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Top Teams Making Cases Through Week Two

 

By Colonelmike

Week Two in the 8th Region started to give us some indications of who the early favorites are in the region, with five teams seemingly separating themselves from the pack just a bit.    Two teams have already claimed ranked victims:  North Oldham has knocked off two teams already that were ranked in the Bluegrasspreps.com Top 20 and Walton-Verona has defeated the defending state champs (also ranked in this year’s Top 20).     Collins is undefeated and owns a victory over Walton-Verona by six, Oldham County has a convincing win over Simon Kenton, and Woodford County beat Oldham County by a dozen.

Those five appear to be the “leaders of the pack” heading into the Christmas break.

SPEAKING OF THE CHRISTMAS BREAK….there will be NO 8th Region review/ranking next Monday.    I will be out of state and unable to post a week 3 review.    Stay tuned; I will be back at the keyboard for the Week 4 review on Monday, 12/27.

1 -  North Oldham Mustangs  (5-1)   Last week:  #1   North holds at number one after going undefeated against top-tier competition this week.   The Mustangs faced the Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions (then #13 in the BGP Top 20), and won easily, pushing out to a 20+ lead midway through the second half before settling for a 72-58 win.

On Friday, North whipped 8th Region contender Simon Kenton, 63-51.    The Mustangs again largely had their way – they led, 51-31, heading into the final period – and withstood a furious fourth quarter SK rally to prevail, 63-51.  

Less than 24 hours after the emotional win over the Pioneers, the Mustangs were back on the court against #17 Western, playing in New Castle at the BodyArmor Showcase.    North briefly opened up a double-digit lead, but had battle for 32 tense minutes to outlast the Warriors, 68-65, earning the Mustangs their third impressive win in five days, and their second over a ranked opponent.

North Oldham shot well during the week, particularly from the outside, connecting on 25 of 53 three point attempts (47.2%).    Jack Scales was practically automatic beyond the arc, hitting 12 of 18 treys (67%).

This week:   North’s schedule doesn’t get much easier.   12/14 at #18 Walton-Verona     12/17 Paul Dunbar (King of the Bluegrass)

 

2 – Collins Titans (5-0)  Last week:   #2   Collins stretched their winning streak to five with wins over Owen County (67-49), Shelby County (54-43), and 18th-ranked Walton-Verona (83-77), further solidifying their spot at #2.  

The Titans’ win over the preseason favorites in the 31st district – Owen County – was marked by 53.5% shooting overall, and an incredible night at the line, where Collins hit 15 of 15.  Four players reached double figures.

Collins, which has been primarily known for its great defense, while averaging barely 53 ppg last year, has now scored 63 points or more in four of five games.

This week:  12/17 at Grayson County

 

3 – Woodford County  Yellowjackets (5-1)  Last week:  #5   As expected, the Woodford County Yellowjackets are beginning to move back up in the poll as they get all of their transfers eligible.

Some internal miscommunications apparently resulted in a couple of transfers playing in the first game of the year, resulting in Woodford – who won that game on the court – having to forfeit.   The Jackets have corrected the issue, and since then, Woodford County has won five straight.

An 87-75 victory over Oldham County last week confirmed Woodford’s legitimacy as an 8th Region contender, as Jackson Twombley, a 6’7” transfer from Frankfort, led the way with 21 points.   Brian White added 12.    Fellow transfer Eden Nelson added 8.

The Jackets went on to beat 30th district rival Anderson County, 54-47, then slammed Bourbon County, 86-70.  

No stats are yet available for the Anderson and Bourbon games; it’s unclear whether LexCath transfer John McRear is in uniform yet for Woodford County or not.

This week:  12/14 at Estill County     12/17 vs. Paris

 

4 – Oldham County Colonels (4-2)   Last week:  #3   Oldham County falls a notch this week after losing to Woodford County this past week, but the Colonels are clearly one of the region’s elite teams, and they don’t drop far.

Oldham’s Sam Powell had a double-double against Woodford, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and the Colonels put together a balanced scoring effort against the Jackets, with four different players in double digits in the loss.

Oldham then lost by 2 at home to 6th Region contender Doss, 54-52.   Oldham shot only 40% from the floor that night, and the Dragons held them to their lowest point total of the season, well below their average of 69.1 ppg.

The Colonels bounced back to hammer Moore, 76-54, in the BodyArmor Showcase.   Oldham dominated early, but Moore rallied to make it close at the half, then pulled to within one bucket early in the second half.    Oldham head coach Coy Zerhusen pulled all five of his starters, and the reserves steadied the ship, pushing the lead back out to three scores.  Apparently the starters got the message.   Re-inserted to start the fourth period, the starters led a spirited effort in the period to pull away to the 22 point victory. 

