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Coming in to this season, most figured the 9th region would be pretty wide open outside of the top 2 or 3 teams. That was once again on full display this past week and reflected in this week's rankings.

1. Covington Catholic (12-4)
Despite a loss on the road to South Laurel (62-56), the Colonels maintained their #1 ranking with dominant wins over district rival Holy Cross (59-35) and Conner (74-39). Cole Vonhandorf had 20 and 24 point performances in the two Colonel wins, with Aiden Ruthsatz posting 11, 13, and 22 points in the three games this week. AJ Mayer had 20 in the loss to South Laurel.

Up Next: 1/10 v Winton Woods, OH ; 1/13 v Newport Central Catholic at BB&T Arena (NKU); 1/15 v Dayton Dunbar, OH at Kettering, OH (Flyin to the Hoop)

2. Cooper (12-3)
Despite playing without Chris and Sean McNeil, the Jags have now won 8 straight after beating Highlands (55-45), Boone County (61-48), and Harrison County (55-39) last week. Balance was again on display as Blaine Walters and Dante Hendrix both scored 12 in the win over Highlands, while Adam Kunkel scored 23 and Brayden Runion had 16 points in the win over Boone County. Kunkel (10 pts) was the only player for Cooper to hit double figures against Harrison County, but 7 different Jags scored 5 or more.

Up Next: 1/10 v Simon Kenton; 1/13 v Holmes at BB&T Arena (NKU)

3. Dixie Heights (13-3)
The rest of the region better start taking notice that this is a pretty good team. Playing without leading scorer Hunter Meyer, the Colonels lost to top 5 Bowling Green by just 3 points (73-30), and beat both Ryle (60-41) and Newport (69-59). Reed Bradfield and Tyler Schreck both scored 14 points in the win over Ryle, while Cam Thornberry (24 pts) and John Buechel (11 pts) combined for 35 points in the loss to Bowling Green. Tyler Schreck had 15 points in the loss to BG.

Up Next: 1/11 at Villa Madonna; 1/13 v Scott at BB&T Arena (NKU)

4. Newport Central Catholic (6-6)
The Breds played just one game last week, losing to John Hardin (67-47). Brenden Luken was named player of the game for the Breds in the loss.

Up Next: 1/11 v Beechwood; 1/13 v Covington Catholic at BB&T Arena (NKU)

5. Conner (7-6)
Matt Otte's team lost big to Covcath (74-39) but picked up a nice road win over Lloyd (74-68) as Spencer Hemmerich went off for 30 points, while pulling down 9 rebounds. Travis Connley (14) and Matt Simpson (10) also reached double figures in the win over Lloyd. Tanner Craddock led Conner with 11 points in the loss to Covcath.

Up Next: 1/10 at Highlands; 1/12 at Bellevue; 1/13 v Campbell County

6. Lloyd (9-6)
Losses to Conner (74-68) and Henry County (54-51) have me hesitant to put the Juggs here but they are still 6-2 against other 9th region teams to date. Sterling Hamilton and Devin McClendon both scored 14 points, followed by Elijah Jouett with 12 points in the loss to Conner. Hamilton was the only player to reach double figures for Lloyd with 15 points in the questionable loss to Henry County.

Up Next: 1/11 v Newport

7. Newport (9-8)
Tough week for the Wildcats as they beat Beechwood in convincing fashion (81-65), but followed that with two losses to Highlands (76-71) and Dixie Heights (69-59). All five Newport starters reached double figures in the win over Beechwood, led by sophomore Makhi McGuire with 19 points. Donnie Miller led Newport with 20 points in the loss to Highlands, while Mekell Burries had 26 points in the loss to Dixie. Burries scored 16 points in both games against Beechwood and Highlands.

