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  1. 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.
  2. 1) Bowling Green (10-2) - 12/27 78-51 W Murray, 12/28 78-63 W Owensboro, 12/29 62-57 W Graves County Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/4 at #10 Greenwood, 1/5 vs. Muhlenberg County Ever since the Purples dropped the house on Glasgow in the second game of the year I've been tempted to move them to the top slot, but a strong run through the holidays has made it clear they needed to ascend. Bowling Green won their Christmas tournament for the fourth straight year against one of the better slates they've faced in it. Murray doesn't have a strong record, but has made a habit of playing good teams closely. Owensboro was fresh off a win over a rising Madisonville team. And Graves County entered their game unbeaten against Kentucky teams. BG did to each what they've done in most games this year - punched them directly in the face early and quickly. The Purples are ending games before they even truly begin, and their game against Graves is the only one where they let it get close again. The Eagles managed to close an 18 point deficit all the way down to two late in the fourth quarter, but Bowling Green held on. They have three games in between now and their trip to Warren Central on the 11th - they're a virtual lock to win them all. 2) Warren Central (6-3) - 12/28 51-58 L John Hardin (at Taylor County), 12/29 47-71 L Doss Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/4 vs. #12 Warren East, 1/5 vs. #8 Barren County The Dragons have some soul searching to do if they expect to be able to compete with Bowling Green in two weeks. They've now dropped three of four, and after opening the year with five straight 80+ efforts, they have had three under 52 points since. And that's been fueled by an ugly remnant of a couple of poor Dragon seasons this decade - putrid perimeter shooting. They are 27/98 (27.6%) in their last four games from three. They did battle back against John Hardin after a very poor first half, and the Bulldogs are playing as well as anyone in the state. The Dragons have spent most of the season away from home, and get a pair of home games this week which should settle them back into a confident groove. They need it. 3) Logan County (11-2) - 12/27 67-50 W at Nelson County, 12/28 70-48 W Boyle County (at Nelson County), 12/29 74-62 W Meade County (at Nelson County) Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/4 at #16 Russellville, 1/5 vs. #10 Greenwood The Cougars are over halfway to their first 20 win season in seven years and they've done that before reaching New Year's Day. They ran through the Nelson County Classic, capping it with a 74-62 win over Meade County. The Cougars have been bucking the trend of teams that light everything up from the outside, taking only 33% of their shots from the perimeter. As it stands right now, Logan County is favored in every game for the rest of the regular season. This could be a special 2019. 4) Allen County-Scottsville (12-2) - 12/27 61-50 W Sayre, 12/28 68-50 W Daviess County, 12/29 72-71 W Owensboro Catholic Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/4 at #6 Monroe County Speaking of a special team, the Patriots keep rolling. They caught a bad beat the previous week in an OT loss to Paintsville, but this time they wrapped up a title in their home Christmas tournament, with a particularly impressive win over third region power Owensboro Catholic. A trio of Patriots are leading the way for AC/S, with Brett Rippy the team leader right now with 16.8 PPG closely followed by super soph Mason Shirley's 16.0 PPG. It has been Shirley that has been the x-factor that no one saw coming entering the season. He averaged less than 1 PPG last year as a freshman. Owen Stamper is also noteworthy with 10.6 PPG entering 2019. AC/S already has their high total for wins since 2015 when they won 14. They need just five more wins to notch their high win total since 2009. They start their march to that with a crucial road game against district foe Monroe County on Friday. 5) Clinton County (9-5) - 12/27 36-61 L Montgomery Bell Academy (TN) (at Pigeon Forge (TN)), 12/28 46-54 L North Murray (GA) (at Pigeon Forge (TN)), 12/29 58-53 W Knoxville Central (TN) (at Pigeon Forge (TN)) Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/3 vs. Pickett County (TN), 1/4 at #15 Metcalfe County As with last week, there's not much to say about the Bulldogs at the moment. They've sort of done what they needed to do, and unfortunately we don't know much about the teams they played this last week, going 1-2 in the King of the Smokies tournament. They are 3-0 in 16th District play, and will completely wrap up the games that count for the district standings in the next 12 days. They start that with a Metcalfe County team they obliterated by 43 on December 7th. 6) Monroe County (7-7) - 12/27 67-70 L Bullitt East (at Bowling Green), 12/28 70-69 W #11 South Warren (at Bowling Green), 12/29 67-69 L Madisonville-North Hopkins (at Bowling Green) Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/4 vs. #4 Allen County-Scottsville Monroe County concluded a ghastly 1-5 Christmas season in the Meijer Holiday Classic. Their lone win in the last six games came against 4-10 South Warren, and it was by a single point. Many of their losses are not to bad teams - Owensboro Catholic, Hopkinsville, Owensboro, Madisonville - but a win somewhere in there other than South would have been nice. Still, they're 2-0 in the 15th District, so it's hard to envision moving them behind the teams they've beaten. They square off with Allen County-Scottsville for the first time this season on January 4th, and it's at home. The Patriots have been white-hot, and the winner of this one will become the big favorite to take the #1 seed for the postseason. 7) Glasgow (7-4) - 12/28 64-58 W at #8 Barren County Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/4 vs. #11 South Warren, 1/5 at #13 Todd County Central The Scotties had a relatively quiet week, just taking on their crosstown rival in their house. It was the fourth game in a row at Barren County for Glasgow, and they have still traveled outside their county borders a single time this year. They picked up a crucial win over the Trojans in large part due to Nik Sorrell. The junior poured in 32 points in the win, helping the Scotties to overcome an early 8 point deficit. They trailed as late as the 2:15 mark, winning a back and forth affair. They settle in for some very winnable games this week ahead of their 2A Championship sectional game against Warren East on the 7th. 8) Barren County (5-6) - 12/28 58-63 L #6 Glasgow Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/4 at Adair County, 1/5 at #2 Warren Central On the other side of that rival matchup were the Trojans. As mentioned last week this was a highly critical game as it was the second of three home district games they'll have and they'd already lost the first one. Now, Barren County is 0-3 in the district with only one home game left to play on the slate. It is looking extremely likely they'll have to play out of the #4 spot in the postseason. Will Bandy entered the contest averaging 16.6 PPG, but exceeded that with 25 in the losing effort. 9) Franklin-Simpson (6-7) - 12/27 64-68 OT L Owensboro Catholic (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/28 54-51 W Henderson County (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/29 56-44 W Sayre (at Allen County-Scottsville) Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/4 vs. #13 Todd County Central Franklin narrowly missed out on a marquee win, leading Owensboro Catholic much of the way before falling in overtime. They rebounded to take home the consolation title in the South Central Bank-Halton Classic. They're just one game shy of their win total from all of last year, and will look to pick up their first district win over the season when they host Todd County Central. The Rebels defeated Franklin in both their meetings last season. 10) Greenwood (6-6) - 12/27 64-46 W Henderson County (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/28 52-62 L Owensboro Catholic (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/29 58-59 OT L Daviess County (at Allen County-Scottsville) Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/4 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/5 at #3 Logan County Ben Carroll has been keeping the Gators afloat, posting 27, 21, and 23 points in their three games in the South Central Bank-Halton Classic. But despite his effort, the Gators could not follow up the momentum of their Caveland Classic title, finishing fourth in the tournament. Jack Roberts remains out for a couple more weeks with his fractured hand, so Carroll will be expected to keep it up. They face two likely losses this week, having lost their last 15 against Bowling Green and also facing a stout Logan County squad. 11) South Warren (4-10) - 12/27 59-71 L Graves County (at Bowling Green), 12/28 69-70 L #5 Monroe County (at Bowling Green), 12/29 62-67 L Murray (at Bowling Green) Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/4 at #7 Glasgow The math has now turned heavily against South Warren following up last season's winning record effort as the Spartans have dropped seven of eight. They have 14 games remaining, and four of those games are against Bowling Green and Warren Central - two teams they've literally never beaten. Rough times ahead. On the positive side, Jace Carver (12.1 PPG) has been a young standout to complement Tyler Martin (15.8 PPG). 12) Warren East (8-6) - 12/27 65-60 W Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (TN) (at Ohio County), 12/28 49-61 L #17 Russellville (at Ohio County), 12/29 69-73 L at Ohio County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/4 at #2 Warren Central The Raiders had momentum coming off a title in their holiday tournament, but it slipped away in Ohio County. After a win out of a team out of Chattanooga, East took a bad, bad loss to Russellville, posting a season low 49 points. East shot just 35.7% from the field in that one, including just 6/24 from three. Even the free throw line failed them, going just 3-8. They'll look to snap a 13 game skid against Warren Central on Friday. 13) Todd County Central (5-10) - 12/27 55-77 L Daviess County (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/28 60-56 W Sayre (at Allen County-Scottsville), 12/29 45-73 L Henderson County (at Allen County-Scottsville) Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/4 at #9 Franklin-Simpson, 1/5 vs. #7 Glasgow The Rebels have dropped 7 of 9 and 4 of 5 entering the new year. Their lone win in Allen County was against 2-10 Sayre. Not much positive momentum going for the Rebels heading into a district contest with Franklin-Simpson. 