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9th Region Rankings/Notebook- 2/11
2/10/2013 - by Ryan Roberts
Another week of #nkyhoops are in the books and we’ve got a new #1 in the 9th region rankings. Here is how things shake out as we get closer to the post season.

1. Newport Catholic (26-2)
Why: The Breds went 2-0 this week, but did something 25 other teams haven’t been able to do, beat Holmes.

2/8: Newcath 88 Holmes 85 (Double OT) - In the best game of the year in not only Northern Kentucky, but possibly the state, it was the Breds who came out on top in thrilling fashion. Newcath led by as many as 16 and took a 14 point lead in to the 4th quarter, but Holmes’ talented sophomore James Bolden took over to help outscore Newcath 29-15 after sinking a 3 with 15 seconds left. Zach Pangallo (11 points) played hero, however. as he hit a 12 foot jumper at the other end with 3 seconds left to send the game to overtime. In the first overtime, it was senior Michael Beuter (18 points) who completed a 3 point play with time winding down to send the game to double overtime. In the second extra set of 4 minutes, Newcath’s size took over down low and helped the Breds prevail with an 88-85 win. Senior Nick Seibert led the way with 26 points, 8 rebounds while Jake Schulte (20 points, 6 rebounds) and Drew McDonald (13 points, 9 rebounds) also had solid a night.

2/9: Newcath 62 Beechwood 44 - After giving up 85 to Holmes, the Breds got back to their defensive ways, holding Beechwood to just 44 points. The Breds got 18 points from senior Michael Beuter in the win, while also getting 13 points from Jake Schulte.

Overall- People knew coming in to this game/week how good the Breds were playing. The fact that they were able to withstand a furious Holmes run further proves the type of team they are. It is clear that the Breds are primed and ready to go for the post season as they have now won 14 straight games after suffering back to back losses. If the Breds’ front court plays the way they did against Holmes, they will be extremely tough to beat. They were clicking on all cyclinders with all 5 starters in double figures.

Next: Tuesday 2/12 v Ryle; Thursday 2/14 at Conner

2. Holmes (25-1)
Why: The Bulldogs went 1-1 this week, suffering their first loss of the year.

2/5: Holmes 60 Boone Co 41- The Bulldogs had to play through foul trouble but the front court duo of Quentin Chames (14 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Chris Englemon (12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals) stepped up big time in the win. Both had highlight reel dunks and provided a spark down low at both ends to force Boone to settle for perimeter shots. Senior BJ Coston also finished in double figures for Holmes with 11 points.

2/8: Newcath 88 Holmes 85 (Double OT): The Bulldogs came out flat and got down by as many as 16 but came storming back behind sophomore James Bolden, who finished with a game and career high 37 points and 5 assist, 4 rebounds to go along with that. Bolden hit 4 treys in the 4th quarter to help bring Holmes back from a 14 point deficit, but it wasn’t meant to be as the Dogs couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities they had with a 2 point lead with under 15 seconds left in regulation and a 3 point lead with under 20 seconds to go in overtime. Chris Englemon fouled out in the first overtime and it was all Newcath the second extra period. Senior Quan Palmer finished with 15 points, while Quentin Chames chipped in 11 points.

Overall: 25-1 with your only loss being in double overtime to a team like Newcath is nothing to be upset about. This is still a very good team and if not for a few big plays by Newcath, we are talking about a possible undefeated regular season by the Bulldogs. When this team is playing well and James Bolden is trying to take over, there aren’t too many teams that can play with them. In the long run, this loss could be just what Holmes needed to get to Rupp. After talking to some players, they are extremely motivated to get a rematch with the Breds. Let’s hope for the sake of everyone else, this happens in the 9th region championship at Bank of Kentucky Center.

Next: 2/12 v Conner; 2/14 at Clark County

3. Cooper (19-5)
Why- The Jags went 2-1 this week but picked up a big top 5 win.

2/5: Cooper 65 Covcath 49- In a top 5 match up, it was the Jags that came out on top in convincing fashion on the road. Covcath led by 1 at the end of 1 but it was all Jags after that as they outscored the Colonels by 17 behind 29 points from Aj Collins. Collins was the only Cooper player to reach double figures in scoring, but both Drew Shelton and Zach McNeil finished with 9 points apiece.

2/8: Cooper 51 Boone Co 45- In a big rivalry and 33rd district game, Cooper finished the regular season with a 6-0 district record. With 5:29 left this game was tied at 40 all but the Jags were able to pull away down the stretch. Louis Maniacci and AJ Collins finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively to lead the Jags.

2/9: Newport 48 Cooper 45- In a game that would come down to the final minutes, the Jags came out on the losing end after Marquis Commodore hit a 3 to give Newport the lead for good at 41-40. Cooper led by 4 heading in to the 4th quarter but couldn’t hang on. AJ Collins and Zach McNeil led Cooper with 13 and 12 points.

