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Bluegrasspreps.com 2021 8th Region Boys Week 6 Review

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8th Region Week 6 Review

By:  Colonelmike


After another week of games, the rankings will again shift a bit, as thirteen of eighteen teams will shift somewhat in this week’s rankings…  In all the years I’ve done the 8th Region rankings, I don’t think we’ve had so much movement in the rankings week after week.    It’s just a strange year.

Region 8 had perhaps its most productive week of the season against out of region competition, winning 10 of 14 games against non-Region 8 competition, including three high-quality wins.   Oldham County nabbed the two biggest out of region victories, slamming Conner (Region 9), 73-52, and defeating Jeffersontown (Region 6), 73-57.   The other big win over an out of region foe was Walton-Verona’s 78-67 victory over Scott High, from the 9th region. 

The region no longer has any undefeated teams, but two teams remain undefeated against region 8 competition:   Oldham County and Simon Kenton are both 3-0 against Region 8 rivals.  The teams with the best records against Region competition:

Oldham County          3-0

            Simon Kenton             3-0

            Walton-Verona           8-1

            Spencer County          6-1

            Collins                        6-2

Schedules continue to be wrecked, re-worked, and trashed again.   Last week, the weather intervened for the first time, and it appears that many games will be cancelled this week due to snow and ice conditions.

Anderson County hasn’t played since January 29th.


After Week Six:  (all upcoming games shown are 7:30 pm starts, unless otherwise noted):

1 - Oldham County – (6-2)  Last week: #1   Oldham has held the top spot since Day 1, and there was certainly no reason to consider dropping the Colonels after Week 6.   Oldham had arguably the two biggest wins of the week, trouncing Region 9 power Conner, 73-52, and then claiming a 16 point win – 73-57 – over Sixth Region foe Jeffersontown.   Jtown, who was ranked in the preseason, had only played a handful of games, but had lost to Fern Creek by just 6 points and Seneca by five.

The Colonels, who have played just eight games themselves, are beginning to look more and more like the region favorite they are. 

Point guard Grant Gibson is back in the starting lineup, and that has allowed Sam Campbell to move back to his natural spot, the #2 guard spot.  Gibson’s return has brought Oldham’s best ballhandler back onto the court, and helped the scoring as well by getting Campbell back into a scoring role.

Deaton Oak has gotten over his early season slump, and has now led the Colonels in scoring in four straight games.   He scored 17 against Conner and 21 against Jeffersontown.  Over the last four games, Oak is hitting 61.1% inside the arc (11 of 18), 52% beyond the arc (13 of 25) and 93.3% at the line (14 of 15).    He’s averaging 18.8 ppg during that stretch, and looking more and more like the player expected to be a contender for the Player of the Year award.

The Colonels’ bench is becoming more and more assertive as well.   Four subs combined for 26 points in the Colonels’ win over Jeffersontown, with Sam Powell leading the charge with 14 points.   It was the third double-digit game for the 6’6” junior, who is averaging 6.3 ppg off the bench and who has hit multiple threes in five of Oldham’s eight games.   He made four threes against Jtown, and had four threes earlier this year against North Oldham.  

In the last three contests, the Oldham bench has scored 16, 20, and 26 points.

Oldham County heads into the second half of its season (9 games) facing the meat of its schedule.   Over the final 9 games, Oldham will face four ranked opponents – three on the road – including #15 DeSales, #5 Covington Catholic, #12 Eastern, and #11 Highlands.  Oldham will also face two of the top region 8 contenders in Walton-Verona and Spencer County.    Seven of their nine remaining opponents have winning records; the nine combined sport a record of 73-40.

This Week –   2/16 vs. Grant County (www.pegasussportsky.com)   2/18 at #15 DeSales (www.pegasussportsky.com)     2/20 at Covington Catholic (6 pm)  


2 –  Simon Kenton (8-5) – Last week:  #2 – SK also got two wins last week, knocking off Holmes, 66-62, before pounding 32nd District rival Walton-Verona, 80-57.

The victory over Walton-Verona clinched the district #1 seed for Simon Kenton.

The Pioneers are leading the region in scoring this season, averaging 71 ppg.   SK has scored 62 points or more in 11 of their 13 games. 

Star guard Kelly Niece, who recently eclipsed the 2,000 point mark for his career, shone extra bright last week, snaring a double-double against Holmes (30 points / 11 rebounds) and passing the 30 point mark against against W-V, when he scored 38 points, his second-highest point total this year.   Niece, who’s averaging 27.6 ppg, is hitting 57.6% from the field and 85.7% from the stripe.

