Inside the 9th Region: District Tournament Preview

  1. #1
    by Walter is offline Premium Member
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    Let's be honest, we all know how the top 3 will look each week when it comes to the 9th region. But as far as the rest of the top 10 goes, you can throw records out the window from 4-12 as each team has shown the capability to beat anyone. In this week's edition of "inside the 9th Region," we preview each district and rank those teams, before getting to a final top 10 players list.

    33rd District at Boone County

    33rd District Bracket

    1. Cooper (23-4)
    The Jaguars enter the district tournament as one of the top two teams in the region after closing out the season with wins over Dixie Heights (65-59) and county rival, Scott (72-58) to extend their win streak to 9 games. Adam Kunkel scored 24 points in the win over Dixie Heights and followed that with 21 points against Scott, followed by Sean McNeil with 20 points. Having swept the district with a perfect 6-0 record and average margin of victory at 23 ppg, it would be a major upset if the Jags didn't head to BB&T arena as 33rd district champions.

    Up Next: 2/22 v Boone County 6:00

    2. Conner (15-11)
    Conner is one of the hottest teams in the region right now and come in to the district tournament on a 7 game win streak after dropping 4 straight. Four Cougars scored in double figures in a 60-57 win over Holmes last week, led by Spencer Hemmerich with 17 points. In an 86-73 win over Newcath, Tanner Craddock scored 26 and Hemmerich had 23 as Matt Otte's squad was able to close the regular season with momentum and confidence.

    Up Next: 2/22 v Ryle 8:00

    3. Ryle (14-16)
    It's been a tough 3 week stretch for Ryle to close out the regular season. The Raiders have lost 6 of 8 but did get a win over St Henry (59-48) before losing to Campbell County (70-58) last week. Jared Webster led Ryle with 13 points, 7 rebounds in the win over St Henry, while Braden Cheesman had 18 points in the loss to Campbell County. Ryle might be ranked #3 in the district rankings, but they are more than capable of getting to the district championship, as they have already beaten Conner two out of three times this season.

    4. Boone County
    Boone ended the regular season with losses to Dixie Heights (85-55) and Campbell County (84-75) but were able to advance to the semi finals with a 91-24 win over Heritage. Sophomore Parker Kyle scored 23 points in the loss to Campbell County and Raymond Rodgers continued to play well with 19 points in the loss to Dixie Heights. Despite being the 4 seed, Boone has played 1 seed, Cooper, the closest with a 12 and 13 point loss. The only problem is Boone is the only district team that hasn't played against Cooper at full strength yet.

    Prediction: Cooper over Conner

    34th District at Lloyd Memorial

    34th District Bracket

    1. Dixie Heights (25-5)
    The Red Colonels won 12 straight before dropping back to back games to the top two teams in the region, Cooper (65-59) and Covcath, and then ending the regular season with an 85-55 win over Boone County. Dixie went undefeated against the district, 4-0, dominating everyone but Lloyd (59-57). Despite the close game with Lloyd on January 24th, the Colonels still enter as the favorite and were a clear #3 in the region for the entire season.

    Up Next: 2/22 v Ludlow 6:00

    2. Lloyd (20-10)
    Winners of 6 of their last 7, including wins over Bishop Brossart (57-55) and Trimble County (78-34), the Juggs will look to take advantage of home court advantage in the district tournament. Lloyd went 5-1 against district competition, dominating the rest of the district, much like Dixie did. Dixie has dominated this district for a while but Lloyd has the talent, depth, and experience to end that streak this year.

    Up Next: 2/22 v St Henry 7:45

    3. St Henry (6-20)
    The Crusaders lost to Ryle, 59-48, and then turned around and ended the regular season with an upset win over Holy Cross, 59-53. Stephen Maley led the Cru with 11 points in the loss to Ryle. Having lost to Lloyd by 25 and 17 points, it's going to take a very good game by Coach Faust team to get back to the region tournament and in to the district championship.

    4. Ludlow (12-15)
    After losing to Villa Madonna (56-53) on December 12th, the Panthers beat the Blue Lightning three consective times, including a 54-48 win in the district quarterfinals to set up a game with #1 Dixie in the semi finals. Ludlow lost to Dixie by 26 during the regular season so odds are they will likely finish their season on Wednesday night.

