Posted On: 02/28/18 10:04 AM
We are only 2 and a half weeks from the start of the KHSAA Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena. Half the schools in Kentucky have been eliminated from the postseason and by Thursday night, that number will dip to 64 teams remaining. The games get started on Tuesday night in the 6th and 7th regions before the rest of the state starts regional play on Wednesday night. We’re going to take a look at the 8 top players remaining in each region and take a shot at power ranking the remaining teams. The 12th region starts play on Wednesday night. All regional games take place at Pulaski County High School. Here’s a breakdown of the 12th region tournament and the top individual players still playing.
Elite 8 Players (in no order):
Reese Smith, Boyle County – Seniors Jason Alexander and Reese Smith are more consistent from game to game but Reese is capable of taking over a game. Just a sophomore, Smith may finish as the best athlete in Boyle history as he is a 3 sport star.
Hunter Stevens, Southwestern – The point guard for the Warriors has scored 35 or more points on several occasions this season. Stevens is the key to Southwestern advancing.
Steven Fitzgerald, Pulaski – One of the top players in 2018, Fitzgerald will look to guide his team back to Rupp Arena.
Danny Butt, Pulaski – The brother of Fitzgerald, Butt plays the point and pushes the pace for the Maroons.
Dalton Bruner, West Jessamine – Capable of creating his own offense, Bruner will need to score and assist on a ton of shots to get West past Pulaski.
Trevon Faulkner, Mercer County – One of the favorites for Mr. Basketball, Trevon is capable of putting the Titans on his back and carrying them to Rupp Arena.
Carter Baughman, Mercer County – The point guard for Mercer, Baughman can run the offense and make open jump shots. Look for Baughman’s defense to be a factor in the regional.
Kross Grundy, Somerset – The leading scorer for the Briar Jumpers, Grundy averages 18 points and 5 rebounds for Somerset and will be counted on to produce for them to advance.
1. Mercer County – The favorite to win the 12th, the Titans have already beaten Pulaski twice and have a favorable draw.
2. Pulaski County – The reigning champions are capable of defending their title but have a tough side of the bracket.
3. Southwestern – Their opening game against Boyle County could be the best matchup of all the quarterfinals.
4. Boyle County – The Rebels are a good, veteran team that is peaking at the right time.
5. West Jessamine – Damon Kelley always has his teams ready in postseason. They could surprise everyone and beat Pulaski.
6. Somerset – They’ve won a lot of games this season and they should beat Wayne on Wednesday but past that, no one knows.
7. Wayne County – This has been an underwhelming season by Wayne’s usual lofty standards but they can redeem it with a run through the regional.
8. Danville – The Admirals haven’t been to the regional tournament in a long time and they are unlikely to stay long this time around.