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ColonelMike

8th Region Week 4 Review - Pick a Team, Any Team

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8th Region Week 4 Review: Pick a Team, Any Team

By Colonelmike

 

I have to apologize; by necessity, I must be very brief this week….I’m heading out on the road to take in a bowl game and have to leave in a few short hours. So we’ll make this short and snappy.

 

The bottom-line for Week 4: Lady Luck can give, and she can take away. This was the week when she largely took away from teams who could have asserted themselves, but couldn’t quite get over the hump. Collins fell to #4-ranked Male in the third-place game of the King of the Bluegrass….North Oldham fell to #1-ranked Ballard in the championship game – and then suffered what could be a far more impactful loss later in the week…Simon Kenton had the opportunity to knock off the state’s #6-ranked team, but fell by five points…

 

Who deserves to be number one? North was poised to take the honor from Collins after a better showing in the King of the Bluegrass, but all bets are off in Goshen with Justin Powell out of action, potentially for a long time. Oldham County has only one loss – but it was to Woodford County, a team with a losing record and some erratic scores. Anderson County has the most victories (11), but is looking for that signature win to put them in the discussion for the top spot. Or maybe Collins deserves to stay at number one, despite going 0-2 against ranked competition last week and eking out a two point win over Tates Creek? What about South Oldham, Spencer County, or Simon Kenton?

 

For all the teams that struggled this past week, there were some that excelled…Oldham County is playing in the championship game of the Blue Star Invitational in South Carolina….Henry County welcomed back one of their stars this week….and six teams went undefeated last week (Oldham County, Spencer County, Woodford County, Anderson County, Walton-Verona, and Carroll County), combining for a record of 14-0 last week.

 

In the end, there wasn’t a lot of change in the rankings. Just two teams moved.

 

On to the rankings…

 

1 - Collins (9-3) Last week: #1 The Titans went just 1-2 this week, but against rugged competition, losing to #4 Male, 83-72, and to #13 Bourbon County by 2. In between, they edged a decent Tates Creek team in a thriller, 65-63. Dayvion McKnight had 28 in the Male loss (no stats for the TC and Bourbon games yet), including taking all 7 of Collins’ free throw attempts – making all 7. In the last three games with stats – vs Madisonville-North Hopkins, Ballard, and Male – Collins is 20 of 35 from the line. McKnight is personally a solid 17 of 25 (68%), while the rest of the team has taken just 10 free throw attempts, making just 3…

 

The Titans have lost 3 of their last four, with all three losses coming to teams ranked in Bluegrasspreps.com’s top 13. Overall, 5 of the Titans’ 12 games have come against teams ranked in the top 14 in the state, as of last week’s Bluegrasspreps.com rankings, with Collins going 2-3 in those games.

 

This week: 1/3 at Madison Central

 

2 – Oldham County (9-1) Last week: #2 Hard to know exactly what to say about the Colonels this week; they won both of their first two matchups in the Blue Star Invitational Tournament in South Carolina, defeating Covenant Day (NC), 69-46, and then beating Plymouth Whitemarsh (PA), 66-54, in the semi-finals. The Colonels are set to play in the championship game on 12/30.

 

Oldham continues to average a lot of points, scoring at a 75.2 ppg clip, second only to South Oldham (75.9 ppg) in the 8th Region.

 

Oldham will truly get a chance to prove themselves in 2020, with ten key games in January and February against Paul Laurence Dunbar, Beechwood, South Oldham, North Oldham, PRP, Tates Creek, LaRue County, Collins, Simon Kenton, and Anderson County.

 

This week: 12/30 – Blue Star Invitational championship 1/3 Paul Laurence Dunbar (at North Oldham HS) 1/4/20 Paintsville (at George Rogers Clark)

 

3 – South Oldham (9-4) Last week: #4 South had an up-and-down week, going 2-2. The Dragons scored over 62 points in all four games – including two 90+ point outings – but gave up 105 points and 67 points in the two losses.

 

South finished 8th in the King of the Bluegrass, falling in the 7th place game to Trotwood-Madison (OH), 105-99, despite 29 points from both Seth Johnson and 26 from Luke Morrison. They started well in the Hentry County Invitational, knocking off both Harrison County and Ryle, before falling to a good Bishop Brossart team, 67-62, in the finals.

