Jump to content

8th Region Week 1 Review

Recommended Posts

8th Region Week 1 Review

By:  Colonelmike


An early-season statement made by the Walton-Verona Bearcats, who go 3-0 in Week 1 and capture the 8th Region All-A Classic title….five teams end Week 1 undefeated, out of the 15 region teams that played….and Trevor Hardin makes a strong case out of the gate for Player of the Year honors as the season begins.

Kudos to the Collins Titans, the Walton-Verona Bearcats, the Henry County Wildcats, the Spencer County Bears, and the Woodford County Yellowjackets for all going undefeated in Week One.

Individual accolades go to Cole Kightlinger of Williamstown, who scored his 1,000th career point on a free throw in the second half against Walton-Verona in the All-A Classic.   He received a well-deserved standing ovation from all the fans in attendance.

The Region did OK against out of region competition, going a solid 8-3, but probably the best wins by the Region 8 squads were Collins’ 65-45 win over Franklin County and Woodford County’s 60-52 victory over Lafayette, two middle-of-the-pack 11 region teams, at best.


After Week One, here’s where we stand  (all upcoming games shown are 7:30 pm starts, unless otherwise noted):

1 - Oldham County – (0-0) – Last Week: #1  Oldham stays here despite not playing a game.    One week in, Oldham still looks to be the class of the region on paper; we’ll see in person this coming Saturday.

Nothing during the first week of action in the 8th presents any argument that Oldham still isn’t the top team.

This Week –  Saturday, 1/16    at KCD (noon)


2 – North Oldham (0-0) – Last week:  #2  Like Oldham County, North Oldham was off all last week.  The Mustangs are scheduled to take the court this Saturday.

This week:  Saturday, 1/16    vs Trimble County


3 – Spencer County (3-0) – Last Week:  #3  The Bears, missing star Sam Conley – out for 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist – adjusted nicely, winning all three of their games the first week.

Shelby County gave the Bears a run for their money in the opening game, but a stellar performance by Jake Whitlock saved the day.   Whitlock was 13 of 17 from inside the arc – 13 of 23 overall – and hit 4 of 5 free throws for 30 points to preserve a narrow 50-44 victory.    The Bears outrebounded the Rockets, 29-22.

The Bears closed out the week by getting two victories over outmanned Nelson County and Trimble County squads, beating the Cardinals, 76-24, and the Raiders, 58-37.    Spencer – who only hit 50% of their shots in two games all season last year – hit 54.7% from the field against Nelson, included 13 of 26 (50%) from beyond the arc.   Lucas Hornback (23 points / 10 rebounds) and Jake Whitlock (18 points) were a combined 16 of 28 from the field and both made 3 threes.    With a short bench even shorter due to the absence of Conley, sophomores Jonathon Combs (11 points) and Brice Roark (8 boards) both came up big.

Spencer outrebounded Nelson by 10 as they again won the battle of the boards.

No stats were published as of this writing for the Spencer – Trimble matchup.

This week:   1/11 – at Boyle County (0-0)    1/12 – vs. North Hardin (0-0)    1/15 – vs. Woodford County (2-0)  Could be a very interesting matchup in a potential battle of District 30 unbeatens, if both can get through the first part of the week with their current, unblemished records intact.


4 – Collins  (3-0)   Last week:  #5 – Collins is trying to set the region record for the most overtime games in a season, and they’re off to a good start in that regard.   The Titans went to double overtime against Shelby County in week 1, and played an overtime contest against Grant County in their most recent outing.    But the figures that Coach Chris Gaither is concerned with are “3” and “0” – as in 3-0, the Titans’ record after Week 1.

NOTE:   Collins is entering its 11th season of basketball competition.   In those 11 seasons, Collins has played at least one overtime game 10 times.   The Titans’ only season without an overtime contest came in 2011-12, their second season.

Since then, Collins has played in a remarkable 20 overtime games, including 17 single-overtime contests, two double-overtime contests, and a grueling 4 overtime affair against Eastern on 12/31/2014.