Saturday was my first chance to see Oldham County; their starting five may be every bit as good as anybody’s, with good rebounding, shooting, and balance.   But I may have been most impressed with the five-man bench rotation which got so much time in the third period, which appears to be very capable of contributing.    I was especially impressed with the energy brought by sub Justin Ruffin, a sophomore guard who entered the game in the second half – just his second appearance in a varsity game this year – and instantly gave Oldham a huge spark.   The talented wide receiver from Oldham’s football team is quick and shifty, and I expect him to get more minutes as the season wears on.

This week:   12/13 – Grant County (live video coverage at www.pegasussportsky.com at 7 pm ET)   12/16 at Shelby County

 

5 – Walton-Verona Bearcats (4-2)   Last week:   #4    Walton-Verona falls one spot this week after dropping two of three games last week.  The Bearcats defeated Gallatin County, 84-73, to start last week and open the season 4-0, but the Cats dropped games to Cooper (69-56) and Collins (83-77) to close out the week.   Considering the quality of the competition – Cooper and Collins are a combined 9-1 as of this writing -  and the relative closeness of the scores, I don’t see much reason for the Bearcats to fall far this week.

Brant Smithers, the W-V candidate for 8th Region Player of the Year honors, had 30 against Gallatin.

Walton-Verona stays inside the confines of the 8th Region this week for two games.

This week:   12/14 vs. North   12/17 at Spencer County     12/18 vs. Trimble County 6:30 pm

 

From #6 - #18, there are no changes in the rankings this week:

6 – Simon Kenton Pioneers  (2-2)   Last week:  #6      The post-Kelly Niece era continues at Simon Kenton, and the Pioneers are still adapting. 

SK went 1-1 last week, dispatching the Holmes Bulldogs, 71-64 behind Travis Krohman’s 18 points and a double-double from 7’2” center Gabe Dynes, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds.     It was another solid shooting night from a Pioneer squad that is beginning to look like one of the better shooting teams in the region; the Pioneers connected on 50% of their shots from the field.

The team came back down to earth on Friday, falling on the road to region 8 favorite North Oldham, 63-51.   The Pioneers trailed by 20 heading into the final quarter, but showed a lot of moxie in rallying to within 12 midway through the fourth to give themselves a shot at the upset.    The North Oldham defense largely shut down the Pioneers, holding SK to less than 50 points until Dynes tipped in a missed shot right at the final buzzer to push SK over the 50 point threshold.

So far, the Pioneers have scored over 70 points and beaten the teams they were expected to beat (Ryle, Holmes) or been held to 51 points or less and lost to the teams they were expected to lose to (Oldham County, North Oldham).  

Sophomore Travis Krohman continues to lead this group of Pioneers with 13.5 ppg, but this is beginning to look like a team where as many as seven different players are capable of double-digit scoring in every game.  

This week:  12/14 vs. Conner     12/17 at South Oldham

 

7 – South Oldham Dragons (1-2)   Last week:  #7     South Oldham played just one game this past week, and has played just three over the course of the first two weeks of the season.

Against 12th Region powerhouse Boyle County on Saturday in the BodyArmor Showcase, the Dragons were very competitive, but they ultimately couldn’t keep up with the Rebels, who outlasted the Dragons, 60-52.

The final margin was the largest of the game, which was close throughout.   South, however, normally a strong shooting team, could never find their shooting eye in the Henry County gym, connecting on just 36.5% of their shots and a paltry 18% (6 of 32) from beyond the arc, normally a Dragon strong suit. 

Even the line was not kind to South, where the Dragons went just 8 of 16 (50%).

The Dragons continue to face really strong competition this week, and we’ll get more of a feel as to where this Dragon team stands.

This week:  12/17  Simon Kenton     12/18 at Christian Academy of Louisville

 

8 – Grant County Braves (3-2)     Last week # 8    Grant County also stays put this week, staying at number 8.

The Dylan Hammonds junior season tour continues across the region, as the Braves’ star forward registered two more double-doubles last week, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 51-47 win over Anderson County and going for 17 and 11 against Owen County in a 52-47 overtime victory.   Hammonds is averaging 25.8 ppg and 12.8 rebounds. 

The Braves welcomed Spencer Breeden back to the lineup after he missed one game the previous week (against South Oldham).

In recent years, Grant has been known as a high-scoring machine with only an average defense; this year’s squad is having some success at the defensive end, and as a result, the Braves put together two wins last week despite failing to score over 52 points in either game.

Offensively, the Braves are struggling from long range (18 of 80, 22.5% on three pointers) and at the line (48 of 88, 54.5%).    They’re making it up by attacking the rim, and are benefitting from Hammonds’ strength on the offensive glass.  

Grant has a busy week this week:

This week:   12/13/21 at Oldham County (video coverage at 7 pm ET on www.pegasussportsky.com)     12/16 at Williamstown     12/18 Garrard County at Harrison County HS  3 pm

 

9 – Owen County Rebels (1-3)     Last week:  #9    Owen had a pretty busy week, staying within the confines of the 8th Region and going 1-2 on the week.

