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BluegrassPreps.com 13th Region Boys Basketball Preview

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Boys Teams Coaches Poll
1. Knox Central 139 (13)
2. North Laurel 127 (1)
3. Corbin 108
4. Harlan 88
5. South Laurel 85
6. Harlan County 81
7. Bell County 56
8. Lynn Camp 30
9. Williamsburg 24
10. Clay County 21
Teams that received votes: Whitley County 11, Middlesboro 5, Barbourville 2, Jackson County 1.
Schools that did not vote: Clay County, Red Bird, and Whitley County.
Top 10 Boys Players Coaches Poll
1. Reed Sheppard, North Laurel  135 (9)
2. Jevonte Turner, Knox Central 130 (5)
3. Trent Noah, Harlan County 103
4. Jordan Akal, Harlan 87
5. Hayden Lewellyn, Corbin 78
6. Ryan Davidson, North Laurel 61
7. Cameron Burnett, Bell County 42
8. Micah Steely, Williamsburg 32
9. Isaac Mills, Knox Central 24
10. Micah Engle, Lynn Camp 16
Players that received votes: Gavin Chadwell, Knox Central, 13; Parker Payne, South Laurel 11, Jaedyn Gist, Harlan 9, Dawson Woolum, Bell County 7, Clay Sizemore, North Laurel 5, Abe Brock, Knox Central 4, Gavin Allen, Lynn Camp 3, Brody Wells, Corbin 3, Brody Brock, North Laurel 2.

1. Knox Central (18-5)

Why the Panthers at No. 1? I’m saying, why not?

Tony Patterson’s squad is a 13th Region-best 127-31 during the past five years. Knox Central has been the most dominant program in the 13th Region dating back to when South Laurel won the region championship in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

With Jevonte Turner (25.1, 7.7) returning for another year, the Panthers are a lock at the No. 1 spot. 

Seniors Isaac Mills (14.9, 7.2) and Abe Brock (7.4, 2.7) return along with 13th Region Tournament MVP Gavin Chadwell (8.5, 6.3) and Blake Ledford (2.6), who made noise with his 3-point shooting in the region tournament. K.T. Turner (4.1, 3.0) and Logan King (3.2) also return.

2. North Laurel (25-3)

The Jaguars were red-hot for most of the season but might have peaked a little bit too early. North Laurel was the talk of the state for most of the season after jumping out to a 19-0 start, but the Jaguars finished out with a 6-3 mark which included a disappointing loss to Knox Central in the 13th Region Tournament title game.

Nate Valentine’s squad returns everyone except for Nate Bruner, who will be graduating. The Jaguars return juniors Reed Sheppard (30.1, 7.1) and Ryan Davidson (20.2, 6.9). Also returning are senior Clay Sizemore (11.4), juniors Brody Brock (11.8), Chase Dotson (3.0), Ashton Reynolds (2.8), and senior Caden Harris (2.8, 4.2).

3. Corbin (14-8)

Tony Pietrowski’s squad returns a ton of talent that could easily make a run and win the 13th Region championship in 2022.

Junior Hayden Llewellyn returns along with his 23.4 scoring average along with Carter Stewart (12.9, 2.5), Brody Wells (10.5, 6.1), Dakota Patterson (7.8, 6.4), Seth Mills (3.5, 3.6), Trey Worley (2.6), and Marc Warren (1.3).

4.Harlan (17-6)

If the Dragons are going to make a push for their first 13th Region crown since 1996, next season is the time to do it. Harlan returns all five starters which includes senior standout Jordan Akal (26.1, 6.7). Also returning will be Jaedyn Gist (12.8, 11.0), Will Austin (7.5, 7.4), Kaleb McClendon (11.5, 4.7), and Kyler McClendon (7.7, 4.3).

5. South Laurel (18-6)

Many expected the Cardinals to be in rebuild mode last season, but they were surprised by winning 18 games, and the 50th District championship. They lose the services of Micah Anders, who has been a mainstay on the team for a long while but returns most of its nucleus from this past season’s roster.

Junior guards Parker Payne (12.3, 4.2), and Eli Glover (8.5) return along with seniors Caden Jones (6.8, 3.1), Rhys England (7.8, 3.9), and Brayden Reed (7.8, 3.8). Juniors Ashton Garland (2.5), and Ayden Smith (2.9) return to the mix and keep an eye on freshman Jordan Mabe, who played nine games as an eighth-grader two years ago.

