Inside the 9th Region (12/14)

  1. #1
    by Walter is offline Premium Member
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    How wide open is the 9th region this season? Not even a month in to the season and we could potentially have a THIRD different number one in the region. These rankings each week are about how each team is playing when they are released. With that, let's go ahead and jump right in to it.


    1. Holy Cross Indians (4-1)

    The Indians had a very impressive week despite a 58-48 loss to 8th region contender, South Oldham. The Indians beat Campbell County (69-42) like a drum then turned around and knocked off last week's #1, Cooper, 61-55 at the Finn Activity Center in Latonia.

    Overall: The Indians have 6 players averaging 5 or more ppg, led by Tyler Bezold (14.2). Leighton Schrand (13.6), and Erich Jakobowski (10.8). Are they really the best team in the region? Time will tell, but they're playing as well as anyone in this region and deserve the respect. Derrick Barnes, despite being undersized has been a huge key to the Indians success, averaging 7 rpg. The biggest question with this team is going to be if they can beat the better teams in this region on the road. They have obviously already shown they are pretty good at home.

    Up Next: 12/15 at Scott; 12/18 at Rowan County; 12/19 v Madison Central (at Rowan Co)

    2. Cooper Jaguars (3-1)

    Cooper suffered their first loss of the season on the road to Holy Cross (61-55), but picked up a 72-67 win over West Jessamine and a 66-61 road win over district rival, Conner. Sean McNeil led the Jaguars with 14 and 7 against Holy Cross, 22 points against West Jessamine, and 11 points, 8 rebounds against Conner. Sophomores Adam Kunkel and Chris McNeil also reached double figures against Holy Cross with 11 and 10, respectively, while Kunkel had 18 against Conner and Dante Henderix had 13 against the Cougars.

    Overall: The Jaguars may have lost their first game of the season but they are still one of the top 2 teams in this region. Them falling out of the #1 ranking has more to do with how well Holy Cross is playing, and how much they have dominated the area so far.

    Up Next: 12/15 at Ryle; 12/18 v Boone County

    3. Covington Catholic (3-2)

    The Colonels got back on the winning track this week with a 77-57 win over St Henry and 65-56 win over the BGP #12 team. Central. Cole Vonhandorf led the Colonels with 27 pts, 4 rebounds against St Henry and 24 points, 7 rebounds against Central. AJ Mayer and Aiden Ruthsatz eached reached the 10 point mark in the win over St Henry, while Ryan Massie had a career high 11 points. Against Central, Mayer had 16 points, while Flood had 11.

    Overall: Seeing the 3 next to Covington Catholic's name in this week's rankings is sure to create some "bulletin board material" inside the Covcath locker room. Do I really think the Colonels are the third best team in the region? Probably not. The win over Central shows that this is still an elite team with arguably the most talent top to bottom in the region. It's no surprise, however, that Cole Vonhandorf starts playing up to the level we all expected entering the season and the Colonels start looking like a well oiled machine.

    Up Next: 12/14 at Bellevue; 12/15 at Campbell Co; 12/18 v Louisville St Xavier

    4. Newport Central Catholic (4-0)

    Ron Dawn's team picked up two more wins this week to stay undefeated with a 67-64 win over Lloyd and a 60-41 win over Dixie Heights. Ben Weyer led the Breds in both games with 31 and 16 points. Luke Moeves (14; 12) and Sophomore Brennan Hall (13; 11) both reached double figures in the two Breds wins as well.

    Overall: Much like Holy Cross prior to this week, Newcath keeps going about their business and winning. The trio of Ben Weyer, Luke Moeves, and Brennan Hall continue to lead this team but as the competition steps up, more players will need to step up to take this team to another level. The positive? Ben Weyer has the ability to dominate a game which is going to keep them right there with anyone.

    Up Next: 13/14 v Ludlow; 12/15 at Boone Co

    5. Holmes (2-2)

    The Bulldogs split this week with a 60-51 home win over Bishop Brossart and 56-55 overtime loss to Daviess County at Lexington Christian. Markel McClendon led the Bulldogs in both games with 21 and 24 points. The Bulldogs got 3 others in double figures against Brossart, but Andrew Arnold was the only one to get close with 9 in the loss to Daviess County.

    Overall: Holmes defense has been pretty solid so far, allowing just 61 ppg but they have to get offense from someone other than McClendon if they are going to be a serious contender in the 9th region. They struggled with free throws in the Daviess County game which led to a loss, after shooting close to 80% from the charity stripe through the first 3 games. Three point shooting has also been a struggle at 33%.