Niece has led the Pioneers in scoring in 12 of 13 games, and has now scored 30 points or more in five of the team’s 13 games.   His high game this season was 42 points against Dixie Heights.

Isaac Miller continues to have a strong season for SK; the junior guard had 17 against Holmes and 15 against Walton-Verona.   He’s now averaging 14.2 ppg.

SK shot well against W-V, hitting 58.9% of their shots.   For the season, Simon Kenton has shot better than 50% from the floor in 8 of 13 games.

This week:   2/15 at Bishop Brossart at 1:30 pm     2/19 vs. South Oldham (www.pegasussportsky.com)


3 – Collins  (8-5)   Last week:  #4    Collins played just one game last week, outlasting North Oldham, 52-41.   No stats were available as of this writing.

Collins continues to thrive thanks to their defense; this was the sixth time this year Collins has held an opponent below 50 points.

This week:  2/19 vs. #15 DeSales      2/20 vs. West Jessamine 3:30 pm


4 – Walton-Verona (10-5)    Last week:  #5    W-V got one of the region’s top wins this week, topping a good Scott High team, 78-67.    But the Bearcats turned around and lost big to Simon Kenton in the game that settled the #1 seed for the 32nd district tournament, 80-57.

The Bearcats continue to score points; the SK loss was only the third time the Cats had scored less than 63 points.  Of concern to the team, though, has been the fact that W-V has lost all three.   The Bearcats have scored at least 63 points in all ten of their victories.

No stats have been posted for either game.

We wish the best of luck to the Bearcats this week as they go into the Kentucky State All-A tournament at McBrayer Arena in Richmond, KY.    The Cats will face Somerset in their first game.

This week:   2/16  vs. Somerset in the Kentucky All-A State Tournament at McBrayer Arena in Richmond.   6:30 pm    2/19 vs. Carroll County


5 – Spencer County (10-3)   Last week: #6     The Bears are the hottest team in the 8th Region right now, riding a seven game winning streak.  Since senior Sam Conley returned from a wrist injury, Spencer hasn’t lost.

The Bears haven’t played an elite opponent during that seven game stretch, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have some nice victories.   During the streak, Spencer defeated Grant County by 16 – the Braves’ worst loss to an 8th Region team this year – and Spencer’s 44 point rout of Henry County in New Castle on Saturday was the Wildcats’ worst loss of the season by far.

Spencer picked up two wins last week, whipping Bethlehem by 17, 62-45, behind Conley’s double-double (19 points / 11 rebounds) and Jonathan Combs’ 19.    But Spencer’s win over Henry County was a particular thing of beauty.    The Bears shot 51.7% from the floor – only their second time to shoot over 50% in a game this year – and got a superstar effort from Jake Whitlock, who scored 37.   Lucas Hornback scored 19, and Conley added 15 in the win.

Whitlock had a tremendous stat line:  7 of 11 from inside the arc, 7 of 8 beyond the arc, and 2 for 2 at the line.

The Bears are set up perfectly to get the District 30 #1 seed if they can beat Collins on February 26th.

The Bears’ winning streak has moved Spencer up from their “low spot” in the rankings - #9 in the ranking in Week 2, when Spencer was 3-3 and when Conley’s return was in doubt – to the #5 spot in four weeks.   But the Bears may have trouble moving up much more due to their below average shooting and lack of depth.  

A lack of a signature victory hurts as well.   Spencer will have a chance to claim some big wins when they run a five-game gauntlet beginning on 2/26 when they face Collins, Oldham County, Walton-Verona, South Oldham, and Bardstown in a span of twelve days.

This week:  2/15 Shelby County     2/19 at Lafayette  6:30 pm


6 – South Oldham (3-3)  Last week:  #3 -  South Oldham has been one of the teams in the 8th Region most affected by cancellations / quarantines.   As a result of all the idle time, South really looked a step slow last week.  

After basically two weeks off, South came into last week and just wasn’t sharp in a District 29 loss to North Oldham, 52-48.  Immediately after that game, South was quarantined again, and is in the middle of yet another 2 weeks off.

By the time South plays this Friday, the Dragons will have played just 2 games in a month, with almost no practices.

One stat that is very revealing for South is the Dragons’ free throw percentage.   South is hitting about 62% at the stripe so far this year, after hitting over 72% for five straight seasons and over 70% at the line 8 of the last 11 years.

One player who has been hot the last two games for South has been Zack Dolan, who has led South in scoring both times.   He scored 14 against North, after a 19 point outing the game before against Covington Holy Cross.   A prolific three point shooter, Dolan is 12 of 20 beyond the arc for 60%. 

