, Corbin, KY

Sports Editorials

January 3, 2013

Fear 'Les' 13th Region Basketball Rankings

CORBIN — Boys Top Five

1. Harlan Co. (13-1 overall, 5-0 vs. 13th Region foes)

What’s the scoop: The Black Bears suffered their first loss of the season, but posted an impressive 5-1 record over the holiday break, including winning the Hilton Head championship.

Surprise, surprise: Harlan County’s lone loss of the season so far came to the hands of Breathitt County in the Pikeville Invitational Tournament.

What’s ahead: The Black Bears have an important 52nd District road game battle with Harlan today before playing Lincoln County Saturday in the Dunkin Donuts Tournament at Lexington Catholic. They’ll also begin playing in the WYMT Classic Wednesday against Hazard.

2. Knox Central (10-4, 2-0)

What’s the scoop: The Panthers remain at the No. 2 spot, but have a rough road ahead with starting guard Matt Barger out with a hip injury.

Surprise, surprise: Knox Central posted a 5-2 record during the Christmas Break and captured the Williamsburg Holiday Tournament championship in the process.

What’s ahead: The Panthers will host Knox Central in a key 51st District showdown Friday and will be back in action on the road Tuesday in another important 51st District game against Barbourville.

3. Clay County (10-3, 2-1)

What’s the scoop: The Tigers remain one of the top teams in the region and I still believe when it comes down to it, could very well win their first region title since 2001.

Surprise, surprise: Robert Marcum’s squad posted a 4-2 mark during their two holiday tournaments they participated in. Clay County went 2-1 in both the Raceland Derby Classic and the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic.

What’s ahead: The Tigers have a key game at home against Jackson County Friday and will host Wayne County on Saturday. They will be back in action Wednesday in the WYMT Classic against former coach Kevin Spurlock’s Perry Central Commodores.

4. North Laurel (8-6, 4-3)

What’s the scoop: The Jaguars are rated this high right now, but they need to build a bit of consistency if they’re going to repeat as 13th Region champions.

Surprise, surprise: North Laurel went 4-2 during the holidays, including a 3-0 effort that was good enough to win its own Legacy Nissan Shootout. The Jaguars picked up a big win over Corbin to capture the tournament title.

What’s ahead: Bragging rights will be on display Friday when the Jaguars travel to play South Laurel. They’ll be on the road again Saturday against Owsley County before participating in the WYMT Classic Tuesday against Breathitt County.

5. Corbin (10-5, 4-2)

What’s the scoop: The Redhounds are another team to keep an eye on once postseason play begins. Coach Tony Pietrowski has done a fantastic job with this team.

Surprise, surprise: Corbin posted 5-2 mark during Christmas break by turning in a runner-up effort in the Legacy Nissan Shootout while capturing the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament championship. Pulaski County paid a visit on New Year’s Day and handed the Redhounds a 90-65 loss.

What’s ahead: Corbin will travel to play Williamsburg Friday in a 50th District battle and will host Middlesboro Tuesday.

The Best of the rest

No. 6 Jackson County (8-6, 4-0)

What’s the scoop: The Generals are dangerous, but they have been struggling as of late. After starting the season with a 4-0 mark after beating North Laurel, 86-85, in triple overtime, Jackson County is only 4-6 since.

No. 7 Middlesboro (8-5, 3-2)

What’s the scoop: The Yellow Jackets are another team that ranks in my ‘dangerous’ category. Middlesboro posted a 3-3 mark during the holidays and looks to continue to improve each week.

No. 8 South Laurel (4-8, 1-2)

What’s the scoop: The Cardinals just can’t seem to get over the hump. I know injuries have played a big role lately, but South Laurel is 27-47 during the past two and a half years.

No. 9 Barbourville (7-5, 3-2)

What’s the scoop: The Tigers continue to improve and have two important 51s District contests coming up this week against rivals Lynn Camp and Knox Central.

No. 10 Pineville (7-5, 4-5)

What’s the scoop: This is one team I just can’t figure out. I still believe coach J.D. Strange will make this team a region contender by the time postseason play rolls around.

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Sports Editorials
  • 0808 Chris Parsons.jpg Like it or Not

    I took advantage of my boss’ offer to stay in Corbin and man the fort as opposed to another trip to Harlan County Friday night. But don’t think I’m just sitting around with the day off. There’s always something to do here in the world of Tri-County sports and Friday was no exception.

    March 4, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0808 Chris Parsons.jpg Like it or Not

    With my second day of 13th Region action out of the way (I didn’t travel Monday), I’ve decided that the road that takes you to Harlan, the Kingdom Come Parkway, was aptly named.

    February 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • Les Dixon The Way it Is

    Now we are down to only four teams remaining in the 13th Region Boys Tournament, so I decided it’s time to cut down our list of frontrunners for this year’s Times-Tribune Tri-County Player of the Year.

    February 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0808 Chris Parsons.jpg Like it or Not

    While interviewing long-time Whitley County Lady Colonels head coach Larry Anderson for a game preview of his showdown with Clay County, Larry and I had an interesting conversation about several things.

    February 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0808 Chris Parsons.jpg Like it or Not

    To some people in Southestern Kentucky, postseason high school basketball, more particularly the 13th Region Tournament, is way more exciting than Christmas morning and with good reason I suppose.

    February 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Les Dixon the Way it Is

    If you’re a high school basketball fan this has got to be the greatest time of the year for you. It’s not quite March yet, but I’m sure everyone has March Madness.

    February 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Les Dixon The postseason is going to be very entertaining

    Before I begin rambling a bit, I’m sure you are wondering where the heck are the stories and pictures from Friday’s boys and girls basketball action?

    January 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • Les Dixon Richard Jones and Lady Wildcats came oh, so close

    A lot of things have happened during the past week, so with that said, I’m not going to waste any of your time and get right to my rambling.

    January 16, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0808 Chris Parsons.jpg The Border Bowl is all grown up

    There’s no prouder feeling in the world than when you watch your child do something that you had hoped was possible.

    January 15, 2013 1 Photo

  • 13th Region Notebook

    Clay County’s Marty Bowling might be one of the most underrated players in the 13th Region at the present time, but if he continues to put up numbers like he has been, he won’t be for long — Bowling is the real deal.

    January 7, 2013