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  1. 1. North Laurel (5-0) Wins last week: Covington Catholic (89-87), Jackson County (97-59), Estill County (89-59) Losses last week: none The scoop: Super Sophomore Reed Sheppard continues to shine, scoring 47 points and pulling down 12 rebounds against Cov. Cath while adding 37 points against Jackson County. Sheppard only took 11 shots against Estill County but recorded 14 points, and 16 assists against Estill County. Sophomore Ryan Davidson scored 18 points against Cov. Cath while adding 25 points against Estill County. Clay Sizemore added 16 points against Cov. Cath and also hit two key 3s to secure the win. Brody Brock his six 3-pointers and scored 23 points against Estill County. 2. Harlan County (5-0) Wins last week: Bell County (77-46), Lafayette (66-62) Losses last week: none The scoop: The Black Bears continue to roll. They picked up a huge 31-point district win over Bell County with Daniel Carmical scoring 23 points while freshman Trent Noah followed with 20 points and Tyler Cole recorded a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 boards. Noah and Maddux Huff each scored 16 apiece against Lafayette while Cole finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. 3. Knox Central (2-0) Wins last week: none Losses last week: none The scoop: The Panthers have been off due to COVID-19 protocols. They are expected to play Wayne County on the road Saturday, Jan. 23. 4. Clay County (2-0) Wins last week: Leslie County (81-69), Corbin (89-82) Losses last week: none The scoop: Clay County came up with two big wins as senior Connor Robinson scored 46 points against Leslie County while Connor Farmer added 13 points. Both Robinson and Raven Abner scores 29 apiece against Corbin with Abner knocking down eight 3-pointers. Farmer added 11 points in the win while Cole Garrison added 10 points. 5. Corbin (1-1) Wins last week: Bell County (79-78 OT) Losses last week: Clay County (89-82) The scoop: Corbin held on to beat Bell County in an overtime thriller on Log Mountain with transfer Hayden Llewellyn scoring 30 points in the win while Carter Stewart followed with 27 points. Llewellyn continued to shine against Clay County, scoring 35 points while hitting five 3-pointers. Brody Wells hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points while Carter Stewart added 11 points. 6. South Laurel (4-1) Wins this week: Madison Southern (73-61) Losses this week: Madison Central (58-45) The scoop: Many expected Jeff Davis’ Cardinals to be in rebuild mode, but South Laurel has surprised so far this season. The Cardinals received a big win last week on the road against Trinity and beat Madison Southern this week behind Rhys England’s 18 points and Parker Payne’s 17 points. South Laurel came up short against Madison Central but looks to get back on track this week with an important 50th District game against Corbin. 7. Harlan (3-0) Wins last week: Lynn Camp (66-61) Losses last week: none The scoop: The Green Dragons advanced to the Finals of the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament but wasn’t able to play Barbourville due to COVID-19 protocols. Against Lynn Camp, Harlan’s Jordan Akal scored 27 points while Kaleb McLendin added 14 points. Jaedyn Gist followed with 10 points and 15 rebounds. 8. Pineville (2-1) Wins this week: Whitley County (56-47) Losses this week: none The scoop: The Mountain Lions were able to get back on track after a loss to Harlan by defeating Whitley County at home. Keean Fuson scores 23 points against the Colonels while Sean Phipps added 13 points. 9. Whitley County (3-1) Wins last week: none Losses last week: Harlan (66-61) The scoop: The Colonels were able to get one game in before finding out they would have to quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols. Against Pineville, Whitley County strugglers to get on track with Jamie Fuson’s 16-point scoring effort leading the way. 10. Lynn Camp (1-2) Wins this week: none Losses last week: Harlan (66-61) The scoop: The Wildcats lost a heartbreaker to Harlan during semifinal action play of the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament. Gavin Allen and Micah Engle each scored 18 points apiece while Allen also finished with nine rebounds. Spencer Gilbert followed with a 12-point scoring effort. The best of the rest ... 11. Bell County (1-5) The Bobcats just can’t seem to get over the hump after falling to Harlan County, Corbin and Garrard County. 12. Barbourville (2-2) The Tigers were able to advance to the finals of the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament after beating Jackson County, 76-59. 13. Jackson County (1-3) The Generals have dropped two straight since beating Williamsburg. 14. Williamsburg (2-2) The Yellow Jackets losses have come against two 13th Region teams — Barbourville and Jackson County. 15. Middlesboro (1-2) The Yellow Jackets got their first win of the season by defeating Burgin last week, 64-45. 16. Red Bird (0-0) The Cardinals will play their first game of the today at home against Middlesboro.
  2. I’ve watched him play his entire varsity career. The kid is legit, and is quite arguably the best player in the state. I’d say the Cov. Cath assistant coach knows what he’s talking about.
  3. That was me that sent my buddy this stat sheet to give you guys.
  4. I’ve been telling folks not to sleep on North. They’re more than a one-man team.
  5. South is probably the sixth best team in the 13th Region this year. The 13th Region is a whole lot better than people realize this year. I’d take Reed Sheppard, Trent Noah, Hayden Lewellyn, Javonte Turner, Jordan Akal, Robinson kid at Clay and Ryan Davidson over many players in the state.