14) Russell County (2-9) - 12/27 51-75 L Cincinnati Aiken (OH), 12/28 47-65 L Newport Central Catholic Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/4 at #17 Cumberland County, 1/5 vs. Whitley County (at South Laurel) I didn't include it because I don't know who they played let alone the score, but per the Russell County Twitter they actually are 3-9 having won their final game in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic. Without knowing that result, they still have only one game on the year where they scored over 55 points, and are 0-9 when scoring less than that. 15) Metcalfe County (5-9) - 12/27 66-54 W Whitefield Academy (at Danville), 12/28 38-77 L Webster County (at Danville), 12/28 50-70 L at Danville Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/4 vs. #5 Clinton County, 1/5 vs. Dawson Springs The Hornets now have more wins than their last two years combined, and already their highest win total since they won five in 2012. One more win, and it'll be the most since Metcalfe legend Tim McMurtrey's last season in 2011 (16 wins). A winning record still seems like a stretch, but Coach Brockman has had a successful season. 16) Russellville (5-8) - 12/27 49-63 L at Ohio County, 12/28 61-49 W #12 Warren East (at Ohio County), 12/29 58-52 W Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences (TN) Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/4 vs. #3 Logan County I was somewhat hesitant to move the Panthers back ahead of a Cumberland County team they lost to, but Russellville has now won 4 of 5, which included a nice win over Warren East. Jacob Naylor is the one doing most of the heavy lifting. He has already posted 330 points and is averaging 27.5 per game. Elijah Kemp has chipped in 14.5 points. They get their first crack at Logan County this season in the clash of the cats on Friday. 17) Cumberland County (2-9) - 12/27 47-81 L Somerset, 12/28 47-81 L Wayne County, 12/29 vs. TBA Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/4 vs. #14 Russell County Speaking of Cumberland County, they have now lost four in a row. It would be by no means mathematically impossible for them to climb out of the cellar with a loss, but if they do lose at home to Russell County, they become extremely at risk of seeing Clinton County come district time.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Fourth Region Rankings 1) Warren Central (4-0) - 12/5 76-60 W Owensboro, 12/9 61-54 W Paducah Tilghman (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/11 vs. #5 Glasgow, 12/12 vs. #9 Logan County, 12/14 at #11 Franklin-Simpson The Dragons stayed unbeaten by knocking off Owensboro for the ninth time in their last ten meetings before overcoming a putrid second quarter to defeat Paducah Tilghman, the #1 ranked team out of the first region. The Dragons were outscored 17-3 in the second quarter against the Blue Tornado, turning a seven point lead into a seven point halftime deficit. Skyelar Potter scored 16 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter after sitting out the first quarter due to disciplinary reasons. 2) Bowling Green (3-2) - 12/5 67-46 W at Elizabethtown, 12/7 67-44 W #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/9 54-64 L Ensworth (TN) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/12 at #6 Greenwood, 12/15 at Hopkinsville, 12/16 vs. DeSales (at Barren County) Jarius Key continued to lift the Purples with 68 points in their three games this week, leading to two wins before out of state Ensworth snapped their three game winning streak. The win over Allen County was their 49th straight win in 4th Region play, and they'll go for #50 this week against district rival Greenwood. 3) Monroe County (4-1) - 12/5 65-63 W #6 Clinton County, 12/8 55-53 OT W at #4 Barren County Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 12/12 vs. #14 Russell County, 12/15 vs. #5 Glasgow, 12/16 vs. Shelby County (at Barren County) Barren County/Monroe County continues to be one of the best tickets you can buy. In four meetings over the past two seasons, the two teams have played seven total overtime sessions and their games have been decided by a total of 11 points. This time, after Monroe failed at the foul line on two 1 and 1s to allow Barren to tie the game and sent it to OT, Chandler Clements scored all eight in OT for Monroe to bring home a crucial district win. Earlier int he week Monroe County knocked off old district rival Clinton County. This week has yet another big district game, this against Glasgow. 4) Barren County (3-2) - 12/5 55-39 W at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/8 53-55 OT L #3 Monroe County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/12 vs. Caverna, 12/14 at Edmonson County, 12/16 vs. St. Xavier On the other side of that big game, Barren County could not defend their home court for the second straight time against Monroe, falling when a Brandon Reed jumper for the tie was long. Earlier in the week the Trojans overcame a lackluster first half to take down for a tenth consecutive time. This week Barren County steps out of region play with a pair of winnable games before a meeting with seventh region team St. X. 5) Glasgow (3-0) - 12/8 66-57 W at #15 Russell County, 12/9 66-61 W at #9 Russellville Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/11 at #1 Warren Central, 12/12 vs. Southwestern, 12/15 at #3 Monroe County, 12/16 at Shawnee The Scotties have scored 66 in all three games they've played this year, and are a bit hard to nail down, much like the rest of the region. Each of their games have been closer than one might expect - but still, they're all wins. This week they step up in class in a big way, with a pair of road games at #1 Warren Central and #3 Monroe County. The Scotties have not won at Warren Central since 1985. 6) Greenwood (3-1) - 12/5 80-76 W #15 Russell County, 12/9 69-64 W at #6 Clinton County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/12 vs. #2 Bowling Green, 12/15 at #13 South Warren, 12/16 vs. Hart County The Gators have yet to have a game decided by more than 5 points this year, so they'll sure be battle tested entering a game against primary rival Bowling Green - the Gators have lost 12 in a row to the Purples. Jack Roberts poured in 28 against Russell County on Tuesday to continue to build momentum after last season's breakout. 7) Clinton County (3-3) - 12/5 63-65 L at #3 Monroe County, 12/8 63-46 W at #17 Metcalfe County, 12/9 64-69 L #7 Greenwood Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/12 vs. #16 Cumberland County, 12/15 at #14 Russell County, 12/16 vs. North Laurel (at Clay County) The Bulldogs have lost three of four and are 1-3 in games decided by single digits. They should coast in district play this week, but if they fall to either of those teams, then this season will rapidly take on a different outlook. 8) Todd County Central (4-0) - 12/5 75-70 W at East Robertson (TN), 12/8 82-46 W #9 Russellville Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 12/12 vs. #13 South Warren, 12/15 at #9 Logan County, 12/16 at Murray After trailing at the end of the first quarter, Todd Central UNLOADED on Russellville, gaining the running clock and remaining unbeaten. The Rebels have not made a region tournament since 2003, so gaining district wins will be vital in their pursuit of a good seed. 9) Logan County (3-2) - 12/5 82-80 W Ohio County, 12/8 57-60 L at #10 Franklin-Simpson, 12/9 54-81 L at Daviess County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/12 at #1 Warren Central, 12/15 vs. #8 Todd County Central, 12/16 vs. #13 South Warren After four scorers posted double digits in a nice 82-80 win over Ohio County, the Cougars let a district win slip away at Franklin-Simpson, after leading most of the game. That was followed by a listless effort in a blowout loss to Daviess County. The Cougars will square off with top rated Warren Central, who they have not beaten since 2000, before hoping to get back on track in district play against unbeaten Todd Central. 10) Russellville (2-2) - 12/5 66-62 W at #11 Warren East, 12/8 46-82 L at #13 Todd County Central, 12/9 61-66 L #5 Glasgow Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/15 vs. Christian County (at Hopkinsville), 12/16 at Hopkinsville The Panthers are almost impossible to figure out so far. After gaining a strong road win at Warren East where Jacob Naylor dropped 20 points, they were absolutely destroyed by Todd Central, before bouncing back for a very close home loss to Glasgow. Just.... all over the place. 11) Franklin-Simpson (1-5) - 12/5 59-62 L #16 South Warren, 12/8 60-57 W #8 Logan County, 12/9 61-69 L Central Hardin Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/14 vs. #1 Warren Central, 12/15 at #15 Allen County-Scottsville Speaking of tough to figure out - Franklin lost to previously winless South Warren before playing behind the entire game before knocking off Logan County. 12) Warren East (2-3) - 12/5 62-66 L #9 Russellville, 12/8 74-68 2OT at #16 South Warren, 12/9 54-50 W Owensboro Catholic (at South Warren) Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 12/12 vs. #15 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/14 at #16 Cumberland County No game sums up how crazy this region has been more than the Raiders' win over Owensboro Catholic. The Aces jumped out to an 8-0 lead before an avalanche of Neal threes put the Raiders up entering the fourth, where they successfully took the air out of the ball to shorten the game and gain the win with some late free throws. It was honestly stunning. 13) South Warren (2-3) - 12/5 62-59 W at #10 Franklin-Simpson, 12/8 68-74 2OT L #11 Warren East, 12/9 72-49 W #14 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 12/12 at #8 Todd County Central, 12/15 vs. #6 Greenwood, 12/16 at #9 Logan County The Spartans just couldn't quite scratch out a needed win over Warren East, spoiling what would have been a perfect week. Daniel Moore had 22 points in the loss, their 11th in their last 12 district games. 14) Russell County (1-4) - 12/5 76-80 L at #7 Greenwood, 12/8 57-66 L #5 Glasgow Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 12/11 at #17 Metcalfe County, 12/12 at #3 Monroe County The wins haven't come yet, but the Lakers appear to be much improved from a year ago. Tate Richardson leads the Lakers with 16.4 per game while Brayton Scales has chipped in 14.0. 15) Allen County-Scottsville (2-3) - 12/5 39-55 L #4 Barren County, 12/7 44-67 L at #2 Bowling Green, 12/8 59-39 W #14 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 12/12 at #12 Warren East, 12/15 vs. #11 Franklin-Simpson The Patriots stepped up in competition and played well for stretches against Barren County and BG, but were still saddled with a pair of big losses. 16) Cumberland County (3-3) - 12/5 83-62 W #17 Metcalfe County, 12/8 39-59 L at #11 Allen County-Scottsville, 12/9 49-72 L at #16 South Warren Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 12/12 at #7 Clinton County, 12/14 vs. #12 Warren East, 12/15 vs. Marion County Back to the drawing board for the Panthers who saw a promising 3-1 start crash with unexpectedly big losses to Allen County-Scottsville and South Warren. 17) Metcalfe County (0-5) - 12/5 62-83 L at #14 Cumberland County, 12/8 46-63 L #6 Clinton County, 12/9 55-73 L at Green County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 12/11 vs. #14 Russell County, 12/12 vs. Hart County, 12/15 at Christian Fellowship, 12/16 at Community Christian (Paducah) The Hornets are still seeking their first win since the 15/16 season.
