A week ago everyone in Northern Kentucky thought that we had FINALLY found a unanimous number 1 team in the region. An All A region tournament later and we are back to questioning who the best team in the region really is. Let's take a look at this week's rankings and review last week's (snowy and limited) action.
1. Covington Catholic (14-6)
Even with the loss to Holy Cross, it's tough to argue against Covcath right now as the best team in the region after beating Newcath by 15 then beating two very good Cincinnati teams in Lakota East and Aiken. Aiden Ruthsatz really stepped up his game this past week with 15 against Lakota East and 12 against Aiken. If he can provide consistency in big games going forward, Covcath will be tough to beat.
Up Next: 1/29 v Holmes
2. Newport Central Catholic (15-3)
The Breds won the All A region tournament this past week but the most impressive part about it was knocking off a very scrappy Lloyd team without their team leader and probably best player in the region, Ben Weyer, to advance to the semi finals. Luke Moeves led the Breds with a 20 point performance in that game but it was Weyer who led Newcath in the Finals with 26 points in a 70-52 win over previously #1 ranked Holy Cross.
Up Next: 1/26 v Highlands
3. Holy Cross (16-5)
Holy Cross advanced to the 9th Region All A finals with wins over Ludlow (62-55), Newport (66-59), and Bellevue (79-48) but couldn't get past Newcath with Tyler Bezold suffering an ankle injury during the 2nd quarter. The Indians had won 7 straight prior to the 70-52 loss to Newcath. Luckily for The Cross, they have already wrapped up the #1 seed in the district so can afford to let Bezold rest a little and get fully healthy.
Up Next: 1/26 at Ryle
4. Cooper (16-2)
The Jags seem to be the "forgotten" team in these rankings each week because they are at #4. They have won 14 of their past 15 and had four player score in double figures in a 77-56 win over Boone County with Sean McNeil not playing. Adam Kunkel led the way with 18 points, followed by Dante Hendrix with 17, Trevor Rohlman with 14 and 7, and Chris McNeil with 13. Both of Cooper's losses have come on the road against top 3 opponents. Luckily for them, teams will have to beat them on a neutral court come post season time.
Up Next: 1/26 v Conner; 1/29 v Ryle
5. Newport (13-6)
The Wildcats finally got Marcus Mullins back from suspension and he didn't disappoint with 20 points in the 9th region All A opener. The only problem was that came in a 66-59 loss to Holy Cross. Kedan Davis finished with 16 points with Ethan Snapp pouring in 15 and Kam Covington pulling down 14 rebounds. This team has a lot of talent and if they can build on the past few weeks and the example made of Mullins that no player is bigger than the team, they could be an extremely tough out come district and region tournament time.
Up Next: 1/26 v Bracken County, 1/27 at Bellevue; 1/30 v Male at Fairdale (King of the Bluegrass Showcase)
6. Holmes (9-8)
The Bulldogs lost their only game this week with a 54-49 loss to a tough Lake Brantley, Florida team that featured a 6'9 Notre Dame commit. McClendon once again led Coach Listerman's squad with 19 points, 8 rebounds followed by Andrew Arnold with 9 points, 8 rebounds. Arnold and Brandon Moore (10 points) have played well lately and that will be a huge key for the Bulldogs if they are going to try to pull an upset to get back to the region tournament in less than a little over a month.
Up Next: 1/26 at Beechwood, 1/29 v Covcath
7. Conner (11-5)
The Cougars finally got Spencer Hemmerich back but suffered another injury with Alec Garnett going down in the 4th quarter with a broken nose in a 79-73 loss to a struggling Ryle squad. Michael Scott led Conner with 20 points followed by Connelly with 12 and 10 from Hemmerich in his return. Tough week ahead for the Cougars.
Up Next: 1/26 at Cooper, 1/29 at Boone Co, 1/30 at Dixie Heights
8. Dixie Heights (11-5)
No games for the Colonels this past week with the snow. A chance to move up in the rankings these next few weeks with several games against teams ranked ahead of them.
Up Next: 1/26 v Lloyd; 1/29 v Simon Kenton; 1/30 v Conner
9. St Henry (7-12)
After starting the season 2-10, Coach Faust team has won 5 of their past 7, including advancing to the All A region semi finals. The big reason for the added success? The consistent scoring of junior Stephen Maley to give the Cru a third scoring option to go with Adam Goetz and Paul Wallenhorst.
Up Next: 1/26 at Pendleton Co; 1/27 v Villa Madonna
10. Beechwood (12-6)
Beechwood entered the 9th region All A tournament on a three game winning streak but fell to St Henry, 66-64, in the first round. Ben Toebbe led the Tigers with 23 points, followed by 17 and 9 from Ethan Lloyd and 14 and 10 from JT Toebbe. Big week ahead for Coach Goetz team.
Up Next: 1/26 v Holmes; 1/27 at Bracken Co; 1/30 at Walton Verona
11. Ryle (8-10)
Wins over Highlands and Conner have them just outside the top 10. Logan Turner led the Raiders with 22 points in the 79-73 win over Conner.
12. Highlands (5-9)
After losing 7 straight, the Birds are now on a three game win streak with wins over Dayton, Pendleton Co, and Boone Co.
13. Lloyd (7-11)
Won three straight, then lost three straight to Newport, Beechwood, and Newcath.
14. Boone County (3-16)
Four straight losses for the Rebels, including an overtime loss to Highlands.
15. Ludlow (8-11)
Have dominated D3 competition but continue to struggle against bigger schools. Competitive, but fell to Holy Cross (62-55) in the first round of the All A.
16. Bellevue (10-9)
Advanced to the semi finals of the All A with wins over Dayton and Villa Madonna before losing to Holy Cross, 79-48. Cameron Chase had 15 and 16 points in the two wins.
17. Dayton (9-8)
First round loss to Bellevue in the All A. Draven Garcia was named to the all tournament team with 27 points, 10 rebounds in the loss.
18. Villa Madonna (9-10)
First round loss to Bellevue (59-47) in the 9th Region All A. Thomas Schutzman was named to the All Tourney team with 21 points, 7 rebounds in the loss.