  6. 13th Region Rankings 1. North Laurel (2-0) The Jaguars have gotten off to a fast start, scoring at least 100 points in each of its First two games. North Laurel defeated Pikeville last week, 100-77, with sophomore sensation Reed Sheppard tallying 37 points and 14 assists while Clay Sizemore added 23 points while knocking down seven 3-pointers. Sheppard continued his impressive play during North Laurel’s 104-62 win over Cov. Holy Cross by turning in a career-high 48 points while Sizemore added 26 points while knocking down eight 3-pointers. 2. Knox Central (2-0) The two-time defending region champions has left the gate strong winning both games with ease. Knox Central knocked off Perry Central, 62-37, while Jevonte Turner scored more than 20 points and the Panthers added a 70-37 win under their belts by defeating Middlesboro. Turner continues to dominate scoring 20-plus points to begin the season and continues to make a case for himself as the region’s top player. 3. Harlan County (3-0) The Black Bears are off and running with wins over Barren County (63-51), Martin County (65-47) and Letcher Central (55-35). Tyler Cole is averaging 24 points and 8.7 rebounds per game after the first three games while freshman Trent Noah is averaging 14.3 points per game. 4. Clay County (0-0) The Tigers haven’t been able to play due to COVID-19 restrictions. They are hoping to get back in action this week. 5. Corbin (0-0, 0-0) The Redhounds haven’t been able to play due to COVID-19 restrictions. They are hoping to get back in action this week. 6. South Laurel (3-0) The Cardinals have been the surprise team of the region so far after picking up wins over Middlesboro (63-15), Bell County (56-42) and Louisville Trinity (62-61). The Cardinals had Trinity down by as many as 23 points during their win but had to hold off a late rally by the Shamrocks as Micah Anders knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Anders leads South Laurel with a 16-point scoring average while Parker Payne is averaging 12.7 points per game. 7. Harlan (2-0) The Green Dragons are rolling after cruising to wins over both Elliott County (62-48) and Pineville (63-50). Jordan Akal has been dominating during the two games, scoring 38, and 30 points, respectively. He leads Harlan with a 34-point scoring average while averaging 7.5 boards per game. Jaedyn Gist has been a pleasant surprise, averaging 15.5 points and a team-best 11.5 boards per game. 8. Whitley County (3-0) The Colonels have been another surprise team of the region after getting off to a 3-0 start under first-year coach Mark White. Whitley County defeated Lynn Camp (61-58), Barbourville (63-61) and Model (67-61) this past week. Ethan Keene hit the game-winning shot against Barbourville and currently leads the team with a 20-point scoring average. Jamie Fuson is averaging 17.5 points per game while Brayden Mahan is tossing in 15 points per game. 9. Bell County (0-2) The Bobcats have been without two starters and not having both have them played a big part In their losses to South Laurel (56-42) and Wolfe County (72-62). Cameron Burnett has been a bright spot for coach Brad Sizemore’s squad. He leads the team with a 26.5 scoring average and a 6.0 rebounding average. 10. Lynn Camp (1-1) The Wildcats dropped a heartbreaking 61-58 loss to Whitley County but bounced back with a 55-49 win o er Bluegrass United. Micah Engle leads Lynn Camp with a 19-point scoring average while grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game. Gavin Allen is a averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 boards per game. 11. Barbourville (1-2) The Tigers lone win this past week came against Williamsburg (78-68). They dropped games to both Berea (73-60) and Whitley County (63-61). 12. Jackson County (1-1) Clay Akemon has been a bright spot for the Generals. He leads the team with a 24.5 scoring average. Andrew Madden is averaging 15.5 points per game. 13. Williamsburg (1-2) Eric Swords’ Yellow Jackets have struggled, but Micah Steely has put on a show. He leads the team with a 26.3 scoring average and a 7.3 rebounding average. 14. Pineville (1-1) The Mountain Lions picked up a 63-60 win over Perry Central as Keean Fuson leads the team with an 18.5 scoring average. Sean Phipps is t far behind with a 16-point scoring average. 15. Red Bird (0-0) The Cardinals haven’t played yet and is scheduled to top things off until Jan. 18. 16. Middlesboro (0-2) The Yellow Jackets are in rebuilding mode. They’ve opened the season with losses to both South Laurel (63-15) and Knox Central (70-37).
  7. The 13th Region should be interesting once again with up to five teams that have a legitimate shot at winning the 13th Region championship. The region is loaded with young and old talent with North Laurel sophomore Reed Sheppard leading the way as the region’s top rated player. 1. North Laurel (22-10 overall, 12-6 vs. 13th Region competition) The Jaguars just couldn’t get on track during their first year under coach Nate Valentine but look for things to change this upcoming season. North Laurel returns what many believe is the region’s best one-two punch in sophomores Reed Sheppard and Ryan Davidson but the Jaguars do have some holes to fill due to graduation. You can’t forget about the play of Clay Sizemore either. He’s one of the best long-range shooters in the region. The key to North Laurel’s success will be who steps up to fill the void left by the five seniors that graduated. Sheppard became the first 2023 player in the state to receive a DI offer and expect even more in the near future as the region’s top player had one heck of a summer, turning up on social media with his impressive play. The big question will be if he can guide North Laurel to a region crown this season. 2. Knox Central (25-8, 12-3) I was pretty close to putting the Panthers at the top spot. Knox Central has dominated 13th Region action the past few years, and deserve the respect that comes its way. Tony Patterson’s squad has won a 13th Region-best 109 games during the past four years while posting an impressive 55-11 record against 13th Region teams. The Panthers have also won consecutive region titles the past two years and four straight 51st District crowns, so the big questions is if they can 3-peat? They return one of the region’s top players in Jevonte Turner along with a solid nucleus of players that include Isaac Mills, Andrew Sizemore, and Abram Brock. Transfer Matthew Gray is also a huge pick up for the Panthers. 