Posted On: 12/30/17 10:57 PM
It took 40 games in 5 days to determine who would leave the champions of the annual Traditional Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic. Some of the top teams across the state made the journey to Lexington to take part in one of the best tournaments you’ll find in the state. A tournament like this is a grind for sure. Ultimately, Cooper repeated as champions after defeating Rocky River out of North Carolina by a score of 57-47. There were several impressive teams and players but I was left with some questions after the tournament ended.
1. Should Cooper be talked about more as a serious State title contender? The short answer: Yes. Last year’s state runner-up was expected to be down a little this year after losing two of their top 3 players to graduation. It turns out that defense doesn’t graduate. Cooper is still guarding the heck out of people and that could be what carries them back to Rupp Arena in March.
2. Is this the year UHA makes the regional tournament? For the past several years, Hopkinsville and Christian County have advanced to the regional and ultimately faced off again for the regional title. But this season Hopkinsville is struggling and Christian County travels to UHA on the 9th to see exactly how good the Blazers are this season.
3. Was Bryan Station’s hot start a fluke? Station is 12-1 heading into 2018 but they lost by 21 to Rocky River and took Double Overtime to beat Daviess County. The Defenders would have played Lafayette on Saturday but the teams agreed not to play since they play on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see who emerges victorious on that one as Lafayette has the guard personnel to keep up with Station’s guards.
4. Can Walton-Verona win the All “A” State in January? Walton has the size to match up with LCA if they run into them. I’m not sure that their guards can match up with UHA or Newport Central Catholic if they run into either team. But I am sure that this Bearcat team is big and deep and have played some top level competition early this season at the King of the Bluegrass and the Traditional Bank Classic.
5. Can Doss compete with Fern Creek and Butler in the 6th Region? The guard duo of Taye Calloway and Stephon Franklin is a solid one but the Dragons got contributions from other players en route to a 3-1 record this week. They’ve already lost to Fern Creek by 15 but if they’re peaking in late February, these Dragons could surprise the 6th region favorites and potentially get back to Rupp Arena.