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9th Region Rankings/Notebook 12/30
12/30/2012 - by Ryan Roberts
9th Region Rankings/Notebook 12/30

1. Newport Catholic (11-0)
Why: The Breds went 3-0 this week, stayed undefeated, and won the Ashland Invitational Tournament.

12/27 - Newcath 69 Boyd Co 62: It was the Michael Bueter show as he dropped 29 to advance the Breds to the semiís of the AIT. Sophomore Drew McDonald also chipped in 14 in the win.

12/28 - Newcath 67 Russell 61: Balanced effort by the Breds as Bueter once again led the way with 21 points. Jake Schulte followed that with 16, also having 2 big dunks, and Drew McDonald had 15 to advance the Breds to the finals of the AIT.

12/29 - Newcath 80 Ashland 61: In one of the most balanced and complete games by the Breds to date, Newcath won the AIT with all 5 starters reaching double figures. Michael Bueter (18), Drew McDonald (18), Zach Pangallo (17), Jake Schulte (11), and Nick Seibert (10) combined for 74 of the Breds 80 points.

Overall: Breds retain the #1 spot with their undefeated record. The game against Ashland is a very good sign for Breds fans. When you get all 5 guys in double figures, you are going to win a lot of games. If they can continue to progress and get guys like Pangallo consistently in or close to double figures in scoring, the Breds are going to be extremely tough to knock off. Bueter was the man for Newcath this week, averaging 22 ppg and getting MVP honors of the AIT

Next: Newcath will be at home this week with games against Newport (Wed 1/2) and Trinity (Fri 1/4). These two games should give us a little better idea of where the Breds really are.

2. Holmes (15-0)
Why: It was another 3-0 week for the Dogs as they went to Florida and won the Rock Holiday Classic at Windermere Prep in convincing fashion.

12/27- Holmes 66 Lyman, FL 40- In a defensive show, the Bulldogs won the first game of the tournament behind 14 pts, 6 rbs by Chris Englemon. Sophomore James Bolden also reached double figures with 10 pts, while BJ Coston and Quentin Chames both had 9 pts. Chames also finished with 13 rebounds.

12/28: Holmes 46 Lincoln Co 29- Trailing 17-16 at the half and struggling from the field, the Bulldogs got a much needed boost from senior Quan Palmer as he drained 4 treys in the second half, while also leading a defensive effort that limited Lincoln Co to just 2 4th quarter points. Palmer finished with 20 points.

12/29: Holmes 68 Mars, PA- In the championship game of the Rock Holiday Classic, it was the James Bolden show as he dropped 27 points and garnered MVP honors for the tournament. Holmes led 26-5 after one and 44-29 at the half but a strong effort by the PA team made it close at the end.

Overall: The Bulldogs remained the only other undefeated team in the 9th region and are slowly approaching the 2009 state title teamís record of 22 consecutive wins without a loss. The most impressive part of Holmes championship run this week was the fact that they had three different players lead them in scoring. The emergence of Keyontae Herndon and Daequan Glover off the bench continues to fuel this team and help them pull away in the second half of games because of the opponent being worn down. This is a very good team.

Next: Holmes will play one game this week, but it is a big one. Friday night (1/4) the Bulldogs will meet Holy Cross in a big 35th district seed game. The winner will have the inside track at either the 1 or 2 seed.

3. Covington Catholic (11-1)
Why: After losing 2 weeks ago, the Colonels have now won 5 straight, including a 3-0 record this week in the Lloyd Memorial Invitational Tournament.

12/27: Covcath 85 Ludlow 47- In the first game of the LMIT, it was a balanced attack by the Colonels led by Nick Frederickís 21 points. Leading scorer Nick Ruthsatz finished with 17 points, while Ben Heppler and Mark Schult also reached double figures with 10 apiece.

12/28: Covcath 66 Conner 34- In a rematch from a couple weeks ago, it was once again the same story as the Colonels put it on the Cougars with another 30 point win. Nick Ruthsatz finished with 16 points, while Senior Sawyer Pauly contributed 12 points. Bo Schuh, Mark Schult, and Zack Tobler all finished with 8 points.

12/29: Covcath 77 Clinton County 44- In the championship game of the LMIT, it was once again an impressive Colonel blow out. Covcath used hot shooting and good team defense to knock off the 4th region squad behind 14 points apiece from tourney MVP Nick Frederick and Nick Ruthsatz.

Overall: It was a three day show for the Colonels as they barely broke a sweat in winning the LMIT. This team continues to impress and even though they are #3 in my rankings, they arenít far behind the two ahead of them. This week end was my first time seeing the Park Hills squad and I came away very impressed. Nick Ruthsatz is the straw that stirs this drink, but they are a very balanced and deep team. You wonít see them lose too many games this year.

Next: Covcath will travel to Dayton, OH Wednesday 1/2 to take on Chaminade-Julienne before returning home Friday 1/4 for a 35th district game against Beechwood.

