The first week of 13th Region boys and girls basketball had a lot of action as the prep basketball season tipped off last week. I’m not going to waste anyone’s time, so let’s get to what some of you might have missed the past week.
Boys Player of the Week
We have some good nominees this week with Middlesboro’s Austin Poindexter, Lynn Camp’s Zach Smith, Clay County’s Tyler McDaniel, Barbourville’s Alexander Phipps and Devon Mills and Corbin’s Zack Farley, but when it came down to it, you have to go with Farley.
The senior guard from Corbin tallied 49 points in two games for the Redhounds this past week, which turned out to be two wins for Tony Pietrowski’s squad.
Girls Player of the Week
Just like on the boys’ side, the girls’ side had a lot of worthy candidates for Player of the Week. Clay County’s Cheyenne Madden looked good in the Lady Tigers’ season-opener while the Erslan twins at Barbourville had impressive efforts during their three games. South Laurel’s Taylor Arthur put up some impressive numbers and keep an eye on Middlesboro seventh grader Blair Green, she’s a star in the making.
But with that said, I’m going with Bell County sophomore Maci Morris, who helped guide the Lady Bobcats to a 3-0 record while averaging 24 points and 10.7 rebounds during the three games.
North Laurel’s boys and girls teams took a hit this past week, as big man Jake Allen will be out at least three weeks due to an injury to his finger while Lady Jaguar coach Eddie Mahan is without the services of Kayla Bruner after she suffered a knee injury.
Lynn Camp coach Clyde Dixon is left searching for another scorer after senior forward Chase Turner went down with an injury.
But that’s not all. The South Laurel Cardinals already had Austin Rader out before the season began and now they’ll be without both starting guards Trevor Grubb and Blake Sanders due to hand injuries.
Girls Game of the Week
Perry Central 64, Corbin 62 — No game was as exciting as the Corbin/Perry Central matchup on Saturday. The Lady Redhounds fought back from an eight-point deficit and took a slim 62-61 lead before Perry Central’s Whitney Beck hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Lady Commodores a 64-62 win.
Boys Game of the Week
Jackson County 55, Pineville 51 — This game had a regional tournament atmosphere to it, as the Generals proved they are going to be a team to reckon with this season.
Upcoming must watch games
Corbin at Bell County, Dec. 4
Whitley County at South Laurel, Dec. 4
Harlan at Bell County, Dec. 7
Harlan County at Pineville, today
Clay County at Corbin, Dec. 4
Jackson County at North Laurel, Dec. 6
Whitley County at South Laurel, Dec. 6
Harlan County at Middlesboro, Dec. 7
Big wins of the week
Clay County 83, Scott County 70
13th Region Media Player of the Year Cheyenne Madden picked up where she left off last season by leading the Lady Tigers with a 28-point effort during their 13-point win Saturday.
Harlan Co. 66, South Laurel 63
Harlan County had to come from behind at home to knock off South Laurel by three points. Both teams showed they are for real as the Lady Cardinals held a 48-43 edge going into the fourth quarter before the Lady Black Bears used a 23-15 run to pick up the win.
Bell County 75, Corbin 55
In what a lot of fans thought would be a close battle, Bell County outscored Corbin 45-26 during the game’s first 16 minutes and never looked back. The Lady Bobcats had three players score in double figures, as sophomore star Maci Morris led the way with a 27-point effort while connecting on 10-of-15 shot attempts from the floor.
Lynn Camp 52, Knox Central 39 Richard Jones’ Lady Wildcats picked up a huge 51st District win by upending defending district champion Knox Central at home, 52-39. Lynn Camp led throughout the game and used a 15-8 run in the third quarter to pick up the win.
Jackson County 55, Pineville 51 The Generals asserted themselves as a team on the rise after going on the road to knock off the Mountain Lions Tuesday.
Corbin 75, Wayne County 72
Redhound coach Tony Pietrowski didn’t know what to expect out of his team entering Friday’s contest with Wayne County and what he got was an impressive win.
Middlesboro 73, Barbourville 60
The Yellow Jackets might be flying under the radar at the present time, but if they continue to play like they did against Barbourville they won’t for long.
Boys and Girls outstanding efforts of the week
Middlesboro seventh grader Blair Green turned in a career night during her varsity game by scoring a game-high 21 points during her team’s 70-48 loss to South Laurel on Monday.
Corbin’s Melanie Wilson came off the bench during the Lady Redhounds’ 58-37 win over Monticello Monday and led the way with a 16-point effort while knocking down three three-pointers against the Lady Trojans.
Red Bird’s Jani Slusher and Kaitlin Berry had huge games during the Lady Cardinals’ 63-29 win over Riverside Christian Monday. Slusher drained six three-pointers and scored 36 points while Berry grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds.
Whitley County’s Taylor Dingess and Brandi Smith each came up big during the Lady Colonels’ 62-38 win against Harlan Monday by combining to score 38 points. Dingess was hard to stop with a 20-point effort while Smith followed with an 18-point output.
Barbourville’s Kara Erslan played a big role in her team’s 82-57 season opening win against Jellico, Tenn. Monday. The sharpshooter scored 29 points and hit five three-pointers during the win.
South Laurel’s Taylor Arthur showed she might be one of the best post-players in the state after her 20-point effort against Middlesboro. Teammate Cassandra Johnson also came through in a big way with 17 points to help guide the Lady Cardinals to a 70-48 win Monday.