  6. Fourth Region Rankings 1) Bowling Green (13-2) - 1/5 49-39 W #2 Barren County, 1/8 57-33 W #9 Greenwood Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/12 at #4 Russell County, 1/15 vs. #6 Warren Central, 1/16 vs. #5 Russellville The Purples continue to cement their frontrunner status, dominating then-#2 Barren County and shutting down both opponents this week with smothering defense. Three active players are averaging in double digits (Taylor, Jones, and Wilson), and they'll add a fourth whenever Booker is healthy again. 2) Franklin-Simpson (12-2) - 1/5 61-47 W #4 Warren Central, 1/8 54-42 W #2 Barren County Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/12 at #11 Monroe County, 1/15 at #5 Russellville It was a statement week for Franklin-Simpson, taking advantage of homecourt to win by double digits against Barren County and Warren Central, the #2 and #4 teams that week. Doaks emerged as a significant compliment to Lovan, scoring 17 against Warren Central and 12 against Barren County. 3) Barren County (13-4) - 1/5 39-49 L at #1 Bowling Green, 1/8 42-54 L at #3 Franklin-Simpson, 1/9 58-45 W #4 Warren Central Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/12 at #7 Warren East, 1/15 at #11 Monroe County, 1/16 vs. Grant County (at Southwestern) The Trojans took it on the chin in losses to Bowling Green and Franklin-Simpson, but held serve on their home court against Warren Central to salvage the week. With the schedule in front of them, the Trojans may run the table the rest of the way. 4) Russell County (11-3) - 1/7 65-55 W Whitley County, 1/8 62-41 W #17 Cumberland County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/12 vs. #1 Bowling Green, 1/15 at #8 Clinton County The three losses by the Lakers have come by a combined 11 points, and the time has come to stop punishing them for their road loss to Greenwood. They get a great chance to show what they're made of against top ranked Bowling Green, before a crucial road trip to Clinton County. Should they win on the 15th, the district #1 is theirs. 5) Russellville (9-3) - 1/5 46-58 L at Ohio County Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/12 vs. #9 Greenwood, 1/15 vs. #2 Franklin-Simpson, 1/16 at #1 Bowling Green The Panthers missed their shot to potentially move up when they dropped a double digit decision to Ohio County. They'll have a strong back to back opportunity at the end of the week against our top two ranked teams. DeAndre Bradshaw is up to 20.8 PPG for Russellville. 6) Warren Central (10-6) - 1/5 47-61 L at #3 Franklin-Simpson, 1/8 82-67 W at #6 Warren East, 1/9 45-58 L at #2 Barren County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/15 at #1 Bowling Green The Dragons took a hit before the week even began, when second leading scorer Tristen Murray was knocked out for 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. They got the game that counts most in winning on the road at Warren East (fueled by Bowman's 33 points), but faded badly in the fourth quarter of both losses to their higher ranked opponents. This is their lowest ranking yet, and it doesn't get easier with a visit to Bowling Green this Friday. 7) Warren East (9-5) - 1/8 67-82 L #4 Warren Central Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 1/11 at #17 Todd County Central, 1/12 vs. #3 Barren County, 1/15 vs. #9 Greenwood The Raiders were down just two, with the ball, entering the fourth quarter against Warren Central, but could not keep up to drop a critical district matchup. They have a busy week ahead, but it's Friday's matchup with Greenwood that is most crucial. East has dropped four of five overall. 8) Clinton County (11-6) - 1/5 59-68 L at Pickett County (TN), 1/8 75-46 W #14 Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/12 at #15 Cumberland County, 1/15 vs. #4 Russell County Pickett County snapped the four game win streak of Clinton County, but the Bulldogs rebounded with a big district win over Metcalfe County to avenge their stunning December loss. They have a pair of district games on the slate, including the big matchup with Russell County. 9) Greenwood (7-9) - 1/4 46-64 L at Daviess County, 1/8 33-57 L at #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/12 at #5 Russellville, 1/15 at #7 Warren East, 1/16 at #14 Allen County-Scottsville The Gators are slumping, dropping five of their last six. Russellville will be challenging, while Greenwood needs a win over Warren East for postseason positioning. No one wants to be in the 4/5 game of the 14th District. 10) South Warren (7-9) - 1/5 68-49 W at #13 Logan County, 1/8 55-39 W at #15 Glasgow, 1/9 45-43 W Henderson County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/16 at Marion County The wins certainly didn't come over murderer's row, but the Spartans have some strong momentum behind three straight wins. They only play three games in the next 18 days. 11) Monroe County (4-12) - 1/5 72-81 L at Edmonson County, 1/8 63-46 W at #12 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 11 This Week: 1/12 vs. #2 Franklin-Simpson, 1/15 vs. #3 Barren County, 1/16 at #16 Metcalfe County Monroe County is up to 2-1 in the district after their road win at the Patriots, and have a chance to pull into a tie with Barren County if they can pull the upset on Friday. 12) Logan County (6-8) - 1/5 49-68 L #10 South Warren, 1/8 72-52 W #16 Todd County Central Previous Rank: 13 This Week: 1/12 vs. #14 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/16 at Northeast (TN) The Cougars have the season sweep of Todd County Central to pull even at 2-2 in the district. Noah Whittinghill is averaging 15.9 PPG with a healthy 36.4% shooting percentage from behind the arc. 13) Glasgow (4-10) - 1/5 64-58 W at #12 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/8 39-55 L #10 South Warren, 1/9 67-49 W Butler County Previous Rank: 15 This Week: 1/11 at Green County, 1/15 vs. #14 Allen County-Scottsville Their road win over Allen County was a bit of a stunner, and good enough to send them up the rankings a bit. They doubled their season total for wins in a single week. If they can knock off AC/S again on Friday, they'll virtually assure themselves of being in the 2/3 game. 14) Allen County-Scottsville (3-10) - 1/5 58-64 L #15 Glasgow, 1/8 46-63 L #11 Monroe County, 1/9 61-68 L Adair County Previous Rank: 12 This Week: 1/12 at #12 Logan County, 1/15 at #13 Glasgow, 1/16 vs. #9 Greenwood It was a bad, bad, bad week for the Patriots, dropping a pair of district games. They're now 0-3 in the district, losing all three at home. Their first road district game comes on Friday against Glasgow, and a loss there will cement them in the cellar of the district for good. 15) Cumberland County (1-12) - 1/5 69-49 W at #14 Metcalfe County, 1/8 41-62 L at #7 Russell County Previous Rank: 17 This Week: 1/12 vs. #8 Clinton County, 1/14 vs. Clay County (TN) The 44 game losing streak is over! The Panthers did it in resounding fashion, with a beatdown of Metcalfe County, 69-49. 16) Metcalfe County (2-11) - 1/5 49-69 L #17 Cumberland County, 1/8 46-75 L at #8 Clinton County Previous Rank: 14 This Week: 1/15 vs. Adair County, 1/16 vs. #11 Monroe County As huge a win as it was for Cumberland County, it was a devastating loss for Metcalfe County. They followed it with a blowout loss to Clinton County, and suddenly we're right back where we so often are - Cumberland and Metcalfe headed to a coin toss for 3/4. 17) Todd County Central (1-14) - 1/5 57-60 L at Butler County, 1/8 52-72 L at #13 Logan County, 1/9 78-40 W at Fort Campbell Previous Rank: 16 This Week: 1/11 vs. #7 Warren East, 1/12 vs. East Robertson (TN), 1/16 at Hopkins County Central The good news is that Todd County Central climbed into the winning column to erase the last winless 4th Region team. The bad news is that Cumberland County looked better in their win and against a better opponent, so Todd slips into our last spot.
