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Inside the 8th Region 1-11-15

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The 8th Region boys have struggled to make their mark against the elite from other regions, but the region is setting up for a very exciting All-A tournament and the big tournament in New Castle.


The top of the pecking order, overall record-wise, as of 1/11/15:


Owen County 14-2 .875

Oldham County 13-3 .813

Shelby County 11-4 .733

Trimble Co. 11-4 .733

Collins 10-5 .667

Simon Kenton 9-6 .600

Grant County 9-6 .600

North Oldham 10-7 .588

Anderson Co. 7-5 .583

Carroll County 8-7 .533

Walton-Verona 9-8 .529

Henry County 8-8 .500


After Spencer County dropped a region game this week, four teams remain undefeated in Region 8 play:


Owen County 9-0

Oldham County 5-0

Collins 4-0

North Oldham 3-0


Who's Hot:


Michael Dunaway, Trimble County - The Raiders' junior forward had a monster 21 point 21 rebound game against Williamstown on 1/9/15 in a 73-62 Trimble win, eclipsing the 1,000 point mark. He's averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds a game.


Carson Wiliams, Owen County He's not only averaging 24.8 ppg and 14.1 rebounds, he's hitting 69.6% of his shots. Guess what? The consensus favorite to be 8th Region Player of the Year is also just a junior.


Austin Cummins, Anderson County 24.1 ppg, has hit 43 threes in just 12 games. Re-writing the record books in Lawrenceburg.


Jonathan Henry, North Oldham Undoubtedly the best player you haven't heard of, since North has missed the region tournament the past three years. 22.6 ppg, 5.6 rebounds. "Jon Jon" has hit 40 threes and is hitting 52.6% of his shots, overall, and 41.7% beyond the arc. In addition, he's a 70% free throw shooter. Henry hit for 35 points against Jeffersontown last Monday, including the game winning three pointer at the buzzer. He had 17 points in the final quarter.


Matt Mullins, Simon Kenton 18.2 ppg and 10.3 rebounds per game on the season. Coming off a 22 point, 17 rebound night against the Scott High Eagles on 1/10/15.


Deion Cochran, Collins Had a five game stretch of 18+ point games heading into the Spencer contest.


Hayden Hawes, Oldham County The Colonels' senior point guard has scored 92 points over the past five games (18.4 ppg), including four games over 20 points.


The 8th Region Top 10


1. Oldham County (13-3, 5-0 Region 8 The Colonels continue to impress, although some top competition over the holidays revealed some chinks in the armor. Still, the Colonels are an impressive 5-0 against region 8 competition, with four of those five wins coming against upper-tier region competition: 35 point win over Trimble, 25 point win over Anderson, 20 point win over Grant, and a 15 point victory over Simon Kenton, the Pioneers' worst defeat this year. The Colonels are scary deep; only starters Hayden Hawes (14.1 ppg) and Jacob Bates (11.0 ppg) are averaging in double figures, but senior starting guard Conner Hicks (9.3 ppg) is frequently in double figures, as are reserves Brandon Johnson (8.4 ppg) and Clayton Wirth (6.4 ppg). On Friday, against South Oldham, sophomore Ismail Jones had a breakout game and scored 11 points. All told, ten different Colonels have scored in double figures at least once this year.


2. Collins (10-5, 4-0 region 8 The Titans have won four straight and 6 of their last 7, and the Titans haven't really scratched their full potential yet. Against a very difficult schedule, Collins has held its own, and Brent Kidwell and Deion Cochran are one of the two or three best guard combos in the region. Collins relies on their defense; how far the Titans go may well be determined by how their offense, which is only barely averaging 60 ppg, improves, meaning the offensive development o Mark Sorrells and Jakson Test are key. The next 10 games will tell a lot; a brutal schedule including: South Oldham (1/13/15, broadcast on The Pegasus Sports Network - PSN), at Shelby County (1/16/15), followed by Oldham County, Bullitt East, Simon Kenton, Woodford County, Grant County, Eastern, Male, and Owen County. Six of the ten will be on the road.


3. Simon Kenton 9-6, 2-1 region 8 Simon Kenton remains at the #3 spot, with a notable tip of the hat to an improving offense. After going 0-3 at Lexington Catholic over the holidays, SK has won three straight, including a 91-77 win over the Eagles of Scott High. The Pioneers are averaging 69.2 ppg, second only to Grant County (70. ppg) and they are finding new weapons. Matt Mullins is coming off a huge game (22 points, 17 rebounds) vs. Scott High, but the Pioneers are seeing increasing contributions from Austin Fries (19 points vs. Scott High) and Noah Robinson (22 points). Combined with Michael Sammons and Jeager Pracht, SK may have the most prolific scoring starters in the region.


4. Owen County 14-2, 9-0 region 8 After dropping two in a row, the Rebels have ripped off five straight wins to move to 14-2. Carson Williams continues to dominate; he's averaging 24.8 ppg and 14.1 rebounds. The Rebels should be the favorite in this week's 8th Region All-A.


5. Shelby County 11-4, 2-2 region 8 The Rockets have won 7 of their last 9, including an impressive 71-50 victory over Grant County. But they dropped their last game by 9 at Anderson County.... This may yet be a region championship team....but the consistency isn't there yet.