Overall: I know some will wonder why Cooper didn’t drop after the loss to Newport, but any time you beat a team like Covcath on the road by 16, it’s hard to justify that same team being ranked ahead of you after a 3 point loss to a team as athletic as Newport. Chalk it up as “one of those nights.” The one thing Cooper will need to improve moving forward is getting more overall production. It is clear that AJ Collins and Zach McNeil are the leaders of this team but they will need someone else to step up if they want to get to Rupp. Still, this is a team I wouldn’t want to see in a win or go home setting.

Next: Tues 2/12 v Dixie Heights; Friday 2/15 at Scott (NKYSports.com Game of the week)

4. Covington Catholic (22-5)
Why: The Colonels went 1-1 this week.

2/5: Cooper 65 Covcath 49- In just their second home loss of the year, the Colonels dropped a top 5 match up. Covcath led by 1 at the end of 1 but were outscored by 17 the rest of the way. Zach Tobler led the way for Covcath with 17 points, 8 rebounds, while Nick Ruthsatz finished with 12 points.

2/8: Covcath 68 Dixie Heights 59- It was the Nick Ruthsatz show as he led the Colonels with 26 points in the victory. Covcath led throughout, despite Dixie cutting the deficit to 3 points in the 4th quarter. Ben Heppler and Sawyer Pauly finished with 12 and 11 points for Covcath.

Overall: You could put Covcath in the 3 or 4 spot, but going on head to head match ups most recently, 4th is the best spot to put the Colonels. The Colonels will need to Nick Fredrick healthy if they are going to make a serious tournament run. Still, the play of Sawyer Pauly and Ben Heppler, along with Zack Tobler at both ends should be a good sign for Covcath fans that they are still capable of winning big games as long as their start, Ruthsatz, produces.

Next: Tuesday 2/12 v Simon Kenton, Friday 2/15 at Madison Central

5. Holy Cross (13-10)
Why: The Indians went 3-0 this week.

2/5: Holy Cross 63 Highlands 55 - Holy Cross trailed at the half but were able to make a run in the second half to close out the Birds and get the win, despite going 10-20 from the line. The Indians made 11 treys to counter the poor free throw shooting. Travis Gabbard (21 points), Tony Campbell (20 points), and Christian McClendon (10 points) all finished in double figures.

2/7: Holy Cross 72 Beechwood 57- In their final 35th district match up of the year, the Indians were able to get the win. Blake Tiberi led the Cross with 16 points, while Christian McClendon and Tony Campbell both finished with 14 points , apiece. Travis Gabbard and Markel McClendon rounded out the double digit scoring for Holy Cross with 12 points each.

2/9: Holy Cross 77 Conner 57- Conner was down just 2 points at the end of the first quarter but a 25-8 run by Holy Cross in the second quarter put the game out of reach. Travis Gabbard led the Indians with 27 points but it was the stat line of Tony Campbell with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 8 blocks, and 8 assists that stole the show.

Overall: The Indians had two somewhat close games to start the week but really kicked it in high gear against Conner. The emergence of Travis Gabbard lately makes Holy Cross a very dangerous team with the district tournament being less than two weeks away. With Holy Cross getting very good balance across the board from their top 6, they are one or two players away from being a legit threat to cut down the nets both in the district and region tournament. This week’s schedule will be absolutely brutal, however.

Next: Tues 2/12 at PRP; Thurs 2/14 v Scott Co; Fri 2/15 v St. Henry

6. Dixie Heights (13-12)
Why: The Colonels went 1-1 this week.

2/5: Dixie 63 Ryle 62 (OT)- Dixie trailed by 10 at the half but used a big 3rd quarter to get back in the game and then closed it out in overtime with an Andrew Hedger shot in the final minute of the game. Brandon Hatton finished with a game high 27 points, while Adam Daria finished with 12 in the win.

2/8: Covcath 68 Dixie 59: The Red Colonels got 18 points from Brandon Hatton and 13 points from Adam Daria but couldn’t overcome a big night by Nick Ruthsatz. Dixie got as close as 3 points in the 4th quarter but Covcath was able to pull away and get the win.

Overall: Despite their record, this is still a good Dixie team that will be a tough out for an opposing district come tournament time. With the right draw, the Colonels very well could end up in the semi’s or even finals of the 9th region tournament.

Next: Mon 2/11 v Clark Co; Tues 2/12 at Cooper; Thurs 2/14 v Boone Co

7. Newport (17-7)
Why; The Wildcats move up a spot from last week with the big win over a top 5 team.

2/6: Newport 72 Dayton 32 - It was all Cats Everything in this one as the Wildcats rolled out to a 21 point lead and cruised from there. JaSean Short (18 points), Ethan Snapp (11 points), Darian Witherspoon (11 points) all finished in double figures. Arroyal Wright and Jaquan Short both finished with 9 points, respectively.

