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9th Region - Kentucky Boys High School Basketball Preview - 2021/2022

 

Here we are folks. Right on the edge of a brand new season. High school basketball junkies everywhere can rejoice. We all know the buzz of having 4 solid months of night after night basketball action, and if recent years can tell, there is no shortage of exciting hoops play in the 9th Region. 

 

But WOAH though…

 

I would be remiss if I didn’t first reflect a bit on the excitement of what was a stunning 2020/2021 season in the 9th Region. 

We saw a region where any number of solid teams could have taken the 9th Region crown. 

We saw an 11 senior strong St. Henry team take down the region leader Covington Catholic twice, and strangely by the same score of 61-60. 

Then we saw a hot Sam Vinson lead Highlands Bluebirds team avenge an early season loss to St. Henry when it counted most in the semi’s of the 9th Region tournament,  then going on to take the crown in a 77-67 victory over the Conner Cougars in the 9th Region Championship game. 

Locals felt pretty confident that the Bluebirds might have a good showing in the Sweet 16 at Rupp because we knew that they could light it up, but also knew that Sam Vinson (now starting for NKU) was a special player who is just a downright winner, and the kind of player you want to have when heading into the highly revered Sweet 16. 

The Birds did not disappoint going on to cut down the nets at Rupp, becoming only the 5th 9th Region team taking all the marbles, while averaging an 18 point edge in their 4 games during the tournament, and ultimately demolishing one of the tourney favorites, Elizabethtown in a Sweet 16 championship game that was never in question, 79-60. 

 

Congratulations to the 2020/2021 Highlands Bluebirds. You really gave us 9th Region fans a season to remember!!!

 

Now onto the 2021-2022 season where we can only hope to have just as exciting of a season as the last, and with a region chuck full of talent, I’ve a hunch we’re in for some great competitive hoops action. 

 

As with the beginning of every season, we know a bit about some of the teams and players that we saw in the previous season enough to waige a bit of an educated guess of who the leaders might be, but again with every new season we’re also presented the excitement of newer players’ names who step up only to have us learn new names of those to watch closely. I will fully admit that I’m a bit limited here and there in knowing the who’s who in newer players, and will stretch a bit here and there with other who I’m unfamiliar with who maybe I should know more about. 

 

I’ve already seen one coaches poll, as well as the CatsPause Rankings, and while I generally agree, I have just a couple of hunch’s of my own that have me shifting around a couple of teams here and there. 

Ranking the Region:

  1. Covington Catholic - Hard to dispute when 3 of the starting 5 (Mitchell Rylee, Evan Ipsaro, and Chandler Starks) have made the Top 10 players poll. Rylee has committed to Miami of Ohio, and Evan Ipsaro has received an offer from Cleveland State. 

  2. Dixie Heights - Polls have Highlands above them, but this hot 21-6 team from last season didn’t completely lose all their strength to graduation, and are still left with Top 10 players Keirnan Geraci and Billy Wogenstahl, as well as a great supporting cast of Jay Flynn and Logan Landers. 

  3. Highlands - While the 2021 Kentucky State Champs lost a load of offence while graduating Sam Vinson, and Luke Muller, they’re still left with some highly experience players in Oliver Harris, Will Hearld, Top 10 player Zachary Barth, and the always reliable guard play Leyton Read. It truth I believe that Dixie and Highlands are interchangeable as the Number 2 team, but I still just have this hunch about Dixie, believing they’ve really got something going in this season with their experience which is pretty much in line with the Bluebird’s experience. 

  4. Holy Cross - Here again polls have both Conner and Beechwood above the Indians, but I just can’t get past a Jacob Meyer (and WKU commit) lead Holy Cross team that consists of reliable and quick guard Xavier Ward, two experienced Arlinghaus’ in Dylan and Zach, and Sam Gibson who is a monster that I’m hoping to see have a breakout season now that he’ll be relied on more to crowd up the paint in this his junior season. 