  7. Fourth Region Top 10 1) Bowling Green (11-3) - 12/29 75-39 W Todd Co. Central, 12/30 80-53 W John Hardin, 12/31 75-53 W Madison Southern, 12/31 62-69 L Christian County, 1/2 70-62 W #5 South Warren, 1/3 71-79 L Owensboro (at Muhlenberg County) Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 1/6 at #4 Barren County, 1/9 at Greenwood 2) Monroe County (12-2) - 12/29 74-64 W Caldwell Co. (at BGHS), 12/30 69-52 W Bardstown (at BGHS), 12/31 73-74 L Christian Co. (at BGHS), 12/31 72-52 W Madison Southern (at BGHS) Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 1/6 vs. Edmonson County, 1/9 vs. #7 Allen County-Scottsville, 1/10 at Franklin-Simpson 3) Warren Central (7-6) - 12/28 72-54 W at Pulaski County, 12/29 64-67 L at Southwestern, 12/30 71-64 W Knox Central (at Southwestern), 1/3 54-39 W Casey County (at Taylor County) Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 1/6 vs. Franklin-Simpson, 1/9 vs. #10 Warren East, 1/10 vs. #4 Barren County 4) Barren County (11-3) - 12/29 64-31 W Friendship Christian (TN), 12/30 73-50 W Bell County, 1/2 71-46 W Glasgow, 1/3 60-52 W Marion County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 1/6 at #1 Bowling Green, 1/9 vs. Franklin-Simpson, 1/10 at #3 Warren Central 5) Russell County (6-4) - 12/28 59-74 L George Rogers Clark (at Berea), 12/29 65-49 W Tates Creek (at Berea), 12/30 52-57 L Mercer County (at Berea), 1/3 72-56 W #7 Clinton County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 1/6 vs. Taylor County, 1/9 at Cumberland county 6) Clinton County (9-6) - 12/28 48-64 L Lafayette (at Montgomery Co.), 12/29 55-54 W Madisonville (at Montgomery Co.), 1/3 56-72 L at #8 Russell County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 1/6 vs. Pickett County (TN), 1/9 at Metcalfe County 7) Allen County-Scottsville (8-4) - 12/29 78-75 W Ohio County, 12/30 70-63 W Hart County, 12/31 49-60 L Shelby County, 1/2 62-57 W at Greenwood Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 1/6 at Glasgow, 1/9 at #2 Monroe County, 1/10 at Adair County 8) South Warren (8-8) - 12/29 64-76 L Christian Co. (at BGHS), 12/30 48-52 L Doss (at BGHS), 12/30 76-66 W Caldwell Co. (at BGHS), 12/31 62-56 W Todd Co. Central (at BGHS), 1/2 62-70 L #1 Bowling Green Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 1/9 at Muhlenberg County 9) Logan County (8-4) - 12/29 59-70 L Greenwood, 12/29 74-53 W Dyersburg (TN), 1/2 72-52 W at Russellville Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 1/6 vs. Butler County, 1/9 at Todd County Central 10) Warren East (8-5) - 12/29 73-68 W Hopkins Co. Central (at Edmonson Co.), 12/30 67-71 OT L at Edmonson Co., 12/31 81-75 W Ballard Memorial (at Edmonson Co.) Previous Rank: NR This Week: 1/9 at #3 Warren Central Last Week's Game of the Week - "Last week" is relative since this is the first notebook in a few weeks, so let's say game of the week since the last one. And that coincidentally came one day after our last update, waaaay back on December 9th. Call it a signature loss for Allen County-Scottsville when they went on the road to #4 Barren County and came up just short, falling 88-83 in TRIPLE overtime. After the game was tied at 61 entering OT, AC/S seized control, jumping out to a five point lead with just under a minute left in the extra frame. But a Nick Mabe three ball tied it at 71 to go to the second OT. In that session it was the Trojans that took control, and it was the Patriots' turn to hit a big three, this by Thomas Spencer tot tie it at 77. The Trojans were ultimately able to gain the lead and win it on free throws late to gain the crucial district win. Both teams are in the top 7 of the region now. Impact Game - The game of greatest impact has to be Monroe County's 62-53 win over Warren Central in the Owensboro Invitational tournament. It was just the second win ever for the Falcons over Warren Central, a team that has been to five straight region title games and entered the year a favorite to go back again. Monroe County had already moved ahead of the Dragons in the BGP rankings, but now we have concrete proof that the Falcons are ready to challenge. They remain unbeaten against 4th Region teams and have added wins over Barren County and Russell County as well. They have twice narrowly missed opportunities to play Bowling Green, but may yet have their chance to lay claim to #1 when the teams play at Monroe on January 31st. Impact Injury - Tavin Lovan may be just a sophomore, but there's a strong argument he is the region's best player and he is certainly its best prospect. In his first four games of the year he averaged over 29 points per game. But in the fifth game, he broke his non-shooting wrist, sidelining him for up to a month and a half. The Wildcats expect him back in late January, possibly for their district tilt against Todd County Central. Franklin-Simpson went on to lose the game against Logan County that he was hurt in, as well as five of the next six. And it doesn't get easier this week as the Wildcats take on the #2-#4 teams in the region. It is likely his absence will severely damage their record and seeding, but could also possibly transform them into a bit of a dark horse when he returns, a team that will far outperform their record at that point. Favorites Look Like It - Bowling Green was made #1 in preseason after their strong close to the previous year led them to the region title and state final four, and that train has not come close to derailing through the first month of the year. The Purples are off to a strong 11-3 start, matching last season's mark through 14 games as their best start since 09/10. Their losses are to highly regarded WKY powers Henderson County, Owensboro, and Christian County, and they boast wins over Apollo, Daviess County, and Elizabethtown. Bowling Green is 21-4 since their loss to Owensboro late last season and there are a lot more wins ahead of them. Upcoming Games of the Week 1/6 - #1 Bowling Green at #4 Barren County - As mentioned, the Purples are rolling and have won 14 straight games against 4th Region teams. Warren Central is the only region team to beat them in just over two years.... since Barren County took the Purples down on New Year's Day in 2013. The Trojans enter with a seven game win streak and will hope to rectify last year's failure to defeat BG when the Trojans had homecourt advantage in the region tournament. 1/9 - #7 Allen County-Scottsville at #2 Monroe County - Monroe is already out to a 2-0 start in the district and can put a stranglehold on it with a home win over the Patriots. Meanwhile AC/S will look to continue their climb up the region rankings and hope to get back in the #1 seed discussion in the 15th. 1/10 - #4 Barren County at #3 Warren Central - It's kind of a big week for Barren County as they have another year of double duty in a single week against Bowling Green and Warren Central. In this one they take on the Dragons, a team that has won 15 of 16 against Barren County, and has not lost to the Trojans in Dragon Gym since 1996. Last year each team was more highly regarded, and the two teams lit up the scoreboard to the tune of an 84-81 Warren Central victory at Barren County. Games between these two are usually quite entertaining.
  8. An impromptu meeting of two top 3 teams in the 4th Region took place in the Owensboro Invitational, and the Falcons used that opportunity to make a statement. It was a tight 37-35 game at the half with the Falcons leading, and 41 all midway through the third. Monroe County then scored the final 8 points of the quarter and drained a three to open the fourth to open up a 52-41 lead, the largest by either team in the game. The game was never closer than four points again, although the Dragons got that close with around 5 minutes left and the ball. An over and back call led to a Monroe County three on an offensive board, followed by another turnover, and that was basically the game. The two teams don't meet that much, but it was still rather staggering that Monroe County had not beaten Warren Central since 1989, by far their longest streak timewise against a region opponent. The Dragons had won 12 straight in the series, and it's just Monroe's second win over Central. They became the first non-14th District team to win a region contest against Central since December 2011, and the first from the 15th District since February 2008. This is the worst start for the Dragons since that same 07/08 season, and they are hoping that's where the comparisons will stop. That season was the last they had a losing record and the last they failed to make the region tournament. For Monroe County, it cements them as the #2 team in the region, and is the strongest statement possible before their late January meeting with Bowling Green. They are a serious threat to win the region as they have cracked the veneer of the 14th District. I think I'll have to harp on it every time until I see it stopped or they start hitting them, but the amount of missed three pointers by the Dragons was staggering. They hit some too, but I don't think I'll be surprised if they shot something like 8/26. The zone has been eating them alive.
  9. Series History: First Meeting Series at McCracken County: First Meeting The nice thing about two 0-1 teams playing is that someone is going to put Week 1 behind them and come out feeling better. The bad thing is that the other team is going to find themselves looking into the abyss. For the Dragons this is the start of a four game odyssey as they hope and pray that their homefield will be finished with construction by late September. Both teams lost to ranked opponents in the Week 1 (McCracken County fell 21-7 at home to Paducah while Owensboro knocked off Warren Central 29-7 at WKU) - who ends up happier this week?
  10. Series Overall: Warren Central leads 19-3 Series at Warren Central: Warren Central leads 9-1 I almost started talking about this in another thread, but didn't want to threadjack that one. This is a game that matters greatly to Warren Central if they desire to try to dig out of the #4 seed in their district. They are already locked into a road game, but this could make the difference between a winnable start and one in which they'll be the decided underdog. Coming into the year and after the scrimmage, it was probably thought this would be a Dragon win, but Greenwood has been dominant this year, outside of two games against the #1 teams in their respective classes, South Warren and Bowling Green. Even against Bowling Green, Greenwood showed what they are capable of, in dominating time of possession and playing Bowling Green to a 14-14 standstill in the first half, before the dam broke in the second. Other than better scores in the losses to Bowling Green and South Warren, there isn't a common opponent this year that Greenwood hasn't fared better against. Greenwood blew the doors off of Warren East while Central struggled, and they knocked off Franklin-Simpson by two scores while the Dragons lost by 5. Greenwood hast lost six straight in the series and seven straight at Warren Central, having not won at Joe Hood field since 1995. This seems like a great year for them to break that streak. I've gone back and forth on it all year, and I do think it is probably going to be a Gator victory, but I've thought that before (2009) and been wrong. What are your thoughts?
