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  1. 1) Bowling Green (10-3) - 1/2 65-59 W Spencer County (at South Oldham), 1/3 67-44 W Bullitt East (at South Oldham), 1/4 75-66 W Holmes (at South Oldham) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/7 vs. #7 Barren County, 1/10 vs. #3 Greenwood, 1/11 at Muhlenberg County 2) Warren Central (7-4) - 1/2 64-50 W Bullitt East (at South Oldham), 1/3 68-72 L at South Oldham, 1/4 70-71 OT L Spencer County (at South Oldham) Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/6 vs. #9 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/9 at #16 Warren East, 1/11 at #7 Barren County 3) Greenwood (8-6) - 1/3 57-64 L Harvest Prep (OH) (at Holy Cross), 1/4 73-68 OT W Cardinal Stritch (OH) (at Holy Cross) Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/7 at #15 Todd County Central, 1/10 at #1 Bowling Green 4) Glasgow (7-7) - 1/3 52-47 W #7 Barren County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/7 at #9 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/10 at #6 South Warren, 1/11 vs. #15 Todd County Central 5) Logan County (10-3) - 1/3 75-42 W #15 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/7 at Daviess County, 1/10 vs. #14 Russellville, 1/11 vs. Shelby County (at Russell County) 6) South Warren (9-5) - 1/3 57-65 L Beech (TN) (at Graves County), 1/3 41-59 L at Graves County, 1/4 68-60 W Calloway County (at Graves County) Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/10 vs. #4 Glasgow 7) Barren County (7-5) - 1/3 47-52 L at #4 Glasgow Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/7 at #1 Bowling Green, 1/10 vs. Adair County, 1/11 vs. #2 Warren Central 8) Clinton County (11-5) - 1/3 57-53 W at #17 Cumberland County, 1/4 48-34 W at Pickett County (TN) Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/7 at #11 Russell County, 1/10 vs. #13 Metcalfe County 9) Allen County-Scottsville (7-5) - 12/30 65-60 W at Bullitt Central Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/6 at #2 Warren Central, 1/7 vs. #4 Glasgow, 1/10 vs. #12 Monroe County 10) Franklin-Simpson (6-6) - 1/3 75-44 W at #14 Russellville, 1/4 59-53 W Muhlenberg County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/7 at Hart County, 1/10 at #15 Todd County Central 11) Russell County (6-7) - 1/3 44-45 OT L at #13 Monroe County, 1/4 54-41 W Buckhorn (at South Laurel) Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/7 vs. #8 Clinton County, 1/10 vs. #17 Cumberland County, 1/11 vs. Daviess County 12) Monroe County (4-7) - 1/3 45-44 OT W #11 Russell County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/7 at #17 Cumberland County, 1/10 at #9 Allen County-Scottsville 13) Metcalfe County (7-6) - 1/4 67-69 L Butler County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/7 vs. Green County, 1/10 at #8 Clinton County 14) Russellville (4-6) - 1/3 44-75 L #10 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/7 vs. Caverna, 1/10 at #5 Logan County, 1/11 vs. Edmonson County 15) Todd County Central (2-10) - 1/3 42-75 L at #5 Logan County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/7 vs. #3 Greenwood, 1/10 vs. #10 Franklin-Simpson, 1/11 at #4 Glasgow 16) Warren East (1-9) - No games scheduled Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/6 at #17 Cumberland County, 1/9 vs. #2 Warren Central, 1/11 vs. Rockcastle County (at Russell County) 17) Cumberland County (3-10) - 1/3 53-57 L #8 Clinton County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/6 vs. #16 Warren East, 1/7 vs. #12 Monroe County, 1/10 vs. #11 Russell County Notes -I knew coming into the week that the potential was going to be there for a flip between 1 and 2 with Bowling Green and Warren Central playing two common opponents in the three day showcase at South Oldham. While Bowling Green didn't play the host as Central did, the two common opponent comparison went decisively to the Purples. Bowling Green smacked Bullitt East and Spencer County around - albeit letting Spencer County come back from a large deficit to make it a six point final. Warren Central struggled with Bullitt East for a while before settling in for a 14 point win, but fell in overtime to Spencer County, and with that, this simply had to be done. -Bowling Green has now reeled off seven straight wins, and were impressive in each of their three wins this week. That contrasts with their performance in their home holiday tournament the week before, where they won every game but looked quite shaky at times. The team has experience but they're still remarkably younger experience - there's only two seniors on the team, and they are not the leaders. It appears they have settled in well, and they have scored 65 points or more in five of their last seven games. They match up with Barren County this week - the only region team outside the 14th District to beat Bowling Green in the last decade - and it is always a good benchmark for the team. Friday brings the all important rubber match with #3 Greenwood, and this one will count in the district standings. It's more important for Bowling Green than it is for Greenwood, for a loss would mean an 0-2 start in the official district standings. They haven't started 0-2 in the official district standings since 1995/96, prior to the seeded district tournament era. -For Warren Central, they need to get healthy. The team is expected to have a nine man rotation, and that rotation has practiced together one time. Brents started the year on the shelf, then Muleka got hurt in Ashland, and now Wright is likely going to miss time with an ankle injury. The team ran into a three point buzzsaw in their two losses up at South Oldham, as South Oldham and Spencer County combined to shoot 22/48 (46%) against the Dragons, the driving force behind them allowing a season-high 72 and 71 points in the two losses. They had previously not allowed more than 59 points. -Speaking of getting healthy, Glasgow got a big boost with the return of Tucker Kirkpatrick to the lineup. Kirkpatrick suffered a knee injury in the season opener, and while it remains to be seen how much floor time he can log, he came in during a the third quarter to knock down a three to tie the game against Barren County, providing a big psychological lift. Barren County led most of the game in the first three quarters, but Nik Sorrell had a personal 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter and staked the Scotties to a 46-40 lead, and the Trojans could not recover. The win moved Glasgow back to .500 and a 2-0 record in 15th District play. -One of the more interesting off the radar stories is whether or not Metcalfe County will be able to notch their first winning season in nine years. They currently sit at 7-6, and they feature two of the most prolific scorers in the region. Boston Devore is averaging 20.8 PPG, and Peyton Dial has 16.5 PPG. The Hornets have been held below 60 points only three times all year, and have topped 80 three times. They may allow a lot of points too, but they are never dull to watch.They have a big game with Clinton County on Friday, who they fell to at home by a 53-49 score on December 13th, their season-low for points. -With Russellville playing in (and losing) their first region game, Logan County is now officially the final unbeaten team in region play. They polished off Todd County Central by a 75-42 score to move to 2-0 in district play. Their road trip to Franklin-Simpson is probably their next actual region test (they play Russellville and Warren East in between), but there is a real chance they could run the region table into the postseason. Their most difficult region games remaining are likely games against Barren County, Glasgow, and Greenwood - all at home. -The games this week most likely to impact the rankings: #16 Warren East at #17 Cumberland County (1/6), #8 Clinton County at #11 Russell County (1/7), #3 Greenwood at #1 Bowling Green (1/10), #4 Glasgow at #6 South Warren (1/10), #8 Clinton County vs. #13 Metcalfe County (1/10), #12 Monroe County at #9 Allen County-Scottsville (1/10). If you can only watch one, make it Greenwood at Bowling Green. -On that Greenwood at Bowling Green game - another reminder that Greenwood has lost 13 in a row against the Purples at Bowling Green, the longest streak in the series. In fact, outside a four game span where Greenwood won all meetings from January 2006-December 2007, Bowling Green is 29-3 against Greenwood at home. They don't lose to them there very often. (Or to anyone - they're 128-18 there since early 2008.)
  2. ICYMI - Check out the All-2010s 4th Region Team here: http://bluegrasspreps.com/ky-boys-basketball/4th-region-all-386018.html 1) Bowling Green (13-3) - 1/7 47-44 W #7 Barren County, 1/10 71-63 W #3 Greenwood, 1/11 68-55 W at Muhlenberg County Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/14 vs. #5 South Warren 2) Warren Central (10-4) - 1/6 84-62 W #9 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/9 83-39 W at #16 Warren East, 1/11 58-46 W at #10 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/16 vs. Knox Central (at Owensboro Sports Center) 3) Greenwood (9-7) - 1/7 84-47 W at #15 Todd County Central, 1/10 63-71 L at #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/13 vs. Hopkinsville, 1/17 at #14 Warren East 4) Logan County (13-3) - 1/7 72-47 W at Daviess County, 1/10 72-37 W #14 Russellville, 1/11 74-57 W Madison Central (at Russell County) Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/18 vs. Madison Southern (at Southwestern) 5) South Warren (10-5) - 1/10 72-61 W #4 Glasgow Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/14 at #1 Bowling Green, 1/17 vs. Christian County, 1/18 at Hopkinsville 6) Glasgow (9-8) - 1/7 61-42 W at #9 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/10 61-72 L at #6 South Warren, 1/11 56-37 W #15 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/13 at #8 Clinton County 7) Barren County (8-6) - 1/7 44-47 L at #1 Bowling Green, 1/10 68-34 W Adair County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/14 at #14 Warren East 8) Clinton County (13-5) - 1/7 49-45 W at #11 Russell County, 1/10 62-56 W #13 Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/13 vs. #6 Glasgow 9) Franklin-Simpson (8-7) - 1/7 74-63 W at Hart County, 1/10 55-42 W at #15 Todd County Central, 1/11 46-58 L #2 Warren Central Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/14 vs. #10 Allen County-Scottsville 10) Allen County-Scottsville (8-7) - 1/6 62-84 L at #2 Warren Central, 1/7 42-61 L #4 Glasgow, 1/10 67-52 W #12 Monroe County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/14 at #9 Franklin-Simpson, 1/17 at Westmoreland (TN) 11) Russell County (7-9) - 1/7 45-49 L #8 Clinton County, 1/10 52-59 L #17 Cumberland County, 1/11 66-52 W Daviess County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/14 vs. McCreary Central 12) Monroe County (5-8) - 1/7 75-74 OT W at #17 Cumberland County, 1/10 52-67 L at #9 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/13 vs. #16 Russellville 13) Metcalfe County (8-7) - 1/7 51-40 W Green County, 1/10 56-62 L at #8 Clinton County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/13 at #17 Todd County Central 14) Warren East (2-10) - 1/6 73-69 W at #17 Cumberland County, 1/9 39-83 L #2 Warren Central Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/14 vs. #7 Barren County, 1/17 vs. #3 Greenwood 15) Cumberland County (4-12) - 1/6 69-73 L #16 Warren East, 1/7 74-75 OT L #12 Monroe County, 1/10 59-52 W #11 Russell County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/16 vs. TBA 16) Russellville (4-8) - 1/7 64-73 L Caverna, 1/10 37-72 L at #5 Logan County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/13 at #12 Monroe County 17) Todd County Central (2-13) - 1/7 47-84 L #3 Greenwood, 1/10 42-55 L #10 Franklin-Simpson, 1/11 37-56 L at #4 Glasgow Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/13 vs. #13 Metcalfe County Notes -Bowling Green picked up their eighth, ninth, and tenth consecutive wins this week, though none were all that easily come by. Against Barren County to open the week, the Purples fell behind by 12 points in the third quarter, but managed to close that entire gap and take the lead by quarter's end, and survived a potential game-tying three pointer in the waning seconds of a 47-44 win. Against Greenwood it was the opposite - the Purples were dominant in the first half, and held a 20 point lead in the third. Greenwood managed to whittle that all the way down to two points in the final minute as they eschewed their three point attack and went straight at the rim. Isaiah Mason rescued the Purples with an and-1 to restore a five point lead, and Bowling Green held on for their 14th consecutive home win over Greenwood, and second in two weeks. Finally, Bowling Green had a tough time shaking Muhlenberg County all night, but closed the game on a 13-2 run in the final four minutes for a 68-55 win. They have another big district game this week, taking on South Warren - who they have never lost to in 23 meetings. -Warren Central took the 2A Sectional crown this week, advancing with a 22 point win at home over Allen County-Scottsville, and holding off Franklin-Simpson in their second game at Franklin-Simpson this year in a 12 point result on Saturday. The latter game was of particular interest as the Wildcats gave Central trouble with their full court press, just as they did in their first game. Kobe Brents missed all of his three point attempts and Central was merely 4/16 from the perimeter in the game. Dre Boyd was hampered by foul trouble, going to the bench at the 6:22 mark of the second quarter with two fouls, and picking up his third on a charge just five seconds after re-entering just over four minutes later. And yet, the Dragons survived, and Boyd still managed his fifth straight 20+ point effort by dropping 23, playing the entire second half without a foul. They take on Knox Central in the 2A state quarterfinals on Thursday, and if they advance from there, likely will meet undefeated John Hardin in the semifinals. -Logan County has now won nine straight games, and has been lighting up the scoreboard, with five straight games over 70 points. The Cougars are doing it with balance, as five players average between 9.4 and 12.8 PPG. They're shooting over 60% from two, and are a bit of a throwback in the modern era, with a higher concentration of shots inside than outside (64:36 ratio). -Glasgow's poor injury luck caught them again. Tucker Kirkpatrick returned from a knee injury last week, but exited their loss against South Warren with a reaggravation of the injury. It was already tough to know exactly how much he'd play, and it remains to be seen what the impact of this is moving forward. Worse, starters Jaden Franklin and Landon Frasier exited and sat the entire second half. Franklin had knee soreness, while Frasier suffered a thumb injury. Those injuries, and uncertainty about the future, is a major factor in Glasgow dropping to sixth in the rankings. -The 16th District race has been an intriguing one to watch. Clinton County has already wrapped up the top seed in the district tournament, with a 5-0 district record just six weeks into the year. However, four of those five wins came by a combined 18 points, with every team in the district coming within four of a win once. That's a dangerous cocktail for that 1/4 game in the postseason. Every other seed in the district is up for grabs. Metcalfe County is 0-4, but has a game against both Russell County and Cumberland County remaining. Cumberland County is 2-2 with games against Metcalfe County and Russell County remaining, while Russell County is 1-2 with one game remaining against all district opponents. It's not inconceivable we could see a three-way tie for second place. The 2/3 game is probably most important to Cumberland County, which has not advanced to a region tournament in 11 years - their only appearance since 1999. -The All "A" Classic tournament gets going this week. With Glasgow's injury concerns, it is perhaps fair to consider them and Clinton County co-favorites. One of those teams will be gone after Monday, as they meet at Clinton County in round one. Glasgow is returning to the field for the first time since 2016, when they won the tournament. Clinton County has won the last two editions. Whichever teams survives that, they will be the only team in our top ten remaining in the field.
  3. A bit late to the party on the decade retrospectives with this, but better late than never! The 2010s were pretty good to the 4th Region, especially the back half. The region produced five state semifinalists, two state runners-up, and the state champions in 2016/17 when Bowling Green brought home the hardware. There was plenty of talent to come through the region, especially in that same 2016/17 year. Some members of the first team were no-brainers, but there were some tough choices to be made. A note - consideration for this team was judged solely on the time the player spent in the region. I note that in particular because Zion Harmon is not on this list. There is no doubt that he is one of the most talented players to play in this region in the past quarter decade, if not THE most talented. But his 8th grade year was the sole year spent playing in the region, and is the only year considered for this, which is not enough. I also was not a slave to the traditional position format, but loading up a team with too many forwards or guards was a bit of a tiebreaker in one case. With that said, the list: First Team Chane Behanan, F, Bowling Green - Player of the Decade Behanan is an obvious choice for this list and player of the decade. An imposing, physical player, Behanan could also shoot from range. Behanan was named a McDonald's All-American in his senior season, as well as being named to the Parade Magazine All-American second team. He was rated as a top 30 player nationally his senior year, and was twice selected as first team all-state by the Courier-Journal, Herald-Leader, and AP, as well as an all-region first team selection in each year. The only thing he didn't get was a region crown, but I will make the argument that BG may not have even been truly competitive with Warren Central in those years if not for Behanan, and he led them to the 2010 district title. Behanan went on to play two years for Louisville, where he won a national title (despite what the NCAA would have you believe). George Fant, F, Warren Central The other half of the legendary matchup in 2009-10 and 2010-11, Fant emerged as the third leading scorer in the history of Warren Central, and led the team to two region titles and a state quarterfinal finish his junior season. I've always made the argument that while Behanan gained more accolades than Fant, that it was beneficial to have Behanan in the region for George - it pushed him to greater heights. Fant was nationally rated as a top 150 player by Rivals.com his senior season, as well as being named to the first team all-state by the Courier-Journal, Herald-Leader, and AP that year. He was a second team selection his junior year. Fant was all-region first team in his last two seasons, and was a Kentucky All-Star in 2011. Fant was such a natural athlete that he managed to transform his body to ultimately play pro football as an offensive tackle despite not playing a down from 8th grade until his fifth year of college, and that's where he is today. That followed a highly successful career at WKU on the hardwood. Terry Taylor, F, Bowling Green The second Purple on the first team got something Behanan didn't - a region title. In fact, he got four of them, and capped those with a state title in his final game of his high school career. Taylor was named the Sweet 16 MVP for the 2017 tournament, and was a Sweet 16 All-Tournament Team selection his final three seasons. He was named to the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader's first team all-state his senior year and second team all-state his junior season. Taylor was an all-region first team selection his junior and senior seasons, and was named to the third team his sophomore year. Taylor was a scoring and rebounding monster, finishing his career with 1,704 points and 1,130 rebounds. A true nightmare to match up with, his length was tough to defend inside, but he could also shoot the three. Those four region champion teams were very talented, but they don't all happen without Taylor's ability - maybe none of them. Taylor has risen to become the star of the OVC conference at Austin Peay (aside from some Morant guy), and appears to be well on his way to POY honors in the conference. Tavin Lovan, G, Franklin-Simpson Lovan was one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the region, and ultimately finished as the career leading scorer at Franklin-Simpson - a program that has been around for 75 years and has competed at very high levels for most of them. He did that despite missing the majority of his sophomore year, when he still led his team in scoring with 26 PPG and 260 points in just ten games. He averaged 26.3 PPG as both his junior and senior seasons. Lovan was named 4th Region POY his senior season, and was named to the all-region first team in each of his last three years, in addition to being a second team selection his freshman year. He was the only player in the decade to be named to the all-region teams in all four years of high school. He was named to the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader's all-state first teams his senior year, the second team for the Courier his junior year, and the second team for the Herald-Leader that same year. His senior year, the Wildcats lost only seven times - three were to eventual state champion Bowling Green, and two others were in the prestigious King of the Bluegrass tournament. Lovan is currently at UAB, where he seems to relish making WKU pay for seemingly ignoring him in their recruiting efforts. Jackson Harlan, G, Clinton County Harlan finished his prep career with 2,128 points, good enough for second all-time at Clinton County. He averaged 23.9 PPG his senior season, and earned his way onto both the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader's all-state 1st teams for the 2018-19 season while taking home player of the year honors for the 4th Region. Harlan was also named to the Herald-Leader's all-state third team for his junior season. Jackson was twice named to the all-region first team (in his junior and senior seasons), and was named to the third team in his sophomore year. He was also selected to the Kentucky All-Star team for 2019. The Bulldogs advanced to the region semifinals in two of his final three seasons, playing at Diddle Arena, where he is currently playing for WKU. Second Team DeAndre "Pedro" Bradshaw, F, Russellville Bradshaw was a phenomenal ball-handler for a player of his length, and was a star for Russellville. He finished his career as the school's all-time leading scorer (1,938 points) and rebounder (1,169 rebounds). He was named to the all-state 1st team for both the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader his senior season, and was a Kentucky All-Star in 2017. He was also named to the all-region first team twice, and the second team once. He had the misfortune of being a star in a class filled with stars in the region, though he did lead the Panthers to a region final in his senior year, their first in 16 years. Skyelar Potter, F, Warren Central The region POY his senior season, Potter led the Dragons to their first region title in five years and the most wins in the history of the program. Skyelar averaged 23 PPG as a senior, and finished as the program's fifth leading career scorer. Potter was twice named to the all-region first team, and was a member of the Sweet 16 All-Tournament team in 2017-18. He was also a second team all-state selection by the Courier-Journal, and a third team all-state selection by the Herald-Leader, in addition to being named to the Kentucky All-Star team in 2018. Tyler Robertson, G, Russell County Robertson scored over 2,000 points in his prep career, and led his Laker squad to the region finals in 2013, their only appearance in the finals as a member of the 4th Region. Tyler was twice an all-region first team selection, and was named the region's player of the year in his senior year. He was selected to the Courier-Journal and Herald-Leader's all-state second teams for the 2012-13 season. Keifer Dalton, G, Clinton County Dalton is the all-time leading scorer at Clinton County, with 2,158 points in his prep career. He also finished as the school's career leader in assists and steals. Keifer was named the region's player of the year in his junior season - a rare honor for a junior - and was twice an all-region first team selection, and once a second team selection. Dillon Geralds, G, Monroe County Geralds was twice named as an all-region first team selection, in 2013-14 and 2014-15. In his senior season, he was named the player of the year for the region while averaging 17 PPG - that was actually down from 19.5 PPG as a junior. His Falcon squad advanced to the region semifinals in each of his junior and senior seasons, providing just the third and fourth region tournament victories for the program.
  4. 1) Bowling Green (14-3) - 1/14 66-46 W #5 South Warren Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/20 vs. #2 Warren Central, 1/21 vs. Christian County, 1/24 at #14 Warren East 2) Warren Central (11-5) - 1/16 83-59 W Knox Central (at Owensboro Sports Center), 1/18 47-85 L John Hardin (at Owensboro Sports Center) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/20 at #1 Bowling Green, 1/21 vs. #5 South Warren, 1/24 at #3 Greenwood 3) Greenwood (11-7) - 1/13 61-48 W Hopkinsville, 1/17 71-52 W at #14 Warren East Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/21 vs. #7 Franklin-Simpson, 1/24 vs. #2 Warren Central, 1/25 vs. LaRue County (at John Hardin) 4) Logan County (14-3) - 1/18 65-58 W Madison Southern (at Southwestern) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/21 vs. #14 Warren East, 1/24 at #7 Franklin-Simpson 5) South Warren (11-7) - 1/14 46-66 L at #1 Bowling Green, 1/17 57-50 W Christian County, 1/18 64-70 L at Hopkinsville Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/21 at #2 Warren Central, 1/24 at #12 Russell County 6) Barren County (9-6) - 1/14 72-40 W at #14 Warren East Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/20 at #13 Monroe County, 1/21 vs. Ohio County, 1/24 vs. #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/25 at #7 Franklin-Simpson 7) Franklin-Simpson (9-7) - 1/14 47-41 W #10 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/21 at #3 Greenwood, 1/24 vs. #4 Logan County, 1/25 vs. #6 Barren County 8) Clinton County (14-6) - 1/13 48-36 W #6 Glasgow, 1/16 50-52 L #13 Metcalfe County (at Cumberland County) Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/21 vs. #12 Russell County 9) Glasgow (9-9) - 1/13 36-48 L at #8 Clinton County Previous Rank: 6 This Week: No games scheduled 10) Metcalfe County (12-7) - 1/13 83-64 W at #17 Todd County Central, 1/16 52-50 W #8 Clinton County (at Cumberland County), 1/17 51-38 W #12 Monroe County (at Cumberland County), 1/18 69-60 W Adair County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/23 vs. Louisville Holy Cross (at Eastern Kentucky University) 11) Allen County-Scottsville (9-8) - 1/14 41-47 L at #9 Franklin-Simpson, 1/17 66-38 W at Westmoreland (TN) Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/24 at #6 Barren County 12) Russell County (8-9) - 1/14 60-45 W McCreary Central Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/21 at #8 Clinton County, 1/24 vs. #5 South Warren, 1/25 at Pulaski County 13) Monroe County (7-9) - 1/13 51-48 W #16 Russellville, 1/16 76-69 W at #15 Cumberland County, 1/17 38-51 L #13 Metcalfe County (at Cumberland County) Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/20 vs. #6 Barren County, 1/24 vs. Taylor County 14) Warren East (2-12) - 1/14 40-72 L #7 Barren County, 1/17 52-71 L #3 Greenwood Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/21 at #5 Logan County, 1/24 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/25 vs. #15 Cumberland County 15) Cumberland County (4-13) - 1/16 69-76 L #12 Monroe County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/24 vs. Hart County, 1/25 at #14 Warren East 16) Russellville (5-9) - 1/13 48-51 L at #12 Monroe County, 50-48 W Whitesville Trinity Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/21 at #17 Todd County Central, 1/24 at Edmonson County 17) Todd County Central (3-14) - 1/13 64-83 L #13 Metcalfe County, 66-47 W Friendship Christian (TN) Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/21 vs. #16 Russellville, 1/23 vs. Jo Byrns (TN) Notes -Bowling Green has now won 11 straight overall, which allowed them to move to the top of the region ranks a couple of weeks ago and keeps them marching up the BGP rankings. That's their longest winning streak since they won 29 in a row during their state title run in the 2016/17 season. It's the longest winning streak of the Derrick Clubb era. -Speaking of Bowling Green streaks, their 20 point win over South Warren moves them to 24-0 all-time against the Spartans. There is some hope for the Spartans, who dropped their first matchup by 35 a season ago before closing to 4 and 6 in their latter two matchups. It's the 11th time out of the 24 matchups that Bowling Green won by 20 or more. -Bowling Green will look to add to their other incredible winning streak this Friday - that being the 50 straight wins they have over Warren East. I understand the Raiders have had hard times over the years, but honestly, that might be the most impressive streak I've ever encountered. I've mentioned this before, but it becomes even more impressive when you consider that Warren East led the series by a 41-35 margin when the streak began. Bowling Green has now won more games in a row over East than East has ever won against them period. -Warren Central experienced a "best of times, worst of times" trip through the 2A Classic in Owensboro. On Thursday, the Dragons were nearly flawless, so long as you exclude their inexplicable third quarter where they blew a 14 point lead. Warren Central was 16/31 from three in that game, winning the rebound battle by 13 rebounds, and winning the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters by a combined 38 points. On Saturday against #1 John Hardin, they hit 16 shots again. That's shots, not threes - 16 shots total as they suffered their worst loss in nine years and put up their season low score of 47. They are a better team than they showed that day, but John Hardin absolutely reaved their souls in that game. -Warren Central has to refocus fast, as I do not think it is an exaggeration to call this their most important week of the year. This week they take on Bowling Green, South Warren, and Greenwood - their three primary rivals in the 14th District. The Bowling Green and Greenwood games are on the road. The Dragons cannot afford to let the John Hardin game hang in their minds. A 3-0 trip through the week with the two big rivals coming to Central later on would set them up nicely for the #1 seed in the postseason. 0-3 would be disastrous, putting them at risk at sinking to the 4/5 game. They split with all three teams a season ago. Central has won the first matchup of the year with Bowling Green in each of the last two seasons, but have won only once in their last five games against the Purples at Bowling Green. -Moving beyond the top two teams, most of the rest of the top ten was fairly static. Glasgow took a hit as they fell to Clinton County 48-36, and posted their lowest score since falling 94-32 to the state champion Bowling Green team in 2016/17. Landon Frasier did return to score two in this matchup, but Jaden Franklin and Tucker Kirkpatrick remained out of the boxscore. Nick Sorrell had his worst game of the year, going just 1/7 from the field and posting only seven points. It's just hard to keep them ranked higher when there's so much uncertainty about their personnel. If they get healthy for a stretch run, the record really won't matter, but honestly, it feels almost like a cursed season. -Metcalfe County surges back into the top 10 thanks to their run to the All "A" region title, surpassing last season's 11 win total in the process to grab their most wins since the 2010/11 season. They won the All "A" region title that season too. Incredibly, they are 0-4 in their official district standings thanks to increasingly stunning losses to Cumberland County and Russell County, and they were swept by Clinton County. No matter, they grabbed some revenge on Clinton County with a 52-50 win in the All "A" semifinals. That 2010/11 team was their last winning season, and the Hornets appear increasingly likely to refresh that. That team won 16 games, and Metcalfe County looks to have a very good shot of getting past that win total - their previous high above that was 21 games in the 07/08 season. -The 16th District tournament will be one to watch this year. Clinton County has clinched the #1 seed, but their six games against district opponents have now been decided by a combined average of 5.5 PPG. And that includes a 13 point win over Cumberland County - remove that and the other five games were decided by an average of 4 PPG. A lot to shake out in the 2-4 positions there, but a lot can happen. -Logan County and Franklin-Simpson tangle this Friday. Logan County is still unbeaten in region play, but will make the trip to Franklin for a game that will basically clinch them the #1 seed. In actuality, they could lose it based on tiebreakers if either Todd County Central or Russellville were to win out in the district and Logan County were to lose their remaining games after Franklin (one each against Todd County Central and Russellville), but come on, that's not going to happen. If Franklin-Simpson were to deal the Cougars the loss, then it is likely those two will come down to a coin flip for the top spot at the end of the year. -Glasgow still leads District 15 with a 3-0 record, and thankfully for them, they still have another 12 days before they have their next district contest, the crucial road game against Barren County. If all goes as planned for the Trojans, they will enter that game at 4-1 in district play, and looking to clinch at least a tie for the top spot. -Games this week most likely to affect the region rankings - 1/20 #2 Warren Central at #1 Bowling Green, 1/21 #7 Franklin-Simpson at #3 Greenwood, 1/21 #5 South Warren at #2 Warren Central, 1/24 #4 Logan County at #7 Franklin-Simpson, 1/24 #2 Warren Central at #3 Greenwood, 1/25 #6 Barren County at #7 Franklin-Simpson. In other words, you can scarcely go wrong with a Franklin-Simpson or Warren Central game this week.
  5. 1) Warren Central (6-2) - 12/27 90-52 W Lewis County (at Ashland), 12/28 55-59 L at Ashland, 12/29 62-51 W Boyd County (at Ashland) Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/2 vs. Bullitt East (at South Oldham), 1/3 at South Oldham, 1/4 vs. Spencer County (at South Oldham) 2) Bowling Green (7-3) - 12/26 68-42 W North Hardin, 12/27 55-46 W Station Camp (TN), 12/28 58-53 W #2 Greenwood Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/2 vs. Spencer County (at South Oldham), 1/3 vs. Bullitt East (at South Oldham), 1/4 vs. Holmes (at South Oldham) 3) Greenwood (7-5) - 12/23 44-46 L at #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/26 55-53 W #4 Glasgow (at Bowling Green), 12/27 59-40 W #6 South Warren (at Bowling Green), 12/28 53-58 L at #3 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/3 vs. Harvest Prep (OH) (at Holy Cross), 1/4 vs. Cardinal Stritch (OH) (at Holy Cross) 4) Glasgow (6-7) - 12/26 53-55 L #2 Greenwood (at Bowling Green), 12/27 67-49 W North Hardin (at Bowling Green), 12/28 58-48 W #11 Franklin-Simpson (at Bowling Green) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/3 vs. #7 Barren County 5) Logan County (9-3) - 12/27 68-38 W Daviess County, 12/28 66-54 W #8 Clinton County, 12/29 80-74 W Great Crossing Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/3 vs. #15 Todd County Central 6) South Warren (8-3) - 12/26 73-70 W Owensboro (at Bowling Green), 12/27 40-59 L #2 Greenwood (at Bowling Green), 12/28 51-49 W Station Camp (TN) Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/3 vs. TBA (at Graves County), 1/4 vs. TBA (at Graves County) 7) Barren County (7-4) - 12/27 61-67 OT L Bell County (at South Laurel), 12/28 59-66 OT L Roger Bacon (OH), 12/29 74-51 W #9 Russell County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/3 at #4 Glasgow 8) Clinton County (9-5) - 12/27 46-38 W Grayson County (at Logan County), 12/28 54-66 L at #5 Logan County, 12/29 57-59 L Louisville Collegiate (at Logan County) Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/3 at #17 Cumberland County, 1/4 at Pickett County (TN) 9) Allen County-Scottsville (6-5) - 12/23 74-58 W at #16 Warren East, 12/27 60-68 L at Hancock County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/30 at Bullitt Central 10) Franklin-Simpson (4-6) - 12/23 46-44 W #2 Greenwood, 12/26 45-47 L Station Camp (TN) (at Bowling Green), 12/27 73-71 W Owensboro (at Bowling Green), 12/28 48-58 L #4 Glasgow (at Bowling Green) Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/3 at #14 Russellville, 1/4 vs. Muhlenberg County 11) Russell County (5-6) - 12/27 43-52 L Owen County (at South Laurel), 12/28 58-63 L Lynn Camp (at South Laurel), 12/29 51-74 L #7 Barren County (at South Laurel) Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/3 at #13 Monroe County, 1/4 vs. Buckhorn (at South Laurel) 12) Metcalfe County (7-5) - 12/26 78-89 L Breathitt County (at Williamstown), 12/27 78-61 W Burgin (at Williamstown), 12/28 67-62 W Whitesville Trinity (at Williamstown) Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/4 vs. Butler County 13) Monroe County (3-7) - No games scheduled Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/3 vs. #11 Russell County 14) Russellville (4-4) - 12/27 74-69 W Beth Haven, 12/27 49-59 L Carlisle County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/3 vs. #10 Franklin-Simpson 15) Todd County Central (2-9) - 12/27 46-77 L at Ohio County, 12/27 50-70 L Henderson County (at Ohio County), 12/28 41-68 L Edmonson County (at Ohio County) Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/3 at #5 Logan County 16) Warren East (1-9) - 12/23 58-74 L #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/28 59-65 L Meade County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: No games scheduled 17) Cumberland County (3-9) - 12/23 90-53 W Caverna (at Warren East), 12/27 65-67 L Green County (at Russellville), 60-72 L Murray (at Russellville), 12/28 93-80 W Beth Haven (at Russellville) Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/3 vs. #8 Clinton County Notes -The craziness that has plagued this region so far this year mostly took a hiatus this week - primarily because the majority of region teams played out of region teams and/or the ones that did play other region teams went as expected. The enigma that is Greenwood was the lone exception. The very day I released my last rankings, they fell to Franklin-Simpson. That would be the 4-6 Wildcats who were outside of the top ten at the time. They followed that by winning a razor-thin game against Glasgow, pummeling South Warren again, and then losing to Bowling Green on the road - where they haven't won in a decade and play again in 11 days. The Gators are 3-1 in play against Bowling Green and Glasgow. They're 5-1 against the top 6 teams. They're 1-3 against the region teams below that point. It's honestly baffling. -Perhaps one insight into why Greenwood has so much variance is that they have won several games on the back of their defense. They are holding opponents to 56.75 PPG, but are scoring just 60.58 PPG themselves. They haven't topped 60 points in their last five games, and have gone over 63 just once in their last 10 games. It's not an easy task to win games when you score so low. -Bowling Green still had their shaky moments, but the win over Greenwood was a needed boost, and won them their home tournament in the process. They still may fall to Greenwood again when they meet on the 10th, but falling to them twice in the matter of 11 days when they hadn't lost to them in years would have been a psychological blow. The Purples managed to overcome 12/23 shooting from three by Greenwood by doing what they do best - get inside. The Purples were 15/29 in the paint, and made enough from three (5/13) to do enough to open everything up. Bowling Green used only a nine man rotation in that game, perhaps a sign of things to come - keeping their studs on the floor for longer stretches. -Logan County has kept on trucking along, winning their fifth straight game in taking their Christmas tournament title. The Cougars are one of only two unbeaten teams in region play (Russellville has yet to play one), and appear to be the a solid front runner in the 13th. Logan County is tied with Clinton County for the most wins overall in the region (in two less games) and is averaging a 13.16 margin of victory. What players are leading them in scoring is a mystery - they barely ever report stats. Yes, it upsets me. -South Warren had better hope it's just a mental block that is getting them against Greenwood. They're out to one of their best records in years - they're five games over .500 for the first time since their first season in 2010/11 - but they have lost to Greenwood by an average of 20 PPG in their two matchups. Considering they've never beaten Bowling Green and they have only defeated Warren Central once in the history of the program, that's not a positive sign for their region aspirations. We're still two weeks from finding out how they do against Bowling Green. -This week features the first of two monster games in the 15th district between rivals Glasgow and Barren County. The first matchup is at Glasgow this Friday. Last season, their games were decided by five, two, and five points, with the last one going to overtime. It's always a must watch. -The rest of the region is light in marquee games this week, though Warren Central and Bowling Green both travel to South Oldham to take part in the South Oldham Classic. Bowling Green will meet solid teams in Spencer County and Bullitt East, while Warren Central will face the same pair while also taking on host South Warren. These are great benchmarks for the two.
