16th Region Tournament Preview

All games of the 16th Region tournament are played at Ellis Johnson Arena on the campus of Morehead State University. Ashland comes in as the defending champion and the odds on favorite to win this year. They sit at 30-0 but have been tested, especially late in the season with West Carter, Boyd County, Rowan County and Russell as teams that have been beat by 6 points of less by the Tomcats. The Comets in particular, would like another shot at the Tomcats after a loss that was a hard pill to swallow.

District Champions
Rowan County (25-7 overall, 16-2 in region)
West Carter (17-12 overall, 14-8 in region)
Lewis County (16-16 overall, 11-9 in region)
Ashland (30-0 overall, 16-0 in region)

District Runner-ups
Bath County (16-16 overall, 12-10 in region)
East Carter (11-15 overall, 10-10 in region)
Russell (12-15 overall, 7-11 in region)
Boyd County (18-14 overall, 14-4 in region)

Game 1 Wednesday March 4 6:30 Lewis County vs Bath County
Previous Meeting: Feb 20 – Lewis County got the win over Bath County at Bath County 64-61

This game will certainly be one of the more competitive first round games. These teams played less than 2 weeks ago in a tightly contested ball game. There is no reason to suspect anything else. Lewis County comes in with some momentum, fresh over of a #4 seed to champion run in the 63rd district. Same O’Keefe, the 16th region representative for Mr Basketball has been on sire as of late, averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds a game in the district tournament. In the game two weeks ago, O’Keefe had 27 points and 9 rebounds against Bath County. Bath County depends on a couple of different players for their scoring. Jacob Patton and Zachary Otis are both capable of putting up big numbers. In the district tournament, Patton averaged 25 points a game. Otis averaged 15 to go with it. This will be a battle without a doubt.
Prediction: Lewis County 70 Bath County 62.

Game 2 March 4 30 minutes after game 1. West Carter vs Boyd County
Previous Meeting: Dec 16, 2019 – Boyd County won 61-54 at West Carter

These two teams had one previous meeting but that meeting was a lifetime ago, way back in mid-December. Both teams have improved and changed many things. However, the people are the same. Boyd County is led by their 4-year starter Blake Stewart. Stewart does whatever his team needs him to do to win. He can score 20+ points or he can pull down 10+ rebounds, doing both in the district tournament. The Comets have some star power as well with Braden Leadingham as a force all season long. However, with the districts it was other talent stepping up as Tyson Webb averaged 24 points a game.
Prediction: Boyd County 70 West Carter 64

Game 3 Thursday March 5 6:30 – Ashland vs Russell
Previous meetings: Ashland won both meetings Feb 14 at Russell 51-46 and Jan 10 at Ashland 70-30

The question is which Russell team steps onto the court. Ashland saw the worst of Russell on Jan 10 in a game that was 23-4 at the end of the 1st quarter. It ended as a 40-point game, and could have been worse. However, in the Valentines matchup, the Devils shows they can be a force too, suffering a 5-point defeat. The Tomcats have had some difficulties in the later part of the season, undoubtedly fatigue and the stress of an unblemished record have had a part of that. Porter averaged 25 points a game in district and sees the court about as well as any player in the state. In fact, the Ashland team in general in artistic in the way they move the ball around the court and make their opponent try to catch up.
Prediction: Ashland 72 Russell 54

Game 4 Thursday March 5 30 minutes after game 3 - Rowan County vs East Carter
Previous Meeting: Rowan County won at East Carter on Feb 13 63-56

The last of the first round games will have the Raiders and the Vikings battling. Rowan County has gotten from Mason Moore what they expected for the season. He is a high scorer and the leader that the team needs. They have gotten more than expected from Chase Alderman. Alderman has been what Rowan needed to have a good year. In the previous game Moore had 24 points and 8 rebounds. Alderman had 17 points and 6 rebounds. Both will look to continue solid production. East Carter has spread their scoring out. In the previous contest, Micah Adams had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Raiders. In the district tournament, Treven Tussey and Donovan Damron each took a turn as leading scorer for the Raiders.
Prediction: Rowan County 65 East Carter 55

Semi-Finals are played Monday, March 9 at 6:30 and 8:00
Championship is Tuesday March 10 at 7:00