Before you read on, remember that the boys’ 16th Region Tournament tips off on Tuesday and finishes up on Friday. The girls have a quadruple-header on Saturday and will play their final game next Tuesday.
All games will be played at Morehead State University's Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
Look for Tuesday's edition for the PG's game-by-game picks!
The following are the seven Oscars given by the Point Guard for a truly entertaining regular season. All honors are handed out based SOLELY on this season.
‰Best Supporting Actor — These young men may not get all the headlines and their stat lines may not be as eye-popping as others, but their roles and the way they’ve fulfilled them are irreplaceable.
The nominees are … Jacob Porter (Russell), Grayson Griffith (Boyd County), Lance Evans (Russell), Logan Salow (Ashland), Jalen Stone (Rowan County), Brady Saunders (Fleming County).
And the award goes to … Logan Salow (Ashland). In an unfamiliar reserve role for some of the season, Salow overcame multiple injuries to keep returning to the hardwood in grand fashion. While he doesn't hog all the highlights, three-sport athletic standout Salow is the master of the timely play. He shoots 50 percent from 3-point range.
‰Best Supporting Actress — It’s not always about the stars who shine brightest. These are the young women who helped make their team's constellations complete.
The nominees are … Kaylyn Gambill (Ashland), Sydney Cullop (Ashland), Emily Stewart (Boyd County), Ashley Holbrook (Elliott County), Kelsey Stumbo (East Carter), Emily Frye (Lewis County).
And the award goes to … Sydney Cullop (Ashland). Cullop is the glue that holds the Kittens together. The senior scrambles for loose balls, takes charges and corrals crucial rebounds every single game.
‰Best Actor — The region's top player must have displayed steady leadership and the capability to perform in clutch situations throughout the season.
The nominees are … Kyle Brown (West Carter), Kyle Skaggs (Russell), Dikembe Dixson (Ashland), Darion Burns (Fleming County), Troy Steward (Fleming County), Austin Hunt (Boyd County).
And the award goes to … Kyle Skaggs (Russell). While each of the nominees presents a strong case, Skaggs is the least debatable. The senior has an uncanny nose for the free-throw line, where he shot 80 percent. His 24.9 points per game were tops in the region as he has paced the Red Devils to a 25-win season so far.
‰Best Actress — Just as tough to select as the boys’ field, this group of ultra-talented girls deserve all the recognition they get.
The nominees are … Alexis Robinson (Ashland), Savannah Anderson (Lewis County), Taylor Wheeler (Boyd County), Logan Fraley (Boyd County), Hope Parsley (Russell), Sarah Price (Bath County).
And the award goes to … Taylor Wheeler (Boyd County). A mind-numbing decision for the voting committee (me), the PG went with Wheeler, Boyd County’s “Everyday Eddie.” Hardly a game goes by in which Wheeler doesn’t bring relentless effort and 100 percent energy on both sides of the court. She leads the Lady Lions with 16.2 points per game and while she’s struggled after getting to the foul line (56 percent), she has visited the charity stripe an unbelievable 226 times.
Robinson, because of a set of skills that will take her to a major Division-I school one day, was a close second.
‰Best Director (boys) — With plenty of worthy candidates, the choice for best boys basketball coach is as close to a toss-up as one can get.
The nominees are … Buddy Biggs (Ashland), Randy Anderson (Boyd County), Merle Kidwell (Russell), Jeremy Webb (West Carter), Shawn Thacker (Rowan County), Mark Starns (Fleming County), Matthew Perry (Morgan County).
And the award goes to … Randy Anderson (Boyd County). In just his third year with the Lions, Anderson guided a group that had to fight adversity when it lost a top player to a season-ending injury and still managed to thrive. The Lions won 11 of their last 13 games heading into region play, and they notched their first 20-win season since 1999-00.
‰Best Director (girls) — It’s hard to come by so many good girls basketball coaches in one small area, but this region has just that.
The nominees are … Kristy Orem (Fleming County), Pete Fraley (Boyd County), Bill Bradley (Ashland), Mandy Layne (Russell), Hager Easterling (East Carter), Jennifer Williams (Rowan County).
And the award goes to … Kristy Orem (Fleming County). Orem took a team diluted heavily by inexperience, and turned them into a 19-game winner. The Lady Panthers have won seven straight and 11 of their last 12 contests.
‰Best Picture — This award goes to the team who put forth the most captivating feature from beginning to end.
The nominees are … Ashland boys, Russell boys, Boyd County boys, Fleming County boys, Ashland girls, Boyd County girls.
And the award goes to … Fleming County boys. The Panthers rose above the drama (eight games decided by five points or fewer in addition to an overtime thriller) to set a school record with 23 regular-season wins and they recorded their first district title in 14 years. They also beat archrival Rowan County four times in four tries.