Walter's Avatar
Almost halfway through January and the 9th region rankings are still a toss up. Once again, we have movement in the rankings. Let's take a look at this week's rankings as we review last week's action.

1. Covington Catholic (11-5)

The Colonels went 2-1 this past week with a 60-29 win over Conner, 72-59 win over Winton Woods, and 64-51 loss to Cincinnati power Moeller.

Overall:
Sophomore CJ Fredrick is slowly emerging as not only one of the best sophomores in Northern Kentucky, but possibly the state with three double figure scoring performances this week (11,12, 18) to follow up the 28 point game against Taylor County. Cole Vonhandorf is still the leader of this team at 16.6 ppg but with AJ Mayer (9.6 ppg), Andy Flood (9.7 ppg), and CJ Fredrick (9.6 ppg) showing the ability to provide consistency to keep opposing teams from keying on CVH, the Colonels are starting to show why the hype was there during the preseason. The upcoming stretch of games will give us a really good idea if this is Covcath's region or if it is as open as a lot of people think.

Up Next: 1/12 at Holy Cross; 1/15 v Newport Catholic at BB&T Arena (NKU); 1/17 v Lakota East at Flyin' to the Hoop (Dayton, OH)

2. Holy Cross (12-4)

After dropping three straight two weeks ago, the Indians responding with 3 consecutive wins this past week over Conner (70-56), Holmes (76-63), and Highlands (72-67).

Overall: Leighton Schrand gets player of the week honors for the Indians after posting scoring outputs of 21 against Holmes and 25 against Highlands. The Indians' Schrand, Bezold, and Jakubowski are as good a trio as you will see in the region with all three averaging 11 or more ppg. Ryan Schrand has this team playing with a lot of confidence at both ends of the floor heading in to the Indians biggest game of the year.

Up Next: 1/12 v Covington Catholic

3. Newport Central Catholic (11-2)

Newcath went 2-0 this past week with a 60-46 win over Cooper and an 81-61 blowout win over Campbell County in the John Turner Classic at Newport.

Overall: Ben Weyer led the Breds once again with 16 and 10 against Cooper and then 23 points and double figure rebounds against Campbell County. While Weyer has been a man among boys this season, Luke Moeves has quietly had a very good first month and a half at 14.3 ppg after scoring 17 against Cooper and 21 against Campbell County. There were a lot of questions marks surrounding this Breds' group because of a lack of experience but I think it's becoming clear that they have the pieces to get out of this region. We should know more after this week.

Up Next: 1/12 v Ryle; 1/13 at Newport; 1/15 v Covington Catholic at BB&T Arena (NKU)

4. Cooper (13-2)

Tim Sullivan's group went 2-1 this week with wins over Cincinnati Elder (47-45) and Jay County, IN (55-47), but couldn't knock off Newcath on the road as they fell 60-46.

Overall: Much like CJ Fredrick at Covcath, sophomore Adam Kunkel is making a strong case for best sophomore in Northern Kentucky after averaging just over 13 ppg against three of the better teams on the Jags schedule. Despite the losses to Holy Cross and Newcath in 9th region play (both on the road), this is still a team that could potentially win the 9th region title come March.

Up Next: 1/12 at Simon Kenton; 1/15 v Holmes at BB&T Arena (NKU)

5. Conner (10-3)

Rough week for the Cougars as they defeated Glen Este out of Cincinnati (69-51) but suffered losses to Covcath (60-29) and Holy Cross (70-56) in games where they had a chance to prove they belong in the "region title contenders" debate.

Overall: Conner is still without leading scorer Spencer Hemmerich so it's tough to gauge how much better Holy Cross and Covcath truly are, but at the end of the day both losses were by margins that don't lead you to believe Hemmerich could have made that much of a difference to change the outcome. The one positive to playing without Hemmerich has been the opportunity for others such as Travis Connelly, Logan Cook, and Alec Garnett to show they are capable scorers if given a chance. Cook had a game high 23 points against Glen Este.

Up Next: 1/13 v Bellevue; 1/15 at Campbell County

6. Newport (12-4)

Since the AIT debacle, the Wildcats have won 4 straight with wins over Dayton, Bellevue, Highlands, and Dixie Heights.