The Rebels were handled by Collins, 67-49, to start the week.    Despite a credible effort against the Titans, Owen simply wore down late and Collins won in Shelbyville by a healthy margin.   The Rebels bounced back strong, dominating the team many thought would be their primary challenger in the 31st district, Henry County, by a final score of 71-43.

The Rebels ended the week with an overtime loss to Grant County, 52-47. 

Owen has posted limited stats to date. 

Owen County will get a chance to measure itself on the road against two of its 31st District rivals this week.

This Week:   12/13 at Gallatin County     12/16  at Carroll County     12/18 East Carter at Rowan County 6 pm Stock Yards Bank & Trust Challenge

 

10 – Spencer County Bears (4-2)    Last week:  #10    Spencer County went 2-1 for the second week in a row, sandwiching wins over North Bullitt (84-74) and Williamstown (72-61) around a 65-47 loss to 6th Region power Bullitt East.

Jonathan Combs and Luke Erhardt had strong weeks for coach Jason Burns.    The two each had 25 points against North Bullitt, and Camden Cox and Andrew Barron each had 11.

Erhadt led the way against Bullitt East with 21 points…Combs led the attack against Williamstown with 15.

This week:  12/17 vs. Walton-Verona

 

11    Henry County Wildcats   Last week:  #11     The Wildcats had a rough week last week, falling in dramatic fashion to Owen County, 71-43, and to Louisville Holy Cross, 83-57 in the BodyArmor Showcase in New Castle.

Kevin Wix (unofficially) had 32 points in a dominant performance against the Holy Cross Cougars, and looked perhaps as confident and “in control” as I’ve ever seen him play.

The game against Holy Cross was the first of six consecutive home games for the Wildcats.

This week:  12/13 vs. Carroll County     12/17  vs. Eminence

 

12 – Anderson County (1-4)     Last week:  #12   Anderson lost both of their games last week, but were very competitive in both.    The Bearcats fell to Grant County, 51-47, and to Woodford County by just seven (54-47).

No stats are available yet for either game.

The Bearcats have lost three in a row, but these most recent two games may be hints that the Cats may be ready to make a move upward in the rankings.   

Despite scoring 66 points in each of their first two games, Anderson has struggled to score in the past three contests, failing to reach 50 points in each game.   Through the first three games of the year, the Bearcats are shooting just 39.9% from the floor and only 56.6% at the stripe.    But along the way, the team may have found the defensive scrappiness that has come to epitomize Anderson County basketball over the years. 

Holding a Woodford County team that scored 87 points against Oldham County to just 54 points is impressive, and it allowed the Cats to stay within striking distance of victory.  

This week:  12/17 Bethlehem     12/18 at Gallatin County 2 pm

 

13 – Trimble County Raiders  (2-3)     Last week:  #13    The Raiders are something of an enigma to start the season.

I think much was expected in Bedford when the season tipped off; after last season’s strong finish, and a roster that features a lot of returning veterans, the folks in Bedford could be forgiven for thinking that this team just might be the team that breaks “the drought” and returns Trimble County to the New Castle hardwood for the 8th Region tournament.

It may yet be so, but the Raiders have been erratic to start the year.

Last week, the Raiders fell to Kentucky Country Day, 73-60, before rebounding to beat 31st district rival Carroll County, 72-61.  

The Raiders shot well in both games, hitting 49% against KCD and 48% from the floor against Carroll.   And they showed some of the balance that many think will take them far come tournament time.   Against KCD, Ethan Horn led the way with 19, and was joined in double digits by Hunter Kelly (13 points), J. T. Wilcoxson (12) and Tate Ogburn (a double-double with 11 points / 16 rebounds). 

Against Carroll, Wilcoxson scored 23, Kelly 18, and Ogburn had his second straight double-double (and third of the season) with 15 points / 16 rebounds.

In a wide-open 31st district, the opportunity is sitting out there waiting for Trimble County to grab it.   This coming week may go a long way towards showing which way Trimble is headed.

This week:   12/13 vs. Eminence     12/16 at Gallatin County     12/18 at Walton-Verona

 

14 – Gallatin County Wildcats  (2-2)  Last week:  #14    Gallatin County split two games this week, and looked very competitive in the loss, an 9-point decision at the hands of Walton-Verona.

Gallatin County shot 52% from the floor and four Wildcats reached double figures in the 73-64 loss to the Bearcats.   Mason Arnold and Kellen Dossett each had 16 for the Cats, and Ashton Gullion and Drake Skidmore each had 14 as Gallatin showed some significant improvement over week 1 even in defeat.

The Wildcats then evened their record with a 70-59 District 31 win over Eminence, handing the Warriors their first loss of the season.

Logan Riddle and Drake Skidmore led five Wildcats in double figures in the win over Eminence with 16 points apiece.