  6. 1) Warren Central (20-6) - 2/14 60-52 W #5 Greenwood Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/18 at #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/21 at LaRue County 2) Bowling Green (22-5) - 2/11 62-61 W at Owensboro, 2/14 74-47 W #14 Warren East Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/18 vs. Hopkinsville, 2/21 at Ballard 3) Logan County (23-3) - 2/11 75-66 W #5 Greenwood, 2/15 77-49 W #10 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/18 at Ohio County, 2/20 at #15 Cumberland County 4) Barren County (19-8) - 2/11 70-63 W #11 Russell County, 2/14 93-61 W at #15 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/18 vs. #13 Metcalfe County, 2/20 at #6 Clinton County 5) Greenwood (15-13) - 2/11 66-75 L at #3 Logan County, 2/14 52-60 L at #2 Warren Central Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/18 vs. #12 Monroe County, 2/21 vs. Edmonson County 6) Clinton County (20-6) - 2/11 54-48 W at McCreary Central, 2/14 59-53 W at #12 Monroe County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/17 vs. #8 South Warren, 2/20 vs. #4 Barren County 7) Franklin-Simpson (12-13) - 2/10 64-70 L at Butler County, 2/13 78-74 W at #6 South Warren Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/18 vs. #14 Warren East, 2/20 at #9 Glasgow 8) South Warren (14-13) - 2/11 76-50 W at #14 Warren East, 2/13 74-78 L #8 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/17 at #6 Clinton County, 2/21 vs. Butler County 9) Glasgow (12-13) - 2/10 64-65 OT L #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/11 71-49 W at #13 Metcalfe County, 2/14 66-52 W at Caverna Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/18 vs. #15 Cumberland County, 2/20 vs. #7 Franklin-Simpson 10) Allen County-Scottsville (13-13) - 2/10 65-64 OT W at #9 Glasgow, 2/13 89-78 2OT W Metcalfe County, 49-77 L at #3 Logan County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/18 vs. #1 Warren Central, 2/20 at #17 Russellville 11) Russell County (13-14) - 2/11 63-70 L at #4 Barren County, 2/14 61-45 W Adair County, 2/15 60-47 W Jackson County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/18 at Danville, 2/21 at Rockcastle County 12) Monroe County (10-15) - 2/11 59-50 W #15 Cumberland County, 2/14 53-59 L #7 Clinton County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/18 at #5 Greenwood, 2/20 at #14 Warren East 13) Metcalfe County (14-13) - 2/11 49-71 L #9 Glasgow, 2/13 78-89 2OT L at #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/15 87-78 W #17 Russellville Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/18 at #4 Barren County, 2/21 at Caverna 14) Warren East (4-19) - 2/11 50-76 L #6 South Warren, 2/14 47-74 L at #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/17 at Caverna, 2/18 at #7 Franklin-Simpson, 2/20 vs. #12 Monroe County 15) Cumberland County (6-18) - 2/11 50-59 L at #12 Monroe County, 2/14 61-93 L #4 Barren County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/18 at #9 Glasgow, 2/20 vs. #3 Logan County 16) Todd County Central (6-18) - 2/14 80-78 2OT W at #17 Russellville Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/17 at Hopkins County Central, 2/18 vs. Muhlenberg County, 2/21 at Dawson Springs 17) Russellville (6-18) - 2/11 76-78 L Edmonson County, 2/14 78-80 2OT L #16 Todd County Central, 2/15 78-87 L at #13 Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/18 vs. Fort Campbell, 2/20 vs. #10 Allen County-Scottsville Notes -In a true rarity, all the district matchups are set without requiring tiebreakers - everything settled on the court. The only tie across all four districts was for the 2 seed in the 16th District - Russell County won the coin flip with Cumberland County for that - but that didn't alter the matchup. In the 13th at Russellville, it will be Logan County (6-0) vs. Russellville (0-6) and Franklin-Simpson (4-2) vs. Todd County Central (2-4). In the 14th at South Warren, South Warren (2-6) will open with Warren East (0-8), with the winner facing Warren Central (7-1) - Bowling Green (6-2) will face Greenwood (5-3) in the 2/3 game. In the 15th at Allen County-Scottsville, Barren County (5-1) will face Monroe County (0-6), while Glasgow (4-2) will take on Allen County-Scottsville (3-3). Finally, in the 16th at Russell County, Clinton County (6-0) will face Metcalfe County (0-6) with Russell County (3-3) hosting Cumberland County (3-3). It all makes life easier on the district tournament managers. -The highest drama of the week came in battles for the top seed in the 14th and 15th. Glasgow hosted Allen County-Scottsville on Monday, needing a win to tie Barren County to push that to a coin flip. The Scotties finally had the services of their full team, and jumped out to a five point halftime lead on AC/S. But they were unable to hold it as Mason Shirley began an assault that would see him score 32 of the final 45 points for ACS en route to a (then) career-high 35 points. The game would go to extra time tied at 56, and Shirley would draw a questionable foul with 2 seconds remaining, hitting a pair of free throws to give them a 65-64 OT win, pulling Glasgow into the 2/3 game with them. Meanwhile in the 14th District on Friday, Greenwood visited Warren Central, hoping to get a road win and force a three-way tie for #1 along with Bowling Green. The first half was not a pretty sight as both teams saw huge stretches of time with difficulty making shots. Central jumped out to a 14-4 lead with 1:45 left in the first, and then scored only four points in the next 12 minutes of game-time. Greenwood took a while to take advantage, before grabbing a 19-18 lead after scoring five straight to start the third quarter. A Dragon three ended the run and the Gators never led again, frequently trailing by between 8-12 points in the second half. They whittled it down to four at 52-48 with just over a minute remaining, but a pair of Tay Smith threes pushed it back to ten, and that was that. It gave Warren Central their first outright #1 seed in six years, and pushed them back to our #1 for the first time since December. Greenwood would have needed some luck plus the win over Warren Central to grab the #1 seed, but with that loss, Warren East in 2013 (beneficiaries of a three-way tie that broke for them) remains the only team besides Warren Central or Bowling Green to be the #1 seed since it began in the 14th District in 1999. -Mason Shirley had a career week in an overtime week for the Patriots. Following that thriller against Glasgow, they needed two overtimes to knock off Metcalfe County. Shirley posted a double double in that one, with a new career high of 39 points to go with 11 rebounds. His 39 was just three shy of the school record. It's not been quite as good a year from Shirley as was expected after his breakout sophomore campaign a season ago, but those two games this week raised his scoring average by two full points, and they'll look to build some momentum going into a home district tournament meeting with Glasgow. They had won four in a row prior to dropping a matchup at Logan County on Saturday. -Logan County moved to 23-3 by knocking off Greenwood on Tuesday 75-66 and AC/S 77-49 on Saturday. Though they still have a matchup with Cumberland County, realistically, the matchup with Greenwood was their last hurdle between them and a perfect region record. With wins over Barren County and Greenwood under their belt, it adds some legitimacy to that record, despite not playing Warren Central or Bowling Green this season. They're 13-0 in region play, 13-1 at home, and carry a 19 game winning streak. If they clear Ohio County on Tuesday, they will almost certainly enter the region tournament in a few weeks on a 23 game winning streak and with their best record overall since 1984. -Bowling Green pushed their winning streak against Warren East to 52 with a 74-47 win on Friday. The stat is so large it literally numbs you to how impressive it is. FIFTY-TWO. The Raiders haven't beaten Bowling Green in the entire seeded era of the 14th District. They haven't been within single digits of the Purples in six years, and haven't lost by less than five in eight. With the win, Bowling Green closed their regular season region slate at 11-2 in region play, 7-2 against District 14 teams (with an extra win over Greenwood coming in their Christmas tournament). They have a layup on Tuesday in hosting Hopkinsville, before a daunting trip to Ballard on Friday. -Not much else of note happened during the week, as we've touched on the games that decided postseason seeding. The region now has four teams with 20+ wins with a week to go. Barren County should join them as soon as Tuesday, but it will be a longshot for anyone else to be added. Greenwood is the next highest total at 15 - they will need multiple postseason wins to reach the threshold. They are seeking their first 20-win season since 2011/12. -Both Greenwood and South Warren have endured a difficult stretch against a challenging schedule. Greenwood is now just 3-6 in their last nine games, with four losses against the #1, #3, and #4 teams in our rankings. South Warren is 3-7 in their last ten games, dropping a pair of games against Warren Central, and falling to Bowling Green, Greenwood, and Franklin-Simpson in-region as well. Both teams remain dangerous, but both are also in serious need of some momentum going into tough postseason games. The Spartans have the tougher schedule this week, and will need to win both to guarantee themselves their second winning record in the past seven seasons, though in all likelihood a split would do it given they'll be favored over Warren East in their first postseason game. If they can reach 17 wins, it would be the second highest total in program history.
  7. 1) Bowling Green (19-4) - 1/28 84-57 W at #7 Franklin-Simpson, 1/31 55-61 L at #2 Warren Central, 2/1 79-65 W #11 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/4 at #5 South Warren, 2/7 vs. John Hardin 2) Warren Central (15-6) - 1/28 79-74 W at #5 South Warren, 1/31 61-55 W #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/3 at Christian County, 2/5 vs. Hopkinsville, 2/7 vs. #14 Warren East, 2/8 vs. Lafayette Jefferson (IN) 3) Logan County (19-3) - 1/28 50-49 W #6 Barren County, 1/31 82-54 W at #17 Russellville, 2/1 72-61 W #9 Glasgow Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/4 at McLean County, 2/7 at #16 Todd County Central, 2/8 vs. #11 Russell County 4) Greenwood (14-9) - 1/28 72-68 W at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/31 67-54 W #14 Warren East Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/4 vs. #6 Barren County, 2/7 vs. #5 South Warren, 2/8 vs. Bardstown (at Warren Central) 5) South Warren (13-10) - 1/28 74-79 L #2 Warren Central, 1/31 69-72 L Ohio County, 2/1 76-51 W #13 Monroe County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/4 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 2/7 at #4 Greenwood 6) Barren County (16-7) - 1/27 73-58 W at Hart County, 1/28 49-50 L at #3 Logan County, 1/31 80-63 W #9 Glasgow, 2/1 73-49 W at #16 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/27 at Hart County, 1/28 at #3 Logan County, 1/31 vs. #9 Glasgow, 2/1 at #16 Todd County Central 7) Franklin-Simpson (10-11) - 1/28 57-84 L #1 Bowling Green, 1/31 63-39 W #16 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/4 at #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/7 vs. #17 Russellville 8) Clinton County (17-6) - 1/27 56-44 W at Campbellsville, 1/31 59-56 W at #11 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/7 vs. Madison Southern, 2/8 vs. Breathitt County 9) Glasgow (9-12) - 1/28 39-62 L LaRue County, 1/31 63-80 L at #6 Barren County, 2/1 61-72 L at #3 Logan County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/4 vs. #12 Monroe County 10) Allen County-Scottsville (9-12) - 1/28 68-72 L #4 Greenwood, 1/31 56-59 L #8 Clinton County, 2/1 65-79 L at #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/4 vs. #7 Franklin-Simpson, 2/7 at #12 Monroe County 11) Russell County (10-12) - 1/27 56-46 W at #15 Cumberland County, 1/31 78-56 W Casey County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/4 vs. #13 Metcalfe County, 2/7 vs. Breathitt County, 2/8 at #3 Logan County 12) Monroe County (9-12) - 1/27 67-62 OT W #10 Metcalfe County, 1/31 70-61 W Adair County, 2/1 51-76 L at #5 South Warren Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/4 at #9 Glasgow, 2/7 vs. #10 Allen County-Scottsville 13) Metcalfe County (13-10) - 1/27 62-67 OT L at #13 Monroe County, 1/31 51-79 L #15 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/4 at #11 Russell County, 2/7 at Casey County 14) Warren East (3-16) - 1/31 54-67 L at #4 Greenwood, 2/1 36-70 L at Marshall County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/4 at #17 Russellville, 2/7 at #2 Warren Central 15) Cumberland County (6-16) - 1/27 46-56 L #12 Russell County, 1/28 63-60 W at #16 Todd County Central, 1/31 79-51 W at #10 Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/6 vs. Caverna 16) Todd County Central (4-17) - 1/28 60-63 L #15 Cumberland County, 1/31 39-63 L at #7 Franklin-Simpson, 2/1 49-73 L #6 Barren County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/4 at Montgomery Central (TN), 2/7 vs. #3 Logan County 17) Russellville (6-13) - 1/28 58-53 W at Fort Campbell, 1/31 54-82 L at #3 Logan County, 2/1 48-58 L Caverna (at Adair County) Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/4 vs. #14 Warren East, 2/7 at #7 Franklin-Simpson Notes -It was right around the time that Bowling Green was finishing their 12-0 run to take their largest lead of the game against Warren Central in the first half that I made my decision that even if the Dragons came back, I was keeping Bowling Green as the top team in the rankings. It was the end of a 15 game win streak, but Bowling Green remains the team with the more impressive resume and the more impressive win in the two games between the two. The first half took a bit different route to Bowling Green getting a big run (threes), but at halftime, the game was eerily similar to how the first one played out. They couldn't hold the win, but it was impressive enough to keep them at the top. -That being said, that was a critical win for Warren Central. They needed the confidence boost, because at halftime, it sure was beginning to feel like they just simply weren't on the same level as Bowling Green. Few teams are, the way Bowling Green shot early. Bowling Green is a team that wants to get to the rim and finish in close. That has been their identity for years. IMO the goal in any game is to make them beat you from the outside. Well, they shot 4/5 from three in the first quarter and 6/11 for the first half - they were beating them from the outside. When you saw that they were only 5/14 from inside the arc (they shot 75% inside the first game), then you start to get a picture of how things might go wrong. Sure enough, they were just 1/5 from three in the second half, and while the percentage improved from two (6/14), it wasn't enough. It was a better defensive effort for Central this time, and Bowling Green was held to only seven points in the fourth quarter. Dre Boyd had a performance for the ages in the third quarter, dropping twenty points to close the deficit for Central. The Kobe Brents' three were the only points in the quarter for the Dragons that didn't come from Boyd. -The fallout from the game means that Warren Central has the inside track to the outright #1 in the district. All they have to do is beat Warren East and Greenwood to clinch. If they were to lose to Greenwood, depending on how the other games played out, it may be a three way tie at the top between those two and Bowling Green. -With Bowling Green's loss, the best record in the region and the longest winning streak belongs to Logan County. The Cougars have won 15 in a row, and only a ten point loss to Eastern has set them back in their last twenty games. Their 19-3 record is the best overall in the region, and they remain the only unbeaten team in region play, moving to 11-0 with three region wins during the week. Their 50-49 win over Barren County to open the week was a close shave, but made impressive when you understand that the team is without junior Rooster Woodard, one of the region's top players and their leading scorer and rebounder prior to suffering an injury. Nyekan missed a shot at the buzzer that would have given the Trojans the win, but Logan County survived. -The 16th District continues to be inexplicable, as Cumberland County dropped the house on Metcalfe County, winning by a 79-51 margin in a game that set the postseason pairings in the district in stone. Despite having the second best overall record in the district and winning the region's All "A" Classic tournament, Metcalfe County is officially 0-5 in the district and locked into the 4 seed. They will take on top seed Clinton County, who had a perfect 6-0 record in the official standings this season, but did fall to that same Metcalfe County team in the All "A". Russell County and Cumberland County will meet, having split their regular season matchups. -Logan County's win over Russellville made their #1 seed in the postseason official, while Franklin-Simpson locked into the 2 seed. Todd County Central needs a win and a Russellville loss to clinch the 3 seed. They play Logan County on the 7th while Russellville plays Franklin-Simpson that same night, while the two teams then meet on the 14th. -Barren County's 17 point win over hobbled Glasgow finished their district slate at 5-1, clinching at least a tie for the district's top spot. Glasgow is 3-1, and must beat both Monroe County on the 4th and Allen County-Scottsville on the 10th to prevent Barren County from getting the top spot outright. A win in either of those games will clinch at least the 2 seed for Glasgow. The Scotties remain without Jaden Franklin, who has been out for weeks now. Franklin is the team's second leading scorer and leading rebounder. The Scotties have lost all three games in his absence, as part of a four game losing streak. No word has been given on his long-term prognosis.
  8. DragonFire trying to figure out how to rank these teams 1) Warren Central (4-1) - 12/16 48-49 L #3 Glasgow, 12/19 71-59 W at #9 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/27 vs. Lewis County (at Ashland), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Ashland), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Ashland) 2) Greenwood (5-3) - 12/17 54-42 W #2 Bowling Green, 12/20 73-52 W at #5 South Warren, 12/21 58-55 W North Hardin (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/23 at #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/26 vs. #4 Glasgow (at Bowling Green), 12/27 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green) 3) Bowling Green (4-3) - 12/17 42-54 L at #8 Greenwood, 12/21 66-51 W Christian County (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/26 vs. North Hardin, 12/27 vs. TBA, 12/28 vs. TBA 4) Glasgow (4-6) - 12/16 49-48 W at #1 Warren Central, 12/20 60-71 L Manual (at PRP), 12/21 61-76 L DeSales (at PRP), 56-55 W Paintsville (at PRP), 12/22 64-73 L Owensboro (at PRP) Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 12/26 vs. Greenwood (at Bowling Green), 12/27 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green) 5) Logan County (5-3) - 12/17 78-37 W Apollo, 12/20 84-47 W Taylor County (at Clinton County), 12/21 61-71 L Eastern (at Clinton County), 12/22 65-39 W Hopkins County Central, 12/22 65-56 W at #10 Clinton County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/27 vs. Daviess County, 12/28 vs. TBA, 12/29 vs. TBA 6) South Warren (6-2) - 12/16 67-51 W at #15 Todd County Central, 12/20 52-73 L #8 Greenwood, 12/21 81-53 W Apollo Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/26 vs. Owensboro (at Bowling Green), 12/27 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green) 7) Barren County (6-2) - 12/16 81-51 W at Edmonson County, 12/17 74-40 W Caverna, 12/20 61-46 W at #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/21 65-35 W Meade County (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/27 vs. Bell County (at South Laurel), 12/28 vs. TBA (at South Laurel), 12/29 vs. TBA (at South Laurel) 8) Clinton County (8-2) - 12/17 67-54 W #16 Cumberland County, 12/20 54-48 W Taylor County, 12/21 46-32 W Hopkins County Central, 12/21 61-59 W Eastern, 12/22 56-65 L #4 Logan County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/27 vs. Grayson County (at Logan County), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Logan County), 12/29 vs. TBA (at Logan County) 9) Russell County (5-3) - 12/16 57-54 W at #12 Metcalfe County, 12/19 73-62 2OT W Claiborne (TN) (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/20 70-74 OT L at Gatlinburg-Pittman (TN), 12/21 58-46 W Buckhorn Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 12/27 vs. Owen County (at South Laurel), 12/28 vs. TBA (at South Laurel), 12/29 vs. TBA (at South Laurel) 10) Allen County-Scottsville (5-4) - 12/17 65-62 W at #17 Warren East, 12/20 46-61 L #6 Barren County, 12/21 37-74 L St. Xavier (at Warren East), 12/21 69-30 W #16 Cumberland County (at Warren East) Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/23 vs. TBA (at Warren East), 12/27 at Hancock County 11) Franklin-Simpson (2-4) - 12/16 64-62 W at #17 Warren East, 12/19 59-71 L #1 Warren Central Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/23 vs. #2 Greenwood, 12/26 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/27 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Bowling Green) 12) Metcalfe County (5-4) - 12/16 54-57 L #11 Russell County, 12/17 80-72 W Hart County, 12/19 93-86 2OT W at Edmonson County, 12/20 64-74 L Thomas Nelson (at Edmonson County), 12/21 62-60 W Green County (at Edmonson County) Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 12/26 vs. Breathitt County (at Williamstown), 12/27 vs. TBA (at Williamstown), 12/28 vs. TBA (at Williamstown) 13) Monroe County (2-7) - 12/19 64-77 L Cordia (at Berea), 12/20 78-64 W Bluegrass United (at Berea), 12/21 67-70 L Menifee County (at Berea) Previous Rank: 13 This Week: No games scheduled 14) Russellville (3-3) - 12/17 62-68 L Butler County, 12/20 41-79 L at Caldwell County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 12/27 vs. Beth Haven, 12/28 vs. TBA, 12/29 vs. TBA 15) Todd County Central (2-6) - 12/16 51-67 L #5 South Warren, 12/17 49-54 L at Caldwell County, 12/20 41-55 L Owensboro Catholic (at Butler County), 12/21 35-71 L Murray (at Butler County), 12/21 62-68 L at Butler County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 12/27 at Ohio County, 12/27 vs. Henderson County (at Ohio County), 12/28 vs. Edmonson County (at Ohio County) 16) Warren East (1-7) - 12/16 62-64 L #9 Franklin-Simpson, 12/17 62-65 L #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/21 85-60 W Caverna, 12/21 53-80 L Ohio County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 12/23 vs. TBA, 12/28 vs. Meade County 17) Cumberland County (1-7) - 12/17 54-67 L at #10 Clinton County, 12/21 30-69 L #7 Allen County-Scottsville (at Warren East), 12/21 43-58 L St. Xavier (at Warren East) Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 12/23 vs. Caverna (at Warren East), 12/27 vs. TBA (at Russellville), 12/27 vs. Murray (at Russellville) Notes -Holy cow what an unsatisfying endeavor it was trying to decide how I wanted to rank these teams this week. There are now only two teams that are undefeated in region play. One is Russellville, who hasn't been beaten in region play because they have not yet played a game in the region. The other is Logan County, at just 2-0 inside the region, and 3-3 outside it. With that much chaos, there really wasn't a good, iron clad way to rate everyone. -I believe you saw about as bad a game as Warren Central can play when they hosted Glasgow on Monday. The Dragons are shooting 45.5% from three in their four wins, averaging 11.5 makes per game, and have an effective field goal percentage of 57.8% overall in those games. Against Glasgow, that dipped to 27.8% from three on 5/18 shooting and just 35.2 effective field goal percentage. They shot 32.6% from two, 27.8% from three, and 35.7% from the foul line. They lost by one. And they lost by one on a finger roll that refused to crawl over the rim at the buzzer. Glasgow deserves a lot of credit for their play, including perimeter defense, knocking down free throws, and the way they were able to battle back after blowing a lead, but it is hard to imagine that Central shoots that poorly again and the fact remains that as atrocious as they were, they were literally that close to winning anyway. I've got bias, but I believe if that game were played again tomorrow, the Dragons win comfortably. Still, it was a signature win for Glasgow, which won at Warren Central for the first time since 1985, and first time anywhere since 2006. -I probably would have made the same argument for keeping Bowling Green #2 if not for what Greenwood has done otherwise. Unlike Glasgow, which currently has a losing record, Greenwood has played very well outside of a week that now appears even more inexplicable. Greenwood knocked off BG by double digits and demolished South Warren. They throttled Glasgow earlier this season. If they hadn't been basically inexplicable against Russell County and Allen County-Scottsville, they'd be my clear #1. Those other games are why I elevated them above Bowling Green while I did not do the same for Glasgow over Central, along with the margin. That win snapped a 16 game losing streak for the Gators against the Purples. -The win over South Warren pushed Greenwood to 2-0 in the district for the first time since 2011/12 when they finished as co-district champions of the regular season, but that 2-0 start featured both wins over South Warren. It's their first 2-0 start in the district since 06/07 with one of those wins coming over Bowling Green. It's a crucial start as they pursue a region title. They have never been a #1 seed in the 14th District tournament, and historically that is a direct path to the region. -Barren County is also out to a 2-0 start in district play after winning by 15 at Allen County-Scottsville. Aden Nyekan and Will Bandy are both averaging over 14 PPG for the Trojans, whose current four game winning streak is their longest since winning 11 in a row in the 2017/18 season. They play in a holiday tournament at South Laurel this week, ahead of a very big in-region week to start the new year when they visit rival Glasgow. -Bowling Green was 1/16 from three and 5/9 from the foul line against Greenwood. They shoot just over 39% from three otherwise. I believe they are a better team than they showed that day. Several local teams are in the Bowling Green Christmas tournament, so perhaps they'll get a chance to prove it much sooner than later. One of those teams - Greenwood. -Logan County dropped a game to Eastern, but their tiebreakers put them into the title game of Clinton County's holiday tournament, knocking off the hosts by 9 today to take home the title. The Cougars do a very poor job of reporting stats, so we only have them from their first three games, but it appears a big reason for their success is more balance than expected in their scoring. Jose Nazario and Jay Hardison join Anthony Woodard in providing double digit scoring thus far, a key element for the team as Woodard is considered a superstar in the region. -Russell County already has five wins after notching only seven in the entire season a year ago. They've already avenged their loss in the district tournament at Metcalfe County a season ago, have knocked off Greenwood and played Glasgow to a two point result. It's safe to say the results have been much more positive this go around for the Lakers.
  9. 1) Bowling Green (20-5) - 2/4 72-64 W at #5 South Warren, 2/7 51-66 L John Hardin Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/11 at Owensboro, 2/14 vs. #14 Warren East 2) Warren Central (19-6) - 2/3 56-35 W at Christian County, 2/5 79-38 W Hopkinsville, 2/7 82-35 W #14 Warren East, 2/8 67-64 W Lafayette Jefferson (IN) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/14 vs. #5 Greenwood 3) Logan County (21-3) - 2/4 79-56 W at McLean County, 2/8 81-45 W at #16 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/11 vs. #5 Greenwood, 2/15 vs. #10 Allen County-Scottsville 4) Barren County (17-8) - 2/4 74-69 W #4 Greenwood, 2/7 48-67 L Central Hardin Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/11 vs. #11 Russell County, 2/14 at #15 Cumberland County 5) Greenwood (15-11) - 2/4 69-74 L #6 Barren County, 2/7 65-60 W #5 South Warren, 2/8 61-68 L Bardstown (at Warren Central) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/11 at #3 Logan County, 2/14 at #2 Warren Central 6) South Warren (13-12) - 2/4 64-72 L #1 Bowling Green, 2/7 60-65 L at #4 Greenwood Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/11 at #14 Warren East, 2/13 vs. #8 Franklin-Simpson 7) Clinton County (18-6) - 2/8 66-44 W Breathitt County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/11 at McCreary Central, 2/14 at #12 Monroe County 8) Franklin-Simpson (11-12) - 2/4 55-56 L at #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/7 78-49 W #17 Russellville Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/10 at Butler County, 2/13 at #6 South Warren 9) Glasgow (10-12) - 2/4 63-61 W #12 Monroe County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/10 vs. #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/11 at #13 Metcalfe County, 2/14 at Caverna 10) Allen County-Scottsville (11-12) - 2/4 56-55 W #7 Franklin-Simpson, 2/7 66-56 W at #12 Monroe County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/10 at #9 Glasgow, 2/13 vs. Metcalfe County 11) Russell County (11-13) - 2/4 67-46 W #13 Metcalfe County, 2/7 60-64 L Breathitt County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/11 at #4 Barren County, 2/14 vs. Adair County, 2/15 vs. Jackson County 12) Monroe County (9-14) - 2/4 61-63 L at #9 Glasgow, 2/7 56-66 L #10 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/11 vs. #15 Cumberland County, 2/14 vs. #7 Clinton County 13) Metcalfe County (13-11) - 2/4 46-67 L at #11 Russell County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/11 vs. #9 Glasgow, 2/13 at #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/15 vs. #17 Russellville 14) Warren East (4-17) - 2/4 71-70 W at #17 Russellville, 2/7 35-82 L at #2 Warren Central Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/11 vs. #6 South Warren, 2/14 at #1 Bowling Green 15) Cumberland County (6-16) - No games Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/11 at #12 Monroe County, 2/14 vs. #4 Barren County 16) Todd County Central (5-18) - 2/4 47-41 W at Montgomery Central (TN), 2/8 45-81 L #3 Logan County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/14 at #17 Russellville 17) Russellville (6-15) - 2/4 70-71 L #14 Warren East, 2/7 49-78 L at #7 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/11 vs. Edmonson County, 2/14 vs. #16 Todd County Central, 2/15 at #13 Metcalfe County Notes -It was a bit more difficult for me to leave the status quo at the top two this week. Bowling Green and Warren Central now sport almost identical records (20-5 to 19-6). Both have similar losses to quality teams, with Bowling Green having three of their five losses to BGP top-20 teams and Warren Central having four of their six in the same category (one is BG themselves). Central has the worst loss (Glasgow), but now has the best win, that coming on Saturday against Lafayette Jefferson (IN), a team that is rated 11th in all of Indiana by MaxPreps and the Sagarin ratings. If both teams hold serve this week, then likely I will move Warren Central ahead next week. But let's see what Greenwood does with the Dragons. The two teams meet at Warren Central, where the Dragons have beaten them two straight years after losing three straight to them in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Those are the only three Gator wins at Warren Central in the past 20 years. -Speaking of that, a crowded scenario at the top of District 14 has played out. South Warren did their best to muddy the waters this week, rallying from 27 down against Bowling Green to draw within four with the ball before falling by eight, and then holding a four point lead at Greenwood late before allowing the Gators to score the final nine of the game to fall by five. We are left with Warren Central alone at the top with a 6-1 district record, and both Bowling Green and Greenwood at 5-2 apiece (in official standings). Bowling Green will meet Warren East at the end of the week, which, that's a win, let's just be honest. That means that if Greenwood were to win at Warren Central, all three teams would be 6-2 in the district, and we'd go to a three-way tiebreak, where any of the three teams could end up matched with one of the others in the 2/3 game. You'd hear the cheers of the region if Bowling Green and Warren Central were matched in the district semifinals. -Logan County keeps humming along, and they have extended their winning streak to 17 games, second only to Ashland's unbeaten record for longest streak in Kentucky. It's the longest win streak for Logan County in the Riherds scoreboard era (since 1998), and my guess is that it's their longest since they won the state title in 1984 - if it wasn't then, it's their longest ever. They completed their district slate at a perfect 6-0, and their 7 point win over Franklin-Simpson in December was their only district game that was even close. There is no team in the region as much a lock for the region tournament. In all likelihood, their matchup with #5 Greenwood on Tuesday and a road trip to Ohio County on February 18th are the only barriers to them taking this win streak into the postseason. -Barren County's week ended with a thud on Friday when they dropped a 19 point decision at Central Hardin, but prior to that, they had run off 10 wins in 11 games, with the lone loss coming at Logan County by a single point. They have quietly rounded into shape the last month, beginning with close calls with a healthier Glasgow and Bowling Green right before that 11 game stretch. The Trojans were 7-6 on January 8th, and now with a run through the 16th District coming up, look like they will enter the postseason with 20 wins at least. Aden Nyekan has pushed his average up to 16.8 PPG, and dropped 27 in a road win over Greenwood on Tuesday, going 13/22 from the field. The sophomore is one of the best of the best in the region. -Glasgow remains an intriguing team. They're still without Jaden Franklin, but Tucker Kirkpatrick has been back on the floor, helping the Scotties end their four game skid in staying alive for the top seed in the 15th District with a 63-61 win over Monroe County. They have seen their record dip under .500 thanks to a 2-5 stretch, but if they were to get fully healthy, they could be very dangerous. Nick Sorrell had 19 points in the win over Monroe County, right at his 19.1 PPG average for the season. -Allen County-Scottsville locked themselves into the 3 seed in the 15th District with a ten point win over Monroe County, pushing the Falcons to an 0-6 slate in-district for the season, and locking them into the 4 spot. AC/S can pull Glasgow into the 2/3 game with them by winning on the road on Monday. If the Scotties win, then there will be a coin flip for the 1 seed.