3. Harlan County (24-11, 14-5) Mike Jones has done a fantastic job with the Black Bears since taking over as head coach. He guided Harlan County to the regional title game last season and will be expected to contend once again this upcoming season. Leading scorer Taylor Spurlock has graduated but Tyler Cole, Trent Noah, and Jackson Huff return to give the Black Bears a solid trio of scorers. This team has enough returning talent to win the region. Noah is tagged as one of if not the best player in the state’s 2024 class, and after a successful summer looks to be ready to lead the Black Bears to success once again. 4. Clay County (23-10, 16-3) This could be the make it or break it season for the Tigers with seven seniors on their upcoming roster. Clay County has been slated as one of the teams to beat the past two years but just can’t get over the hump. Things could be different this season as Connor Robinson, Raven Abner, Connor Farmer, Tate Farmer, and Colby Sams returns. The Tigers are another team that returns a lot of talented players and will be right in the thick of the 13th Region title chase when all is said and done. 5. Corbin (16-14, 8-9) The Redhounds crack the top five after returning a roster that is loaded with young talent. This team could surprise this upcoming season under veteran coach Tony Pietrowski. Keep an eye on players such as transfer Hayden Lewellyn, who averaged close to 30 points per game last season for Jellico, Tenn. Abe Barnes, Josh Hibbits, and Carter Stewart will be expected to carry the load as well. This could be their time to shine. 6. Harlan (13-17, 8-11) The Green Dragons return one of the state’s top players in Jordan Akal but will need some players to step up to help turn Harlan into a regional contender. Harlan does have the talent in place. Akal has established himself as one of the state’s top players while Jaedyn Gist will also be expected to contribute. 7. Bell County (12-18, 7-10) Look for Brad Sizemore’s second year as head coach at Bell County to be a good one. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Bobcats end up playing for the regional crown, especially with Cameron Burnett and Dawson Woolum returning. 8. Whitley County (12-19, 4-10) First-year coach Mark White takes over a young and talented Colonel squad that could surprise this season. Whitley County could be making a trip to the 13th Region Tournament for the first time since 2011. The key to the Colonels’ success could depend on its talented junior and sophomore class stepping up. Garrett McNealey, Jackson Estes and Grayson Estes return for their junior seasons, along with junior forward Trevor Downs. 9. South Laurel (28-5, 19-3) The Cardinals could be in rebuild mode after graduating an abundance of talent the past few seasons which includes last year’s 13th Region Player of the Year, Matt Cromer. The cupboard isn’t bare at South Laurel but coach Jeff Davis is going to have to have a lot of players step their game up this upcoming season. Micah Anders, Caden Jones, Parker Payne, and Weslyn Wright brings experience to the table for the Cardinals. 10. Lynn Camp Wildcats (13-15, 5-10) New coach Rodney Clarke is excited to get the season started and rightfully, so. The first year coach will be replying former coach Dinky Phipps, who retired this past season with hopes of leading Lynn Camp to success in both the 51st District and 13th Region. Clarke’s squad will he led by Mason Praiter, who averaged 15.1 points per game last season along with transfers Gavin Allen and Micah Engle. Both Allen and Engle came over from Corbin and will be Expected to contribute right off the bat. Senior forward Spencer Gilbert and sophomore guard Jace Boggs also return. 11. Williamsburg (17-13, 9-10) Eric Swords has returned to his alma mater to become head coach with hopes of returning the Yellow Jackets to their winning ways. Williamsburg graduates it’s top two leading scorers but returns Micah Steely, who could turn out to be one of the surprise players in the region. 12. Barbourville (13-16, 8-12) Coach Cody Messer’s Tigers are ready to make more noise this season after reaching the 13th Region Tournament last season. The Tigers return Jordan Collins, David Collett, and a solid nucleus of young talent that should contend for the 51st District title by season’s end. 13. Pineville (10-17, 2-14) The Mountain Lions return senior forward Sean Phipps and senior guard Keann Fuson which will make them a team to keep an eye on this season. 14.Jackson County (13-17, 6-13) The Generals could surprise a bit this season with Clay Akemon, Jude Lakes Garrett Roark, and Andrew Madden returning. 15. Middlesboro (20-10, 13-7) Four starters graduated from last season but I still expect the Yellow Jackets to be a team to watch out for. Seniors Eric Helton and Bryson Barnard are expected to lead the way along with Jay West and Ethan Barton. 16. Red Bird (8-21, 3-16) Dalton Asher is the lone starter returning for a Cardinal squad that graduated a lot of talent from last year’s roster. Bryce Helton and Hunter Gray will return for Red Bird with hopes of leading the Cardinals to a surprise seasons Note: Oneida Baptist will not have a team this season. 13th Region’s Top 10 players 1. Reed Sheppard, Sophomore, North Laurel Sheppard has one heck of a summer, improving his outside shot while showing off his offensive and defensive skills during the process. The state’s top 2023 players is expected to lead North Laurel this season. 2. Javonte Turner, Senior, Knox Central Turner has played a big role in leading the Panthers to consecutive region titles, and is looking to make it three in a row during his senior season. 3. Jordan Akal, Junior, Harlan Akal can do it all both offensively and defensively. He returns as one of the top scorers in the region. 4. Connor Robinson, Senior, Clay County Robinson returns as one of the region’s top scorers. He’s dangerous from the outside and can also hurt teams with his driving ability. 5. Trent Noah, Freshman, Harlan County Noah is considered as the state’s top 2024 player and deservedly so. He turned in one heck of an eighth grade campaign, and is expected to do even better this season after turning in one heck of a summer. 6. Ryan Davidson, Sophomore, North Laurel Davidson is another player that can hurt teams from the outside or in the paint. His mid-range jumper is one of the best in the region. 7. Cameron Burnett, Junior, Bell County Burnett has one heck of a sophomore season for the Bobcats, establishing himself as one of the top players in the region. He’s another versatile player that can score in many ways. 8. Connor Farmer, Senior, Clay County Farmer is a dangerous outside shooter for the Tigers and will play a big role their success this season. 9. Tyler Cole, Senior, Harlan County Cole could be one of the more underrated players in the region. All he does is hit key shot after key shot. 10. Sean Phipps, Senior, Pineville Phipps is another underrated player in the region. Averaged 17.9 points per game while pulling down close to nine rebounds a game as a junior.
