Girls Top Five
1. Clay County (25-5 overall, 11-3 vs. 13th Region foes)
What’s the scoop: I said this last week and I’ll say it again — the four-time defending 13th Region champions are where they usually are during the end of the regular season — sitting atop my 13th Region rankings. A lot of people are counting out Clay County because of its earlier losses to regional teams, but I say not so fast.
Surprise, surprise: The Lady Tigers are now winners of six straight after upending Oneida Baptist during semifinal action of the 49th District Tournament Wednesday. Clay County has put together an impressive 15-3 record since Christmas break.
What’s ahead: The Lady Tigers are looking to capture their eighth straight 49th District title Friday against North Laurel. Who is the last team to beat Clay County in the district tournament? Rockcastle County, back in 2005, who won 66-50.
2. Corbin (23-8, 17-3)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Redhounds punched their ticket into the 13th Region Tournament after defeating Williamsburg during semifinal play of the 50th District Tournament.
Surprise, surprise: The Lady Redhounds will enter the 13th Region Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the region, but they need to take care of business first against Whitley County Friday.
What’s ahead: The Lady Redhounds will face-off against Whitley County Friday in the finals of the 50th District Tournament. The two teams have split a pair of games this season with Corbin winning on Feb. 1 in double overtime, 65-62.
3. Harlan County (25-5, 15-2)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Black Bears are back to their winning ways after going through a two-game losing skid a couple of weeks ago. They are now winners of three straight after beating Middlesboro in semifinal action of the 52nd District Tournament.
Surprise, surprise: Harlan County is led in scoring by Brooklyn Massingill’s 14.8 scoring average. The way she goes, they go.
What’s ahead: Harlan County will play against Bell County Friday to see who is the best team in the 52nd District Tournament. The two teams have split a pair of games this season.
4. Bell County (24-5, 15-3)
What’s the scoop: Maci Morris is back and everyone in Lady Bobcat land is happy, happy, happy. Bell County has put together an impressive 13-2 mark since Christmas break.
Surprise, surprise: The Lady Bobcats can take a huge step forward Friday if they can beat Harlan County in the finals of the 52nd District Tournament.
What’s ahead: After disposing of Harlan, now Bell County will face Harlan County in the title game of the 52nd District Tournament Friday.
5. Whitley County (19-8, 12-3)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Colonels have shown great character this season by overcoming the injury dilemma they had.
Surprise, surprise: Whitley County’s Brandi Smith is one of the best clutch players I have covered. Her three-pointer with three seconds remaining on Tuesday allowed the Lady Colonels to pull out a 43-40 win over South Laurel in the semifinals of the 50th District Tournament.
What’s ahead: Whitley County will have revenge on its mind Friday when the face-off against rival Corbin in the 50th District championship game. The last time the two teams met, the Lady Redhounds pulled out a 65-62 double overtime win.
The Best of the rest
No. 6 Barbourville (20-10, 14-8)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Tigers have shown the entire season they are one of the best teams in the region and clinched their spot in next week’s 13th Region Tournament by defeating Pineville Wednesday.
No. 7 Lynn Camp (23-8, 15-7)
What’s the scoop: The Wildcats continued their impressive season by knocking off rival Knox Central Wednesday in the semifinals of the 51st District Tournament.
No. 8 South Laurel (13-14, 9-9)
What’s the scoop: Taylor Arthur put together a solid senior campaign for the Lady Cardinals, but in the end, South Laurel just couldn’t pull off the win over Whitley County in the semifinals of the 50th District Tournament.
No. 9 Knox Central (13-17, 8-11)
What’s the scoop: Injuries hurt the Lady Panthers in the end, but Knox Central couldn’t get any type of momentum going the entire season.
No. 10 North Laurel (6-24, 5-14)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Jaguars crack the top 10 for the first time this season after upending Jackson County in semifinal action of the 49th District Tournament, 68-34. Can they continue to surprise like they did last year and pull off an upset or two in the 13th Region Tournament?
We shall see.