This week:  2/19 at Simon Kenton (www.pegasussportsky.com)     2/20 CAL


7 – Grant County (7-10)    Last week:   #9   The Braves have really started to turn things around.  

After opening the season 3-7, Grant County’s young lineup has now won 4 of their last 7 games, and all three of the losses have come by 9 points or less.   After scoring 60 points or more in only 3 of their first 10 games, the Braves have now scored 61 points or more 6 times in their last 7 contests.

One of the region’s youngest squads is growing up fast.

Last week, Grant picked up a 44-37 victory over Newport behind Wayne Ziegler’s 15 points, before falling, 70-61, to one of the premier teams in the 9th Region, Beechwood.

Dylan Hammonds had a double-double in the loss to Beechwood, with 23 points and 18 rebounds.  

Hammonds, a sophomore, continues to lead the Braves.   He’s led the Braves in scoring in 9 of 17 games.   He has recorded six double-doubles this season – including 4 in the last 5 games.   Three times he’s missed a double-double by just one rebound.

His stats are impressive; Hammonds is averaging just shy of a double-double, at 18.8 ppg and 9.7 rebounds.   He’s hitting 54% from the floor and 81.4% from the line.

Hammonds is getting solid support from Wayne Ziegler (9.1 ppg on the season) and Mason Guffey (14.6 ppg).

This week:   2/15 vs. Williamstown     2/16 at Oldham County (www.pegasussportsky.com)     2/18 vs. Ryle     2/20 vs. Anderson County


8 – North Oldham (2-5)   Last week:  #7   North came out of a quarantine to split two games early last week, before heading into another long quarantine that will cost the Mustangs another two weeks and at least four games.

North got off to a good start last week, winning at South Oldham, 52-48, behind Rico Carr-Cole’s 16 points.   North got a big effort from Caleb Hawley – who had just come back from a concussion protocol – who scored 12 points.    They also got a huge game from reserve guard Jack Scales, who scored 10 while getting the start in place of the injured Dallas Roberts.

The next night, North fell, 52-41, to Collins, before the quarantine was put in place.

North, who was expected to be one of the top contenders for the region this year, with a talented lineup featuring veteran players, has instead gotten off to an uneven start in 2021.   The Mustangs have lost five of their last six, and have endured two lengthy quarantines that have stymied development.

There’s no doubt that this team is extremely talented.   While this ranking may be valid for where the Mustangs are right now, it’ll be interesting to see where North winds up in this ranking come year end.

The Mustangs won’t be able to play this week; they hope to get back to action on 2/23 against #12 Eastern.

This week:   no games


9– Woodford County (6-8)     Last Week:  #8   Woodford fell, 73-59, to Scott County in their only game last week.

No stats were available as of this writing.

Woodford is averaging 66.2 ppg, but the Yellowjackets are giving up 67.8 ppg.  Even the 66.2 average, however, may be something of a mirage.    Though Woodford is one of the region’s best shooting teams at 52.5% from the floor, including 44.7% beyond the arc and 71.5% at the line, the Jackets are producing points despite being limited to an average of just 44.2 shots per game.

Woodford had a chance to make some noise against some solid out-of-region programs recently, facing 9-5 West Jessamine, 9-1 Frederick Douglass, 8-3 Henry Clay, and the Scott County Cardinals, but the Yellow Jackets dropped all four games by double-digits except for a 59-50 defeat at the hands of Frederick Douglass.

Senior center Hunter Penn is flirting with a double-double average this year, averaging 17.2 ppg and 9.6 rebounds.

This Week:     no games.    2/8/21 vs. Gallatin County     2/10 vs. Boone County     2/12 at Nicholas County


10 – Henry County (11-5)   Last week:  #11 –  Henry County suffered a severe setback in their last game, but the Wildcats are generally going in a good direction, having won four of their last five.

Henry County was heavily favored in their first two games last week, and the Wildcats didn’t disappoint, downing Whitefield Academy, 62-49 – despite shooting a miserable 29.2% from the floor and 51.2% (21 of 41) at the line.   Kevin Wix led the way with 20 points / 9 rebounds.   Henry County overcame their poor shooting night with a dominant effort on the glass; the Cats outrebounded Whitefield Academy, 44-19.

Henry then toppled county rival Eminence in a district matchup, pounding the Warriors by 25, 69-44.   The Cats’ shooting eye returned – Henry shot an even 50% in the game and hit 11 of 15 free throws (73.3%).   With the Cats’ leading scorer, senior center Trevor Hardin, on the sidelines with a minor injury suffered in the second quarter against Whitefield, Wix again led all Wildcat scorers with 25 points.