  10. Final Rankings and Postseason Preview 1) Warren Central (22-6) High Rank - 1, Low Rank - 2, Average Rank - 1 The season experienced a bit of a lull at its midpoint, but ultimately two-time defending region champion Warren Central ended up where it began – at the top of our rankings and as the region favorites. The Dragons raced out of the gates with a 3-0 start, knocking off preseason 3rd Region favorites Owensboro and showing off the three-point attack that would come to define their offense. Then came the lull, beginning with their worst loss of the year, falling 49-48 at home to Glasgow on a buzzer beater. Central would ultimately stumble through an 8-6 stretch against tough opponents, bottoming out in two blowout losses to John Hardin and Bowling Green. But the latter loss remains their last to date. Central has reeled off 11 consecutive wins, their longest streak in six years, and were the outright regular season district champions for the first time since that same 2013/14 season. The Dragons put up a lot of points, averaging 68.79 PPG – their highest season total since the 2012/13 season. The crux of that approach is a steady stream of three-point attempts. The Dragons average 24 attempts per game, accounting for roughly 45% of all their shots. Both Tay Smith and Kobe Brents rank in the top 25 in the state for three point makes per game at 2.9 and 2.8 respectively. Six different Dragons have made 17 or more three pointers on the season. When it’s not a three going up, it is usually region player of the year Dre Boyd doing the scoring – his 161 makes inside the perimeter are the most on the team by 93. His 18.4 PPG average is among the highest in the region, and he almost single handedly brought the Dragons back in their win over Bowling Green in late January, scoring 20 in the third quarter alone. Geovonni Floyd also does his damage inside, and is in the top 10 in the state for field goal percentage among qualified players. The Dragons are talented, veteran, and deep – and playing their best ball of the year. They are definitely vulnerable when they are unable to make their three-point shots, going 7/40 in their losses to John Hardin and Bowling Green, and one of the key parts of their lull was a sudden lack of defense. In four of their six losses, Central allowed over 70 points. Still, the Dragons have the profile of a frontrunner. They open the district with the winner of South Warren and Warren East. The tournament is at South Warren, and the host is expected to be their opponent, which may prove a little tricky. But ultimately, our prediction is that Central wins the region for the third straight year, and ends Bowling Green’s six year stint as district champions. 2) Bowling Green (22-7) High Rank - 1, Low Rank - 3, Average Rank - 2 Unlike Central, which bookended a rough patch with strong play, the Purples were the exact opposite. Their 15 game winning streak from mid-December to late-January was their longest since their state title campaign in 2017, but the bookends combined for just a 7-7 record. That includes a rare losing streak entering the postseason. The Purples lost their final two games of the regular season for the first time in 16 years. The loss to Ballard was understandable, but the home loss to Hopkinsville was definitely a head scratcher. Despite that, Bowling Green is a solid #2 and near co-favorite for the region crown. Averaging nearly 65 PPG, the Purples feature a mold that you could practically find in any of the last 13 years. They play aggressive defense, frequently with full-court pressure, and use their transition game to fuel their offensive attack, looking to get to the rim. Bowling Green attempts a three on only 28.18% of their field goals, choosing instead to go inside, where they hit nearly 52% of their shots. First-team all-region selection Isaiah Mason (a top selection for the second straight year) leads the way, averaging 16.2 PPG. Still just a junior, Mason has a strong mid-range game, and with his length he is tough to match up with properly. His 9.3 rebounds per game leads the team and rates him in the top 40 for the state. Junior Cobi Huddleston is a stronger defensive presence than offensive, but in a region without a lot of big men in the post, he has been known to bully his way to the basket when given the chance. When Bowling Green does shoot outside, sophomore Turner Buttry (11.8 PPG) has proven deadly accurate. A third-team all-region selection, Buttry is shooting 52.6% from three. Third-leading scorer Conner Cooper (10.8 PPG) compliments well from outside as well, knocking down a 42.4% clip. Perpetually young in the last few years, the Purples still don’t have a strong veteran presence, with only reserve Dorian Morrison seeing significant time. With the loss of Jordan Dingle to preseason surgery, Bowling Green typically is only going about 8 deep, so if a team can get into their depth by drawing some fouls, it can cause more problems than years past. Bowling Green lost only a pair of region games, but one was to their district semifinal opponent, Greenwood. That was way back in December, on the road, and their 42 points in that game represented a season low. They proved much more resilient in two home matchups with the Gators (one in a Christmas tourney), scoring 58 and 71 in winning both games. The Purples were just 1/16 from three in their loss, falling behind early and never recovering. A strong start will be crucial for BG, but they are rarely lulled into that many attempts from the perimeter, and if they attack the rim, another trip to the region tournament should be in the offing. They have made six consecutive region finals, and as mentioned each year (until it doesn’t happen), they have not failed to make the finals of a region tournament they advanced to since 2004 – 12 straight appearances. The 2012/13 season when they lost to Warren Central in the district semifinals is the only season they didn’t make the region finals in the last 12 seasons. Our prediction is that they keep that streak alive, reaching the finals, but falling to Central for the third straight year. 3) Logan County (25-3) High Rank - 3, Low Rank - 7, Average Rank - 4 With apologies to Warren Cunningham, who won the KABC COY award for the region, John Tinsley’s job with this Cougar team demanded that recognition, and it was a shame he didn’t get it. Logan County started the year 4-3, but reeled off 21 wins in a row entering the postseason, good enough for the second longest streak in school history. The streak they’re chasing, a 24 game win streak that ran the final 22 games of their state title season in 1983-84 into the start of the next year, is in real jeopardy. The Cougars are overwhelming favorites in District 13, going 6-0 in district play and winning all but one of their matchups by double digits. Their 70.32 PPG leads the region, as does their 17.39 PPG average margin of victory. They went 15-0 in region play, the only unbeaten team in region play – no one else even had as few as one loss. The only game in which they did not score at least 65 points during their winning streak was a 50-49 win over Barren County on January 28th, where they were missing 1st Team all-region selection Anthony Woodard. The Cougars score, they play defense, they win. They are very balanced, with three players averaging between 13.2 and 14.0 PPG, and three others averaging between 8.6 and 9.5 PPG. Jay Hardison leads the team with 14.0 PPG and his 3.7 three pointers per game is #4 in the entire state. He leads the team in three-point percentage (44.8%) despite attempting 125 more than any other player on the team. And he wasn’t even one of the all-region selections. Aforementioned Anthony Woodard comes in at 13.6 PPG. The combo guard-forward is most definitely the most talented player on the team, and the most likely to see the ball in a crunch-time situation. Second-team selection Jose Nazario, a transfer from Puerto Rico, may prove to have been the missing link for the Cougars in their pursuit of a region title. The guard is third on the team with 13.2 PPG, and gave the team yet another strong scoring option, making just under 58% of all attempts. Nazario also leads the team with 8 rebounds per game. Scoring inside, scoring outside, and strong scoring depth – that’s very much a region contender. Their run to the region semifinals last year may prove critical to get them the experience in the tournament atmosphere they need. It also helps that they have easily the clearest path to the region tournament of any team in the region, facing a Russellville squad they beat by 35 and 28 this year. If there is any knock on the Cougars at all, it is that we haven’t seen what they can do against Warren Central or Bowling Green, as neither were on their schedule this year. Logan County fell against both last season, and have lost 14 in a row against the Dragons and 9 in a row against the Purples. Logan County did take down the other three District 14 teams – all at home – culminating with a 75-66 win over Greenwood on February 11th. Even without facing the favorites, it is clear to see that this team is for real, and probably the only team outside the 14th District that I’d feel comfortable in saying I can really see them cutting down the nets. It would help the Cougars greatly if they saw only one District 14 opponent (or hey, NONE), or if they had to face both, if they didn’t have to do it back to back. Given the right circumstances, the Cougars can make a run to the title or at least a runner-up appearance, but our prediction is that they will bow out in the region semifinals against one of the two teams above. 4) Barren County (21-8) High Rank - 4 Low Rank - 7, Average Rank - 5 Now, even though I’d have given the COY to John Tinsley, actual winner Warren Cunningham has done a splendid job with this Trojan team. A preseason dark horse, the Trojans started just 7-6, but closed with 14 wins in their final 16 games. One of those two losses was a one-point road loss at Logan County. They turned a five-point loss to Glasgow just prior to that run into a 17-point victory against the wounded Scotties at the end of the month, riding momentum to a 5-1 record in the 15th District and ultimately, the top seed in the district tournament. Barren County averages a healthy 65 PPG, and has not lost the entire season when they hit that mark. The team is led by first-team all-region selection Aden Nyekan. Last year we tabbed Nyekan as the future star for the team – the sophomore has arrived. Nyekan carries a 16.7 PPG average, leading the team with 7 rebounds per game as well. Nyekan has a strong inside presence, making almost 54% of his shots. Joining him in inside attack is senior Will Bandy, adding 13.5 PPG and 6.3 rebounds per game as well. Bandy is not afraid to step outside and shoot from the perimeter as well, leading the team by percentage with 44.9% accuracy from three. Jacob Shaw is the biggest volume shooter from three for the Trojans, leading the team with 48 makes and 39.3% accuracy. Like Bowling Green, their focus is much more on getting to the rim with more of a post focused attack. Barren County boasts one of the region’s top scoring defenses, holding opponents to just 53 PPG. The Trojans are looking to return to the region tournament for the first time since 2017, and will open with Monroe County. Barren County knocked off the Falcons in both meetings this season, winning by 10 at home in December before gutting out a 47-45 victory on the road on January 20th. That game was won on an Aden Nyekan buzzer beater layup. Barren County has really come on since that matchup, but it is a reminder that though they are the top seed, they are not an unimpeachable favorite. We expect them to win their, take the district, and bow out in the region semifinals on their return to the region tournament. 5) Greenwood (17-13) High Rank - 2, Low Rank - 8, Average Rank - 3 There are many years that Greenwood can be said to be up and down, but this season, they were almost inexplicable at times. The Gator starting lineup may well be the most talented in the entire region. Three of their starters were named to the all-region team. And yet….. they are just 17-13. They announced their presence with an 85-70 win over Glasgow in the second game of the season, and then promptly lost to a Russell County team that is frankly, not supposed to be in their league. They followed that with a loss to Allen County-Scottsville, and then reeled off four straight wins, including a road win over Clinton County and knocking off Bowling Green for the first time in seven years. And then they lost to Franklin-Simpson. All of that was in the first nine games – a microcosm of their entire year. Like many recent years, Greenwood seems destined to be the team you most believe could win the region tournament outside the favorites – if only they could get out of their own district tournament. Cade Stinnett, yet another super soph in the region – leads the team with 15.3 PPG. An athletic guard and second-team all-region selection, Stinnett leads the team in field goal percentage, making 50.3% of his attempts. He has been easily the most consistent scorer for the team. Some of that is due to the focus paid to Ben Carroll. The big man has been the team-leader, and is second on the team with 12.6 PPG. Also a second-team all-region selection, Carroll leads the team in rebounding, and they are at their best when the offense flows through him. That doesn’t always mean he is taking the shot, but Carroll is a talented distributor, a consistent outside threat (39.4%), as well as one of the best ball-handlers. That being said, the team might never be more dangerous than when Noah Stansbury is on fire. A third-team all-region selection, Stansbury is what you expect out of a coach’s son. He’s a good shooter (75/196 from three), a fantastic free throw shooter (85.3%), and plays with high basketball IQ. It’s not an accident that in their victory over Bowling Green that he came out on fire, burying the Purples with four threes and dropping in 24 points. He dropped 26 in their second meeting on 8/10 shooting from three, making fully half of the shots Greenwood made in a game they struggled. If he can get hot from three, anything can happen. Of course, the Gators allow 60 PPG as well – very uncharacteristic of the team over the year. It’s not likely at all they can beat Bowling Green allowing that many. They’ll open the postseason with the Purples, a team they’ve beaten just twice in the last 11 years, and both of those were at home. It’s our prediction that they are unable to get the job done in the postseason away from home, falling in the district semifinals. But if they can find their way past that game, there’s a great chance Greenwood could make their way to the region finals. Or lose in the first round of region. Seriously, it’s all possible with Greenwood. 6) Clinton County (21-7) High Rank - 6, Low Rank - 12, Average Rank - 8 The final team in these rankings with 20+ wins, Clinton County’s journey was much like that of Barren County. They had a bit of a rocky start, entering the new year with a 9-5 record, but closed strong with 12 wins in their final 14 games. The early part of the year can perhaps be chalked up to the lack of Jackson Harlan, the prolific scorer who graduated after taking POY honors last season. In his absence, the Bulldogs have been winning almost exclusively on the back of defense. Their 55 PPG average is well below that of their 20-win peers, but they lead the region in scoring defense, allowing only 49.42 PPG. They have won 15 of their 21 games scoring less than 60 points, a bit of an oddity in the modern game. It’s incredibly impressive, but it also makes them vulnerable. That allowed them to take losses such as a 46-45 result against Franklin-Simpson in December, and an almost unthinkable 52-50 loss to Metcalfe County in the region’s All “A” Classic in January. That loss was their only one to a district opponent, though it did not count in the official district standings. They wrapped up the top seed in the district before that game was even played. Chase Stines leads the team with 15.7 PPG, the only Bulldog averaging in double digits. He also leads the team with 5 rebounds per game. In a bit of an oddity, they will end up playing Metcalfe County in the 1/4 game, matching them against the only team that beat them in the district – a win that ultimately was Metcalfe County’s only win in the district. The Hornets have not looked great lately, making it rather unlikely that the upset will be pulled twice. Our prediction is that Clinton County wins their district, but exits in the region semifinals – unless they happen to face one of the above teams in the first round. Which, Clinton County has a habit of finding poor region draws. 7) Glasgow (14-13) High Rank - 3, Low Rank - 9, Average Rank - 7 Finally, the sad story of Glasgow. Their high hopes for the season took an almost immediate detour when Tucker Kirkpatrick suffered a knee injury in their season opener against Monroe County. It was a harbinger of things to come. Kirkpatrick was just the first of several Scotties to deal with ailments over the season, as starters Bowen Haney and Jaden Franklin have also missed time – Franklin missed nearly a month. Everyone is back now, though Kirkpatrick is clearly limited. This all led to a 1-3 start for Glasgow that snowballed until they were 10-13, falling at home to Allen County-Scottsville to fall to #2 in the district standings. They have rebounded with four straight wins and finally as healthy as they could hope to be, but their development and flow has been completely shot. They are the most likely of any team to come from completely off the radar to make a run due to their talent, but they may never get the chance, having to open at Allen County-Scottsville in the district tournament. The team did place two on the all-region squad, with Jaden Franklin making the second team while Nick Sorrell got his second straight nod on the first-team. Sorrell averaged 19.1 PPG this year, trying to single-handedly lift the team as everyone around him got hurt. It was Sorrell who hit the game winner in their road win over Warren Central, the shining moment of the season to this point. The Scotties have the talent to do something, but it’s hard to see it coming together now. Our prediction is a district runner-up finish to Barren County, and a region quarterfinal exit. 8) Franklin-Simpson (13-14) High Rank - 7, Low Rank - 11, Average Rank - 9 The Wildcats have felt like they were “this close” at times this season. Franklin has had some top-notch wins, knocking off Clinton County, Greenwood, Owensboro, and South Warren. They’ve not really had a terrible loss since falling to Monroe County in the season opener, but the games they’ve lost, they’ve often been completely obliterated. That includes a three game home stretch that saw them lose to Logan County, Barren County, and Bowling Green by 14, 27, and 27. Franklin features a full-court pressure attack that can get them back into games, as it did in a double digit comeback at Clinton County back in a 46-45 win in December. The Wildcats don’t shoot particularly well, making just 42.7% of all shots and just over 29% from the perimeter. DeMarco Chatman was a third-team all-region selection, averaging 12.4 PPG and leading the team in rebounds with 6.4 per game. Kyjuan Stutzman leads the team with 14.7 PPG, owing to his volume from three. Franklin has only had one real winning streak, winning four in a row to open January. They are 4-3 in their last seven games, but other than that win streak, have won two in a row only one other time. They should have little trouble with Todd County Central in their district opener, winning their first two matchups by 13 and 24, but they should finish as runner-up to Logan County and exit in the first round of region. 9) South Warren (15-14) High Rank - 5, Low Rank - 9, Average Rank - 6 I’ve frequently described South Warren as a dangerous team – and they are very much in the same way that Greenwood can be. But they are every bit as inconsistent as the Gators. The only thing consistent about the Spartan program is their .500 play. The team enters the postseason at 15-14, needing just a win over Warren East in the 4/5 district game to grab their second winning season in the last seven years. But this is a team that hasn’t entered the postseason with less than 14 losses since their opening season 9 years ago. They haven’t won more than 16 games in a season since then either. Six of the previous eight seasons for South Warren have seen them within two games of .500 in either direction, and the other two were way on the losing side. It’s hard to explain, because this program has real talent. Jace Carver averages 15 PPG, and shoots 39.2% from three. When he gets hot, as he did in a furious near-comeback over Bowling Green, they can be a real load to handle. Caleb Mitchell-Franklin (13.2 PPG) has really impressed me each time I’ve seen South Warren in person. The team has strong guard play, always has one of two guys with size, but never seems to put it all together. This year is no different, as the team has lost 8 of their last 12 coming into the postseason. Big plus for the squad – they host the district tournament. They open with Warren East, and will easily win that game, but then will face a surging Warren Central squad. South led at the end of the first quarter and at halftime of their home matchup with Central, ultimately falling by five. If they can get into a rhythm, they can absolutely pull the upset. But for a team that has never won a district semifinal, you really can’t predict that happening until you see it the first time – especially not against the region favorites. 10) Allen County-Scottsville (14-14) High Rank - 7, Low Rank - 11, Average Rank - 10 The Patriots suffered some big graduation losses from last year’s surprise success team, and while they’ve flashed at moments, has mostly been a middle of the pack team for the region. Third-team all-region selection Mason Shirley has been a consistently good player for the Patriots, leading them with 15.7 PPG. But the junior hasn’t quite taken the leap forward that was expected after a strong sophomore campaign, likely owing to increased attention. He is joined in double digit scoring by Jax Cooper (12.4 PPG) and Owen Stamper (10.4 PPG). But the team will go as Shirley goes. Against Glasgow, he scored a then-career high 35 points to steal a road victory in overtime, pulling the Scotties into a district tournament matchup with them. Three days later, he dropped 39 on Metcalfe County in a double overtime victory. He had just five in a 34-point loss to Warren Central five days later. Shirley will likely need to be superhuman again for the Patriots to beat Glasgow. I just don’t think it happens. 11) Russell County (13-16) High Rank - 9, Low Rank - 14, Average Rank - 11 Russell County saw an improved season after last year saw them miss the region tournament for the first time, but the Lakers remain far off the radar for contenders. Scott Hamm (14.4 PPG) and Briley Hadley (11.9 PPG) lead an offensive attack that averages 56 PPG. They’ll host a Cumberland County team that they split the regular season with, with each team winning their road matchup. This game will be at tournament host Russell County, which despite the unusual road team trend in their regular season series, bodes well for the Lakers. It seems unlikely they would lose twice at home to the Panthers, so the prediction is for Russell County to get back to region. But that’s all they’ll do. 12) Monroe County (10-17) High Rank - 10, Low Rank - 13, Average Rank - 13 The Falcons have their work cut out for them against Barren County, though they did play the Trojans to a 47-45 decision when they last met in January. The Falcons have closed out the regular season with just three wins in their final 12 games, and have fallen in three straight. Grayson Rich leads the team with 16.2 PPG, with Kale Hagan chipping in 11.1 PPG. The Falcons have frequently had trouble generating offense, with only one game in their last seven topping 70 points. Six of their ten wins this year came at home – our prediction is that they cannot pull the upset of Barren County away from the friendly confines. 13) Metcalfe County (15-14) High Rank - 9, Low Rank - 13, Average Rank - 12 The last month of the season derailed what was looking like a really great story for the Hornets. It’s still a good story, but one goal I was personally hoping for them – their first winning season in nine years – appears to be a longshot with Clinton County looming. The Hornets have fallen to this position with just two wins in their last nine games, turning 13-7 into 15-14. This will still be remembered as a year that Metcalfe County upset Clinton County and captured the 4th Region All “A” title, winning a game in the state tournament as well, even if the other goals don’t fall into place. Junior guard Boston Devore worked his way into a second-team all-region selection, posting 18.6 PPG to lead the squad. Peyton Dial (14.7 PPG) also averages in double figures. Metcalfe County features a three-point heavy attack, averaging almost 21 attempts per game, so if they get hot, they can be giant slayers. But it looks like they’ll bow out against Clinton County in the district semifinals. 14) Warren East (6-20) High Rank - 11, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 14 Warren East is seeking their first region tournament appearance in 23 years, but it’s all but an impossibility. The Raiders have stumbled to their worst record in almost a decade, going winless in district play and reaching 20 losses for the first time since 2010/11. Kaleb Matlock (10.5 PPG) and Isaiah Andrews (10.0 PPG) are the only players averaging in double figures for East. They fell by 22 and 26 to their first opponent South Warren, allowing 83 when they played South Warren on the road, which is where they’ll be in this one. With 19 straight district losses, there is no realistic way to believe they’ll win two straight now. 15) Cumberland County (6-20) High Rank - 15, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank – T-15 Dawson Smith leads a Cumberland County squad that averages 58.2 PPG, with Smith chipping in 16.9 per game. He averages a double-double, with his 10.1 rebounds per game coming in as tops in the region. The Panthers went 4-13 in region play, but 3-3 in their district. That included a surprising sweep of Metcalfe County, and a split with district tournament opponent Russell County. Their win was a 59-52 result at Russell County, who also hosts them in the district tourney. While that all sounds good, it seems unlikely the Panthers would be able to do that twice, and they enter at 2-8 since that win over Russell County on January 10th. Their road ends here. 16) Todd County Central (6-21) High Rank - 15, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 17 The Rebels just couldn’t get much going this year, winning their first two games but then losing 14 in a row afterwards. They did manage to knock off Russellville twice, getting two district wins, with the last an 80-78 win in double overtime. They fared worse against district tournament opponent Franklin-Simpson, dropping those games by 13 and 24. They’ll lose again here to close their season. 17) Russellville (6-20) High Rank - 14, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank – T-15 The Panthers won their first three games of the season, but have not won two in a row since, and enter the postseason on a nine game losing streak. Russellville went 0-6 in district play, and 0-10 in region play. Jaquis Todd has been a bright spot, averaging 16.3 PPG, but there is no scenario where Russellville upsets first round opponent Logan County, even at home. The Cougars started Russellville’s losing streak with an 82-54 result on January 31st. This will likely be more of the same. Top Players in the 4th Region 1. Dre Boyd, G, Sr. (Warren Central) – Voted the POY by both the 4th Region coaches and the KABC. Boyd is physical on both offense and defense, and is deadly when he gets inside. 2. Isaiah Mason, G, Jr. (Bowling Green) – Mason is as steady as they come, leading the Purples in scoring and rebounding. 3. Nick Sorrell, G, Sr. (Glasgow) – Finished as one of the best scorers in the region despite a revolving door in his supporting cast this season. Sorrell is a player whose desire to win is always apparent. 4. Ben Carroll, F, Sr. (Greenwood) – Carroll may not have the flashy scoring average, but he possesses all the intangibles while providing the ability to do anything you want on offense and defense. 5. Aden Nyekan, F, So. (Barren County) – This is your future POY in the region. Nyekan is just a joy to watch play basketball. 6. Turner Buttry, G, So. (Bowling Green) – A deadly marksman from three and an incredible distributor, Buttry may actually be the key to Bowling Green’s success. 7. Anthony Woodard, F, Jr. (Logan County) – Woodard is just so smooth on the court, and an incredible athlete. 8. Tay Smith, G, Sr. (Warren Central) – One of the top three-point shooters in the state, Smith has an incredibly quick trigger from the perimeter, and his length is great for defense and rebounding. 9. Jose Nazario, G, Sr. (Logan County) – Nazario’s addition to Logan County pushed them from good to great. 10. Cade Stinnett, G, So. (Greenwood) – Another talented sophomore, Stinnett will be Greenwood’s go-to guy the next two seasons.
  11. 1) Bowling Green (17-3) - 1/20 79-62 W #2 Warren Central, 1/21 64-50 W Christian County, 1/24 70-41 W at #14 Warren East Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/28 at #7 Franklin-Simpson, 1/31 at #2 Warren Central 2) Warren Central (13-6) - 1/20 62-79 L at #1 Bowling Green, 1/21 61-45 W #5 South Warren, 1/24 70-63 OT W at #3 Greenwood Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/28 at #5 South Warren, 1/31 vs. #1 Bowling Green 3) Logan County (16-3) - 1/21 76-43 W #14 Warren East, 1/24 65-51 W at #7 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/28 vs. #6 Barren County, 1/31 at #17 Russellville, 2/1 vs. #9 Glasgow 4) Greenwood (12-9) - 1/21 54-51 W #7 Franklin-Simpson, 1/24 63-70 OT L #2 Warren Central, 1/25 52-76 L LaRue County (at John Hardin) Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/28 at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/31 vs. #14 Warren East 5) South Warren (12-8) - 1/21 45-61 L at #2 Warren Central, 1/24 77-46 W at #12 Russell County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/28 vs. #2 Warren Central, 1/31 vs. Ohio County, 2/1 vs. #13 Monroe County 6) Barren County (13-6) - 1/20 47-45 W at #13 Monroe County, 1/21 63-61 W Ohio County, 1/24 57-45 W #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/25 77-50 W at #7 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/27 at Hart County, 1/28 at #3 Logan County, 1/31 vs. #9 Glasgow, 2/1 at #16 Todd County Central 7) Franklin-Simpson (9-10) - 1/21 51-54 L at #3 Greenwood, 1/24 51-65 L #4 Logan County, 1/25 50-77 L #6 Barren County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/28 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/31 vs. #16 Todd County Central 8) Clinton County (15-6) - 1/21 60-41 W #12 Russell County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/27 at Campbellsville, 1/31 at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/1 vs. Jackson County 9) Glasgow (9-9) - No games Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/28 vs. LaRue County, 1/31 at #6 Barren County, 2/1 at #3 Logan County 10) Metcalfe County (13-8) - 1/23 48-47 W Louisville Holy Cross (at Eastern Kentucky University), 1/24 55-67 L Murray Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/27 at #13 Monroe County, 1/31 vs. #15 Cumberland County 11) Allen County-Scottsville (9-9) - 1/24 45-57 L at #6 Barren County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/28 vs. #4 Greenwood, 1/31 vs. #8 Clinton County, 2/1 at #1 Bowling Green 12) Russell County (8-12) - 1/21 41-60 L at #8 Clinton County, 1/24 46-77 L #5 South Warren, 1/25 43-79 L at Pulaski County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/27 at #15 Cumberland County, 1/31 vs. Casey County 13) Monroe County (7-11) - 1/20 45-47 L #6 Barren County, 1/24 50-84 L Taylor County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/27 vs. #10 Metcalfe County, 1/31 vs. Adair County, 2/1 at #5 South Warren 14) Warren East (3-14) - 1/21 43-76 L at #5 Logan County, 1/24 41-70 L #1 Bowling Green, 1/25 59-50 W #15 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/31 at #4 Greenwood, 2/1 at Marshall County 15) Cumberland County (4-15) - 1/24 61-64 L Hart County, 1/25 50-59 L at #14 Warren East Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/27 vs. #12 Russell County, 1/28 at #16 Todd County Central, 1/31 at #10 Metcalfe County, 2/1 at McCreary Central 16) Todd County Central (4-14) - 1/21 65-62 W #16 Russellville Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/28 vs. #15 Cumberland County, 1/31 at #7 Franklin-Simpson, 2/1 vs. #6 Barren County 17) Russellville (5-11) - 1/21 62-65 L at #17 Todd County Central, 1/24 60-67 L at Edmonson County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/28 at Fort Campbell, 1/31 at #3 Logan County, 2/1 vs. Caverna (at Adair County) Notes -The early season struggles for Bowling Green seem a distant memory now. Even as recently as their matchup with Barren County on January 7th, there were signs of weakness. But the Purples are now the owners of a 14 game winning streak, third longest in the state. Since the Barren County game, they have not scored less than 64 points, and have won those six games by an average of 16.8 PPG. That includes their 79-62 win over Warren Central, which marked a season high for points, and kept them in control of their own destiny for the #1 seed in District 14. The Purples shot 65.9% from the field in that game, and were 17/23 from the foul line. It cemented their status as the top team in the region, at the very least until their rematch at Warren Central this Friday. If they win that rematch with Central, then they become a virtual lock for the top spot in the district. They'd need only beat South Warren and Warren East in their final two district games. They've never lost to South Warren, and they just finished polishing off their 51st straight victory over East, this week by a 70-41 score. -The Purples have now won 19 of 20 at home, encompassing the past two seasons. It is likely that the only hurdle they have between them and a perfect season at home is their matchup with John Hardin on February 7th. -For Warren Central, the loss to Bowling Green was a gut check, the second straight in blowout fashion after getting their heads handed to them by John Hardin. They found a way to a fairly easy win against South Warren on Tuesday despite having a short bench due to illness and injury, but the jewel of the week was a critical overtime victory over Greenwood by a 70-63 score. The Dragons trailed by 8 in the fourth quarter and by six with less than two minutes left. But after starting a ghastly 3/25 from three, they finally found the touch, going 4/5 in the final six minutes of basketball, and never trailed in overtime. They too control their own destiny in District 14, needing only to win out to take the top seed. Their schedule is slightly more difficult than Bowling Green, because in addition to playing the Purples, Central still has a mid-February return date with Greenwood, albeit both coming at home. -Greenwood is a hard luck loser out of the #3 spot, dropping to #4. By almost any measure, they should have won the game against Warren Central, which would have kept them in a stronger position for chasing the top spot. Greenwood repeatedly missed free throws as they tried to close the game out, missing six of their last seven attempts. Two of those misses came from an ill Noah Stansbury, who had missed only seven free throws all year entering the contest. The last three misses came with a 58-56 lead, and that margin allowed Dre Boyd to drive the lane and draw a foul, tying the game with two free throws. Ben Carroll missed a fadeaway 18 footer at the buzzer that would have given them the win, and the rest was history. Their game against LaRue County hardly factors, as they were missing three starters with the flu in the game. -Meanwhile, it is finally time to move Logan County up. The Cougars are 16-1 after starting the year 0-2, and are the last unbeaten team in games against 4th Region opponents. They have not scored less than 65 points since their last loss on December 21st, and after a 14 point win over Franklin-Simpson, they need only a single win against Russellville or Todd County Central to clinch the top seed, or a single loss by Todd County Central. In other words, they've clinched the top spot. The team remains remarkably balanced, with four players averaging in double figures, led by Anthony Woodard's 13.3 PPG. I've mentioned this previously, but I consider it a legitimate possibility that they don't lose another game before the postseason. Their only truly daunting matchups are home games against Glasgow and Greenwood, and a road trip to Ohio County on February 18th. -Barren County had a strong week, bringing home four wins, including two District 15 wins to move them to 4-1 in district play. That sets up this week's matchup with Glasgow at Barren County as a very, very big game. Glasgow remains 3-0 in district play, but would have to win against both Monroe County and Allen County-Scottsville should they falter against Barren County, while the Trojans would be in the clubhouse with a 5-1 record. It also means that Glasgow will clinch the top spot if they can win on Friday. Barren County has won six in a row since they failed to hold on to a double digit lead against Bowling Green on January 7th. -Clinton County finished off their 6-0 district record (not counting their All "A" loss), but they'd already clinched the 16th's top spot. This week may sort out the rest. Tomorrow, Russell County will travel to Cumberland County. Russell County sports a 1-3 district record, while Cumberland County is 2-2. If Cumberland County wins, they will assure themselves of no worse than the #3 seed, staying away from Clinton County. If Russell County wins, it means that either of the two teams plus Metcalfe County could end up anywhere from 2-4. Metcalfe County will join the action as they host Cumberland County on Friday. -There aren't quite as many top tier games this week as there were last week, but several of great importance. The games this week most likely to change rankings: 1/27 #12 Russell County at #15 Cumberland County, 1/31 #1 Bowling Green at #2 Warren Central, 1/31 #9 Glasgow at #6 Barren County, 1/31 #8 Clinton County at #11 Allen County-Scottsville.
  12. 1) Warren Central (1-0) - 12/3 72-56 W Wayne County Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/10 vs. Owensboro, 12/14 vs. Henderson County (at Barren County) The back to back region champions opened with a win in their home opener for the fifth straight season, knocking off the always game Wayne County Cardinals by a 16 point margin. Dre Boyd fouled out but had a co-team high 18 points. Tay Smith also had 18 points, fueled by a 5/12 performance from three. 3rd Region favorite Owensboro should provide a much better opponent this week. 2) Bowling Green (1-1) - 12/3 61-69 L at Madisonville-North Hopkins, 12/7 63-46 W Bardstown (at Muhlenberg County) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/10 at #4 Glasgow, 12/13 vs. South Laurel (at Jackson County), 12/14 vs. Pikeville (at Jackson County) The Purples were hampered by a significant size disadvantage in their opener against BGP-top 10 opponent Madisonville, and fell behind by as many as 16 before rallying to make a game of it. They received a couple of reinforcements on Saturday when they took on Bardstown, as football players Conner Cooper and Dez Wilson returned. The Purples weren't particularly sharp offensively in that one, but locked down everyone but Traynor, coasting to an easy win. This week they'll have a top matchup on paper with Glasgow, who they haven't lost to in 11 years. 3) Greenwood (1-1) - 12/3 70-76 L Owensboro Catholic, 12/6 85-70 W #3 Glasgow Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/10 at #14 Russell County, 12/12 vs. #8 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/14 at #12 Clinton County Cade Stinnett and Noah Stansbury got the Gators out to a great start to the season. They fell short in a comeback attempt against Owensboro Catholic, but Stinnett dropped 20 and Stansbury dropped 19 in that one. They reversed roles in their win over Glasgow, as Stansbury poured in 21 points and was 3/5 from behind the arc - Stinnett had 17. The Gators absolutely walloped Glasgow from the perimeter, going 10/25 from three, and were never seriously challenged. Greenwood had four players in double digits in each game, with Ben Carroll and Marc Grant joining Stinnett and Stansbury. The Gators are for real, and the teams ahead of them will surely take notice. 4) Glasgow (1-2) - 12/2 51-45 W at #12 Monroe County, 12/6 70-85 L at #4 Greenwood, 12/7 81-83 OT L at Campbellsville Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 12/10 vs. #2 Bowling Green, 12/13 at #14 Russell County The week was no positive for Glasgow. They struggled in their district win over Monroe County, and lost sharpshooter Tucker Kirkpatrick to a knee injury - one that may eliminate him for the season. That means Nick Sorrell and Jaden Franklin will have to carry even more of the load - Sorrell had 33 against Greenwood and Franklin had 22. They will desperately need a third option to emerge. They don't get a respite as they host Bowling Green on Tuesday - it will take them time to regroup. 5) South Warren (2-0) - 12/3 87-68 W #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/6 73-64 W at Barren County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/10 at #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/13 vs. #13 Warren East, 12/14 at #7 Logan County No one in the region had a better week than South Warren. We thought they could be a dark horse, but they made statements immediately. Jace Carver was relentless in the opener, with 24 points and shooting 4/9 from outside. Tayshaun Jones also posted a strong 20 point effort. The Spartans exploded for 31 points in the first quarter of that one, racing out to a 19 point lead and never leading by less than 12 after. Against Barren County, they weren't quite as dominant early, falling behind by seven in the first quarter and still down five at the half. South slowly reeled them in, taking advantage of some Trojan foul trouble to seize the lead entering the fourth quarter, and closing the game out from the foul line. It was South Warren's first win over Barren County since their inaugural season, breaking a seven game losing streak in the series. They open district play this Friday when they host Warren East, and have a nice benchmark game against Logan County on Saturday. 6) Barren County (1-1) - 12/3 85-47 W Green County, 12/6 64-73 L #8 South Warren Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/13 vs. #10 Monroe County, 12/14 vs. Hopkinsville The other side of the coin in that big game, the Trojans opened with a big win over Green County, as expected. Against South, Bandy had 24 points to lead the Trojans, but missed a huge portion of the third quarter along with other primary scorer Aden Nyekan, and that's where Barren County lost control of the game. Barren especially struggled on the boards in that one once those two went to the bench. Jacob Shaw has proven to be a strong addition through two games, transferring in from Glasgow Christian. The Trojans will look to rebound in district play against Monroe County on Friday. 7) Logan County (0-2) - 12/3 57-68 L Muhlenberg County, 12/7 63-67 L Bullitt East (at Campbellsville) Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/13 vs. #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/14 vs. #5 South Warren It was not a strong open for the Cougars, who started last season 6-0 (or 5-1 if you count the actual result they had that was wiped by forfeit). Woodard had 24 to lead Logan County in their opening loss to Muhlenberg County, complimented by Jose Nazario's 18 points. They posted a strong effort against a Bullitt East team that had knocked off Scott County earlier in the week. They'll face the first of two crucial district contests with Franklin-Simpson before a tough back to back with a stronger than expected South Warren squad. 8) Allen County-Scottsville (0-2) - 12/3 68-87 L at #8 South Warren, 12/7 76-78 L at LaRue County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/10 vs. Adair County, 12/12 at #3 Greenwood, 12/13 at #17 Cumberland County The Patriots were on the wrong side of that opening blitz against South Warren, getting as close as 12 points in the second half with five minutes remaining in the contest. Michael Smith was a perfect 7/7 from the field in the game to lead the Patriots with 17 points. Mason Shirley, widely expected to lead them in scoring this season, chipped in with 16. They had better luck in a tight loss to LaRue County as they scorched the nets for 59% shooting in the first half. The problem was that the Hawks shot 61% themselves. They trailed by 14 entering the final quarter but were right there at the end. Jax Cooper had 22 and Owen Stamper had 21 in that one. 9) Metcalfe County (2-0) - 12/3 69-61 W #11 Warren East, 12/6 58-54 W #12 Monroe County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 12/10 at #17 Cumberland County, 12/13 vs. #12 Clinton County Dating back to last season, the Hornets are no 7-6 in their last 13 games. That may not seem like a big deal, but for a program that was 4-25 just two seasons ago, it very much is. Their opening win over Warren East snapped a seven game losing streak to the Raiders. Peyton Dial led the Hornets in that contest with 24 points, and Boston Devore chipped in 18. They followed that with their first win over old district rival Monroe County since 2011, a span of 14 straight losses. That, combined with losses by some of the other teams ranked around them, catapults them into our region top 10 for the first time ever. They have a big week ahead with two district games - especially that game against Clinton County. If the Hornets can win that one, then we can take them seriously as a real threat to win that district. 10) Monroe County (1-2) - 12/2 45-51 L #3 Glasgow, 12/3 67-59 W #7 Franklin-Simpson, 12/6 54-58 L at #13 Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 12/10 at #12 Clinton County, 12/13 at #6 Barren County, 12/14 vs. Edmonson County (at Barren County) It was an up and down week for the Falcons. They shot only 30.6% from the field in their opening loss to Glasgow, which was a tight game, so a slight moral victory. They followed that with a bit of an upset over Franklin-Simpson. Grayson Rich had 19 in that one as they rebounded to shoot 48.8% overall and 6/12 from three. But the closing loss to Metcalfe County was a surprise - as mentioned they had not lost to Metcalfe County in nearly nine years. They face their rival from their old district when they visit Clinton County, but of far greater importance is their current district matchup against Barren County on Friday. 11) Franklin-Simpson (1-1) - 12/3 59-67 L at #12 Monroe County, 12/6 46-45 W at #9 Clinton County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/10 vs. #5 South Warren, 12/13 at #7 Logan County Franklin-Simpson almost had a REAL bad week. Andreyous Miller was dominant in the loss to Monroe County, dropping 33 points, shooting 11 of 17 from the floor. They then visited Clinton County and trailed 38-12 with just over 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Suddenly, they flipped a switch and flipped the script, stunning the Bulldogs with a 34-7 run and completing the comeback when Miller scored on a putback with 4 seconds remaining. Put another way, Franklin-Simpson averaged .55 points per minute in the first 22 minutes of the game. They increased that by nearly seven times (3.4) in the last ten minutes. They won't be able to get away with that in two tough games this week, including a crucial road trip to Logan County. 12) Clinton County (2-1) - 12/2 56-46 W at Casey County, 12/6 45-46 L #7 Franklin-Simpson, 12/7 54-44 W North Hardin (at Central Hardin) Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/10 vs. #10 Monroe County, 12/13 at #9 Metcalfe County, 12/14 vs. #3 Greenwood That loss to Franklin really spoiled a solid week, as the Bulldogs still emerged with a winning record in their first three games. However, the scoring is clearly going to be a concern. They had only eight games out of 32 played a year ago where they failed to score more than the 56 point total that they have as a season-high through three games. They lost a lot of scoring to graduation, and at least early, it appears they are struggling to find a spark. 13) Warren East (0-2) - 12/3 61-69 L at #13 Metcalfe County, 12/6 54-58 L Daviess County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 12/10 vs. North Hardin, 12/13 at #5 South Warren The Raiders have had documented issues with their record from January on, but they have rarely started poorly in December lately. This is just their second 0-2 start since the 2010/11 season. Ryan Carter (15.5 PPG) and Kaleb Matlock (13.5 PPG) are off to solid starts, but one area of issue that is glaring is the three point shooting. The Raiders shot 33.6% from the perimeter last season, but are just 11/38 (28.9%) from outside so far. They face district foe South Warren on Friday - they have lost 11 in a row in district play. 14) Russell County (1-1) - 12/3 50-66 L at Somerset, 12/7 60-30 W Garrard County (at Mercer County) Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 12/10 vs. #3 Greenwood, 12/13 vs. #4 Glasgow The Lakers lost 10 of their last 11 games last year, failing to reach the region tournament for the first time as a member of Region 4. Ryan Coffey (17), Briley Hadley (15), and Scott Hamm all reached double figures in their loss to Somerset, but the team had a terrible night from the field (36.5%), three (21.4%), and the line (52.9%). They face possibly the toughest region slate this week. 15) Russellville (2-0) - 12/2 57-45 W Greenbrier (TN), 12/7 56-54 W Adair County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 12/12 at East Robertson (TN), 12/14 at McLean County New head coach Carlos Quarles is unbeaten as the top man, as his Panthers start the year 2-0. The team won only eight games all of last season and started 0-4, so already, things have improved. The Panthers moved away from their traditional scheduling practices this year, and won't play a district game until January. They'll look to solidify some momentum before tackling the important games. 16) Todd County Central (2-0) - 12/2 62-43 W Hopkins County Central, 12/6 60-57 W at Ballard Memorial Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 12/14 vs. Whitesville Trinity Similarly, Todd County Central is already off to a much better start than a season ago under returning HC Dennis Pardue, who coached the team back at the beginning of the 2000s. They won just five games a year ago, so already they have to be psyched with a 2-0 mark. That snapped a 15 game losing streak overall. They too have time to build some momentum, with no district games until January. 17) Cumberland County (0-3) - 12/3 57-69 L at Adair County, 12/6 59-70 L at Campbellsville, 12/7 58-62 L Edmonson County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 12/10 vs. #9 Metcalfe County, 12/13 at #8 Allen County-Scottsville The news is not so positive for Cumberland County. They fell in their final six contests a season ago, and now extend that streak to nine straight losses. They'll get a chance to turn that around as they open district play on Tuesday.
  13. Rankings 1) Warren Central (3-0) - 12/10 68-59 W Owensboro, 12/14 78-41 W Henderson County (at Barren County) Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/16 vs. #3 Glasgow, 12/19 at #9 Franklin-Simpson 2) Bowling Green (3-2) - 12/10 64-60 W at #4 Glasgow, 12/13 64-71 L South Laurel (at Jackson County), 12/14 62-45 W Pikeville (at Jackson County) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/17 at #8 Greenwood, 12/21 vs. Christian County (at South Warren) 3) Glasgow (2-3) - 12/10 60-64 L #2 Bowling Green, 12/13 51-49 W at #14 Russell County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/16 at #1 Warren Central, 12/20 vs. Manual (at PRP), 12/21 vs. DeSales (at PRP) 4) Logan County (2-2) - 12/13 64-57 W #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/14 63-48 W #5 South Warren Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/17 vs. Apollo, 12/20 vs. Taylor County (at Clinton County) 5) South Warren (4-1) - 12/10 60-55 W at #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/13 83-61 W #13 Warren East, 12/14 48-63 L at #7 Logan County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/16 at #15 Todd County Central, 12/20 vs. #8 Greenwood, 12/21 vs. Apollo 6) Barren County (2-2) - 12/13 63-53 W #10 Monroe County, 12/14 59-63 L Hopkinsville Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/16 at Edmonson County, 12/17 vs. Caverna, 12/20 at #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/21 vs. Meade County (at South Warren) 7) Allen County-Scottsville (3-2) - 12/10 46-44 W Adair County, 12/12 72-63 W at #3 Greenwood, 12/13 62-51 W at #17 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/17 at #17 Warren East, 12/20 vs. #6 Barren County, 12/21 vs. St. Xavier (at Warren East), 12/21 vs. #16 Cumberland County (at Warren East) 8) Greenwood (2-3) - 12/10 53-64 L at #14 Russell County, 12/12 53-64 L #8 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/14 60-53 W at #12 Clinton County Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 12/17 vs. #2 Bowling Green, 12/20 at #5 South Warren, 12/21 vs. North Hardin (at South Warren) 9) Franklin-Simpson (1-3) - 12/10 55-60 L #5 South Warren, 12/13 57-64 L at #7 Logan County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 12/16 vs. #17 Warren East, 12/19 vs. #1 Warren Central 10) Clinton County (4-2) - 12/10 68-49 W #10 Monroe County, 12/13 53-49 W at #9 Metcalfe County, 12/14 53-60 L #3 Greenwood Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 12/17 vs. #16 Cumberland County, 12/20 vs. Taylor County, 12/21 vs. Hopkins County Central, 12/21 vs. Eastern 11) Russell County (2-2) - 12/10 64-53 W #3 Greenwood, 12/13 49-51 L #4 Glasgow Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 12/16 at #12 Metcalfe County, 12/19 vs. TBA (at Gatlinburg-Pittman) 12) Metcalfe County (2-2) - 12/10 83-86 OT L at #17 Cumberland County, 12/13 49-53 L #12 Clinton County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/16 vs. #11 Russell County, 12/17 vs. Hart County, 12/19 at Edmonson County, 12/20 vs. Thomas Nelson (at Edmonson County), 12/21 vs. Green County (at Edmonson County) 13) Monroe County (1-5) - 12/10 49-68 L at #12 Clinton County, 12/13 53-63 L at #6 Barren County, 12/14 65-75 L Edmonson County (at Barren County) Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/19 vs. Cordia (at Berea) 14) Russellville (3-1) - 12/12 68-67 W at East Robertson (TN), 12/14 44-62 L at McLean County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 12/17 vs. Butler County, 12/20 at Caldwell County 15) Todd County Central (2-1) - 12/14 56-57 L Whitesville Trinity Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 12/16 vs. #5 South Warren, 12/17 at Caldwell County, 12/20 vs. Owensboro Catholic (at Butler County), 12/21 vs. Murray (at Butler County), 12/21 at Butler County 16) Cumberland County (1-4) - 12/10 86-83 OT W #9 Metcalfe County, 12/13 51-62 L at #8 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 12/17 at #10 Clinton County, 12/21 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville (at Warren East), 12/21 vs. St. Xavier (at Warren East) 17) Warren East (0-4) - 12/10 44-75 L North Hardin, 12/13 61-83 L at #5 South Warren Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 12/16 vs. #9 Franklin-Simpson, 12/17 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/21 vs. Caverna, 12/21 vs. Ohio County Notes -It's official: The 4th Region is a little crazy. Several of these results were out of nowhere. Russell County beats Greenwood? Cumberland County beats Metcalfe County? Even South Warren losing to Logan County was a little surprising, especially the margin. Through two weeks, the only clear things seem to be that Warren Central and Bowling Green are at the top, and that below them just about anything can happen. We'll find out tomorrow when Warren Central hosts Glasgow if we should expand that to the top as well. -Warren Central is now the last unbeaten team in the region after South Warren was knocked off by 15 against Logan County. -South Warren had equaled the best start in school history at 4-0. In failing to get to 5-0, they still have not been five games over .500 at any point in a season since their first year. -Glasgow was missing two starters when they took on Bowling Green (counting Kirkpatrick who may be out the whole season), so to lose by only four, even if it included a decent comeback, was a bit of a moral victory. Nearly losing to Russell County later that same week was..... odd. -Logan County seized control of the 13th district with their win over Franklin. Then again, the Cougars won the early round last season as well before Franklin-Simpson won the January rematch. -I expect it will eventually be better for Barren County, but right now they're doing the exact thing they did a season ago, winning a game, losing the next, always balancing. The Trojans were never two games above or below .500 last year, and they are 19-19 in their last 38 games. -I don't know what to make of Greenwood. They absolutely crushed Glasgow in their game last week, and then completely flatlined against Russell County, including going 4/14 from the foul line. They went 11/13 from the charity stripe when they faced ACS, but lost that one too when they shot 39.3% from the field. They play Bowling Green on Tuesday - they have lost 16 straight and 25 of 26 against their rivals. They need to find the game that led them to a win over Glasgow. -That Cumberland County result was extremely surprising. The Panthers hit 7/14 from three and 29/53 from the field in the OT win, led by Dawson Smith's 28 points. It was the first district win for Cumberland County in two seasons, and ended a 7-51 stretch for the team, including nine straight losses. -This week's schedule highlights are #3 Glasgow at #1 Warren Central (12/16), #2 Bowling Green at #8 Greenwood (12/17), #8 Greenwood at #5 South Warren (12/20), and #6 Barren County at #7 Allen County-Scottsville.