4. Cooper (9-3)
Why: The Jags unofficially finished third in the Lloyd Memorial Invitational Tournament this week with a 2-1 record.

12/27: Cooper 64 Lloyd Memorial 34- In an impressive defensive performance, the Jags knocked off the host school, Juggernauts, by 30. Junior Zach McNeil scored his 1,000th point of his career for the Jags in the win.

12/28: Clinton County 48 Cooper 46- In what was considered a mild upset, the Jags dropped their third game of the year as they lost on a last second shot by the Bulldogs. Coach Tim Sullivan told me after it was the little things that beat the Jags in this one, such as not getting 50-50 balls and doing the little things that had made his team successful to that point. Cooper blew an early 15-2 lead. Lou Maniacci led Cooper with 16 points, while Zack McNeil also reached double figures with 11.

12/29: Cooper 67 Ludlow 28- It was all Jags everything as their defense smothered the Panthers in to turnover after turnover. After Ludlow got as close as 13-7, the Jags would use a 20-0 run to pull away and put the game out of reach. Zach McNeil led the Jags with 18 while nkysports.com Player of the Game Louis Maniacci finished with 14 points.

Overall: Despite the upset loss to Clinton County, it was still a successful and productive week end for the Union school. One thing that was constant all week end was the solid defense that has become a staple of the Cooper program with Coach Sullivan. Inconsistency has plagued the Jags at times this season, but they are not a team you want to get in a half court game with. Their full court pressure is very good and they have enough weapons to put a 10 or 15-0 run on you in a minute or two.

Next: The Jags will be at home this week with games against St Henry Wednesday 1/2 and Saturday 1/5 against Highlands in a top 10 match up.

5. Dixie Heights (8-4)
Why: After a loss to Conner last week with an injured Brandon Hatton, the Colonels moved back up to the #5 spot with a 2-1 record at the Republic Bank Classic held at Lexington Catholic.

12/27: Dixie Heights 59 Oldham County 45- In a game where Brandon Hatton broke the all time school scoring record, the Colonels handed Oldham Co their second worse loss of the season. Hatton led the way with 25 points.

12/28: Dixie Heights 59 Scott 40- In their second game at Lexcath, Dixie put together an impressive defensive performance against a talented Scott team, holding the Eagles to their lowest offensive output of the season. Dixie was once again led by Brandon Hatton with 19 points.

12/29: Butler 57 Dixie Heights 45- Dixie got 19 points and 7 rebounds from Brandon Hatton, but it wasnít enough as they dropped to 8-4 with a loss to a very good Butler team, who is one of the better 6th region teams.

Overall: Dixie fell to #9 in my rankings last week, in part because of the loss to Conner with an injured Brandon Hatton, but moved back up to #5 with impressive wins over Oldham and Scott. When Hatton is healthy, itís hard not to have Dixie as a top 5 team. Coach Ken Chevalier told me he was pleased with the way his team played despite having a couple starters out. As this young team gets more experience, they will continue to become a problem for opposing 9th region teams.

Next: Dixie will host the Australia Travel Team Wed night 1/2 and travel to St Henry in a 34th district battle Friday night 1/4. The Colonels will close out the week with a Saturday night game against Louisville Doss.

6. Newport (8-3)
Why: The Cats were off this week and didnít play but fell one spot due to Dixie being so impressive in their wins over Oldham County and Scott.

Next: We will find out just how good this Newport team is. They will travel to Newcath Wednesday 1/2 in a 36th district match up then host Ludlow Saturday 1/5. It will be interesting to see how Newport comes out Wednesday, as they will have been off since December 22nd.

7. Holy Cross (6-5)
Why: The Indians went 2-1 this week end playing in the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County.

12/27: Worthington Kilbourne, OH 60 Holy Cross 58 Ė The Indians had four starters reach double figures in scoring (C. McClendon 13, Campbell 13, Pouncy 13, M. McClendon 10) but it wasnít enough as Holy Cross lost in overtime, in what ended up being the Ohio teamsí only win of the tournament. Their other two losses came by double digits to Lafayette and Montgomery Co.

12/28: Holy Cross 65 East Carter 56- In a game that was maybe closer than some expected, Holy Cross knocked off 16th region East Carter behind 28 points from Tony Campbell and 16 from senior Blake Tiberi.

12/29: Holy Cross 61 Fleming Co 55- A big second quarter by the Indians helped them pull away just enough to get the win. Holy Cross was led by Tony Campbell, who was 2 blocks shy of a quadruple double. Campbell finished with 19 pts, 15 rbs, 10 ast, and 8 blocks.

