Boys Top Five
1. Harlan Co. (14-2 overall, 6-0 vs. 13th Region foes)
What’s the scoop: The Black Bears continue to roll along against 13th Region opponents, but dropped a 60-54 decision to Lincoln County this past week.
Surprise, surprise: Harlan County remains the most consistent team in the 13th Region and they have now separated themselves from the rest of the pack, but they still have to get over the postseason hump of being 0-4 all-time in the 13th Region Tournament.
What’s ahead: The Black Bears continue to play in the WYMT Classic the remainder of the week before traveling to play No. 2 ranked Clay County in a huge 13th Region matchup.
2. Clay County (11-4, 3-1)
What’s the scoop: The Tigers picked up a big 68-67 come from behind win at home over 49th District rival Jackson County, but followed with a disappointing 81-53 loss at home to Wayne County.
Surprise, surprise: Clay County moved another step closer to capturing the 49th District’s top seed after Stephon Lyttle’s last-second shot secured the one-point win for the Tigers.
What’s ahead: Clay County will finish up play in the WYMT Classic the remainder of the week before hosting Harlan County in a huge 13th Region matchup on Tuesday.
3. Jackson County (10-7, 5-1)
What’s the scoop: The Generals might have seven losses so far, but they’ve shown against 13th Region teams they belong mentioned with the best teams.
Surprise, surprise: Jackson County had rival Clay County down as many as 14 points before seeing the Tigers rally to pick up a slim one-point win. It looks more than likely Jackson County and North Laurel will meet up in an elimination game in the first round of the 49th District Tournament.
What’s ahead: The Generals will host Williamsburg in a 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic play-in game Saturday and if they win they’ll advance to quarterfinal action of the tournament which will be held at Red Bird High School.
4. Corbin (12-5, 6-2)
What’s the scoop: This has been another fantastic coaching job Tony Pietrowski and his coaching staff has turned in this season. The Redhounds are a dangerous team and look to be only getting better as the season progresses.
Surprise, surprise: Both Robbie Igo and Kevin Goins have stepped up their play and it has turned into some excellent results for Pietrowski’s squad. Igo has put together back-to-back double figure games in scoring while Goins scored 16 points during his first varsity start this season.
What’s ahead: Corbin will host Whitley County in a 50th District battle Friday and North Laurel Tuesday. The Redhounds have a key stretch of games coming up.
5. Barbourville (9-5, 5-2)
What’s the scoop: Speaking of fantastic coaching jobs, Dinky Phipps continues to show why he’s one of the best coaches in the state with the way his Tigers have surprised this season.
Surprise, surprise: If you’re going to beat Barbourville, you’ve got to find a way to contain Devon Mills, who hit the game-winning shot against Knox Central this past Tuesday, and you’ve also got to keep an eye on Alexander Phipps, who is the best three-point shooter in the region.
What’s ahead: Barbourville will compete in the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament in Red Bird next week.
The Best of the rest
No. 6 Pineville (10-5, 7-5)
What’s the scoop: The Mountain Lions are beginning to live up to their preseason hype. It will be interesting to see how they do during next week’s 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic Tournament.
No. 7 Knox Central (10-6, 2-2)
What’s the scoop: The Panthers have lost two straight games to 51st District opponents. The loss of Matt Barger to a hip injury has been big.
No. 8 South Laurel (6-8, 3-2)
What’s the scoop: The Cardinals are getting healthy and that’s a good thing for coach Jeff Davis. South Laurel picked up two big wins this past week with one coming against defending 13th Region champion North Laurel.
No. 9 North Laurel (9-8, 4-4)
What’s the scoop: The Jaguars just can’t seem to get much going offensively.
No. 10 Bell County (6-9, 3-4)
What’s the scoop: Keep an eye on the Bobcats. They are getting better and better and look to be a threat once postseason play begins.
Boys Top Five
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The Tri-County Sports Authority’s Dirty Dawgs, a 16-under travel baseball team, placed second in the high school division of the Stars and Stripes July Bash, which was held in Knoxville, Tennessee last weekend.
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Second Time Around
When all is said and done after the 2014 high school soccer season, a lot of teams will measure their success by wins and losses.
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The times, they are a changing — especially in the Tri-County high school sports scene.
The Tri-County Sports Authority youth football league, which usually fields in the neighborhood of 200 players, is about to get a little more crowded this season.
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These cool summer days are reminding me of the cool football Friday nights of September and October, and with that said, these cooler temperatures have me in the mood of writing about things to come for our local football teams in the Tri-County.
It’s never too early to talk about what games will be the big ones for the Tri-County high school football fans to watch this upcoming season. I’ve tried to narrow my list down to 10 games, but honestly, it really wasn’t easy to do — but I did manage to do it.
Let’s just say things should be very entertaining, and interesting, for you the fan this season.
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