6. Harlan County (19-6)

The Black Bears suffered a huge blow to their 13th Region title chances late last season after an injury to Trent Noah (20.2, 9.8), but the sophomore guard returns along with Jackson Huff (7.8, 3.8), Daniel Carmichal (7.8), Maddox Huff (6.0), Jonah Swanner (2.6), and Tristan Cooper (1.9).

7. Bell County (16-11)

Brad Sizemore’s Bobcats return a solid nucleus of talent that could not only win the 52nd District title next season but make a push for the 13th Region crown as well.

Returning will be one of the top one-two punches in the region in Cameron Burnett (17.1, 7.3), and Dawson Woolum (17.2, 2.9). Seniors Dalton Stepp (6.4, 2.4) and Hayden Calebs (5.1, 3.6) are expected to contribute even more next season while Carter McCune (2.4), Cole Hoskins (4.1, 2.1), Chance Belcher (3.5), Brandon Baker, and Conner McGeorge (1.3) return.

8. Lynn Camp (11-12)

The Wildcats will have to replace some key players from this past season but coach Rodney Clarke returns a lot of talent. Micah Engle (23.2, 7.0) and Gavin Allen (9.9, 9.0) will be keys to Lynn Camp’s success along with sophomore Jace Boggs (7.5, 2.7).

9. Williamsburg (11-10)

Williamsburg graduates three starters but coach Eric Swords returns a talented team with senior Micah Steely (24.9, 10.0), Connor Lay (4.4, 3.2), Drew Damron (4.2), and Clayton McFarland (1.9) will return for the Yellow Jackets.

10. Clay County (15-9)

The Tigers drop to No. 9 after graduating their top six players from this past season. The cupboard is never bare at Clay County but there are a lot of holes that need to be filled. Junior Brady Wolfe (1.9) returns along with Luke Nicholson (1.1), Jeremy Hibbard (0.9), Hayden Crockett (4.4), and Tate Rice (1.0).


11. Whitley County (4-16)

The Colonels only won four games this past season but look for a much-improved team in 2021-22. Coach Mark White has a nice team returning that includes a solid nucleus of players.

Jamie Fuson (13.0, 6.0), Ethan Keene (11.5, 4.0), Brayden Mahan (9.9, 3.9), Trevor Downs (7.1, 5.0), and Lucas Queener (2.4, 2.7) are ready to make noise not only in the 50th District but 13th Region, too.

12. Barbourville (12-14)

The Tigers surprised this past season and I’m sure will do it again in 2021-22. Warren returns (14.5, 3.0) along with senior forward David Collett (4.5, 3.5), who looks to be ready to have a breakout season.

13. Jackson County (5-13)

A strong group of talent returns for the Generals with Jude Lakes (11.8, 5.6), and Andrew Msdden (8.8, 2.8) leading the way. Colby Bales (4.4, 3.3), Carter Cunagin (4.5, 3.3) and Tydus Summers (5.9, 2.3) will look to contribute, too.

14. Pineville (10-11)

The Mountain Lions graduate their two top scorers but I really like what coach Brad Levy is building. Freshman Sawyer Thompson (7.0, 2.9) returns along with Eli Thompson (5.9, 3.8), Evan Biliter (6.5, 3.0), Devon Morris (2.8, 2.1), and Ian Middleton (4.4, 2.6).

15. Middlesboro (5-15)

The Yellow Jackets struggled throughout last season but had a couple of nice wins. Coach Lewis Morris returns an abundance of young talent, but it could take a while to be able to contend for the 52nd District title considering Harlan, Harlan County, and Bell County are going to be tough to beat.

Jay Tyler West (8.4, 7.3), Cayden Grigsby (8.6, 2.8), Trey Kyle (2.0, 2.9), Trey King (2.2), Blaine Woody (2.6), and Bryce Bowling (0.7) each return.

16. Red Bird (0-21)

The Cardinals look to be much-improved next season with three starters returning — Juan Bynum (7.2, 2.9), Austin Osborne (1.9), and Felix Onosumba (3.8, 4.1). Victor Ilunga (2.4, 3.5), Jean-Claude Nyembo (2.4, 3.2) and Mark Ngulunga (2.3, 3.5) each will look to contribute next season.

17. Oneida Baptist (Did not play in 2021)

The Mountaineers will be returning to the mix after not playing this past season due to COVID-19 regulations that reduced the student population at the school.





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