TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Sports Editorials

December 13, 2012

Fear 'Les' 13th Region Basketball Rankings

CORBIN — Boys Top Five

1. Harlan Co. (5-0 overall, 3-0 vs. 13th Region foes)

What’s the scoop: The Black Bears keep rolling while showing everyone they are the team to beat in the 13th Region this season. Harlan County has picked up some big early season wins over Pineville, Middlesboro and North Laurel.

Surprise, surprise: The Black Bears seem like a team on the mission this season and I saw glimpses of that during their win at home against defending 13th Region champion North Laurel Wednesday.

What’s ahead: Harlan County will be in action at home Friday against Leslie County before traveling to play South Laurel Saturday. They will host Bell County Monday in a key 52nd District game on Monday.

2. Clay County (5-0, 1-0)

What’s the scoop: I’m really impressed with this year’s Tiger squad. If there is one team at the present time that could upend Harlan County, it has to be Robert Marcum’s squad.

Surprise, surprise: Tyler McDaniel continues to shine during his sophomore season as the Tigers’ point guard. He can run the offense as good as anyone and he can score at any time. If Clay County is going to make a run at its first regional title since 2001, McDaniel will play an important role.

What’s ahead: The Tigers will be tested today on the road against a young, but talented Knox Central squad before hosting North Laurel at home in a key 49th District showdown on Monday.

3. Knox Central (3-1, 1-0)

What’s the scoop: This might be a tad too high for the Panthers right now, but they are just going to get better as the season progresses.

Surprise, surprise: Knox Central has received solid play from players such as Matt Barger, Jeffrey Adams and Chad Marsee, but to be make a run at the 13th Region crown, center Tobie Merida is going to have to step up in the post and I believe he will.

What’s ahead: The Panthers host Clay County today in a key 13th Region showdown before hosting Cumberland, Gap, Tenn. Saturday. Knox Central will be back in action again at home Tuesday against Wayne County.

4. Corbin (5-1, 2-1)

What’s the scoop: This scrappy team continues to surprise and will be a tough team to beat throughout the season. I’m really impressed with the way coach Tony Pietrowski has molded this year’s version of Redhounds into one of the region’s best teams.

Surprise, surprise: Big props go out to senior Hunter Grubb, who continues to give Corbin a huge boost when he’s out on the floor. Grubb gives 110 percent and can cause opposing teams trouble on the boards and when a clutch shot is needed, he can knock it down.

What’s ahead: The Redhounds travel to play the defending state champions Trinity Shamrocks Friday before traveling to play Spencer County Saturday.

5. North Laurel (3-3, 2-3)

What’s the scoop: The defending 13th Region champion is struggling right now with Jake Allen out of the line-up due to an injury. It seems as if North Laurel is having a hard time getting rebounds, but things will change once Allen is back.

Surprise, surprise: Austin Thompson came up big against Rockcastle County by hitting a last-second shot to give the Jaguars a win. The Jaguars might be struggling at times with Allen out, but the experience the younger players get will pay off down the road.

What’s ahead: North Laurel hosts Riverside Christian Saturday before traveling to play 49th District rival Clay County on the road Monday. A loss to the Tigers will drop North Laurel to 1-2 in 49th District play, so the Jaguars need a win in a big way.

The Best of the rest

No. 6 Jackson County (4-2, 2-0)

What’s the scoop: Yes, the Generals beat North Laurel and yes, they beat the Jaguars at The Jungle, but they only one by one in triple overtime and the Jaguars were without Jake Allen. Also Jackson County has dropped two in a row, including a 71-65 loss to Leslie County.

No. 7 South Laurel (2-4, 1-1)

What’s the scoop: The Cardinals are slowly improving.

No. 8 Barbourville (3-2, 2-1)

What’s the scoop: The Tigers are a pleasant surprise.

No. 9 Bell County (2-2, 2-1)

What’s the scoop: The Bobcats have rebounded after an 0-2 start to the season.

No. 10 Harlan (3-5, 1-4)

What’s the scoop: Welcome to the top 10 Green Dragons.

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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