    Prediction: Dixie Heights over Lloyd

    35th District at Holy Cross

    35th District Bracket


    1. Covington Catholic (25-5)
    This is likely to be the most lopsided district results as Covcath should roll in to the region tournament beginning next week. The Colonels defeated Simon Kenton (70-59) and Madison Cental (64-47) to end the regular season as AJ Mayer (18 pts); Cole Vonhandorf (17 pts), CJ Fredrick (15 pts), and Aiden Ruthsatz (14 pts) all scored double figures in the win over SK, while Cole Vonhandorf and CJ Fredrick led the way against Madison Central with 25 and 20 points. How dominant were the Colonels in this district? Average margin of victory: 33 points.

    Up Next: 2/22 v Holmes 7:00

    2. Holy Cross (9-17)
    The Indians were looking good after posting wins against Highlands (66-50) and Newport (72-70 OT) but ended the regular season with a surprising loss to St Henry (59-53) at home. Balance has been the key as Nolan Schrand had 17 against Highlands, Will Volpenhein had 23 against Newport, and both Jaylin Williams and TY Houston had 13 against St Henry. Holy Cross has already beaten their semi final opponent, Beechwood, by 8 points but will need to play well to advance to the region tournament for a second consecutive season as Beechwood has one of the better inside duos in the region.

    Up Next: 2/23 v Beechwood 7:00

    3. Beechwood (15-12)
    After losing to Gallatin County (60-59), Beechwood closed the season out strong with a 61-44 win over Grant County and 63-55 win over Highlands. Ben Toebbe had 20 points, as Owen Alcorn pulled down 10 rebounds in the win over Grant County. That duo dominated again in the Highlands win as Alcorn had 21 and 9 while Toebbe had 14 and 10.

    4. Holmes (12-16)
    The Bulldogs ended the regular season with losses to Conner (60-57) and Simon Kenton (54-43) and now get the unfortunate task of playing Covington Catholic for the second consecutive season after drawing the Colonels in a three way tie breaker for 2nd place. LJ Miller had 18 points, 7 rebounds in the loss to Conner, while no Bulldog scored in double figures in the loss to Simon Kenton.

    Prediction: Covcath over Holy Cross

    36th District at Dayton

    36th District Bracket

    1. Newport Central Catholic (18-12)
    An 83-38 win over Bellevue wrapped up a 6-0 district finish for the Breds but they ended the regular season with an 84-73 loss to Conner. Five different Breds scored in double figures against Bellevue, led by Luke Moeves' 22 points. Moeves and Spencer Pangallo both scored 11 in the loss to Conner, while Brennan Hall finished with a team high 18 points. With Newcath winning their six district games by an average margin of 23 ppg, I think it's safe to assume the Breds add another district title to the trophy case this year.

    Up Next: 2/22 at Dayton 6:00

    2. Newport (14-15)
    The Wildcats started last week with a 72-70 overtime loss to Holy Cross but ended the regular season on a positive note with an 81-32 win over Villa Madonna. Mekell Burries scored 27 and 24 in the final two games while Tahj Harding ahad 17 points, 10 rebounds against Villa Madonna and Donnie Miller had 17 points against Holy Cross. Despite being the 3 seed in this tournament (2-3 district record), Newport enters as the #2 ranked team with Highlands struggling to end the regular season.

    Up Next: 2/22 v Highlands 7:30

    3. Highlands (12-16)
    Losses to Holy Cross (66-50) and Beechwood (63-55) extended the Birds losing streak to 3 games heading in to district play. Kyle Finfrock led Highlands with 14 pts, 10 rbs in the loss to Beechwood and 18 pts, 9 rbs in the loss to Holy Cross. Highlands finished with a 3-1 record in the district, including a 76-71 home win over Newport on January 7th.

    4. Dayton (13-18)
    The Devils got in to the semi finals against Newcath by beating neighborhood rival, Bellevue, 61-49 to extend their season atleast one more game. Prior to that game, the Devils defeated Calvary Christian (73-61) and Robertson County (70-44) to end the regular season. Having already lost to Newcath by 23 and 26 points, it doesn't look good for that win streak to extend to 4 games.