  14. A quick snapshot of the matchups in the 4th Region tournament: Game 1: March 3rd – Bowling Green (14th District Champions) vs. Allen County-Scottsville (15th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Bowling Green leads 1-0 -Last Region Meeting: Bowling Green 61 Allen County-Scottsville 54 – 1984 4th Region Quarterfinals Bowling Green is into the region tournament yet again, securing their seventh consecutive region tournament appearance – all of them via a district championship. This time they knocked off top seed Warren Central by a 57-51 result, tying their district record for most consecutive district titles, previously set from 1939-1945. They weren’t particularly sharp offensively during that contest, shooting only 43.4% from the field, but defensively, they forced the Dragons into just a 36.2% night. It was the fewest total points Bowling Green allowed to a team not named Warren East in over a month. That earned them the right to take on a familiar opponent, albeit one they don’t see at region often. It’s actually hard to believe that this is just the second meeting at region between the Purples and Allen County-Scottsville, with the last coming back in 1984. Bowling Green has won 13 straight against the Patriots overall, last losing during the 06/07 season. They carry a 37-11 all-time mark against AC/S. Bowling Green won 79-65 when the two teams met at the start of February, getting an extremely balanced attack, with five players in double digits and seven players scoring between 8 and 15 points. They also went 10/18 from three, leaning on that more than normal. The Purples have the second-best record in the region at 24-7. They are favored in this game, but they also probably got as difficult a draw as was available to them, matching with arguably the most dangerous district runner-up they could, and drawing Logan County on their side. The Patriots could not ride recent momentum to a 15th District title, but they have definitely been on an uptick since that meeting with Bowling Green on February 1st. The team has gone 6-3 since, with their only losses coming to Logan County, Warren Central, and Barren County – all teams at the upper echelon of the region. Much of it has been on the back of Mason Shirley. The junior willed the Patriots to two victories over Glasgow, dropping 35 on the road in a mid-February matchup to pull them into a district tournament matchup, and then scoring 25 of Allen County’s 51-point total in a 51-48 district semifinal matchup to give them a berth in the region tournament. They were rewarded with what is arguably the worst draw of any team in the tournament, pulling the top-rated district champion out of the gate, and if they pull that upset, the #2 rated district champion likely waiting in the semifinals. It’s not a positive sign for a program seeking its first region tournament win since 2005, falling in seven straight contests. Incredibly, they haven’t drawn a 14th District team since 2006 – their 1995 win over Warren Central in the region quarterfinals is their only victory over a 14th District team in ten all-time meetings with a rep from that district. Game 2: March 3rd – Logan County (13th District Champions) vs. Cumberland County (16th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: First Meeting Despite playing in the region together for 38 years, this will be the first region tournament meeting between these two programs. The closest you’d get to a previous meeting was a 1982 64-57 victory by Auburn in the region quarterfinals. Logan County comes into the game as the holders of the second longest current winning streak in the state, and the second longest winning streak in the history of the Cougar program. Logan County has won 23 in a row since falling to Eastern by a 71-61 score on December 21st. They remain the only region team to not drop a game against the rest of the 4th Region, and they outlasted Franklin-Simpson for their second consecutive district title – a feat that they have accomplished only once before, in their first two years as a school. In their 71-21 win over Russellville, they posted the largest margin of victory in a 13th District tournament game in 25 years, and held Russellville to the lowest score in a district tournament game for that district since the 1940s. The Cougars are going to be a very tough out, and will be overwhelming favorites in the opening round. The only thing potentially working against them is a scenario where they may have to beat two 14th District teams on consecutive nights in the semifinals and finals. But it’s entirely possible that Logan County is a co-favorite with both Bowling Green and Warren Central. Meanwhile, Cumberland County has the worst record in the field by a lot, with their 7 wins coming in at just half the 14 that Franklin-Simpson has. The Panthers lost plenty this year, but did go 4-4 overall in 16th District play, winning the ones they needed to. That included overcoming a nine point deficit against Russell County, forcing overtime at the home of the Lakers and sprinting away in the extra session, securing a 67-61 OT victory and reaching their first region tournament since 2009. The Panthers hosted Logan County just two weeks ago, falling 66-50. The combined win totals of the three non-16th District teams Cumberland County beat this year are not even as many as Logan County has on their own – to call them an underdog would be understating it. It would be completely shocking for the Panthers to pull an upset. Game 3: March 4th – Barren County (15th District Champions) vs. Warren Central (14th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Warren Central leads 6-1 -Last Region Meeting: Barren County 58 Warren Central 53 - 2016 4th Region Semifinals For the third straight year, the 15th District champion draws Warren Central. The previous two led to defeat for the 15th District rep, while Central went on to win the region title. Barren County does have a win from the last time these two met at Diddle, knocking off the Dragons en route to a region runner-up finish. That’s the only time Warren Central has lost before the final in the last nine region tournaments they’ve made. No players from that team may remain, but Barren County is not likely to be as bright eyed as some might be playing the Dragons. The two teams did not meet this year, as their regular season game was a casualty of Central’s 2A Classic run. Barren County comes in with 16 wins in their last 18 games, and winners of six in a row. They really turned a corner at the start of January, putting a road scare into Bowling Green just prior to the run. The Trojans are a highly capable team, averaging 65 PPG while allowing only 53 PPG. They carry a 16-4 region record, losing only to Glasgow, Bowling Green, Logan County, and South Warren. Their strength is in the interior, where Aden Nyekan and Will Bandy combine to average 30 PPG. The Trojans aren’t going to be favored in this one, but if they can get past it, they become a real threat to take the whole region, as they would not be expected to have as difficult a semifinal as a potential region final opponent would have. Warren Central has had to scratch and claw in each of the two previous seasons in the first round before getting to breathe in the semifinals. If they advance past this one, there’s a good chance that will repeat. While not as difficult a projected first opponent as Logan County, Barren County is a very dangerous draw for the Dragons, starting out with the region’s #4 team entering the postseason. Central saw a 12 game winning streak end in the loss to Bowling Green in the district finals, and it is now their sixth district runner-up finish in the last seven years. Their 51 points in that contest were their least since the 85-47 beating they took at the hands of John Hardin in December. They will need to bounce back immediately on that end, and they will need to do better than the 3/24 three point shooting performance they had against Bowling Green to do it. While Barren County is a difficult draw, it is nevertheless true that Central got about as good a draw as they could hope for with Logan County on the other side with Bowling Green. Central remains the region favorite, and if they get past this difficult opener, they should be extremely favored to reach the finals. Game 4: March 4th – Clinton County (16th District Champions) vs. Franklin-Simpson (13th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Franklin-Simpson leads 1-0 -Last Region Meeting: Franklin-Simpson 80 Clinton County 51 - 2002 4th Region Quarterfinals Another matchup without a deep history at the region tournament, this is just the second meeting between these two teams in a region tournament. The two teams do have a history this season, meeting at Clinton County on December 6th. That matchup was a rather strange one, as Clinton County was all over Franklin, leading 38-12 with just over 2 minutes left in the third quarter. Franklin-Simpson unleashed their press and stunned Clinton County with a 34-7 run to win the game 46-45. Clinton County is known for their defensive strength, allowing just under 50 PPG, which leads the region. That’s what made that outburst all the more unexpected. They’ve had some hiccups here and there since, but in typical Bulldog fashion, they reached 20 wins, won the 16th District, and reached the region tournament for the ninth straight year, the current longest streak in the region. They are 14-2 in the 2020 calendar year, falling only to Metcalfe County in the All A Classic, and dropping an overtime heartbreaker to Barren County. They have to be considered the favorite here due to recent play and the total body of work, even with that home loss way back when. The Bulldogs will look to work it down low to Chase Stines, their leading scorer with 15.6 PPG. Clinton County has not won a region tournament game against a 13th District representative since 1982, knocking off Olmstead. They have made the region semifinals in two of the last three region tournaments, but they have never advanced to the region semifinals in consecutive region tournaments. Meanwhile, Franklin-Simpson fits more of the enigma type. The Wildcats played very few games out of region this year. They hovered just above or below .500 for much of the year, and won more than two games in a row only one time, that coming at the start of January. In the district tournament they did as expected with Todd County Central, winning by 20, but gave an unexpectedly strong effort against Logan County, pushing them into the fourth quarter before faltering late. The Wildcats don’t shoot well from the perimeter, but they’re also not afraid to throw up those attempts – the classic live by the three, die by the three approach. That can make them dangerous, as does a full court pressure attack that rates as one of the best at creating turnovers in the region. If they can get hot from three early, and create turnovers with pressure, there’s a pretty good chance of them springing the upset. They are 17-4 all-time against teams from the 16th District, though they did lose their last meeting with a 16th District team, falling to Russell County 53-38 two years ago.
  15. Another season, another state semifinal run from a team in the 4th Region. For the second straight year, Warren Central made the run to the final four of the Sweet 16, making it five of the last six seasons the region’s representative made it that far. Six teams reached the 20 win plateau a season ago, though half the region also finished with losing records. Several teams return 4 or more starters, which sets the table for a highly competitive season. Of course, it wouldn’t be the 4th Region without the 14th District serving as favorites, as their state-longest streak is now at 18 consecutive region champions. Preseason 4th Region Rankings 1. Warren Central – Last year served as a stark contrast to the season before for the Dragons. Unlike the 2017/18 season when they set a school record for wins, the Dragons entered the postseason at just 16-10, and needing to make a run just to reach the 20-win plateau. They lost for the first time ever to South Warren. They were swept by Allen County-Scottsville, knocking them out of a 2A Classic run that they were anticipated to compete for a title in. Ultimately, last years Dragon team had the worst record of any region champion in program history. But at Warren Central, as nice as wins are, they measure success in region titles, and they brought home their 15th as they made a run to the Sweet 16 semifinals. Five seniors depart from last year’s squad, including three starters, most significantly Tayshaun Bibb (8.8 PPG) and Jamale Barber (5.1 PPG). What Warren Central does return is their two leading scorers, and a massive senior class. Dre Boyd headlines the class. Last year he was the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 13.8 PPG and making the Sweet 16 all-tournament team. It was there that he really shined, scoring 46 points in three games and willing his team to a victory over favored Madisonville in the quarterfinals. Boyd is long and athletic, with a nose for getting to the rim. He has spent time working on his midrange and three-point shots. If he can develop that aspect of his game, he’ll be a nightmare to matchup with. Kobe Brents returns as well, having led the team in scoring a season ago with 14.8 PPG. The sharpshooter shot 36.7% from three-point range, attempting 286 from behind the arc. He began to shoot more in the midrange in the postseason, and he took over their game against Greenwood in the second half running clearouts and pulling up from the elbow. They are two of 11 seniors on the roster. Tegra Muleka (5.9 PPG) started at times a season ago, but should finally ascend into the starting lineup for good. Geovonni Floyd (3.0 PPG) should also make a leap in his second year in the program – the key word is leap. Floyd can absolutely jump out of the gym. The fifth starter may fluctuate, as Coach Unseld will experiment with the rotation as he did a season ago. Expect a typical Dragon approach to each game, with fast pace of play and depth leveraged to wear out the opponent. Their rotation should go 9-10 deep with ease. They come out firing with a challenging schedule, opening with Wayne County, Owensboro, and Henderson County, each of which should be near the top of their regions, before giving us a strong read on the region with a home game with Glasgow on December 16th. 2. Bowling Green – There are a lot of programs that would be satisfied with six straight district titles, six straight trips to the region finals, and four region titles in that span. Bowling Green probably wouldn’t throw that away entirely, but they are also hungry after dropping the last two region finals to Warren Central, mere days after knocking them off for the district crown. The Purples have split with Warren Central 4-4 in their eight meetings in the last two years, but lost the final game each time. Last year, the team started 15-2, but went through some internal struggles that cost them two senior players, and left them with an incredibly young team. Ultimately, they were a deep three pointer away from winning the region, and will be well served by the return of that talented youth, more experienced and a year older. Kolbe Gray (8.2 PPG) and Jaylen Wardlow (1.9 PPG) are the only departures from the team’s final roster from last season. While their leadership and in Wardlow’s case defensive prowess will be missed, there are four starters returning and depth to back them up. You have to start with Isaiah Mason when looking at the Purples. Mason led the team in scoring with 14.8 PPG as a sophomore, and also in rebounding with 6 RPG. He has great length, and at 6’4” can play both inside and outside. He is judicious with his shot selection from behind the arc, but made 42.4% from outside – he is a very tough matchup. Cobi Huddleston also returns, and is an athletic post player that causes a lot of problems for teams in the region that cannot deal with his height inside. Jordan Dingle gives the Purples a twin tower presence. Dingle has a tight end’s build – he’ll play college football somewhere – and is a thicker body inside than the leaner Huddleston. Between the two of them, they are very difficult to work against inside defensively. Sophomore Turner Buttry also returns. Buttry is one of the best guards in his class statewide, and shot 45.3% from three a season ago. The Purples should go roughly ten deep, with the only seniors on the team Shy Boyd and Dorian Morrison complimenting the talented junior class with Jaxson Banks, Conner Cooper, Trace Flanary, and Dez Wilson. Like the Dragons, Bowling Green will feature a heavily uptempo attack and their trademark full court press. While they likely feel they should have won the last two years, these next two seasons are the years that they have been building towards since the arrival of the current junior class as freshmen two years ago. 3. Glasgow – The Scotties suffered a lot of adversity before the season a year ago. Center Jaden Franklin was lost for the season due to a football injury. Kobe Brents and Kris Horn transferred to Warren Central in the summer, leaving the team down two starters and some depth. Despite that, Glasgow turned in a strong 21-11 campaign, winning the 15th District title, and pushing Warren Central to the brink in overtime in the 4th Region quarterfinals. Eight lead changes and ten ties dotted the game, and you’d forgive supporters for thinking that perhaps the two players in the opposing team’s jersey might have made the difference. The plus of that adversity is that Glasgow returns four of five starters from last season, and with the return of Franklin, they basically get an entire experienced starting five back in action. Nick Sorrell is the unquestioned leader of the Scotties. A first-team all-region selection last season, he led the team with 19.4 PPG, and was also their leading rebounder with 8.8 RPG. He can score at the rim and outside, and gets to the foul line a lot – he attempted 248 a season ago. It would not be a stretch to imagine him getting up to 25 PPG if the team needs him to. Jaden Franklin returns after missing a year with his injury – he averaged 11 points and 9 rebounds as a sophomore two seasons ago, and will provide the team with a post presence they lacked a season ago. Tucker Kirkpatrick is the son of former Monroe County head coach Steve Kirkpatrick. In his first season with the Scotties, the senior guard provided them with by far their most prominent outside threat – he shot 36.2% from three and his 71 makes were more than 50% of those made by the team. Robert Kingery (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Bowen Haney (9 points, 5 rebounds) round out the starting five for Glasgow. In all, there will be seven seniors on a veteran team. Coach Willett expects Landon Frasier to standout from the senior class and emerge as a vocal leader. A workhorse, he is a great on-ball defender that may work his way into the starting lineup. Outside the senior class, Sam Bowling (6’2” sophomore) and Jackson Poland (5’10” sophomore) are players that are expected to improve into contributors. Glasgow won the region’s 2A title a season ago, but drops back into the All-A this year, where they will be favored to bring home the crown. And as they proved last year, they are a real threat to win the regular region crown as well. 4. Greenwood – The Gators continue a recurring theme for the teams behind Warren Central – each return most of their starting lineup and each had reason to think they let a postseason win slip away. None have more of a case for that than Greenwood. The Gators led Central 34-22 midway through the third quarter and 36-26 with 2:21 remaining in the third after a made basket. They would not make another shot for the rest of the game, allowing a 19-1 run and exiting the postseason. That ended an eight-game winning streak that included a win over Warren Central, and left them with a case of “what if”. The team does have to replace second leading scorer and frequent hero Jack Roberts (14.7 PPG), but he is the only starter that departs, along with four other seniors. Ben Carroll was the leading scorer a season ago with 16.4 PPG, a third team all-region selection. At 6’7”, Carroll is one of the taller players in the region, but can drive the ball, shoot midrange, and shot 40.6% from three a season ago, attempting the second most threes for the team. There really aren’t but one or two players in the region that can truly match up with him, and he is in the running for player of the year in the region. Noah Stansbury joins Carroll as a perimeter threat. The junior guard led the Gators with 70 made three pointers a season ago and shot 37.2% from outside. Cade Stinnett’s emergence in his freshman year was a big reason for Greenwood’s surge. His modest 6.6 PPG were fourth on the team, but the 6’1 wing was a big piece in the cohesion of the team once he worked his way into the starting lineup. Playing style for this edition of the Gators is a bit of a mystery, as Will McCoy takes over as head coach after Bob Pels wasn’t retained. The first year HC inherits a team that is more known for their deliberate approach, averaging only 60 PPG last season for a program that is not known for pushing tempo. The Gators are part of the talented 14th District, which means they will have to get by either Warren Central or Bowling Green just to reach the region tournament, but if they can get there, they will emerge as one of the favorites. They remain the last team aside from Warren Central or Bowling Green to win a 4th Region title. Behind Ben Carroll, they are a very legit threat to bookend that 11-year run. 5. Barren County – Last year was a transitional year for the Trojans. After losing five seniors from 2017/18 and seeing their run of six straight region tournaments end that season, only two seniors took the floor Barren County, neither of which were heavily relied upon. That transitional state saw the type of balance that Thanos would be proud of. If Barren County won a game, they lost the next one. If they by chance lost two straight, they’d win two straight. The balance continued throughout the season and sure enough, they ended up 15-15 after a district semifinal exit against Glasgow. But the building blocks for this season were laid, and the Trojans were quite competitive, especially with rival Glasgow who they lost to three times by a combined 12 points. Warren Cunningham is back for his 12th season at the helm of Barren County – the Trojans have been coached by just three men in the last 30 years. He’ll have the services of four returning starters and the team’s six leading scorers from last season. Will Bandy is at the top of that list. A third-team all-region selection, Bandy averaged 15.6 PPG last year and was second on the team with 6.5 RPG. Bandy has a solid build and plays primarily inside, but can shoot from the perimeter if it is called for. He’ll be the senior leader on the team, one of five seniors, but the only one that started a year ago. The player to watch on the team may be sophomore Aden Nyekan. In his freshman year, the 6’4” forward averaged 14.3 PPG and appears to be the future face of the program. Nyekan hit 52.2% of his shots a season ago, and led the team among players who attempted more than 65 shots. His 7.3 rebounds per game were also tops on the team. Sophomore Mason Griggs (4 PPG) also saw starting action as a freshman, along with junior Gavin Withrow (8.6 PPG), who was third leading scorer on the team. Some keys to the success of the team will be the continued development of Withrow as a third scoring option, and an improvement in the perimeter shooting is vital. While the Trojans have a strong inside presence, in the modern game, 28.3% from three point range is just not going to do it. They’ll want to improve outside to open up the inside game, not allowing teams to pack the paint. Withrow was second on the team with 33.3% shooting from outside – if he can knock down a higher percentage moving forward, the Trojans can challenge for the district. 6. Logan County – The 2018/19 season was a historic one for Logan County. The Cougars grabbed their most wins in a season since their state title run in 1984. Their 72-70 overtime win over Metcalfe County in the 4th Region quarterfinals may have been closer than desired, but when Anthony Woodard dropped in a floater with just seconds remaining, it gave Logan County their first region tournament victory since 1998. It was a banner year, but unlike the teams above them on this list, they lost quite a bit from last season. Four of the top six players depart to graduation, with Kelby Epley (Thomas More) and Tommy Krohn (Brescia) moving on to play college ball. Anthony Woodard is a legit stud player returning for his junior season. Woodard averaged 12.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG a season ago. Woodard is a pure athlete, a star at wide receiver on the gridiron as well as on the court. He possesses great length, and can drive the ball very effectively as well. His game winning shot against Metcalfe saw him dribbling the ball at the halfcourt corner before driving into the lane to drop in the winning score. Dalton Thompson is also a returning starter, averaging 6.5 PPG and 3.5 RPG last season. Nathaniel Vick is a player coach Tinsley expects to make an impact, averaging 8.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG before getting injured midway through last season. Logan County was 14-2 at the time, and saw a slight dip to 11-5 afterwards. Coach Tinsley expects Dylan Basham and Jay Hardison to be potential impact players to emerge. He feels the team could improve their defense from last year when they averaged giving up only 55 PPG, and the stated goal of the team is to improve as the year goes on to be in position to make a run at titles in the postseason. 7. Franklin-Simpson – The Wildcats success a season ago cannot be measured just by their 16-13 record. First, that record reflects an 0-3 start and an 0-2 finish – a strong 16-8 in between. Second, the young team developed as the year went along, as evidenced by turning around a 15 point loss to Logan County on December 7th into a five point win over them in January. And third, by young, I mean YOUNG. Franklin-Simpson didn’t have a single senior on last year’s team. Not ONE. That means essentially the whole team is back, though third leading scorer Dayveon Harris is no longer with the program, denying them one of their best rebounders. The returning players are headlined by DeMarco Chatman. Chatman, one of four seniors on the current Wildcat team, was a third-team all-region selection last season. A 6’1” guard, he led the team with 15.9 PPG and 6.7 PPG. Junior guard Andreyous Miller also averaged in double digits with 11.6 PPG, and was one of the leading free throw shooters on the team, gong 77/112 from the line for the season. With such a young team, Franklin-Simpson really struggled to score last season, and like Barren County, will need to improve from behind the arc, hitting on just 114/387 (29.5%) of attempts from three. Dawson Knight led the team in that regard, knocking down 40/111 attempts for 36% field goal percentage, and he should figure to improve on that this season. As a team, the Wildcats averaged only 55.45 PPG last year, more than 11 points off the pace they set in Tavin Lovan’s senior season. The team should be a virtual lock for the region tournament as neither Russellville nor Todd County Central appear ready to challenge them in the district tournament, so they’ll be setting their sights on running down Logan County to take back the district crown. 8. South Warren – Under coach Blane Embry, South Warren had one of their strongest seasons to date. The record isn’t as sparkling as their inaugural year, but for the first time in several years, they made a real push for the region tournament, and closed with one of their best January/February slates in the program’s history. The team went 10-5 after the new year, narrowly falling against Greenwood and Bowling Green (twice), but also picked up their first ever win over Warren Central. Their 66-60 loss to Bowling Green in the district semifinals marks the second closest result they’ve had in the semifinal round. Three starters return for the Spartans, but they do have to figure out how to replace all-time leading scorer Tyler Martin, who had 36 of their 60 points in the district semifinals. Emerging star Jace Carver enters his sophomore year off an 18/19 campaign that saw him post 12.3 PPG and hit 39.1% from behind the arc. Tayshaun Jones (6.7 PPG) and Isaac Young (1.1 PPG) also saw time in the starting lineup a season ago. Sophomore Caden Veltkamp (8.6 PPG in 24 games) should be a boost to the lineup as he should be fully healed from a broken wrist midway through the football season. Veltkamp was the best three point shooter on the team a year ago, hitting 42% of his attempts. South Warren proved much more willing to push the pace of play last season, and their total points and points per game were second highest in the program’s nine seasons. The Spartans open with seven straight region opponents, so we’ll find out how they truly measure up right away. Highlights of the stretch include a district home game against rival Greenwood and road trip to Barren County and Logan County. Coach Embry is one of the most respected coaches in the region, and has already proven that he can take South Warren to places they haven’t been before. With only three seniors on the roster, this may not be the year they run down the top of District 14 to reach the region tournament, but with continuity, it will happen soon. 9. Clinton County – The Bulldogs brought home their second district title in three years last season, and their 24-8 record was good enough for third best in the region. Clinton County won their second straight 4th Region All “A” title, and advanced to the 4th Region semifinals with a dominating win over an impressive Allen County-Scottsville team. It was a strong showing, but now they must find a way to regroup after the loss of player of the year and WKU signee Jackson Harlan (23.9 PPG) and Campbellsville signee Seth Stockton (14.3 PPG and 9.5 RPG). While they lack the top of the line individual scoring coming back, Clinton County does return two starters and four of their top seven players, looking to make it up in the aggregate. Coach Messer believes this is his deepest group he has had in his tenure at Clinton County. 6’3” junior guard Chase Stines leads the returning starters, averaging 8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists last season, with senior forward Evan Dearborn (6 PPG, 3 RPG) also returning. Each are expected to take on significant leadership roles, along with senior Caleb Guffey and junior Nick Brown. The ceiling for the team lies in a talented sophomore class that coach Messer believes can take them to another level as they develop. Cohen Davis is an eighth grader that may even earn some depth minutes. The Bulldogs should be in the All “A” mix, though not the favorite with Glasgow returning, and they’re easily the favorites in the 16th District again. They should be able to extend their current streak of eight straight region tournament appearances. 10. Allen County-Scottsville – The Patriots brought home their best record in 12 seasons last year, returning to the 20-win plateau with a 23-9 record, and making their first appearance in the region tournament since 2013. Notably, they swept eventual region champion Warren Central in a home and home series, and had a season sweep of Greenwood as well. The season did languish after a 15-2 start, and AC/S failed to win a game at the region tournament for the sixth straight appearance, but the season should be a solid foundation. Coach Brad Bonds returns for his second season after winning coach of the year for the region last year, which right away is a solid base. The previous three coaches had stayed only one year apiece. Five seniors have to be replaced, including leading scorer and team leader Brett Rippy (17.2 PPG). Junior guard Mason Shirley is the name to get most excited about. Shirley was a shooter without a conscience last season, radiating confidence on the floor. As a sophomore, he averaged 14.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 7 assists per game. A well-rounded player, Shirley will be looked upon to carry a lot of the load. Senior forward Owen Stamper also returns, almost averaging double digits last year with 9.5 PPG, and was the leading rebounder with 6.6 per. Coach Bonds expects breakout seasons from Charlie Calvert and Jax Cooper as the team looks to achieve their goal of back to back 20-win seasons. It would be a first for the program since achieving that each year from 2004-2007. 11. Warren East – Last year saw a return to an issue that has plagued the Raiders for almost the entire decade – a strong start in November and December that evaporated after the new year. East is 72-31 in the early months from 2011 on, but just 44-78 after. Last season, East started 8-4, but went just 3-14 the rest of the way, bowing out in the quarterfinal game of district, marking the 22nd consecutive season without a region tournament appearance. The year was not without positives, as the Raiders won their Christmas tournament, and Coach Brandon Combs moved into third all-time on Warren East’s coaching wins list. Injuries played their part in the struggles last season, and certainly the hope will be that the players forced to take on roles during that time will emerge better players for the future thanks to the experience. Two starters return in 6’6” senior post Ryan Carter (7.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 49.1 FG%) and sophomore wing Kaleb Matlock (8.5 PPG). Matlock was one of those players forced to take on a larger role as a freshman, and knocked down 32 three pointers in the latter half of the year. Matlock has added muscle to his frame and will be relied on to develop rapidly. That’s a recurring theme for this Raider edition, and Coach Combs feels that how quickly the youth adapts to varsity will determine their season. 8th grader Ty Price is an impact transfer into the program rated as one of the top players in his class – he’ll run point for the team. Sophomore Brytton Walker moves over from Madisonville as well. Coach Combs noted the 6’7” post has dropped 25 pounds from last year and has looked good in fall workouts and practice. 6’4” sophomore Devaughn Williams should also provide the team with great size, returning after tearing his ACL prior to the season last year. East has the ability to play big this year, which should be an advantage against several of the lineups in their district. Defense and rebounding will be the points of emphasis for the squad, and they’ll look to prepare for every game like it is a postseason elimination game. The battle to return to the region may still be too much for this year, but the Raiders may have some matchup advantages to make things interesting. 12. Monroe County – 2018/19 saw Monroe County’s streak of back to back trips to the region tournament end, in a season that mostly went the wrong direction after the start of the new year. The Falcons began the season 3-0 and 6-2, but managed only five wins in their final 18 games, bowing out against Allen County-Scottsville in the 15th District semifinals. New head coach Ashley Geralds takes over this season to try to guide the Falcons back. Geralds has previously been head coach at Green County for four years, and has spent 17 years coaching at the junior high and high school level. He has the unenviable task of replacing Chandler Clements, who averaged 25.3 PPG for the Falcons last season. Grayson Rich is the leading returning scorer with 12.8 PPG, hitting almost 38% of his three point attempts. Senior guard Jholdi Brooks (8.5 PPG) should be a strong second option, and is the defensive stopper for the Falcons, leading them in steals a season ago. Coach Geralds expects his five seniors (Rich, Brooks, Kale Hagan, Curtis Petett, Wade Thompson) to step up and take leadership roles for the squad. All of them have extensive experience on varsity with the exception of Petett, who is returning from a knee injury. Geralds expects Clayton Biggerstaff, Tucker Glass, Jameson Pruitt, and Brandon Sheffield to log significant minutes as the team pursues the region’s Class A title. 13. Metcalfe County – The Hornets had a fantastic 2018/19 season. They returned to the region tournament for the first time in eight years, and very nearly pulled off a massive upset of Logan County, falling 72-70 in overtime. Their 11 wins gave them their first double digit total in eight years, and in fact it was more wins than their previous four seasons combined. Most notably, the Hornets ended Russell County’s record region tournament run with a 62-58 OT win in the district semifinals. Five seniors are gone from the team, including second leading scorer and leading rebounder Tyler London (14.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG). Boston Devore returns for his junior season, leading the team in scoring with 15.8 PPG last year. An all-region tournament selection, Boston was ranked in the top 30 of the state with an 81.8% clip from the free throw line. Coach Brockman describes Devore as the hardest working player he has, a true gym rat. Braxton Davis is another returning starter, and will be looked upon to be the lockdown defender for the squad. Coach Brockman noted him as a high IQ player who knows when to take shots and when to get it to another guy for the open look. Wyatt Fields is the man in the middle at 6’5”, and his length will be relied on for rebounding and defensive purposes. Peyton Dial will ascend to starting guard and floor general, taking over for graduating Trevor Fields. The Hornets scored over 63 PPG last year, but it is clear that defense is an emphasis for Coach Brockman as they pursue a state goal of gaining the first winning season for the program since 2010/11. In particular he noted Davis, Fields, Dial, sophomore Wyatt Blythe, and football convert Gabe Zurmehly as players who will be relied upon to lock down on defense. The Hornets allowed 60 points or more in 26 of their 32 games last season, going 5-1 when they held their opponent to less. 14. Russell County – The Lakers are still trying to regain their footing as the program endured their third straight losing season last year, and failed to make the region tournament for the first time as a member of the 4th Region. That 13 season streak was the longest in the history of the region. Fortunately, the bulk of the team (and scoring) returns for head coach Billy Carson in his third year with the program. Ben Abrell’s leadership will be the major loss to graduation, but five players return who started at some point. Junior forward Scott Hamm led the team with 14.1 PPG and 7.1 RPG last season, and in Coach Carson’s opinion, is one of the region’s most underrated players. Senior forward Briley Hadley (11.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG) will be a starter for the fourth straight year. Ryan Coffey (8.6 PPG), CJ Vonfumetti, and Colby Smith round out the returning starters. Hamm and Coffey should the vocal leaders for the squad while Hadley will be more of a leader by example. 6’5” sophomore wing Jay Milburn is a player to watch outside the starting lineup, a player who is getting better and more aggressive as he understands the aspects of the game outside of shooting. Colton Feese also moves over from Adair County. The freshman started 24 games last season as an 8th grader. The Lakers’ stated goal is to get back to the region tournament with a district title in tow. 15. Cumberland County – The struggle continues for the Panthers, who suffered their tenth consecutive losing season last year. Cumberland County did have a solid stretch of four wins in seven games, and pushed Clinton County in a 62-55 district tournament loss. Coach Kurtis Claywell enters his fourth year with the program, down four seniors from last season. Two of his top three scorers graduated, but leading scorer Dawson Smith returns. Smith averaged 19.4 PPG a year ago, knocking down 47 three pointers for the Panthers. Cameron Owsley also returns, the team’s second leading rebounder a year ago with 6.5 per game and fourth leading scorer with 9 PPG. The team must improve from the line and from three to have a chance to reach their first region tournament this decade. The squad shot 30.8% from three last year, and just 62.7% from the line. Defense is also a focus - their 77.6 points allowed per game was the worst in the region. 16. Russellville – The Panthers were coached by just two men from 1990-2017, but suddenly find themselves with their third coach in four seasons, as Carlos Quarles moves up from assistant to head coach this year. The Panthers struggled to an 8-17 record last season, falling in eight of their last nine games to miss the region tournament for a second consecutive season. Worse than that, first-team all-region selection Jacob Naylor (25.1 PPG) graduates as well as second leading scorer Elijah Kemp (13.3 PPG), and third leading scorer Shawn Steele (4.2 PPG). That representing over half the team’s production a year ago. It’s a tough situation for a squad looking to return to region. Jaquis Todd (4.1 PPG) returns off of starting eight games a season ago. Coach Quarles anticipates Todd along with Xavier Coleman and Chaun Cheaney to emerge as team leaders. 17. Todd County Central – A new old face returns to head up the Rebels this season as Dennis Pardue takes the helm. Pardue was head coach of the Rebels for six seasons from 1998-99 – 2003-04, guiding them to the region final in 2002. He inherits a team that went 5-24 last season, with one of those wins coming by forfeit. Todd County did not win a single game after New Year’s Day, and enter the season on a fifteen game losing streak. Second-team all-region selection John Calvery departs, along with his team leading 17.5 PPG. Austin Rager (8.6 PPG) returns, the team’s leading three point shooter with 40 makes last season. Todd County only lost two seniors and has a large senior class, but seems like an incredibly long shot to be able to climb into contention for the district and region tournament. Top Players in the 4th Region 1. Ben Carroll, F, Sr. (Greenwood) – A difficult matchup for every team, Carroll can play both inside and outside with ease. 2. Dre Boyd, G, Sr. (Warren Central) – Boyd was at his best on the big stage a year ago, and will look to channel that season-long. 3. Isaiah Mason, G, Jr. (Bowling Green) – Mason knocked down 42.4% of his three point attempts a season ago, and shot nearly 55% from the field overall. 4. Nick Sorrell, G, Sr. (Glasgow) – Sorrell is one of the most prolific scorers in the region, and along with Mason one of just two all-region selections returning. 5. Anthony Woodard, F, Jr. (Logan County) – Woodard plays with an intensity that sometimes boils over, but may be the best athlete in the whole region. 6. Kobe Brents, G, Sr. (Warren Central) – Brents is pure from three, but when he switches to midrange, that’s when he really opens things up for the Dragons. 7. Mason Shirley, G, Jr. (Allen County-Scottsville) – Shirley is brash and confident, but he has the game to back it up. 8. Will Bandy, F, Sr. (Barren County) – The Trojans’ leading scorer, Bandy is a better player inside, but can shoot from the perimeter too. 9. Turner Buttry, G, So. (Bowling Green) – Buttry is one of the best players in the state for his class, and is a deadeye shooter. 10. Aden Nyekan, F, So. (Barren County) – It would not be an earth-shattering surprise if Nyekan ended up leading the Trojans in scoring this year. He is the future of the program. Just missed: Jace Carver, South Warren; DeMarco Chatman, Franklin-Simpson, Cobi Huddleston, Bowling Green
  16. A quick snapshot of the matchups in the 4th Region tournament: Game 1: February 28th - Bowling Green (14th District Champions) vs. Clinton County (16th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Bowling Green leads 3-0 -Last Region Meeting: Bowling Green 58 Clinton County 47 - 2015 4th Region Quarterfinals Bowling Green is fresh off its fifth straight 14th District title, likely confident as ever entering an event that they have been dominant at in the last decade. The Purples have made the region final in every region tournament they've reached since falling in the first round in 2004. And it's not for a lack of appearances, as this is the 11th region tournament appearance they've had since then. They have won 15 consecutive games in the region tournament. In addition to being 3-0 against Clinton County in the region tournament, they're 11-1 against the Bulldogs overall in the last 50 years, with the lone loss coming in 2006, their last losing season. They're 19-8 all-time against the 16th District in the region tournament, winning their last seven against their members. Their last loss was to Monroe County in 2004. The Purples are just 5-3 since the start of February, but all three losses were to teams that were considered among the best in their respective regions. The 21-10 record may not be as pretty as recent times, but they have played a challenging schedule. They overcame a 15 point deficit in the third quarter against Warren Central, taking the lead for the first (and only needed) time with 6 seconds left in their 67-65 victory in the finals. They enter with the mantle of favorite as a result. Clinton County was stunned in the 16th District finals by Russell County, denying the Bulldogs back to back district titles. Clinton County had won 15 in a row in district play before the loss. They have had historically bad luck in their draws this decade. They have drawn the region favorite and/or a team that advanced to the finals 5 of the last 7 years. One of those two years they didn't, they drew Barren County, the year that Barren County got to host the region tournament. The Bulldogs did get a first round win last year, taking advantage of Greenwood's plight when two of their top players were suspended. While they have not advanced out of the first round much recently, they have usually given competitive efforts, and do have great experience playing at Diddle. They have tournament experience as well, competing in the All A Classic state tournament. Their momentum is poor coming in, entering just 3-5 in their last eight games. Head coach Todd Messer is the longest tenured in the region, guiding the Bulldogs since the start of the 2006/07 season. Game 2: February 28th - Todd County Central (13th District Champions) vs. Monroe County (15th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Todd County Central leads 1-0 -Last Region Meeting: Todd County Central 84 Monroe County 70 - 2002 4th Region Quarterfinals Todd County Central has waited a long time for this game, reaching the region tournament for the first time since 2003. Since that region tournament was at Barren County High School, this is actually their first trip to Diddle Arena since the 2002 4th Region finals, where they fell to Warren Central. Even their lone meeting in the region tourney against Monroe County was not at Diddle - the 2002 quarterfinals were played at the district champion schools, so that game was at Monroe County. Their long wandering is over. The Rebels carry a 7-12 all-time record in the 4th Region tournament, and a 5-7 record in the first round. They have posted their first winning record in 14 years, gaining an unexpected district title after Logan County was upset in the first round. They've won 6 of their last 7 against Kentucky competition. They did not play Monroe County this year, but met them in December of 2016, falling 67-60. Nolan Barrow leads them with 17.4 PPG while big man John Calvery adds 13.3 PPG. Monroe County, like Clinton County, did not expect to find themselves in a district runner-up spot. They fell at Glasgow in the finals 60-54, just over three weeks from defeating the Scotties by 13 on the same floor. That denied them back to back titles, which they have not achieved since winning the 16th District three straight times from 2002-2004. They are just 5-5 in their last 10 games this season, and will be looking to advance to the region semifinals for the fourth time in their last five appearances (they have never made the finals). They carry a 4-20 all-time record in region tournament play, and are 2-7 against 13th District opponents, including last year's loss to Russellville. Steve Kirkpatrick has been head coach since the start of the 09/10 season, making him the second longest tenured in the region. The Falcons have one of the better scoring teams in the region, shooting 34.2% from three and featuring Billy Michael Dyer (18.4 PPG) and Chandler Clements (17.7 PPG). Game 3: March 1st - Russell County (16th District Champions) vs. Franklin-Simpson (13th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Franklin-Simpson leads 2-0 -Last Region Meeting: Franklin-Simpson 56 Russell County 33 - 2017 4th Region Quarterfinals There haven't been a pair of 20+ loss teams in the region tournament since 1992, when there were FOUR. This is the first meeting of 20-loss teams in the tournament since that same year, when two quarterfinal games featured those matchups. That was owed to spectacularly bad years by the 15th & 16th districts, and those districts drew each other in the first round. Russell County is into their 13th consecutive 4th Region tournament. They have never missed one in their time in the 4th Region. While they were expected to continue that streak this year, they had to survive an overtime session against Cumberland County to do so, and then very surprisingly dominated Clinton County in a 76-66 finals victory. The Lakers have now won three of the last four district titles in the 16th. Fortune continued to favor them in the form of probably the only region participant they could hope to beat, avoiding Warren Central and Monroe County - the latter beat them by 27 earlier this year and the former is, well, Warren Central. The Lakers are on a three game winning streak, which followed six losses in a row. They've won in spurts, but have yet to have a four game win streak this season, and haven't even done better than three wins in four games. The Lakers can score - both Scales and Richardson average over 15 PPG and the team averages over 66 PPG. It's been defense that ails them - they're allowing nearly 70 PPG, worst in the region tournament. Franklin-Simpson is even less likely to be here. The Wildcats have won two games since the start of the new year. One of those just happened to be a 65-61 upset of #1 Logan County in the district semifinals. The 65 points they scored there are the fifth highest output of the year for them, and two of those five had overtime involved. The team shot 50% from the field - they average under 40% on the year. But hey, they got the job done and got a dream first round draw. Like Russell County, this is likely the only opponent they could have drawn and hoped for a win. Franklin did advance to the region semifinals a year ago with a senior-laden team, the first time they had done so since 2009. Those are the only two times they've won a region quarterfinal since 2003. The Wildcats are there often, but don't advance often of late. It is not a positive for them to face a team in the Lakers that can score so well. They'll have to hope their defense can lock it down a bit, and that Russell County's inability to defend can lead to a higher score than normal. Game 4: March 1st - Glasgow (15th District Champions) vs. Warren Central (14th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Warren Central leads 4-1 -Last Region Meeting: Warren Central 72 Glasgow 66 OT - 2012 4th Region Semifinals While Glasgow has endured a bit of a torturous existence in the 4th Region tournament for the last two decades, surprisingly little of it has come at the hands of Warren Central. The Scotties are 5-11 in region tournament play since the mid-1990s, with only four meetings with Warren Central. It must be noted that one of those - their last meeting - came in a year when Glasgow was widely looked upon as the region tournament favorite, denying the Scotties a chance to end what is now a 40 year drought without a region title. This is just Glasgow's second region tournament appearance since then, the last ending with a 71-26 blowout by Bowling Green in 2016. Glasgow enters with the second highest win total in the region, a resurgent 22-8 record. With a team that has only two seniors, this run was perhaps expected next year. Four players average between 10 and 15 PPG, giving the Scotties multiple scoring options and making it difficult to lock down any single player. Glasgow has won 4 in a row since a stretch that saw them go 2-5. Their triple overtime victory over Barren County in the district tournament may be the best game in the region this year. Glasgow is 11-17 all-time against the 14th District in the region tournament, and has lost four in a row to district members, going back to 2002. (They've also lost 10 of 12 against District 14.) In their lone region tournament win over Warren Central, they advanced to the region finals, their only appearance in the championship since 1985. Though this isn't the semifinals, you can be confident that a win over Warren Central here will see Glasgow reach the finals. Warren Central is probably a mix of emotions to be in this spot. Upset because of their loss to Bowling Green which featured a school-record 48 points from guard Jordan Cousin. Upset to not have a trophy in tow. Upset to be the winningest team in the region going against the second-winningest. But.... they (along with Glasgow) have a cherry semifinal matchup if they were to advance, giving them an extremely clear path to the region finals. Given that basically every team that was expected to win district failed to do so, there are worse years to have finished as a runner-up. Warren Central is 54-12 all-time in the region tournament, and are 22-3 in the opening round, winning their last 7 and 16 of their last 17 opening matchups. They did fall in their last matchup with a 15th District opponent at region, losing to Barren County 58-53 two years ago. Their 26-5 record is top in the region, as is their 14-2 record against region opponents. They have lost 2 of 3 after the loss to Bowling Green, which followed a seven game win streak and a stretch where they won 17 of 18. Their 68.35 PPG average is just barely behind Bowling Green for tops in the region, and their 55.19 PPG allowed is #2 behind Allen County-Scottsville. Region POY Skyelar Potter averages 23.5 PPG while Jordan Cousin gives them another bona fide scorer with 15.2 PPG. They knocked off Glasgow 72-49 at Central back on December 11th. They are likely to be the most favored team to make the region finals by virtue of their potential semifinal matchup, but unless Bowling Green is gone before then, they are not the overall favorite.