Hardin came back in the last game of last week, but coach Enoch Welch kept his minutes limited.   It probably wouldn’t have mattered; Spencer County crushed the Wildcats, handing Henry its worst loss of the season, 82-38.

Despite the loss, Henry heads into this coming week on an uptick.   The Wildcats are in the driver’s seat in the 31st District, with the inside track for the #1 tournament seed.    Trevor Hardin is expected back in the lineup full-time this week, and Henry County has more wins than any other 8th Region team.

From the “Only During a ‘COVID’ Season” Statistical Category:   Henry County is now 5-5 on the season at home in New Castle.   The Wildcats are 6-0 on the road.

This week:    2/15 vs. Carroll County     2/16 vs. Williamstown     2/19 at Trimble County County


11 – Owen County   (6-6)  Last week:  #10   Inconsistency continues to plague this talented, but very young, Owen County squad.   Twelve games into the season, Owen hasn’t won more than two games in a row or lost more than two games in a row.

Last week, the Rebels won their only game, defeating Eminence, 65-36.   Teagan Moore led the Rebels in scoring and rebounding with 25 points and 10 boards.

For the season, Moore – a sophomore – is now averaging a double-double at 24.9 ppg / 10.2 rebounds.    It’s tough to win the region Player of the Year award as an underclassman – much less as a sophomore – but Moore is putting up those kinds of numbers.   He is shooting well, too, hitting 51.9% of his shots and 77.9% of his free throws.

Looking ahead, Owen County should be competitive in each of their next ten games, meaning that the Rebels have the opportunity to end the season with a lot of momentum.   If Owen were to win all ten games, they’d head into their season finale on 3/11/21 against Simon Kenton with a 16-6 record and a lot of confidence.

The Rebels have a lot to play for, too.   Right now, Owen, Gallatin, and Trimble Counties all are locked in a tight battle for the valuable #2 seed in the 31st District tournament – and the #1 seed isn’t out of reach.    Either comes with a first-round “bye” in the tournament.  Owen can go a long way towards securing one of those byes this week as they face District 30 rivals Carroll County and Eminence.

This Week:    2/16 Carroll County     2/19 at Eminence     2/20 vs. Shelby County


12 – Shelby County (4-7)   Last week: #12     Shelby holds at #12 this week.

Three games after losing the Lexington Henry Clay by 10 points, the Rockets tried their luck again, but Henry Clay again proved to be the better team, defeating Shelby, 80-63.

Shelby again shot well against the Blue Devils, hitting 50% of their shots.   Austin Griffin led the way with 17 points and Trenton Burchfield added 14.   But the Rockets couldn’t overcome the Devils’ advantage on the glass, where Henry Clay dominated Shelby, 39-23.

This week:   2/15 at Spencer County     2/18 at Anderson County     2/19 vs. Bullitt Central (7:45 pm)     2/20 at Owen County


13 – Gallatin County (7-6)   Last week:  #14    The “Warsaw Wildcats” picked up two wins last week, moving to over .500 on the season.   Gallatin also moves up in this week’s ranking one spot to #13.

It was the Hayden Dickerson show for Gallatin County last week.  The senior guard led the way in both victories, scoring 19 points in a 79-58 win over Villa Madonna and 24 points in a narrow 57-56 victory over Carroll County.    Ashton Gullion was the number two scorer in both games, with 18 against VM and 16 against Carroll.

The season had a rough start for Gallatin, as they went 1-5 in their first six games.    But the four-time defending 31st district champs seem to have righted the ship of late, winning 6 of their last 7 games.   The Wildcats have moved into contention in the 31st district seeding race, and are in position to make a run at one of the top two seeds.

This week:   2/16 at Trimble County     2/18 at Williamstown     2/19 vs. Beechwood     2/20 at Carroll County


14 – Anderson County (2-5)   Last week:  #13    Anderson County didn’t play last week.   In fact, the Bearcats haven’t played since January 29th; their next game is scheduled for February 18th.

Anderson sits at 2-5 on the season, and the team that was expected to be a solid scoring machine simply hasn’t materialized yet, as Anderson is averaging just 48.9 ppg, second-worst in the region.

There’s plenty of time for Anderson to right the ship and start to make headway, but the Bearcats need the chance to get back on the floor to do so.   Due to the long layoff, and in light of their three game losing streak heading into the layoff, Anderson falls one spot this week.

This Week:   2/18 vs. Shelby County     2/20 at Grant County    


15 – Trimble County (5-7)    Last week:  #15 –  Trimble County is starting to make a move, and the Raiders have now won three games in a row and four of their last five.    Since starting 0-5, Trimble is 5-2.

