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Posted On: 02/27/18 7:14 PM
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 5th region starts play on Wednesday night. All regional games take place at Marion County High School. Here’s a breakdown of the 5th region tournament and the top individual players still playing.
Elite 8 Players (in no order):
DSamuel Butler, Bardstown – A small, shifty point guard, Butler is the straw that stirs the drink for Coach Brewer’s team. While the Tigers use their depth to overwhelm foes, Butler is their senior leader and leading scorer.
Mickey Pearson, John Hardin – The best player in the region and committed to Saint Louis University, the 6’8″ Wing forward will need to continue being the best player in the region for the Bulldogs to reach their goal of winning the region and getting to Rupp.
Malik Wright, John Hardin – The X factor for John Hardin. When Malik is good, John Hardin is untouchable against region foes. When Malik is mediocre, John is very susceptible to losing to a regional foe.
Jobby Howard, Caverna – The only player in Kentucky to have two 50+ point games this season, Howard may need to go for 60 again to beat John Hardin.
Mark Goode, LaRue County – A true post player, Goode presents a matchup problem for most teams in the 5th region. Standing 6’7″, Goode is the leading scorer for LaRue and tied for the lead in rebounding.
Zion Harmon, Adair County – Most everyone in the state has heard the name Zion Harmon at this point. It remains to be seen if he can carry Adair to the regional title.
Jacob Hobbs, Central Hardin – Hobbs averages 12 points and 9 rebounds but has been playing his best basketball lately and is capable of getting the Bruins to a regional final or even to Rupp.
Jacob Taylor, Bethlehem – An underrated college prospect who holds an NAIA offer, the 6’6″ forward averages 17 points and 9 rebounds per game and will need to do even more for his team to advance past LaRue County and make the semifinals.
1. John Hardin – A loaded team with a really strong 7 man rotation, these Dogs have to be the favorites to advance to Rupp Arena.
2. LaRue County – The Hawks are big, long and athletic and appear to be on a collision course with John Hardin in the finals.
3. Adair County – It is entirely possible that the Indians can get hot and run to 3 wins to get to Rupp.
4. Bardstown – With their depth and how hard they play, Bardstown is capable of making a run in the 5th.
5. Central Hardin – Their opening game against Adair could be the best quarterfinal.
6. Campbellsville – The Eagles make their first regional trip in 8 years and are capable of beating Bardstown if they don’t come prepared.
7. Caverna – If Jobby Howard and his crew can make their game with John Hardin a track meet, they could outscore John and surprise the state.
8. Bethlehem – This team is scrappy and tough but LaRue is a terrible matchup for them. If they knock of LaRue it would be a massive upset.