  11. After a strong run in the first four years under coach Mike Rogers, Warren Central took a step back in 2013. The Dragons limped out of the starting gate, losing their first three games for the first time since 1994. Ultimately the Dragons went 6-6 against a difficult schedule that included two state champions and a runner-up, failing to reach the region finals for the first time since 2009. What followed was an offseason that saw the departure of Mike Rogers to Paducah Tilghman – the third straight Central football coach to leave after exactly five seasons – as well as turnover of the entire staff of assistants. In April, Howard Feggins became the ninth head coach in Warren Central history. Coach Feggins comes to Warren Central having spent most of his coaching career in the college ranks, most recently as the offensive coordinator at Norfolk State for three seasons. His career also included stops at Wingate University, Miami of Ohio, Northwestern, Eastern Michigan, and South Carolina State, in addition to his playing career at North Carolina and appearances with the New England Patriots and New York Giants. It’s that experience at the next level that brings excitement to the program, helping to boost numbers on the roster. Coach Feggins has spread the word that he wants what is best for the players – to get them to that next level. But the turnover in coaching leaves us with a lot of uncertainty as to exactly what to expect in the upcoming season. Coach Feggins is installing an entirely new offensive scheme. Out is the Wing-T attack that is a hallmark of Mike Rogers, and in is the more and more popular spread offense. Coach Feggins expressed a desire to run a flavor of the offense in the vein of the Oregon Ducks, with focus on the no-huddle and up tempo to leverage the athleticism and speed that the Dragons typically possess. They’ll be running it without the services of three of their best offensive weapons from last year, the graduated QB Chris Porter-Bunton, RB Rondell Green, and TE Byron Carver. We may not know who will be the replacement at QB until the start of the season, with a battle of up to 4 players currently taking place for the position. Last year’s backup Chance Shanklin and newly eligible transfer Tristan Murray are considered the favorites for the position, with sophomores Chauncey Greer and Chance Hunt also seen taking reps at the spot. Aiding the development of whoever wins the job will be incoming transfer Jensen Feggins, the son of HC Howard Feggins. Last year at Highlands, Jensen amassed 51 receptions for 1,100 yards and 15 TDs in a state runner-up season. On the other side of the field will be Sr. Chris Amos, an athletic WR that unfortunately saw his season cut short last year with a broken ankle six games in. With the scheme changes it will be difficult to project other returning starters, but other expected skill position contributors on the offensive side will be track star Jr. Damani Walker, Jr. Malik Peele, and Sr. Colin Burnham. The Dragons will be aided in their efforts by several returning linemen that saw time last season. Defensively Warren Central will run a 3-4 scheme, and any discussion of the defense has to start with Sr. Emmitt Smith. Emmitt is the highest rated prospect to come through Central in quite some time, typically playing MLB. Several sets last season saw Emmitt put a hand on the ground as part of the DL, something he can comfortably do thanks to his 6’1”, 230 lbs frame. He’s expected to serve some time in each spot. The Dragons have a lot returning on the defensive side of the ball, losing only Rondell Green in the secondary from last season, a spot that will be filled by Jensen Feggins. That returning experience will be crucial as last season when they were a young, inexperienced unit, they allowed an average of 40 PPG in their losses, with none of those winning opponents scoring less than 26 in that game. The 2014 schedule is a virtual mirror of last season with the exception of their first two games. They’ll open the season in the Russell Rivals Bowl at Warren Central, hosting Hopkinsville, who the Dragons eliminated in the playoffs last year 48-10. After that they’ll face a tough pair of games back to back against Bourbon County (13-1 3A state semifinalists in 2013) in the Boyle County bowl game and at Louisville DeSales (14-1 2A state champions in 2013). Much like last year, we’ll know pretty quick what Warren Central is made of. Other highlights on the schedule are three big home games in October. They’ll host Owensboro (10-4 4A state semifinalists in 2013) in a rematch of a 28-7 Dragon win at Rash Stadium last season, easily the best win by the 2013 Dragons. Then comes the 1-2 punch of Bowling Green (15-0 5A state champions in 2013) and Highlands (13-2 4A state runners-up in 2013) in two of their last three games. This challenging schedule will likely lead to some losses and bumps and bruises, but will hopefully pay off in Central being battle tested. That’s as opposed to last year, where the bumps and bruises ended up taking their toll and the Dragons limped into the playoffs with a wide swath of injuries. The stated goal remains the same this year as it was in most years previously – Coach Feggins and the Dragons aim to win state. As with all the other years, they must first find their way past the goliath of 5A, their district mates and crosstown rivals Bowling Green. The Purples have won 44 games in a row and five of those wins came over Warren Central. Coach Feggins expressed that he believes they have to become a team that believes in each other as well as become disciplined and fundamentally sound to overtake Bowling Green. Do that, and anything is possible.
  12. Fourth Region Top 10 1) Warren Central (2-1) - 12/10 61-56 W Owensboro, 12/13 70-78 L Hopkinsville (at Christian County), 12/14 76-55 W University Heights (at Hopkinsville) Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 12/19 vs. Muhlenberg County (at Madisonville), 12/20 vs. Central (at Madisonville), 12/21 at Madisonville-North Hopkins 2) Russell County (3-0) - 12/11 98-47 W Southern Peninsula, 12/13 88-62 W Glasgow Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 12/16 at Metcalfe County, 12/17 at #7 Monroe County, 12/19 Fleming County (at Mason County) 3) Bowling Green (1-2) - 12/10 71-79 L at Elizabethtown, 12/13 86-70 W University Heights (at Christian County) Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 12/17 at #10 Franklin-Simpson, 12/19 vs. Russellville, 12/21 vs. Hickman County (at Paducah Tilghman), 12/21 vs. Caldwell County (at Paducah Tilghman) 4) Clinton County (6-0) - 12/10 76-63 W at #8 Monroe County, 12/12 78-34 W Southern Peninsula, 12/13 70-33 W at Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 12/17 at Cumberland County, 12/20 vs. Knox Central, 12/20 vs. Metcalfe County, 12/21 vs. Sevier County (TN) 5) South Warren (4-1) - 12/9 80-71 W at Logan County, 12/10 78-65 W at #10 Franklin-Simpson, 12/13 76-63 W Warren East, 12/14 65-67 L North Hardin (at Shelby County) Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 12/17 at Apollo, 12/20 vs. #7 Greenwood, 12/21 vs. North Oldham (at Warren East), 12/21 vs. McCracken County (at Warren East) 6) Greenwood (1-0) - No Games Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 12/17 at Daviess County, 12/20 at #5 South Warren, 12/21 vs. Waggener 7) Monroe County (2-2) - 12/10 63-76 L vs. #4 Clinton County, 12/13 58-57 W at Barren County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 12/17 vs. #2 Russell County, 12/20 vs. Glasgow, 12/21 vs. Bardstown (at Adair County) 8) Barren County (4-1) - 12/10 61-59 W at Allen County-Scottsville, 12/13 57-58 L #8 Monroe County, 12/14 69-55 W at Edmonson County Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 12/17 vs. Caverna, 12/20 West Jessamine (at Ohio County), 12/21 at Ohio County 9) Glasgow (2-1) - 12/10 85-71 W Todd County Central, 12/12 68-53 W Edmonson County, 12/13 62-88 L at Russell County Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 12/17 at Logan County, 12/20 at #7 Monroe County, 12/21 vs. Casey County (at McCreary Central) 10) Franklin-Simpson (1-4) - 12/10 65-78 L #5 South Warren, 12/13 66-50 W Logan County Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 12/17 vs. #3 Bowling Green, 12/20 at Allen County-Scottsville Last Week's Game of the Week - Monroe County trailed at Barren County 49-39 with just over 5 minutes to go in their district game Friday night, but used a 15-4 run over three and a half minutes to take a 54-53 lead with just under 2 minutes left in the game. The two teams traded baskets until Barrett Billingsley put Barren County ahead 57-56 with two free throws. That set up a buzzer beating finish where Gibril Summers nailed a shot with 1.2 seconds left to give the Falcons the win. Honorable Mention - In a game you might see in the Sweet 16, Warren Central held the lead for nearly 3/4 of their game against highly rated Hopkinsville, but a furious Tiger run erased a 13 point third quarter deficit and they finished the last three minutes of the game with a 13-4 run after trailing 66-65 to take the 78-70 win. The Dragons were competing without their starting point guard Rondell Green and could not withstand the full court pressure and aggressive defense of Hopkinsville. Unbeaten Check - There are just three unbeatens left in the 4th Region, two of them in the 16th District. Clinton County has opened up 6-0 against a heavily frontloaded schedule, which follows the 2012/13 season where they started 5-0 and the 2011/12 season where they won their first 10 games. The Lakers are a more modest 3-0, but since their usual December 16th district tilt with Clinton County is being played in January this year, it's not inconceivable that these two teams might escape the calendar year unbeaten. Meanwhile, Greenwood is almost unbeaten by default, having played only one game, a 47-39 win over Franklin-Simpson on December 5th. They haven't suffered any cancellations, they're the anti-Clinton County. While the Bulldogs play quite a bit in December, Greenwood plays an unusual amount in February, with 10 games before the district tournament. Standout Performances - Tavin Lovan, the superstar freshman for Franklin-Simpson, was scorching hot in a 66-50 win over Logan County on Friday night. He had 25 points while shooting 8/10 from the floor, including hitting three treys, and boosted Franklin-Simpson to their first win of the year. Earlier in the week came a bigger performance, albeit in a losing effort, by Jon Michael Brown of Todd County Central. He scored 40 of Todd County Central's 76 points in a 79-76 loss to Russellville. Brown has made a habit of torturing the Panthers, dropping 19, 17, and 28 on them in the three games prior to this monster performance. Upcoming Game of the Week 12/20 - #7 Greenwood at #5 South Warren - Greenwood will emerge from their early season layoff three days prior at Daviess County, but the always entertaining game between crosstown rivals on Friday is the main event. These two schools are generally mirror images of each other since South Warren split from Greenwood three years ago, and their student sections provide as much entertainment as the game itself. Last year South Warren swept the season series only to be denied their first postseason victory ever as part of Greenwood's Cinderella run to the region tournament.
  13. Series History: Warren Central Leads 17-3 Series at Warren Central: Warren Central leads 8-1 This is a game that will most likely decide the #2 seed in the district for 2013. Greenwood's philosophy coming into the year was to catch Bowling Green they must first catch Warren Central, and the Dragons certainly don't want to be caught from behind in their own pursuit of the Purples. Warren Central has won 4 straight and 12 of 13 against the Gators. They have also won the last 6 meetings at Joe Hood Field dating back to the sole Gator victory, a 35-21 game in 1995. The last three games overall the Dragons have taken by an average score of 31.7-2, and they have never scored less than 20 points against Greenwood at home. Meanwhile the Gators have only twice scored above that threshold at Warren Central. The Gators are hoping that one of the positive historical facts holds true, in that the last time Warren Central entered the game with a losing record was the last Greenwood victory, that a 22-7 decision at Greenwood in 2008. Both teams come in on positive notes. In a 62-0 victory against Logan County, Greenwood notched their first shutout since 2010 (also against Logan County). Their 62 points equaled last year's effort against the Cougars as the third highest score in Gator history and raised their season average by nearly 11 PPG. It was more points than they'd scored in their last five games combined. This game is a continuation of a stretch that has them on the road for five of six games until they close the year with three at home. Meanwhile for the Dragons it is Homecoming, their third home game in their last four and next to last one of the year. They have won two consecutive games since starting the year 0-3 and will look to continue that momentum. Both of their wins have been first half running clock affairs and they outscored North Hardin and Barren County by a combined 103-20 score. They have a positive 159-113 scoring mark on the year despite the losing record.