Three seasons – 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2016-17 – the Titans played three overtime games.   They are well on their way to eclipsing that record this year with two overtime games already.

Incredibly, the Titans are a combined 16-4 (.800) in overtime contests since the school opened.

The defending 8th Region champs opened by blasting 11th region foe Franklin County, 65-45, before struggling a bit against two teams ranked in the bottom half of the region.    Collins doesn’t move up so much because they looked like an elite team yet, but they’ve proven themselves to have some gutsy survivor qualities that could play out well in March.  They’ve proven they can find ways to win.

The Titans’ game early appears to be all about the “Big Three” – junior Aaron Thompson, and sophomore guards Kenyon Goodin and Quinton Simmons.   Those three all average in double figures after three games, with Goodin, the transfer from Butler, leading the way at 16 ppg.

Those three have taken more shots than the rest of the team combined (79 vs. 69), but for good reason.   Thompson, Goodin, and Simmons have hit 56% of their shots – all three are shooting over 50% - while the rest of the team is just 23 of 69 for 33% 

Goodin and Simmons have been in double figures in all three games.

Right now, the Titans’ game is inside the arc; Collins is just 12 of 47 beyond the arc for just 25.5%.

This week:   1/12 vs. Marion County (6 pm)   1/15 – at Anderson County    1/16 – at Bardstown (3 pm)


5 – Simon Kenton (1-1) Last week:  #4 -  The Pioneers split two games last week, struggling in a game one loss to Cooper, by a score of 59-50, before rebounding to bounce a talented Evangel team, 83-71.  

8th Region pre-season Player of the Year favorite Kelley Niece led the Pioneers with 22 points and 9 boards in the opener, but suffered an uncharacteristically bad shooting night, hitting just 5 of 12 from inside the arc and a brutal 1 of 10 beyond the arc.    He was more his normal self at the line, though, hitting 9 of 10 free throws, as he accounted for 44% of the Pioneers’ scoring that night and almost a third of the rebounds.

The Pioneers shot more threes (30) than twos (26), making just 5 perimeter shots, which may have been why they only went to the line 11 times.

SK hasn’t posted any stats yet from the Evangel game, but – based on the simple fact that they racked up 83 points – the offense seems to have clicked much more efficiently in the victory.

This week:  1/12 vs. Boone County               1/15 – vs. Grant County


6 – Walton-Verona (3-0)   Last week:  #7 -  The Bearcats were one of the most impressive 8th Region teams in Week 1, completely owning the 8th Region All-A classic, as they blew through all three of their opponents by an average margin of 33 points.

Mike Hester’s Cats blasted Williamstown in the opening round, 68-44, in what turned out to be their closest shave of the tournament.    The Bearcats then hammered Eminence by 50 before claiming the title with a convincing 69-43 win over Owen County.

The stats for the game against Owen are not yet available, but Walton won this tournament by simply being the most polished team out of the gate.    I watched the Walton-Verona vs. Williamstown matchup, and – despite all the chaos of the preseason – the Cats looked remarkably smooth and polished, even if their shots didn’t exactly fall in game 1.

Player of the Year candidate Brant Smithers was dominant against the Demons, scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, both team highs.    In the second game, it was Carter Krohman leading three players in double figures with 12 points against Eminence.

Walton hit 13 of 26 threes against the Warriors after going 7 of 23 in game one.

Five different players reached double figures at least once in the first two contests.

This week:  1/11 – at Woodford County                   1/16 – vs. Owen County


7 – South Oldham (0-0)   Last Week:  #6  The Dragons have yet to see action as the Oldham County schools have pushed back the start of the season until at least January 16th.   Hard to move someone down who hasn’t played yet, but Walton looked very good this week, and the Bearcats bump the Dragons down a spot.

This week:  no scheduled games


8 – Henry County (2-0)   Last week:  #8 – The Wildcats are one of five region 8 teams to go undefeated Week One, with two narrow wins to their credit, a 68-67 win over Anderson County and a 76-74 victory over Western Hills.  

