By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
Boys Player of the Week
Zac Baxter and Jared Grubb, South Laurel
The Cardinal duo combined to score more than 100 points this week during South Laurel's wins over Tates Creek, Williamsburg and George Rogers Clark. It looks as if Jeff Davis' squad has peaked at the right time, as Baxter scored 21 points and Grubb added 20 during the Cardinals' 69-54 road win against GRC.
Girls Player of the Week
Jourdan Ledford, Harlan
Ledford turned in three stellar performances during this past week's 13th Region All 'A' Classic Tournament in Barbourville.
She helped guide the Lady Green Dragons to their fifth 13th Region All 'A' Classic Tournament championship by pouring in 13 points during the Lady Green Dragons' 68-66 win over Pineville in the title game. She added 17 points in Harlan's 55-35 win over Middlesboro in the semifinals while scoring 20 points during a 69-28 opening round victory over Jackson County.
13th Region All 'A' Preview
Barbourville will be the host of this year's 13th Region All 'A' Classic Tournament, and once again, Dinky Phipps' Tigers are considered as one of the teams to beat.
Oneida Baptist and Pineville tipped things off Monday along with Barbourville and Harlan, and with the way deadlines were set up this weekend, I wasn't able to get these two games in.
In the lower bracket, Lynn Camp and Middlesboro will face-off today at 6 p.m. while the match-up between Williamsburg and Jackson County follows at 7:30 p.m. This is a contest a lot of people are keeping their eyes on.
Barbourville, Harlan and Williamsburg are considered sleepers in the tournament while Greg Parrett's Jackson County Generals are tagged as the team to beat, and very well should be.
The Generals are 11-5 on the season while riding a two-game win streak. They are led by one of the best players in the region in Jordan Fox. Fox has the ability to take over games with his offensive skills. A player to keep an eye on is Isaiah Collier. If he catches fire, Jackson County might run through the tournament with ease.
With that said, I'm going with the Generals to bring home the 13th Region All 'A' championship
The Colonels are improving
Jerry Overbey's Whitley County Colonels are quietly putting together an outstanding season so far. They are an impressive 11-6 and pulled off an important, 61-50, 50th District home win over Corbin Friday, its first against the Redhounds dating back to the 94-95 season.
So how are the Colonels doing it?
Well they are getting impressive play from some solid players such as James Sasko, Luke Woods along with Cameron and Corey Johnson. Corey Johnson is an eighth-grader and has established himself as one of the top young players in the 13th Region.
Whitley County will be tested in the next few weeks, though. If the Colonels can stand the test with upcoming games against South Laurel, Williamsburg, Jackson County, North Laurel, Knox Central, Corbin and Williamsburg, they might just surprise some folks once post-season play begins.
The wild and wacky 50th District
After seeing Whitley County knock off Corbin this past week, who knows who will come away with the district's top seed, and to be honest, does it really matter?
There isn't much difference between Corbin, South Laurel, Whitley County and Williamsburg, so seeding won't mean much.
The Redhounds will host the tournament, which will be an edge, but Corbin has been inconsistent as of late. At the present time, Corbin sits atop the 50th District rankings with a 2-1 record while South Laurel is 2-1 as well, but lost at home earlier in the season to the Redhounds. Whitley County is 1-1 with its lone loss coming to South Laurel at home while Williamsburg is 0-2, and things look to be getting better soon for Patrick Robinson's squad with star guard Skylar Griffith set to return from an injury. Griffith's return to the line-up will make the Yellow Jackets a tough team to beat.
Knox Central comes up big
Brian Evans' Knox Central Panthers handed defending 13th Region champion Clay County its first 13th Region loss of the season this past week, thanks to a 21-point, 10-rebound effort from big man Chad Marsee. Marsee has established himself as the best center in the region after outdueling Clay County's Jake Allen, who battled foul trouble throughout the game.
The Panthers, who also beat Bell County Friday, are a hard team to figure out, but they do possess some of the best talent in the region, and could very well win their first region crown in more than 40 years in a couple of months.