  14. Fourth Region Top 10 1) Warren Central (17-4) - 2/7 73-29 W #9 Warren East Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/11 at Russellville, 2/14 vs. #10 Greenwood, 2/15 at Elizabethtown 2) Bowling Green (18-5) - 2/4 55-54 2OT W #10 South Warren, 2/8 72-56 W at Greenwood Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/10 vs. Logan County, 2/11 at Owensboro, 2/14 vs. Warren East 3) Clinton County (17-7) - 2/4 53-68 L at Wayne County, 2/6 84-62 W Caverna Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/14 vs. #7 Monroe County, 2/15 at South Laurel 4) Barren County (17-6) - 2/4 59-56 W Greenwood, 2/7 71-45 W Hart County, 2/8 69-67 OT W at #7 Glasgow Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/11 vs. #5 Russell County, 2/14 at Cumberland County 5) Russell County (14-7) - 2/3 74-71 W South Laurel, 2/6 76-57 W at Casey County, 2/7 83-47 W Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/11 at #4 Barren County, 2/14 vs. Adair County 6) Glasgow (12-10) - 2/4 72-60 W #4 Monroe County, 2/8 67-69 OT L #5 Barren County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/11 at Metcalfe County, 2/14 at Caverna 7) Monroe County (15-8) - 2/4 60-72 L at #7 Glasgow, 2/7 72-42 W #8 Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/11 vs. Cumberland County, 2/14 at #3 Clinton County, 2/15 at Metcalfe County 8) South Warren (11-13) - 2/4 54-55 2OT L #2 Bowling Green, 2/7 60-66 L at Greenwood Previous Rank: 10 This Week: 2/11 at Warren East, 2/13 vs. Franklin-Simpson 9) Allen County-Scottsville (8-13) - 2/7 42-72 L at #4 Monroe County Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/11 at #10 Greenwood, 2/13 vs. Metcalfe County, 2/14 at Franklin-Simpson 10) Greenwood (10-12) - 2/4 56-59 L at #5 Barren County, 2/7 66-60 W #10 South Warren, 2/8 56-72 L #2 Bowling Green Previous Rank: NR This Week: 2/11 vs. #9 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/14 at #1 Warren Central Last Week's Game of the Week - South Warren had a strange week and has also fallen victim to some rotten luck. One week after losing on a free throw with no time remaining to #1 Warren Central, South Warren had #2 Bowling Green square in the crosshairs at South Warren Gym. The Spartans led much of the second half, but the Purples surged ahead late, and appeared to have the game in hand with a three point lead and the ball. But out of a timeout, Bowling Green turned it over, and eventually Austin Bybee nailed a three with less than 10 seconds remaining to tie the game and send it to OT. In the first extra period, neither team could score in the first three minutes, and as soon as the Spartans scored their only two points, BG raced up in transition to tie it again. Those were the only two baskets in that period, sending it to a second extra session. And there, after holding the lead for that entire period, Clay Stivers scored his only two points of the game with a shot in the paint to give the Purples a 55-54 2OT win and put them into position to clinch the #2 seed later that week. The Spartans would go on to lose to Greenwood on Friday, meaning not only did they twice miss out on a marquee win, they now are in a spot where they could fall all the way to fifth in the district. Game of the Week Part II - Glasgow and Barren County almost matched the amount of time played in the BG/SW game and may have topped it for dramatics. Like the Spartans, the Scotties held the lead on their homecourt for much of the game. They were up by nine heading into the 4th Quarter at 46-37. But a 19-10 run had the Trojans tied with less than 1:30 seconds left when the fireworks began. First Charlie McCoy hit a three to put Barren County up. Then sophomore James Kingery answered with 17 seconds left to knot it at 59. Barrett Billingsley was fouled with 6 seconds left, hitting 1 of 2 to put the Trojans back up 1. With less than 1 second in the game, James Kingery was fouled and went to the line with a chance to win it. He hit only 1 of 2, and OT was on. In OT, Barren County held a 1 point led with less than 20 to go when Quentel Bradley got a steal, but could not hit the shot, and Ben Leftwich hit 1 of 2 to make it 69-67 with under 10 to go. Finally, Glasgow could not match anymore, as a Milas Norris three pointer rimmed out at the buzzer, giving the Trojans the victory and placing them in a tie for the top of the 15th District. Down the Stretch - Last week I mentioned that we should finally figure out a lot in the districts. Well.... yes and no. Logan County knocked off Russellville, which combined with other results to give them the #1 seed in the 13th District by virtue of tiebreaker over Russellville (Logan County is 4-2 and Russellville is the only other team with 2 losses, but Logan has the tiebreaker because of season sweep). Franklin-Simpson sits at 2-4, guaranteed to do no better than 3rd. All that remains is Todd County Central at Russellville. A Todd County Central win would mean those two would have a rematch in the 2/3 game. A Russellville win will clinch #2 for the Panthers while sending Todd County Central and Franklin-Simpson to a coin flip for third. Speaking of coin flips, those will be required to determine everything in the 15th. Barren County and Monroe County are tied at 4-2, splitting their season series. Allen County-Scottsville are 2-4, splitting their seasons series. So we at least know those teams won't play each other. Wednesday is the drawing to determine the rest. Finally, in the 14th District, Warren Central is #1, Bowling Green is #2. The key remaining game is South Warren at Warren East on Tuesday. It's not likely that Greenwood will win at Warren Central or that Warren East will win at Bowling Green (neither has won at either since before 2001). That leaves East/South Warren. If the Raiders win, the three teams will likely tie at 2-6, forcing a draw for the three spots. If South Warren wins, they'll go to the #3 spot unless Greenwood pulls the upset. South Warren has won only 1 of their last 15 road district games, while East has lost their last four district contests at home. Upcoming Game of the Week 2/11 #5 Russell County at #4 Barren County - With any luck, this game actually gets played. Russell County has had a bit of a down year comparative to what they've been used to. Our preseason pick for #2 in the 4th Region, they entered last week at just 11-7. Last week provided a boost with three wins, that coming on the heels of a strong showing in a road game at Madison Central. Suddenly winners of 5 of their past 6, perhaps they are heading up at the right time. They'll get the chance to prove it when they visit the always tough Trojans. It'll also be a chance for the Lakers to play at the venue that will host the region tournament. This is the fourth straight year the teams will meet - the road team won the first three. Coincidence or trend?