  5. Connor - What I know about Conner is that junior, and hot perimeter shooter Landen Hamilton has found his way in the coaches poll’s Top 10 players, and they also have another junior hot hand in Ayden Lohr. I will have to admit to not knowing much more about them, but coach Matthew Otte has always proved to bring a competitive team to the fold.

  1. Beechwood - What we do know about the Beechwood Tigers is that they lost to graduation the highest scorer in 9th Region history, Scotty Draud, and high flyer Will Downton, which is saying a lot, so they’ll have to look elsewhere now for the offence. While I can dabble in names, I’ll have to admit my lack of knowledge of current Beechwood players and their strengths, so I welcome any input here from those more in the know about this season’s Tigers. 

  2. Cooper - Coach Tim Sullivan lost a couple of key players to graduation in Jacob Deere, and Gaven Rabe. Just like Beechwood I can’t really offer much about their up and coming stars, but all I do know is the Coach Sully will just like always go with a defense first approach. Again any input on Cooper will be much appreciated. 

  3. Lloyd - What I know about Lloyd is that they’ve in recent years have brought to the court fairly decent competitive teams. This season they’ll have a hot hand in shooting by senior Ryan Davis, and solid play by Hanover College commit senior Garrett Vogelpohl. 

  4. Newport Catholic Central - Lead by the sharp shooting of senior Joel Isles, the reliable inside play of Kaedon Butts. Sadly I hear that the Pangallo kid will not be playing because of injury.
  5. Holmes -  Rounding out my Top 10 Teams, I have the always quick as lightning Holmes Bulldogs who by benefit of the COVID repeat-a-year policy, will again have the services and experience of the Calloway brothers, Quantez, and Tayquan. Sadly the Bulldogs have lost the dynamite play of junior Eian Elmer to Taft of Cincinnati. Elmer wouldn’ve lent a powerful boost this season’s Bulldog’s but it is not to be. Aside from the Calloway brothers I’m not yet that keen on who the other key players will be for the Bulldogs this season. Again, if anyone has any knowledge of their possible upstarts, please do make us all privy to who they might be.

11. St. Henry

12. Ryle

13. Newport

14. Boone County

15. Ludlow

16. Villa Madonna

17. Bellevue

18. Dayton

19. Heritage Academy

20. Covington Latin
 

Top Ten Players - 

  1. Jacob Meyer - Holy Cross

  2. Mitchell Rylee - Covington Catholic 

  3. Evan Ipsaro - Covington Catholic 

  4. Quantez Calloway - Holmes

  5. Chandler Starks - Covington Catholic

  6. Kiernan Garaci - Dixie Heights 

  7. Will Herald - Highlands

  8. Zachary Barth - Highlands 

  9. Landen Hamilton - Conner 

  10. Billy Wogenstahl - Dixie Heights 

 

Honorable mention: 

Joel Isles - Newport Central Catholic 

Garrett Vogelpohl - Lloyd 

Donovan Robinson - Ryle

Jay Flynn - Dixie Heights 

Logan Landers - Dixie Heights

Leyton Read - Highlands 

Kaedon Butts - Newport Central Catholic 

Oliver Harris - Highlands

 

Please feel free to add more names to this honorable mention list as we’re all eager to know who are the players to watch this season. 

 

This season’s action begins Monday, November 29th. 

 

Good luck to all teams in what is looking to be yet another exciting season in the 9th Region!!!

 

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  • theguru changed the title to BluegrassPreps.com 9th Region Boys Basketball Preview
  • B-Ball-fan changed the title to 9th Region - Kentucky Boys High School Basketball Preview - 2021/2022

Can't argue too much, nice breakdown.  I will say that I think that Conner will be in the same tier as Dixie and Highlands.  Those 3 will battle it out and I will be the first to predict that one of them will knock off the blue Colonels at some point.  

Excellent write up!