Overall: With Marcus Mullins status up in the air, it has been Ethan Snapp that has led the Wildcats with an average of 20 ppg in their 4 wins, including a 25 point game against Dixie Heights in the John Turner Classic. Rico Hollis is back and slowly getting in to game shape but had an 11 point game in the win over Dixie and is at 7.5 ppg since his return. The status of Marcus Mullins is still up in the air but if he does end up back on Coach Snapp's bench and this team plays to their potential and talent level, they are as good as any other team in the top 5.

Up Next: 1/11 v Lloyd, 1/13 v Newcath

7. Holmes (8-6)

The Bulldogs went 2-1 this past week with wins over Scott (84-76) and Mason County (65-57) but a key district loss to Holy Cross (76-63).

Overall:
Holmes is now 4-0 against the 10th region...2-6 against the rest of their schedule. In the wins over Scott and Mason County, Markel McClendon (21, 14), Andrew Arnold (20, 11) , and Brandon Moore (11,13) were all in double figures. In the loss to Holy Cross, McClendon was the best player on the floor with 25 points but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs simply couldn't convert at either end to stop Holy Cross runs. I don't think I'm ready to say this team has no chance at getting out of the district, but it is going to be an uphill battle come the end of February. Still, this is a team that could very easily be sitting at 11-3 if they could convert free throws down the stretch of games and make easy baskets around the rim.

Up Next: 1/15 v Cooper at BB&T Arena (NKU); 1/16 v Ryle

8. Dixie Heights (11-5)

The Red Colonels went 2-1 this week with wins over Lockland, OH (67-28) and Ryle (58-48) with the loss coming on the road to Newport (58-48).

Overall:
Not much was expected from this team but they have continued to show improvement each week and win the games they are supposed to while showing they are able to compete, for the most part, with the teams ahead of them. Hunter Meyer and Reed Bredfield have formed a nice inside out duo as Meyer was in double figures all three games while Bradfield had 8, 15, and 18 points in the three games this week. Ian Brolley has been a very nice addition, now averaging 10.8 ppg since his return after sitting out the first two weeks of December due to transferring from Holmes.

Up Next: 1/12 at Grant County; 1/15 v Scott at BB&T Arena (NKU); 1/16 at George Rogers Clark

9. Lloyd (7-8)

After starting the season 1-7, the Juggs have won 6 of their last 7 including a 61-14 win over Bellevue and a 58-56 win over Henry County this past week.

Overall:
While the schedule hasn't been as tough as some of the teams ahead of them, Lloyd does have a win over Holmes and have shown great balance with 4 players averaging over 8 ppg. This upcoming week should give us a good idea if Lloyd is here to stay or not in the top 10.

Up Next: 1/11 at Newport; 1/15 v Beechwood

10.. Beechwood (11-5)

The Tigers enter the rankings for the first time this season after winning 2 of 3 this past week with the loss coming to Newport (49-45) in overtime.

Overall:
Beechwood has won 6 of their last 7 primarily because of Ben and JT Toebbe combining for 25 ppg, 14 rpg but Ethan Lloyd and Joe Robbins have also been solid contributors at 9 ppg, each.

Up Next: 1/15 at Lloyd

The Rest:

11. St Henry (3-11)
Big win over Lexcath this week showed what St Henry is capable of but still haven't been consistent enough to get wins to keep them in the top 10.

12. Boone County (2-12)
After winning 2 straight over Ludlow and Ryle, finished last week with back to back losses to Mason County and Western Hills, OH.

13. Ryle (6-9)
Currently on a 3 game losing streak which drops them out of the top 10. Tough week ahead with road games at Newcath, Highlands, and Holmes.

14. Highlands (2-7)
Have lost 5 straight but a one point loss to Newport and 7 point loss to Holy Cross show this team is getting better. Six straight home games should allow them to get another win or two.

15. Ludlow (6-9)
Wins over Calvary Christian and Bellevue this past week.

16. Dayton (8-5)

17. Bellevue (6-6)

18. Heritage Academy (0-11)

19. Cov Latin (1-8)

Games of the Week:

1/12:
Covcath at Holy Cross

1/15:
AT BB&T Arena
Holmes v Cooper 7:00
Covcath v Newcath 8:30