  8. 1. South Laurel (25-4 overall, 16-2 vs. 13th Region opponents) The Cardinals are winners of 14 straight and haven’t lost Jan. 11. They’re semifinal opponent in the 50th District Tournament on Tuesday will be a much-improved Whitley County squad the Cardinals defeated the Colonels twice this season, 72-61 and 51-38. 2. Clay County (20-9, 13-2) The Tigers were 7-3 during their last 10 games and have hopes of getting junior Connor Robinson back into the lineup after being sidelined with an injury. Clay County will play the winner of Red Bird and OBI on Wednesday during semifinal action of the 49th District Tournament. The top-seeded Tigers posted a perfect 4-0 record against the two teams this season. 3. North Laurel (21-8, 11-4) The Jaguars finished regular season play strong with a five-game win streak which included wins over Corbin, Hazard, Harlan and Knox Central. They’ll open 49th District Tournament semifinal play against No. 3 seed Jackson County. North Laurel posted a 2-0 mark (82-34, 69-36) against the Generals this season. 4. Harlan County (20-10, 10-4) The Black Bears snapped a three-game losing skid by defeating Whitley County, 78-46. Harlan County faces Bell County during semifinal action of the 52nd District Tournament on Tuesday. The Black Bears recorded wins of 65-59 and 62-57 over the Bobcats this season. 5. Knox Central (20-8, 7-3) The Panthers are 6-4 during their last 10 games with losses against South Laurel, Clay County and North Laurel during the stretch. Knox Central faces off against Pineville on Tuesday during semifinal play of the 51st District Tournament. The Panthers defeated the Mountain Lions 75-64 during the two teams’ only meeting of the season. 6. Middlesboro (20-9, 13-6) The Yellow Jackets are winners of four straight and eight of their last 10 games heading into their 52nd District Tournament semifinal matchup with Harlan on Tuesday. Middlesboro is 1-2 against the Green Dragons this season. The Yellow Jackets won the last meeting between the two teams, 49-47. 7. Corbin (15-12, 7-7) The Redhounds have been playing .500 (8-8) ball since Jan. 1. They’re hoping their fortunes will change during Tuesday’s 50th District Tournament semifinal matchup with Williamsburg. The two teams have split a pair of games against each other with Corbin winning, 84-74, while the Yellow Jackets came away with a 73-72 victory about three weeks ago. 8. Williamsburg (17-12, 9-9) Nick Napier’s squad has been playing some top-notch basketball lately. They’re 10-2 during their last 12 games entering Tuesday’s 50th District semifinal contest against Corbin. The two teams have split a pair of games against each other with Corbin winning, 84-74, while the Yellow Jackets came away with a 73-72 victory about three weeks ago. 9. Harlan (12-15, 7-9) The Green Dragons are limping into postseason play with a 2-5 mark during their past seven games, but they are 2-1 against Middlesboro, their semifinal opponent in Tuesday’s 52nd District Tournament. The Yellow Jackets won the last meeting between the two teams, 49-47. 10. Bell County (12-17, 7-9) Brad Sizemore’s Bobcats never could get on track during the regular season, but Monday begins a new season. Bell County will face-off against Harlan County during semifinal action of the 52nd District Tournament. The Black Bears recorded wins of 65-59 and 62-57 over the Bobcats this season. 11. Barbourville (12-14, 7-10) The Tigers have been a team that’s been hard to figure out this season. They’ll have a tough semifinal matchup with Lynn Camp on Wednesday during the 51st District Tournament. The Wildcats are the host team and barely lost to the Tigers during the two teams’ line meeting. Barbourville was able to pull out a 63-60 victory. 12. Lynn Camp (13-14, 5-9) The Wildcats suffered a big blow this past week after losing Maison Prater to an injury. Lynn Camp will play Barbourville during semifinal action of Wednesday’s 51st District Tournament. The Wildcats are 0-1 against the Tigers this season, dropping a 63-60 decision to Barbourville during the two teams’ only meeting. 13. Whitley County (12-18, 4-9) The Colonels picked up a big win over Bell County last week but then dropped a loss to Harlan County a few days later. Whitley County will need to bring its ‘A’ game when it hosts South Laurel during semifinal action of Tuesday’s 50th District Tournament. The Colonels are 0-2 against the Cardinals this season. 14. Jackson County (13-16, 6-12) The Generals will host North Laurel during Tuesday’s 49th District semifinal matchup but they haven’t fared well against the Jaguars, losing both games to them this season. 15. Oneida Baptist (11-18, 9-12) The Mountaineers will try to get back on track against Brad Marsee’s Cardinals during Monday’s 49th District Tournament first Round matchup. Oneida Baptist fell to Red Bird just last week, losing 69-67, and recorded a 75-46 win over the Cardinals way back in December. 16. Pineville (10-16, 2-13) The Mountain Lions have struggled throughout the season but can turn things around if they could find a way to upset top-seeded Knox Central during Wednesday’s semifinal action of the 51st District Tournament. 17. Red Bird (7-20, 2-15) The Cardinals are hoping to record their second win in a row over Oneida Baptist during Monday’s 49th District Tournament first round matchup. The two teams have split a pair of games this season.