  15. 4th Region Top 10 1) Russell County (18-4) - 1/29 68-43 W Taylor County, 1/31 80-43 W Casey County, 2/1 68-23 W at Metcalfe County Previous Rank: 1 This Week: 2/5 vs. #6 Barren County, 2/8 at Adair County, 2/9 vs. Madison Central 2) Warren Central (17-6) - 1/29 66-61 W at Christian County, 2/1 58-65 L at Warren East Previous Rank: 2 This Week: 2/4 vs. #7 Russellville, 2/5 at Henderson County, 2/8 at Greenwood, 2/9 vs. Elizabethtown 3) Bowling Green (13-11) - 1/29 65-44 W vs. South Warren, 2/1 76-49 W at Glasgow, 2/2 68-60 W Greenwood Previous Rank: 5 This Week: 2/4 at Logan County, 2/5 vs. Owensboro, 2/8 at #4 Warren East 4) Warren East (18-5) - 1/29 70-51 W Cumberland County, 2/1 65-58 W Warren Central Previous Rank: 6 This Week: 2/4 vs. Caverna, 2/5 at #8 South Warren, 2/8 vs. #3 Bowling Green 5) Clinton County (14-8) - 1/29 66-73 L vs. Wayne County, 1/31 65-61 W at Caverna Previous Rank: 3 This Week: 2/7 vs. #10 Allen County-Scottsville, 2/9 vs. South Laurel 6) Barren County (18-5) - 1/29 87-71 W at Greenwood, 2/1 62-50 W at Hart County Previous Rank: 4 This Week: 2/5 at #1 Russell County, 2/8 vs. Cumberland County 7) Russellville (14-9) - 1/29 67-59 W Franklin-Simpson, 2/1 71-75 L at Logan County Previous Rank: 7 This Week: 2/4 at #2 Warren Central, 2/5 at University Heights, 2/8 at Todd County Central 8) South Warren (13-10) - 1/29 44-65 L at Bowling Green, 2/1 70-52 W Greenwood Previous Rank: 8 This Week: 2/5 vs. #4 Warren East, 2/7 at Franklin-Simpson, 2/9 at University Heights 9) Monroe County (12-9) - 1/29 61-45 W Glasgow, 2/1 63-55 W at Allen County-Scottsville Previous Rank: 9 This Week: 2/5 at Cumberland County, 2/7 vs. Cumberland County, 2/9 at Metcalfe County 10) Allen County-Scottsville (12-9) - 1/29 72-62 W at Hart County, 55-63 L Monroe County Previous Rank: NR This Week: 2/5 vs. Greenwood, 2/7 at #5 Clinton County, 2/8 at Franklin-Simpson A Rankings Defense - I usually don't include this but I feel like one of the rankings in particular this week calls for explanation. Essentially, I believe you could consider Warren Central, Bowling Green, and Warren East virtually a tie. There may just be matchup advantages and disadvantages that explain the round robin they have going. If you wanted to argue Warren East ahead of Warren Central based on the season sweep, I'm not certain I could tell you you're wrong. I believe arguments can be made for any of the three teams to be in any order. My rank is based on the eye test and what I've seen them do outside of the head to head games. If any of the three are standing as district champs in a few weeks, I won't be blown away. Zero District Unbeatens - When Russellville fell 75-71 to Logan County on Friday, it left the region with zero teams unbeaten in their district. This marked the first time since the 2008/09 season that no one made it out of the regular season unbeaten in their district. As of this posting, five teams have 5-1 records in their district, with Warren Central and Bowling Green also checking in at 5-2. Parity reigns supreme for the region, though this may cap their upside as well. Heading For Another Tie - The 14th District began seeding in 1999. From 1999-2008 there was never a single tie atop the standings, and usually one team was unbeaten in the district. If Warren East fails to beat Bowling Green on Friday, it will likely mean at least two teams tied atop the 14th District for the fifth straight year. It would likely be the second straight year that three teams tie at the top. Sweet 16 Draw - In the drawing conducted 10 days ago, Region 4 drew Region 10 in the upcoming Sweet 16 tournament. This will be the 10th meeting of the regions since the 4th Region teams moved in from the 5th Region in 1966, and the 6th first round meeting. The 10th Region took the last meeting, a 2006 Mason County victory over Warren Central in the first round. That snapped a 6 game win streak that the 4th Region had over the 10th Region, and they hold an overall 7-2 advantage, including victories in the 1976, 1984, and 2004 state championship. Games Of The Week 2/9 - Madison Central #1 Russell County - The 4th Region has done little to raise their profile statewide this season, a rarity in recent years for the region. This is most likely their last chance prior to the postseason to gain a high profile win. The Lakers have only lost two games since Christmas, but they were double digit losses to the best teams they've played in that time, Pulaski County and Southwestern. 2/8 - #3 Bowling Green at #4 Warren East - Warren East enters with an astounding 36 game losing streak to the Purples. They haven't won one since January 30th, 1998. Ernie Simpson was Bowling Green's head coach at the time - his son Casey Simpson coaches the Raiders now. The last time these two teams met it was a big game for Warren East. It was their chance to put themselves in dominant position for the #1 seed. They were blown out by 28. This time, it's a chance for them to clinch the #1 seed, something they've never done since seeding began. The Raiders have never made a region tournament since seeding began - this would more than likely put them there. 2/5 - #4 Warren East at #8 South Warren - The first time these two teams met in December, South Warren led the whole game, until literally the last second, when Aaron Strange tipped in a miss at the buzzer to give the Raiders their first district win - a win that has now proven crucial to their postseason positioning. The Spartans are in the midst of a late season swoon, but will try to play spoiler while picking up some postseason momentum. Though on the surface not as big as the Bowling Green/Warren East game, this still could have significant implications for the district seeding in the 14th District. For starters, it would guarantee there could not be a three way tie atop the district. It would also mean that Bowling Green would need a Warren Central loss to Greenwood to be able to get the #1 seed, as a two way tie with Central would place them at #2.
  16. 1. Bowling Green at 4A Owensboro 2. John Hardin -- OPEN 3. Warren Central vs. Barren County 4. Franklin County at Scott 5. Cooper vs. 4A Holmes 6. Conner at 6A Campbell County 7. Christian County at 3A #6 Fort Campbell 8. Harlan County at Lee County-Jonesville (VA) 9. Graves County vs 1A #1 Mayfield 10. Montgomery County --OPEN
  17. It's a battle of unbeatens in Greenwood's home opener (does anyone else not play at home until Week 6?). The Gators have never before been 5-0 and will be looking for a signature win in a game with playoff implications. Warren Central leads the series 16-3 with 3 straight wins, and lead 7-1 at Greenwood. The last 4 games at Greenwood between the two have been tight games with neither team winning by more than 15 points, and the average score has been Warren Central 17.5 to Greenwood 10.75.
  18. 1. Bowling Green at Barren County 2. John Hardin vs. Iroquois 3. Warren Central at Greenwood 4. Franklin County vs. West Jessamine 5. Cooper vs. Scott 6. Conner vs. #10 South Oldham 7. Christian County vs. Hopkinsville 8. Harlan County at 4A #7 Knox Central 9. Montgomery County vs. Anderson County 10. South Oldham at #6 Conner
  19. 1. Bowling Green vs. Logan County 2. John Hardin at 6A Central Hardin 3. Warren Central vs. 6A Ballard 4. Franklin County at East Jessamine 5. Cooper at #9 Conner 6. Christian County vs. Ohio County 7. South Oldham at Grant County 8. Harlan County vs. 6A George Rogers Clark 9. Conner vs. #5 Cooper 10. Anderson County vs. Woodford County
  20. Class 5A 1. Bowling Green at #2 Warren Central 2. Warren Central vs. #1 Bowling Green 3. John Hardin vs. North Hardin 4. Franklin County vs. #10 Anderson County 5. Christian County vs. Graves County 6. Conner at Grant County 7. Cooper -- OPEN 8. South Oldham vs. Scott 9. Harlan County vs. Whitley County 10. Anderson County at #4 Franklin County
  21. A meeting of the #2 and #3 teams in the region produced a very unexpected result as Warren Central was all over Clinton County. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead as Warren Central missed their opening 6 shots, all but one in the paint. Once the shots started falling, it was all Dragons. Warren Central has now played three games against Region 4 competition, including games against the #3 and #5 ranked teams. They have won each by at least 30 points.
  22. The 2016-17 season is upon us, coming off the 15th year of the 14th District Era of dominance, and the 3rd year of the Purple dynasty. Bowling Green had a few challenges as the year rolled along, and Barren County gave them a go, but ultimately, the Purples whitewashed the region en route to an 18-0 region slate – part of 30 consecutive region wins – and their third straight region title. The only thing that didn’t go their way was the state tournament draw, which squared them off with eventual champion Dunbar in the quarterfinals. Though the Purples led into the third quarter, they faltered late, and had to look to this year to finish what they’ve started in the Sweet 16. Preseason 4th Region Rankings 1. Bowling Green – Last season the Purples continued to raise the bar to new heights, as they had the two years prior. Bowling Green ran out to a sterling 31-3 record, equaling a school record for wins, and have now posted 91 wins in their last three years. After a loss to Ballard in the King of the Bluegrass, the Purples would reel off 25 straight wins before their loss to Dunbar. If you played the Purples last season and were not from Louisville or Lexington – you lost. But they are still seeking the state title that has eluded them, that they have some close to obtaining. After all, their three Sweet 16 losses were to the eventual champions. Gone from last year’s team are two key pieces, Thomas Booker, who tied Kyran Jones for second leading scorer by PPG (12.3), and Perry Ayers, often seen as the heart and soul of the team and someone who just somehow always made the plays. And while they will miss those pieces, they have a veritable embarrassment of riches returning. It begins with senior forward Terry Taylor. The 6-6 Austin Peay signee has been a cornerstone of the last two region title teams, and averaged a double-double last season, with 15.3 PPG and 11.9 RPG. He’s an absolute nightmare to match up with, as he can post up, drive to the rim, or shoot from outside. He should join the 1,000 point club at Bowling Green very early in the season. Alongside him is forward Kyran Jones, who likewise averaged a double-double, with 12.3 PPG and 10.1 RPG. You can basically apply the same analysis as to his capabilities compared to Terry Taylor – post, drive, shoot. Jones has been playing football this season for the first time, so may take a bit of time to warm back up, but by January should be in full swing. Guard DeAngelo Wilson also returns with an 11.8 PPG average from last season. Wilson has quick hands and is lightning quick, with a knack for driving to the rim, drawing contact, and getting to the line. The Purples have young talent to build around as well, receiving eighth grader Zion Harmon via transfer, rated the #1 player in America for the class of 2021 by some publications, and we should also see the first appearances for freshman Vito Tisdale, a two sport stud player who has often been rated the top player in Kentucky for the freshman class. Simply put, the Purples have talent coming out of their ears. Coach Sherrill’s squad seems to be close to a lock for their fourth consecutive title, and should open the year as the state’s top ranked team and odds on favorite to cut down the nets at Rupp. 2. Franklin-Simpson – The only thing that Bowling Green doesn’t have is the region’s best player (arguably). That honor is bestowed on Franklin’s Tavin Lovan, who averaged – AVERAGED – an eye-popping 26.3 PPG for Dee Spencer’s squad a year ago. We said it last year and it remains true – no team relies on a single player as much as Franklin does on Lovan, but he usually delivers the goods. He’s not the best shooter, but he’s typically the best athlete on the floor, has great handles, and can drive the rim at will. Crucially, he shoots nearly 80% from the foul line, where he had 266 attempts a season ago. And, like Taylor and Jones from Bowling Green, he averaged a double double with 11.3 rebounds as well. As Lovan goes, so will go the Wildcats. Though that’s not to say he’s totally alone. Only little used De’shun Martin does not return from last year’s 24-5 squad. Carlesso Doaks (9.2 PPG), Ollie Eutsey (8.2 PPG), Daelon Payne (6.3 PPG), and Josiah Robey (6.0 PPG) – all part of a huge senior class – return to help shoulder the load. Their emergence and Lovan’s health were the big difference in a 9-18 season the year before and the 24 win team in 15/16. They’ll have heavy competition from Russellville in the 13th District, which returns a great deal as well, but the Wildcats are the early favorite. Key games to circle include January 13th and February 3rd when they tangle with Russellville, and January 23rd when they host Bowling Green. Those three games should give us what we need to know about their chances of contending for the region title, which they have not brought home in a quarter century. 