Up Next: 1/11 at Lloyd; 1/13 at Augusta

8. Holmes (8-7)
After losing 6 of 7, including a 73-55 loss to Scott, the Bulldogs rebounded with a district win over Holy Cross (44-43) and road win against Mason County (78-66). Jaiden Greene led Holmes with 16 points against Scott, with Mike Englemon and Trey Gaither scoring 11 and 10 points in the loss. Raavai Commodore finished with 15 points, followed by Jaiden Greene with 14 points in the win over Holy Cross. Mike Englemon had a career high 28 points in the win over Mason County.

Up Next: 1/10 at Ryle; 1/11 at St Henry; 1/13 v Cooper at BB&T Arena (NKU)

9. Beechwood (8-6)
After starting the season 8-2, the Tigers are now on a 4 game losing streak after losing to Harrison County (55-47) and Newport (81-65) last week. Ben Toebbe posted 32 points, 9 rebounds against Harrison County, while scoring 15 in the loss to Newport. Owen Alcorn had a double double (15 pts, 13 rbs) against Newport with Scotty Draud contributing 12 points.

Up Next: 1/10 v St Patrick; 1/11 at Newcath

10. Ryle (8-8)
Braden Cheesman scored 22 points, while sophomore Vince Rankin had 17 points, 10 rebounds to lead Ryle to a 66-64 district win over Boone County. Cheesman also had 14 points in a 60-41 loss to Dixie Heights.

Up Next: 1/10 v Holmes; 1/12 v Highlands

11. Highlands (6-9)
The Bluebirds are just outside the top 10 after picking up a key district win over Newport (76-71) and losing to Cooper by 10 (55-45). Kyle Finfrock had 16 and 12 in the loss to Cooper and 22 points, 10 rebounds in the win over Newport. Ben Sisson had a break out game in the Newport win with 16 points.

Up Next: 1/10 v Conner; 1/12 at Ryle; 1/14 at Dayton

12. Boone County (4-11)
Boone started the week with a 66-64 loss to Ryle, but lost to both Cooper (61-48) and Sayre (57-44) by double digits. Ethan Nyman scored 22 points against Ryle and 17 against Cooper, while Ethan Haynes finished with 17 points against Cooper and 16 against Sayre.

Up Next: 1/10 at Scott; 1/13 v St Henry; 1/14 at Marion County

13. Holy Cross (2-13)
The Indians struggles continued as they fell to 0-2 in the 35th district with losses to Covcath (59-35) and Holmes (44-43). Nolan Schrand led Holy Cross with 9 points against Covcath and sophomore Ty Houston led Holy Cross with 9 points in the loss at Holmes.

Up Next: 1/12 at Ludlow

14. St Henry (4-9)
St Henry has now lost 6 straight after falling to Dixie Heights (65-54) and Lexington Catholic (79-56) last week. Stephen Maley and Logan Beechem were both in double figures against Dixie with 15 and 14 points. Maley finished with 17 points in the loss to Lexcath, while Quentin Becker had 11.

Up Next: 1/11 v Holmes; 1/13 at Boone County; 1/14 v Cincinnati McNicholas

15. Villa Madonna (6-6)
Villa remained undefeated in DIII play with a 60-58 win over Dayton. Thomas Schutzman led the way with 20 points, 7 rebounds, followed by Sean McIntyre with 17 points.

Up Next: 1/10 v Calvary Christian; 1/11 v Dixie Heights; 1/13 v Heritage Academy

16. Ludlow (3-8)
Panthers lost to Bishop Brossart 58-49 but picked up a DIII conference win over Calvary Christian (69-39).

Up Next: 1/10 at Heritage Academy; 1/12 v Holy Cross

17. Bellevue (4-8)
Did not play last week.

Up Next: 1/10 at Dayton; 1/12 v Conner; 1/13 at Silver Grove

18. Dayton (3-12)
The Devils lost a key DIII match up to Villa Madonna (60-58) and also lost to Calvary Christian in over time (68-61).

Up Next: 1/10 v Bellevue; 1/13 v Washington County; 1/14 v Highlands