The victory over Anderson County was at least the first Henry County win in that series since before 1998; one source indicated it was the Wildcats’ first victory over the Bearcats since the 1988-89 season.

Trevor Hardin, the Wildcats’ big senior center, made an emphatic case that he cannot be ignored in the Player of the Year consideration.   Hardin was an absolute monster in the Cats’ first two games, recording two double-doubles – he has now recorded 10 double-doubles in his last 12 games, dating back to last season.

Hardin dominated Anderson County for 18 points and 15 rebounds, hitting 7 of 11 shots from the floor.   He followed that up with a huge 30 points / 17 rebound effort against Western Hills, hitting 12 of 17 shots.

Coach Enoch Welch knew that the Wildcats would need outside support for Hardin for the Wildcats to have success this year, and the early returns in that regard are promising.   Kevin Wix recorded two double-digit scoring games (18 vs. Anderson and 16 vs. Western Hills), and Brandon Graves tallied 14 in both contests, while hitting 50% of his shots from the floor – including 7 of 14 beyond the arc.

The Cats also got considerable rebounding support from Sam Royalty, who grabbed 8 boards in both contests.

The Cats play two big rivalry games this week, facing their District 31 nemesis Gallatin County on the road on Wednesday, and going to county rival Eminence on Friday.   While Henry should be favored in all three of their games this week, it will be interesting to see how emotions come into play.

This Week:  1/13 at Gallatin County      1/15 at Eminence     1/16 vs. Highlands Latin (7 pm)


9 – Woodford County (2-0)  Last week:  #9   Woodford also went undefeated in Week 1 as they started a four-game home stand to begin the season, beating 11th region foe Lafayette by 8 (60-52) before knocking off district rival Anderson County, 63-54.

The Yellow Jackets haven’t posted any stats as of yet for either game.

The competition ramps up considerably this week for Woodford as they face 8th Region All-A champ Walton-Verona, and the preseason favorites in the 30th district, Spencer County, on the road.

This week:   1/11 – Walton-Verona     1/14 – Tates Creek     1/15 – at Spencer County


10 – Anderson County (0-2)   Last week:  #10 – The Bearcats hold position at #10 despite going 0-2 in Week One, as the Cats faced the two teams ranked just ahead of them in this ranking – and lost the two games by a combined 10 points.

Coach Bryan Hyatt is expecting this Bearcats team to be much more proficient on the offensive end than last year’s defensive-minded squad, but so far, the Cats haven’t been quite able to get the upper hand in their first two contests.  

No stats have been posted for either of Anderson’s games so far.

This week, Anderson goes on the road to former 8th Region rival Bullitt Central.   The Cougars will be playing their first game of the season.  Anderson wraps up the week at home against District 30 rival Collins in what could be one of the top region 8 games of the week.

This Week:   1/11 – at Bullitt Central           1/15 – vs. Collins


11 – Owen County (2-1)   Last week:  #11  Owen stays at #11 this week, but had a great start to their 2021 campaign last week, finishing as the 8th Region All-A runner-ups to Walton-Verona and going 2-1.

Owen opened up the season with victories over two district rivals, dumping Carroll County, 72-57, behind sophomore Teagan Moore’s double-double (28 points / 10 rebounds), before edging four-time defending district champ Gallatin County, 50-49.   Moore just missed a double-double in that game as well, finishing with 19 points and 8 boards.

The Rebels were decisively thumped by Walton-Verona in the All-A Classic finals, losing 69-43.

Moore leads the way on the scoreboard and on the glass for the Rebels, who are shooting extraordinarily well in side the arc (62% in the first two games).

The Rebels face new district rival Trimble County on Tuesday, then travel to Walton-Verona on Saturday for a rematch.

This Week:   1/12 vs. Trimble County      1/16 at Walton-Verona


12 – Shelby County (1-2)   Last week: #13     Shelby comes into Week 2 sporting just a 1-2 record, but the Rockets have to be feeling good about the way this season is starting compared to their last few.  