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I heard Cam Hergott won’t be back also for Beechies as he’s leaving for College right after football season.

Anyone know if Calloways for Holmes will be back for sure. Rumors are they plan to exit.

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1 minute ago, Brcatz said:

I heard Cam Hergott won’t be back also for Beechies as he’s leaving for College right after football season.

Anyone know if Calloways for Holmes will be back for sure. Rumors are they plan to exit.

They played football this season, but I've not heard anything regarding them not playing basketball. If anyone out there knows for sure, please do share. 

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1 minute ago, B-Ball-fan said:

They played football this season, but I've not heard anything regarding them not playing basketball. If anyone out there knows for sure, please do share. 

Holmes has not posted a roster yet.  

I remember back in June I saw Tez kinda play some June team Ball but sat around most of time and never saw his brother at all.

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5 minutes ago, Brcatz said:

Holmes has not posted a roster yet.  

I remember back in June I saw Tez kinda play some June team Ball but sat around most of time and never saw his brother at all.

Them playing, or not playing really interests me because the Bulldogs will be a world of difference depending on whether they do, or don't. 

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Look for Lloyd to be a solid team in the 9th region. They have two very solid players who weren’t mentioned in Zaire Monroe and Jeremiah Israel. They also have top freshman in the state, EJ Walker who is 6’7 and has a D1 offer from Youngstown State. 

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5 minutes ago, Nkybballfan23 said:

Look for Lloyd to be a solid team in the 9th region. They have two very solid players who weren’t mentioned in Zaire Monroe and Jeremiah Israel. They also have top freshman in the state, EJ Walker who is 6’7 and has a D1 offer from Youngstown State. 

Welcome to BGP @Nkybballfan23!

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41 minutes ago, Nkybballfan23 said:

Look for Lloyd to be a solid team in the 9th region. They have two very solid players who weren’t mentioned in Zaire Monroe and Jeremiah Israel. They also have top freshman in the state, EJ Walker who is 6’7 and has a D1 offer from Youngstown State. 

Wow...thanks for the great information! 

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11 hours ago, Nkybballfan23 said:

Look for Lloyd to be a solid team in the 9th region. They have two very solid players who weren’t mentioned in Zaire Monroe and Jeremiah Israel. They also have top freshman in the state, EJ Walker who is 6’7 and has a D1 offer from Youngstown State. 

I didn't realize Zaire Monroe was back. He is a pretty good player.

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The glaring omission I see from the list above is Beechwood junior guard Cameron Boyd. Playing behind two megastars last season, the dynamic Boyd averaged 8.8 ppg and shot 40% from beyond the arc. Boyd - who is also one of the best baseball players in the 9th - emerged as a reliable and much needed third scoring option for the Tigers last season. 

As Beechwood's main scoring threat this season, Boyd is primed for a breakout season and, in my eyes, will be the sleeper superstar in the 9th this year. Remember this post in February folks. 

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18 hours ago, B-Ball-fan said:

Them playing, or not playing really interests me because the Bulldogs will be a world of difference depending on whether they do, or don't. 

They are playing, thanks for a very informative report. Great job.

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12 hours ago, allsport71 said:

They are playing, thanks for a very informative report. Great job.

Awesome to hear...I was hoping that they would. Thanks for settling that mystery. 

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12 hours ago, BrosefStalin said:

The glaring omission I see from the list above is Beechwood junior guard Cameron Boyd. Playing behind two megastars last season, the dynamic Boyd averaged 8.8 ppg and shot 40% from beyond the arc. Boyd - who is also one of the best baseball players in the 9th - emerged as a reliable and much needed third scoring option for the Tigers last season. 

As Beechwood's main scoring threat this season, Boyd is primed for a breakout season and, in my eyes, will be the sleeper superstar in the 9th this year. Remember this post in February folks. 

Thanks for bringing Boyd to our attention. Will definitely be keeping an eye on him. 

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