Gallatin County has now scored 70 or more points in three of their four games, and the Wildcats are showing tremendous balance from their scorers.   Though Owen County remains the district favorite, and Trimble County and Henry County are strong contenders, the Wildcats are serving notice early that they will not go quietly into the night in 2021-2.

This week:  12/13 vs. Owen County     12/16 vs. Trimble County     12/18 vs. Anderson County

 

15 – Shelby County Rockets (1-4)   Last week:  #15     The Rockets have struggled a bit out of the game, and Shelby dropped games against Bullitt Central and Collins last week before salvaging the week with a 69-42 win over Carroll County to wrap things up.

After opening the year with four straight losses, however, we may be seeing some noticeable signs of improvement.

After giving up 82 points to Trimble County and 80 points to Seneca in the first two games, then surrendering 67 to Bullitt Central, the Rockets have continued to improve their scoring defense.   In fact, since Trimble scored 82 points in that opening game, Shelby has allowed fewer points in each succeeding contest, and gave up just 42 points to Carroll County in their last game.

JaShon Marshall led Shelby with 18 points in a 67-49 loss to start last week, but the Rockets showed considerable improvement in the subsequent game, a 54-43 loss to crosstown rival Collins – the same Collins that came into the contest averaging over 70 ppg.

A win over Carroll County, 69-42, closed out last week, and Shelby County has now claimed that elusive first win for first year coach Blake Traylor.

This week:  12/14 at Iroquois     12/16 vs. Oldham County

 

16 – Eminence Warriors (3-1)   Last week:  #16 -    The Warriors finally took a loss last week after opening up the season with three straight victories.   Head Coach Gary Tuell, a new arena, and (finally!) some veteran playmakers are helping make Eminence relevant again.

The Warriors got a 57-47 victory over Highlands Latin to start last week, before falling for the first time this season in a 31st district game against Gallatin County.  

No stats were available as of this writing, but Eminence’s competitive effort against perennial 31st district powerhouse Gallatin County was a sign of how things have changed in Eminence.    The Warriors hadn’t played the Wildcats that close since January 4, 2017 – which, in fact, was the last time Eminence beat Gallatin County (70-66, in Eminence).

With the momentum and confidence gained from the 3-1 start (all four games played in the impressive new arena in Eminence), the Warriors now go on the road for some additional 31st district tests:

This week:  12/13 at Trimble County     12/17 at Henry County

 

17 – Williamstown Demons (3-2)     Last week:  #17     The scoreboard operator is busy in Williamstown.

The Williamstown Demons have scored 61 points or more in all of their first five games of the season.   Williamstown is averaging 66.8 points per game as they have opened the season with a record of 3-2.

The Demons last averaged this many points over the opening five-game stretch in the 2003-4 season, when Williamstown averaged 74.8 ppg over the first five contests, while going 4-1.  

Last week, the Demons recorded their second-highest point total of the young season, beating Powell County, 71-51 behind Honore Yangoua’s 20 points.   Williamstown showed some balance against Powell, with four players in double figures.  Besides Yangoua’s 20, Joel McCain recorded a double-double (16 points / 13 rebounds), Gunner Feagan scored 15, and Colton Feagan added 10.

The Demons scored 61 in their next game, but Spencer County outlasted the Demons, 72-61.  

Williamstown’s ability to play to within 11 points of one of the region’s larger schools is an encouraging sign for Jacob Cheesman’s troops.    The 17th-smallest school in the 18 team region, Willamstown is in the middle of a rebuilding project, and an early season record of 3-2 and competitiveness against larger schools is definitely a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

This week the Demons have three straight home games, and Williamstown figures to be in the mix for a win in at least two of them.

This week:   12/14 vs. Carroll County     12/16 vs. Grant County     12/18 vs. Dayton

 

18 – Carroll County Panthers  (0-5)     Last week:  #18    It’s been a little rough for Carroll County and first year Panthers head coach Doug Oak.

Oak knew that this was going to be a rebuilding season in Carrollton, but after two weeks, the Panthers are the lone remaining winless team in Region 8.

Braden Stephenson had 13 to lead Carroll County in a 90-43 loss to Ryle last week; the Panthers shot just 39.5% from the floor in taking the loss against the 9th Region Raiders.

Carroll played better when it returned to 31st district action, falling to Trimble County by a competitive 11 points, 72-61, before closing out the week with a 69-42 loss to Shelby County.

This week:  12/13 at Henry County     12/14 at Williamstown     12/17 vs. Owen County

 

 

 

 

 

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  • ColonelMike changed the title to Bluegrasspreps.com Region 8 Week 2 Review and Rankings
1 minute ago, ColonelMike said:

Top Teams Making Cases Through Week Two

 

By Colonelmike

Week Two in the 8th Region started to give us some indications of who the early favorites are in the region, with five teams seemingly separating themselves from the pack just a bit.    Two teams have already claimed ranked victims:  North Oldham has knocked off two teams already that were ranked in the Bluegrasspreps.com Top 20 and Walton-Verona has defeated the defending state champs (also ranked in this year’s Top 20).     Collins is undefeated and owns a victory over Walton-Verona by six, Oldham County has a convincing win over Simon Kenton, and Woodford County beat Oldham County by a dozen.