  17. Fourth Region Rankings 1) Warren Central (24-3) - 2/6 84-59 W #12 Russellville, 2/9 65-56 W #8 Greenwood, 2/10 67-59 W Mercer County Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/13 at #15 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/16 at LaRue County The Dragons are out to their best record at this point since the 2002/03 season, continuing their strong response to the loss to Bowling Green in late January. They've won six in a row, clinching a tie for #1 in the 14th District the day before one of their most impressive wins of the year, a home victory over BGP Top 20 Mercer County. That's a potential Sweet 16 preview if both teams were to advance that far. The Dragons are averaging a margin of victory of over 12 PPG, highest in the region as you would imagine for the only 20 win team. They should roll on Tuesday to complete their region slate before the postseason, but have a big road test at LaRue County, who at 23-2 have the best record in the 5th Region. 2) Bowling Green (18-9) - 2/6 57-81 L at Owensboro, 2/9 54-43 W #7 Warren East Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/13 at #12 Russellville, 2/15 vs. Christian County The Purples saw the end of a three game winning streak against Owensboro on Tuesday, falling to the Red Devils for the first time since the 2015 state title game. The Purples uncharacteristically only had 8 free throw attempts - making only two - and got a season low 2 points from Jarius Key. That plus 57.1% shooting by Owensboro spelled the worst game for Bowling Green since mid-December. They bounced back with a gutty comeback effort against Warren East, maintaining their mastery of the Raiders to move their win streak to 48 over East. They won the coin toss for the #1 seed in the district tournament at Greenwood, where they'll likely face host Greenwood on February 20th. They'll blow out Russellville on Tuesday before a big game against Christian County at home to close the regular season. 3) Monroe County (17-8) - 2/6 74-27 W #16 Cumberland County, 2/11 76-89 L Redemption Christian Academy (NY) (at Warren Central) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/13 at #8 Greenwood, 2/15 at #7 Warren East Illness cost us the marquee game of the week as Monroe County was due to meet Clinton County in a game that was canceled. The Falcons did pick up a game against Redemption Christian Academy out of New York, putting up a game effort but allowing a season high 89 points. The Falcons have bounced back well from an incredibly odd loss to Allen County-Scottsville, and will complete a tour through the 14th District this week ahead of the 15th District tourney. 4) Clinton County (16-11) - 2/5 60-61 L at McCreary Central Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/15 vs. #5 Barren County The Bulldogs have now lost four of five since the first game of the All "A" Classic. All of those games have been outside of the region which has made it a bit difficult to get a read on the Bulldogs, who were playing their best ball of the year in January. Jackson Harlan managed a "mere" 15 points in the loss to McCreary Central, lowering his ridiculous average to 27.1 PPG. It looked like he won't make 1,000 points on the season - he's at 731 - but he has put up a strong effort. 5) Barren County (18-9) - 2/6 70-57 W #13 Russell County, 2/9 76-48 W at #16 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/13 vs. #17 Metcalfe County, 2/15 at #4 Clinton County The Trojans are the hottest team in the region with 11 straight wins after their four game losing streak in January. The last five wins have been by an average of nearly 20 PPG, which won't slow down in meeting Metcalfe County on Tuesday. Their road trip to Clinton County will perhaps put that to a much greater test. The Trojans have just the 13th ranked offense in the region (they are 3rd in defense), but posted one of their strongest weeks this season, scoring 10 and 16 points above their average. 6) Glasgow (18-8) - 2/6 68-48 W at #17 Metcalfe County, 2/9 76-81 OT L at Caverna Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/12 vs. Butler County, 2/13 vs. #16 Cumberland County, 2/15 vs. #14 Franklin-Simpson Glasgow's slide continues as they have now have lost 5 of their last seven. Their win over Metcalfe County, a team winless in the region, was no surprise, but a loss to Caverna certainly was. That's a Colonel team that has fallen by double digits to both Barren County and Allen County. Once considered as high as 3rd in the region, it is becoming harder and harder to believe that this team will be able to overcome Barren County in the district tournament. Still, this is a team that had just four wins a season ago and still has a strong chance at reaching the 20 win plateau. 7) Warren East (15-11) - 2/6 56-51 W #11 South Warren, 2/9 43-54 L at #2 Bowling Green, 2/10 57-56 W at #10 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/13 at #14 Franklin-Simpson, 2/15 vs. #3 Monroe County Warren East ultimately locked up the #3 seed with a win over South Warren on Tuesday (though they also needed Greenwood's loss to Warren Central on Friday), but despite leading 21-18 over Bowling Green on Friday, could not snap their losing streak to the Purples. Perhaps it is a relief to the Raiders to draw Warren Central in the district tournament, who they've merely fallen to 43 of 47 times instead of 48 in a row as with BG. In more positive news, their win over Todd County Central on the road has assured them of their first winning record since the 2013/14 season, and with one more win they will post their most victories since 2012/13. 8) Greenwood (14-13) - 2/6 66-63 OT W at #14 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/9 56-65 L at #1 Warren Central Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/13 vs. #3 Monroe County, 2/15 at #9 Logan County, 2/16 vs. Edmonson County Greenwood continues to be a complete wildcard. This is a team that nearly lost to both Franklin-Simpson and Allen County-Scottsville, requiring overtime to defeat the latter. But on Friday they stood toe to toe with Warren Central for the better part of 3.5 quarters, battling to a halftime tie at 31 and trailing just 54-50 midway through the fourth quarter. They will host the district tournament on their homecourt, and are a team that could threaten to explode and knock off a team like Bowling Green, or faceplant and lose to South Warren in the 4/5 game. Who can know? They have received strong play from the trio of Jack Roberts, Ben Carroll, and Luke Littrell. If they get hot from three, this is a dangerous squad. 9) Logan County (13-13) - 2/9 72-56 W at McLean County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/12 at Hopkins County Central, 2/15 vs. #8 Greenwood The Cougars are very close to their first winning record for a season since 2014/15, having now won 6 of 9 after knocking off McLean County on the road. Logan County is actually averaging a margin of loss of 2 PPG thanks to some early season blowouts. Austin Rayno and Kirby Epley continue to lead the way with 16.3 PPG and 13.0 PPG respectively. 10) Todd County Central (15-12) - 2/5 64-66 L at Clarksville Rossview (TN), 2/6 56-46 W at Trigg County, 2/9 72-65 W at #12 Russellville, 2/10 56-57 L #7 Warren East Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/15 vs. Caldwell County The Rebels have had a few waypoints to check off this season. The first was double digit wins - they hadn't reached that since 2009. The second they clinched this week, their first winning record since 2003/04. Their win over Russellville gave them the season sweep of the Panthers, who they will face in their district tournament opener at Logan County in just over a week. That will be where they hope to complete their third objective, their first region tournament berth since 2003. 11) South Warren (13-13) - 2/6 51-56 L at #7 Warren East, 2/8 76-69 OT W #15 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/16 vs. #12 Russellville The Spartans entered the week with a chance to get into contention for the 3 seed, but could not pull it off, faltering late after leading much of the night against Warren East. They were able to snap a three game losing streak when they came back from a double digit deficit entering the fourth quarter against Franklin-Simpson on the observed senior night for the Spartans (they play at home again this week). They are just 4-8 since the start of 2018, and will have only played four games in February by the time the 14th District tournament rolls around. South now has to either win against Russellville and their district opener against Greenwood or make a serious postseason run to gain their first winning record since 2013 - it would be just their third in the history of the program. 12) Russellville (7-16) - 2/6 59-84 L at #1 Warren Central, 2/9 65-72 L #10 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/13 vs. #2 Bowling Green, 2/16 at #11 South Warren The Panthers are still seeking their first win over a team not named Franklin-Simpson in 2013. They're now 0-9 in the other games in this calendar year. This week carries what is likely to be their only shot for that, when they visit South Warren on Friday. They'll take their 15th straight loss to Bowling Green on Tuesday in a rematch of last season's 4th Region finals. Hard to believe from a program that was utterly dominant over a Purple program that featured the likes of Josh Carrier at the beginning of the century. The Panthers are still the last team from outside the 14th District to win a region title, winning in 2001. 13) Russell County (9-19) - 2/6 57-70 L at #5 Barren County, 2/9 80-95 L Adair County, 2/10 65-84 L at Williamsburg Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/13 at Danville, 2/16 at Rockcastle County It's five straight losses now for the Lakers who haven't won since a district win over Metcalfe County in January. They've already played their last game against 4th Region competition before the postseason, losing all six games against non-16th District teams. They did have one of their best scoring performances against Adair County, getting 40 combined from Scales and Richardson. 14) Franklin-Simpson (6-19) - 2/8 69-76 OT L at #11 South Warren, 2/9 46-39 W #14 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/13 vs. #7 Warren East, 2/15 at #6 Glasgow It's been a difficult season for Franklin that has only gotten more difficult since January 1st, but at long last, the Wildcats snapped their losing streak at 10, with their best defensive effort of the year in holding Allen County-Scottsville to 39 points in a 46-39 home victory. It's their first win of 2018. 15) Allen County-Scottsville (9-17) - 2/6 63-66 OT L #8 Greenwood, 2/8 50-45 W #17 Metcalfe County, 2/9 39-46 L at #15 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/13 vs. #1 Warren Central On the other side of the Franklin result were the Patriots, who followed their best win of the year (over Monroe) and a hard fought loss to dangerous Greenwood with a lackluster five point win against Metcalfe County and an atrocious loss to Franklin-Simpson, who they have fallen to twice on the year. It's probable that the Patriots are going to fail to reach the 10 win plateau with a game against #1 Warren Central on tap to be followed by a game against Monroe County in the district tourney. 16) Cumberland County (4-22) - 2/6 27-74 L at #4 Monroe County, 2/9 48-76 L #5 Barren County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/13 at #6 Glasgow, 2/16 vs. Green County It's 11 straight losses now for the Panthers who had a season low 27 against Monroe County. 17) Metcalfe County (4-22) - 2/5 36-70 L at Marion County, 2/6 48-68 L #6 Glasgow, 2/8 45-50 L at #14 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/10 69-72 L at Dawson Springs Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/13 at #5 Barren County, 2/15 at Caverna, 2/16 vs. Washington County The Hornets had one of their closest losses of the year, but have fallen 9 straight times with no serious win prospects left.
  18. 2017-18 was another banner season for the 4th Region. Warren Central represented the region with a state semifinal finish, which followed Bowling Green’s state title the season before. Owing mostly to Bowling Green’s four year run, the region has now placed a team in the state semifinals four out of the last five seasons. Eleven of the region’s seventeen teams had a winning record a season ago, though only three finished with more than twenty wins. As usual, the 14th District representatives will be favored in region play, and will look to add to their 17 year run as placing the region champion. Preseason 4th Region Rankings 1. Warren Central – Very little went wrong for the Dragons last season. Their 31 wins en route to a final four finish are the most in a single season by any team in the history of the program. They had their longest winning streak in three years and dropped only a single home game. While they threw off the shackles of an eight game losing streak to Bowling Green, they did merely achieve a season split with their rivals, and lost the district title via a crushing comeback. The most familiar faces off of that team are gone now, including their top three scorers Skyelar Potter, Jordan Cousin, and Micale Mee. Originally, it looked like this might be a year for the Dragons to re-gather. But even without the senior departures, this team would be hard to recognize thanks to an influx of transfers. Starting with what is familiar, senior guard Tayshaun Bibb is the leading returning scorer with a 6.8 PPG average, and should have a place in the starting lineup alongside senior guard Jamale Barber (4.2 PPG). Bibb is physically strong, allowing him to outplay his height as he likes to play around the rim more. Barber spent most of last season as a distributing guard, but picked up his perimeter shooting late, most crucially hitting five in a 68-63 victory over Glasgow in the region quarters. Junior guard Tegra Muleka flashed at times last season, and should be one of the first off the bench, as will senior guard Tre Pillow. That’s pretty much it for returning experience from last year’s Dragons. Their season changed when on the same day it was announced that Dre Boyd and Kobe Brents – both junior guards – had transferred in. Very strong and athletic, Boyd averaged 11.1 PPG playing alongside superstar Zion Harmon at Adair County last season, and had been in the Bowling Green system before. Brents comes from Glasgow, and is not a cinch to be eligible to play this season, having been initially ruled ineligible after transferring following his mother taking a job in the Warren County school system. He averaged 14.4 PPG last season, leading the Scotties in scoring as a sophomore. His presence is likely crucial to Central’s status as favorites. Junior guard Geovonni Floyd has moved over from Greenwood, while Antonio Barbee and Tre Wright moved over from Bowling Green. Given the way the program has attracted players after a season ago, it can be argued that Central’s title in 2018 is possibly the most significant in the history of the program aside from their 2004 state title. Their fortunes have changed in the blink of an eye. They’ll remain guard heavy as they were last season, but they consistently play more physical given their offseason emphasis. It will be interesting to see how the entire team gels, but Coach Unseld expects that ultimately this will be his deepest team in his eight seasons at Central. 2. Bowling Green – The Purples acquitted themselves very well after losing so many big names from their state title game. While the team did not win more than five games in a row all year, they topped 20 wins for the tenth time in the last eleven years, scored 68.5 PPG, and still earned a split with Warren Central on the season. If not for a miracle 3/4 court three pointer by Jordan Cousin to steal the momentum at the end of the third quarter of their region final, the Purples may well have taken down a fifth straight region title. And they are poised to make yet another run this year. They lose their top two scorers in Jarius Key (18.6 PPG) and Ziyon Kenner (10.7 PPG), and four of their starting five. Senior Trevor Dennis is the lone returning starter, averaging 9.2 PPG a season ago, and hitting almost exactly as many shots from outside the arc (43) as in it (45). Dennis is a shooter who is not afraid to attempt difficult shots, and when he gets rolling, he can be very difficult to stop. He hit just over 37% of his attempts from three a season ago. Sophomore Isaiah Mason is the most exciting player on the team. After seeing time late in the year for Greenwood as an eighth grader in 2017, he came off the bench to spark the Purples last season. He was never more impressive than he was in the district finals, dropping 22 points on 8/10 shooting, with 5/6 coming from three. The sky is the limit for Mason, already one of the top players in the region entering his sophomore year. Second year coach Derrick Clubb noted that Mason and senior Kolbe Gray have been instrumental in leading the team since last spring. Both have been living in the gym and weight room and are vocal about encouraging the rest of the team to do so as well. Both demonstrate great leadership and commitment. Senior Jaylen Wardlow (4.3 PPG) returns in his defensive stopper role, while senior Davion Dice (6.8 PPG) will be counted on to continue showing athleticism in getting to the rim and he also possesses an above average nose for the ball in offensive and defensive rebounding. The Purples remain deep as ever, and the future remains bright as ever, with sophomores Jaxson Banks, Conner Cooper, Jordan Dingle, and Jacobi Huddleston all dressing last season as freshmen and playing varsity this summer. Coach Clubb is never afraid to wear you down with an onslaught of bodies as they run full court press to force turnovers and create opportunities for easy baskets. One weakness the Purples may have is that they don’t have as dominant a presence down low as they have grown accustomed to. Bowling Green has still made the region finals of every region tournament they’ve made since 2004, so their goal is always to be playing their best basketball entering the district tournament to get to their home away from home, Diddle Arena. They are a very close #2 to Warren Central, and it would not be surprising if they played their way into favorite status, as they ultimately did a season ago entering the region tourney. 3. Glasgow – The Scotties went 22-9 a season ago, and posted their most wins in all but one season in the last sixteen years. They won their first district title in seven years and gave Warren Central their toughest game of the region tournament despite losing dynamic Dalvin Smith during the third quarter to a broken ankle. There was a bit of deflation down the stretch as they started with a 16-3 record, but it was still a great success for a program that is still seeking to take that next step into region contender – it’s been 18 years since they made a region final. Initially, this season appeared ripe for them to do just that. Dalvin Smith (11.3 PPG) and Peyton Mills (8.6 PPG) graduated, but they were due to return three of their four leading scorers come back. Then came Kobe Brents transferring out, taking his 14.4 PPG average with him. Kris Horn returned to Central as well, leaving just two seniors returning from last year’s roster. All of that lowered the ceiling somewhat, but there is still a whole lot to be excited about in Glasgow. Junior guard Nick Sorrell is the leading returning scorer, averaging 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game a season ago. Fellow junior Jaden Franklin brings the height at 6’6”, and led the team in double-doubles last year, nearly averaging one with 11 points and 9 rebounds per night. Despite being juniors, Coach Willett notes that Sorrell and Franklin have been the leaders of the team for a long time, and that’s a huge luxury to have as they will continue to grow in that role this season and next. Tayshaun Bradley ascends to the starting lineup in his senior year after serving as sixth man a season ago, counted on as a defensive specialist for the squad. His defensive plays create opportunities for transition buckets and allows the team to feed off that energy. Willett described him as explosively athletic. The Scotties will have the height advantage on most teams they play, with Bowen Haney (6’5” junior) and Robert Kingery (6’6” Jr) as names to watch. Coach Willett loves their versatility and ability to play either the 4 or 5 positions to create matchup advantages. Tucker Kirkpatrick transfers in from Monroe County to salve the loss of Kobe Brents. The son of former Monroe County coach Steve Kirkpatrick, he is a deadly sharpshooter, hitting 52/110 (47.3%) from three a season ago. Put simply, Glasgow returns double digit scoring, height, and possesses perimeter shooting. They are athletic and stretch the floor. Coach Willett is confident in the depth of the team. While his focus is on general goals like work ethic, reducing turnovers, and improving shot selection, this is a team that seems poised for a run. If anyone is going to break up the 14th District party, this is a team that is designed to do it. 4. Clinton County – There is probably no team I can recall as obscenely unlucky in their region tournament draw as Clinton County is. The Bulldogs have found their way into the path of a 14th District opponent in the opening round four of the last five years. The fifth year out of those five they met Barren County, whose 26 wins were second highest in the region. So it probably felt like Groundhog Day when they drew Bowling Green a year ago, pitting them against a team that as previously noted has made the region final every time they’ve made the tournament since 2004. That robbed them of a deep postseason run, but they’ll reload and take another shot with a veteran group that graduated just three from a season ago. Only Ely Baker (2.5 PPG) departs from the starting lineup, and Clinton County returns two of the most prolific scorers in the region to lead their squad. You have to start with senior guard Jackson Harlan. At 6’5”, he’s a very tall guard, and averaged 4.1 rebounds to go along with his 26.4 PPG, which was #7 in the entire state a season ago. Harlan cleared his recruiting table by committing to Western Kentucky over the summer, and will be tapped as the preseason player of the year in the region by just about anyone who is paying attention. His primary compliment is Seth Stockton. The senior forward averaged a double-double with 14.5 PPG and 12.2 rebounds a season ago. He led the state in rebounds and was one of only three players in the region to average a double-double. Harlan and Stockton are a dynamic duo that no other team in the region can equal, though Coach Messer noted that the team’s success will hinge on the ability of other players to make open shots to stop defenses from selling out on those two. Senior Noah Pruitt (3.1 PPG and 4 RPG) returns in the starting lineup, as does sophomore guard Chase Stines, who will be key to Coach Messer’s hopes to draw coverage away from his top two men. Stines averaged 6.2 PPG as a freshman a year ago, and looks to be the latest great find for the Bulldogs. Nick Brown is a candidate to move into the starting rotation after serving as the sixth man a year ago, and Coach Messer is pleased with his size and depth at the forward position. Depth is always a challenge for teams looking to match up with the likes of Bowling Green, so that’s a good sign for the potential ceiling for the team. They’re the favorite for the 16th district, the All A Regional, and a dark horse for the region title. 5. Greenwood – The Gators owe their presence in this spot to losing a little less than the immediate teams below them. Prior to last season they were gutted by losing ten seniors – this time they lose only five, and really only two major contributors. Luke Littrell departs with 15.6 PPG in tow, and they’ll miss Noah Nash’s presence as well, more for ballhandling. Upside bench player Geovonni Floyd also departs due to transfer. Still, Jack Roberts is back for what feels like his eighth year as a Gator, fresh off of leading the team with 17.5 PPG. The hero of the 2017 14th District tournament, Roberts is a fearless shooter, hitting nearly 40% of his three point attempts despite attempting a very high 183 a season ago. Big man Ben Carroll can pull from outside as well, posing a big matchup problem for opponents. He is strong on the defensive end, especially on the glass. His 14.4 PPG were third on the team last season, and he’ll likely need to shoulder more of the load. After that strong 1-2 punch, it gets a bit dicey. The Stansbury boys are back, Isaac (senior) and Noah (sophomore). Noah figures to be the bigger contributor, but I’m a big proponent of coach’s kids, and their dad is a pretty prominent one you may have heard of before. Coach’s kids tend to have a great mind for the game, and they also have a pretty good one as their HC at Greenwood in Bob Pels. Greenwood doesn’t go very deep, and they will most definitely struggle on nights that Roberts and/or Carroll don’t have it offensively. The Gators are not a team that should be seeking to get out and run, focusing on strong halfcourt sets on both sides of the court. They play Bowling Green just 11 days into the season, which should give us a quick read on how big a gap they’re facing. 6. Logan County – The Cougars are one of four teams in the region that have new head coaches entering this season, although their hire is one very familiar to the region. John Tinsley helms Logan County, with his last coaching stint coming to an end at Russell County two years ago. Tinsley is the first coach to helm four different 4th Region schools in his career since Gerald Sinclair, who coached at three pre-consolidation Logan County schools in addition Logan County itself. Tinsley had previously coached Barren County and Glasgow in the region, in addition to Hancock County before that, carrying a 302-220 career record. He inherits a Logan County team that stubbed their toe at the end of the year last season, falling in the district tournament despite having the #1 seed. They played Franklin-Simpson four times last season, and lost three of them. They were the only district games Franklin won. Missed opportunities are bitter, but it should fuel the team. Leading scorer Austin Rayno departs, but Kelby Epley (12.8 PPG) and Tommy Krohn (10.4 PPG) return, two players Coach Tinsley believes will emerge as the team leaders. The team also received a massive boost in the transfer of Anthony “Rooster” Woodard, who was #2 on Russellville in scoring last season with 15.9 PPG. Woodard will be just a sophomore, with sky-high potential and athleticism. That trio makes Logan County the favorites to claim the top seed in the district again. Coach Tinsley also expects senior Third Bell and junior Dalton Thompson to build on reserve roles from a season ago. The stated goal for the team is to compete every day and be in a position to win every night. They’ll definitely be looking for their third region tournament appearance since 1998, and their first win in the tournament since that same season. 7. Warren East – For the Raiders it was another year trapped in a nightmare district. East still has the third most region titles for 4th Region teams despite not reaching the region tournament since 1997. That is almost entirely the fault of Bowling Green and Warren Central, and until they can solve those – and few can – it will be tough for them to climb higher. Still, they have good momentum as the Raiders posted their first winning record in four years and they are now entering Year 5 under Coach Brandon Combs, providing stability that was sorely needed for the program. They lose three starters from last year, none more crucial than leading scorer Tashawn Neal who set a single season record for made threes at Warren East. Adante Barber is the leading returning scorer after averaging 7.9 PPG a season ago, and Coach Combs has been impressed with his offseason efforts to change his body. He will be looked to as the primary option in scoring this season. Bryson Wallace (2.4 PPG) also returns for his senior season and will be looked to as a team leader. Combs desires to run an uptempo system, and expects players like Sam Wheeler and Thomas Maxey to be key cogs in that system. Wheeler will be expected to handle the ball to drive the speed and anyone who has seen Thomas Maxey on the football field knows exactly how deadly he can be in the open floor. It’ll likely take until January for Maxey to go full throttle. Coach Combs singled out the efforts of Dawson Doyle, who shoots 500 shots daily before school. He’ll be needed to replace Neal’s outside shooting. Also of note is Seth Blaine, a post player that should give “true” centers matchup issues with his mobility and passing abilities. East has carried a post-Christmas stigma in some recent years, which Coach Combs feels they put to rest a season ago. The Raiders’ stated goal is to be playing their best basketball in that post-Christmas period to put themselves in the position to have a shot at the region tournament. An appearance there would certainly leave a legacy. 8. Barren County – The Trojans picked a really bad time to have a 13 game winning streak against Glasgow snapped. That time was their district semifinal matchup with the Scotties at Glasgow, where they fell 69-68 in a triple overtime thriller. The loss ended their run of six consecutive region tournament appearances and the career of five seniors, including Jared Coomer. Coomer led the team with 16.9 PPG, and in all five of the top six scorers were lost to graduation. Only Will Bandy returns, averaging 11.6 PPG. Just a junior, he will likely be the team leader nonetheless as the Trojans have a very small senior class. Bandy was also the team’s second leading rebounder (behind Coomer), averaging 5.8 per game. Sophomore Gavin Withrow is a name to watch for when he returns from the gridiron. The Trojans played five district games decided by single digits a season ago, and really only failed to solve Monroe County, who won a tight OT game in December but blew their doors off in January. With Monroe hit hard by graduation, the Trojans will likely need only regain their edge on Glasgow to seize the district. 9. Todd County Central – The Rebels returned to the region tournament for the first time in 15 years last season, and won a game to boot. They also posted a 17 year high for wins. It was another year of improvement for Coach Frank Johnson’s squad, who is entering his third year at the helm. They lose top scorer Nolan Barrow who had just over 17 PPG, but do return John Calvery, who averaged 13.2 PPG. Calvery is a pure post and a load to handle at 225 lbs. He hit nearly 56% of his attempts from the field a season ago, and the Rebels would do well to feed him. With Franklin-Simpson and Russellville still rebuilding, the Rebels may well have a strong chance of a repeat trip to the region tourney. Austin Rager (5.1 PPG) and Clayte Weathers (5.0 PPG) will be counted on to draw some attention to keep the lane open for Calvery. Rager hit 41% of his three point attempts a season ago. 10. Monroe County – There’s a lot of changed faces from last year’s Falcon team that stumbled to a 2-6 finish down the stretch, stopping them just short of 20 wins and seeing them exit in the quarterfinals of the region tournament. Eight seniors, head coach Steve Kirkpatrick, and his son Tucker Kirkpatrick all exited stage left. Gone is Billy Michael Dyer, who capped his sterling career with 17.9 PPG in his senior season. Coach Gary DeWitt takes over in his first head coaching job since 2007, and first time coaching boys. He previously coached eight seasons in two stints with the Allen County-Scottsville Lady Patriots, going to the state tournament three straight years from 1999-2001 – still the only girls’ basketball program to do so. Crucially, Chandler Clements does return to lead the Falcons on the floor. He averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds a season ago. At 6’6” and willing and able to shoot from anywhere, he’s very difficult to guard. Jamison Geralds is the only other senior on the team, a versatile shooter and ball handler. Grayson Rich will run the point. Coach Dewitt noted that the team goal is to be competitive in all games and play hard for 32 minutes. He is counting on a large sophomore class to give quality minutes for depth. Jhordi Brooks will be asked to use his quickness to guard the best perimeter player, while Wade Thompson will be looked to for interior defense and rebounding. Monroe County allowed only 56 PPG last season, and they’ll likely need to match that effort for a shot to return to the region tournament. 11. South Warren – Boys’ basketball has been one of the few sports that the Spartans have not seen rousing success in so far. They are now on their fifth coach in just the ninth year for the program, and each will have coached a single season out of the last six. They’ve tapped Blane Embry, most recently coach of the Lady Spartans basketball program. Embry is widely recognized as one of the preeminent coaches in the area, and he remains the last coach to guide a team other than Bowling Green or Warren Central to the boys region title, doing so with Greenwood in 2008. While he loses six seniors off of last season’s 15-14 squad, he does retain the services of Tyler Martin. Martin, a senior guard, averaged 20.2 PPG last season, shooting 39.3% from three and 45.7% from the floor. Embry’s style at Greenwood had a heavy, heavy focus on controlling the pace and keeping scoring down. That’ll fit right in with the typical South Warren philosophy. 12. Russellville – The most significant loss for the Panthers didn’t come from graduation, but the transfer of Anthony Woodard’s 15.9 PPG, though Jacolbie Mason’s defensive presence will also be sorely missed. Jacob Naylor returns after climbing over 1,000 career points last season, averaging 17.0 PPG. He’ll lead the team alongside Elijah Kemp (7.8 PPG), who will need to pick up the slack without Woodard. Other key contributors to watch will be Parker Jones, Shawn Steele, and Tanner Barker, as Russellville tries to compete for a district title. 13. Allen County-Scottsville – Brad Bonds takes over as head coach, a familiar face for a program that is now on its fifth coach in five years. Bonds has served as an assistant with the boys team, but also was the head coach of the Lady Patriots for the last 11 years, carrying a 223-113 record in his tenure. Marcus Carter’s rebounding and Sam Clarke’s scoring are the hardest to replace, but Coach Bonds feels there are several willing and capable players to fill that void. Keeping Brett Rippy will help. The senior guard averaged 15.4 PPG last season. Cayden Ross (5.8 PPG) also returns from last year’s starters after his football season concludes. Coach Bonds expects Mason Shirley to have a breakout season, stepping up to share point guard duties with Brett Rippy. Team goal is to learn how to compete and win, looking to improve on last year’s 9-19 record. 14. Cumberland County – The Panthers are still trying to get back to the region tournament for the first time since 2009 and just the second time this millennium. Last year started promising with a 3-1 opening, but they won just one game the rest of the way, falling in overtime to Russell County in the district semifinals. Only three seniors depart, and leading scorers Dawson Smith (16.5 PPG) and Joseph Johnson (7.8 PPG) should give the experience edge to the Panthers early on. There’s a good chance they’ll get off to a good start again, but the Panthers will need to sustain momentum in January, where they have beaten only Metcalfe County in recent years. 15. Franklin-Simpson – Life without Lovan was taxing for Franklin-Simpson a year ago, as they won only two games after the New Year. Fortunately for them, one of those was against Logan County to boost them into the region tournament. The loss of Dee Ragland leaves them without anyone who averaged in the double digits from last season. Kyler Pritchett (9.2 PPG) leads a modest three-man senior class while Dayveon Harris (6.6 PPG) should step into a larger role. The Wildcats are rarely short on athleticism, but they’ve been absolutely gutted by graduation in the last few years, and remain incredibly young. 16. Russell County – The Lakers have their work cut out for them to keep their region tournament streak alive – they’ve never missed since joining the region in the 2005/06 season. Ten seniors and four senior starters are gone, and six of those seniors played the majority of minutes. Junior wing Briley Hadley (6’3”, 8.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG) is the lone returning starter and naturally, Coach Billy Carson expects him to take on a big leadership role as a young and inexperienced corps surrounds him. Sophomore forward Scott Hamm is a player Coach Carson feels can average 15 and 10 for the team, citing his motor. Junior Ryan Coffey has been putting in a lot of work in the offseason, and should lead by example. Coach Carson also praised the mindset and work ethic of seniors Ben Abrell and Ben Sapp. While the stated goal of the team is to “win” each day, the Lakers will certainly want to keep their region run alive. 17. Metcalfe County – The Hornets have had a difficult time building momentum in recent seasons, but did have competitive flashes a year ago. They will be helped by the return of their entire starting five. Senior Trevor Fields led the team with 4.4 assists per game, and Coach Brandon Brockman expects him to lead by example as his teammates have great respect for the guard. Senior Tyler London will look to improve on his team-leading 11.4 PPG. Boston Devore is the future of the program. The sophomore averaged 9.6 PPG in his freshman season a year ago. Wyatt Fields will be relied on to become more of a threat in the post and on the boards, while Braxton Davis has been working on his ability to drive to the basket. Coach Brockman noted both had strong summers. Reaching double digit wins and Diddle Arena are the major goals for the team. Top Players in the 4th Region 1. Jackson Harlan, G, Sr. (Clinton County) – The WKU commit was 7th in the state in scoring last year, and it’s highly likely he’ll drop over 25 PPG again. 2. Chandler Clements, F, Sr. (Monroe County) – With the departure of teammate Dyer, Clements will be the unquestion go-to player for the Falcons. 3. Dre Boyd, G, Jr. (Warren Central) – The transfer from Adair County averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds a season ago while shooting 61% from the field. 4. Trevor Dennis, G, Sr. (Bowling Green) – A deadly sharpshooter, the lone returning starter for the Purples will continue to draw attention on the perimeter. 5. Jacob Naylor, G, Sr. (Russellville) – Naylor averaged 17 PPG while hitting 56 three pointers. 6. Jack Roberts, G, Sr. (Greenwood) – He’ll shoot it from just about anywhere. He was a second team all-region choice by the coaches last season. 7. Isaiah Mason, G, So. (Bowling Green) – The future player of the year for the region, Mason showed exactly what he’s capable of last postseason. He’ll score – a lot. 8. Tyler Martin, G, Sr. (South Warren) – Martin shot 39.3% from three on 168 attempts a season ago. Don’t leave him open. 9. Seth Stockton, F, Sr. (Clinton County) – Robin to Harlan’s Batman, Stockton averaged a double-double a season ago in leading the state in rebounding. 10. John Calvery, C, Sr. (Todd County Central) – The best big man in the region, he shot 56% from the floor in 2018. Just missed: Kobe Brents, Warren Central; Nick Sorrell, Glasgow; Anthony Woodard, Logan County; Will Bandy, Barren County