Shelby opened up the year against District 30 favorite Spencer County, and darn near pulled off the upset win.    If it wasn’t for a superhuman effort by the Bears’ Jake Whitlock (30 points), the Rockets perhaps walk away with the victory.   Trent Burchfield’s 17 led the Rockets, including 4 of 9 threes, but Shelby’s struggles at the line (just 5 of 11 as a team) may have been the straw that ultimately broke the camel’s (Rocket’s) back.

Shelby rebounded to defeat Central KY Homeschool, 67-51, behind Austin Griffin’s 18 points.  Great Crossing transfer Tim Fuller had 16 points and a team-high 9 rebounds.   JaShon Marshall added 12 points and 8 rebounds as Shelby improved greatly on the glass from Game 1 to Game 2.

In the final game of the week, the Rockets just missed on their first victory over cross-town rival Collins since 1/15/16, when Shelby beat the Titans on the road, 48-44.    Since then, Shelby had dropped 12 straight to the Titans; Collins made it a thirteen game losing streak, but Shelby served notice in a 61-57 double-overtime defeat that this year might be different.

Fuller looks to be the missing piece to the Shelby County puzzle.   His athleticism and size gives Shelby the ability to attack the rim, opening up the outside for Burchfield.   And with a veteran (Austin Griffin) handling the ball out front, Shelby could be poised for a breakout year once all is said and done.   Throw in JaShon Marshall as a third-fourth scoring option (he struck for double figures in both of the Rockets’ first two games) and a potentially potent rebounder, and the Rockets have some serious potential.

This week:   1/12 vs. Franklin      1/15 at Sayre


13 - Gallatin County (1-1)  Last week:  #12   Jon Jones’ Wildcats fall a spot this week after a stop-and-start Week 1.    Gallatin rallied with a big fourth quarter effort to defeat Trimble County in the Raiders’ first 31st district matchup this year, before falling to fellow District 31 rival Owen County, 50-49, in the second round of the 8th Region All-A Classic.

Jones has to be happy with the fact that he is getting contributions from several quarters; three different players scored in double figures in the first two games, with Drake Skidmore leading the way with 19 against Trimble, and Logan Riddle taking scoring honors against Owen with 22 points.   

Brayden Terrell had 11 against Trimble.

On the flip side of things, free throws have been a bit of a concern early.   Gallatin is 22 of 37 from the line in two games.   The Cats are doing a fine job of getting to the line, but 59.5% shooting from the stipe can be a killer in those single possession contests.

The Wildcats are looking for Hayden Dickerson to catch fire; the Wildcats’ leading returning scorer averaged 9 ppg last season, but has just 8 points total in the first two contests.

This Week:   1/13 vs. Henry County


14 – Williamstown (1-1)  Last week:  #14 – The Demons hold at number 14 after splitting two games last week.

The Demons looked a lot like I expected most teams to look in their first game:  rusty.   They missed countless layups, clanked the front ends of several bonus situations, and turned over the ball way too much.

The bad news for coach Jacob Cheesman is that those faults led to a 68-44 Walton-Verona runaway in the first round of the 8th Region All-A.

The good news is that every one of those faults can be fixed during the season.    The Williamstown coaches could show that video to their team and point out how much closer that game would have been if the Demons had just nailed the “gimmes”.

Williamstown righted the ship in game two, pounding winless Bellevue and holding them to their lowest point total so far this season in a 71-26 rout.    Eight players scored and five scored 8 or more points.

The Demons, outrebounded in game one, aggressively hit the glass, where they grabbed 47 rebounds – including 15 offensive boards.

Williamstown’s passing was much improved against Bellevue, resulting in 16 assists on 26 field goals.   The improved passing undoubtedly was a big contributor to the Demons’ improved three point shooting, as they hit 13 of 31 (42%) threes.   Sophomore Gunner Feagan (19 points) and senior Keener McClelland (15 points) both hit five threes in the game, and led the Demons in scoring.   Cole Kightlinger added 12.

The Demons get a chance to again measure themselves against the district competition this week when they play Grant County.    Williamstown has a real opportunity to run the table this week, giving themselves a big springboard to the rest of the season.

