It took almost two months, but we finally have a unanimous #1 in the 9th region. Let's take a look at this week's rankings and review the action from last week.
1. Holy Cross (14-4)
In the biggest game of the year for the Indians, Tyler Bezold turned in a 29 point, 6 rebound performance as Holy Cross knocked off Covington Catholic 73-68 to secure the #1 seed in the 35th district and improve their 9th region record to 9-0. Looking at the Indians' remaining schedule, if they end up winning the All A this week they have a legit chance to finish the regular season undefeated in the region. Raise your hand if you predicted that back in November? Yea, me neither.
Up Next: 9th Region All A v Newport at Lloyd
2. Covington Catholic (13-6)
How did the Colonels respond to their first loss to Holy Cross in 5 years? A 15 point win over a Newcath team that was playing as well as anyone in the region. CJ Fredrick led the Colonels with 17 points followed by Andy Flood with 16 and Cole Vonhandorf with 14 points. Flood also had 15 points in the Covcath win over Lakota East and is playing extremely well after struggling in the loss to Holy Cross.
Up Next: 1/23 at Play by Play Classic v Cincinnati Aiken
3. Newport Central Catholic (12-3)
After absolutely dominating Newport (82-42) behind a career high 37 points and 10 rebounds from Ben Weyer, the Breds struggled in the annual "big floor matchup" at NKU against Covcath, falling 58-43. Newcath is banged up right now with both Luke Moeves and Ben Weyer suffering minor injuries in that game, but will look to rebound with a deep All A Region and State run.
Up Next: 1/19 at Lloyd (9th Region All A)
4. Cooper (15-2)
After a double digit loss to Newcath, Cooper has won three straight with wins over Jay County, IN (55-47) , Simon Kenton (61-57), and Holmes (60-47). Adam Kunkel continues to play like the best sophomore in the region with 12, 16, and 19 points this past week, while Sean McNeil responded with 22 points, 8 rebounds after being held scoreless in the overtime win over Simon Kenton. This is a team that just might have the two best underclassmen in the region. That will go a long way come tournament time.
Up Next: 1/21 at Boone County
5. Conner (11-4)
The Cougars went 1-1 this past week and I'm sure can't wait to get Spencer Hemmerich back from injury. The good news? Michael Scott put up a career high 32 points in the 83-70 loss to Campbell County. When he is playing like that with Conner at full strength, the Cougars will be tough to beat. He also had 15 points in the 66-42 win over Bellevue.
Up Next: 1/20 at Dixie Heights ; 1/22 at Ryle
6. Newport (13-5)
After picking up a nice win over Lloyd (64-58) behind 21 pts, 11 rebounds from Kedan Davis and 22 points from Ethan Snapp, the Wildcats had their worst game of the year in an 82-42 loss to Newcath. Snapp finished with 20 in the loss, while Davis had 13 and 7 rebounds. The Wildcats will get an opportunity to climb in the rankings this week with a match up against Holy Cross on a neutral court and a possible rematch with Newcath in the All A Finals. The positive news? It's looking like Marcus Mullins is back with the team and should make he return at some point this week. Will he be able to make an impact after sitting for a few weeks is the big question.
Up Next: 1/20 v Holy Cross at Lloyd (9th Region All A)
7. Holmes (9-7)
Another up and down week for the Bulldogs as they fell to Cooper, 60-47, despite getting a career high 18 points from senior Brennon Englemon. In their other game this week, Holmes showed nice balance in a 63-52 win over Ryle with Andrew Arnold (13 pts), Raavai Commodore (12 pts), Brandon Moore (11 pts), and Markel McClendon (10 pts) all scoring double figures.
Up Next: 1/20 v Casey Co at Scott Co (Toyota Classic); 1/22 v Knox Central/Scott Co (Toyota Classic); 1/23 v TBD (Toyota Classic)
8. Dixie Heights (12-6)
The Colonels absolutely dominated Scott in a 58-29 win behind Hunter Meyer and AJ Plitzuweit's 13 points, each but fell on the road to George Rogers Clark (70-65). Ian Brolley scored 15 points in the loss followed by Plitzuweit with 11 and Cameron Thornberry with 10.
Up Next: 1/20 v Conner; 1/22 at Highlands
9. Beechwood (12-5)
The Tigers have been a nice surprise this year and they continued that trend with a 70-55 win over Lloyd this past week. Ethan Lloyd and Joe Robbin led the back court with 19 and 17 points, respectively, while JT Toebbe (16 pts, 10 rbs) and Ben Toebbe (13 pts, 11 rbs) both turned in double doubles to lead anchor the front court. While it's going to be an uphill battle for Beechwood to get to the region tournament, it wouldn't surprise me to see them get the 3rd seed in the 35th district tournament.
Up Next: 1/19 v St Henry at Lloyd (9th Region All A)
10. Lloyd (7-10)
The Juggs suffered back to back losses this week to Beechwood and Newport but remain in the rankings for atleast one more week with an opportunity to solidify that ranking tonight in the All A first round against St Henry.
Up Next: 1/19 v Newcath (9th Region All A)
11. St Henry (6-11)
Winners of 3 straight. Junior Stephen Maley scored a career high 27 points in a 78-65 win over Boone County.
12. Boone County (3-13)
3-3 in last 6 games after starting the season 0-10.
13. Ryle (7-10)
Ended a 3 game losing streak with a 59-47 win over Highlands but followed that up with a 63-52 loss to Holmes.
14. Highlands (4-9)
Ended a 7 game losing streak with wins over Dayton (62-51) and Pendleton County (73-67). Mitchell Cain is averaging a team leading 14 ppg, but Kyle Finfrock has been very solid at 10.2 ppg and 8.8 rpg.
15. Ludlow (8-11)
After winning 4 straight, have lost their last two with losses to North College Hill, OH (65-49) and Holy Cross (62-55).
16. Bellevue (9-8)
Avenged an earlier loss to Dayton by knocking off the Devils 67-51 to open up 9th Region All A action.
17. Dayton (9-8)
Have lost three straight after losing to Ludlow, Highlands, and Bellevue.
18. Villa Madonna (9-9)
Currently on a 3 game winning streak.
19. Heritage Academy (0-14)
20. Cov Latin (1-9)
Games of the Week
Holy Cross v Newport at Lloyd (9th Region All A)
Conner at Dixie Heights (NKYSports.com Live Broadcast)