3. Russellville – Call this 2B. The Panthers had an outstanding year of their own a season ago, running up an 18-8 record, but faltered in most of the biggest games, going 1-4 against Bowling Green and Franklin-Simpson and getting run down in the opening round of the region tournament by a sensational performance by Kel Stotts and Russell County. It continued a region tournament drought for Russellville – still the last non-14th District team to win the region (2001) – sending them out after the first round for the fifth time in six years. But like the Wildcats, they return almost everyone, including big man DeAndre Bradshaw. Bradshaw, who committed to Belmont in August, averaged 21.1 PPG a season ago for the Panthers, and pulled down 12.2 boards per game, making him yet another top tier talent in the region to average a double-double. Despite being 6’5”, he is one of the best ballhandlers on Russellville’s team, and his length gives teams a lot of trouble on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers do lose two seniors from a year ago, including second leading scorer Jason Mitchell, but bright spots returning include a trio of players to average around 9 PPG, in Jaylyn McMurry, Jacob Naylor, and Micah Naylor. They’re part of a massive class of 11 seniors returning for Russellville, which should give Phil Todd’s squad a healthy dose of urgency. Russellville has not brought home a trophy since Bradshaw’s freshman year, and after this season, they may be in rebuilding mode. They’ll have an early season test in hosting Hopkinsville on December 12th, and have a loaded February slate, traveling to both Franklin-Simpson and Bowling Green while hosting Warren Central. 4. Warren Central – There may be a decent gap between our 3 and 4 teams. There is no doubt that Bowling Green, Franklin-Simpson, and Russellville are at the top, but there will be several teams looking to claim the role of dark horse. This is another year where that includes the Warren Central Dragons. It’s not a role they are used to, having played the role of front runner for so many years since the turn of the century. Last season saw them miss the region finals for the first time since 2009, falling just short against Barren County in the semis after upsetting Franklin-Simpson in a first round blowout. Five seniors depart from that team, including crucial players like Darrell Bowman (15.2 PPG) and Tristen Murray (12.3 PPG), their two leading scorers. Leading their hopes this season will be talented junior forward Skyelar Potter (9 PPG), a bit of a guard/forward hybrid who has the ability to play down around the rim, rebounds well, and was co-leader on the team with 40% shooting from behind the arc. They will need him to do big things if they are to hold off teams chasing them for that role behind Bowling Green in District 14. Other key contributors include three point specialist Ziyan Milliken (40% from three), center Josh Moss – who has great potential but in his senior year it will have to become reality, and PG Luke Bailey, who has a similar style to that of Bowling Green’s DeAngelo Wilson. The Dragons open with some heavy hitters like Bullitt East, Henderson County, and Owensboro, but the story on them may be told in January as it was to some extent last year. They’ll host Franklin-Simpson, Warren East, Barren County, and Bowling Green, before playing Hopkinsville twice in a week’s time. All of that in an 18 day span. The window may be closing on the Dragons for contention, they’ll have to find a way past the Purple monster. 5. Clinton County – Last year was an ugly kind of bookend season for the Bulldogs. After starting 0-3, Clinton County reeled off a 14-5 stretch and looked to build momentum into February. But the end was a 1-6 disaster that saw the Bulldogs only defeat one-win Cumberland County. For the fifth consecutive year, the Bulldogs found themselves out of the region tournament after the first round. They’ll roll back in this year with most of their starters returning, including All-16th District players Jamison Summers, Brett Gibson, and Colin Langford. The Bulldogs typically play a methodic, medium paced game, and are not likely to burn up the scoreboard. Their lack of depth will likely limit their upside, but due to their district, they are always in the mix for the region tournament. They have some key early matchups against Franklin-Simpson, Male, and Monroe County, and will tangle with Russellville in the All “A” opener. 6. Warren East – The Raiders are still looking to emerge from the wilderness that has seen them fail to advance to the region for two decades. After opening 8-1 last season, they stumbled to a 6-14 close, including falling in seven of their last eight games. They lose three of their four leading scorers from that 14-15 team, but return Patrick Satterfield, who just oozes athleticism. Lightning quick, he averaged 12.2 PPG a season ago. You can extend the athletic description to most of Warren East’s team, which has usually flashed raw athleticism in recent years, but can’t quite put it all together. 7. Barren County - The Trojans were this close to ending Bowling Green and the 14th District’s dominance a season ago, but could not hold a late lead, falling 49-46 in the region title game. Unlike many of the teams in the region, they were more of a veteran squad, and so should take a step back from contention. Junior Jared Coomer is the biggest name returning, averaging a modest 7.5 PPG and 7 RPG a season ago, and Chase Dile and Branson London are the only seniors on the roster. 8. Monroe County – The 2015-16 Falcons suffered a massive disappointment when they fell 56-54 in the district tournament to a Glasgow squad they had defeated by an average 31.5 PPG during the regular season. It was an ugly end to an eight win season, but the Falcons have a talented junior class headlined by Billy Michael Dyer and Ty Mink. Dyer was the leading scorer a season ago with 16.6 PPG, while Ty Mink added 9 PPG. The 15th District is up for grabs this year, and the Falcons will hope to return to the region tourney after a year’s absence. 9. Logan County – Coming off of a district champion effort with a massive senior class, the Cougars took a step back, yielding to the dominant Franklin-Simpson and Russellville squads. Logan County had flashes a season ago, with strong efforts against Russellville. They lose leading scorer Noah Whittinghill, but return Lorenzo Garcia (12 PPG) to a team that will feature a good-sized senior class. 10. Glasgow – A season ago the Scotties had their brightest spot in a run to the region’s All “A” crown, and a light surge with an upset of Monroe County to secure a spot in the region tournament. Ben Hughes is the key returner for the Scotties, averaging nearly 10 points per game a season ago. Dessi Austin has a solid frame developed while quarterbacking for the football team, and should also be a key contributor. 11. Greenwood – The Jordan Carter era ended abruptly after two years, giving way to Bob Pels at the helm of the Gators. His most valuable asset will be guard Dawson Crump, a sharpshooter that often proved willing to shoot from just about anywhere. 12. South Warren – The Spartans are channeling the Warren Central football plan, burning through coaches quickly, landing on Nelson Cundiff for the fourth coach in four years. South Warren didn’t manage to escape the district in four years with Dayton Gumm, and will lean on Dylan Beckham (7.8 PPG) in a rebuilding season. 13. Russell County – This is a ranking almost entirely on faith in the Laker system, which has typically kept them near the top of the region. Six seniors departed last year’s region semifinal squad, but the most devastating loss was Kel Stotts, who transferred back to Adair County. Landon Hargis is the lone senior on the squad, and new coach Billy Edge has a squad of almost entirely unknown quantities. 14. Allen County-Scottsville – Speaking of multiple coaches…. Lex Lindsey has come out of retirement to take on a Patriot squad that is on its third coach in three years. They lost seven seniors from a 6-23 squad, including their top four scorers. Jack Ward (5.5 PPG) will try to pick up the slack. 15. Todd County Central – New HC Frank Johnson will look to build on the momentum of a team that snapped a long losing streak and won nine of 15 down the stretch last season. 16. Cumberland County – The Panthers got just one win last year – over Metcalfe County – but returns second leading scorer Elidjah Anderson for new head coach Kurtis Claywell. 17. Metcalfe County – The Hornets have one advantage over some of their fellow low-ranked squads – they have the same head coach from a year ago in David Clemmons. Nick Pennington’s 4.9 PPG is the highest from returning players. Top Players in the 4th Region 1. Tavin Lovan, G, Sr. (Franklin-Simpson) – Enjoy the last year of Lovan in the region. He’s sure to put on a scoring showcase. 2. Terry Taylor, F, Sr. (Bowling Green) – Taylor has been the biggest key to the Purples’ success, and is a double-double machine. 3. Kyran Jones, F, Sr. (Bowling Green) – Another double-double man, he’ll confound coaches who have to choose who to focus on, him or Taylor. 4. Pedro Bradshaw, F, Sr. (Russellville) – Pedro will remind you of a smaller scale Anthony Davis type – tall guy with great ball handling. 5. DeAngelo Wilson, G, Sr. (Bowling Green) – The last of the BG trinity, he gets to the rim any time he wants. 6. Skyelar Potter, F, Jr. (Warren Central) – The great Dragon hope will have to shoulder a heavy scoring burden. 7. Patrick Satterfield, G, Sr. (Warren East) – Satterfield is a pure athlete with blinding speed. 8. Billy Michael Dyer, G, Jr. (Monroe County) – After posting 16.5 PPG as a sophomore, Dyer could push into the twenties. 9. Jared Coomer, F, Jr. (Barren County) – Coomer is the last man standing from last year’s big names on the region runner-up Trojans. 10. Dawson Crump, G, Sr. (Greenwood) – Crump is a player that will shoot from anywhere.
  23. Class 5A 1. Bowling Green vs. 6A #2 St. Xavier 2. John Hardin at 6A Meade County 3. Warren Central at 3A #6 Fort Campbell 4. Franklin County vs. Letcher County Central 5. Cooper vs. 6A Boone County 6. Conner vs. 2A #4 Covington Holy Cross 7. Harlan County vs. Gate City (VA) 8. North Bullitt vs. South Oldham 9. Christian County vs. 6A #10 Henderson County 10. Graves County vs. 2A #5 Murray
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