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Inside the 9th Region (1/13)


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Through the first 6 weeks of 9th region basketball, it has becomes clear that there is one elite team. A team that isn't far behind. And two teams that are just waiting to get their shot to prove this isn't a two horse race for the 9th region crown. Let's jump in to this week's rankings.


1. Newport Central Catholic (10-2)


Why: The Breds went 3-0 this week with an average margin of victory of 31 points.


Newcath 90 Holy Cross 54

Another dominating victory, another dominating performance by the big 3 of Drew McDonald (22 pts, 8 rbs), Zack Pangallo (19 pts), and Ben Weyer (18 pts, 12 rbs).


Newcath 78 Newport 49

In a district match up against the Wildcats, it was the Ben Weyer show as the junior matched his career high of 33 points, while pulling down 10 rebounds. Drew McDonald finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds.


Newcath 82 South Knox, IN 53

Playing in the Hoosier state, the Breds were led by the foursome of Drew McDonald (19 pts, 15 rbs), Ben Weyer (19 pts), Grant Moeves (12 pts), and Zack Pangallo (10 pts)


Overall: While wins over Newport and Holy Cross aren't exactly signature wins and it's unknown how South Knox compares to other top 20 Kentucky teams, Newcath continues to absolutely steam roll the competition. With Ben Weyer consistently around 20 points per game, and McDonald playing like a man on the boards, this team is on another level compared to the rest of the 9th region.


Up Next: 1/14 v Lloyd, 1/16 v Covcath at Bank of Kentucky Center


2. Covington Catholic (11-3)


Why: The Colonels went 2-0 this week and have now won 6 straight.


Covcath 51 Cincinnati St Xavier 45

The trio of Cole Vonhandorf (17 pts), Cooper Theobald (10 pts), and Bo Schuh (9 pts) combined for 6 of the Colonels' 51 points, while Schuh also pulled down 11 boards in the win.


Covcath 72 Cincinnati Winton Wooods 41

While Cole Vonhandorf poured in 20 points, it was Bo Schuh's performance of 16 points, 11 rebounds that steal's the spotlight in a game where 11 different Colonels scored.


Overall: This past week we saw the Bo Schuh that many have been waiting to see since his sophomore year. Consistency has always been his biggest issue but if he can continue to play a high level, the Colonels stand a much better chance at overtaking the #1 spot. Luckily for us, we won't have to wait long to find out.


Up Next: 1/13 at Cincinnati Moeller, 1/16 v Newcath at Bank of Kentucky Center, 1/17 v Ryle


3. Holmes (12-3)


Why: The Bulldogs went 2-0 this week and extended their win streak to 8 games.


Holmes 96 Scott 92

In a game in which Holmes trailed by as many as 9 in the second half, the Bulldogs pulled out the road victory behind a career high 40 points from James Bolden, to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Rod Avery also had a solid game with 23 points, 12 rebounds, while Markel McClendon chipped in 13 points.


Holmes 74 Madison Central 71

The Bulldogs were led by Markel McClendon with a game high 22 points, while Bolden (16 pts), and Avery (12 pts) also finished in double figures. Marcus Mullins had a quiet 9 points, to go along with 5 rebounds.


Overall: While Holmes struggled to finish against Madison Central and allowed them to get within 2 in the 4th quarter, after building a 16 point lead, the Bulldogs showed how much they have grown as a team in the Scott game, coming back from 9 down in the second half to get the win. Early in the season, these are two games Holmes might have lost, but with more experience, this is becoming a pretty tough team as the Bulldogs are finally starting to figure things out. While many might think this is a two team region, Holmes continues to improve and show that they can't be counted out. These next two weeks should tell us a lot about this team.


Up Next: 1/13 v Holy Cross, 1/14 at Newport, 1/16 v Cooper at Bank of Kentucky Center



4. Dixie Heights(11-4)(


Why: The Colonels went 3-0 this week and have won 11 of their last 12, including 8 straight.


Dixie Heights 69 Villa Madonna 27

Andrew Hedger(15 pts), Austin Schreck (13 pts), and Matt Isbel (10 pts) all finished in double figures for the Colonels in the blow out district win.


Dixie Heights 55 Ryle 36

The Colonels were led by Austin Schreck with 18 points and sophomore Hunter Meyer with 10 points in the win over the Raiders. Meyer played arguably his best game of his young career as he also pulled down 7 rebounds.


Dixie Heights 53 Holy Cross

In a game that was maybe a little closer than expected, the Colonels pulled out the win behind the backcourt duo of Austin Schreck (15 pts) and Liam Rabe (13pts).


Overall: One constant with the Colonels this week was the play of Austin Schreck, as he averaged 13 ppg. With Dixie finally getting Liam Rabe back from a minor ankle injury and Mitch Bolin back in game shape after a family vacation, it will be interesting to see how the Colonels perform as a unit. The depth and talent is there. It's now time to show what all the preseason hype was about regarding their depth, length, and experience.


Up Next: 1/13 v Ludlow, 1/17 at Conner


5. Boone County (11-6)


Why: The Rebels went 2-2 this week and while some will argue they should drop because of one of those losses, they have taken care of business against the teams ranked below them.