  9. 1. South Laurel (23-4 overall, 16-2 vs. 13th Region opponents) The Cardinals are winners of 12 straight. Just look who they have beaten during the 12-game run: Wayne County, Harlan (twice), Bell County, Corbin, Williamsburg Harlan County, North Laurel, Pikeville and Knox Central. Also senior Matt Cromer was named a finalist for Mr. Basketball and was also named KABC 13th Region Player of the Year this past week. 2. Clay County (19-8, 13-2) The Tigers rebounded from their loss to Bell County and have now won three games in a row after beating Knox Central (88-76), Jackson County (84-70) and Red Bird (81-59). 3. North Laurel (19-8, 9-4) The Jaguars seem to have turned things around and have now won six out of their last seven games. North Laurel picked up an impressive 85-77 road win over Corbin before beating 14th Region’s Hazard Bulldogs at home on Saturday, 63-60. 4. Harlan County (19-9, 9-4) I didn’t drop the Black Bears in the rankings, but they sure aren’t playing good. Harlan County saw its three-game win streak come to an end after a 74-60 loss to Madison Southern before falling to Richmond Model 55-51. 5. Williamsburg (15-11, 8-8) The only team hotter than Williamsburg currently is South Laurel. Nick Napier’s squad are winners of four straight, which includes victories over Corbin, Whitley County and Bell County. Senior Slaht Hunter averaged 21.3 ppg and 6.5 rpg this past week. He knocked down the game winning 4-point play with under a minute left down one to beat Bell County. 6. Knox Central (18-7, 6-2) The defending 13th Region champion is struggling at the wrong time. The Panthers are 5-5 during their last 10 games and suffered regional losses at home to both Clay County and South Laurel last week. 7. Middlesboro (18-9, 11-6) The Yellow Jackets are 9-2 during their past 11 games but did suffer a 61-60 setback at home this past week to OBI. 8. Corbin (14-11, 6-7) The Redhounds are now 7-7 since Christmas Break with losses against Knox Central, Harlan County, South Laurel, Williamsburg and North Laurel during the stretch. 9. Bell County (10-15, 6-8) A win over Clay County last week had me thinking the Bobcats have finally gotten over the hump, but they proceeded to two of their next three games which included losses to both Middlesboro and Williamsburg. 10. Harlan (12-14, 7-8) The Green Dragons’ inconsistent play carried over into this past week. They are 2-4 during their last six games. 11. Oneida Baptist (11-15, 9-10) The Mountaineers are getting healthy at the right time. They’ve won three of their last four games which lincluded wins over Middlesboro and Lynn Camp. 12. Lynn Camp (13-12, 5-7) Dinky Phipps’ Wildcats continue to be inconsistent. After putting together a three-game win streak last week, they’ve now lost two in a row. Senior Max Burd has played well, though. He had a great week, scoring 21 points against OBI then following with a 34-point effort against Harlan and 24 points against OBI as he averaged 26.3 points this past week. 13. Barbourville (10-13, 6-9) The Tigers are another team that has been tough to figure out. They’re losers of four straight, but have received consistent play from senior Shawn Vaughn, who is averaging 16.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game — both are team beats. 14. Jackson County (12-15, 6-11) Logan Rose seems to be at 100 percent now and is a threat to score 20 any time he steps on the court. Jackson County is still struggling. The Generals are 1-4 during their past five games. 15. Whitley County (11-17, 3-8) The Colonels are struggling at the wrong time. They’ve three in a row and eight of their last 10 games. 16. Pineville (9-15, 1-12) The Mountain Lions are 3-7 in their last 10 games but Sean Phipps has been outstanding. In four games this past week, he averaged 20.8 points, 9 rebounds & 4.8 blocks. 17. Red Bird (6-19, 1-14) The Cardinals are limping into the final week of regular season play. They’ve lost four in a row and 10 of their last 13 games.
  10. 1. South Laurel (21-4 overall, 14-2 vs. 13the Region opponents) The Cardinals are the hottest team in the region as they ride a 10-game win streak into this week. South Laurel had quite a week the last seven days, picking up wins over Harlan County (64-57), North Laurel (72-60) and Pikeville (67-65 in overtime). Senior Matt Cromer continues to dominated, but players such as Brett Norvell and Micah Anders have stepped up their play. 2. Clay County (16-7, 10-1) The Tigers were able to get in one game last week and that was an easy 83-59 win over Barbourville. Clay County will be busy this week with four games scheduled. They Tigers will host Bell County Monday before traveling to play Knox Central and Jackson County. They’ll wrap-up this week’s action with a home game against Rrd Bird on Friday. 3. Knox Central (16-5, 5-0) The defending 13th Region champion continues to fly under the radar. They haven’t lost a game to a regional team and they’re coming off an 88-69 win over Jackson County. 4. Harlan County (16-7, 6-4) The Black Bears are hoping guard Trent Noah can recover from and injury. He’s a big key to Harlan County’s success. Mike Jones’ lone game this past week was a 64-57 loss to South Laurel. 5. North Laurel (16-8, 8-4) The Jaguars just can’t seem to put anything together lately. They’re 3-4 (all road games) during their last seven games and are coming off a disappointing, 72-60, loss to South Laurel. 6. Middlesboro (16-8, 9-5) The Yellow Jackets continue to impress and have now won seven of their last eight games after defeating Aharon, 49-47. Coach Lewis Morris has done a fantastic job with Middlesboro this season as Trey Brock and Jabari Kyle averaging more than 15 points per game. 7. Harlan (11-11, 6-6) The Green Dragons are 10-5 since Christmas Break and remain a dangerous team. Jordan Akal is averaging 33 points per game during the past three games, including a 43-point scoring effort during Harlan’s 75-57 win over Perry Central. 8. Corbin (13-10, 6-6) The Redhounds were able to snap a five-game their five-game losing skid by winning two fo three games this past week. Corbin defeated Mercer County, 68-56, before handing Whitley County a 67-44 loss. 9. Bell County (8-13, 5-6) The Bobcats were able to snap their four-game losing skid after defeating Barbourville this past week, 55-50. Bell County has eight more games remaining before postseason play. Look for Brad Sizemore’s Bobcats to hit stride during the next two weeks. 10. Williamsburg (12-11, 6-8) The Yellow Jackets are winners of five of their last six games, including last week’s 73-72 win over Corbin. Keep an eye on Williamsburg, this team can make some noise once postseason play begins. 11. Barbourville (10-11, 6-7) The Tigers saw their three-game win streak come to an end after dropping consecutive games to Clay County (83-59) and Bell County (55-50) this past week. 12. Lynn Camp (12-10, 4-5) The Wildcats seem to be hitting stride after picking up consecutive wins over Thomas Walker (76-36) and Red Bird (90-60). Maison Prater averaged 24 points during the two-game stretch. 13. Whitley County (11-14, 3-6) The Colonels are 2-1 during their last three games, but suffered a big 50th District loss to Corbin (67-44) that basically solidified them as the No. 4 seed. 14. Jackson County (11-12, 5-10) The Generals are 4-3 during their last seven games and have shown signs of improvement. They were able to pick up a big 39th District win over Oneida Baptist (63-61), but fell 88-69 during their following game against Knox Central. 15. Oneida Baptist (8-14, 6-9) The Mountain Lions are losers of six straight and what once looked like a promising season has turned into a season of struggles since Christmas Break. Oneida Baptist is 2-8 after starting the season with a 6-6 mark. 16. Pineville (8-12, 1-10) The Mountain Lions are winners of two straight after dropping four in a row. Pineville was able to beat Jackson City, 76-66, before rolling past Rockcastle County, 56-53. Sean Phipps continues to turn in a solid season, averaging team bests in points scored (17.8) and rebounding (8.4). 17. Red Bird (6-17, 1-12) The Cardinals dropped two straight this week after falling to both Lynn Camp (90-60) and Whitley County (61-51). Red Bird will try to get back on track, but it won’t be easy with road games against Barbourville, Harlan County and Clay County coming up.