6. Grant County 9-6, 2-3 region 8 Grant County is a good shooting team, but a 15 of 31 night at the line doomed the Braves against Shelby in a 21 point loss. The Braves are averaging a region-best 70.1 ppg, but have lost 2 of their last 3 games.


7. Anderson County 7-5, 1-2 region 8 The Bearcats move up from last week after knocking off Shelby by 9. Austin Cummins had another monster game, tallying 37 points in the win, including 7 threes. If Anderson had hit free throws better (just 13 of 25 in the game), it wouldn't have been close. Saturday at Mercer County is a chance for Anderson to show they can beat good teams in games other than rivalry games.


8. North Oldham 10-7, 3-0 region 8 North has fully established themselves as the #2 team in District 29 behind Oldham County, which is important since the Mustangs have missed out on the region tournament three straight years. Jonathan Henry leads the way with a 24 ppg average....The Mustangs are hot right now, having won 10 of 13, and they are scoring points at a 66.8 ppg clip, but the team continues to struggle on the defensive end of the floor. The Mustangs have given up 70+ points in seven games this year, including the last three. A 26 point loss to Bryan Station shows the team isn't ready to tackle the elite teams yet, but we'll see how they perform against a really tough stretch of games starting this week: 1/16/15 vs. Oldham County (on The Pegasus Sports Network - PSN), followed by Anderson County, Male, Shelby County, Meade County, and North Bullitt.


9. Walton-Verona 9-8, 3-2 region 8 The Bearcats have the opposite problem; they can't score. Still, W-V has won 3 of their last 4, including a victory over Trimble County. Their lone loss during the stretch was a respectable 72-58 loss to Owen County. However, there are signs of the offense waking up; after enduring a stretch of seven straight games where the 'Cats scored fewer than 50 points, Walton-Verona has scored over 60 in three of their last 4 games, including a season-high 71 points on 1/9/15 in a 71-44 win over Villa Madonna.


10. Trimble County 11-4, 4-4 region 8 Michael Dunaway continues to pile on the stats, and the Raiders continue to win. Trimble has won 7 of their last 8 games, with only a 1 point loss (60-59) to Walton-Verona marring that stretch. The Raiders are in the midst of what could be a landmark campaign; they have already matched last year's win total, and will be favored in all eleven remaining regular season games. A 20+ win season seems likely and the Raiders will be one of the favorites to win the 8th Region All-A. Trimble has averaged just 8.2 wins per season over the last 15 years, with only two winning seasons (15-11 in 2012-13 and 17-11 in 2000-1). The last Raider team to make it to New Castle was the 1999-2000 squad. This year's team has Bedford excited again and rightfully so.



Key Games this Week


8th Region All-A Classic at Gallatin County:


Tuesday 1/13/15 5 pm Carroll County vs. Gallatin County

6:30 pm Trimble County vs. Eminence

8 pm Walton-Verona vs. Williamstown


Thursday 1/15/15 6 pm Owen County vs. Carroll/Gallatin winner

7:30 pm Walton-Verona/Williamstown winner vs. Trimble/Eminence winner


Saturday 1/17/15 7 pm Championship


The entire 8th Region All-A can be heard on Tri-State Sports Radio at www.tristateinternetradiosports.com



Other key games this week:



Tuesday 1/13/15 South Oldham at Collins - the two-time defending 8th region champs are a bit down

right now, with 2 of their top 6 players out with injuries. But the South-Collins

games have been fun to watch the past few years. Live video coverage beginning

at 7 pm ET on The Pegasus Sports Network - PSN


Tuesday 1/13/15 Simon Kenton at Cooper (8-5) - Cooper is 2-0 vs. 8th Region teams with wins

already over Walton-Verona and Collins.


Friday 1/16/15 Oldham County at North Oldham - Oldham can clinch the 29th District top seed with

a win. North Oldham can take the top seed with a win and a subsequent victory

over South Oldham in their seeding game. Live video coverage beginning at 7:45

pm ET on The Pegasus Sports Network - PSN


Friday 1/16/15 Shelby County at Collins - The rematch. Collins took the first game, at Shelby Co.

HS, 59-51.


Saturday 1/17/15 Anderson County at Mercer County (13-4)

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After seeing 3 region contenders play at Anderson (Oldham, Collins and Shelby), Oldham is far and away in my opinion the top team. Haven't yet seen Owen play, but they will need more than just a monster Carson Williams to compete with/beat Oldham. SK remains the mystery team in this region I think.

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I've now seen the following teams in person:


Oldham County

Simon Kenton


Shelby County

North Oldham

South Oldham

Grant County


I haven't seen Trimble or Owen, but I know their teams well. Anderson has a few mystery players to me, but I've been getting some great info from my contacts in L-burg. Walton-Verona is the big mystery to me....I probably won't get a chance to see the Bearcats unless they make the region.


Saw the South - Collins game tonight. South playing without three of their top 6 players battled early, but simply didn't have the horses to stay with Collins.

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Who did you see these teams play against? That's the question. I know a few teams have battled sickness and injuries.



Mostly against each other, but also against a lot of quality opponents, such as Bullitt East, Central, Eastern, and St. X....


All teams have been dealing some with sickness and injuries. Or late-arriving football players. Or newomers. Or new coaches. It's something different for everyone and few teams are completely immune.

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