2/7: St. Henry 72 Newport 50 - It was just “one of those nights” as the Wildcats fell big time to a St. Henry team they probably should’ve produced the same result against. Jasean Short (15 points) and Jaquan Short (14 points) were the only two Wildcats to reach double figures.

2/9: Newport 48 Cooper 45 - Marquis Commodore hit a 3 in the 4th quarter to give the Wildcats the lead by 1 and they wouldn’t relinquish the lead from there as they improved to 17-7 on the year. Cody Pearson led the Wildcats with 14 points, with Marquis Commodore and Jaquan Short both finished with 10 points apiece in the win.

Overall: Newport could be ranked anywhere from 5-8 in the rankings and you probably wouldn’t be wrong. They have the talent and athleticism but the inconsistency and loss to St. Henry are what landed them here at #7. This is a team that will be a very tough draw for a district champion come tournament time.

Next: Tues 2/12 v Beechwood; Wed 2/13 at Male; Fri 2/15 v Pointz Career Technology Center, OH; Sat 2/16 at Bracken Co

8. Boone County (13-13)
Why: The Rebels went 0-2 this week but those losses came to 2 of the top 3 teams in the region.

2/5: Holmes 60 Boone Co 41- The Rebels kept it close to around 10 for the majority of the first half, but in the end Holmes talent was too much for the young Rebels. Hunter Hixenbaugh led Boone with 11 while Sophomore Brenden Stanley finished with 10 points.

2/8: Cooper 51 Boone Co 45- This was a tied game with 5 mins left in the game, but the Rebels couldn’t seal the deal. Brett Mayberry led all scorers with 21 points, but was the only Rebel to reach double digits. Brannen McDonald had 6 blocks in the first half but foul trouble would limit his production the rest of the game.

Overall: Not much here wasn’t expected given the two opponents of Boone this week. After seeing them Tuesday night, they are a solid team that will be good in the future. They have nice size in the front court with McDonald at 6’7 but lack a true go to guy when you put an athletic defender on Stanley.

Next: Tues 2/12 v Indian Hill OH; Thurs 2/14 at Dixie

9. Conner (12-11)
Why: The Cougars went 2-1 this week.

2/5 Conner 55 Walton Verona 48- Sam Hemmerick led the way with 15 points, while Drew Barker chipped in 12 in the win. Nic Watts finished with 9 points for the Cougars.

2/8- Conner 61 St. Henry 52- Conner used a 14-8 2nd quarter to pull away for the win. Sam Hemmerich led all scorers with 20 points, while Drew Barker finished with 13 and Lamblez chipped in 12.

2/9: Holy Cross 77 Conner 57- It was a long night for the Cougars as Tony Campbell put on a show against the Cougars. It was a balanced scoring night for the Cougars as Sam Hemmerich (12 points, 11 rebounds), Andrew Way (11 points), and Nic Watts (10 points) all finished in double figures while Sam Riddle rolled up 9 points.

Overall: Conner got two solid wins this week over Walton and St. Henry but the game against Holy Cross and some other losses show they simply can’t compete with the better teams in the region.Things won’t get easier for the Cougars this week as they take on the top two teams in the region.

Next: Tues 2/12 at Holmes, Thurs 2/14 v Newcath

10. Ryle (10-12)
Why: The Raiders went 1-1 this week.

2/5: Dixie 63 Ryle 62 (OT)- All four Raiders in the book finished in double figures. Will Stuhr led Ryle with 19 points, and junior guard Tanner White added 17. Mark Fussenegger and Drew Mays chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively.

2/8: Ryle 74 Walton 55- Will Stuhr and Tanner White led Ryle with 20 and 18 points.

Overall- Since the rough patch where Ryle seemingly struggled every game, the Raiders have gotten things together and started playing better. The upcoming week will let us know more where they stand heading in to the post season.

Next: Monday 1/11 at Milford, OH; Tues 2/12 at Newcath; Thurs 2/14 v Campbell Co; Fri 2/15 at Tates Creek


Top Games this Week:

Tuesday 2/12
#6 Dixie Heights at #3 Cooper
#9 Conner at #2 Holmes

Thurs 2/14
#8 Boone County at #6 Dixie Heights
#9 Conner at #1 Newath
Scott County at #5 Holy Cross

Friday 2/15
#3 Cooper at Scott (NKYSports.com Game of the Week)

The NKYSports.com game of the week will feature Cooper at Scott this Friday night. You can watch the game both live and on demand at nkysports.com under the webcasts link.
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