With the first half of the season in the books, the 9th district teams look to be the toughest in the region. Owensboro has established themselves as the mid season favorite with their inside out game and swarming full court defense. Daviess County has proven to be tough as nails early on, and should be in the mix until the very end. Apollo and Owensboro Catholic both have the potential to make runs at a championship but have a lot of work to do before then. Outside the city of Owensboro, Meade County again looks to have itself in position for another run into the tournament. Can anyone else establish themselves as true contenders?? Breck County, Muhlenberg, Ohio County all have the potential to be in the mix before its all said and done.
1.Owensboro Red Devils (11-4) – SAME – OHS went 1-2 this past week at Louisville Eastern. They opened with an 82-72 win over Russell, but lost 2 very close games, 80-76 to Male and 73-71 to Eastern. The loss to Eastern ended in controversy, as the Devils knocked down what would have a game winning 3 at the buzzer. However, the shot was waved off and the Eagles were saved by the horn. Even with the setbacks, through the holiday season, Owensboro looks to be the mid-season favorite to win the region. They returned home and beat a solid Castle (Indiana) team 79-62 on Tuesday. OHS host Catholic Friday in a massive 9th district showdown.
2.Daviess County Panthers (10-6) – SAME – Daviess County had a busy week that started off well. They knocked off Wolfe County 71-44 & Pendelton County 81-68 to open tournament play at Lexington Catholic. In the quarterfinals, the Panthers were hammered by host LexCath 61-34. They bounced back with a solid showing vs Bryan Station, coming up short in 2 overtimes. In their last game in the consolation bracket, they suffered another blowout loss, this time at the hands of Madison Central. DC returns home with a respectable record having played some great state competition, and remain one of the favorites in the region. They get back to 9th district play this week at Apollo.
3.Owensboro Catholic Aces (7-5) – SAME – Since starting the season 4-0 the Aces have struggled to find wins. They were able to get back on the winning side of things in Ashland, winning their last 2 games of the trip. They opened tournament play with a 68-57 loss to Vestavia Hills, AL before bouncing back with 2 wins against Mason County and Dixie Heights. Catholic has some work to do if they want to get back to the favorite status in the region, where they opened the season. They have a great chance to make up some ground this Friday at Owensboro.
4.Meade County Greenwave (8-3) – SAME – The defending 3rd region champions stayed hot this week with a 67-45 win over Ryle. It was their 3rd straight win and 7th in their last 8 contests. Aiden Matthews has been impressive, averaging 18 points per game and 7 rebounds. The Waves got a nice victory vs Bullitt Central 62-57 and they play one of the top 15 teams in Kentucky at John Hardin on Friday.
5.Muhlenberg County Mustangs (6-8) – UP 1 – The Mustangs are still young and inexperienced at this point in the season, but they are slowly finding their way. While they only went 1-4 against very good competition in Bowling Green last week, they have competed all year long. They got a nice 59-49 against a solid Murray team. Will Noffsinger leads the team in scoring at 25 points per game. They get a couple of good measuring stick games this week at home vs Breck on Thursday and at Henderson on Friday.
6.Breckenridge County Tigers (9-3) – SAME – The Tigers took New Years week off. Through the first half of the season, Kobe Poole is proving to be the player of the year candidate that everyone expected, averaging 23 points per game. Hancock County was able to defeat Breck 62-58 in a massive 11th district showdown, that really hinders the Tigers chances at a 1 seed for district tournament. On Thursday they travel to Muhlenberg County before returning home for another district game vs Cloverport.
7.Whitesville Trinity Raiders (10-7) – UP 1 – The Raiders just keep winning. They have now won 3 of their last 4 games, including 2 at Louisville Collegiate last week. They knocked off Brown 66-51 & Thomas Nelson 76-63 but lost to host Collegiate 73-53. Junior forward Cameron Wright continues to lead the way for the Raiders, leading the team in scoring. Trinity gets a massive 12th District win against Grayson County 58-55 , at the Horn Community Center. Trinity will also play Edmonson County and Burgin in Whitesville this week.