  11. Good hire for Corbin. Folks, if you weren’t expecting Greer to be hired as head coach, then you’ve been sleeping under a rock the past few weeks. He will do just fine.
  12. 1. South Laurel (18-4 overall, 12-2 vs. 13th Region opponents) The Cardinals continued their winning ways this past week by defeating Corbin, 66-41, on the road while handling Williamsburg at home, 59-46. South Laurel has now won seven in a row thanks to a stingy defense that is allowing only 52.2 points per game. 2. Clay County (15-7, 9-1) The Tigers wrapped up the 49th District’s top seed by defeating North Laurel at home last week, 76-67. Clay County followed the win with a hard fought, 70-66, loss to Henry Clay, snapping their three-game win streak during the process. 3. North Laurel (15-7, 8-3) After 76-67 decision to Clay County this past week (the Jaguars’ second defeat this season from the hands of the Tigers), North Laurel responded with a 69-36 dominating win over Jackson County. 4. Harlan County (16-6, 6-3) The Black Bears saw their eight-game win streak come to an end last week after a surprising, 59-55, loss to district foe Middlesboro. They were able to respond with a 74-34 decision over Owlsey County. 5. Knox Central (15-5, 4-0) The Panthers have been off for a week and look to get back on track Tuesday at home against Jackson County. 6. Middlesboro (15-8, 8-5) The Yellow Jackets recently have garnered two big wins over both North Laurel and Harlan County, but saw their six-game win streak come to an end this past week with a 57-44 loss to Wayne County. 7. Corbin (12-9, 5-5) The Redhounds needed a win in a big way and got it over Mercer County Saturday by upending the Titans, 68-56. The 12-point victory allowed Corbin to snap a five-game losing streak. 8. Harlan (9-10, 6-5) The Green Dragons picked up a big 64-55 win over Bell County last week, snapping a three-game losing streak during the process. Harlan is now 7-3 during its last 10 games. 9. Bell County (7-13, 4-6) Brad Sizemore’s Bobcats just can’t seem to get over the hump. They’re playing teams close, but just can’t get the win. Bell County has now lost four games in a row after falling to Harlan, 64-55, last week. 10. Williamsburg (11-11, 5-8) The Yellow Jackets are a threat in the 50th District despite their 59-46 loss to South Laurel last Friday. The game was at 34 apiece with two minutes remaining in the third quarter before an 11-0 run by Cardinals out the game away while snapping Williamsburg’s four-game win streak during the process. 11. Barbourville (10-9, 6-5) After a tough 1-6 stretch, the Tigers have turned things around by winning three games in a row witch victories over Pineville (64-55), Oneida Baptist (51-48) and Jellico, Tenn. (76-74). 12. Oneida Baptist (8-12, 6-8) After starting the season with a promising 6-3 mark, the Mountaineers are 2-9 since. They are currently riding a four-game losing skid. 13. Lynn Camp (11-10, 3-5) Dinky Phipps’ Wildcats were able to get back over the .500 mark while snapping a two-game losing skid during the progress by defeating Thomas Walker, Va., 76-36. 14. Whitley County (9-13, 2-5) Just when it had looked as if the Colonels had gotten over the hump with a two-game win streak, they go on a four-game losing skid with losses to South Laurel (51-38), Jellico, Tennessee. (98-86), Williamsburg (81-65) and Adair County (47-38). 15. Jackson County (10-11, 4-9) The Generals had won three out of their last four games before dropping a 69-36 decision to North Laurel. 16. Pineville (7-12, 1-10) The Mountain Lions snapped a four-game losing skid by defeating Jackson City, 76-66. 17. Red Bird (6-15, 1-10) The Cardinals are hitting a nice little stride after winning two of their last three games.
