 at #4 Warren Central, 2/17 vs. #14 Russell County
12) Logan County (6-18) - No Games
Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/13 at Rossview (TN), 2/17 at Edmonson County
13) South Warren (6-20) - 2/7 60-58 W #7 Warren East, 2/9 29-70 L at #2 Franklin-Simpson
Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/13 at #5 Clinton County, 2/16 at Daviess County, 2/17 at #3 Russellville
14) Russell County (5-22) - 2/6 67-76 OT L at #15 Cumberland County, 2/7 39-56 L #8 Barren County, 2/10 33-69 L at Adair County
Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/14 vs. Madison Southern, 2/17 at #11 Allen County-Scottsville
15) Cumberland County (6-18) - 2/6 76-67 OT W #12 Russell County, 2/7 44-68 L #9 Monroe County, 2/10 43-67 L at #8 Barren County
Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/13 vs. Clay County (TN), 2/14 vs. #16 Glasgow, 2/17 at Green County
16) Glasgow (4-20) - 2/7 70-46 W #17 Metcalfe County, 2/10 76-74 W Caverna
Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/13 at Butler County, 2/14 at #15 Cumberland County, 2/16 at #2 Franklin-Simpson
17) Metcalfe County (0-26) - 2/6 46-70 L Marion County, 2/7 46-70 L at #16 Glasgow, 2/9 39-63 L #11 Allen County-Scottsville
Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/14 vs. #6 Barren County, 2/16 vs. Caverna, 2/17 at Washington County