    Up Next: 12/15 at Lloyd; 12/18 v Newport

    6. Conner (4-1)

    Conner went 1-1 this week with a 66-61 home loss to Cooper and 73-51 win over Boone County. Spencer Hemmerich paced the Cougars in both games with 23 and 20 points, while Michael Scott had 15 points in both games.

    Overall: Spencer Hemmerich and Michael Scott continue to prove that they deserve to be mentioned with the other top players in the region. The Cougars have been really good offensively at 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from outside. The biggest issue so far? Free throw shooting. Free throws hurt them in the loss to Cooper and the 58% average will have to improve if they want to rise in the rankings and make this region even more wide open than it already is.

    Up Next: 12/15 v Simon Kenton; 12/18 v Ryle

    7. Newport (2-2)

    After starting the season 0-2, the Wildcats seem to have found their way with an 81-53 win over Boone County and 49-42 win over Rowan County this week. Holmes transfer Marcus Mullins led Newport this week with a career high 30 points against Boone County and 14 points against Rowan County. Kedan Davis (19 and 9 rbs) and Ethan Snapp also reached double figures against Boone County, with Davis leading the Wildcats against Rowan County at 16 points.

    Overall: Kedan Davis might be the most improved player in the region. The 6'2 senior is currently averaging 14 ppg, 7 rpg and looks like a much more confident player. Ethan Snapp has struggled to find his way so far at just 12.3 ppg, but luckily for head coach Snapp, Holmes transfer Marcus Mullins has been really good, leading the Wildcats with 19 ppg, 7 rpg. When Newport gets Rico Hollis back, this is going to be a very tough team to match up with 1 through 5. I didn't even mention Kam Covington and his 7 ppg, 8 rpg averages.

    Up Next: 12/15 v Williamstown; 12/18 at Holmes.

    8. Ryle (3-2)

    The Raiders went 2-1 this week with wins over East Jessamine (71-60) and Ludlow (60-36) and a loss to Simon Kenton (64-43). Braden Cheesman was the only Raider to reach double figures against Simon Kenton with 11 points, while Jarod Wester and Logan Turner led the Raiders against Ludlow with 13 and 10 points, respectively. It was a very balanced night for Dave McFarland's team against East Jessamine as four Ryle players scored double figures, led by Zach Kirschler and Logan Turner with 14 each.

    Overall: Logan Turner is currently the only Raider to average double figures at 10.8 ppg but Ryle has 7 players total averaging 5 or more ppg. That type of balance can either hurt or help the Raiders as the season progresses. The lack of a true go to scorer makes it tough to key on one player for opposing defenses, but at the same time, who steps up in a big situation when Ryle is down 1 and need a basket in a late game situation? This isn't a great shooting Ryle team so far (22% from outside, 58% from the free throw line)so they will have to work each possession to get easy baskets either around the rim or in transition.

    Up Next: 12/15 v Cooper; 12/18 at Conner

    9. Dixie Heights (2-1)

    Dixie went 1-1 this week with a 55-37 win over Beechwood and 60-41 loss to Newcath. Robert Schweitzer led the Colonels against Beechwood with 15 points, while Reed Bradfield and Hunter Meyer each scored 10 points. Meyer also pulled down 9 rebounds against Beechwood. Schweitzer and Bradfield both paced Dixie with 8 points each against Newcath.

    Overall: Nothing new with Dixie this week. They are still a young team trying to find their way. Reed Bradfield and Hunter Meyer continue to be the leaders of this team but Robert Schweitzer has emerged as another scoring threat. Dixie gets Holmes transfer, Ian Brolley, eligible soon which should give them an added boost.

    Up Next: 12/26 v St Henry; 12/18 v Campbell County

    10. St Henry (0-5)

    Another rough week for the Cru as they dropped to 0-5 with a 77-57 loss to Covington Catholic and 77-59 loss to Campbell County. Adam Goetz led St Henry with 17 and 20 points, in the two games this week with junior guard Stephen Maley scoring 14 and 10 points.

    Overall: The 0-5 start for St Henry is somewhat misleading as all of their losses are to Northern Kentucky top 10 teams. Stephen Maley stepping up as a consistent third scoring option is a great sign for Coach Faust team, however.

    Up Next: 12/18 at Dixie Heights

    Player of the Week

    Covcath junior Cole Vonhandorf led the Colonels to a pair of wins with 27 and 24 points. When he has it going and is playing like that, not many teams in the state, let alone Northern Kentucky are going to be able to hang with the Colonels as it opens things up for the others around him. Now is the time for him to step up as Covcath is getting ready to go through a brutal three week stretch.

    Games of the Week
    12/15: #3 Covcath at Campbell Co
    12/18: #7 Newport at #5 Holmes

  2. #2
    TAC's Avatar
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    Well done!

