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Fear 'Les' 13th Regional Ratings (Fe. 16-20)


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On the boys’ side, Steve Wright’s South Laurel Cardinals remain atop the 13th Region ratings. But the Cardinals do have some problems. I’m on the outside looking in, but if they don’t start distributing the ball to the post-area more, don’t be surprised to see the state’s No.1 ranked team get knocked off in the regional tournament. Barbourville hangs on to the No. 2 spot, while North Laurel jumps to No.3. I really believe the Jaguars can be a dangerous team.

 

1. South Laurel (20-4)

What’s the scoop: South Laurel’s win streak is now at five games, but the Cardinals can’t seem to put any type of consistency together. The Cardinals struggled with Clinton County on Tuesday, by coming back from a second half deficit.

 

My concerns: South Laurel has a chance to win back-to-back state titles which hasn’t been done since Louisville Fairdale did it in 1990 and 91. Heck, even Richie Farmer and the Clay County Tigers failed to repeat in the late 80s.

The Cardinals can accomplish the feat, if they start getting more players involved. Someone told me the other day the Cardinals are only averaging six assists a game. If that’s true, South Laurel is in some trouble come post-season time.

 

What’s ahead: The Cardinals host Hazard on Friday before traveling to Boyle County on Tuesday. Both games should be wins, but don’t be surprised to see the Rebels hang tough with South Laurel.

 

2. Barbourville (19-3)

What’s the scoop - The Tigers have lost only once in their past 15 games. That’s impressive, but not playing a harder schedule could turn out to hurt Barbourville come post-season time.

 

My concerns: The absence of tough teams on the Tigers’ schedule. I’m telling you folks, that might turn out to hurt Barbourville in the long run. The Tigers only played five teams that’s not in the 13th Region. Take away their two games in the All ‘A’ Classic and two other games in the Cumberland Falls Invitational and the only other non-13th Region team Barbourville has played is Somerset.

 

What’s ahead: The Tigers will get a major test on the road today against Jackson County and will be on the road again on Friday against Cawood.

 

3. North Laurel (11-14)

What’s the scoop: Call me stupid if you want, but North Laurel moves three spaces to the No. 3 spot. The Jaguars are winners of two straight after losing seven straight games.

To be honest, with the schedule North Laurel played, I believe they’re holding their own.

 

My concerns: My biggest concern about North Laurel is its consistency. The Jaguars need to knock off Knox Central next week and enter the 49th District Tournament with a three-game win streak (which would be the Jaguars’ largest of the season).

 

What’s ahead: North Laurel will have 10 days off before playing Knox Central on the road on Feb. 24.

 

4. Clay County (18-5)

What’s the scoop: The Tigers struggled a bit against Lynn Camp on Tuesday, but Clay County was without the services of star player Desmond Swafford.

 

My concerns: Clay County needs to get Swafford back as soon as possible. He missed the Lynn Camp game with the flu bug. The Tigers will make a run, but got the raw end of the blind draw by having to play two games to advance to the regional tournament.

 

What’s ahead: The only way Clay County will play another road game this year is if the Tigers win the region and advance to Rupp Arena. Clay County will host Corbin on Friday and Middlesboro on Tuesday.

 

5. Pineville (19-5)

What’s the scoop: The Mountain Lions have put together a two-game win streak since losing to Clay County last week.

 

My concerns: My main concern has to be the Mountain Lions’ schedule. Are they battle tested enough? The toughest team Pineville has played this season was Eastern and the Mountain Lions lost, 77-58.

 

What’s ahead: Pineville should win out the remainder of its games. The Mountain Lions will host Williamsburg on Friday before traveling to play Evarts on Tuesday. Pineville will finish the season at home against Cumberland on Feb. 23.

 

No. 6 Corbin (14-8)

What’s the scoop: The Redhounds are winning, but not by convincing fashion. Corbin will be tested on Friday against Clay County.

 

No. 7 Bell County (18-6)

What’s the scoop: The Bobcats are on a roll. Bell County has put together an impressive six-game win streak and will travel to play Knox Central on Friday.

 

No. 8 Jackson County (13-11)

What’s the scoop: The Generals started the season off slow, but are a team that can pull off a few surprises in the post-season. Jackson County will play Barbourville at home today.

 

No. 9 Cawood (16-7)

What’s the scoop: The Trojans would have been rated a bit higher, but I still can’t understand how they dropped a seven-point decision to Middlesboro.

 

No. 10 Lynn Camp (13-8)

What’s the scoop: The Wildcats turned in a solid effort against Clay County on Tuesday and has a chance to win out before post-season play begins. Lynn Camp has a big game against Harlan on Feb. 21.

 

Les Dixon is the Sports Editor and can be reached at ldixon@thetimestribune.com. The Fear ‘Les’ 13th Region boys and girls ratings will be published in every Thursday edition of the Times-Tribune.

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I would switch Clay Co and North Laurel. Granted, North has played the toughest schedule in the region and is starting to turn it up a notch, but they did lose to Clay at Clay this year in their only meeting. For that reason, I would put Clay at #3 and North at #4 right now. If North were to meet Clay in the district and beat them, then I could move them up to #3.

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I need some Clay action shots and don't know how to get up with Mark Hoskins...anyone know?

If you have the number to the Enterprise you could call tomorrow and ask for him or Bill Gregory. They should both have some pictures of the guys.

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I would switch Clay Co and North Laurel. Granted, North has played the toughest schedule in the region and is starting to turn it up a notch, but they did lose to Clay at Clay this year in their only meeting. For that reason, I would put Clay at #3 and North at #4 right now. If North were to meet Clay in the district and beat them, then I could move them up to #3.