No stats were readily available on the Brossart game, but South seems to have certainly found its range (again) from beyond the arc – the Dragons hit 46 of 95 in the three games prior to the HCIT final game for 48.2%. In those three games, they made 13, 14, and 19 (against Ryle) threes.

 

South is the only team moving up this week, replacing North Oldham, who falls from the number three spot.

 

This week – three games in the South Oldham Classic: 1/2/20 vs. Holmes 1/3/20 – vs. Warren Central (broadcast on Pegasus Sports Network) 1/4/20 – vs. Bullitt East

 

4 – North Oldham (6-4) Last week: #3 No team soared so high and (possibly) fell back so quickly than North Oldham.

 

Last week, the Mustangs were the toast of the region, sporting a win over then-#1 Male and a date in the championship of the King of the Bluegrass against Ballard.

This week, the Mustangs are riding a three-game losing streak – albeit against top-tier competition – and are facing the prospect of playing the rest of the season without star Justin Powell.

 

North fell to Ballard in the finals of the KOB, 82-72, a respectable loss against the state’s new #1 team. In a dogfight, the Mustangs then lost to a really good Frederick Douglas team, 74-70, in which Powell collided with a defender in the fourth quarter and left with a possible knee injury.

 

Without Powell, the Mustangs’ offense struggled to 52 points in a 62-52 loss to Paul Laurence Dunbar.

 

Powell will have MRIs done Monday to ascertain if this is a season-ending injury or not.

North Oldham has not scored fewer than 65 points with Powell in the lineup; the Mustangs – in two full games without Powell – have not scored over 52 points without him.

 

This week: 12/30 – TBA Traditional Basketball Classic 1/3/20 – Bradford (Starke) of Florida 1/4/20 – vs Paul Laurence Dunbar

 

5 – Spencer County (7-3) - Last week: #5 Spencer went 3-0 this week, defeating Lafayette, Mercer County, and Madison Southern. The Bears now have the region’s longest current winning streak at five.

 

This week, three games in the South Oldham Classic, including two top-level teams from Warren County: 1/2/20 – vs. Bowling Green 1/3/20 vs. Holmes 1/4/20 – vs. #15 Warren Central

 

6 – Simon Kenton (6-3) Last week: #6 SK had two quality opponents this past week in the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic, defeating a solid Paul Laurence Dunbar squad, 42-41, before falling to #6 Madisonville-North Hopkins, 62-57.

 

The latter game was a solid effort against a top-10 team. It didn’t exactly prove SK belongs in the top 10, but it shows that the 8th region’s better teams can compete toe-to-toe with anyone.

 

Simon Kenton continued to do well so long as the talented backcourt does well, but the Pioneers continue to struggle on the glass – only 13 rebounds against PLD.

 

This week: 1/3/20 – Anderson County 1/4/20 – Fern Creek (at North Oldham)

 

7 – Woodford County (5-5) Last week: #7 Woodford may be settling in a bit. The Yellowjackets have now won four straight since opening the season at 1-5, and they now have a berth in the championship game of the Gateway Holiday Classic.

 

The Jackets won their first two games in the Classic, dropping Mason County, 57-46, before beating (Covington) Holy Cross, 74-65, to put Woodford in the title game against Dixie Heights.

 

Woodford has been tested previously by some pretty top competition, and they are used to close games; 5 of their 10 contests have been decided by 5 points or less (Woodford is 2-3 in those games).

 

Woodford has the opportunity to tangle with another heavyweight later this week when they go on the road to #9 Ashland.

 

This week: 12/29 – vs. Dixie Heights (Gateway Holiday Classic championship at Montgomery County HS) 1/2/20 – Nelson County 1/4/20 – at #9 Ashland

 

8 – Anderson County (11-1) Last week: #8 Anderson County didn’t play any heavyweights this week, but the Bearcats ran their winning streak to four by getting three victories in the Nelson County Classic against Bullitt Central, Frankfort, and Nelson County.

All three games were decided by single digits; like Woodford, Anderson has seen its share of close games this year. The Cats have seen seven of their twelve games decided by less than 10 points. Anderson is 6-1 in those contests.