Boone Co 74 Grant Co 70

In a balanced scoring attack, Brenden Stanley led the Rebels with 23 points, followed by 22 from Haven Borkowski. Brett Mayberry chipped in 14 points, while big man Junior Stockwell finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds.


Mason Co 56 Boone Co 54

Junior Stockwell and Brenden Stanley led the Rebels with 18 and 17 points, respectively.


Beechwood 55 Boone Co 52

Brenden Stanley finished with 22 points, 6 reboundsbut was the only Rebel to score in double figures as the Rebels got upset on the road in one of their worst shooting games of the year.


Boone Co 70 Scott 28

Junior Stockwell led all scorers with 18 points while Brendan Stanley added 17 points and Brett Mayberry scored 11 against the Eagles.



I don't think there is a more up and down team in the region. Boone has shown they can play with tough teams, as seen in the Mason County game and the blowout win over Scott, but are also not that great of a shooting team so are prone to games like what was seen against Beechwood. The Rebels maintain the 5th ranking in the poll but that could change come next week.


Up Next: 1/16 v St Henry


6.. Cooper (8-5)


Why: The Jags went 1-1 this week.


Cooper 72 Highlands 47

As has been the case with most every game this year, Cooper was led by Sean McNeil with 19 points, while Jonathon Liechty tallied 13. Despite only having two double figures scorers, it was a a balanced attack as Dante Hendrix, Colin Hathorn, and freshman Adam Kunkel all finished with 8 points, apiece.


Cincinnati Elder 64 Cooper 49

Cooper was led by Sean McNeil and Colin Hathorn with 14 points, each. Hathorn also pulled down 6 boards in the loss.


Overall: Sean McNeil continues to make a name for himself as the go to guy for the Jags during his sophomore campaign. The key continues to be the play of Jon Liechty and Colin Hathorn. If those two play to their potential, Cooper becomes a legit threat to the teams in the top 5. They have gotten good guard play which goes a long way in the 9th region.


Up Next: 1/13 v Simon Kenton, 1/16 v Holmes at Bank of Kentucky Center


7. Conner (8-5)


Why: The Cougars went 1-0 this week in their only game.


Conner 77 St Patrick 50

Six Cougars scored 7 or more points, led by Jacob Barnes with 19 points and Michael Scott with 18 points.



Overall: Not much has changed with the Cougars since the last "Inside the 9th Region." They will have a chance to move up in the rankings with this week's schedule.


Up Next: 1/13 v Campbell Co, 1/17 v Dixie Heights


8. St Henry (9-7)


Why: The Crusaders went 2-1 this week.


St Henry 54 Tates Creek 43

Connor Kunstek and Adam Goetz both finished with 16 points in the win.


St Henry 52 Bellevue 24

Logan Kenney led the Crusaders with 11 points.


Lexington Catholic 66 St Henry 55

Connor Kunstek scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Crusaders.Adam Goetz added 19 points, three assists and three rebounds for St. Henry.


Overall: It was a solid week for the Crusaders as they got a revenge win over Tates Creek, then throttled Bellevue, and had a nice showing against a top 20 Lexcath team.


Up Next: 1/13 v Cincinnati McNicholas, 1/16 at Boone County


9. Holy Cross (8-8)


Why: The Indians went 1-1 this past week.


Holy Cross 81 Lloyd 57

Leighton Schrand and Jakubowski paced the Indians with 18 points, apiece, while Tyler Bezold chipped in 15 points in the win over Lloyd.


Dixie Heights 53 Holy Cross 52

The Indians were led by Tyler Bezold and Leighton Schrand with 14 and 10 points, respectively.


Overall: Holy Cross had a solid showing against Dixie and have now lost 5 of their last 6 after starting 7-3.


Up Next: 1/13 at Holmes,


10. Newport (8-8)


Why: The Wildcats went 1-1 this week.


Newcath 78 Newport 49

Ethan Snapp led Newport with 16 points, while Paul Price added 11.


Newport 61 Highlands 56

Ethan Snapp, once again, led Newport with 32 points in the key district win over the Bluebirds. Kam Covington added a game high 14 rebounds, while Kedan Davis and freshman Rico Hollis contributed 8 points, each.


Overall: Snapp and Price have been consistent for the Wildcats all year but until they get a consistent third scoring option, it's going to be tough for them to beat the teams ranked ahead of them.


Up Next: 1/14 v Holmes, 1/17 v Dayton Ponitz Career Technology Center (OH)


Weekly Storylines


- Jacob Huff of Beechwood and Cole VonHandorf of Covcath both scored their 1,000th point this past week. Congrats to both.


- Ben Weyer and James Bolden both scored career highs this past week with 33 and 40 points, respectively.


Top Games This Week


The place to be this week is Bank of Kentucky Center Friday night as Holmes meets Cooper at 7:00 followed by Covcath v Newcath at 8:30. Both of these games should give us some clarity on the rankings in next week's segment of "Inside the 9th Region."

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