8.Ohio County Eagles (6-7) – DOWN 1 – The Hartford Eagles are on a bit of a skid as of late, losing 5 of their last 6 games. They hosted tough competition last week in the Danny Annis Classic, losing games to Marshall County, Holmes and Warren Central. John Parker leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 17 and 7. Ohio County defeated Russellville 70-63 in Hartford, and will play Mclean County at home on Friday. The Eagles will be looking to avenge an early season district loss to the Cougars.
9.Apollo Eagles (4-8) – DOWN 1 – Since moving above .500 on the season, Apollo has lost 5 straight games. The Eagles have been in position to win over half of those games, but cannot find a way to finish. They were swept in their holiday tournament last week, losing late leads to Crockett Co, TN and Newport. They also dropped a game to Louisville Valley. Aside from their two big 9th district defeats, their other 6 losses have been very close, with average margin of defeat of only 4 points. It will be interesting to monitor the status of Meechie Chambers, who has not been with the team since the 2nd week of the season. The Eagles miss his scoring and his added depth could help the team tremendously. Apollo hosts Daviess County on Friday before traveling to McCracken County on Saturday.
10.Hancock County Hornets (7-6) – UP 1 – Its been an up and down start to the season for the Hancock County Hornets. Last week, Coach Lynam and the Hornets got a nice win on the road at Butler County 42-41. Arguably the biggest win of the season came Tuesday, as Hancock upset Breckenridge County 62-58 in Hawesville. Junior guard Jaxson Gray has been the leader in the first half of the season for Hancock and they will look to build around that as the season continues. They have games this week against Tell City, In and Walden.
11.Mclean County Cougars (5-7) – UP 2 – The Cougars have made their way into the top 10 for the first time in nearly 2 years. Coach Stevens has this unit playing well, as they have won 4 of their last 5. They split games last week, losing to Greenup County 71-56 before bouncing back with a win over Russell County 65-60. Senior Keenan Smith and sophomore Logan Patterson have helped lead the resurgence. Mclean lost to Hopkins Central 76-68 Tuesday, and will travel to Ohio County for a district showdown with the Eagles on Friday.
12.Grayson County Cougars (6-8) – SAME – Grayson County continues to battle and grow as the season wears along. They went 1-2 in the LaRue County holiday tournament last week. They closed out tournament play with a 20 point win over Cumberland County. Bailey Logsdon (12ppg) and Logan Majors (10ppg) are both averaging double figures. The Cougars lost to Trinity, but will look to rebound at Butler County on Friday for a 12th district showdown. On Saturday they host Owensboro Catholic.
13.Butler County Bears (6-7) – DOWN 3 – The Bears silde continued this past week, as they dropped a close game to Hancock County last week. They had lost 6 of their last 7, but were able to rebound with a big district game vs Edmonson 67-57. The Bears will also play district foe Grayson County on Friday in Leitchfield.
14.Edmonson County Wildcats (2-13) – SAME – Since starting the season 2-2, the Cats have dropped 11 straight games. They are struggling to find their way after graduating a very successful senior class a year ago. They were swept in their own holiday tournament last week, with losses against Franklin Simpson, Jeffersontown and Adair County. They dropped a district game against Butler County but will look to rebound Friday at Whitesville Trinity.
15.Cloverport Aces (2-10) – SAME – The Aces got a win last week over Burgin, 47-33. Senior guard Dylan Simmons is leading the team with 15ppg. The Aces lost a tough game against Cannelton, IN, but will have chances at big wins against Breck County and St Francis.
GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEK
12th District Games – FRI(Grayson at Butler & Trinity at Edmsonson) – Can the Raiders take the #1 seed in a wide open 12th district in which they host in their brand new community center?
Thursday – Breck County at Muhlenberg – Can Breck County go on the road in a tough environment and get the win vs the upstart Mustangs? This is a good measuring stick game.
Friday – 9th District Action – Daviess County at Apollo & Owensboro Catholic at OHS – DC and Apollo hook up for the first time since the Panthers ended their season in the district tourney last year and Owensboro looks to get the better of a Catholic team that has had their number since the arrival of Head Coach Tim Riley.
Top 5 Scorers in the Region
1. Will Noffsinger – Muhlenberg – 25 ppg
2. Kobe Poole – Breck County – 23 ppg
3. Will Moore – Butler County – 21 ppg
4. Cameron Wright – Whitesville Trinity – 19 ppg
5. Nathan Boyle – Apollo – 18 ppg