    Prediction: Newcath over Newport


    Final Top 10 Teams
    1. Covcath
    2. Cooper
    3. Dixie Heights
    4. Conner
    5. Newcath
    6. Lloyd
    7. Holy Cross
    8. Newport
    9. Beechwood
    10. Holmes

    Final Top 10 Players
    1. Sean McNeil- Cooper (16 games): 18.4 ppg ; 6.9 rpg; 58% FG ; 47% 3FG ; 84% FT
    2. CJ Fredrick- Covcath (14 games): 21.2 ppg; 3.2 rpg; 56% FG; 43% 3FG; 71% FT
    3. Cole Vonhandorf- Covcath 18 ppg; 4 rpg; 55% FG; 39% 3FG; 83% FT
    4. Adam Kunkel- Cooper: 17 ppg; 3.9 rpg ; 49% FG; 44% 3FG; 81% FT
    5. Spencer Hemmerich- Conner: 21 ppg, 5.9 rpg; 46.4 FG%; 74% FT
    6. Sterling Hamilton- Lloyd: 16.2 ppg; 7.4 rpg; 53% FG; 47% 3FG; 82% FT
    7. Ben Toebbe- Beechwood: 19.1 ppg; 7.7 rpg; 56% FG; 73% FT
    8. Hunter Meyer- Dixie Heights: 15 ppg; 5.4 rpg; 46.4% FG
    9. Brennan Hall- Newcath: 15 ppg; 3.3 rpg; 41% FG; 34% 3FG; 75% FT
    10. Kyle Finfrock- Highlands: 14.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg; 63% FG

    Honorable Mention:
    Dante Hendrix: Cooper
    Brayden Runion- Cooper
    Aiden Ruthsatz- Covcath
    AJ Mayer- Covcath
    Luke Moeves- Newcath
    Reed Bradfield- Dixie Heights
    Cam Thornberry- Dixie Heights
    Jaiden Greene- Holmes
    Tanner Craddock- Conner
    Travis Connley- Conner
    Owen Alcorn- Beechwood
    Mekell Burries- Newport
    Last edited by Walter; Feb 21, 17 at 11:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Walter's Avatar
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    Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

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    Burries from Newport deserves more love. He would be in my Top 10 although I didn't see a couple others play who are on that list. I'd also move Hall closer to the top in your Top 10 players. Thanks Walter.

  4. #4
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    Looks pretty good however I can't help but to think that talented players like Rico Hollis of Holmes, MeKell Burries of Newport, and Derrick Cipollone of Lloyd could easily find their names in the list of honorable mentions.

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    I think Brett Maehren from Bellevue deserves to be mentioned somewhere amongst this group. 16.9 ppg / 8.2 rpg / 43% fg / 20% 3fg / 79% ft

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Sal View Post
    Burries from Newport deserves more love. He would be in my Top 10 although I didn't see a couple others play who are on that list. I'd also move Hall closer to the top in your Top 10 players. Thanks Walter.
    Quote Originally Posted by B-Ball-fan View Post
    Looks pretty good however I can't help but to think that talented players like Rico Hollis of Holmes, MeKell Burries of Newport, and Derrick Cipollone of Lloyd could easily find their names in the list of honorable mentions.
    Mekell Burries should definitely be on the list. Honest mistake and just added him to the list. Kid is a top 10 player in the region next year. Newport has some solid young talent with Burries, Harding, and Miller. McGuire has somewhat fell off but I think that has to do with a health issue.

    Cipollone of Lloyd is another one that should probably be on there as well.

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    Dante and Ruthsatz derseve top ten . Put Mayer on Beechwood and see how good he would be . They all make my top ten !

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKYBASKETBALL View Post
    Dante and Ruthsatz derseve top ten . Put Mayer on Beechwood and see how good he would be . They all make my top ten !
    AJ and Dante are two of the most underrated/underappreciated players in the region. Their numbers don't reflect how good they truly are and I agree they would be stars on a team with less talent around them.

    A lot of coaches in this region would love to have those two for the intangibles that they bring to the game at both ends of the floor.

  9. #9
    Mr. Sixer's Avatar
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    Good list Walter and I have no problem with who you've named even if I don't agree with it in it's totality. I would put Hendrix and Mayer in the Top 10 just for the things that they do that don't show up in the scoring column. From what I've seen Mayer does work on the glass and defensively and Hendrix guards every teams best player and held several of these players below their averages but again everyone that you have listed are very good and is solid.

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