13th Region Rankings
1. Jackson County – The Generals get the nod over Knox Central, but not by much.
2. Knox Central – The Panthers picked up two big wins this past week.
3. Clay County – The defending region champs dropped two spots after losing at home to Knox Central.
4. Bell County – The Bobcats lost a close one on the road to Knox Central Friday.
5. Whitley County – The Colonels are a much-improved team.
6. Harlan County – It looks as if the Black Bears are picking up some steam after a close loss to Perry Central.
7. South Laurel – Another team that's picking up some steam is Jeff Davis' squad.
8. Corbin – The Redhounds are 11-6 on the season, but drop a few spots after losing on the road to Whitley County.
9. North Laurel – The young Jaguars are a tough team to figure out.
10. Barbourville – Dinky Phipps continues to work his magic.
13th Region All 'A' crown goes back to Harlan
The Harlan Lady Green Dragons captured their fifth 13th Region All 'A' after upending Pineville in the championship game this past week, 68-66.
The Lady Green Dragons cruised through the tournament with wins over Jackson County and Middlesboro before slipping past a game Lady Mountain Lions squad.
The duo of freshman guard Jordan Brock and senior forward Jourdan Ledford played a big key during Harlan's championship run. The duo scored in double figures in each of the Lady Green Dragons' three wins.
Teams to keep an eye on
Both Whitley County and Bell County are beginning to separate themselves from the pack and show they are the two top teams in the 13th Region.
The Lady Colonels beat defending 13th Region champion Corbin for the second time this season this past week, while handing the Lady Redhounds their worse loss of the season with a 75-59 defeat.
The Lady Bobcats are 2-0 against 13th Region teams while Whitley County is 4-0, but there is one more team that is unbeaten against 13th Region teams.
Is it Lynn Camp? Nope, try Clay County, who is also 2-0 against 13th Region teams. I'm telling you now, keep an eye on the Lady Tigers.
Can't get over the hump
Many believed this would be the year Richard Jones' Lynn Camp Lady Wildcats would win the 13th Region All 'A' Classic championship, but once again they fell short against Pineville, who the Lady Wildcats had beaten by 38 and six points earlier this season.
A slow start and poor shooting played big parts in Lynn Camp's loss to the Lady Mountain Lions.
13th Region Rankings
1. Whitley County – The Lady Colonels continue to show they are the best team in the region.
2. Bell County – The Lady Bobcats keep rolling along.
3. Harlan County – The Lady Black Bears are quietly 14-4 on the season.
4. Corbin – The Lady Redhounds suffered a setback this past week with a 16-point loss to Whitley County.
5. Harlan – The Lady Green Dragons deserve a top five appearance after winning the 13th Region All 'A' Classic title.
6. Clay County – Keep an eye on Big Clay.
7. Pineville – The Lady Mountain Lions have made some strides during the past two weeks.
8. Lynn Camp – The Lady Wildcats drop a few spots after falling to Pineville.
9. Barbourville – The Lady Tigers drop another spot after losing in first round action of the 13th Region All 'A' Classic Tournament to Lynn Camp.
10. South Laurel – The Lady Cardinals hang on to the 10-spot.
South Laurel, Whitley County move up in 13th Region rankings
By Les Dixon For the Times-Tribune
- Local Sports
End of the Line
Recil Jones’ North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their stay in the Central Region Tournament with an 0-3 record after dropping a 9-4 decision to Wisconsin state champion Franklin Little League.
Knox County's state title run comes to an end
The Knox County 11-year-old All Stars came in to Monday’s contest with Owensboro Southern knowing that the winner would move on to the semifinals of the state tournament.
Tripped Up: Tough loss follows Saturday's walk-off win
By Chris Parsons
BOWLING GREEN — The Corbin Little League All Stars began the 2014 State Tournament with as exciting a finish as any baseball fan could hope for, but struggled on day two, falling to 1-1 after the first two days.
Comeback Effort: Knox County recovers from 24-0 loss, grabs 4-2 win in pool play
By Chris Parsons
BOWLING GREEN — After what could have turned in to a demoralizing 24-0 loss to Eastern to start State Tournament pool play Saturday, the Knox County 11-year-old All Stars recovered nicely Sunday, picking up a 4-2 win over Paintsville.
Ready To Roll
After a 6-0 run through the loser’s bracket of the District 4 Tournament, the only thing left for the Corbin Little League All Stars to do is pack their bags and get to Bowling Green.
For many years, Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football program has been known for its running attack, but with the way things went during the Union College 7-on-7 Passing Tournament, the Jaguars may be shedding the “ground game” label.
LIKE IT OR NOT: MLB's All Star effort was a bust
With the 85th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in the books, I have to say I feel like the whole thing was a complete bust.
Eyes On The Prize
The Knox County 11-year-old All-Stars have a tall task ahead of them, but head coach Jason Hembree said he feels like the team will be ready to go when the state tournament starts Saturday in Bowling Green.
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- End of the Line