Boys Top Five
1. Clay Co. (8-1 overall, 5-0 vs. 13th Region foes)
What’s the scoop: The Tigers finally suffered a loss, but it wasn't against a 13th Region team. A 68-65 loss at the hands of Breathitt County in the Citizens Bank Shootout dropped the Tigers to 6-1, but all is well after the team won the next two games
Surprise, surprise: Once again, there really have been no surprises so far this season for Clay County. They were expected to dominate the 13th Region coming into the season and they have done just that so far.
What’s ahead: Clay County will head to Dayton Beach, Fla. for the Sunshine Classic starting on Dec. 27.
2. Corbin (5-4, 2-1)
What’s the scoop: The Redhounds struggled in the Smokey Mountain Classic, but they still only have one loss to 13th Region teams. Tony Pietrowski's team faced some extremely stiff competition in the Gatlinburg tournament.
Surprise, surprise: While Kevin Goins is still expected to lead the Redhounds this season, a lot of people are talking about the play of eight-grader Andrew Taylor. The scary though is just how much better the youngster can get as he progresses.
What’s ahead: The Redhounds will host the 2013 Cumberland Falls Invitational starting Friday and hope to bring home a title.
3. Jackson County (6-4, 2-1)
What’s the scoop: The Generals have only lost one game to a 13th Region foe. A recent loss to Madison Central was followed by consecutive wins over Franklin County and Powell County,
Surprise, surprise: Jackson County continues to score at a high rate, averaging 78.7 points per game on the season, but that's not the surprise. The General defense is only giving up 66 ppg, which give them a 12-point average margin of victory.
What’s ahead: Jackson County will call Corbin home for a few days as they participate in the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament.
4. Bell County (6-2, 5-2)
What’s the scoop: Bell County has quietly become one of the teams to watch out for in the 13th Region. Of the Bobcats six wins, five have come against 13th Region teams.
Surprise, surprise: The fact Bell County is playing as well as it has is a surprise to some, but not me. Bell County coach Lewis Morris always seems to get the most out of his players.
What’s ahead: The Bobcats will hit the road and travel to Montgomery County for the Gateway Classic this weekend.
5. Knox Central (4-5, 0-0)
What’s the scoop: The Panthers have struggled lately, dropping two of four games in the Twin Lakes Classic at Clinton County. Brian Evans squad is 4-5 on the season and haven't even faced a regional foe to this point.
Surprise, surprise: The fact the Panthers have faced so many 12th Region teams this early may puzzle some people, but I think facing tough teams will make the team better in the long run..
What’s ahead: Brian Evans and company will take the short trip to Corbin starting Saturday as they play in the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament.
The Best of the Rest
No. 6 Harlan County (6-4, 2-1)
What’s the scoop: The Black Bears have lost two in a row and four of the past five falling to Webster County and Estill County in the Berea Invitational most recently.
No. 7 North Laurel (6-4, 2-2)
What’s the scoop: The Jaguars won two straight to close out the Legacy Nissan Classic, but more importantly, have started to put things together as a team. If they continue to play this way, look for them to climb in the rankings.
No. 8 Barbourville (8-2, 1-1)
What’s the scoop: Tigers' head coach Dinky Phipps continues to work his magic with this group of kids. It seems like just when people think Barbourville is going to struggle, Phipps finds a way to pull the team together.
No. 9 South Laurel (4-4, 1-2)
What’s the scoop: The Cardinals knocked off East Jessamine on the Legacy Nissan Classic, but fell to Cordia in the second round. A win over Pickett County, Tenn. puts the Cardinals back at .500 for the season.
No. 10 Whitley County (6-4, 4-1)
What’s the scoop: The Colonels split four games in the Arby's/KFC Classic at McCreary Central this past week, knocking off Middlesboro and Garrard County, but losing to Southwestern and Glasgow.
Girls Top Five
1. Bell County (7-1 overall, 5-0 vs. 13th Region foes)
What’s the scoop: The Bell County Lady Bobcats finally lost a game last week, falling to Boyle County in the lady Ads Christmas Tournament at Danville. The team remains unbeaten in regional play.
Surprise, surprise: Still no surprises here. Bell County was tabbed as the team to beat in the 13th Region coming into the season and they continue to be that team.
What’s ahead: Bell County will travel to play in a holiday tournament at Greeneville, Tenn. this weekend.
2. Whitley County (9-2, 5-1)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Colonels move up to second for one reason — they beat Corbin on a neutral floor in the finals of the Berea Holiday Classic Sunday. If Donnie Jones' team continues to get better, the sky is the limit/
Surprise, surprise: Corbin is one of the top scoring teams in the 13th Region, averaging 89.6 ppg on the season and have surpassed 80 points on three occasions.
What’s ahead: Corbin will travel to the Berea Holiday Classic before taking a trip to the Destin, Fla. for the Destin Holiday Classic.
3. Corbin (7-3, 3-2)
What’s the scoop: Before Corbin's loss to Whitley County in the Berea Holiday Classic, the Lady Redhounds had won five straight. It will be interesting to see how Corbin responds to the loss.
Surprise, surprise: Corbin continues to play at a high level, no matter who is on the floor. That kind of consistency is key when it comes to long-term success.
What’s ahead: The Lady Redhounds will head south as they travel to take part in the Destin Holiday Classic in Florida.
4. Harlan County (9-1, 4-0)
What’s the scoop: Harlan County is off to a 9-1 start with only three of the nine wins coming at home..
Surprise, surprise: A lot of people expected the Lady Black Bears to play well to start the season, but I'm not sure how many expected them to get off to such a hot start.
What’s ahead: Harlan County will hit the road as they take part in the Appalachian Christmas Connection at Shelby Valley.
5. Harlan (8-4, 6-3)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Dragons have won six straight, including bringing home the championship trophy from the Citizens Bank Shootout.
Surprise, surprise: Just looking at Harlan's record is most likely a surprise to most people. If they can keep playing at this level, this will be a team to watch out for as the season progresses.
What’s ahead: Harlan will hit the road for the Rafferty's Double Dogs Classic at Edmonson County.
The Best of the Rest
No. 6 Clay County (3-5, 2-3)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Tigers continue to be inconsistent. James Burchell's squad hasn't been able to put together consecutive wins so far this season.
No. 7 Lynn Camp (8-1, 5-0)
What’s the scoop: Richard Jones squad is still unbeaten when it comes to 13th Region play. The team's lone loss came at the hands of John Hardin in tournament play.
No. 8 Barbourville (5-3, 2-1)
What’s the scoop: Barbourville stumbled a bit during tournament play this past weekend, but losses to teams like Danville and Mercer County will only make the team stronger in the end.
No. 9 Pineville (5-4, 2-3)
What’s the scoop: Pineville got off to a slow start, but have now won three of its past four games with wins over Williamsburg, Jellico (Tenn.) and Thomas Walker.
No. 10 Middlesboro (3-5, 2-2)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Jackets picked up a win over Fort Knox last week, but if things don't turn around soon, they could drop out of the top 10.