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With less than a month to go before district play starts, the 9th region is still as wide open as it has ever been. Let's take a look at the rankings this week as we review last week's action.

1. Covington Catholic (15-6)

In the Colonels only game this week, the escaped Holmes with a 57-49 win behind 14 points from Cole Vonhandorf. While it wasn't pretty, the Colonels showed great balance with Aiden Ruthsatz tallying 12 points and AJ Mayer putting up a stat line of 9 pts, 8 rbs to go a long with 8 pts, 6 rbs from senior Andy Flood. Covcath still has a lot to improve on to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, but for right now they look to be the best team in the region.

Up Next: 2/1 v Boone Co, 2/2 at Scott, 2/5 v Beechwood

2. Newport Central Catholic (18-4)

After winning 6 straight and advancing to the All A State semi finals, the Breds were upset by Cordia (47-41) to prevent what would have been their fourth consecutive All A state title. Ben Weyer had a career high 38 pts, 22 rebounds in the quarter final win over Danville but his 21 points simply weren't enough in the loss to Cordia. Brennan Hall had 14 points in the loss.

Up Next: 2/1 at Beechwood. 2/2 at St Henry, 2/6 v Bishop Brossart

3. Holy Cross (17-5)

Playing without senior leader Tyler Bezold, Leighton Schrand finished with a game high 21 points, 7 rebounds as the Indians defeated Ryle (63-45) in their only game of the week.

Up Next: 2/2 at Lexington Christian' 2/6 v Simon Kenton

4. Cooper (18-2)

The Jaguars finished 33rd district play 6-0 with an overtime 53-48 win over Cooper and 62-47 win over Ryle. With Sean McNeil out with a navicular fracture to his wrist, Trevor Rohlman led the Jags with 16 pts, 7 rbs in the win over Conner, while Adam Kunkel had 14 and 6. Rohlman was big once again against Ryle as he finished with a double double, 19 points, 10 rebounds. If he can maintain that level of play once McNeil gets back around district time, Cooper is going to be extremely tough to handle. They might be sitting at #4, but they just might be the best team in the region come region tournament time.

Up Next: 2/2 v Newport, 2/6 at Highlands

5. Newport (15-7)

Rod Snapp's bunch went 2-1 this week with wins over Bracken County (59-57) and Bellevue (61-49), but fell to Male (73-69) at Fairdale in the King of the Bluegrass Showcase. Marcus Mullins and Ethan Snapp led Newport in the win over Bracken with 15 and 13 points, respectively, but it was Kam Covington and his 11 points, 9 rebounds that ended up being the biggest as his final two points came at the buzzer off an assist from Snapp. It was a career night for Kedan Davis in the Bellevue win as he went for 25 and a career high 17 rebounds. Mullins (22 pts) and Snapp (20 pts) led the effort against Male, along with Kam Covington and his 12 rebounds.

Up Next: 2/2 at Cooper, 2/5 v Campbell County

6. Dixie Heights (15-6)

The Red Colonels continue to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. This past week they picked up three more wins over Lloyd (61-52), Simon Kenton (43-41), and Conner (60-59). Reed Bradfield finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds in the win over Lloyd, followed by Hunter Meyer with 17 points. In the win over Simon Kenton, it was Hunter Meyer who paced the Colonels with 12 points, 8 rebounds. Meyer was in double figures again against Conner with 11 points, but it was Bradfield's 23 points, 6 rebounds that led the Colonels as he continues to quietly make a name for himself and seeing limited minutes last season as a sophomore. Sophomore AJ Plitzuweit also had a solid week scoring 11 points in two of the three victories.

Up Next: 2/2 at Holmes, 2/6 at Ludlow

7. Conner (12-7)

After a hot start, the Cougars have slowly started to fade away lately, losing two of three this week to Cooper (53-48) in overtime and Dixie Heights (60-59). The lone win was a 77-53 road win over a struggling Boone County team. The Cougars still look to be the favorite to get out of the 33rd district with Cooper, but until they are fully healthy it's tough to gauge where they will be when that time gets here. Regardless, they have one of the better duos in the region with Michael Scott and Spencer Hemmerich.

Up Next: 2/2 v Lloyd, 2/5 at Scott, 2/6 at Beechwood

8. Beechwood (13-8)

Even though the Tigers lost two of three this week, the lone win was a big district win as Erik Goetz team defeated Holmes 49-46 behind 28 points, 10 rebounds from Ben Toebbe. The other two losses? Bracken County and Walton Verona. Hangover from the Holmes win, maybe? Regardles, the Tigers have proved they belong in the 9th region top 10.

Up Next: 2/1 v Newcath, 2/5 at Covcath, 2/6 v Conner

9. Holmes (9-10)

I don't think anyone predicted Holmes would be 9-10 heading in to the first week of February but that's where we are after the Bulldogs lost two district games last week to Beechwood (49-46) and Covcath (57-49). While the Beechwood loss was just uninspired play, outside of Markel McClendon and his 16 points, the Covcath game was a tough loss for the Bulldogs as they were every bit as good as the Colonels, if not better, outside of the final 4 minutes of the game. McClendon led Holmes with 13 points in the loss, followed by 11 from Brandon Moore.

Up Next: 2/2 v Dixie Heights, 2/5 at Highlands

10. St Henry (8-13)

The Cru went 1-1 this week with a 77-74 loss to Pendleton County and a 61-37 win over Villa Madonna.

Up Next: 2/2 at Newcath, 2/3 v Ludlow, 2/5 at Lloyd

The Rest

11. Ryle (8-12)

Tyrek Owens finished with 15 and 7 in the loss to Holy Cross. Vince Rankin led the Raiders with 13 and 5 in the loss to Cooper.

12. Lloyd (8-12)

Sterling Hamilton is averaging 15 and 6 a game for the Juggs.

13. Ludlow (9-12)

1-1 last week with a win over Villa Madonna and loss to Lloyd.

14. Bellevue (12-10)

Picked up a 40-29 district win over Highlands last week.

15. Highlands (5-11)

The loss to Bellevue hurts for many reasons, but the biggest being that they could end up having to play Newcath as a 4 or 5 seed in the district tournament.

16. Boone County (3-18)
17. Dayton (10-9)
18. Villa Madonna (9-12)
19. Cov Latin (2-11)
20. Heritage Academy (0-17)(