Those five appear to be the “leaders of the pack” heading into the Christmas break.

SPEAKING OF THE CHRISTMAS BREAK….there will be NO 8th Region review/ranking next Monday.    I will be out of state and unable to post a week 3 review.    Stay tuned; I will be back at the keyboard for the Week 4 review on Monday, 12/27.

1 -  North Oldham Mustangs  (5-1)   Last week:  #1   North holds at number one after going undefeated against top-tier competition this week.   The Mustangs faced the Christian Academy of Louisville Centurions (then #13 in the BGP Top 20), and won easily, pushing out to a 20+ lead midway through the second half before settling for a 72-58 win.

On Friday, North whipped 8th Region contender Simon Kenton, 63-51.    The Mustangs again largely had their way – they led, 51-31, heading into the final period – and withstood a furious fourth quarter SK rally to prevail, 63-51.  

Less than 24 hours after the emotional win over the Pioneers, the Mustangs were back on the court against #17 Western, playing in New Castle at the BodyArmor Showcase.    North briefly opened up a double-digit lead, but had battle for 32 tense minutes to outlast the Warriors, 68-65, earning the Mustangs their third impressive win in five days, and their second over a ranked opponent.

North Oldham shot well during the week, particularly from the outside, connecting on 25 of 53 three point attempts (47.2%).    Jack Scales was practically automatic beyond the arc, hitting 12 of 18 treys (67%).

This week:   North’s schedule doesn’t get much easier.   12/14 at #18 Walton-Verona     12/17 Paul Dunbar (King of the Bluegrass)

 

2 – Collins Titans (5-0)  Last week:   #2   Collins stretched their winning streak to five with wins over Owen County (67-49), Shelby County (54-43), and 18th-ranked Walton-Verona (83-77), further solidifying their spot at #2.  

The Titans’ win over the preseason favorites in the 31st district – Owen County – was marked by 53.5% shooting overall, and an incredible night at the line, where Collins hit 15 of 15.  Four players reached double figures.

Collins, which has been primarily known for its great defense, while averaging barely 53 ppg last year, has now scored 63 points or more in four of five games.

This week:  12/17 at Grayson County

 

3 – Woodford County  Yellowjackets (5-1)  Last week:  #5   As expected, the Woodford County Yellowjackets are beginning to move back up in the poll as they get all of their transfers eligible.

Some internal miscommunications apparently resulted in a couple of transfers playing in the first game of the year, resulting in Woodford – who won that game on the court – having to forfeit.   The Jackets have corrected the issue, and since then, Woodford County has won five straight.

An 87-75 victory over Oldham County last week confirmed Woodford’s legitimacy as an 8th Region contender, as Jackson Twombley, a 6’7” transfer from Frankfort, led the way with 21 points.   Brian White added 12.    Fellow transfer Eden Nelson added 8.

The Jackets went on to beat 30th district rival Anderson County, 54-47, then slammed Bourbon County, 86-70.  

No stats are yet available for the Anderson and Bourbon games; it’s unclear whether LexCath transfer John McRear is in uniform yet for Woodford County or not.

This week:  12/14 at Estill County     12/17 vs. Paris

 

4 – Oldham County Colonels (4-2)   Last week:  #3   Oldham County falls a notch this week after losing to Woodford County this past week, but the Colonels are clearly one of the region’s elite teams, and they don’t drop far.

Oldham’s Sam Powell had a double-double against Woodford, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and the Colonels put together a balanced scoring effort against the Jackets, with four different players in double digits in the loss.

Oldham then lost by 2 at home to 6th Region contender Doss, 54-52.   Oldham shot only 40% from the floor that night, and the Dragons held them to their lowest point total of the season, well below their average of 69.1 ppg.

The Colonels bounced back to hammer Moore, 76-54, in the BodyArmor Showcase.   Oldham dominated early, but Moore rallied to make it close at the half, then pulled to within one bucket early in the second half.    Oldham head coach Coy Zerhusen pulled all five of his starters, and the reserves steadied the ship, pushing the lead back out to three scores.  Apparently the starters got the message.   Re-inserted to start the fourth period, the starters led a spirited effort in the period to pull away to the 22 point victory. 

Saturday was my first chance to see Oldham County; their starting five may be every bit as good as anybody’s, with good rebounding, shooting, and balance.   But I may have been most impressed with the five-man bench rotation which got so much time in the third period, which appears to be very capable of contributing.    I was especially impressed with the energy brought by sub Justin Ruffin, a sophomore guard who entered the game in the second half – just his second appearance in a varsity game this year – and instantly gave Oldham a huge spark.   The talented wide receiver from Oldham’s football team is quick and shifty, and I expect him to get more minutes as the season wears on.

