Have you ever left the movie theater talking about the previews more than the actual feature?
After the next couple of jam-packed weeks of local high school basketball, some may fall into that category.
The 16th Region Tournament, as wild and wacky as it may be, may wind up short on the shock factor that everyone is expecting. Remember, expect the unexpected.
Your Monday Morning Point Guard doesn’t necessarily believe that district tournament week will be more entertaining than the region run, but these districts do offer a degree of intrigue on a nightly basis.
Parity, the often overused word in sports, adequately describes this region this season. Several people have asked me recently who I think will represent the 16th in the state tournaments.
My answer: Fleming County (boys) and Ashland (girls). My real answer: I have no flippin’ clue.
Enjoy these next 16 days. The door will open to the true answers.
In this week’s Dime, the PG will tell you how he foresees these district tournaments playing out, including title game predictions.
‰61st District boys (at Menifee County): As top-flight as they have been, the Fleming County Panthers may be entering a danger zone.
Rowan County’s situation is similar to that of the Boyd County girls two years back.
Ashland controlled the regular season and district tournament meetings, before … boom! Boyd County prevailed when it mattered most in Morehead.
Fleming County is 3-0 against the Vikings this season. If the two are destined to meet a fourth and fifth time, can the Panthers maintain control? It could be a duel to the very final horn.
Snyder says: Fleming County over Rowan County.
‰61st District girls (at Menifee County): The potential for upsets looms large over this group.
Paige Warren and Ashton Woodard (for Menifee) and Taylor Rogers and Sarah Price (for Bath County) provide strong one-two punches that could drop the giants of the 61st.
Bath County already beat Rowan County this season for the first time since 2001. However, big-game experience is mammoth this time of year.
Snyder says: Rowan County over Fleming County.
‰62nd District boys (at East Carter): The rowdy, creative student section of East Carter will be rocking at its home court on Tuesday. It’s East, it's West, and it might be a mess.
When these two teams clash, it’s not always pretty. Between intense physicality and high emotion, the first team to reach 45 points could be the victor. The PG, for one, cannot wait to settle in for this battle.
In the other first-round matchup, which is tonight, Morgan County will try to throw that monkey off its back and earn its first 62nd District tournament win since joining the district in 2005-06.
Elliott County will try to prevent that with perimeter persistence. The Lions will throw up threes at will, and if they are going in, the Cougars could be heading home.
Snyder says: East Carter over Morgan County.
‰62nd District girls (at East Carter): Morgan County’s offensive anemia has had head coach Jeff Brown's face more shades of red than a dozen roses on Valentine's Day.
There will be no love lost when East meets West in the final. The Lady Raiders are eager to get things back on track after losses to both Boyd County and Ashland this past week.
Snyder says: East Carter over West Carter.
‰63rd District boys (at Raceland): Russell came into this season having won no major tournaments under head coach Merle Kidwell. After the Red Devils took the 16th Region All “A” Classic, it was one down, three to go. Title No. 2 will be had this week for the Eastern Kentucky Conference regular season champions.
Greenup County has gotten better, but Russell is the clear favorite in this district, and perhaps should be labeled the favorite in the region.
Raceland has been competitive in its first year under the direction of coach Bob Trimble. The Rams keep it close, but won't top Lewis County.
Snyder says: Russell over Lewis County.
‰63rd District girls (at Raceland): Greenup County’s tailspin has included eight losses in nine games. But, and this is the beauty of the district tournament, the Lady Musketeers can block all of that out with a defeat of Russell tonight.
They’ll shoot, and shoot often, so it just hinges on whether or not they’re knocking them down. Russell defended them exceptionally well in the last meeting, and won by 28 points.
Lewis County brings a pretty complete package to the table.
Snyder says: Lewis County over Russell.
‰64th District boys (at Boyd County): Fairview has the athletes to make Boyd County sweat, but the Lions shouldn't fret.
You: OK, Dr. Seuss, why's that? Me: Because of how adversity has jelled the Lions into a solid unit.
Since Brandon Lowe went down with a torn ACL, the Lions are 10-1. It seems that literally everyone (especially hot-shooting Grayson Griffith) ratcheted their games up a notch to overcome the loss.
The championship game will supply everything that comes with a heated rivalry. Since Ashland lost to Boyd County on Jan. 18, the Tomcats are 8-1. So, needless to say, it opened their eyes. The 'Cats' eyes remain open in an overtime win.
Snyder says: Ashland over Boyd County.
‰64th District girls (at Ashland): The Kittens feed off of fast starts, but Boyd County is good at setting the tone by neutralizing teams' strengths early.
Lady Lions sophomore Logan Fraley has developed into a complete player, and has been on top of her game recently. And Taylor Wheeler is constant energy.
For Ashland, point guard Alexis Robinson garners much of the attention, but players such as Sydney Cullop and Allie Slone have proved just as important. Heck, this one may also need OT.
Snyder says: Ashland over Boyd County.
‰57th District (at Magoffin County): Four of the top five boys teams in the 15th Region, in my opinion, are in this district. Johnson Central, Lawrence County, Sheldon Clark and Paintsville will duke it out for supremacy.
Led by Taylor Porter, Lawrence County girls will achieve their first district title. Johnson Central will take the boys.
‰A pair of Boyd County Lions, Austin Hunt and Logan Fraley, reached the 1,000-point milestone this past week. Hunt, Fraley, Lowe and Wheeler each eclipsed the mark this season.
1. Fleming County (23-6)
2. Russell (23-7)
3. Boyd County (20-10)
4. Ashland (20-9)
5. Morgan County (20-7)
6. Rowan County (17-12)
7. Lewis County (14-13)
1. Boyd County (23-7)
2. Ashland (20-6)
3. East Carter (22-7)
4. Lewis County (16-11)
5. Fleming County (17-10)
6. Rowan County (14-13)
7. Bath County (15-10)
Dikembe Dixson became the first Ashland player to join the club this season after he drained 12 of 18 shots en route to 30 points against West Carter.
The Comets’ Kyle Brown dropped 32 points on Rowan County. His ninth point put him atop the school's all-time scoring list.
Lewis County junior Brett Ruckel might become the 30-Point Club captain by the time he's a senior. His 36-point game against Nicholas County gave him six 30-point performances on the season to go along with a 40-point game.
Greenup County guard Micah Leslie racked up 31 points in a loss to Bath County.
In Sunday’s story “Brought up Brown,” about West Carter’s Kyle Brown, it was written that Kandi Brown is West Carter’s all-time leading scorer for girls basketball.
Penny Gearhart actually owns the record, with 2,711 points. Brown is second, with 2,599.
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AARON SNYDER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.