Posted On: 01/28/19 6:51 PM
Today the Kentucky High School Athletic Association released the randomly drawn Sweet 16 State Tournament bracket. Like most years, this tournament is played at the pinnacle of our state, which is Rupp Arena in Lexington, home of the Kentucky Men’s Basketball program. What makes Kentucky unique and this tournament so special is the fact we crown one champion in our state, which is home to 274 participating member schools. No classes – no multiple champions, one champion out of almost 300 teams. The bracket release is so special, it is streamed for fans all across the state. Below you will find each matchup and an estimate of 4 teams that could make the field from each region!
Region 13 v. Region 8 - March 6th R13 Contenders: - South Laurel (21-2): favorites to win, led by Pikeville commit JJ Ramey. - Knox Central (18-4): 2A State Tournament runner-ups, led by Nick Martin. - Corbin (14-5): hot streak in region currently, led by Chase Sanders. - Harlan County (16-5): won the region back in 2017. R8 Contenders: - Walton-Verona (17-4): All "A" State Final Four team, led by 6'10 Xavier commit Dieonte Miles. - Simon Kenton (16-4): won 7 out of last 8, led by top 2021 Guard Kelly Niece. - Collins (16-6): King of the Bluegrass participants, JR duo of Dayvion McKnight & Marcellus Vail. - Oldham County (15-7): emerging as serious contenders. Region 5 v. Region 10 - March 6th R5 Contenders: - John Hardin (23-0): favorites to win, undefeated so far, led by Alex Matthews. - Taylor County (16-4): 12-1 in 5th Region play this year. - Central Hardin (14-6): played one of the toughest schedules in the state, led by Jacob Hobbs. - LaRue County (16-4): two nice playmakers, led by Forwards Anthony Adkins & Mark Goode. R10 Contenders: - Campbell County (15-4): multiple Sweet 16 appearances, led by big man Reid Jolly. - George Rogers Clark (17-6): tough schedule this year, led by one of the top PGs Jordan Graham. - Scott (11-8): tough schedule this year, led by unsigned W Trey Meister & G Chad Ohmer. - Bourbon County (17-8): 2019 SIII 2A Champions, tough gritty group of players. Region 3 v. Region 16 - March 6th R3 Contenders: - Breckinridge County (18-2): favorites to win, winners of 14 straight regular season games. - Owensboro (13-7): led by senior guard Darrian Wimsatt. - Owensboro Catholic (13-6): All "A" State Tournament appearance. - Ohio County (12-10): a ton of tournament experience this season. R16 Contenders: - Elliott County (16-3): All "A" State Tournament appearance, led by Pikeville commit Korbin Spencer. - Rowan County (19-2): won 5 out of their last 6 games, 11-2 region record this year. - Boyd County (14-8): led by junior Blake Stewart. - Morgan County (14-8): 2019 2A State Tournament appearance. Region 7 v. Region 15 - March 6th R7 Contenders: - Trinity (17-6): winners of the 2019 Louisville Invitational, led by Mr. Basketball candidate David Johnson. - Waggener (19-3): 4th place in the 2019 Louisville Invitational, led by JJ Kalakon. - Seneca (15-7): runner-up in the 2019 LIT, led by under-the-radar SR Wing Richard Ninamou. - Ballard (13-8): 3rd place in the 2019 LIT, led by SR Walter Johnson. R15 Contenders: - Shelby Valley (20-4): All "A" State Final Four team, led by a top 2020 player Cody Potter. - Lawrence County (16-6): have won 10 out of last 12 games, led by Tyler & Cody Maynard. - Johnson Central (16-4): have the ability to be an underdog in the 15th Region Tournament , led by Jacob Rice & Isaiah May. - Pikeville (14-7): most likely will be out of the running, but have a key player in SR G Conner Roberts. TOP HALF BRACKET --------------------------------------- BOTTOM HALF BRACKET Region 9 v. Region 11 - March 7th R9 Contenders: - Covington Catholic (17-5): 2 state championships in 6 years, led by Bellarmine signee Nick Thelen. - Newport (18-5): 2019 All "A" Elite 8 team, led by a trio of Tahj Harding - Makhi McGuire - Donnie Miller. - Beechwood (19-3): winners of 8 out of their 10 last games, led by top 2021 player Scotty Draud. - Cooper (18-3): won 8/10 last games, went 3-1 in the Traditional Bank Classic, led by TJ Deere. R11 Contenders: - Scott County (23-1): favorites to win the state championship, undefeated vs. KY opponents, led by Bryce Long, Diablo Stewart, Lorenzo Williams - when/if Michael Moreno returns the Cardinals are beyond scary. - Henry Clay (19-4): recently defeated Trinity (Lou.) emerging as the best team within Lexington city limits. - Lexington Christian (18-7): All "A" Tournament Runner-Ups, led by Mr. Basketball candidate Kyle Rode. - Woodford County (16-6): almost defeated Scott Co., can be dark-horses of the regional tournament. Region 6 v. Region 14 - March 7th R6 Contenders: - Butler (16-7): favorites to win the 6th Region, led by high scoring duo Reese Tolley & Trey Minter. - Jeffersontown (13-8): 8-0 in region play, almost defeated Waggener in the 2019 LIT. - Fern Creek (11-9): record doesn't indicate talent, have defeated some of the better teams in Louisville. - Pleasure Ridge Park (12-8): holiday tournaments hurt record, PRP is starting to bounce back. R14 Contenders: - Hazard (18-4): favorites to win the region, has won 11/12 last regular season games. - Knott County Central (15-7): All "A" State Tournament appearance, made it to the Elite 8. - Breathitt County (14-6): 12-1 record vs. region, has won 6 games in a row. - Buckhorn (15-7): has competed in 8 tournaments this year, will have the experience. Region 12 v. Region 2 - March 7th R12 Contenders: - Danville (19-2): appear to be favorites, Sweet 16 exit in the All "A" Tournament, led by DeShaud St. Martin. - Wayne County (16-6): lost all 3 in the Toyota Classic, won the Arby's Classic @ McCreary Central. - Lincoln County (14-9): have won 2 straight games, struggled over Christmas, led by Blake Smith. - Pulaski County (14-7): could be the surprise team in this region, led by JR G Colton Fraley. R2 Contenders: - University Heights (21-3): favorites, 2019 All "A" State Champions, led by Mr. Basketball candidate and Xavier commit KyKy Tandy. - Madisonville-NH (15-5): one of the only teams to compete with UHA, duo of 6'9 Ksuan Casey & Kenny White have the ability to make it to Rupp. - Lyon County (13-8): 10-3 in region play, led by 7th grader Travis Perry who is averaging over 20 ppg. - Hopkinsville (13-9): most likely out of the running, but needs 7 footer Jamarion Sharp to step up. Region 4 v. Region 1 - March 7th R4 Contenders: - Bowling Green (18-3): 2017 state champs, won 12 out of last 13 games, led by 2021 Isaiah Mason. - Clinton County (16-6): All "A" State appearance, led by Western Kentucky commit Jackson Harlan. - Allen Co.- Scottsville (17-4): won the South Central Bank Classic, led by Brett Rippy & Mason Shirley. - Logan County (17-4): need to shape their game up in the coming weeks to be actual contenders. R1 Contenders: - McCracken County (19-3): favorites to win the 1st, led by top 2020 player Jackson Sivills. - Graves County (17-6): like some of the schools above, lots of tournament experience this season. - Mayfield (16-7): 10-2 record against region, led by SR guard Connor Guthrie. - Carlisle County (12-10): impressive 4-0 record against their district, unlikely to make it to Lexington.