Barbourville’s Kelsey Erslan played a big role in Barbourville’s 61-39 win over Berea Tuesday by leading the way with 21 points on nine-of-12 shooting from the floor.
Knox Central’s Cassi Shippy started her senior season off with a bang by scoring a team-best 23 points to lead the Lady Panthers past Cumberland Gap, Tenn. Tuesday, 63-51.
Pineville’s Erica Gambrell scored a team-high 18 points, as ther team remained perfect at 2-0 after a 47-31 home win against Thomas Walker.
Two of the region’s best players met up on Thursday with Bell County’s Maci Morris outdueling Corbin’s Miranda Wilson, as the Lady Bobcats won, 75-55. Morris finished the game with 27 points while Wilson dished out a 20-point scoring effort.
Corbin twins Miranda and Kayla Wilson combined to score 33 points to lead the Lady Redhounds past Middlesboro, 88-44, Friday. Miranda Wilson led the way with 18 points while Kayla had 15.
Harlan County sophomore Brooklyn Massengill connected on eight-of-19 shot attempts and eight-of-10 from the free-throw line while scoring a game-high 28 points during the Lady Black Bears to a 66-63 win over South Laurel Friday. The Lady Cardinals’ Taylor Arthur had another good game, leading South Laurel with 19 points on right-of-13 shooting from the floor.
Lynn Camp’s Kayla Smith scored a game-high 18 points while Heather Wilson added 16 during the Lady Wildcats’ 52-39 win over Knox Central Friday.
Whitley County’s Maria Johnson had the hot-hand during the Lady Colonels’ 61-49 win over McCreary Central Friday. She led the way with 21 points, which included hitting five three-pointers during the win.
Bell County’s Maci Morris connected on 12-of-20 shot attempts and three-of-five from three-point range to help her team knock off Middlesboro, 75-53, Saturday.
Clay County’s Cheyenne Madden continues to impress, as her 28-point effort against Scott County Saturday played a big part in the Lady Tigers’ 83-70 win.
Barbourville’s Alexander Phipps started the season off on the right foot by scoring a career high 24 points while hitting five three-pointers during the Tigers’ 88-36 win over Jellico, Tenn. Monday. Teammate Devon Mills also had an impressive game by pouring in a 22-point effort during Barbourville’s win.
After missing most of last season due to an injury, South Laurel senior Blake Sanders looked like he was in old form by leading the Cardinals in scoring with 17 points during their 73-57 loss at home to Wayne County Tuesday.
Bell County junior Tyler Potter scored a game-high 33 points during a losing cause at Whitley County on Tuesday. The Bobcats dropped a 72-71 decision in overtime to the Colonels.
Knox Central sophomore Jeffrey Adams came off the bench and scored 23 points to lead the Panthers to a 65-54 win over Cumberland Gap, Tenn. on Tuesday.
Harlan’s Isaiah Johnson threw down a couple of dunks and scored 17 points, but the Green Dragons’ upset attempt fall short against the defending 13th Region champion North Laurel, as the Jaguars won, 66-62.
North Laurel eighth grader Peyton Broughton turned a lot of heads during his first varsity game by just missing out on a triple-double. Broughton scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and recorded seven steals during the Jaguars’ 66-62 win over Harlan Tuesday.
After seeing his team get beat by Jackson County just a couple of days before, Pineville’s Jon Simpson took matters into his own hands and scored 23 points to lead the Mountain Lions to an easy 61, 36 win over Thomas Walker, Va. Thursday. Teammate Jared Philpot also scored in double figures with 12 points.
Red Bird’s Erik Young turned some heads Thursday by posting a game-high 40 points during the Cardinals’ 72-64 loss to Piarist.
North Laurel’s Kendrick Henson stepped up in a big way by scoring a team-best 21 points while dishing out nine assists during the Jaguars’ 99-32 win over OBI Friday. Teammate Marcus Carson recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.
Lynn Camp’s Zach Smith recorded a double-double during the Wildcats’ 68-62 win over Berea Friday. He finished the game with a 21-point, 14-rebound effort.
Middlesboro’s Austin Poindexter opened the season in fine fashion by coming off the bench to score 30 points and grab 10 rebounds during the Yellow Jackets’ 73-60 win over Barbourville Friday. Teammate Donnie Foister scored 25 points and hit seven-of-nine shot attempts from the free-throw line. Barbourville’s Devon Mills led the Tigers with 24 points — his second 20-plus scoring effort of the week.
Corbin’s Zack Farley had a fantastic week, scoring 25 points during the Redhounds’ 75-72 win over Wayne County Friday and 24 points during their 69-60 win against Knoxville Catholic Saturday.
Clay County’s Tyler McDaniel turned in a stellar effort against Lloyd Memorial Saturday. He dished out 21 points to help guide the Tigers to a 63-31 win.
South Laurel’s Zac Baxter rebounded with a solid showing during the Cardinals’ 63-56 loss to Tates Creek Saturday at home. The sophomore forward led South Laurel with a 19-point effort.
Knox Central’s Matthew Barger looks to have filled the scoring void his brother, Jonathon, left after graduating this past season. He scored 28 points during the Panthers’ 66-55 win over Wolfe County Saturday.