  19. Final Rankings and Postseason Preview 1) Bowling Green (22-5) High Rank - 1, Low Rank - 2, Average Rank - 1 You wouldn’t know it from the rankings, but few teams in the region experienced as much turmoil as the Purples. Coming into the year, Bowling Green had five seniors on their roster. Entering the postseason, they have two. Two of the casualties were starters Trevor Dennis (10.6 PPG) and Davion Dice (6.7 PPG). They weren’t small losses. They were a very large part of a Purple team that started 15-2 and looked to be on their way to dominant favorite in the region, losing only to McCracken County and John Hardin (in overtime) at that point – both teams are ranked in the BluegrassPreps.com rankings and one is undefeated. They are still a very respectable 7-3 since that time, but it took them quite some time to figure out their offense again. They enter the postseason with two straight wins in which they averaged 88 points scored, albeit against teams in the bottom half of the region. Despite all the turmoil, they have lost only a single game in the region, falling to Warren Central 49-45 on the road in January. Their 14-1 record in region play is the best in the region, and one of only two teams that have lost less than four games in region play. With the departure of Dennis and Dice, they have become an extremely youth-oriented group. That group is led by Isaiah Mason, the team’s only player averaging in double digits at 15.3 PPG. That’s no surprise – the sophomore was listed as one of the preseason ten best players and has a sky high ceiling. A guard with great length, he is a pure shooter, hitting 45.3% from outside, shoots well in midrange, and is the team’s leading rebounder. The team needs him to be at his best to be at their best. Freshman Turner Buttry has been key in the back half of the season, and averages 7.1 PPG. He had 14, 12, and 13 in three key games in late January, wins over Warren Central, Allen County-Scottsville, and South Warren. The Purples have relied on phenomenal defense lately, suffocating teams with great size and length inside and dominating the glass. They have the #2 defense in the region, allowing just 54 PPG, and still have the top scoring average at 68. 26 PPG. They are more vulnerable than they might have been, but they still fit the bill of a favorite. They win this region if the youth performs well in the high pressure of postseason play. They do not have the luxury they are used to of a wealth of experience leading the youth – it’s a baptism by fire. They will open in the district semifinals with the winner of South Warren and homestanding Warren East. If they survive that to reach Diddle, recent history has shown that they are a near lock to make the finals – they have the last 11 times they reached the region tournament. They are 139-3 in the last decade against teams in the region that aren’t Warren Central. Right now we’re predicting them to win it all for the fifth time in six years, as well as their sixth straight district crown. 2) Greenwood (16-11) High Rank - 2, Low Rank - 10, Average Rank - 7 I really struggled with where to rank the Gators in these final rankings. I’m not entirely certain that they really are the second best team in the region, but their recent run has been outstanding. They started the season in fifth, but started just 2-4, and were sitting at 8-11 in late January. Since then, they’ve reeled off eight wins in a row, which included five straight wins with margins of less than five points and two overtime games. That winning streak is their longest since the 2007/08 season. What is significant about that year? That’s the last year they won region. The main difference between the late season and early season was Jack Roberts. He was present early on, but broke his hand against Bowling Green in the season’s fourth game. He returned just prior to the winning streak, but is in full motion now. He has averaged 17 PPG in this streak, just a notch above his season average of 15.3 PPG. Ben Carroll was the man while they weather the absence of Roberts, and the big man was more than up to the task. A forward with range, Carroll averages 16.4 PPG, shooting better than 41% from outside and better than 50% from inside. He leads the team in rebounding and even shoots 74.5% from the foul line. He’s a matchup nightmare for most teams in the region, a strong scorer, and foreboding presence on defense. Isaac Stansbury and brother Noah Stansbury are shooting 42.7% and 37.9% from outside as well, giving the Gators a wealth of perimeter options. They’re averaging over 65 PPG in their current winning streak and their defense has typically been sound all season long. One of Greenwood’s strengths is also likely one of the worries about them. They have been so good lately in close games, but were just 1-4 in games decided by less than five points before the current run. They were run down by Bowling Green in a game Greenwood seemingly had won in early January. When the chips are down, do they have the finishing kick to get away from a team and not let it stay in that razor thin margin where anything can happen? I have to hedge on their prediction a bit. If they beat Warren Central in the district semifinals, this is a team that can make a run to win the region. They are well-coached, and fundamentally sound. Just two years ago, they beat Warren Central twice to reach the region tournament – can they do it again? It’s our prediction that no, they won’t. Ultimately when predicting, you have to lean to where the deeper talent is, and that was showcased in a 28-point Warren Central victory in January. But that is a game that can go either way. If it is close and Greenwood has the lead, given recent history, can you go against them? 3) Warren Central (16-10) High Rank - 1, Low Rank - 3, Average Rank - 2 What a strange journey it has been with this team this year. They opened the season as preseason favorites and boy were they backing it up. Their first five games they topped 80 points in each and started 5-0. You can see by the record up there and do the simple math – they are 11-10 since. Some of that is schedule. Teams like LaRue County, John Hardin, and Bowling Green are understandable losses. 18 point loss to Pikeville? 24 point loss to Doss? Their first ever loss to South Warren? Those are much less understandable. Even more concerning has been a recent trend that has seen Central play outstanding ball against teams not from this region and then struggle against 4th Region competition. They own road wins over Owensboro, Taylor County, and Wayne County. They took down Collins in February at Warren Central. But they were swept by Allen County-Scottsville, their first losses to the Patriots in a decade. They blew a seven point lead entering the second quarter against Greenwood and never led in the entire second half. They have the second highest PPG in the region with 67 points on average, but failed to score over 60 in three of their last four games – all losses. On the positive side, their defense ranks fourth in the region as well, and the 66 they allowed to Allen County-Scottsville is the only one they gave up north of 60 in February, and one of just four games they have allowed over 60 in the last 17 games. No one doubts their talent. Dre Boyd and Kobe Brents made the second and third teams all-region respectively. Brents is their leading scorer with 14.7 PPG and has made nearly 100 three pointers. Dre Boyd is shooting 53% from inside the arc to average 13.2 PPG, adding 7.6 rebounds per game. Senior Tayshaun Bibb has posted several high double digit games lately and has upped his average to 8.4 PPG on the season – he is hitting nearly 60% of his shots. Central is similar to their teams this decade in that they love the three. If it is falling, they will bury you. But if not, it will fall almost entirely on Boyd and Bibb to carry the scoring. It’s a lot of pressure on their primary interior weapons. Like Bowling Green, the Dragons just want to get to Diddle and let it play out. They have made the finals 14 of their last 16 trips to the region tournament. Like most 14th District teams that make region, they are always heavily favored to go the distance if they get there. They split with district semifinal opponent Greenwood this season, with the road team winning each time. The loss to Greenwood in the district tournament two years ago will no doubt loom in coach William Unseld’s mind, though most of his team were not players in that game – the majority of the roster wasn’t even at the school. There is every reason to believe they can lose that game. If they get by it, our prediction is they make the region finals against Bowling Green. Of note – if they don’t win at least one title trophy this postseason, they’ll fail to hit 20 wins for the third time in four years. 4) Clinton County (21-7) High Rank - 3, Low Rank - 5, Average Rank - 3 Clinton County has pretty much done everything that was expected of them this year. They carry the second best record in region play at 15-2. They swept their district with a perfect 8-0 record. They won the region’s All A tournament by an average of 15 PPG and fell against a very good Shelby Valley team in overtime of the state All A. They are 13-2 in their last 15 games, and they stayed between #3 and #5 in the ranks the entire season. Simply put, they are the team you’d expect to be most likely to make a run outside of the 14th District. A lot of that is owed to the presence of Jackson Harlan. Harlan is the region’s player of the year, averaging 24.3 PPG. He scores, then scores some more, then scores for good measure after that. And you can’t just key on him, as Seth Stockton is an able lieutenant, adding 14.2 PPG to complement Harlan. They are the region’s best 1-2 punch. But depth is a definite drawback for the Bulldogs, as you might expect when two players account for more than half of your team’s scoring. They are #6 in the region in scoring and #5 in the region in team defense. If there’s a major red flag for contender status, it is their 1-2 record against District 14. One of those losses can be waved away – their were blown out 73-48 by Greenwood in a game in which Harlan did not play. The other two games were against South Warren. One was at home in December, a 14 point Bulldog victory. The last was on the road in February, an 8 point loss. They did not play Warren Central or Bowling Green, and the whole team did not play Greenwood. Chances are, they will have to go through at least one of those teams if they are to win the region, and history suggests that they’ll have to go through two. Clinton County has not made a region final in 59 years – they are not used to being there. They are going to make region, and they are likely going to make it easily – they beat their opponent Cumberland County three times this season, and none were closer than 9 points – the last was by 20. What their hope would be in terms of a region draw depends on just what they want to do. If they want to make a real run at the title, then they should hope to draw District 14 first. Get one out of the way, and put a gap in between potential games against the two teams. If they want to advance, then given any other draw, they will be favorites to make the semis. Ultimately, that’s where we’ll split the difference in our prediction – district champions, region semis finish. 5) Logan County (22-6) High Rank - 3, Low Rank - 6, Average Rank - 4 We knew coming into the year that Logan County was going to be good. I will not pretend that we knew they’d be this good. They not only have their first 20+ win season in seven years, they have their most wins since 1993. They need just two wins to have their most wins since 1984 – the year they won the state title. It’s been a rousing success by any measure for new head coach John Tinsley. The party got started early, as they raced out to a 15-2 record, with one of the losses coming in a very close 68-62 game against Bowling Green. They experienced a bit of a swoon as they went 3-4 over their next seven games, but closed out strong with four wins in a row. Their last loss was a 44-43 overtime affair at Greenwood, and as mentioned before, that’s the hottest team in the region right now, so it’s not exactly shameful. Their 27 point dismantling of Allen County-Scottsville on the road was particularly eye-popping. The Cougars carry the #1 scoring defense in the region into the postseason – they allow just under 53 PPG. Their average scoring margin is just over 11 PPG, trailing only Bowling Green in the region. Their rotation goes 8-9 deep, providing solid depth on par with most region teams. Kelby Epley, Third Bell, and Anthony Woodard are the names to know for the Cougars. Unlike Clinton County, they have played with the best the region has to offer in games against Greenwood and Bowling Green, nearly sweeping the Gators and taking that close loss to Bowling Green when the Purples were whole. They have allowed a few teams to get closer than they probably should, most notably in losses to Glasgow and Franklin-Simpson, as well as a narrow victory over Barren County. The biggest knock on the team is lack of experience. No one on the squad has played in a region tournament. No one on the team was alive the last time Logan County won a game at region (all the way back in 1998). They have shown a bit of a weakness with Franklin-Simpson. Last season they fell as the #1 seed against a poor Franklin team, and then split with them this year, falling by five on the road after winning by 15 in December. If they win their district, it is likely they will have to contend with the likes of Allen County-Scottsville (1-0), Monroe County (1-0), Russell County (1-0), or Metcalfe County. They’d likely be favored in any of those matchups, and again, have proven they can contend with the 14th. Going in as a district runner-up, that’s a different proposition entirely, as possible champions Bowling Green and Clinton County would be favored, and the current 15th District favorite Glasgow knocked off Logan County in January. Ultimately, we see Logan County winning the district and advancing to the semifinals should they avoid the 14th District in the first round. 6) Glasgow (19-10) High Rank - 3, Low Rank - 7, Average Rank - 5 The Scotties didn’t quite work their way to twenty wins in the regular season, owing to the fact that they never had more than a four game winning streak during the year. Still, a lot of things have broken their way. First, they won the first Kentucky 2A Classic sectional to advance to the state round. They did that despite playing in a sectional with both Warren Central and Allen County-Scottsville, each of whom they fell to prior to that tournament. AC/S took down Central and Webster County cleared out AC/S just one day after Glasgow lost to the Patriots. Second, when they entered the final weeks at 2-2 in district play, they needed three things to happen to have a chance to get #1 in the district. They needed to beat Monroe County, then have Monroe County beat Allen-County Scottsville in Scottsville, then go to Scottsville themselves and beat the Patriots. Check, check, BIG CHECK in a 21 point blast. Then they need to win a head to head draw with Allen County. It broke their way again, and instead of playing Monroe County in the semifinals in Tompkinsville, they match up with rival Barren County who they beat twice during the season. Now, that’s not 100% rosy, as the Trojans lost the two games by a combined 7 points, so you never know. Still, better to take your chances with a team that didn’t already prove they could beat you. The Scotties are led by a trio of players that have put up double digit averages on the year. Nick Sorrell is chief among them. A first team all-region pick, Sorrell is averaging 19.3 PPG. He has gotten to the line for 213 attempts this year, hitting 70.4%. He is averaging 9.1 rebounds per game, giving him nearly a double-double each night. New addition Tucker Kirkpatrick is averaging 11.2 PPG, leading the team in three point makes with 58. Robert Kingery doesn’t have any time for the perimeter – his 11.1 PPG is all a result of the inside game, and he carries a 55% average from the field. Two more players average over 8 points per game, meaning that just like last year, Glasgow is one of the most balanced teams in the field. They were destined for a higher final rank before they fell at Franklin-Simpson on Thursday, the first major moment to give pause on the team since a loss to South Warren to open January. Still, this is a team that made the region tournament last season, pushing Warren Central heavily before falling by five. They’ve won 7 of 9 going in, and can reach Diddle if they can get their fourth straight win over Barren County. We predict they do, and go on to win the 15th District title. Like Logan County, their draw may determine how far they go. If they avoid the 14th District representatives, we like them for a semifinal exit. 7) Allen County-Scottsville (22-7) High Rank - 2, Low Rank - 13, Average Rank - 6 What to make of the Patriots? First things first, what a job Brad Bonds has done in his first year at the helm. The former coach of the girls’ program is in his first year, and he just pushed them to their first 20+ win season since 2009, and their most wins since 2007. That alone would win him coach of the year in the region, which he did. Add to that the fact he is the fifth coach in five years for the program, and it becomes even more impressive. That fueled an oddly common among region teams 15-2 start, which included an overtime win at home over Warren Central, their first win over the Dragons in a decade. But again, simple math tells you things went a bit askew from there. The Patriots closed just 7-5, and some of those losses were hideous. 16 points to Webster County, 21 points to Glasgow, and finally 27 points to Logan County. They struggled mightily in wins over Edmonson County and Metcalfe County, beating the two by a combined three points. Just when you were thinking it was safe to write them off as having peaked, they rode into Warren Central and dealt the Dragons their first home loss of the year and got the season sweep. So who knows what to expect? The Patriots have done it largely thanks to the scoring effort of four players. Brett Rippy leads the team with 16.9 PPG, and is one of the best sharpshooters in the region, hitting 46.5% from three on 144 attempts. It’s not often you see a player attempt that many from three and hit nearly 57% of his shots from the field overall – he shoots 68.5% from inside the arc. We knew first team all-region selection Rippy would score a lot, but sophomore Mason Shirley has been possibly the more important player. A third team all-region selection, his 15.4 PPG came seemingly out of nowhere for outside observers, and there is no telling how high his ceiling will go. Both he and Rippy are money from the foul line, hitting 80.8% and 78.4% respectively. Owen Stamper (9.7 PPG) and Jax Cooper (9.2 PPG) round out the top scorers for a team that has the fifth highest PPG in the region at 65.5. The team shoots well, shoots free throws well, what’s not to like? While the margins were occasionally unimpressive, the Patriots do go into the postseason winners of four of five. They drew the short straw in their tie with Glasgow, and now they take on a Monroe County team that has gone toe to toe with Greenwood in the past week and knocked off the Pats on the road to start the spiral. It’s a game the Patriots should still win, but they are in real danger here. The team went 10/23 from three when they played at Monroe in January, and Rippy was a perfect 7/7 from the field. They’ll need those types of efforts again to get the W. Our prediction is they push past Monroe County, a vote for consistency, but fall to Glasgow, and then ultimately bow out in the first round of region. 8) South Warren (13-14) High Rank - 8, Low Rank - 13, Average Rank - 11 Don’t let the record fool you – South Warren is a team that is on the rise in the region. They are 8-3 in their last 11 games, and those three losses came by a combined 16 points against Bowling Green, Greenwood, and Warren Central. Otherwise known as the top three teams in these ratings. They also own a win over Warren Central in that stretch, the first ever they took from the Dragons. They took down Clinton County as well, winning by 8 over the Bulldogs not even a week ago. The 101 points they scored on Hart County on February 9th is a program record, their first to hit the century mark. They knocked off Glasgow just prior to this 11 game stretch, doing so in Glasgow by 8. The Spartans are very dangerous under head coach Blane Embry, who returned to the male coaching ranks for the first time in 9 seasons. Tyler Martin was named to the second team all-region, and averages 17 PPG to lead the Spartans. Martin will shoot from anywhere, and if he is on, can end your season. Sophomore Jace Carver has emerged to give the Spartans a second strong scoring threat with 12.6 PPG, hitting better than 40% from three. He had a career-high 35 points in a near upset of Greenwood, the last loss the Spartans suffered before notching four straight wins to end the year. Freshman Caden Veltkamp has also emerged for nearly 9 PPG. The next great quarterback for the Spartans is the third leading three point shooter on the team with the best percentage of the three, hitting on 42.7% of his attempts. The Spartans rank in the bottom half of the region in scoring offense and defense, but do have a positive margin of victory despite the losing record. They open the district tournament in the 4/5 game with Warren East, who they swept on the year, most recently winning by 12 at home. They do have the disadvantage of playing that game on the road, as Warren East hosts the tournament. However, the Spartans are playing their best ball of the year, and Warren East has won just three times since December 27th. The real looming monster is Bowling Green if South Warren were to advance. That semifinal matchup would pit them against a Bowling Green team they have never beaten – they are 0-22 against the Purples. The last of those losses was one of the closet they’ve ever had against Bowling Green, falling 47-43 at BG in late January. Bowling Green is a young team, not playing at home, and will have had a week off by then, which can sometimes be counterproductive. If there were a year to do it, this appears to be that year. Our prediction is, this is not that year. They’ll make the district semifinals, but they’ll have to wait yet another year for their first region tournament appearance. 9) Franklin-Simpson (15-11) High Rank - 8, Low Rank - 16, Average Rank - 10 Franklin-Simpson has had a lot more recent success than some of the other success stories above, but their turnaround this season is still a quite impressive surprise. In 2016 & 2017, the Wildcats combined for 50 wins. That dropped to 7 wins last year in a 7-23 campaign that saw them win just twice after January 1, and after an 0-3 start to this season, they had lost 17 of 19 games. But then the script flipped, and the Wildcats boast 11 wins in their last 15 games, gained a season sweep over Greenwood, and earned a share of the regular season district championship alongside Logan County, before settling into the #2 seed on the coin flip. They are favored to return to the region tournament for a fourth consecutive season, but they won’t upset their way in this time like last season. The Wildcats are also a year ahead of schedule – they don’t have a single senior on the team, not one. DeMarco Chatman leads the team with an average of 16.1 PPG and is the leading rebounder as well with 6.7 PPG. The junior guard was selected to the third team all-region. Sophomore Andreyous Miller is another bright player for the future, averaging 10.8 PPG. It must be said though that scoring is a problem for the Wildcats. They rank 16th in the region in scoring, averaging on 54.65 PPG. That is one stat that has not turned around from a year ago when they were similarly offensively challenged. They make up for it by allowing just 54.38 PPG. Defense wins championships, but that’s a razor thin margin. It’s why eleven of Franklin’s wins have come by single digits. It may not be comfortable, but it has been working for them. They open the postseason with Russellville, who they swept after falling to them twice a season ago. The second matchup was tight, won by just six points after a 25 point margin in the first game – the largest margin of the season for Franklin. The most encouraging thing about the first two games was Franklin’s scoring. The 69 points they scored in the second matchup was a season high, with the 66 in the first just behind. Franklin also comes in with strong momentum, winners of four of their last five, and grabbing a win over Glasgow last week. Our prediction is they knock off Russellville, fall short against Logan County, and exit in the first round of region. 10) Barren County (15-14) High Rank - 7, Low Rank - 10, Average Rank - 8 The Trojans were the picture of average this season. Barren County never strayed more than two games above or below .500. If they won two straight, they’d lose two straight. They saw a three game winning streak end in blowout fashion against Clinton County last week – that three game winning streak had come on the heels of a three game losing streak. They have scored just five points more on the year than they allowed, ranking 12th in the region in scoring and 8th in defense. Even their region record was 9-10. They struggled to get wins in district play, posting a 1-5 record against the 15th district, though four of their losses were by a combined 12 points. Crucially, two of those close losses were against Glasgow, their opponent in the district semifinals. The Trojans were bested by their bitter rivals a season ago, and will be looking to flip the script from the 4 seed this year. Barren County is another youth movement team, this one with just two seniors. Instead, junior Will Bandy leads the team, averaging 16.1 PPG and 6.5 RPG. Bandy has a solid build, and plays primarily on the block, though like many Barren County bigs, he is not afraid to shoot from the perimeter, though he has hit only 26.6% of his 79 attempts from outside. Bandy was selected to the third-team all-region. A guy who will possibly be looked at as Barren’s next superstar is freshman Aden Nyekan. Nyekan is 6’3”, and is tough to handle inside. He’s hitting nearly 52% of his shots, averages 14.3 PPG, and pulls down 7.3 rebounds per game. He’s a foundational piece moving forward, and paired with Bandy, the two can really make some noise next year. Barren County is a team that relies heavily on production inside. They rate among one of the worst in the region for perimeter shooting, hitting on just 28.2% of their shots there. That makes it extremely difficult in games where they fall behind, so they have to stay in shouting distance of Glasgow. It is absolutely possible that the Trojans take the Scotties down on a neutral court, but ultimately, the prediction has to be in favor of the team with the season sweep. We predict Barren County ends its season at 15-15 – it feels almost like destiny that they finish at .500. 11) Monroe County (11-14) High Rank - 5, Low Rank - 11, Average Rank - 9 If the team that played in the first two weeks of the season and the final two weeks of the season shows up, then Monroe poses some real danger to their opponents. They would probably prefer to pretend that December 20th-January 29th did not happen. The Falcons started the year 6-2. They played a modest 3-2 in February, but had a relatively close road loss at Clinton County and fell in overtime against the red-hot Greenwood team, plus knocking off district tournament opponent Allen County-Scottsville on the road. In between? That would be a 2-10 run that included a loss to Barren County that would ultimately cost them a shot at the #1 seed in district play. In that stretch, Monroe County’s only wins were by 1 point over South Warren, and an overtime win over Metcalfe County. Team defense has been a struggle for the Falcons. They rank 15th in points allowed in the district, giving up 2.4 points more than they score despite having the 4th highest scoring average in the region. They meet Allen County-Scottsville in the semifinals, who averaged 75.5 PPG against them in their two matchups. They allowed 70+ in nearly half of their games this year (12). They’ve got a shot if they can just reel that in. An all-region first team pick, senior Chandler Clements is a big reason for the gaudy scoring average in the positive column. He was our pick for #2 in the region entering the year and he has not disappointed. He averages 25.8 PPG and has a knack for getting to the foul line – he has hit nearly 200 free throws this season. His scoring region is tops in the region and #5 in the entire state. He’s #8 in the state for rebounding as well, averaging 11.2 per game. Grayson Rich has complemented him well, averaging over 12 PPG while doing his damage from outside where he hits nearly 38%. The Falcons lost two of their three district games at home this year, so homecourt advantage in the tournament may not seem to be a massive advantage, but they’ll hope to catch lightning in a bottle when they face the Patriots. Our prediction though is that they exit the postseason on Monday. 12) Warren East (11-17) High Rank - 7, Low Rank - 13, Average Rank - 12 It’s been a very rough year for the Raiders. Like many seasons of late, East showed some promise in the early going. They won their Christmas tournament and started 8-4. There were surprising losses that look better in retrospect (South Warren, Franklin-Simpson, and Allen County-Scottsville), but for the most part, it looked like East would be a factor in the region. Then came illness, injuries, and games against teams that they rarely have success against. And so they crashed to a 3-13 record since that start, with all three wins coming against teams with losing records, including Caverna which has only a single win. The Raiders can be forgiven for playing in a brutal district where they ultimately went 0-8, but they have only lost by less than double digits twice during the run. Needless to say, they are not rolling going into district, and it does not look good for their chances to reach region for the first time since 1997. That’s despite having homecourt advantage, though they have lost in their first game of the last four times they’ve hosted the district tourney. The Raiders rank 13th and 11th in scoring offense and defense respectively. East shoots just under 44% of all attempts from the three point line, so if they can get hot, they’ve got a puncher’s chance. Adante Barber leads the team in scoring with 12.8 PPG, while four other players average between 7.8 and 8.8 PPG (Ryan Carter, Bryson Wallace, Thomas Maxey, and Kaleb Matlock). The Raiders will be looking for a game like the last they played against Warren Central, where they hit on 8 of 20 three pointers on their home floor. They open with South Warren, who defeated them by 2 at Warren East in December before getting the sweep with a 12 point win in February. That’s where we predict them to go out. If they should manage to get past that to the district semifinals, they’ll match up with Bowling Green. The Purples just beat East by 34 at Warren East, and have won 50 in a row against the Raiders. It’s hard to see any path to the regional tourney. 13) Metcalfe County (10-19) High Rank - 13, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 15 The Hornets enter the postseason with ten wins. That is their first double digit win season since 2011. It is also equal to the win total they had in the last four seasons combined. Let’s put it one more way – the last five Hornet coaches that weren’t the legendary Tim McMurtrey failed to ever reach double digit wins in a season. This was a good year. In addition to the win total, the Hornets had near misses against the likes of Glasgow, Monroe County (overtime), and Allen County-Scottsville. They enter the 16th District tournament with the two seed, having secured their first win over Russell County in 11 years when they knocked off the Lakers at home 56-53 on January 29th. Boston Devore and Tyler London lead the team with 16 PPG and 13.7 PPG respectively, as the Hornets average a healthy 64 PPG average as a team. They will host the district tournament, where they are 4-7 this season. Their reward for beating Russell County is the proposition of doing it again. That’s a tall task as Russell County has yet to lose a district semifinal game since entering the region in the 2005/2006 season. But this appears to be finally the year for Metcalfe County to return to Diddle. They’re at home and the Lakers have struggled on the road. They get the win, fall to Clinton County in the finals, and then have their season come to a successful end in the region quarters. 14) Russell County (7-23) High Rank - 13, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 14 The Lakers are just 3-14 in their last 17 games, and three of their wins on the season have come over Cumberland County, who went winless against 16th District teams. Russell County enters the postseason on a short positive note, knocking off Rockcastle County 63-58 to stop a nine game skid. The seven wins they have now equals their lowest total for a season in the last 20 years. In other words, it has been a tough season for Russell County. Their scoring attack rates as one of the worst in the region, as they score only 54.9 PPG while allowing 64.7 PPG. During their nine game losing streak, they topped that average only twice, scoring 59 against Jackson County (in overtime) and 61 against Marion County. Scott Hamm has provided an able presence inside, scoring 14 PPG while hitting nearly 55% of his shots from the field. When we say inside, we mean it – he has attempted zero three pointers. Briley Hadley has also chipped in 11.3 PPG. As mentioned in the Metcalfe preview, Russell County has never lost a district semifinal game as a member of the 16th District. Their region tournament appearance streak is a record 13 in a row. Of greatest concern for them is that they have won only a single true road game this year, beating Cumberland County 76-72 on January 4th. They are 1-10 at their opponents, and that includes a 56-53 loss to Metcalfe County. The combination of a low scoring offense, a road environment, and just general momentum points to a district semifinal loss at long last for a rebuilding Russell County team. 15) Cumberland County (6-22) High Rank - 12, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 17 The Panthers entered the season on a 14 game losing streak, and the first half of the season did not go much better. Despite some close results such as losses of 7, 9, and 4 to 16th District opponents, Cumberland County started just 2-14. Things have improved in the back half, including a stretch of four wins in seven games, back to back wins over Russellville and Todd County Central, and a 90 point effort in an overtime loss to Metcalfe County that rated as the highest score for the program since December 2003. The Panthers have frequently been competitive, and their scoring rate of 66.7 PPG is good enough for third in the region. Unfortunately, they allow over 78 PPG, dead last by over 8 points. They have allowed 77 points or more in a staggering seven straight games. Three Panthers average in double digits, led by Dawson Smith’s 19.7 PPG. Joseph Johnson averages 11.7 PPG and Isaiah Dyer adds 10.9 per. If Cumberland County had the fortune of matching up against Metcalfe County or Russell County, it would be conceivable that they could advance to the regional tournament. But instead, they take on top seed Clinton County, who have bested them 25 straight times dating back to 2009. That 2009 victory came in the district tournament, the last time Cumberland County advanced to the region tournament. That won’t happen here. Clinton County gets the win, and ends Cumberland County’s season. 16) Russellville (8-16) High Rank - 12, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 16 The Panthers have improved slightly from last season, but they are still well off the pace of 2017’s region runner-up. Like last season, the trouble has really kicked up following the start of the new year. While Russellville started 0-4, they entered the new year at 5-8, and were still 7-9 following a win at Caverna on January 8th. Since then, they are just 1-7, with only two of those losses coming by less than 10. It’s not without effort from Jacob Naylor. The senior was selected to the second team all-region, and his 25.2 PPG are tied for 8th in the state. He accounts for over 42% of his team’s total scoring. Add in Elijah Kemp’s solid 12.9 PPG average, and the two players account for over 64%. There’s just not enough depth from Russellville for a run. They did avenge an early season loss to Todd County Central with a 71-58 victory, which helped them avoid a potential matchup with Logan County in the district tournament. They will play Franklin-Simpson, who they fell to by just 6 at the start of February. Crazier things have happened, but our prediction is a swift exit in the semis. 17) Todd County Central (5-23) High Rank - 9, Low Rank - 17, Average Rank - 13 Todd County Central had a phenomenal season last year, getting back to the region tournament, reaching the semifinals, and claiming their first district title in over a decade. They returned the best pure big man in the region in John Calvery, and the second team all-region selection is having a fine year with 17.4 PPG. But ultimately, the loss of leading scorer Nolan Barrow was too much for the Rebels. They enter the postseason on a 14 game losing streak, and one of their five wins was actually an administrative forfeit to open the year. During their losing streak they have topped 60 points only three times, and their 54 PPG average is the worst in the region. They meet Logan County, who knocked them off by 13 and 10 in their two matchups. The district is at Todd County Central, but this seems like a year where a lot of the district hosts are not in extremely favorable positions. It’s just hard to envision Todd Central making any noise. Our prediction is that they end their season at home against Logan County. Top Players in the 4th Region 1. Jackson Harlan, G, Sr. (Clinton County) – Voted the POY by both the 4th Region coaches and the KABC, his scoring average is actually down to 24.3 PPG. That’s how much he can score. 2. Chandler Clements, F, Sr. (Monroe County) – Clements leads the 4th Region in scoring, and will be leaned on heavily if they are to have a chance to advance. 3. Isaiah Mason, G, So. (Bowling Green) – Lean and long, Mason will ascend to his birthright as best player in the region starting next year. 4. Ben Carroll, F, Jr. (Greenwood) – Carroll is a huge matchup advantage, playing both inside and outside, and has a high basketball IQ. 5. Brett Rippy, G, Sr. (Allen County-Scottsville) – Rippy averages a ridiculous 46.5% average from the three point line. If he’s open, you’ve made a terrible mistake. 6. Tyler Martin, G, Sr. (South Warren) – Martin recently became the all-time leading scorer at South Warren. He’ll need to be great to give them a shot at their first region tournament berth. 7. Jacob Naylor, G, Sr. (Russellville) – It’s unfortunate that Naylor has gone a bit unnoticed by some in the midst of a rough Russellville season. His 25.2 PPG are 8th in the state. 8. Kobe Brents, G, Jr. (Warren Central) – Brents has struggled to find his shot at moments this year, but has turned up his play of late to lead the Dragons in scoring. If his threes are falling, look out. 9. Jack Roberts, G, Sr. (Greenwood) – A broken hand early in the season blunted his progress, but the eighth year senior is playing well as he enters his final postseason, looking to duplicate the heroics of 2017. 10. Jon Calvery, C, Sr. (Todd County Central) – Calvery is easily the best post player in the region, enabling him to still average over 17.4 PPG despite struggles around him. He’s making 50.6% of his field goals on the year.