  13. 1. South Laurel (16-4 overall, 10-2 vs. 13th Region opponents) Defense. That word sums up just how the Cardinals are getting things done this season. South Laurel possesses the best defensive play in the region and it showed during its wins over Harlan (74-60), Whitley County (51-38) and Bell County (57-52) this past week. 2. Clay County (12-6, 6-1) After capping off an impressive three-game stretch with wins over Jackson County, North Laurel and South Laurel, the Tigers followed suit with a 78-73 road loss to Pulaski County. 3. Knox Central (15-4, 4-0) The defending 13th Region champions are the lone team that hasn’t lost to a regional team. Knox Central snapped a two-game losing streak after defeating Lynn Camp last week, 65-58. The Panthers have some big games coming up and it’s going to be interesting to see how they fare. 4. Harlan County (15-5, 6-2) The Black Bears are in the midst of a eight-game win streak and could move on up the rankings with wins against upcoming opponents Middlesboro, South Laurel, and Harlan. 5. North Laurel (14-6, 7-2) The Jaguars have hit a couple of bumps in the road the past week or so. North Laurel suffered a setback to Perry Central last week before losing to Middlesboro, 73-68, on the road on Friday. Nate Valentine’s squad are in the middle of a seven-game road trip with upcoming matchups against Clay County, Jackson County and South Laurel. 6. Corbin (11-8, 5-4) The Redhounds are losers of four straight, but get a chance to turn things around Tuesday at home against No. 1 South Laurel. This is a game Coach Tony Pietrowski will have his Redhounds ready to play. A win over the Cardinals will keep Corbin’s hope for the district’s top seed alive. 7. Harlan (8-10, 5-5) The Green Dragons were riding a season-best six-game win streak heading into this week, but have now lost three in a row after setbacks to Harlan County (79-71), South Laurel (74-60) and Paintsville (67-60). 8. Bell County (7-11, 4-5) The Bobcats just can’t seem to gain any traction. They’re playing a lot of good teams close, but just can’t seem to get over the hump. They’re 1-4 during their past five games and have only won consecutive games once this season. 9. Middlesboro (13-7, 6-5) Lewis Morris’ Yellow Jackets had a big week by upending North Laurel at home, 73-68. Jabari Kyle has a big game during the win, scoring 34 points while TJ Patterson added 14 points. Middlesboro has now won four games in a row. 10. Williamsburg (10-10, 4-7) The Yellow Jackets are winners of three straight and look to be peaking at the right time. Slaht Hunter scores 26 points while Caleb Rose added 19 points and 15 rebounds during last week’s 86-52 win over Wellspring Guardians Home School. 11. Oneida Baptist (8-10, 6-6) The Mountaineers hung tough at home against North Laurel before falling, 77-64, on Saturday. Oneida Baptist is talented and can surprise, but is only 2-7 during its last nine games. 12. Lynn Camp (10-9, 3-5) The Wildcats hung tough against Knox Central before losing, 65-58, during last week’s 51st District battle. Lynn Camp has now lost six of their last nine games. 13. Barbourville (8-9, 5-5) The Tigers snapped a three-game losing skid after defeating Pineville, 64-55, this past week. Four players scored in double figures in the win as Jordan Collins led the way with 15 points. 14. Whitley County (9-11, 2-4) The Colonels were riding a two-game win streak entering the week, but now find themselves riding a two-game losing skid after losses to South Laurel (51-38) and Jellico, Tennessee. (98-86). 15. Jackson County (8-10, 3-8) The Generals were able to snap a five-game losing skid with a 68-31 win over Red Bird, but followed with a 70-50 loss to Harlan County. 16. Red Bird (5-14, 1-9) After knocking off Jackson County, 70-69, just a week before, the Cardinals fell to the Generals this past week, 68-31. They did manage to respond with a 71-35 victory over June Buchanan. 17. Pineville (6-10, 1-8) The Mountain Lions has a chance to make some noise, but dropped two regional games to both Whitley County (67-53) and Barbourville (64-55).
  14. 1. Clay County (12-5, 6-1) The Tigers are winners of four of their last five games and the wins are impressive. They’ve beaten Scott County, North Laurel, Jackson County and South Laurel. Clay County has another tough stretch of games coming up, and if the Tigers get through those without any losses, they’ll for sure be the team to beat heading into postseason play. 2. North Laurel (13-5, 6-1) Freshman Reed Sheppard turned in a quadruple-double (24 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals) during the Jaguars’ 82-34 win over Jackson County while freshman Ryan Davidson continues to shine with 15.6 scoring average. If North Laurel can improve some on the defensive side, the Jaguars will be dangerous. 3. South Laurel (13-4, 7-2) Senior Matt Cromer continues to dominate for the Cardinals, who are hands down the best defensive team in the region. Cromer leads South Laurel with a 24.9 scoring averages and 7.9 rebounding average. 4. Knox Central (14-4, 3-0) The Panthers saw their 11-game win streak come to an end after falling to Warren Central, 83-59, during the Class 2A State Tournament. Despite the loss, Knox Central continues to show they’re a major threat to repeat as 13th Region champs. 5. Harlan County (12-5, 3-2) The Black Bears are heating up at the right time. They’re winners of five straight and are led in scoring by Taylor Spurlock’s 18.4 scoring average. 6. Corbin (11-6, 5-3) The Redhounds are losers of two straight and things don’t get much easier this week when they host Knoxville Catholic on Tuesday. 7. Harlan (8-8, 5-4) The Green Dragons are a team to keep your eye on. After starting the season 1-6, they’re 7-2 since and are also the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Boys champions after beating Middlesboro in the finals, 81-65. Jordan Akal is the real deal and if his teammates are hitting from the outside, they’re a threat to beat anyone in the region. 8. Bell County (6-8, 3-3) The Bobcats are winners of three out of their past five games, but missed a chance to make some noise at home during last week’s Class 2A Sectional after falling to Knox Central, 66-61. 9. Williamsburg (8-10, 4-7) Nick Napier’s Yellow Jackets are talented but just can get over the jump. They’ve won two-of-three which included wins over Oneida Baptist and Jackson County. Williamsburg has a tough stretch of games coming up including games against Whitley County, South Laurel and Corbin. 10. Middlesboro (10-7, 5-5) The Yellow Jackets have caught fire the past five games, going 4-1, while advancing to the finals of the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Boys Tournament. They dropped an 81-65 decision to Harlan in the finals, but showed they are a dangerous team. 11. Barbourville (7-8, 4-5) The Tigers are another team that’s hard to figure out. They’re 3-7 during their past 10 games but hung close on the road against South Laurel before losing, 70-60. 12. Oneida Baptist (8-8, 6-4) The Mountaineers picked up a 79-65 win over Wolfe County that shows they are a dangerous team despite going 2-5 during their past seven games. 13. Lynn Camp (10-8, 3-4) It’s hard to really figure out where to gauge Dinky Phipps’ Wildcats this season. I feel like they should be a few spots higher, but they just can’t seem to get anything going. They’re 2-4 during their past six games, but could surprise down the stretch. 14. Whitley County (8-9, 1-3) The Colonels continue to quietly put together a solid campaign despite only winning consecutive games twice this season. 15. Red Bird (4-13, 1-8) The Cardinals are playing better and have posted a 3-4 record during their past seven games. They were also able to surprise and reach the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Boys Tournament semifinals before bowing out to Middlesboro, 79-63. 16. Pineville (6-8, 1-6) The Mountain Lions were able to snap a five-game losing skid by picking up wins over both White Academy (85-73) and Thomas Walker (84-73). Sean Phipps lead the Mountain Lions with a 19.1 scoring average. 17. Jackson County (7-8, 2-7) The Generals are loser’s of course straight and are coming off a 48-point loss to North Laurel and a 23-point loss to Williamsburg. Despite the Generals’ struggles, Clay Akemon and Logan Rose continue to shine. Akemon leads the team with a 16.9 scoring average while Logan Rose is tossing in 11.9 points per game.
