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Inside the 6th Region (1/11/15)


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We are 10 days into the New Year and have had some games this past week that helped shape up the rankings. The best of the 6th Region begins playing in the LIT this week along with the best of the 7th Region. LIT performance helps make a statement on where you belong in the order of best teams from the Louisville Area. Favorable match-ups help, but if you make the quarterfinals of the LIT you have earned the right to claim being among the best.

 

Top 10

 

1.) Doss

12-2 and winners of their past 6 games make Doss the overwhelming #1 team where they have been since an opening week win over pre-season favorite PRP. Since the New Year, they beat LCA at the Clem Haskins Classic by 12 and then easily beat Butler. Their most recent victory was a 10 point win over a Jeffersontown team that does not have many victories. Perhaps they were taking that game lightly, but it did show that Doss can be beaten as that game was close in the final minute before they surged to a 10 point win. But as long as Weaver, Gray, and Jefferson play solid games this is a team that will be tough to knock out of the front of the pack.

 

2.) PRP

12-3 on the season and winners of their last three. Since the last report they had a game against East Jassimine canceled at the Clem Haskins Classic, however, they won 3 games by large margins against some of the lighter opponents on their schedule. Richard Gaines continues to be a one man wrecking crew and has shown to be the favorite for the 6th region POY.

 

3.) DeSales

13-3 with a 2-1 record since the Holiday break keeps DeSales at the #3 spot. An overtime lost to St. X started the New Year off rough, but they bounced back with a win over a tough Western team and also a surprisingly competitive KCD team on the road as well. DeSales plays Fairdale in their 1st round LIT game and should be moving on to the quarterfinals unless Fairdale can pull the upset.

 

4.) Bullitt East

10-4 and winners of three in a row, with two of those recent wins coming since the last report. One of those wins was against district opponent Fern Creek which positions BE to be the #1 seed in district play. It was a close two point margin that was determined after a three point miss at the buzzer by Fern Creek hit the back of the rim and came out. Not much separates DeSales, BE, or Fern Creek for that matter, but BE remains in the Top 4 of the 6th region by virtue of their victory over Fern Creek. Tyler Sharpe continues to lead Bullitt East with his all around toughness and sharp shooting.

 

5.) Fern Creek

10-6 and winners of four of their last five games. Since the New Year, Fern Creek is 1-1 with the loss being a close two point heart breaker to district foe Bullitt East. In addition to the close loss to BE, they have another 2 point loss to Hopkinsville and a single point loss to Seneca that haunt them as they struggle to win the tight ballgames. They could very easily be 13-3 if they could capitalize on final possessions. It could be their lack of experience and also relying on a lineup that has 3 freshmen starters who form the nucleus of what appears to be a very bright future. But can they win now? Their have a Tuesday LIT rematch with Eastern, who they beat in late December. If they succeed over Eastern again, a quarterfinal game against Ballard would really test this young team and give us a measure of if they can win against the elite teams now.

 

6.) North Bullitt

10-5 on the season, 4-1 within the 6th region, and 3-0 in district play requires a bump in the ranking for North Bullitt. However, the regional wins have come against Bullitt Central (twice), Moore, and Iroquois. Those wins are not over any quality 6th region opponent and the loss came to Holy Cross who has not proven to be a top ranked team in the region either. They play St. X from the 7th region in a first round game of the LIT on Monday. Unless they beat or play St. X close, they will likely drop several spots, and it will be hard to move up in the rankings as the season goes on since they do not have many more tough games on the schedule. St. X did beat DeSales last week, so should the Eagles beat St. X they would have to be given more credit than their schedule has been preventing them from receiving so far.

 

7.) Western

Western stays put again in the 7th spot as they went 1-1 since the last report. They played DeSales rather close on the road despite losing by 7, and blew out Valley by 25. They open the LIT on Monday with a sliding Butler team who is struggling so there will likely be a chance to play a tough opponent in the 2nd round.

 

8.) Fairdale

Fairdale is .500 on the season with a 7-7 record. They boast being undefeated in the region at 5-0 and 2-0 in district play. However, only a victory over Western early in December is over a team ranked higher than them. They also have only won 2 out of their last 6 games since Christmas. In 2015 they have only beat Valley which was a 71-65 victory. They were on the losing end of two blowouts to 7th region teams Eastern & Manual. Both of those are good teams, but Fairdale has struggled beating any team that would be considered better than them. Until they get one of those signature wins, they likely will be around the 8-10th spot in the 6th region.

 

9.) Southern

Southern is also .500 with a 7-7 record like Fairdale, but has not done as well in regional play. But 2 of those losses were to DeSales and to Fern Creek so they are 3-2 in the 6th aside from those games. They had also won 4 out of their last 5 games until they played Fern Creek this past week. Despite being down by 26 at the half of that game and then down 25 after three quarters, the Trojans did not quit. Rather they fought, clawed, and scratched their way until the final buzzer cutting the margin to 6 on a final buzzer beating three pointer. This is a team that fights until the end.

 

10.) Beth Haven

BH continues to get the final spot because they are now 13-1. However, they are 0-1 in regional play with a loss to Valley who does not sit inside the Top 10. They also only play a single member of the 6th region the rest of the season until district play begins. They play Holy Cross on 1/20 and again on 2/3. Holy Cross is not ranked inside the Top 10 either which makes it impossible to give the Beth Haven team any higher ranking than the 10th spot they now enjoy. Any future loss will drop them out of the consideration of being in the Top 10, but for now they will get that spot.

 

Top Player

Richard Gaines is yet again recognized for his recent efforts and seasonal excellence. He is averaging 22 PPG, shooting close to 60% from the field, 71% from the free throw line, and with almost 12 rebounds per game. He is so much more athletic than most kids making him exciting to watch and capable of making plays that leave you shaking your head in disbelief. As long as Gaines is getting touches and fed by his teammates, the Panthers will remain a threat to win the 6th region.

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