 

This week, the competition ratchets up a bit – in fact, the Bearcats have several strong opponents in January, including games against Simon Kenton, Woodford County, North Oldham, Collins, and Somerset.

 

This week: 1/3/20 – at Simon Kenton

 

9 – Grant County (5-5) Last week: #9 Grant County isn’t doing bad out west in the (Phoenix) Cactus Jam Tournament.

 

The Braves dropped their opener to Central Bucs East (PA), 75-67, but bounced back to beat Liberty (OR), 57-44. They have two more games on 12/30/19 before heading home.

Grant lost the first game with leading scorer Ben Vickers held scoreless, and Jack Epperson held to just 6 points (though he had 10 rebounds). Luke Dawalt had his usual – a solid 13 points / 7 rebounds – but it was the guys who are assuming greater roles who scored big for Grant.

 

Freshmen Dylan Hammonds (16 points) and Blake Robinson (14 points) were Grant County’s top two scorers on the night, perhaps foreshadowing things to come for the Braves…

 

This week: 12/30 – Cactus Jam (Phoenix, AZ) 1/3/20 – Dixie Heights 1/4/20 – at Breathitt County

 

10 – Gallatin County (5-6) Last week: #10 Gallatin dropped two of three in the Panther Holiday Shootout at Knox County Central HS. The Wildcats only reached 60 points in the third game – a 73-68 loss to the host school. Still, Gallatin has eclipsed 60 points in 8 of their 11 games; though Jarin Rassman is the only Wildcat averaging in double figures (18 ppg), four other Cats are averaging around 9 ppg in support.

 

The Wildcats have a big district clash this week against a hot Carroll County Panthers team that pushed them to the limit in Warsaw in the two teams’ last meeting.

 

This week: 1/3/20 at Carroll County

 

11 – Walton-Verona (6-4) Last Week: #11 Walton has bounced back nicely, winning two games last week in the Bracken County Holiday Classic. The Bearcats bounced Nicholas County, 81-76, before blasting St. Patrick, 84-44.

 

Though neither team is strong this year - Bracken County is 1-8 and St. Patrick is 2-7 – the two wins gave W-V the chance to erase the memory of two tough losses to Anderson County and Oldham County and to get their offense back on track.

 

This week: 12/30 – Holmes 1/4/20 – at Covington Holy Cross

 

12 – Carroll County (6-4) Last week: #12 Carroll County comes into this week about as hot as anybody in the 8th Region; the Panthers have won their last two games and 6 of their last 7.

 

Last week, the Panthers beat St. Patrick and Bracken County in the Bracken County Holiday Classic. Wyatt Supplee (29.3 ppg this season) had 30 against St. Patrick – his sixth game this year of 30 points or more.

 

This week features a huge matchup with perennial 31st district power Gallatin County. The Panthers’ last loss was a 9 point loss at Gallatin….this one is in Carrollton and gives the Panthers a chance to challenge for that district #1 seed.

 

This week: 1/3/20 – Gallatin County

 

13 – Shelby County (3-9) Last Week: #13 The Rockets won their first game in the Dan Swartz Classic at Bath County last week in a one-point squeaker over Menifee County, but fell by three to the host school and then lost a 22 – point decision to Elliott County.

 

Despite the 1-2 week, the Rockets have to be pleased by the increasing offensive output; the Menifee and Bath County games were Shelby’s two highest point totals this season.

 

This week: 1/4/20 Iroquois

 

14 – Henry County (3-6) Last week: #14 Henry County got some good news this past week when star Trevor Hardin was able to return. Paired with the high-scoring Ethan Lankford, Hardin gives the Wildcats a 1-2 punch that makes them a completely different team.

 

Henry managed one win in their own Henry County Invitational Tournament. Without Hardin, the Cats fell to Boone County in a heartbreaker, 64-62. With Hardin back in the lineup, Henry lost to Franklin County, 83-67, but they bounced back to defeat Harrison County, 66-61.

 

Hardin had two solid games in his return, scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 boards against Franklin and going for 18 points and 7 rebounds against Harrison.