This week:   12/13 – Grant County (live video coverage at www.pegasussportsky.com at 7 pm ET)   12/16 at Shelby County

 

5 – Walton-Verona Bearcats (4-2)   Last week:   #4    Walton-Verona falls one spot this week after dropping two of three games last week.  The Bearcats defeated Gallatin County, 84-73, to start last week and open the season 4-0, but the Cats dropped games to Cooper (69-56) and Collins (83-77) to close out the week.   Considering the quality of the competition – Cooper and Collins are a combined 9-1 as of this writing -  and the relative closeness of the scores, I don’t see much reason for the Bearcats to fall far this week.

Brant Smithers, the W-V candidate for 8th Region Player of the Year honors, had 30 against Gallatin.

Walton-Verona stays inside the confines of the 8th Region this week for two games.

This week:   12/14 vs. North   12/17 at Spencer County     12/18 vs. Trimble County 6:30 pm

 

From #6 - #18, there are no changes in the rankings this week:

6 – Simon Kenton Pioneers  (2-2)   Last week:  #6      The post-Kelly Niece era continues at Simon Kenton, and the Pioneers are still adapting. 

SK went 1-1 last week, dispatching the Holmes Bulldogs, 71-64 behind Travis Krohman’s 18 points and a double-double from 7’2” center Gabe Dynes, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds.     It was another solid shooting night from a Pioneer squad that is beginning to look like one of the better shooting teams in the region; the Pioneers connected on 50% of their shots from the field.

The team came back down to earth on Friday, falling on the road to region 8 favorite North Oldham, 63-51.   The Pioneers trailed by 20 heading into the final quarter, but showed a lot of moxie in rallying to within 12 midway through the fourth to give themselves a shot at the upset.    The North Oldham defense largely shut down the Pioneers, holding SK to less than 50 points until Dynes tipped in a missed shot right at the final buzzer to push SK over the 50 point threshold.

So far, the Pioneers have scored over 70 points and beaten the teams they were expected to beat (Ryle, Holmes) or been held to 51 points or less and lost to the teams they were expected to lose to (Oldham County, North Oldham).  

Sophomore Travis Krohman continues to lead this group of Pioneers with 13.5 ppg, but this is beginning to look like a team where as many as seven different players are capable of double-digit scoring in every game.  

This week:  12/14 vs. Conner     12/17 at South Oldham

 

7 – South Oldham Dragons (1-2)   Last week:  #7     South Oldham played just one game this past week, and has played just three over the course of the first two weeks of the season.

Against 12th Region powerhouse Boyle County on Saturday in the BodyArmor Showcase, the Dragons were very competitive, but they ultimately couldn’t keep up with the Rebels, who outlasted the Dragons, 60-52.

The final margin was the largest of the game, which was close throughout.   South, however, normally a strong shooting team, could never find their shooting eye in the Henry County gym, connecting on just 36.5% of their shots and a paltry 18% (6 of 32) from beyond the arc, normally a Dragon strong suit. 

Even the line was not kind to South, where the Dragons went just 8 of 16 (50%).

The Dragons continue to face really strong competition this week, and we’ll get more of a feel as to where this Dragon team stands.

This week:  12/17  Simon Kenton     12/18 at Christian Academy of Louisville

 

8 – Grant County Braves (3-2)     Last week # 8    Grant County also stays put this week, staying at number 8.

The Dylan Hammonds junior season tour continues across the region, as the Braves’ star forward registered two more double-doubles last week, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 51-47 win over Anderson County and going for 17 and 11 against Owen County in a 52-47 overtime victory.   Hammonds is averaging 25.8 ppg and 12.8 rebounds. 

The Braves welcomed Spencer Breeden back to the lineup after he missed one game the previous week (against South Oldham).

In recent years, Grant has been known as a high-scoring machine with only an average defense; this year’s squad is having some success at the defensive end, and as a result, the Braves put together two wins last week despite failing to score over 52 points in either game.

Offensively, the Braves are struggling from long range (18 of 80, 22.5% on three pointers) and at the line (48 of 88, 54.5%).    They’re making it up by attacking the rim, and are benefitting from Hammonds’ strength on the offensive glass.  

Grant has a busy week this week:

This week:   12/13/21 at Oldham County (video coverage at 7 pm ET on www.pegasussportsky.com)     12/16 at Williamstown     12/18 Garrard County at Harrison County HS  3 pm

 

9 – Owen County Rebels (1-3)     Last week:  #9    Owen had a pretty busy week, staying within the confines of the 8th Region and going 1-2 on the week.

