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BluegrassPreps.com 14th Region Region Boys Basketball Preview


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Well folks, the time is now here for Basketball in the Bluegrass. The 14th Region has been a fun one and this year should be no different. With that said, let's take a look at the 14th Region Preseason and see where everyone stacks up.

 

Before starting, some sad news to post, both June Buchanan and Riverside Christian will not field teams this coming season. The 14th Region for 21-22 season will be just 14 teams.

1.) Breathitt County (16-7) (Loss 1st RD Region) (Lost 55th District Championship): Surprisingly, the region champions aren't the preseason favorite. Breathitt County comes in as the preseason favorite due to only losing 2 players from last year and returning most of their scoring including the top returning player in the 14th region in Austin Perry, who will just be a sophomore this season. Coach John Noble has also put together a solid schedule for his Bobcats that includes, 2 games with Johnson Central, Knott County Central, Perry County Central, a trip to NKY to face both Grant County and Newport and they will also travel to Freeport FL for an after Christmas tournament. 

2.) Perry County Central (9-14) (Lost 14th Region Semi's) (Lost 54th District Championship): The Commodores had a not so good season last year, failing to win double digit games. Commodore Nation have high hopes for this season and they should with the talent they have coming back that includes both leading scorers Rydge Beverly (15PPG) and Tyler Day (12.4PPG) and Perry County Central also reeled in Estill County transfer, Landon Napier who was by far the Engineers best player and leading scorer from last year at 20PPG. Last I had heard was that he was ruled ineligible but they were working on that.

3.) Knott County Central (18-8) (53rd District and 14th Region Champions) (Lost 1st RD KHSAA State Tournament): The defending 14th region champions come in at #3 in the preseason. The Patriots struggled about middle of the season but came on strong towards the end, winning 6 of their final 7 games. They took a beating in the loss to Elizabethtown 87-59 in the opening round of the KHSAA State Tournament. The Patriots lost all three of their leading scorers but anytime you have a BB King coached team, they will always be towards the top every year.

4.) Wolfe County (15-10) (Lost 14th Region Semi's) (Won 55th District): Wolfe County had a decent year last year, winning 6 of their final 8 games which included a blowout win over Breathitt County to claim the 55th district crown. Coach Creech has put together probably the hardest schedule for any team in the 14th region as they will play Sayre (twice), East Jessamine, GRC, Pikeville, Somerset (Part of the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops), South Laurel, Paintsville and several top 14th region teams. Coach Creech will also return most of his team as his seniors from last year are takin advantage of the house bill that allows athletes the option to return to school for another year.

5.) Hazard (22-5) (Lost 14th Region Championship) (Won 54th District): The Bulldogs had a tremendous season last year but came up short of winning the 14th region crown. Hazard was able to edge out Perry County Central to claim the 54th district crown. Hazard will have some hills to climb this season to get back to the championship game as they lost their leading scorer, Wade Phelphrey from last year. They do return Andrew Ford who was second in scoring last season.

6.) Cordia (10-16) (Lost Opening Round 14th Region) (Lost 53rd District Championship): The Lions had an up and down season that wasn't so kind to them. The Lions could be the dark house that may surprise some people this season. We'll just have to wait and see.

7.) Letcher County Central (11-10) (Lost In opening round of 53rd district, no region appearance): Despite being above .500 for the season, the Cougars had a rough year that seen ups and downs. The upsetting part is that they couldn't overcome Cordia in the 79-76 loss inside their own home. Letcher County Central will have a new face walking the sidelines in Dennis Farler.

8.) Leslie County (9-12) (Lost 54th district semi's, no region appearance): The Eagles had a miserable season that ended with a three game losing streak. This year doesn't look to promising as they lost both leading scorers, Trenton Day and Kobe Bowling.

9.) Buckhorn (10-15) (Lost 54th District Semi's, no region appearance): Much like several other teams above Buckhorn, the Wildcats didn't have a good year last season, in fact, they dropped 4 of their final 6 games, not only that but they will have a new head coach who came in from Owsley County in Jacob McCoy and he also brought in his two boys along with him from Owsley County. Coach Corey Hoskins left to take the Owsley County job, only to, 10 days later, resign to join his cousin Shannon Hoskins at Perry County Central as an assistant.

10.) Estill County (16-5) (Won 56th District Championship) (Lost 14th Region Opening RD): The Engineers had another great season last year winning 16 games in a shortened season and also won the 56th district for the second year in a row and 4 of the last 5 years. Estill County is gonna have a big hill to climb to get anywhere in the region as they lost their best player in Landon Napier who transferred to Perry County Central and head coach Jon Bentley who left to take the Montgomery County boys job. Estill County welcomed, new, but not so new head coach, Brian Hall, who was the Powell County boys head coach and Estill County girls head coach. Coach Hall also added some new teams to Estill's schedule that include, Cordia, Floyd Central, Leslie County and Somerset. Estill will have one of it's football transfers on the court this season in Cannon Scenters who transferred in from Madison Central. 

11.) Lee County (10-14) (Lost 56th District Semi's, no region appearance): The Bobcats are starting to get a little better but they still a long ways away from bein where they use to be years ago. Good news is, they will have one of the best players in region, in Zach Watterson.

12) Owsley County (8-11) (Lost 56th District Championship) (Lost Opening RD 14th Region): The Owls began the season last year on fire, but went over a month without a single win, granted, most of those where COVID cancellations. Owsley County, just like Estill, Lee and Powell will be in a district that's wide open with any of the four teams that can win it.

13.) Powell County (3-21) (Lost semi's of 56th district, no region appearance): The Pirates had one of the worst years they've had in school history. Only winning 3 games and getting blown out in just about all of their losses. Powell County will be under new direction with new head coach Allen Martin. Can the Pirates get back to the winning ways?

14.) Jackson City (2-13) (Lost 55th District Semi's, no region appearance): The Tigers had a horrible season last year. They had games that they could have won but just couldn't get enough baskets to go through. Will this be a better year for the Tigers? Jackson City is another 14th region team that's under new leadership as Sean Noble took over as head coach.

 

Top 10 Player Rankings:

1.  Austin Sperry - Breathitt County

2.  Wilgus Tolson - Wolfe County 

3.  Jaylen Taulbee - Breathitt County

4.  Sawyer Thompson - Wolfe County

5. Landon Napier - Perry County Central

6.  Kizer Slone - Knott County Central

7.  Andrew Ford - Hazard

8.  Andrew Combs - Breathitt County

9.  Alex Terry - Owsley County

10.  Skylar Ritchie - Wolfe County

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