Posted On: 03/4/18 8:35 PM
All 16 regions will be in action on Monday night but only 5 have reached the regional championship stage of the playoffs. The 2nd, 7th, 9th, 11th and 13 regions will all crown their champions on Monday with the 11 other regions to follow on Tuesday night. Here’s a look ahead at Monday’s title games:
2nd Region: Christian County v. University Heights
This is the 4th meeting of the season between these two district foes. Christian County took both of the first two meetings with the Blazers by 9 and 10 points. UHA bounced back to win the district title by 7 a week and a half ago. This 4th matchup should be another exciting one that is played into the 70s and 80s. The big matchup is Christian County Senior DeTorrion Ware going up against top Junior Dekeyvan Tandy. KyKy Tandy is averaging just under 31 points per game while Ware is putting up 31.3 points per game and just scored 45 in the region semifinals. The winner will face the champions of the 10th region at noon on Thursday, the 15th at Rupp.
7th Region: Louisville Trinity v. Ballard
Everyone who follows the 7th region knew that Ballard and Trinity were going to play in the championship once the draw came out with them on opposing sides of the bracket. Ballard has won it’s two regional games by a combined 54 points while Trinity won their two previous games by 58 combined points. These two didn’t play in the regular season. Ballard has 6 players scoring 7.5 points per game or more while Trinity relies on their ‘Big 3″of David Johnson, Jay Scrubb and Justin Powell who average a combined 43.4 points per game. The winner of the 7th will face the 11th region Champions at 1:30 on Wednesday, the 14th at Rupp Arena. That figures to be the marquee opening round game of the Sweet Sixteen.
9th Region: Covington Catholic v.Dixie Heights
Probably the hottest team in the state right now after winning 18 games in a row, the 19th straight win for Cov Cath would send them to Rupp Arena. Led by the Senior trio of Jake Walter, CJ Fredrick and Aiden Rithsatz, the Colonels have been rolling and haven’t lost to a team from Kentucky in 2018. Dixie will look to improve from 81-37 beating that Cov Cath put on them back on February 9th. The Colonels will be very heavily favored in this one. The 9th region champion advances to face the winners of the 3rd region in the final game of the opening round on Thursday the 15th at 8 pm.
11th Region: Lexington Christian v. Scott County
Scott County is 33-1 and has just been eviscerating their opponents. The Cardinals haven’t lost to an in state team all season and haven’t lost a game at all since the day after Christmas 2017. Having said that, Lexington Christian is just as hot, if not hotter. They are 27-7 but it could be argued that they have more quality wins than Scott County does on their resume. Four of their losses came when Junior star Kyle Rode was injured. I was in attendance at the first meeting between the two in December (recapped here) and it was nip and tuck until Rode got hurt in the 3rd quarter. This game is unlikely to be the type of blowout that Scott has been having on their road to Rupp so far. The winner will advance to take on whomever survives the Ballard/Trinity game in the 7th region.
13th Region: Corbin v. South Laurel
Another regional championship game that is a rematch of a district title game, Corbin will look to beat South Laurel for the 3rd time. The Hounds beat Knox Central 75-60 on Saturday while South Laurel knocked off county rival North Laurel in the second semifinal. South Laurel will need big games from Matt Cromer, JJ Ramey and Ryan Anders to keep up with the high paced Corbin offense that is paced by Andrew Taylor. The winner of the 13th will find themselves squaring off against the winners of the 14th region in the very first game of the Sweet Sixteen at noon on Wednesday the 14th.