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    Walter's Avatar
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    Agree? Disagree?

    Thoughts?

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    mcpapa's Avatar
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    Good recap, Walter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter View Post
    Agree? Disagree?

    Thoughts?
    At this point in the season, I'd put NCC at 2. Otherwise I think you have it right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jim View Post
    At this point in the season, I'd put NCC at 2. Otherwise I think you have it right.
    Over Cooper and Covcath?

    Cooper's only loss is to arguably the hottest team in NKY right now. ..on the road.

    Covcath has played a really tough schedule. Three top 25 teams in Cooper, T, and Central.

    Definitely would like to hear the argument for NCC at #2.

  7. #7
    hoops5's Avatar
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    Well done, Walter. Good to give credit where credit is due. That said, Holy Cross did indeed win the #1 spot this week.

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    Good job as usual, hard to argue with any of the picks, I might have picked Markel Mclendon as player of the week, but I'm sure there was many good choices, thanks for supporting all the schools, keep up the good work.

  9. #9
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    St Hank is 0-5 and ranked higher than Highlands 0-0. #hardtimes in Ft Thomas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter View Post
    Agree? Disagree?

    Thoughts?
    You do a nice job with the write-ups, I have seen all the top teams in this region play except NCC and even though the region is down from the past several years there are still some nice teams and it will be very competitive year that being said the most talented team in this region and the team to beat will be CCH they have such a big upside with all the new young talent and they have CVH who no matter how he ends up projecting for college is just a winner at the high school level.

    Holy Cross is different team from the past several years basically because they are playing great team defense if Coach Schrand will stay committed to HC being a great defensive team they will be very competitive.

    Cooper has a very nice team and are very well coached but they have to get more consistent scoring than just the McNeil kid or they will have a hard time beating Top 25 competition on a regular basis.

    I believe Holmes will be a legitimate contender by the end of the year great guard play and some young talent that will only get better. Well coached team.

    I will have to check out NCC soon, also Newport can compete if they will commit to playing on the defense end like HC has.

    Also saw Ryle play great improvement over last year's team is very committed to playing hard nose defense and the team is alot more physical this year (McFarland had them hit the weight room hard), will need to find more ways to score or they will struggle against top competition on the offensive end.
    Last edited by Northside; Dec 14, 15 at 10:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northside View Post
    You do a nice job with the write-ups, I have seen all the top teams in this region play except NCC and even though the region is down from the past several years there are still some nice teams and it will be very competitive year that being said the most talented team in this region and the team to beat will be CCH they have such a big upside with all the new young talent and they have CVH who no matter how he ends up projecting for college is just a winner at the high school level.

    Holy Cross is different team from the past several years basically because they are playing great team defense wonder if there might have been some outside consultant this summer to push Coach Schrand in this direction.

    Cooper has a very nice team and are very well coached but they have to get more consistent scoring than just the McNeil kid or they will have a hard time beating Top 25 competition on a regular basis.

    I believe Holmes will be a legitimate contender by the end of the year great guard play and some young talent that will only get better. Well coached team.

    I will have to check out NCC soon, also Newport can compete if they will commit to playing on the defense end like HC has.

    Also saw Ryle play great improvement over last year team is very committed to playing hard nose defense and the team is alot more physical this year (McFarland had them hit the weight room hard), will need to find more ways to score or they will struggle against top competition on the offensive end.
    NewCath is at Boone County tomorrow night (Tuesday Dec. 15th)

  12. #12
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    It's a different 9th region this year. Several teams lost their power down low to help with defense, rebounds and put backs. NCC's McDonald, Cooper's Hathorne, CCH's Schue, Boone's Stockwell, Dixie's Bolin and St Henry's Kunstek----all graduated and making the 9th a guard's game more than ever before.

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    I think NCC is 1.. Weyer is to much for most teams and got some football players playing at a high level now as well . It will be fun to watch... but yeah the rest of the list is dead on.. just put NCC on the top

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qryche11 View Post
    St Hank is 0-5 and ranked higher than Highlands 0-0. #hardtimes in Ft Thomas
    All of St Henry's losses are to NKY top 10 teams.

    A case could be made for Lloyd in that 10 spot. I really think they can be one of the two teams to get out of that district this year with St Henry and Dixie being young and inexperienced compared to previous seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter View Post
    All of St Henry's losses are to NKY top 10 teams.

    A case could be made for Lloyd in that 10 spot. I really think they can be one of the two teams to get out of that district this year with St Henry and Dixie being young and inexperienced compared to previous seasons.
    I know bro It was more a play on where the Birds have fallen in regards to NKY rankings. They are still trying to recover from the Flynn years.

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