The Rebels were handled by Collins, 67-49, to start the week.    Despite a credible effort against the Titans, Owen simply wore down late and Collins won in Shelbyville by a healthy margin.   The Rebels bounced back strong, dominating the team many thought would be their primary challenger in the 31st district, Henry County, by a final score of 71-43.

The Rebels ended the week with an overtime loss to Grant County, 52-47. 

Owen has posted limited stats to date. 

Owen County will get a chance to measure itself on the road against two of its 31st District rivals this week.

This Week:   12/13 at Gallatin County     12/16  at Carroll County     12/18 East Carter at Rowan County 6 pm Stock Yards Bank & Trust Challenge

 

10 – Spencer County Bears (4-2)    Last week:  #10    Spencer County went 2-1 for the second week in a row, sandwiching wins over North Bullitt (84-74) and Williamstown (72-61) around a 65-47 loss to 6th Region power Bullitt East.

Jonathan Combs and Luke Erhardt had strong weeks for coach Jason Burns.    The two each had 25 points against North Bullitt, and Camden Cox and Andrew Barron each had 11.

Erhadt led the way against Bullitt East with 21 points…Combs led the attack against Williamstown with 15.

This week:  12/17 vs. Walton-Verona

 

11    Henry County Wildcats   Last week:  #11     The Wildcats had a rough week last week, falling in dramatic fashion to Owen County, 71-43, and to Louisville Holy Cross, 83-57 in the BodyArmor Showcase in New Castle.

Kevin Wix (unofficially) had 32 points in a dominant performance against the Holy Cross Cougars, and looked perhaps as confident and “in control” as I’ve ever seen him play.

The game against Holy Cross was the first of six consecutive home games for the Wildcats.

This week:  12/13 vs. Carroll County     12/17  vs. Eminence

 

12 – Anderson County (1-4)     Last week:  #12   Anderson lost both of their games last week, but were very competitive in both.    The Bearcats fell to Grant County, 51-47, and to Woodford County by just seven (54-47).

No stats are available yet for either game.

The Bearcats have lost three in a row, but these most recent two games may be hints that the Cats may be ready to make a move upward in the rankings.   

Despite scoring 66 points in each of their first two games, Anderson has struggled to score in the past three contests, failing to reach 50 points in each game.   Through the first three games of the year, the Bearcats are shooting just 39.9% from the floor and only 56.6% at the stripe.    But along the way, the team may have found the defensive scrappiness that has come to epitomize Anderson County basketball over the years. 

Holding a Woodford County team that scored 87 points against Oldham County to just 54 points is impressive, and it allowed the Cats to stay within striking distance of victory.  

This week:  12/17 Bethlehem     12/18 at Gallatin County 2 pm

 

13 – Trimble County Raiders  (2-3)     Last week:  #13    The Raiders are something of an enigma to start the season.

I think much was expected in Bedford when the season tipped off; after last season’s strong finish, and a roster that features a lot of returning veterans, the folks in Bedford could be forgiven for thinking that this team just might be the team that breaks “the drought” and returns Trimble County to the New Castle hardwood for the 8th Region tournament.

It may yet be so, but the Raiders have been erratic to start the year.

Last week, the Raiders fell to Kentucky Country Day, 73-60, before rebounding to beat 31st district rival Carroll County, 72-61.  

The Raiders shot well in both games, hitting 49% against KCD and 48% from the floor against Carroll.   And they showed some of the balance that many think will take them far come tournament time.   Against KCD, Ethan Horn led the way with 19, and was joined in double digits by Hunter Kelly (13 points), J. T. Wilcoxson (12) and Tate Ogburn (a double-double with 11 points / 16 rebounds). 

Against Carroll, Wilcoxson scored 23, Kelly 18, and Ogburn had his second straight double-double (and third of the season) with 15 points / 16 rebounds.

In a wide-open 31st district, the opportunity is sitting out there waiting for Trimble County to grab it.   This coming week may go a long way towards showing which way Trimble is headed.

This week:   12/13 vs. Eminence     12/16 at Gallatin County     12/18 at Walton-Verona

 

14 – Gallatin County Wildcats  (2-2)  Last week:  #14    Gallatin County split two games this week, and looked very competitive in the loss, an 9-point decision at the hands of Walton-Verona.

Gallatin County shot 52% from the floor and four Wildcats reached double figures in the 73-64 loss to the Bearcats.   Mason Arnold and Kellen Dossett each had 16 for the Cats, and Ashton Gullion and Drake Skidmore each had 14 as Gallatin showed some significant improvement over week 1 even in defeat.

The Wildcats then evened their record with a 70-59 District 31 win over Eminence, handing the Warriors their first loss of the season.

Logan Riddle and Drake Skidmore led five Wildcats in double figures in the win over Eminence with 16 points apiece.