  20. Getting down to the nitty gritty.... 1) Bowling Green (21-5) - 2/4 73-52 W at #9 Barren County, 2/5 65-73 L Owensboro, 2/8 84-50 W at #12 Warren East Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/12 vs. #16 Russellville, 2/15 at Hopkinsville The record is still stellar, but as described previously, the Purples have undergone some growing pains of late. The Purples are down to two seniors on the team with the dismissals of Davion Dice in January and now Trevor Dennis earlier this week. Dennis had averaged in double digits for the Purples, but has been a non-factor since mid-January. The cracks have shown in several narrow wins and in the blowout loss to John Hardin. This week saw another sign, as the Purples suffered their first home loss in falling to an Owensboro team they beat by 15 at home in December. It's hardly panic time, but the Purples have dropped two of four overall, and have a tough road game at Hopkinsville on Friday. Of great importance, however, was their 50th consecutive win over Warren East in a devastating blowout on Friday, which secured the district's #1 seed before it would have been secured anyway with Warren Central's loss to Greenwood. Isaiah Mason poured in 22 points - all in the first half - keyed by six threes. The newly-minted first team all-region player is averaging just shy of 15 points per game on the year. 2) Warren Central (16-8) - 2/5 82-43 W at #16 Russellville, 2/8 55-59 L at #7 Greenwood, 2/9 67-56 W at Wayne County Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/12 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/15 vs. LaRue County Though I do not release mid-week rankings, for three days the Dragons were #1. Had they defeated Greenwood, they would be #1 in these rankings. The Dragons have still won 8 of 10 games, and picked up their second strong road win in the last two weeks with an 11 point victory over 21 win Wayne County today. Earlier in the week they torched Russellville for their seventh 80+ effort of the season. But it is the loss to Greenwood that will stand out. The Gators are their postseason opponent, which was clinched with that loss (and would have been as well once BG finished Warren East). The Dragons were just 4/17 from three and only secured five free throw attempts in the loss, never finding an offensive rhythm. A 17-10 first quarter lead gave way to only six second quarter points and a 23-all tie, and Greenwood took the lead for good immediately after the start of the second half. It added up to their first loss to Greenwood in The Swamp since 2012, and suddenly they are just 5-4 in the last nine meetings with a Greenwood squad they beat 39 of the previous 41 times they played. The Dragons completed their road slate in District 14 at 1-3, and fell to three different district opponents for the first time since 2007/08. With Bowling Green's roster upheaval, the Dragons may actually be a better favorite for the region crown at this point, but they are also extremely vulnerable. They take on a slumping AC/S team that they'll be looking for revenge against, before finishing with the toughest game they've had all year when they host dominant LaRue County. 3) Clinton County (20-6) - 2/4 55-48 W McCreary Central, 2/8 82-72 W #11 Monroe County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/11 at #8 South Warren, 2/14 at #10 Barren County The Bulldogs often win unimpressively, but slowly, inexorably, they win. Clinton County secured their 20th win this week with a pair of home wins, their last two home games of the season. Jackson Harlan did all the heavy lifting in a 55-48 win over McCreary Central, dropping in 29 points on 11/20 shooting. Seth Stockton was uncharacteristically off in the game, chipping in only six. The 82 points Clinton County dropped on Monroe represent a season high outside of district play. Another win for the Bulldogs - Jackson Harlan received accolades as the 4th Region Player of the Year as voted on by the coaches in the region, earning the honors with his 24.2 PPG average. Clinton County has won 12 of 13, with their lone loss coming against Shelby Valley in the All A. They look to finish out strong with a tough road game against an up and coming South Warren squad before a nearly certain win against Barren County to close out the regular season. Why aren't they higher? Because at the end of the day, if they were going up against one of those two teams, I still don't think I could find belief that Clinton County was going to win. 4) Glasgow (18-9) - 2/4 70-49 W at #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/5 66-58 W #13 Metcalfe County, 2/8 64-52 W Caverna Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/12 at #15 Cumberland County, 2/15 at #9 Franklin-Simpson The Scotties had a pretty good week. Just 9 days ago they appeared a longshot to have a shot at the top seed in the district tournament. Monroe County opened the door, Glasgow broke it down in a blowout win over AC/S on Monday, then won the draw on Wednesday. That earns them the right to play Barren County on the 18th. The Trojans played them close in two contests this season, but for the Scotties, it is still a plus to not play a Monroe County team that did beat them in December in a district tournament hosted by Monroe County. Nik Sorrell was named to the All-4th Region first team - he averages nearly 20 points per game. Glasgow picked up a trio of wins this week to make it six wins in seven games, and they look to be very likely to enter the postseason riding a five game win streak based on their matchups this week. Everything seems to be coming together at the right time for Glasgow. This is their highest ranking since the disastrous blowout against Bowling Green in December. 5) Greenwood (14-11) - 2/5 44-43 OT W #6 Logan County, 2/8 59-55 W #3 Warren Central Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/12 at #11 Monroe County, 2/15 at Edmonson County Speaking of good weeks and highest ranks since December - Greenwood is up to their highest since the second week of the season. They own the region's longest winning streak at six games in a row, getting strong efforts from their top two guys Ben Carroll and Jack Roberts. Roberts had 12 and 20 in their two wins this week, while Carroll had 15 and 18. That's over 63% of their scoring in those two games, but it's not surprising from two guys who are usually at their best as the end of the season approaches. Greenwood tailed by 11 in the fourth quarter against Logan County on Tuesday, on a night when the threes just wouldn't fall. But Jack Roberts found one just in time, sending the game to an extra session after a furious rally, and Benn Carroll gave them the win on a putback with just over 5 seconds remaining. Then the Gators jumped out to a twelve point lead in the third quarter over Warren Central, and though the lead dwindled to as few as three, they never trailed in the entire second half of the district tournament preview. The Gators dropped only a single game at home in-district play (a 57-56 loss to Bowling Green), and will look to have a repeat of their 2017 district semifinal victory over Warren Central when the two teams meet again in just over a week. If they can do as expected and win both their games this week, they'll enter the postseason on an 8 game winning streak, which would be their longest since 2008. 6) Logan County (20-6) - 2/5 43-44 OT L at #7 Greenwood, 2/8 54-51 W at Muhlenberg County, 2/9 79-52 W at #2 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/12 vs. Ohio County, 2/15 vs. #15 Cumberland County Logan County was on the other side of that narrow overtime loss to Greenwood, and is still trying to regain their footing in this latest stretch. They are just 5-4 since starting 15-2. None of their recent losses have been by more than 8 points, dating back to just before Christmas when they fell by 16 to Webster County. They recovered from the loss to Greenwood with wins over Muhlenberg County and Allen County-Scottsville, giving them their first 20 win season since 2012. They have a good chance this week to pick up a pair of wins, which would give them their most in a quarter century. There is every reason to believe this season may rank among the best the school has ever had. 7) Allen County-Scottsville (20-7) - 2/4 49-70 L #5 Glasgow, 2/5 55-53 OT W at Edmonson County, 2/7 57-56 W at #13 Metcalfe County, 2/9 52-79 L #6 Logan County Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/12 at #2 Warren Central, 2/14 vs. #17 Todd County Central When the Patriots suffered a narrow loss at home to Bowling Green on January 26th, everything seemed to be sky-high in potential. Very little has gone right since. The Patriots may be 3-3 in that span, but the crucially lost two district games to fall into a tie with Glasgow for the district top spot - with their loss to Glasgow coming in blowout fashion in Scottsville no less. As detailed above, the draw didn't go their way, and they find themselves now with the task of playing Monroe County in a true road game in nine days for a berth in the region tournament. They followed that Glasgow loss with the narrowest escapes against Edmonson County (by 2 in overtime) and Metcalfe County (by 1). Metcalfe actually had a challenged shot that would have given them the win. Those teams are a combined 20-32 - not positive signs. Logan County extended the misery with a 27 point shellacking in Scottsville this evening. This is a squad that is clearly reeling, and they are not likely to find any quarter when they visit a Warren Central team they beat at home in early January. Just not an ideal stretch for the Patriots, which is a shame, because it overshadows a campaign that has seen them reach 20 wins for the first time in a decade. There's still time, they just need to rediscovery their strong January form. 8) South Warren (12-14) - 2/5 71-59 W #12 Warren East, 2/7 54-41 W at #8 Franklin-Simpson, 2/9 101-87 W Hart County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/11 vs. #3 Clinton County, 2/15 vs. Butler County The Spartans may have found themselves condemned to the 4/5 play-in game in the 14th District tournament, but they picked up a trio of wins this week for their third three game winning streak this season. They have now won 7 of 10, which included wins over Warren Central and Franklin-Simpson, as well as very close losses to Greenwood and Bowling Green. Tonight they dropped 101 on Hart County, a school record and the first trip over the century mark for the team. Tyler Martin, recently minted second team all-region, dropped 33 in the game, and became the school's career leading scorer with it. Earlier in the week they earned a 12 point win over Warren East, the team that they will face off against in the district tournament in just over a week. They'll try to battle back to .500 with a pair of games this week, including a daunting one on Monday against Clinton County. 9) Franklin-Simpson (13-11) - 2/5 39-35 W Butler County, 2/7 41-54 L #10 South Warren Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/12 at #12 Warren East, 2/14 vs. #4 Glasgow The Wildcats have been going through a bit of a rough patch of their own, winning only three of their last seven games. They slide behind South Warren as a result, who knocked them off by 13 in Franklin on Thursday. This week saw an unwelcome return to the scoring issues that have plagued Franklin at times, as they managed only 80 combined points in the two results. Despite having a winning record, the Wildcats have actually allowed 17 points more than they've scored on the season. Andreyous Miller did his best to raise the scoreline, combining for 29 points in the two games, on 10/18 shooting. The impressive sophomore has moved his scoring average up to 10.7 PPG on the season. Demarco Chatman was named to the third team all-region this week as well. Franklin should be favored over Warren East before closing with a tough home contest against Glasgow. 10) Barren County (14-13) - 2/4 52-73 L #1 Bowling Green, 2/5 58-47 OT W at #14 Russell County, 2/8 77-70 W #15 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/12 at #13 Metcalfe County, 2/14 vs. #3 Clinton County The Trojans were steamrolled at home against top-ranked and highly motivated Bowling Green, but recovered the week with a pair of wins to move back over .500 on the year. Barren County has been very up and down all season long. They have yet to win more than three in a row, nor will they be favored to that this next week given their matchup against Clinton County. They have played very competitively in losses to Logan County and Glasgow, but have also struggled to put away teams like Russell County and Cumberland County. It is very tough to know how things will play out when the postseason hits. They'll meet Glasgow in nine days. 11) Monroe County (10-13) - 2/5 81-70 W at #15 Cumberland County, 2/8 72-82 L at #4 Clinton County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/12 vs. #5 Greenwood, 2/14 vs. #12 Warren East Chandler Clements was named first team all-region this week, and keyed an 81-70 win over Cumberland County with 23 points on 9 of 18 shooting. They could not extend their win streak to three, falling in a road game at Clinton County 82-72. Still, the past week represents a step forward for the Falcons, and they will warm up their home floor with games against a pair of District 14 opponents before they host the 15th District tournament next week, when they'll meet an Allen County-Scottsville team they just beat. 12) Warren East (10-15) - 2/5 59-71 L at #10 South Warren, 2/8 50-84 L #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/11 vs. Caverna, 2/12 vs. #9 Franklin-Simpson, 2/14 at #11 Monroe County Things did not improve for the Raiders, who have not been able to overcome a bevy of ailments since the start of the new year. They are now 2-11 in their last 13 games, and each of their last seven losses have something in common - they have failed to top 60 points in each. Scoring has just been hard to come by, and that has not put them in a position to be able to grab wins. Their two losses this week dropped them to 0-8 in District 14 play this season, but they do get to host the district tournament, so perhaps they can still parlay that into something. They have a chance to grab some momentum and move up the ranks with three winnable games, including two against teams within three spots of them. 13) Metcalfe County (9-18) - 2/4 97-90 OT W at #15 Cumberland County, 2/5 58-66 L at #5 Glasgow, 2/7 56-57 L #2 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/12 vs. #10 Barren County, 2/14 vs. Caverna, 2/15 at Washington County The Hornets no longer required the win over Cumberland County to stay in the 2/3 game and away from Clinton County in the district tournament, but it was a nice touch nonetheless. The 97 points represented an eight year high for the program, as both Peyton Dial (29) and Boston Devore (21) topped twenty points in the game, with Trevor Fields just missing with 19. They proved to be competitive with Glasgow and had a shot for the win carom off the iron against Allen County-Scottsville. The signs are all positive as they enter the last week of the regular season. 14) Russell County (6-22) - 2/4 45-61 L at Mercer County, 2/5 47-58 OT L #9 Barren County, 2/8 45-54 L at Adair County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/12 vs. Danville, 2/15 vs. Rockcastle County The Lakers have now dropped eight in a row, and they appear almost certain to fall to Danville before a winnable game against Rockcastle County. The Lakers failed to top 47 points in any of their three games this week, which included an extra four minutes in the game against Barren County. In fact, 61 points is their high in the entire losing streak. They'll be the #3 seed when they meet Metcalfe County next week, hoping to keep alive their region tournament streak. 15) Cumberland County (6-20) - 2/4 90-97 OT L #13 Metcalfe County, 2/5 70-81 L #11 Monroe County, 2/8 70-77 L at #9 Barren County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/12 vs. #4 Glasgow, 2/15 at #6 Logan County The scoring has been way, way up for the Panthers, who are averaging almost 80 points over their last four games. The wins have not necessarily come - they are 1-3 in that stretch - but they have certainly proven to be competitive in those games. They'll have an uphill battle in games against Glasgow and Logan County this week, ahead of their district tournament matchup against Clinton County, which defeated them three times this season. 16) Russellville (8-15) - 2/5 43-82 L #3 Warren Central, 2/8 71-58 W at #17 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/12 at #1 Bowling Green, 2/15 vs. Whitesville Trinity The Panthers snapped a six game losing streak and won their first district game of the year with a 71-58 victory on the road at Todd County Central. The win pulled them into a tie with the Rebels for the 3rd seed in district play, and it means we have no idea who is going to be in what spot as the top two spots and bottom two spots in the district are now tied. Jacob Naylor was named to the second team all-region. The senior is averaging just a hair under 25 PPG. This week they will almost certainly suffer a 16th consecutive loss to Bowling Green before meeting a surprising Whitesville Trinity team. 17) Todd County Central (5-21) - 2/4 58-80 L Rossview (TN), 2/8 58-71 L #16 Russellville Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/12 at Muhlenberg County, 2/14 at #7 Allen County-Scottsville The Rebels were not able to ride homecourt to a victory, and their losing streak has now reached 12 in a row. It's been a difficult season for Todd County, which was not able to replicate last season's success despite the presence of Jon Calvery. Calvery was named to the second team all-region this week.
  21. 1) Warren Central (4-0) - 12/10 84-62 W at #3 Glasgow, 12/13 82-44 W #16 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/20 vs. Macon County (TN) (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/21 vs. TBA (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/22 vs. TBA (at Gatlinburg-Pittman) The Dragons just keep trucking along. They're unbeaten, and all four of their games have featured scores of 80+ by the Central offense. They did have very slow starts against both Glasgow and Franklin, but once the pressure defense settled in, things got out of hand quickly. Their scoring has been very balanced, with Kobe Brents leading the team with just over 15 PPG, but three players averaging in double digits. The Killer B's of Brents, Boyd, and Bibb have each led Central in scoring in a game. They travel to Gatlinburg for their first Christmas tourney. Their first holiday tournament tends to go poorly - it's been five years since they've won their opening tournament. 2) Bowling Green (4-1) - 12/11 79-56 W #8 Greenwood, 12/15 60-64 L at McCracken County Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/18 at #3 Logan County, 12/20 vs. Daviess County (at OIT), 12/21 vs. John Hardin (at OIT), 12/22 vs. Apollo (at OIT) The Purples were going to make me seriously question whether I should move them up before they suffered a late loss to McCracken County in what was by far their most difficult road test to date. Still, Bowling Green has been shock and awe this season. They scored the first 17 points against Greenwood and led 29-2 at one point. Like their game against Glasgow, they rocked the Gators with an opening salvo that completely ended the game before the first quarter was over. While the Purples lost an 11 point lead against McCracken, I would not advise falling behind this Purple team. Logan County will get to host Bowling Green in the latest attempt by a team to break into the top two. The Cougars have not beaten Bowling Green in nearly 13 years. 3) Logan County (6-0) - 12/10 74-62 W #6 Monroe County, 12/15 68-53 W at #11 South Warren Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/18 vs. #2 Bowling Green, 12/20 vs. Hopkins County Central (at Butler County), 12/20 vs. Caldwell County (at Butler County), 12/21 vs. Webster County (at Butler County) Speaking of Logan County, you'll see only two results up there but they got an additional win this week when their opening loss to Clarksville Academy was negated by an ineligible player. Thus, the Cougars are 6-0 for the first time since 2010/11 when they started 8-0. The marquee win was the home win over Monroe County. I'd love to give you some stats, but the Cougars haven't been reporting individual scores yet. Their Tuesday game against Bowling Green is ultimately meaningless in the long run, but it's huge for the Cougars in terms of figuring out just where they stand in the region. They've lost 15 of 16 against the Purples, and actually haven't beaten Bowling Green at Logan County in the lifetime of any player on the team (1996). 4) Clinton County (6-1) - 12/11 84-75 W at #15 Cumberland County, 12/14 61-52 W #17 Russell County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/20 vs. #10 South Warren, 12/20 vs. Monterey (TN), 12/21 vs. Elliott County, 12/22 vs. Christ Prebyterian Academy (TN) Jackson Harlan returned against Cumberland County and didn't miss a beat, pouring in 33 points in the win. Still, those are somewhat disconcertingly close scores against their 16th district rivals, teams that the Bulldogs are expected to completely obliterate. Still, they're 3-0 in the district, right where they want to be. They host their Christmas tournament this week, opening against 14th District foe South Warren. 5) Monroe County (6-2) - 12/10 62-74 L at #5 Logan County, 12/11 63-48 W at #17 Russell County, 12/14 77-75 W at #3 Glasgow Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/20 vs. Owensboro Catholic (at OIT), 12/21 vs. Hopkinsville (at OIT), 12/22 vs. Owensboro (at OIT) The Falcons took the L against Logan County, but got the much more important game when they knocked off Glasgow 77-75 on the road. That was despite trailing entering the fourth quarter 62-55. Monroe County battled to a 66 all tie, and made their free throws late to steal the win. Chandler Clements had 26 points for Monroe in the win, with Geralds chipping in 19. Monroe County is now 2-0 in the very balanced 15th District. They have two gigantic tests this week when they play Owensboro Catholic and Hopkinsville. 6) Glasgow (4-3) - 12/10 62-84 L #1 Warren Central, 12/14 75-77 L #6 Monroe County Previous Rank: 3 This Week: No games scheduled Glasgow proved their capability when they battled Warren Central to a 32 all tie at the half on Monday, but the game got away from them in the third quarter leading to a double digit loss. That funk extended to Friday's loss to Monroe County, dropping them to 0-1 in the district. Nik Sorrell is doing his part, with 22 against Warren Central and 26 against Monroe County. They've taken too many hits now to remain at #3 in the region, so down they go. On the schedule, they don't have another game until they meet Barren County on the 28th. 7) Allen County-Scottsville (6-1) - 12/11 72-54 W #12 Warren East, 12/14 58-56 W at #9 Barren County, 12/15 58-60 OT L #16 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/18 at #12 Todd County Central, 12/20 vs. Fairview (at Raceland) Well, the sparkling start for the Patriots is over and the week marred by a very hard to believe loss to Franklin-Simpson, but the highlight will remain the two point victory over in-district rival Barren County. ACS won their first contest against Barren County since 2014, staking them to a 1-0 start in the 15th District. Brett Rippy had 20 points in the win, right on his average for the season. Perhaps the loss to Franklin was a hangover type game, in a contest that had 10 ties and 14 lead changes. 8) Barren County (3-4) - 12/10 64-49 W Edmonson County, 12/11 75-45 W at Caverna, 12/14 56-58 L #7 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/19 vs. Elizabethtown, 12/20 vs. Clay County (TN), 12/21 vs. Lighthouse Christian (TN) The fourth straight 15th district team in the rankings, the Trojans have still not been over .500 this season. Crucially, they are now 0-2 in district play, losing both games by a combined five points. The positive of that is that they are really right there with those teams, but they may still have a difficult road ahead. Will Bandy is leading the team with 18.4 points per game.They open with Elizabethtown in their home Christmas tournament. 9) Greenwood (2-3) - 12/11 56-79 L at #2 Bowling Green, 12/14 58-47 W #11 South Warren Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/18 vs. #11 Franklin-Simpson, 12/20 vs. Hart County (at Edmonson County), 12/21 vs. Green County (at Edmonson County), 12/22 vs. Grayson County (at Edmonson County) The win at the end of the week was nice, but by almost any measure Greenwood had a terrible week. First came the 17-0 and 29-2 start against Bowling Green. Then came the news that best player and cornerstone Jack Roberts had suffered a broken hand, and will miss the next month. That would put him out for the home engagement against Bowling Green, cementing that as an almost certain loss. They'll certainly hope to have him back by the time they take on Warren East in a very necessary district game on January 11th. As for the win, they overcame a late deficit, scoring the final 12 points of the game to secure the win over South Warren. The back and forth rivalry is led by South Warren 11-10. 10) South Warren (3-4) - 12/11 52-40 W #10 Todd County Central, 12/14 47-58 L at #8 Greenwood, 12/15 53-68 L #5 Logan County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 12/20 at #4 Clinton County, 12/20 vs. TBA (at Clinton County), 12/21 vs. Elliott County (at Clinton County), 12/22 vs. TBA (at Clinton County) The Spartans have gotten reinforcements in the form of their state champion football players. Gavin Spurrier led the Spartans with 14 points in the loss to Greenwood on an off night for star Tyler Martin. The Spartans sit at 1-1 in district play, and have a very challenging week with a road game at Clinton County and the #1 team in the 16th region in Elliott County. 11) Franklin-Simpson (2-4) - 12/10 60-54 W #12 Warren East, 12/13 44-82 L #1 Warren Central, 12/15 60-58 OT W at #7 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 12/18 at #9 Greenwood, 12/20 vs. Webster County (at Butler County), 12/21 vs. Caldwell County (at Butler County), 12/21 vs. Hopkins County Central (at Butler County) Ignore the loss to a Warren Central team that they obviously weren't going to beat. Franklin otherwise had a phenomenal week. First they knocked off Warren East, snapping a two game skid against the Raiders. There's never a bad win over a 14th District team. DeMarco Chatman had 19 in the victory, raising his average to 14.3 PPG on the year. Then came the super-surprise, when they ended Allen County's unbeaten start with an overtime victory on the road at the Patriots. The two wins doubled the total they have had since the beginning of 2018. The 60 points they had in each win are the only times they have scored more than 46 points this season. 12) Todd County Central (3-5) - 12/11 40-52 L at #11 South Warren, 12/15 54-68 L Ohio County (at Muhlenberg County) Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/18 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/19 vs. Campbellsville (at Warren East) The Rebels saw their two game win streak come to an end with a pair of losses. The 40 points against South Warren represented their lowest scoring effort since December of 2016. The Rebels will take on the still-hot ACS Patriots before playing in the Warren East holiday tournament. 13) Warren East (4-4) - 12/10 54-60 L at #16 Franklin-Simpson, 12/11 54-72 L at #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/15 79-54 W Trigg County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 12/19 vs. Caverna, 12/20 vs. TBA, 12/21 vs. TBA The Raiders have still yet to string together two wins ina row, and have had growing pains in their new up-tempo offense. The good news for them is that the only damaging part of the first eight games was the district loss to South Warren. They'll hope to continue to iron out the issues in the offense during the holiday tournaments, and they also advanced in the Kentucky 2A Championship sectional with the win over Trigg County. They will visit Glasgow in the next round at some point prior to January 10th. 14) Russellville (1-6) - 12/11 78-76 W McLean County, 12/13 81-86 L at East Robertson (TN), 12/14 40-66 L at Muhlenberg County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 12/19 vs. #17 Cumberland County (at Berea), 12/20 vs. TBA (at Berea), 12/21 vs. TBA (at Berea) Ont he positive side, Russellville got off the schneid with a tight win over McLean County, snapping a ten game losing streak and winning their first game over a team not named Franklin-Simpson since the end of 2017. Their 78 and 81 point efforts represented a significant advance in scoring before bottoming out with their low of the year against Muhlenberg County. They'll meet a reeling Cumberland County team in Berea. 15) Russell County (1-5) - 12/10 70-62 W #14 Metcalfe County, 12/11 48-63 L #6 Monroe County, 12/14 52-61 L at #5 Clinton County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 12/20 vs. Corbin (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/20 vs. TBA (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/21 vs. TBA (at Gatlinburg-Pittman), 12/22 vs. TBA (at Gatlinburg-Pittman) The win over Metcalfe was enormous, keeping them out of the crosshairs of the #4 seed int he 16th district for now. Ryan Coffey and Scott Hamm combined for 46 in the win. The 70 points they scored is their only effort over 54 points so far this year. Still, they should be encouraged by the relatively close loss on the road to top dog Clinton County. 16) Metcalfe County (2-6) - 12/10 62-70 L at #17 Russell County, 12/14 70-86 L at Hart County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 12/20 at Edmonson County, 12/21 vs. Grayson County (at Edmonson County), 12/22 vs. Hart County (at Edmonson County) The momentum of the win over Cumberland County did not last. The Hornets trailed by just two at the half and by six entering the final quarter against Russell County, but could not climb back in the eight point loss. Tyler London continued his strong play with 23 in the contest. The Hornets have at least shown they are a legitimate threat, but they are going to have to beat Russell County at some point if they want to get back into the region tournament. 17) Cumberland County (1-5) - 12/11 75-84 L #5 Clinton County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 12/19 vs. #14 Russellville (at Berea), 12/20 vs. TBA (at Berea), 12/21 vs. TBA (at Berea) A 9 point loss to Clinton County is actually not that bad, and the Panthers have a very healthy 68 points per game average. They just haven't been able to defend well enough to get the victories as of yet. They wouldn't be in this slot if not for Russell County and Franklin-Simpson's improvements. This is the rare year of late where there is a lot of fluidity at the bottom. Dawson Smith has proven to be one of the top scorers in the region thus far, with a 20 PPG average.
  22. 1) Warren Central (2-0) - 12/4 81-68 W at Owensboro Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/10 at #3 Glasgow, 12/13 at #16 Franklin-Simpson Central played only one game this week thanks to Paducah pulling out of their game due to the ACT, but they stayed hot with an 81-68 victory at Owensboro, their second 80+ point effort of the year. Dre Boyd led the way with 19 points on 7/12 shooting, and a perfect 5-5 from the foul line to go with 13 rebounds. The win didn't come easy, as the Dragons trailed after the first and third quarters. A late surge was keyed by an Antonio Barbee basket coupled with an intentional foul on the play. Central has beaten Owensboro 10 out of 11, with the lone loss coming in the state championship year for the Red Devils. The Dragons play a Monday/Thursday schedule this week, and get a measuring stick visit to Glasgow. Central has won 13 in a row against the Scotties. 2) Bowling Green (3-0) - 12/4 92-38 W #3 Glasgow, 12/8 73-68 W Central Hardin (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/11 vs. #8 Greenwood, 12/15 at McCracken County I came very close to jumping Bowling Green to the top this week, that's how impressive they were. They opened the week by absolutely shattering Glasgow 92-38 in what was supposed to be a real test. It was the eighth straight win over the Scotties for Bowling Green, but despite the gaudy 54 point margin, it didn't even surpass the 62 points they won by two years ago. The Purples shot 61% in the victory, and were 8/14 (57.1%) from three. 11 Purples scored, led by Isaiah Mason's 18 points on 7/11 shooting. From beginning to end it was pure dominance. They followed that up with a more impressive win over BGP-ranked Central Hardin. The teams put on a shooting clinic early, and the frenetic pace led to a 43-all halftime score. The Purples weathered twelve three-pointers by the Bruins, and when it came to crunch time, they hit their free throws as usual. Trevor Dennis hit four triples on his way to 24 points to lead the team. They really impressed me, showcasing great ball movement to find the open shot and getting to the rim as we are accustomed to. They may be #1 before long. 3) Glasgow (4-1) - 12/4 38-92 L at #2 Bowling Green, 12/7 66-48 W #16 Russell County, 12/8 76-53 W #14 Russellville Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 12/10 vs. #1 Warren Central, 12/14 vs. #6 Monroe County You look at that 54 point loss and ask how they can remain this high? Simple - I believe Warren Central and Bowling Green are that far ahead of the rest of the region. Glasgow is better than that margin would indicate. In a lot of ways, I think they gave up against Bowling Green, and it's hard to blame them. They got their souls reaved on their way to a 26-6 first quarter deficit. The game was over at that point. They bounced back with double digit victories over Russell County and Russellville. They have a shot at proving that the blowout was a fluke when they host top ranked Warren Central tomorrow. Win or keep it close, and people can let that BG game slip from their memory. The Monroe County game appears even more critical thanks to Allen County-Scottsville's hot start. The Scotties are still finding their way without Smith, Brents, and Franklin. 4) Logan County (3-1) - 12/4 59-41 W at Ohio County, 12/7 61-46 W #15 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/10 vs. #6 Monroe County, 12/14 at #10 Todd County Central, 12/15 at #11 South Warren Logan County pretty much just did what they should in wins over Ohio County and Franklin-Simpson. Both results were expected, and the Cougars are out to a strong 3-1 start to the Tinsley era, avoiding a pitfall against a Franklin-Simpson team that gave them a lot of trouble a year ago and eliminated them from the postseason. They have a benchmark game on tap against Monroe County, who blew them out by 16 a season ago. As with all district games, their trip to Todd County Central is the more important one. Last season the Cougars scratched out a 64-62 win at Todd County. The Rebels are really their only significant competition for the district. 5) Clinton County (4-1) - 12/4 64-58 W at #7 Monroe County, 12/7 78-35 W #17 Metcalfe County, 12/8 48-73 L #5 Greenwood (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/11 at #15 Cumberland County, 12/14 vs. #17 Russell County Clinton County maintains a relatively high position despite the blowout loss to Greenwood thanks to the missing link from that game - Jackson Harlan. The WKU commit suffered a fall in their win against Metcalfe County, and sat out the Greenwood game with back spasms. They kept close for a while thanks to Seth Stockton's double double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, but could not hang with the Gators without their 26.3 PPG leader. Their week-opening win over Monroe County appears to be a greater indicator of their stature, with Harlan posting 31 points against the former-16th District rival. By the end of this next week. the Bulldogs should be out to a 3-0 district record and well on their way to yet another #1 seed. 6) Monroe County (4-1) - 12/4 58-64 L #4 Clinton County, 12/7 56-53 W #9 Barren County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/10 at #5 Logan County, 12/11 at #17 Russell County, 12/14 at #3 Glasgow The Falcons got 24 points out of Chandler Clements, but their 3/23 shooting from three ultimately denied them any chance to knock off the higher ranked Bulldogs last Tuesday. They appeared on their way to another loss when they hosted Barren County, trailing almost the entire game, including 45-38 entering the fourth. Eight straight points to open the quarter gave them their first lead, and Grayson Rich gave them the win with a three pointer from the top of the key with two seconds remaining. The big district win springboards them into a week where they will visit Logan County to start and end the week with another road district game at expected favorite Glasgow. 7) Allen County-Scottsville (4-0) - 12/6 74-71 OT W #5 Greenwood, 12/7 79-63 W at #12 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 12/11 vs. #12 Warren East, 12/14 at #9 Barren County, 12/15 vs. #16 Franklin-Simpson The Patriots still have a ways to go to make me search further back than 2008/09 to find a better start - they went 10-0 to open that season - but they are trying hard to get there. Their most dramatic win to date came in a home 74-71 overtime win over Greenwood, won courtesy of a Mason Shirley halfcourt three pointer as time expired. They were three of Shirley's 27 points, 22 of which came in the second half. They stayed hot with the road win at Cumberland County. Each of their games has seen them score between 71 and 79 points, a remarkably consistent effort. Suddenly, they are favorites in all their pre-Christmas games (for now). They open the week with another 14th District opponent in Warren East, but we'll find out exactly what they're made of when they visit district foe Barren County on Friday. 8) Greenwood (1-2) - 12/6 71-74 OT L at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/8 73-48 W #4 Clinton County (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/11 at #2 Bowling Green, 12/14 vs. #11 South Warren It seems unfair to ding the Gators so harshly for the loss to Allen County-Scottsville, and it isn't their fault Jackson Harlan didn't play on Saturday, but we just can't be certain of exactly what they have in that win. We do know that they continue to get standout performances from Jack Roberts and Isaac Stansbury, with each bursting into double digits in all three games the Gators have played on the year. They led most of the game against Allen County-Scottsville before faltering late, snapping a five game winning streak over the Patriots. They have two district games this week. We wouldn't give them much hope of snapping a 14 game skid against Bowling Green - and they haven't won AT Bowling Green in nine years - but their contest against bitter rival South Warren bears definite monitoring. The teams split the regular season a season ago before the Spartans broke Greenwood's heart in the district tournament on the same Greenwood court they will meet on Friday. Staying out of the 4/5 game is always critical, and a South Warren win would slide Greenwood alongside Warren East in the danger zone for that. 9) Barren County (1-3) - 12/7 53-56 L at #7 Monroe County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/10 vs. Edmonson County, 12/11 at Caverna, 12/14 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville The Trojans have managed to remain close in their losses, but have continued to find the sledding difficult without Jared Coomer. They led for the first three quarters of their game against Monroe County, but couldn't hold on for the win. They finally return home after opening the year with four straight road games. The game against Allen County-Scottsville suddenly can't be taken for granted thanks to the strong opening showing by the Patriots. They haven't lost to AC/S since the 2013/14 season. 10) Todd County Central (2-4) - 12/3 66-110 L at University Heights, 12/4 57-55 W East Robertson (TN), 12/7 68-64 W at #14 Russellville Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/11 at #11 South Warren, 12/14 vs. #5 Logan County, 12/15 vs. Ohio County (at Muhlenberg County) The Rebels began the week with a completely understandable smackdown at UHA. Just nothing to be done there. But they finally climbed into the win column with an out of state win against East Robertson and a comeback win against Russellville to start 1-0 in district play. John Calvery is out to an 18.5 PPG average through six games, including 17 in the win at Russellville. They have another big district game this week when they host Logan County, who they dropped a pair to last season - the only 13th District team to beat them. 11) South Warren (2-2) - 12/7 67-65 W at #8 Warren East, 12/8 93-62 W Edmonson County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 12/11 vs. #10 Todd County Central, 12/14 at #8 Greenwood, 12/15 vs. #5 Logan County That's more like it for South Warren! With some of their football strength returning, the Spartans grabbed a big win at Warren East on Friday night, with a game winning layup with a little more than two seconds remaining by Tayshaun Jones providing the difference. That finished a 13-4 rally that saw the Spartans come back from a 61-54 deficit with just under five minutes left. It provided the first win as coach of a boys' team for Blane Embry since 2010, when he coached at Greenwood. Football star Cam Harrison had 20 points in the win, providing a big boost. They liked the winning so much they followed it by beating Edmonson County up to the tune of a 93-62 victory, equaling the second highest score in team history, and most since a 98-63 win over Ohio County in 2015. Sophomore Jace Carver poured in 27 points in the victory, with star Tyler Martin adding in 21. They'll look to keep the momentum going as they take on three higher ranked teams, with the game at Greenwood serving as the critical contest. The Spartans haven't opened 2-0 in district play since the 2013/14 season, which was the season they came closest to reaching the region tournament. 12) Warren East (3-2) - 12/4 57-50 W #14 Russellville, 12/7 65-67 L #13 South Warren, 12/8 76-41 W Apollo (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/10 at #16 Franklin-Simpson, 12/11 at #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/15 vs. Trigg County The Raiders have yet to string together consecutive wins, and the loss to South Warren could prove critical as they try to reach the region tournament for the first time in two decades. East has had balanced scoring through five games, with three players averaging double digits - Adante Barber (12.8 PPG), Ryan Carter (12.2 PPG), and Thomas Maxey (10.2 PPG). They're living and dying by the three, with a three point shot on 45% of their attempts. They hit only 28.8% in their losses. That wasn't a problem on Saturday when they burned Apollo with a 14/26 effort from behind the arc. Their game against AC/S will be the one to watch this week, a squad they've beaten seven out of eight. 13) Russellville (0-4) - 12/4 50-57 L at #8 Warren East, 12/7 64-68 L #10 Todd County Central, 12/8 53-76 L at #3 Glasgow Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 12/11 vs. McLean County, 12/13 at East Robertson (TN), 12/14 at Muhlenberg County The Panthers are on a ten game losing streak spanning two seasons, and are 0 for their last 16 games against teams not named Franklin-Simpson. Their loss to Glasgow was the first one this year that came by more than ten points, and they couldn't quite pull out a needed home win against district foe Todd County Central. After four straight games against region competition, they step out this week in search of their first win of the year. 14) Metcalfe County (2-4) - 12/4 74-67 W #12 Cumberland County, 12/7 35-78 L at #4 Clinton County, 12/8 60-62 L Green County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 12/10 at #17 Russell County, 12/14 at Hart County The Hornets have followed each win with two losses, but that second win was crucial, picking up their first district win since 2015 in topping Cumberland County. Tyler London was on fire, going 12/26 from the field, 5/12 from three, and posting 31 points in the win. It's been a while since Metcalfe County has been a threat to make the region - last making it in 2011, but if they can beat Cumberland County, they can absolutely break through. They get a chance to follow it up and start 2-0 in district play when they visit Russell County on Monday. 15) Cumberland County (1-4) - 12/4 67-74 L at #17 Metcalfe County, 12/7 68-79 L #11 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 12/11 vs. #5 Clinton County The flip side of the coin is a devastating loss for Cumberland County, which was hoping to challenge Clinton County for the top seed in the district. Not that they can't still, but a loss to Metcalfe County will do them no favors. But Dawson Smith doesn't bear responsibility for it, dropping in 24 points in the loss to Metcalfe County and following that with 17 in a strong effort against Allen County-Scottsville. They'll host Clinton County on Tuesday night. 16) Franklin-Simpson (0-3) - 12/7 46-61 L at #6 Logan County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 12/10 vs. #12 Warren East, 12/13 vs. #1 Warren Central, 12/15 at #7 Allen County-Scottsville The Wildcats have won only two games in their last 19 games, and have yet to top 46 points on the season. Matchups against 14th District opponents and a surging Allen County-Scottsville team will do them no favors. The matchup with Warren Central is part of the Kentucky 2A Championship sectional - an upset win there would make their game against AC/S one for a berth in the sectional semifinals. 17) Russell County (0-3) - 12/7 48-66 L at #3 Glasgow Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 12/10 vs. #14 Metcalfe County, 12/11 vs. #6 Monroe County, 12/14 at #5 Clinton County Russell County has yet to be closer than 13 points in a game this season, as they are still recovering from the massive departures from the program in the last two years. They face a gut-check game against Metcalfe County on Monday. The Lakers haven't lost to the Hornets since 2008 - a loss would mean it is time to massively panic about their chances of keeping the region tournament streak alive.
