Boys Top Five
1. Clay Co. (10-2 overall, 5-0 vs. 13th Region foes)
What’s the scoop: The Tigers are still unbeaten against 13th Region foes. How good have they been? Their wins over regional opponents have been by an average of 15.8 points per game.
Surprise, surprise: As I said before, 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 hit the road for three straight after the holiday season. The Tigers will close the month in the Toyota Classic at Scott County High School.
2. Jackson County (9-4, 3-1)
What’s the scoop: Jackson County's lone 13th Region loss of the season came in the season opener against Corbin. The Generals avenged that loss this week in the Cumberland Falls Invitational Championship game.
Surprise, surprise: Some people said the Generals were overrated after the loss to Corbin in the season opener, but that wasn't the case Monday night. Mark Parrett's squad turned a last-second loss into a 12-point win, which is a fairly good turnaround in such a short time.
What’s ahead: The Generals will hit the road to take part in the WYMT Mountain Classic next week at Knott County Central.
3. Corbin (7-5, 3-2)
What’s the scoop: The Corbin Redhounds came within a win of capturing the Cumberland Falls Invitational title, but Jackson County proved too much. Something tells me these two teams could meet again later on this season.
Surprise, surprise: The Redhounds recovered well after going 1-2 in the Smokey Mountain Classic last week. Wins over Highlands and Knox Central are just what this young team needed.
What’s ahead: Corbin will return from the holiday break by hosting four straight games to start the new year off.
4. Bell County (6-5, 5-2)
What’s the scoop: The Bobcats have struggled lately, dropping three straight in the Gateway Classic at Montgomery County. The fact remains that Bell County has only lost twice to regional competition.
Surprise, surprise: After rattling off six straight wins, Lewis Morris' team has dropped three in a row. They'll have a chance to get back on track over the next week or so.
What’s ahead: After hosting Harlan County next week, the Bobcats will play in the WYMT Mountain Classic at Knott County Central.
5. Knox Central (5-7, 0-1)
What’s the scoop: A loss to Corbin in the Cumberland Falls Invitational was not only the Panther's first loss of the season against 13th Region foes, it was also their first game.
Surprise, surprise: The Panther battled back after a close loss to Corbin, but fell just short (86-84) against Largo, Md, to drop their second straight loss.
What’s ahead: After facing just one regional foe through the first month of the season, Knox Central will now face eight straight 13th Region foes to start 2014.
The Best of the rest
No. 6 Harlan County (6-7, 2-1)
What’s the scoop: The Black Bears have struggled lately, dropping seven of their past eight games after starting the season 5-0.
No. 7 North Laurel (7-6, 2-2)
What’s the scoop: The Jaguars put together an impressive run as they brought home the championship trophy in the Legacy Nissan Classic.
No. 8 Barbourville (9-4, 1-1)
What’s the scoop: The Tigers continue to play well, but will be tested to start 2014 as they face three straight district foes.
No. 9 South Laurel (5-7, 1-2)
What’s the scoop: The Cardinals dropped three of four in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Classic, but two of the losses were fairly close against decent teams. If Jeff Davis can steer the Cardinals in the right direction, this could be a team to watch as the season winds down.
No. 10 Williamsburg (5-8, 1-2)
What’s the scoop: The Yellow Jackets have struggled, dropping three of the last four games. There's light at the end of the tunnel though for Williamsburg fans as Skylar Griffith is getting closer to being released after suffering a broken foot during football season.