  15. 1. Clay County (12-5 overall, 6-1 vs. 13th Region Opponents) The Tigers are back at the top spot after picking up two impressive wins in back-to-back days over both North Laurel and South Laurel. Evan Langdon knocked down a shot with three seconds remaining as Clay County defeated the Jaguars on the road, 75-73, while Jacob Curry hit a last-second shot to defeat the Cardinals, 59-58. 2. North Laurel (11-4, 5-1) The Jaguars dropped a 75-73 home heartbreaker to 49th District rival Clay County despite seeing freshman Reed Sheppard score 30 points and finish with eight rebounds. North Laurel fought a break during its 65-64 win over Southwestern on Saturday as freshman Ryan Davidson was fouled with 0.7 seconds remaining. He knocked down both free throw attempts to give his team the one-point win. Davidson scored 18 points in the win while Sheppard turned in a 39-point scoring effort. Sheppard scores 18 of the Jaguars’ final 20 points. 3. South Laurel (11-4, 6-2) The Cardinals shook off some rust and almost defeated Clay County for the second time in one week. Senior Matt Cromer hit a 3-pointer to give his team a 58-57 lead with seconds remaining before seeing Clay County’s Jacob Curry hit a last second shot to give his team the win. Cromer finished with a game-High 32 points while Brett Norvell recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds. 4. Knox Central (14-2, 3-0) The Panthers are headed back to the Class 2A State Tournament for the second straight season after defeating both Bell County (66-61) and Corbin (75-70). The Panthers trailed the Redhounds by double digits before rallying to knock off Corbin by five points. Jevonte Turner continues his solid play along with his brother Kevionte Turner and Zach Patterson. 5. Harlan County (11-5, 2-2) The Black Bears opened some eyes during Saturday’s Bobby Keith Classic by defeating Montgomery County, 71-67. Taylor Spurlock continued his solid play by scoring 26 points while Jacob Wilson scored 16 points and finished with eight rebounds. 6. Corbin (11-5, 5-3) The Redhounds came close to knocking off Knox Central in the Class 2A Sectional title game. Corbin led by double digits, but couldn’t hold on, losing to the Panthers, 75-70. 7. Bell County (6-8, 3-3) The Bobcats had a chance to make noise in the Class 2A Sectional Tournament, but couldn’t overcome a slow start and fell to Knox Central, 66-61. 8. Middlesboro (8-6, 3-4) The Yellow Jackets will be facing Red Bird today (Monday) in semifinal action of the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament. They survived a scare from Lynn Camp during second round action and won, 51-48. They’ll now face-off against Red Bird at 7:30 p.m. 9. Williamsburg (7-9, 3-6) Nick Napier’s Yellow Jackets were able to get some revenge from an earlier loss to OBI by defeating the Mountaineers, 88-78, during second round action of the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament. Williamsburg will host Harlan today (Monday) at 6 p.m. in semifinal action. 10. Barbourville (7-7, 4-4) The Tigers suffered a 71-65 setback to Harlan during second round action of the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament on Saturday. Many thought Barbourville had a chance to make some noise, but the Tigers couldn’t get past the Green Dragons. 11. Whitley County (7-9, 1-3) The Colonels’ inconsistent ply continued on Saturday after they suffered a 72-52 loss to East Jessamine. 12. Lynn Camp (9-8, 2-4) The Wildcats led most of their game against Middlesboro before falling to Middlesboro, 51-48, during second round action of the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament. 13. Harlan (5-7, 3-3) The Green Dragons are beginning to heat up and will face host Williamsburg today (Monday) during semifinal action of the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament after defeating Barbourville, 71-65. 14. Oneida Baptist (7-7, 6-3) The Mountaineers had hopes of making a deep run into this year’s 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament, but they dropped a 88-78 decision to Williamsburg during Saturday’s second round action. 15. Red Bird (4–12, 1-7) The Cardinals picked up a huge win in second round action of the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament by defeating Jackson County, 70-69 Red Bird will play Middlesboro today (Monday) during semifinal action. 16. Jackson County (7-7, 2-5) The Generals’ return to the 13th Region All A Classic Boys Tournament didn’t turn out how they would have liked. Jackson County fell to Red Bird, 70-69, during second round action. 17. Pineville (5-7, 1-5) The Mountain Lions were able to snap a five-game losing skid by defeating White Academy, 85-73.
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