  23. A quick snapshot of the matchups in the 4th Region tournament: Game 1: February 24th – Clinton County (16th District Champions) vs. Allen County-Scottsville (15th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Clinton County leads 1-0 -Last Region Meeting: Clinton County 40 Allen County-Scottsville 38 - 2010 4th Region Quarterfinals Clinton County is into their eighth straight region tournament, the longest current streak in the region now that Russell County was eliminated in district play. The Bulldogs secured their fourth district title during that streak, winning by seven over Cumberland County in a tighter than expected contest, but comfortably knocking off district host at #2 seed Metcalfe County by 23. They drew the middle option from the district runners-up, with Allen County-Scottsville checking in at #7 in our last BGP rankings – Clinton County was #4. That puts the Bulldogs in a position that has been rather rare for them over the years, that of a first round favorite. They have lost 8 of their last 9 games in the region tournament, but did win their only meeting in region tournament play against Allen County-Scottsville. The Bulldogs are 23-7 on the year, and have won 15 of their last 17 games. That included a win over 15th District champion Glasgow, who just knocked off Allen County-Scottsville in the 15th District finals. While Clinton County did not play the Patriots, they went undefeated against the rest of the 15th District, posting a perfect 4-0 record. Like most years, they enter with good tournament experience, having won the region’s All A Classic tournament and advancing to a solid effort against Shelby Valley in the state tournament. As mentioned in the postseason preview, Jackson Harlan is the engine that drives Clinton County. They’ll need a big effort from Jackson Harlan, who posted 20 and 29 points in the district tournament. The Patriots can be one of the most dangerous teams in the entire region tournament, but since their 15-2 start, they have been wildly inconsistent. Some of that was on display in the district tournament, sometimes even in the same game. The Patriots blasted Monroe County by 15, and jumped out to a lead on Glasgow by halftime, but gave up a perfect shooting performance from the field in the third quarter to fall behind, and they couldn’t reel the Scotties back in. There wasn’t really a perfect draw for the Patriots at that point, but Clinton County will do as they are the only team the Patriots didn’t face among the possible district winner opponents available to them, and they went 0-2 against Bowling Green and Logan County. The Patriots are into the region tournament for the first time since 2013, and they have lost their last six games in region tournament play. Their last win came in 2005, and even that was their only win in the tournament since they won the title in 1996. The Patriots are 7-3 all-time against 16th District opponents in the region tournament, but have fallen in two straight. AC/S has not won more than three games in a row since their 15-2 start ended, and that particular streak was just snapped in the district final. Brett Rippy is the player to watch on AC/S – he posted 24 points on 8/11 shooting in their district semifinal win over Monroe County. Both they and the Bulldogs average around 65 PPG, so there should be a healthy amount of scoring in this matchup. Game 2: February 24th – Bowling Green (14th District Champions) vs. Franklin-Simpson (13th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Bowling Green leads 9-1 -Last Region Meeting: Bowling Green 77 Franklin-Simpson 59 - 2017 4th Region Semifinals It’s March – well, scratch that, February (this is the earliest start for the Bowling Green-area region tournament in history) – which means Bowling Green is in the region tournament. The Purples have missed the tournament just once in the last 12 seasons. While they saw their run of four straight region titles end a season ago, they kept alive their streak of reaching a region final when they make the tournament, appearing in the final of the last 11 tournaments they’ve made. They brought home their sixth consecutive district title in their 57-49 win over Warren Central, one shy of their record for the district tournament set from 1939-1945. The Purples win in the postseason, and they win often. They win often against Franklin-Simpson too, regardless of when it takes place. They are 9-1 all-time against Franklin-Simpson in region tournament play, with the lone loss coming in the 1971 region finals. They’ve won 8 in a row, including during their state tournament run in 2017. Besides that, they have won 11 in a row against the Wildcats at any point, including this season’s 67-51 victory in January. Franklin-Simpson hasn’t so much as topped 60 points against the Purples since 2011, while Bowling Green has just once dipped below that. They’re favored heavily is what we’re saying. Given their track record, their region-best 24-5 mark, and their presence as champions of the district that has won 17 consecutive 4th Region tournaments, they’re favored for the whole tourney. Franklin-Simpson is making their fourth consecutive region tournament appearance, but they have lost 8 of their last 9 in region tourney play – their sole win came in 2017 over Russell County. They carry a 2-18 mark all-time in region tournament play against the 14th District, and have not won against the district since beating Warren Central in 1996, losing twelve in a row. They start with a game against a 14th District rep for the sixth time in their last eight region tournament appearances. That’s the negative in a season of many positives. While last year’s squad snuck into the postseason, Franklin whipped Russellville 75-61 before falling short against Logan County on a layup with less than 10 seconds remaining, and a brutal no-call on their final play, falling 67-66. They bounced back to 16 wins this year after winning just seven one year ago. While they allowed 128 points in the district tournament, their 55 PPG allowed is one of the tops in the region. They allowed Bowling Green to shoot 25/42 from inside the arc in their last meeting, and Isaiah Mason dropped 21 points on them. The Wildcats simply cannot allow that sort of production on the defensive end to have a shot. Game 3: February 25th – Glasgow (15th District Champions) vs. Warren Central (14th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Warren Central leads 5-1 -Last Region Meeting: Warren Central 68 Glasgow 63 - 2018 4th Region Quarterfinals Déjà vu. These two met in the opener just last season, and Glasgow likely is not happy to have drawn them yet again. It is inarguably the worst draw they could have gotten in terms of the runners-up. There is something to be said about playing a 14th District rep first, rather than hoping to beat them back to back in the semis and finals, but it is very tough. Glasgow is making their third region appearance since 2012, and they lost both openers since then, both against 14th District teams, both against teams that went on to win the region. Glasgow carries a 39-41 all-time record in region play, and haven’t beaten a 14th District opponent since 2002. The Scotties enter region tournament play with 20+ wins for the second straight year, and have won 9 of 11 overall. They have three players averaging over 10 PPG, led by Nick Sorrell’s 19 PPG. He topped that with 22 big points in an overtime win over Barren County in the district tournament, and added 17 to lead the team again in their district title win over Allen County-Scottsville. The Scotties were outscored by the Patriots in three of the four quarters, but they were perfect in the third, outscoring AC/S 26-12 and that was enough to lift them to a 61-56 win. The Scotties have lost 14 in a row to Warren Central, so that’s some pretty strong motivation. There’s also the matter of the two players who transferred from Glasgow to Warren Central this offseason and started for Central in the district tournament, which it’s fair to say will be strong motivation as well. The defending 4th Region champions, Warren Central, earned the right to defend their title, though it wasn’t very pretty. With an influx of transfers, the Dragons started the year 5-0, but faltered to a 12-11 mark since. Their 17 wins are their fewest going into a region tournament since 1997 when they had just 9. They performed phenomenally against out of region competition down the stretch, but went 3-4 against region teams since late January. While earlier in the season they had some defensive struggles, they have come a long way with that, holding 12 of their last 14 opponents under 60 points. But then, their offense has suddenly come up short, as they have failed to top 60 points in their last four games, and didn’t get over 50 in the district tournament. They’ll have to do better to keep up with the Scotties, who average 64 PPG. Central carries a 23-3 all-time mark in region tournament openers, and have won 17 of their last 18. They won their first meeting with Glasgow in December, 84-62 in Glasgow. Tayshaun Bibb had a career high 21 points in that game, as Kobe Brents (formerly of Glasgow) added 16 and Dre Boyd had 15. If the Scotties allow that type of production from Bibb again – who exclusively operates at the rim – then the Dragons are a good pick for the W. Central will rightly view themselves as very much one of the favorites for the region title, but their road starts difficult and will remain that way. Game 4: February 25th – Logan County (13th District Champions) vs. Metcalfe County (16th District Runners-Up) -Series at Region: Series tied 1-1 -Last Region Meeting: Logan County 67 Metcalfe County 60 - 1997 4th Region Quarterfinals The Cougars carry the longest current win streak in the region into the region tournament, having won their last six. They have been scoring at will, averaging nearly 74 PPG in their last five games. That included just their second district tournament win over Franklin-Simpson ever, and their first in a district final (where the two had never met), winning 67-66 in Todd County. Dalton Thompson worked his way in for a game-winning layup with 5 seconds left in the matchup, lifting the Cougars to their first district title in four years. Now they look to climb a bigger mountain – their first region tournament win since 1998. With apologies to Metcalfe County, they got the draw to do it. The Cougars are 3-1 all-time in region tournament play against teams form the 16th District, last losing in 1985. The Hornets are the only team with a losing record in the tournament field, while Logan County is tied with Bowling Green for the most wins in the region with 24. Logan County averages 65 PPG, while Metcalfe County allows just shy of 70. It’s an ideal draw. The Cougars like to play uptempo and feature some good length on the team. They can match up with anyone in the field, and while they need to not get caught peeking ahead, their easier path to the semis makes them a legitimate dark horse for the title. They won their only title in 1984, and went on to win the state tournament. I’m not trying to besmirch Metcalfe County, who is a genuinely uplifting story. As mentioned in the pre-district preview, Metcalfe County exceeded the win total of their last four seasons combined, and reached the region tournament for the first time in eight years. They ended Russell County’s 13 year run of reaching the region tournament, becoming the first team in the region to ever defeat the Lakers in the district semifinals, doing so in a 62-58 overtime win. They’d likely have preferred to have given Clinton County a better run in the finals, but while the stated goal for the team is going to remain the pursuit of a region title, the Hornets have already accomplished and exceeded the realistic goals for the team. Metcalfe County is seeking their first region tournament victory since they knocked off Greenwood with a 25 foot buzzer beater en route to the 2006 region finals. They carry a 12-24 all-time record in region play, but won their last game against a 13th District opponent in the tournament, beating Franklin-Simpson – also in 2006. The Hornets are 5-5 in their last ten games, and will hope for some hot three point shooting like they had against Russell County, when they dropped in 8/17 from the perimeter. Boston Devore remains the team leader in scoring, averaging 16 PPG. A couple of anecdotal notes that don’t fit well into the previews: -I mentioned that this is the earliest region tournament start in the history of the Bowling Green-area region. This year, they also start on Sunday. It is extremely uncommon, as there have been only three Sunday games ever played in the tournament prior to this year. One was the 2013 region final, and the other two came in the 1948 semis. -This collection of teams has never been in the region tournament at the same time. The last time Clinton County and Metcalfe County made it in the same season was 1973. Allen County-Scottsville was still just plain old Allen County and Scottsville, and Logan County was split into five different schools. Bowling Green, Franklin-Simpson, and Warren Central all played together in the 14th District at the time. -While some districts did so prior to 1999, by that year, each district in the region was seeding their district tournaments. This year was the first year ever that the higher seed won each and every game played in the region. All four #1 seeds are champs, all four #2 seeds are runners-up. So it’s been a good year for chalk. By the last BGP region rankings, Glasgow is the only district champion not favored. It’ll be interesting to see how far the trend goes. -Three 20+ win teams are at the top of the bracket, with Clinton County, Allen County-Scottsville, and Bowling Green all exceeding that mark. -The non-14th District teams will be trying to put an end to the streak of 17 straight region tournament titles for the 14th, but this collection of teams does not have much recent experience in advancing to the title game. Franklin-Simpson last made it in 2009, Metcalfe County in 2006, Glasgow in 2000, Allen County-Scottsville in 1996, Logan County in 1984, and Clinton County waaaaaaaaay back in 1960. Bowling Green and Warren Central have combined for 26 appearances since 2001. Someone will have to defy the (recent) odds. -The 14th District has not lost to a 13th District representative since 2001, when Russellville beat Warren Central in the title game. That’s 26 straight wins, the longest such streak by one district against another by nine whole games. Bowling Green opens with 14th District runner-up Franklin-Simpson, and by BGP rankings, Warren Central will be expected to meet 13th District champion Logan County in the region semifinals.
  24. 1) Bowling Green (19-4) - 1/29 47-43 W #10 South Warren, 2/1 59-86 L at John Hardin Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/4 at #9 Barren County, 2/5 vs. Owensboro, 2/8 at #12 Warren East Bowling Green had a phenomenal week in Week 9 despite suffering through some personnel turmoil. This week.... they'd likely just as soon forget other than trying to take some lessons. First was a district game against South Warren that they had to have. The Spartans controlled the pace and simply would not go away. BG led by 12 at one point, but South ran them all the way down at 42 all before the Purples closed it out by hitting 5 of 6 free throws. They maintained their unbeaten record against South, and kept themselves planted at the top of the district. They need only defeat Warren East this Friday for what would be their 50th consecutive victory in the series to clinch #1. The John Hardin game..... that was everything falling apart. The 27 point loss was the worst in seven years for the Purples. The scoring has dried up for BG as they have transitioned into a defensive-led team, averaging just 56 PPG in their last seven games after averaging 71 PPG in their first 16 games. They may continue to face closer games if they can't find the offensive spark, but fortunately John Hardin was the first team to score even 60 against them since December. 2) Allen County-Scottsville (18-5) - 1/29 48-44 W at #8 Franklin-Simpson, 2/1 70-72 L #11 Monroe County Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/4 vs. #5 Glasgow, 2/5 at Edmonson County, 2/7 at #13 Metcalfe County, 2/9 vs. #6 Logan County The Patriots are another team that had a disappointing week. Quietly, ACS has gone 3-3 in their last six after starting the year 15-2. The Patriots shot just 38.6% against Franklin-Simpson, getting the win despite a season low 48 points. The win did avenge their first loss of the season, a 60-58 OT loss to Franklin in mid-December. The Monroe County loss was much more significant. The Patriots allowed the Falcons to come from behind at ACS, just four weeks after winning by double digits in Tompkinsville. The loss dropped them to 4-1 in district play, and opened the door for Glasgow. The two meet on Monday, and if Glasgow can get the upset win on the road, they will tie ACS for the #1 seed in the district, sending it to a coin flip. The Patriots have used their mulligan in our rankings, and we're deferring to their win over Warren Central to keep them here. But the margin for error is gone. 3) Warren Central (14-7) - 1/29 85-77 W at Taylor County, 2/1 64-51 W at #12 Warren East, 2/2 66-54 W Collins Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/5 at #16 Russellville, 2/8 at #7 Greenwood, 2/9 at Wayne County Finally a GOOD week in these ranks, as Central enjoyed three wins to extend their run to six wins in seven games. Their road win at Taylor County saw the Dragons post a season-high 85 points while shooting 57% from the floor and 52% from three. A great effort and shooting performance to deal Taylor County just their second home loss - the other in a 68-64 decision against undefeated John Hardin. Central wasn't quite as sharp in a 64-51 district win at Warren East, but still shot 47% from the floor to clinch no worse than the 3 seed in the district tournament. Finally came what is arguably their best win of the year, a home victory over Collins today. The Dragons were 10/18 from three, and were led by Dre Boyd's 21 points, complimented by 17 from Kobe Brents, who was 5/7 from deep. When Central is making shots from deep, they are very, very dangerous. This Friday features a probable district tournament preview when they visit Greenwood. The Dragons could still grab a tie for first with a win there and a Warren East upset of Bowling Green on the same night. 4) Clinton County (18-6) - 2/1 68-54 W at Madison Southern, 2/2 55-50 W #5 Glasgow Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/4 vs. McCreary Central, 2/8 vs. #11 Monroe County The Bulldogs returned to the floor for the first time since the All A loss to Shelby Valley, picking up a pair of victories to move within striking distance of twenty wins on the year. Jackson Harlan had 37 points in the win over Madison Southern, helping the Bulldogs rally from a modest 26-24 deficit. He exploded for 22 of Clinton County's 29 points in a decisive third quarter that saw them take a 15 point lead. The next day they picked up a 55-50 win over Glasgow in a battle of the region's #4 and #5 teams. Clinton County made sure to hold their spot, despite their lowest scoring effort since December. It was the first meeting between the teams since a 66-63 Glasgow win in 2016. They've now won 10 of 11, and they don't figure to slow down this week. 5) Glasgow (15-9) - 1/29 60-49 W at #11 Monroe County, 2/2 50-55 L at #4 Clinton County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/4 at #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/5 vs. #13 Metcalfe County, 2/8 vs. Caverna Glasgow simply could not catch up to Clinton County in the loss today, despite having three players in double digits, including a double double by Nick Sorrell with 14 points and 10 rebounds. But the more important game came on the road on Tuesday, when the Scotties took down Monroe County 60-49 in Tompkinsville. Robert Kingery dropped 19 in the contest with Nick Sorrell adding 18. Glasgow shot 51.3% from the floor, including 18/27 shooting from inside the arc. Coupled with Monroe County's upset of Allen County-Scottsville, it opened the door for the Scotties to work their way into a tie for the #1 seed if they can win on the road at AC/S on Monday. Glasgow fell at home 62-59 to the Patriots on January 11th. Being the #1 seed in the district is not a slam dunk as the 15th is very competitive, but Glasgow is 2-0 against their prospective opponent Barren County if they could work their way into the spot, while they have lost against Monroe County, who they'd face if they stayed at #2. 6) Logan County (18-5) - 1/31 80-70 W at #17 Todd County Central, 2/1 46-51 L Northeast (TN) Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/5 at #7 Greenwood, 2/8 at Muhlenberg County, 2/9 at #2 Allen County-Scottsville The Cougars moved within two wins of their first 20 win season since 2012 by picking up a district win over Todd County Central on Thursday. The win briefly gave them sole possession of first in the 13th District, though Franklin-Simpson would tie them a night later. Like Allen County-Scottsville, the Cougars have lulled a bit after an incredible start. They're just 3-3 in their last 6 after a 15-2 start as well. They'll get a heat check when they visit both Greenwood and Allen County-Scottsville this week, and will await the results of the Todd County Central/Russellville game and coin flip against Franklin-Simpson to find out who they have to go through to return to the 4th Region tournament for the first time in four years. 7) Greenwood (12-11) - 1/29 68-49 W at #7 Barren County, 2/1 71-69 W at #10 South Warren, 2/2 52-49 W Owensboro Catholic (at Warren Central) Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/5 vs. #6 Logan County, 2/8 vs. #3 Warren Central The Gators equaled a season-high four game winning streak with three wins this week, none more important than the road takedown of South Warren on Friday night. That win guaranteed the Gators no worse than the 3 seed, keeping them out of the 4/5 "play-in" game, which would have required them to win twice in the district tournament to make the region tournament. The first half belonged to Greenwood as they shot over 60% from the field to build a 42-26 lead. They eventually led by as many as 18 before having to fend off a South Warren comeback attempt that saw them get within 1. They bookended that win with a road domination of Barren County and a solid win over Owensboro Catholic in the Wes Strader Schoolboy Shootout at Warren Central. Greenwood is peaking at the right time, getting 26 points out of Jack Roberts against Barren County followed by 20 when they took down South Warren. He provides a potent 1-2 punch alongside Ben Carroll, and if they are on, Warren Central could well find themselves upset as they were two years ago. We get a preview of that game on Friday when Greenwood hosts Central. 8) Franklin-Simpson (12-10) - 1/29 44-48 L #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/1 69-63 W #16 Russellville Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/5 vs. Butler County, 2/7 vs. #10 South Warren The Wildcats have cooled off, winning only two of their last five, but were able to hold off a Russellville comeback attempt to clinch a tie with Logan County for the district's top seed. That 69-63 win came days after a tough 48-44 loss to Allen County-Scottsville, an unwelcome return to the scoring struggles of early December. Franklin shot just 35.6% at home in that one, including just 4/19 shooting from three. DeMarco Chatman had 20 in that one, but no other Wildcat topped 8 points. 9) Barren County (12-12) - 1/28 56-46 W #16 Russellville, 1/29 49-68 L #9 Greenwood, 2/2 54-59 L Daviess County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/4 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 2/5 at #14 Russell County, 2/8 vs. #15 Cumberland County The Trojans have been unable to ever climb more than a couple games above .500 this year, and they're right back at even after dropping two of three this week. Will Bandy had 23 in their win over Russellville, a game that saw the Trojans go o-fer from three (0/7). Those struggles bled into the next night when they were 1/12 from the perimeter, shooting 43.5% from the floor in a loss to Greenwood that they were never close in. Things remain tough when they host Bowling Green on Monday, though they did take down the Purples last year. They then begin their trip through the 16th District that will see them take on all four members in 9 days to close the regular season. 10) South Warren (9-14) - 1/29 43-47 L at #1 Bowling Green, 2/1 69-71 L #9 Greenwood Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/5 vs. #12 Warren East, 2/7 at #8 Franklin-Simpson, 2/9 vs. Hart County Six points is all that separated the Spartans from a spectacular week and the missed opportunities they ended up with. They first nearly grabbed their first win over Bowling Green in program history, overcoming a 40-28 deficit to rally and tie the Purples at 42 all. Jace Carver went to the line for a 1 and 1 with 1:20 left, missed the front end, and the Spartans immediately sent Buttry to the line for BG which put them behind for the rest of the game. That made the game against Greenwood a must-win for a chance to escape the 4/5 "play-in" game in the postseason. Jace Carver redeemed himself with a career-high, exploding for 35 points as he keyed a furious rally from 18 points down to close within 66-65. But ultimately, the Gators made their free throws and shot just a little too well for South. That means their game on Tuesday is a definitive preview of their opening opponent in the district tournament in two week's time. They still have an outside chance at avoiding a losing record on the year, but it's an uphill battle now. 11) Monroe County (9-12) - 1/29 49-60 L #5 Glasgow, 2/1 72-70 W at #2 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 2/5 at #15 Cumberland County, 2/8 at #4 Clinton County The loss to Glasgow ended Monroe County's hopes for the top seed in the 15th District tournament, and prolonged a 2-10 stretch for the Falcons. No matter, they grabbed by far their best win of the season when they dealt Allen County-Scottsville their first District 15 loss, on the road on homecoming no less. That win muddied the waters in the district, but no matter who ends up in the 2 spot, Monroe County will know that they have already beaten them once this season, having beaten both Glasgow and Allen County on the road. They get a chance at a very winnable game on Tuesday before a difficult matchup with Clinton County. 12) Warren East (10-13) - 1/29 80-68 W at #15 Cumberland County, 2/1 51-64 L #3 Warren Central Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 2/5 at #10 South Warren, 2/8 vs. #1 Bowling Green The Raiders have also endured a very difficult stretch, going 2-9 in their last 11 games. One of those wins came on the road at Cumberland County, where HC Brandon Combs visited his old stomping grounds. The 80 points by East represented a season high, as four players (Kaleb Matlock, Dawson Doyle, Ryan Carter, Braden Wardlow) scored in double figures. The Raiders scorched the nets for 14/23 shooting from the three point line, actually shooting better than they did from the floor overall (54.5%) or the free throw line (46.2%). They put in a solid effort at home against Warren Central, but fell behind early, leading only once at 3-2. That dropped them to 0-6 in district play, and all but guaranteed them the bottom seed in the district tournament. They'll focus on a smaller goal on Friday - ending a 49 game losing streak against Bowling Green. 13) Metcalfe County (8-16) - 1/29 56-53 W #13 Russell County, 2/1 84-56 W at Caverna, 2/2 72-100 L at Campbellsville Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 2/4 at #15 Cumberland County, 2/5 at #5 Glasgow, 2/7 vs. #2 Allen County-Scottsville The Hornets continued their uptick this season with one of their biggest wins in years. Their 56-53 win over Russell County was their first against the Lakers since February 2008, when their seniors would have been in the first grade. Freshman Peyton Dial played the part of hero in the win, leading the team in scoring with 18 points while going 5/9 from three. One of those threes was a buzzer beater for the victory. That win clinched their spot in the 2/3 game against Russell County when the district tournament gets under way in two weeks. Their 84 points in the win over Caverna marked the third time this season the Hornets scored over 80 points. It bears repeating that this was a team that went winless just two years ago, and the 8 wins they now have are more than the last three seasons combined. 14) Russell County (6-19) - 1/29 53-56 L at #14 Metcalfe County, 2/1 59-62 OT L at Jackson County, 2/2 61-83 L at Marion County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 2/4 at Mercer County, 2/5 vs. #9 Barren County, 2/8 at Adair County Russell County dropped a pair of three point heartbreakers this week before a much larger loss to Marion County. Their three losses are part of a five game losing streak, and they've won just 2 of their last 12 contests. Scott Hamm (17), Briley Hadley (15), and Ryan Coffey (11) all scored in double digits against Metcalfe County, but it wasn't enough to secure the win. They may be looking at three more losses this week. 15) Cumberland County (6-17) - 1/29 68-80 L #12 Warren East, 1/31 87-86 W at Caverna Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 2/4 vs. #13 Metcalfe County, 2/5 vs. #11 Monroe County, 2/8 at #9 Barren County The Panthers have now quietly won four out of their last seven games, and their 87 points against Caverna was not only a season-high, it was their highest since posting 89 against Monticello in January of 2013. The Metcalfe County/Russell County result was a setback in and of itself, however, and now means that the game against Metcalfe County on Monday is just for pride. The Panthers will use their next five games to prep for a Clinton County team that beat them three times this season by a combined 41 points. 16) Russellville (7-14) - 1/28 46-56 L at #7 Barren County, 2/1 63-69 L at #8 Franklin-Simpson Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 2/5 vs. #3 Warren Central, 2/8 at #17 Todd County Central The Panthers are in the midst of a five game losing streak after dropping a pair this week. Russellville started the year at 1-7, pairing with this 0-5 stretch around a 6-2 run from Dewcember 20th to January 8th. Their game at Todd County Central represents their only chance to get out of the #4 seed in the 13th District tournament, though there is not necessarily any advantage gained from facing either Logan County or Franklin-Simpson. Jacob Naylor continues to fill up the scoresheet, dropping 32 on Franklin-Simpson in large part due to going 8/13 from three. 17) Todd County Central (5-19) - 1/28 53-59 L at Butler County, 1/31 70-80 L #6 Logan County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 2/4 vs. Rossview (TN), 2/8 vs. #16 Russellville The Rebels are rarely buried in any game they play, but the wins just haven't come. Their 10 point loss to Logan County ended a string of four straight single digit margins, but they've now dropped a round ten games in a row. The 70 points in their loss to Logan County was their highest since scoring 85 against Campbellsville back on December 19th. Russellville is one of the few wins they've put up on the board this season, and perhaps their best chance to get another win against the remaining schedule.
  25. 1) Bowling Green (18-3) - 1/22 67-51 W #8 Franklin-Simpson, 1/25 54-48 W #3 Warren Central, 1/26 59-54 W at #2 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/29 vs. #10 South Warren, 2/1 at John Hardin I went out on a limb a bit a week ago in not moving Bowling Green down after a loss, and they rewarded that with unquestionably the best week any team had in the region. The Purples faced some adversity with the departure of senior Davion Dice, but shot 52.6% in a win over Franklin-Simpson before clamping down defensively in holding Warren Central and Allen County-Scottsville to a combined 102 points and less than 38% shooting on back to back nights. The win over Warren Central was critical as it now means that the Purples would have to either lose to South Warren for the first time ever or Warren East for the first time in 21 years to not sew up the top seed in district play. It was a perfect response from Bowling Green six days after dropping one at Central, getting strong efforts from sophomore Isaiah Mason (18 points) and freshman Turner Buttry (14 points). Against AC/S, the only other team with a legit claim to the top spot in the region, BG held the Patriots without a field goal for the entire second quarter, and never trailed in the second half despite the tight score. Judging from the rest of season schedule, unless there's a truly shocking result, the Purples have this top spot locked in. 2) Allen County-Scottsville (17-4) - 1/22 73-66 W at #9 Greenwood, 1/26 54-59 L #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/29 at #8 Franklin-Simpson, 2/1 vs. #11 Monroe County The Patriots had already taken home a megaton win over the 14th District this season in knocking off Warren Central, and entered their game against Bowling Green a perfect 5-0 against the district. No team outside the district has beaten both Warren Central and Bowling Green in the same season since 2007/08, and that remains true. On Tuesda, Brett Rippy and Mason Shirley punished the Gators to the tune of a combined 50 points in a game the Patriots shot 54.5% from both the field and the three point line. They did not enjoy nearly that type of groove against Bowling Green despite being at home. The Purples are a much better defensive team, and held the Patriots to 38% shooting from the field and their second lowest point total of the year. Despite that, the five point loss reinforces what most already knew - the Patriots are dangerous and are capable of winning the region. Can they do it if they have to knock off two district 14 opponents to get there? That remains to be seen, but they can go toe to toe. They'll get a chance to wrap up the top seed in the 15th when they host Monroe County on Friday. 3) Warren Central (11-7) - 1/22 64-54 W #10 South Warren, 1/25 48-54 L at #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/29 at Taylor County, 2/1 at #12 Warren East, 2/2 vs. Collins That record sure does look ugly for a Warren Central team that went 31-6 last season, but they've clearly mostly righted the ship. A week after falling behind and staying behind against South Warren, the Dragons never trailed, jumping out to a 22-9 lead after one quarter and never letting it get closer than 6 afterwards. They led by as many as 19 in the final quarter before a late push by South made the score closer. The Dragons did miss out on a chance to all but secure the top seed in the district when they fell at Bowling Green on Friday night, and likely they will have to settle for the 2 seed in district play. The Dragons shot a putrid 36% in that game and were just 6/21 from three, unable to find a rhythm against a Purple defense that is smothering. Bowling Green hasn't lost a game at home this season, and the Dragons could not overcome that. Their two games against the Purples were decided by a combined 10 points - there's every reason to believe the possible neutral court matchups to come are 50/50 games. This week - and all weeks moving forward - they have a schedule that may ugly up the record further. They visit a tough Taylor County team that is 16-4, host BGP-ranked Collins (16-5), and in between have a critical road game at Warren East where a win would guarantee them no worse than the 3 seed in the postseason. A 1-2 week may not be unexpected, 2-1 would be very good, and 3-0 would be spectacular. But ultimately, that East game is the most important. 4) Clinton County (16-6) - 1/24 63-66 OT L Shelby Valley (at Eastern Kentucky University) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/1 at Madison Southern, 2/2 vs. #5 Glasgow The Bulldogs got a tough draw in the state All "A" tournament, and could not bring down a tough Shelby Valley team that nearly took down University Heights in the semis two games later. The Bulldogs trailed 60-55 with 1:37 left in regulation, but closed the gap a mere 35 seconds later. But in overtime they never led and they could not hit a game-tying three point attempt to fall by three. Jackson Harlan had 28 points and 8 rebounds for Clinton County, with Stockton adding 16 points and 6 rebounds. As it stands now, Clinton County has just six games left on the schedule, and their most difficult remaining may be the home matchup with Glasgow next Saturday. The Bulldogs have still fallen only once in region play, a blowout loss to Greenwood in December, in a game that Harlan did not play. They have been pushed several times, but have yet to fall again. 5) Glasgow (14-8) - 1/22 51-73 L at LaRue County, 1/25 62-60 W #7 Barren County, 1/26 68-60 W #5 Logan County Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/29 at #11 Monroe County, 2/2 at #4 Clinton County The Scotties took it on the chin in a blowout loss to BGP-ranked LaRue County, but closed the week with strong efforts at home, including another tight win over Barren County in a game they had to have. The 62-60 decision gives them two wins over the Trojans by a combined 7 points, and keeps alive their slim hopes of claiming the district's top seed. It does mean they can finish no worse than third in district play. There were four lead changes in the final three minutes, but Nik Sorrell was a perfect six of six from the line to help the Scotties close it out. He led the Scotties with 21 points in the victory. Glasgow needs a win over Monroe County on Tuesday but then would be rooting for Monroe County win over Allen County-Scottsville on Friday to set up a potential district-tying matchup on February 4th at AC/S. Tonight Glasgow completed the second of a strong back to back with a 68-60 win over Logan County, who entered the night tied for the best record in the region at 17-3. That allowed the Scotties to leapfrog them in our rankings, giving them their best rank in nearly two months. 6) Logan County (17-4) - 1/22 65-61 W at #7 Barren County, 1/25 61-47 W #16 Russellville, 1/26 60-68 L at #6 Glasgow Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/31 at #17 Todd County Central, 2/1 vs. Northeast (TN) The Cougars obviously are still having a stellar season, but the cracks have begun to appear a bit in the last two weeks. First, it was allowing Franklin-Simpson an opening to tie the district when they fell 57-52 to the Wildcats last Friday. Now it's the loss to Glasgow tonight, dropping them to 2-2 in their last four games. It's minor, and they responded to a similar lull in December with seven straight wins. Still, that's been enough to slide them from their season high rank of 3 in early January to 6th now. They scorched the nets for nearly 60% shooting in their win over Barren County on the road on Tuesday, then grabbed their fourth straight win in the Clash of the Cats on Friday. They close out district play when they visit Todd County Central on Thursday, which would assure them of no worse than a tie for the top spot in District 13. 7) Barren County (11-10) - 1/22 61-65 L #5 Logan County, 1/25 60-62 L at #6 Glasgow, 1/26 59-58 W #17 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/28 vs. #16 Russellville, 1/29 vs. #9 Greenwood, 2/2 vs. Daviess County This week tracked very much like a lot of weeks for Barren County this year. They showed they can play with the top tier in the region, but not quite close it out. They also showed they can nearly blow it against the worst in the region. After falling against Logan County and Glasgow by a combined 6 points, the Trojans needed a free throw by Gavin Withrow with less than 10 seconds remaining to pull out a home win over the Todd County Central Rebels, a game you would think they'd win comfortably. The Trojans aren't a team that you're going to feel comfortable facing in the first round of district, but they're also a team that you'll think you should beat. 8) Franklin-Simpson (11-9) - 1/22 51-67 L at #1 Bowling Green, 1/25 56-47 W at #17 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/29 vs. #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/1 vs. #16 Russellville The Wildcats cooled their heels a bit after a six game winning streak ended in double overtime to Barren County a week ago. They had a prove-it game against Bowling Green where they (like many teams against BG) found they simply could not hang. They hit just barely over 40% from the field in the loss, allowing the most points in regulation they've given up in over a month. They followed it up with a must-win on the road over Todd County Central to keep the pace in District 13. That sets up a stretch where they'll be home in five of six games, including their final district game against Russellville on Friday. A win there, and they'll guarantee themselves no worse than a tie for the top spot in the district. Tuesday they get to measure against Allen County-Scottsville again, a team they knocked off on the road in overtime on December 15th. 9) Greenwood (9-11) - 1/22 66-73 L #2 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/25 79-53 W at #12 Warren East Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/29 at #7 Barren County, 2/1 at #10 South Warren, 2/2 vs. Owensboro Catholic (at Warren Central) The Gators have endured a prolonged difficult stretch that has seen them go 3-7 in their last 10. But they've rarely been buried in any of those games, with only Warren Central knocking them off by more than 10 points, which includes games against Bowling Green and now Allen County-Scottsville. Against the Patriots the Gators had a balanced attack, with four players scoring between 14 and 16 points, led by Noah Stansbury with 16. Ben Carroll had 15 while both Cade Stinnett and Jack Roberts had 14. Each of those players will be crucial in the stretch run for Greenwood, but that game also underscored a depth problem - only five players scored. They snapped a three game losing streak by taking down Warren East on Friday night, with Jack Roberts leading the way with 21 points for his best game since returning from his hand injury. Incredibly, it was Greenwood's first true road win of the year. It sets up possibly the biggest game of the year for Greenwood when they visit South Warren on Friday. A loss there means Greenwood would have to beat Warren Central to have any prayer of getting out of the 4/5 game. A win doesn't necessarily clinch it, but unless South Warren were to have already beaten Bowling Green on Tuesday, it would. 10) South Warren (9-12) - 1/22 54-64 L at #3 Warren Central, 1/25 63-44 W at Ohio County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/29 at #1 Bowling Green, 2/1 vs. #9 Greenwood The Spartans could not duplicate their stunning overtime upset over Warren Central when they visited the Dragons on Tuesday, shooting just 37% from the field in the loss. They never led in the game, in contrast to the 14 point halftime lead they held over Warren Central the week before. Tyler Martin was strong as usual, shooting 9/18 for 27 points. But no other Spartan was in double figures. Still, South made it five wins in seven games when they knocked off Ohio County on the road on Friday night. Their next three games are all district games. A win at Bowling Green seems incredibly unlikely given the 35 point loss they took at home three weeks ago, but they can absolutely win in games against Greenwood and Warren East. As mentioned above, the game against Greenwood is basically for the #3 seed. If South wins it, it is hard to envision them not earning the right to play Warren Central in the district tournament, condemning Greenwood to the 4/5 game on Bowling Green's side. Given that South has already beaten Warren Central and has never beaten Bowling Green, you can see how much is on the line. 11) Monroe County (8-11) - No games Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/29 vs. #5 Glasgow, 2/1 at #2 Allen County-Scottsville Nothing to say this week for a slumping Monroe County team. They needed the time off, and we'll see how they respond when they have a pair of District 15 games this week. Despite how poorly things have gone lately, they can still play themselves into a potential tie for #1 in the district by sweeping the week and then having Glasgow knock off Allen County-Scottsville the next week. 12) Warren East (9-12) - 1/25 53-79 L #9 Greenwood Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/29 at #15 Cumberland County, 2/1 vs. #3 Warren Central The Raiders have been beset by injury and a tough schedule, and it has left them reeling in a stretch where they've now lost eight of nine games. East has often demonstrated a post-Christmas swoon, but this is much more understandable. The Raiders were actually worse from inside the arc against Greenwood (9/25) than they were from outside (9/23) on Friday - obviously not a recipe for success. Adante Barber had 22 points in the losing effort. The Raiders have a get-right opportunity when they visit Cumberland County on Tuesday before returning home to face Warren Central on Friday. Technically, the Raiders remain alive to get to the #3 seed in district, but would have to win all their remaining district games (which includes a game against Bowling Green who they have not beaten since 1998), have Greenwood lose out, and have South Warren lose to Bowling Green. It's dire. 13) Russell County (6-16) - 1/21 69-64 W #15 Cumberland County, 1/22 45-56 L Pulaski County, 1/25 54-63 L at Casey County Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/29 at #14 Metcalfe County, 2/1 at Jackson County, 2/2 at Marion County Russell County has just six wins on the year, but critically, four of those have come in district play and three of those counted towards the standings, which keeps them out of the crosshairs of Clinton County in the semifinals. That may ultimately prove to be all that is needed to get them to the region tournament for the 14th consecutive year. They wrapped that up with a 69-64 win over Cumberland County on Monday, their third win over the Panthers this season. Briley Hadley had 21 in the contest with Scott Hamm chipping in 15. They'll have a likely preview of their district semifinal when they visit Metcalfe County on Tuesday. Lose that game, and it becomes definitely a district semifinal preview. 14) Metcalfe County (6-15) - 1/22 63-66 OT L Edmonson County, 1/26 65-72 L at Green County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/29 vs. #13 Russell County, 2/1 at Caverna, 2/2 at Campbellsville The surge by the Hornets has stalled in a stretch that has now seen them lose eight of nine games, including falling to an Edmonson County team they beat on the road in December. Still, they remain competitive, losing in overtime to Edmonson County and losing again to Green County, who they've fallen to by a combined 9 points in two matchups this season. Their game against Russell County is critical. The Hornets can clinch a spot in the 2/3 game and avoid Clinton County with a win there. Lose, and it will come down to a road trip against Cumberland County on February 4th. 15) Cumberland County (5-16) - 1/21 64-69 L at #13 Russell County, 1/26 67-64 W McCreary Central Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/29 vs. #12 Warren East, 1/31 at Caverna The Panthers have now won three of five games to put themselves in to a better stretch, but they still could not solve Russell County, falling for the third time to the Lakers this season. That puts their hopes of getting out of the 4 seed and away from Clinton County on life-support. They must beat Metcalfe County on the 4th, hope the Hornets lose to Russell County this Tuesday, and then win a coin flip for the 3 seed. The Panthers shot 50% in the loss to Russell County, led by Isaiah Dyer's 29 points. It just simply wasn't enough. 16) Russellville (7-12) - 1/25 47-61 L at #5 Logan County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/28 at #7 Barren County, 2/1 at #8 Franklin-Simpson The Panthers remain winless in district play, falling for the third straight game overall in a 61-47 decision to Logan County. It's the fourth game of the year where the Panthers failed to top 50 points. Still, they can play their way into the 2/3 game if they can sweep their final two district contests. They start with a visit to Franklin on Friday. 17) Todd County Central (5-17) - 1/25 47-56 L #8 Franklin-Simpson, 1/26 58-59 L at #7 Barren County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/28 at Butler County, 1/31 vs. #6 Logan County It's eight straight losses now for the Rebels, despite yet again coming oh-so-close. A single free throw was the difference against the Trojans after they fell by just nine against the Wildcats the day before. Todd County really doesn't have to win the game against Logan County to get out of the 4 seed - a win over Russellville on the 8th would accomplish that - but if they did win that, the scenarios where they fall to 4th would be extremely unlikely.
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