To be fair, Trimble went into all three games last week as the favorite.   But the Raiders took care of business in a 76-60 victory over Williamstown, a 76-50 win over Eminence, and a 76-36 whipping of Shawe Memorial (IN).

Yes, the Raiders scored 76 points in all three games.

Trimble shot really well against Williamstown, hitting 62.8% of their shots.   Ryan Long led the way with 19, including 3 for 3 beyond the arc.   Dylan Jennings (17 points), Tate Ogburn (16), and Ethan Horn (12) made it four players in double figures for Trimble.

The Raiders again placed four players in double digits against Eminence as sophomore J.T. Wilcoxson paced the team with 19.   Horn (15), Dalton Penick (12), and Long (11) lent support.

The team balance continued against Shawe as a whopping five players reached double figures, led by Tate Ogburn’s 13   Trimble shot 57.1% in the win, and Jennings (12), Penich (12), Wilcoxson (12), and Horn (11) all joined Ogburn in double digits.

Trimble has now scored 63 or more points in their last seven games.  They are averaging 70.4 ppg during that stretch, and – not surprisingly – are 5-2 during that run.

The competition ramps up a bit this week, as we adopt a wait-and-see approach to the Raiders.  Trimble gets the opportunity to get a little district revenge against Gallatin first – a team that rallied to defeat Trimble in come-from-behind fashion to start the season.   Trimble will then face Henry County, a team that handled the Raiders easily earlier this season.    It’ll be interesting.

This week:    2/16 vs. Gallatin County     2/19 vs. Henry County     2/20 vs. Newport (8 pm)


16 – Williamstown (6-9)  Last week:  #18   The Demons move up two spots after claiming two wins in three games last week.

Williamstown lost to Trimble County, 76-60, to start the week, but the Demons rebounded to claim their first victory over an 8th Region opponent, 66-54, over Carroll County in overtime.

Williamstown finished the week with an easy win, 76-32, over Bellevue.

No stats were available at the time of this writing for any of the three games.

Williamstown has now won 3 of their last 4 games, and has started their first winning streak of the year as they’ve now won two straight.

This Week:    2/15 at Grant County     2/16 at Henry County     2/18 vs. Gallatin County     2/20 vs. Villa Madonna 2 pm


17 – Carroll County (1-5)   Last week:  #17     Carroll has only played six games this year, but the Panthers got in two last week.   Unfortunately for Carroll County, the stop-and-start (mostly “stop”) season has put the team behind, and the Panthers dropped both games.

Williamstown knocked off Carroll, 66-54, in the first contest.    Carroll hit just one of their nine three point attempts, and just 17 of 32 at the line (53.1%).   Keishaun Mumphrey finished with 34 of the Panthers’ 54 points, along with 10 rebounds.   Nobody else had more than 5 points.

Carroll shot the ball much better in their next game, and the Panthers came close – but no cigar.   Gallatin County edged the Panthers, 57-56, despite the 58.8% shooting by Carroll County.  Mumphrey finished with another double-double, with 20 points and 14 boards.   Free throw shooting very likely cost Carroll in this one; the Panthers hit just 14 of 28 (50%) in a one point contest.

Mumphrey has led Carroll County in all six of their games and has five double-doubles already, including the last four straight.

A big issue seems to be the free throw shooting.   Carroll is hitting just 59.2% of their free throws, and the results of both games last week might have been reversed with better free throw shooting.

Carroll faces a challenging schedule this week, including three District seeding games.

This Week:   2/15 at Henry County    2/16 at Owen County     2/19 at Walton-Verona     2/20 vs. Gallatin County


18 – Eminence (2-11)   Last week:  #16      One week after moving up two spots, the Warriors fall back to #18 this week after dropping four straight games by fourteen points or more last week.

Owen County (65-36 loss), Henry County (69-44), and Trimble County (76-50) all dealt the Warriors District 31 seeding game losses to start the week, and Eminence dropped a 60-46 decision to Kentucky Country Day to wind up the week.

No statistics were available for anything of the four games as of this writing.

This week:   2/16 vs. Calvary Christian     2/19 vs. Owen County     2/20 at Caverna

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Kelly Niece (SK) not only had 38 against the rival foe of WV for the district seeding. Take a look at this stat line.

Was 14-16 from the field including 5 3s and 5 for 5 from the line. Missed 2 shots and scored 38. Pretty efficient.

That is firing on all cylinders. 

BTW, thanks for the fantastic and detailed weekly reviews.


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