Last year Muhlenberg County defeated Owensboro Catholic in the region final to advance to Diddle. This year will prove to be just as exciting in the 3rd Region as many as 5 teams has a real shot to advance to NKY in the middle of March to compete for a state title. Here's my preview of the teams in the 3rd Region.

15. Trinity (Whitesville) -- With just 8 players (4 High School and 4 Junior High) Coach Jim Little has his work cut out for him. They will be led by a Freshman Nina Wathen who hopes to lead them to improve on their 7-20 mark from last year.

14. Cloverport -- They will look to bounce back from an 0-25 season last year. They will be led by senior Shelby Fetch. Coach Drew Hawley will have his work cut out for him again.

13. Ohio County - This once regional contender year in and year out has fell on some hard times. However, Coach Ed. McCarraher brings a wealth of experience as they try to recover the glory years and improve on an 8-20 season last year. They will be lead by senior Allison Druin.

12. Butler County - The Lady Bears will rely on two forwards Addison Hall and Maddie Murphy to help improve on their 5-22 record from a year ago.

11. Meade County - Oh how the mighty have fallen, Meade County lost in the semifinals to Owensboro Catholic, lost 3 of their 4 top scorers from a year ago. Second year coach Whitney Hooper will rely on senior guard Katie Wilson to led them this year.

10. McLean County - They graduated 6 players from last years 17-14 team and will be led by new Head Coach Mary Howard. They will be led by senior forward Kirstin Ayer and junior guard Sarah King. This team should advance to the ScortsCenter in early March and the regional tourney.

9. Apollo - Despite a sub-.500 year they advanced to the regional tourney last year on the back of Austin Peay signee J'Nayah Hall. Who will step up to provide the leadership Hall did is the question Coach Arlando Johnson must find an answer to. They will be led by senior forward Taryn Ferguson and junior Jada Hall.

8. Owensboro - Coach Andy Groves will be led by Wesli Washington as they try to improve on their 8-20 record from a year ago. This team will be much improved and will look to advance to the Sportscenter in early March.

7. Hancock County - Coach Mike Orr and Lady Hornet's has a chance to return to the regional tourney this year led by seniors Kelsey Brown, Lindsey Hagman and the coach's daughter Ashlee Orr. They will improve on their 14-13 record.

6. Edmonson County - Kevin Jackson returns to the sidelines and finds a roster that is experienced. Led by sophomore forward Caitlin Simon senior Jhonna Basil, they will make a return visit to the Sportscenter in early March.

5. Breckinridge County - Coach Jonathan Bennett returns junior point guard Lily Grimes and senior forward Mary Hinton and will be a force to recon with in the region. This team can make a deep run in the regional tourney come March.

4. Grayson County - The defending 12th district champion will be led by junior Grace White who will be called on to replace the leadership provided by Maddie Stewart from a year ago. She will have help from Sarah Pierce and Hannah Salsman as this team come March will be a tough out.

3. Daviess County - No other team suffered such a heart-breaking loss as the Lady Panther's fell in the district last year after enjoying a 20-9 season. This edition of the Lady Panther's could very well find themselves cutting down the nets in March and heading north to NKY. They will be led by senior Skylar Walden to provide scoring and leadership. Joining Walden will be two juniors Emma Johnson and Lauren Tranthem. Look for Coach Natalie Powers-Payne to lead the Lady Panthers and advance to the regional tourney for the first time in 4 years.

2. Muhlenberg County - The defending 3rd Region champs return sophomore Bailee Harney, senior Makayla Sampson and sophomore Raegan Blackburn. If Coach Mike Harper and find someone to battle on the boards, the sharp shooting will make the Lady Mustangs a tough out.

1. Owensboro Catholic - Coach Michael Robertson will once again try and lead the Lady Ace's back to the mountain top of the 3rd Region. He will do so with Bellarmine University signee Mikayla Berry, Annabel More and Caroline Hayden. This team returns scoring power and size which makes them the favorite to return to the girls Sweet Sixteen in March.

This season will prove to be fun and exciting to watch can't wait for it to unfold.

Top 10 Players in the Region.

1. Bailee Harney - Sophomore Muhlenberg County
2. Mikayla Berry - Senior Owensboro Catholic
3. Grace White - Junior Grayson County
4. Lily Grimes - Junior Breckinridge County
5. Emma Johnson - Junior Daviess County
6. Wesli Washington - Senior Owensboro
7. Skylar Walden - Senior Daviess County
8. Caitlin Simon - Sophomore Edmonson County
9. Caroline Hayden - Senior Owensboro Catholic
10. Annabel Moore - Senior Owensboro Catholic