 

Ethan Lankford led Henry in all three games, scoring over 20 points each night, including 27 against Franklin and 26 points / 12 rebounds versus Harrison. Lankford has now scored 20+ points in four straight games.

 

This week: 1/3/20 vs Owen County 1/4/20 vs. Ludlow

 

15 – Trimble County (2-7) Last week: #15 – Trimble did not play last week.

 

This week: 1/4/20 vs. Bethlehem (at Williamstown)

 

16 - Williamstown (4-4) Last week: #16 Williamstown went 1-2 in their own holiday tournament, losing to Adair County in OT and Trinity (Whitesville), but rebounding to defeat Burgin, 59-52.

 

The Demons have a challenging group of games coming up in January, including Bishop Brossart, Grant County, Simon Kenton, and Gallatin County.

 

This week: 1/3/20 Bere at at Knightstown, IN 1/4/20 – Bishop Brossart

 

17 - Owen County (3-7) Last week: #17 The Rebels earned their third win of the season, 52-43, over Russell County in the Legacy Nissan Dribble Drive Challenge at South Laurel, but fell to the South Laurel team, 66-50, in their next contest.

 

The Rebels showed improved shooting in the win over Russell County, hitting 53.6% of their field goals and 19 of 24 free throws (79.2%). Teagan Moore had 24 points to lead the team.

 

This week: 1/3/20 at Henry County

 

18 - Eminence (3-11) Last week: #18 Eminence did not play last week.

This week: No games. The Warriors’ next game is 1/7/20 at Williamstown

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@ColonelMike no apologies needed, your short and snappy still kicks tail and takes names, thank you and enjoy the trip!

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Simon Kenton defeated Bardstown today in the Lexington Catholic tournament. Collins defeated Beechwood. Thereby setting up a matchup of SK and Collins tomorrow at 330.

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Simon Kenton defeated Bardstown today in the Lexington Catholic tournament. Collins defeated Beechwood. Thereby setting up a matchup of SK and Collins tomorrow at 330.

 

Both good wins for the 8th...Collins ends up beating a short-handed SK team by 8. Have to sit and think about that result for a while. Whatever it means in terms of movement in the rankings - and we can (and probably will) argue about that among ourselves for a while - it shows that the difference between the top tier region 8 teams is pretty thin.

 

I'd be getting my tickets for the January 25th Henry County Invitational in New Castle now....

 

Spencer County vs. St. Xavier

Collins vs. Simon Kenton

South Oldham vs. Woodford County

North Oldham vs. Henry County

 

CM

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Trying to get a feel for Woodford County. Before Spencer County played Madison Southern this weekend I saw that Woodford County had lost by 25 to them. I was expecting a very difficult game but Spencer led the whole game and won by 11. Then I see Woodford beat Oldham. Sounds like a very inconsistent team.

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Anyone know the status of Powell for the weekend?

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Anyone know the status of Powell for the weekend?

 

Haven't heard yet. Trying to find out.

 

CM

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Haven't heard yet. Trying to find out.

 

CM

 

Saw him at the KOB and was instantly one of my favorite players. I see why he is the number 1 ranked 2020 kid in Kentucky. Hoping for the best.

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Posted (edited)

Big games Friday / Saturday at North Oldham in the Champions of Kentucky Hoopfest. Some big challenges for some 8th region squads....

 

North Oldham plays a Florida team and then Paul Laurence Dunbar on Saturday...

 

Oldham County faces PLD on Friday...

 

The top ranked team in the 6th Region, Fern Creek, plays a Cleveland area school on Friday and Simon Kenton on Saturday.

 

Friday 1/3/20

4 pm Oldham County vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar

6 pm Fern Creek vs. Lutheran East (Cleveland Heights, OH)

8 pm Bradford (Starke) FL vs. North Oldham

 

Saturday

4 pm Ballard vs. Bradford (Starke) FL

6 pm North Oldham vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar

8 pm Simon Kenton vs. Fern Creek

 

Would love to have done all the games, but Pegasus Sports will be broadcasting only the North Oldham vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar game at The Pegasus Sports Network - PSN.

 

CM

Edited by ColonelMike

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I corrected the times for Friday....thanks, Converse! - CM

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SK is playing some strong teams this season.

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