Gallatin County has now scored 70 or more points in three of their four games, and the Wildcats are showing tremendous balance from their scorers.   Though Owen County remains the district favorite, and Trimble County and Henry County are strong contenders, the Wildcats are serving notice early that they will not go quietly into the night in 2021-2.

This week:  12/13 vs. Owen County     12/16 vs. Trimble County     12/18 vs. Anderson County

 

15 – Shelby County Rockets (1-4)   Last week:  #15     The Rockets have struggled a bit out of the game, and Shelby dropped games against Bullitt Central and Collins last week before salvaging the week with a 69-42 win over Carroll County to wrap things up.

After opening the year with four straight losses, however, we may be seeing some noticeable signs of improvement.

After giving up 82 points to Trimble County and 80 points to Seneca in the first two games, then surrendering 67 to Bullitt Central, the Rockets have continued to improve their scoring defense.   In fact, since Trimble scored 82 points in that opening game, Shelby has allowed fewer points in each succeeding contest, and gave up just 42 points to Carroll County in their last game.

JaShon Marshall led Shelby with 18 points in a 67-49 loss to start last week, but the Rockets showed considerable improvement in the subsequent game, a 54-43 loss to crosstown rival Collins – the same Collins that came into the contest averaging over 70 ppg.

A win over Carroll County, 69-42, closed out last week, and Shelby County has now claimed that elusive first win for first year coach Blake Traylor.

This week:  12/14 at Iroquois     12/16 vs. Oldham County

 

16 – Eminence Warriors (3-1)   Last week:  #16 -    The Warriors finally took a loss last week after opening up the season with three straight victories.   Head Coach Gary Tuell, a new arena, and (finally!) some veteran playmakers are helping make Eminence relevant again.

The Warriors got a 57-47 victory over Highlands Latin to start last week, before falling for the first time this season in a 31st district game against Gallatin County.  

No stats were available as of this writing, but Eminence’s competitive effort against perennial 31st district powerhouse Gallatin County was a sign of how things have changed in Eminence.    The Warriors hadn’t played the Wildcats that close since January 4, 2017 – which, in fact, was the last time Eminence beat Gallatin County (70-66, in Eminence).

With the momentum and confidence gained from the 3-1 start (all four games played in the impressive new arena in Eminence), the Warriors now go on the road for some additional 31st district tests:

This week:  12/13 at Trimble County     12/17 at Henry County

 

17 – Williamstown Demons (3-2)     Last week:  #17     The scoreboard operator is busy in Williamstown.

The Williamstown Demons have scored 61 points or more in all of their first five games of the season.   Williamstown is averaging 66.8 points per game as they have opened the season with a record of 3-2.

The Demons last averaged this many points over the opening five-game stretch in the 2003-4 season, when Williamstown averaged 74.8 ppg over the first five contests, while going 4-1.  

Last week, the Demons recorded their second-highest point total of the young season, beating Powell County, 71-51 behind Honore Yangoua’s 20 points.   Williamstown showed some balance against Powell, with four players in double figures.  Besides Yangoua’s 20, Joel McCain recorded a double-double (16 points / 13 rebounds), Gunner Feagan scored 15, and Colton Feagan added 10.

The Demons scored 61 in their next game, but Spencer County outlasted the Demons, 72-61.  

Williamstown’s ability to play to within 11 points of one of the region’s larger schools is an encouraging sign for Jacob Cheesman’s troops.    The 17th-smallest school in the 18 team region, Willamstown is in the middle of a rebuilding project, and an early season record of 3-2 and competitiveness against larger schools is definitely a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

This week the Demons have three straight home games, and Williamstown figures to be in the mix for a win in at least two of them.

This week:   12/14 vs. Carroll County     12/16 vs. Grant County     12/18 vs. Dayton

 

18 – Carroll County Panthers  (0-5)     Last week:  #18    It’s been a little rough for Carroll County and first year Panthers head coach Doug Oak.

Oak knew that this was going to be a rebuilding season in Carrollton, but after two weeks, the Panthers are the lone remaining winless team in Region 8.

Braden Stephenson had 13 to lead Carroll County in a 90-43 loss to Ryle last week; the Panthers shot just 39.5% from the floor in taking the loss against the 9th Region Raiders.

Carroll played better when it returned to 31st district action, falling to Trimble County by a competitive 11 points, 72-61, before closing out the week with a 69-42 loss to Shelby County.

This week:  12/13 at Henry County     12/14 at Williamstown     12/17 vs. Owen County

 

 

 

 

 

Dynes had a triple double against Holmes. He had 11 blocks to go with the points and rebounds.

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Just now, Nkybballfan23 said:

Dynes had a triple double against Holmes. He had 11 blocks to go with the points and rebounds.

I heard that, but didn't get it confirmed.    He has some real potential - you simply can't coach size!

Nice that he's just a junior, so he'll have this year to develop.   The difference between Oldham County's 6'10" Hayden Burgess from his junior year last year to his senior year this year has been extraordinary.

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