 

That's because I'm the great fear 'LES'!

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2-7 could flip flop IMO.

 

When is Bell going to get some love. Call it my bias, but hear me out:

 

1.) Bell has a 9-3 regional record, with a recently huge win against Clay (a team that has consistently been ranked anywhere from #2-#5).

 

2.) I also think that to rank Pineville ahead of Bell is questionable, considering Bell has traditionally dominated them on the basketball court. They havent met this season, and I understand you cant base this years rankings off of the past. However, Pineville has none nothing to impress, besides FINALLY win some games. They have lost to Barbourville, just like Bell, whereas they have beaten Corbin, which Bell didnt do. However, Bell did beat Clay, which Pinville didnt do. I think Bell has proven just as much as they have, and considering Bell's traditional advantage over P'ville, I give it to Bell. I think P'ville is getting way too much credit, although they are arguably a top 5 team as well.

 

3.) They are on a 6 game winning streak, and will most likely improve that to a 7 game win streak, and 10-3 in region play if they can knock of Knox (which I think they can do).

 

4.) One of their regional losses was against Cawood, which they avenged later in the season. The other 2 losses are against B'ville (your #2 ranked team) and Corbin (which is also arguably a top 5 team.)

 

5.) Whitaker is back.... and that makes Bell very very dangerous IMO.

 

Bell has a tough two games after Knox. They have a rematch coming against B'ville, and I think that will show how much they have really improved. Then they end the season with SL. That should be ugly.

 

IMO Corbin and Bell are arguably top 5 teams.

 

I think its pretty ridiculous that North made such a huge jump. I believe they too are arguably a top 5 team, and could probably beat Bell, but they dont deserve that ranking right now IMO. I think Corbin's early season loss against Cawood, and their recent loss to Jackson is hurting there ranking way too much. Considering how they played SL and the fact that they just recently beat NL (your #3 ranked team), as well as the fact that there is alot of parity in this region and Corbin is the defending champs, I think they have to be in the top 5. It will be interesting to see how the Corbin/Clay game plays out.

 

1. SL

2. B'ville

3. Clay

4. Corbin

5. Bell

6. North

7. P'ville

 

However, like I said at the start, 2-7 could flip flop. This is just how I see it, based on the reasoning above.

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2-7 could flip flop IMO.

 

When is Bell going to get some love. Call it my bias, but hear me out:

 

1.) Bell has a 9-3 regional record, with a recently huge win against Clay (a team that has consistently been ranked anywhere from #2-#5).

 

2.) I also think that to rank Pineville ahead of Bell is questionable, considering Bell has traditionally dominated them on the basketball court. They havent met this season, and I understand you cant base this years rankings off of the past. However, Pineville has none nothing to impress, besides FINALLY win some games. They have lost to Barbourville, just like Bell, whereas they have beaten Corbin, which Bell didnt do. However, Bell did beat Clay, which Pinville didnt do. I think Bell has proven just as much as they have, and considering Bell's traditional advantage over P'ville, I give it to Bell. I think P'ville is getting way too much credit, although they are arguably a top 5 team as well.

 

3.) They are on a 6 game winning streak, and will most likely improve that to a 7 game win streak, and 10-3 in region play if they can knock of Knox (which I think they can do).

 

4.) One of their regional losses was against Cawood, which they avenged later in the season. The other 2 losses are against B'ville (your #2 ranked team) and Corbin (which is also arguably a top 5 team.)

 

5.) Whitaker is back.... and that makes Bell very very dangerous IMO.

 

Bell has a tough two games after Knox. They have a rematch coming against B'ville, and I think that will show how much they have really improved. Then they end the season with SL. That should be ugly.

 

IMO Corbin and Bell are arguably top 5 teams.

 

I think its pretty ridiculous that North made such a huge jump. I believe they too are arguably a top 5 team, and could probably beat Bell, but they dont deserve that ranking right now IMO. I think Corbin's early season loss against Cawood, and their recent loss to Jackson is hurting there ranking way too much. Considering how they played SL and the fact that they just recently beat NL (your #2 ranked team), as well as the fact that there is alot of parity in this region and Corbin is the defending champs, I think they have to be in the top 5. It will be interesting to see how the Corbin/Clay game plays out.

 

1. SL

2. B'ville

3. Clay

4. Corbin

5. Bell

6. North

7. P'ville

 

However, like I said at the start, 2-7 could flip flop. This is just how I see it, based on the reasoning above.

Hmmmmm :ylsuper:

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Oh yeah, i call it bias!

 

I'd say the same thing about you ranking NL at 3rd. :D

 

When comparing NL and Bell it looks like this:

 

North has recent losses to Clay, Corbin, and South, as well as a 7 game losing skid that just recently ended thanks to an easy game against Rockcastle (but, for arguments sake, dont even think about that 7 game skid). Not to mention a near loss to what could be the worst team in the region, M'boro. North holds a early season win over Cawood.

 

Bell did about lose to M'boro as well, but they also blew them out once. Bell too lost to Corbin, but do boast a win against Clay, that North cant boast. Bell did lose a early season game to Cawood, but then avenged that loss later in the season.

 

I think if you look at the way teams are playing RIGHT NOW, North should not be ranked ahead of either Corbin or Bell. Yeah yeah, NL has a horribly tough schedule, but I am not talking about that schedule, I am talking purely regional play.

 

Throw in the fact that Bell has Whitaker back. I think Bell gets the edge against North if they play right now. Call it bias.... but the evidence speaks for itself.

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