This Week:   1/12 at Grant County               1/14 vs. Bluegrass United (Lexington homeschool)     1/15 at Powell County


15 – Grant County (1-2)   Last week:   #15 – A rebuilding Braves team started the year against two solid teams on the road and one underdog at home.   The results were probably pretty predictable.

Grant County won their home game last week against an overmatched Villa Madonna squad, 73-38, but dropped two on the road to 9th Region power Beechwood, 66-37, and to defending 8th Region champ Collins, 56-54, in overtime.

Not surprisingly, sophomore Dylan Hammonds led the way for Grant, who recorded a double-double against Beechwood (15 points / 11 rebounds) and led the Braves in scoring again against Villa Madonna, with 16 points and 6 rebounds in that game   Hammonds hit 59% of his shots in the first two contests.

The problem for the Braves early on is no surprise:   Where is the rest of the offense coming from?   Though Wayne Ziegler and Mason Guffey both averaged 10 ppg in the first two contests, the reality is that Hammonds is the only one shooting straight at the moment.    Coach Joe Utter is counting on the shooting from the rest of the team to improve as the season goes along – in the first two games, everyone not named Dylan Hammonds is shooting a combined 35% from the floor.

Grant – a powerful three-point shooting team the last two seasons – made just 6 of 31 threes in the first two games.

The near-upset of Collins on the road should prove to be a motivator for the team as they face two district foes this week, plus one of the better Region 9 teams.

This week:   1/12 vs. Williamstown              1/15 at Simon Kenton             1/16 at Conner


16 – Trimble County (0-2) Last week:  #16 – Marcus Mumphrey’s second squad nearly started off the season with an upset of defending 31st district champion Gallatin County, but a fourth-quarter swoon led to a 70-58 come-from-ahead defeat at the hands of the Wildcats.

It was the second straight time that Trimble had come oh-so-close to the Wildcats; the Raiders fell, 79-76, late in the year last season to the Wildcats.

Trimble then fell, 58-37, to Spencer County, the 30th district favorites, to finish at 0-2 in Week 1.

Mumphrey’s squad shot well against Gallatin, hitting 51.2% of their shots, but the Raiders are having difficulties from long range and at the line.   Trimble is just 5 of 20 (25%) from beyond the arc to start the season, and 14 of 26 (53.8%) at the charity stripe.

Tate Ogburn led the way against Gallatin County with a double-double, 16 points and 12 boards.   Sophomore J.T. Wilcoxson added 14.

But neither reached double figures in the Spencer game, as Ethan Horn (11 points) was the only Raider to reach double figures.

Jace Ogburn has been steady on the glass for Trimble, with 7 boards in each of the first two games.

Like Gallatin County, the Raiders are looking for their expected scoring leader to get going soon; Dylan Jennings is averaging just 6.5 ppg in the first two contests, with 9 points against Gallatin and 4 against Spencer.

This week will be a real challenge for the Raiders, as they go on the road for two games against favored opponents.

This week:    1/12 – at Owen County            1/16 – at North Oldham


17 – Carroll County (0-1)  Last week:  #17 – Carroll dropped a 72-57 decision to Owen County in the first round of the 8th Region All-A and is been idle ever since.

Senior Keishaun Mumphrey, one of the 8th Region’s Player of the Year contenders, opened the season with the biggest game of the week for an 8th Region player, scoring 39 points and grabbing 17 rebounds against the Rebels, all while battling the Rebels’ 6’8” center, Brax Ward.

Mumphrey, who was the only Region 8 player to average a double-double last year, hit 17 of 31 shots and has recorded 16 double-doubles in his last 30 games with the Panthers.

Jaxon Hewitt hit 4 of 9 from beyond the arc and tallied 14 points in a supporting role, but no other Panther scored over 2 points in the defeat.

This Week:   no scheduled games


18 – Eminence (0-2)   Last week:  #18 – Eminence fell to Highlands Latin, 70-47, and to Walton-Verona, 73-23, last week.   John Nickell (13 points) and Blaze Berry (12 points / 7 rebounds) led the way for the Warriors in the game against Latin.

