Girls Top Five
1. Bell County (4-0 overall, 4-0 vs. 13th Region foes)
What’s the scoop: The Bell County Lady Bobcats look poised to make amends for last season's loss to Corbin in the region finals. To prove it, they've gotten off to a 4-0 start against region foes, including an 83-82 win over the Lady Redhounds.
Surprise, surprise: I was really impressed with the way Bell County played throughout the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament en route to the championship. They'll continue to be tested as the season progresses.
What’s ahead: Bell County will host Letcher Central before playing in holiday tournaments at Danville and Greenville, Tenn. over the next two weeks.
2. Corbin (2-2, 1-1)
What’s the scoop: I know it's early in the season, but Jason McDaniel has done a great job in his first four games. The Lady Redhounds haven't missed a beat with McDaniel replacing former coach Jennifer Parsons at the helm.
Surprise, surprise: The Lady Redhounds came close to bringing home the championship trophy in the CFIT Saturday, but Bell County managed to sneak away with a one-point win in the finals.
What’s ahead: Corbin will travel to Barbourville Saturday and host Knox Central Tuesday.
3. Whitley County (3-2, 3-1)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Colonels dropped a nine-point loss to Bell County in the opener of the CFIT, but recovered to knock off Southwestern. I know they're 2-2, but the Lady Colonels will be in the mix all season once they play to their potential.
Surprise, surprise: I expected the Lady Colonels to come away with the win over Bell County last week, but as can be expected in the early stages of the season, they didn't seem to be clicking just yet. Once Donnie Jones finds the right mix, watch out for this team.
What’s ahead: The Lady Colonels will host a solid Wayne County squad Saturday before traveling to North Laurel Monday.
4. Harlan County (3-0, 2-0)
What’s the scoop: Harlan County is off to a 3-0 start with wins over Clay County, Lee, Va., and Pineville, two of which were on the road. Any time a team gets a win at Clay County, you know they've earned it.
Surprise, surprise: The Lady Black Bears are averaging 58 points per game so far this season.
What’s ahead: Harlan County will host Middlesboro Friday before heading to South Laurel Saturday, then back home to face Hazard Monday.
5. Harlan (2-4, 2-3)
What’s the scoop: Harlan is 2-4 on the season, but three of the four losses have come against teams ranked at No. 1, 2 and 3 in this publication. A three-point loss to Whitley County and a six-point loss against Bell County shows me this team is close to being really good.
Surprise, surprise: The Lady Dragons battled back from an 18-point deficit against Whitley County in the season-opener before losing by three points.
What’s ahead: Harlan will hit the road against South Laurel Monday before returning home to host North Laurel Tuesday.
The Best of the rest
No. 6 Clay County (1-2, 1-2)
What’s the scoop: It's been a long time since the Clay County Lady Tigers have started the season 1-2 against 13h Region opponents, but don't expect James Burchell's team to stay down for long. He always seems to find a way to get the most out of his players.
No. 7 Barbourville (2-0, 1-0)
What’s the scoop: Andrea Hillard has said several times that this is a different team than fans saw last season, but they're still off to a good start with back-to-back wins. Showdowns with Pineville and Corbin will test the Lady Tigers over the next few days.
No. 8 Lynn Camp (3-0, 2-0)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Wildcats are off to another solid start with three straight wins, including victories over Jackson County and Williamsburg.
No. 9 North Laurel (0-3, 0-0)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Jaguars are winless on the season, but once this team is able to put together a few wins, they could very easily move up. They have the talent to compete, they just have to get over the proverbial hump.
No. 10 Middlesboro (2-1, 2-0)
What’s the scoop: The Lady Jackets are 2-0 against 13th Region competition, but have tough games against Harlan County and Harlan over the next week. If they can pick up wins in one of those two, expect them to possibly move up a few spots next week.