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Around the Eighth Region

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Collins boys, Anderson girls still the region’s best

By John Herndon

 

The race for the Eighth Region boys' championship might turn out to be the wackiest in recent memory. At least nine teams are making a case that they might be the one playing the Second Region champ in Rupp Arena on March 6.

Still Collins has to be considered the team with just a little more firepower as we head into the home stretch of the regular season. Keep an eye on Grant County, which has been, along with Anderson County, a bit of a surprise this year. Most knew Grant would be good, but few saw the Braves heading into February at 18-4.

Also watch for Owen County, which reportedly had some injuries but is now healthy again.

Here is one man's opinion for the Top 5 (and four more) teams.


1.Collins (13-6, 6-1 vs. regional foes)

Still has the most talent combined with size in the region. Routed Spencer County last week and won a 37-34 nail-biter against Henderson County in what could have been a preview of the first round of the state tournament.


2.South Oldham (14-5, 7-2)

Dragons just roll along with a 34-point win over Central Hardin last week, but a showdown with Anderson was postponed due to weather.


3.Anderson Co. (14-2, 4-1)

Bearcats were impressive against a good Spencer County team last week, but we will see how good they really are with games against Gallatin County and South Oldham this week. Anderson is good, but still lots of questions about the Bearcats.


4.Grant Co. (18-4, 6-1)

Grant is much like Anderson in the idea that few know just how good the Braves really are. Guard Tyler Carr can fill the nets, no question. Comparative scores against the same opponents are very similar to Anderson.


5.North Oldham (12-8, 5-2)

Red-hot Mustangs had won six straight before Tuesday's game at South Oldham, but they will hit a very difficult stretch in February.

 

Just as good and should be ranked: Gallatin County, Oldham County, Owen County, Simon Kenton.

 

One of the Oldham County schools will be eliminated in the district tournament. Otherwise the teams listed should be the field of the most wide-open Eighth Region Tournament in recent memory.

 

Girls

The Anderson County girls continue to make statements about their ability. The Lady Bearcats were 21-1 going into a major test at Montgomery County Tuesday night. They need that as teams in the region have been no match for Anderson. Meanwhile, Simon Kenton, Gallatin County and Walton-Verona are all flexing their muscles in the northern edge of the region.


1.Anderson Co. (21-1, 7-0)

Impressive in avenging only loss of the year with a 65-45 win at Bryan Station. This team is clicking on all cylinders but the pessimist wonders if they will be able to continue at that level. Probably so.


2.Simon Kenton (19-4, 9-0)

Very strong, but lost two of last three by double digits. Granted one was to Conner, one of the Ninth Region favorites, but the other was to a 12-10 Boone County team. Games at Gallatin County and Newport Central Catholic along with a home game with Bishop Brossart this week should tell a lot about the Pioneers.

 

3.Gallatin County (19-3, 12-1)

Very dangerous team with outstanding guard play. Making it to the semi-finals of the All-A Classic before losing to eventual champ Owensboro Catholic shows the Wildcats are for real.

 

4.Walton-Verona (13-7, 7-3)

Defending regional champ has had some injuries, but is reportedly healthy again.


5.Owen County (14-6, 8-4)

Capable of an upset, but home-court loss to South Oldham by 12 points last week raises some questions.

 

The question many are beginning to ask is if anyone can beat Anderson County. If the high schools played like the pros in a series, the answer is easily, “no.” But as the Lady Bearcats found out last year, anything can happen in a one-and-done tournament. Anderson is the best team but that means little when the teams take the floor.