Elijah League had 9 rebounds in the Latin game to lead Eminence in that department.

No stats were available for the W-V contest.

The Warriors have a big game this Friday at home against arch-rival Henry County in a District 31 contest.

This week:   1/15 vs. Henry County


Player of the Year:

Kelly Niece (SK) had a solid scoring / rebounding game to kick off the season, but struggled a bit from the field.

Sam Conley (Spencer) missed Week one with a broken wrist and will be out for a while.

Deaton Oak (Oldham County) did not play.

Trevor Hardin (Henry County) had an incredible start to the season, with back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 24 points and 16 rebounds in his first two contests, while hitting 68% from the floor.   He had 18 points / 15 rebounds against Anderson County and upped that with 30 points / 17 rebounds against Western Hills.    That’s 10 double-doubles in Hardin’s last 12 games.

Keishaun Mumphrey (Carroll County) only played one game, but sure made it count.   His 39 points was the highest point total in Week 1 of any 8th Region player, and he added 17 rebounds.   For Mumphrey, that’s 16 double-doubles in his last 30 contests.

Teagan Moore (Owen County) had a solid opening week.   He led the Rebels in scoring in their first two games, and averaged 23.5 ppg and 9 rebounds in the first two contests.   (No stats available for the third game).

Brant Smithers (Walton-Verona) averaged 17.5 ppg / 6.5 rebounds in his first two games, and hit 6 of 14 threes.  (no stats available for his third game).

Hunter Penn (Woodford County) – no stats available

Tyler Slone (Oldham County), Sam Campbell (Oldham County), Dallas Roberts (North Oldham), and Austin “Rico” Carr-Cole (North Oldham) – did not play


Big games this week in the 8th:    Eight games that catch my eye.

Monday, January 11th – 

Walton-Verona (3-0) at Woodford County (2-0) – Only five Eighth Region teams remain undefeated after only one week of play.   After Monday, that number will be down to four.

Tuesday, January 12th

Williamstown (0-1) vs. Grant County (1-2) – Important early district game in the 32nd pecking order.   Williamstown needs a confidence booster after getting drummed by Walton-Verona in their opener.   Grant still trying to find new scorers and rebounders after massive graduation losses.

Trimble County (0-2) at Owen County (2-1) – Marcus Mumphrey’s Raiders look for their first 31st District win after a good showing against Gallatin County in an opening day loss.   Owen already 2-0 against District rivals.

Friday, January 15th – 

Anderson County (0-2) vs. Collins (2-1) – A few years ago, this would have been a preview of the district championship.   Now, both teams are trying to get an early leg up on the other district opponents in what is usually a very hotly contested game.

Woodford County (2-0) at Spencer County (3-0) - Both teams have two good challenges before this game, but this could very well be a battle of unbeatens come Friday.    Spencer played well in Week One despite the absence of Conley.

Henry County (2-0) at Eminence (0-2) - On paper, this is all Wildcats.   But it's one of the great, historic rivalries in the 8th Region, played in one of the region's most compact gyms.    Even a few fans can make a LOT of noise.

Simon Kenton (1-1) vs. Grant County (1-2) - According to the preseason rankings, this is the district favorite against the #4 team.    If that's true, this game will show us, perhaps, how tight the 32nd will be this year.    Both teams really building around a couple of players, with lots of new question marks.

Saturday, January 16th - 

Walton-Verona (3-0) vs. Owen County (2-1) - Rematch of the 8th Region All-A finals, won by W-V by 26.    Two teams that have come out of the gate strong.   It’s a chance for Owen to prove the margin wasn't indicative of the real difference between these two teams.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oldham schools back to action this Saturday now, including perhaps the biggest game of the week in the 8th Region:

Saturday - newly-scheduled

Oldham County vs. South Oldham at OCHS    Sat   1/16/21    Live video coverage on www.pegasussportsky.com beginning at 6:30 pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using the site you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use Policies.