Overall: While their two wins were a little closer than some of those teamsí other losses, Holy Cross continues to win with a balanced attack of getting several guys consistently in double figures scoring and Tony Campbell absolutely dominating at both ends. Consistency is the biggest thing with this team. There are some nights they come out and look like a top 5 team and then there are other nights they come out and get handled. (See Newcath)

Next: Things are about to get real for this team and we will have a better idea of where they stand as the new year kicks off. They open up with a home game Wednesday night against Ryle, then turn around Friday night and travel to crosstown, district rival, and undefeated (15-0) Holmes in an important district seeding game. Holy Cross will close out the week Saturday night with another home game against Boone County.

8. Ryle (7-5)
Why: The Raiders went 2-1 this weekend in the Red River Classic held at Powell County.

12/27: Ryle 64 Lewis Co 60- Ryle outscored Lewis County 16-11 in the third quarter, which ended up being the deciding run that helped the Raiders get the W. Ryle was led by Will Stuhrís 23 points and also got solid contributions from Tanner White (13 pts) and Drew Mays (10 pts).

12/28: Lee County 81 Ryle 80- Ryle was upset by 14th region Lee County on the second day of the Red River Classic. Lee County went on to defeat Lawrence County the next day and win the tournament.

12/29: Ryle 72 Powell County 58- In the third place game of the Red River Classic, it was the Raiders who came out on top for their 7th win of the year. Ryle was once again led by the trio of Will Stuhr (19 pts), Tanner White, and Drew Mays who both finished with 12 points.

Overall: This team is probably a little better than Iím giving them credit for, as Coach Sullivan of Cooper told me, but inconsistency against lesser teams lands them here at #7. Will Stuhr, Drew Mays, and Tanner White were all very good for the Raiders this week end, and continue to lead the Union squad.

Next: Ryle will have a chance to prove themselves and move up in the rankings as they travel to #7 Holy Cross Wednesday night (1/2) and close out the week Saturday night (1/5) with a home game against 8th region North Oldham.

9. Conner (6-5)
Why: The Cougars went 2-1 this week end in the Lloyd Memorial Invitational Tournament.

12/27: Conner 74 Nicholas County 36- In a blowout win, the Cougars were led by 24 pts, 6 rbs from Sam Hemmerich and 15 pts from Brady Padgett. Drew Barker also had a solid night with 9 points, 7 rebounds.

12/28: Covcath 66 Conner 34- Rough night for the Hebron squad as they were completely dominated in every facet of the game by #3 Covcath. The only real bright spot was Drew Barker finishing with 10 points in the loss.

12/29: Conner 66 Lloyd 47- In their final game of the LMIT, Drew Barker led Conner to the win with 28 points.

Overall: Conner is a team that is capable of beating some of the better teams in the region, which was shown in their win against Dixie, but in order for them to be considered a real threat to the top 4 teams, they need to get consistent bench play and put together 4 complete quarters. They have talent and size with Padgett, Hemmerich, and Barker.

Next: Conner will host the Australian Travel Team Thursday night (1/3) and then travel to Madison Central Saturday afternoon (1/5) in a very tough game against one of the better teams in the state.

10. Highlands (5-6)
Why: The Birds went 1-2 in the Pikeville Invitational Tournament at Pikeville this week end.

12/27: Betsy Lane 42 Highlands 35- In an offensive struggle, it was the Birds who came up short. Luke Turner and Bailey Witte both poured in 10 points apiece in the loss.

12/28; Harlan County 52 Highlands 47- In their third closest game of the year, 13-1 Harlan County knocked off the Birds by 5. Luke Turner once again led by Birds with 18 points.

12/29: Highlands 62 Middlesboro 48- The Birds closed out the PIT with a 14 point win over Middlesboro. Luke Turner (22 pts), Nick True (14 pts), and Bailey Witte (13 pts) all reached double figures in the win.

Overall: This is a spot that could probably be filled with Boone County or Highlands but I chose the Birds because I feel like they are a more complete team and have more balance.

Next: Highlands will travel to Villa Madonna Wednesday night (1/3) in a game that can watched live on nkysports.com under the webcasts link. This will be their first of 4 straight road games. Saturday night (1/5), the Birds will get their toughest test to date, as they travel to Cooper and take on the #4 Jags.

Top Games This Week:

Wednesday 1/2:
#8 Ryle at #7 Holy Cross
#6 Newport at #1 Newport Catholic

Friday 1/4:
#7 Holy Cross at #2 Holmes (35th district seed game)
Louisville Trinity at #1 Newport Catholic

Game of the Week:
This is easy. Holmes v Holy Cross. This is a game that has several big implications with it. Not only is it huge for district seeding, but it is also one of the best rivalries in the area, despite Holmes dominating the series over the past 8 years. Holmes was one of the only 3 teams to knock off the Indians last year, so there is some revenge on the minds of the Holy Cross players. Add in the fact that these kids know eachother and see one another on a daily basis because they live in the same area, and this is going to be a game with a tournament like atmosphere as ďThe FieldhouseĒ will be packed Friday night.
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