Breaking down the Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10: Week 11

Published: Feb. 20, 2020 at 12:33 AM EST
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Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 – Boys’ Week 11 Breakdown

Here is a deeper look at this week’s Boys’ Mountain Top 10 as the final week of the regular season is here.
1. South Laurel (24-4)

Last Week: defeated Harlan 66-45, defeated No. 8 Knox Central 71-57

This Week: defeated Madison Central 66-50, vs. Rockcastle County

The Cardinals have ascended to the top spot which means South Laurel occupies the top spot for both the Boys’ and Girls’ polls for the first time this season. Jeff Davis’ ball club is on cloud nine right now as they have won 12 consecutive contests. The Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches (KABC) revealed their player and coach of the year awards last week. Davis was selected as the 13th Region Coach of the Year while senior Matthew Cromer was picked as the 13th Region Player of the Year. In the 21-point victory against the Green Dragons, Cromer recorded another double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow senior Brett Norvell was the other double figure scorer against Harlan with 17 points. Cromer also tallied a double-double (25 points and 11 rebounds) in the battle with Knox Central. Norvell pitched in with 18 points while junior Micah Anders chipped in with 13.

South Laurel won their next to last home game in the regular season against Madison Central on Monday night. They will play their final home game on Thursday against Rockcastle County.

2. Clay County (20-8)

Last Week: lost to Bell County 78-73, defeated No. 8 Knox Central 88-76, defeated Jackson County 84-70, defeated Red Bird 81-59

This Week: defeated Perry Central 83-61, at Boyle County

After dropping their first home game this season against Bell County, the Tigers bounced back by taking three straight. In the win over the Panthers, Clay County had four players in double figures including Connor Farmer. The junior had a team-high 28 against Knox Central. Farmer also led the way with 22 points and six boards in the victory at Jackson County. Senior Jacob Curry and junior Raven Abner were the co-leaders in scoring against Red Bird with 20 points. Clay County has not been at full strength for a while now as junior Connor Robinson continues to be sidelined with injuries. The Tigers are hopeful that they can get second their leading scorer back for next week’s postseason action as Robinson averages 17.4 PPG.

Clay County moved to 1-0 this week, taking care of business against Perry Central on Monday night. The Tigers finish their regular season slate with a date in Danville against Boyle County on Thursday.

3. North Laurel (20-8)

Last Week: defeated No. 10 Knott Central 85-54, defeated Corbin 85-77, defeated No. 6 Hazard 63-60 (overtime)

This Week: defeated Harlan 83-67, vs. No. 8 Knox Central

It appears as though the Jaguars are starting to find their groove at the right time as Nate Valentine’s crew has won three in a row and five of their last six. North Laurel delivered one of their better defensive performances of the season against tenth-ranked Knott Central, holding the Patriots to just 36% shooting from the field. Senior Cole Kelley paced the Jaguars with 23 points and seven rebounds against Knott Central. The contest against the Redhounds proved to be a little more competitive. Nonetheless, three players had 20 points or more including freshman Reed Sheppard, who had a game-high 29 points. In the victory against the Bulldogs, Sheppard had 32 points including a three-point play that gave North Laurel a lead they would not relinquish in overtime.

The Jaguars picked up their 20th victory against the Green Dragons to begin the week and are one of four teams to have double-digit wins in 13th Region play. North Laurel wraps-up regular season action in a home tussle with eighth-ranked Knox Central on Friday.

4. Pulaski County (23-5)

Last Week: defeated No. 5 Somerset 71-56, defeated Southwestern 61-59, defeated Danville 92-80

This Week: defeated Boyle County 71-39

The Maroons are peaking at a great time as John Fraley’s squad heads into the postseason with a five-game win streak and winners of 13 of their last 15. Senior Colton Fraley was the high-point man for the Maroons with 19 in the win against Somerset while junior KJ Combs had a team-high had 23 points versus Southwestern. Sophomore Zach Travis and senior Grant Oaks made it into double-figures as well against the Warriors. Travis led the way with 26 points in the fast-paced affair against Danville.

The Maroons concluded their regular season on Monday, downing the Boyle County Rebels to improve to 14-2 in 12th region action. Coming into this week, Lincoln County was the only other team that had double digit victories or more in region play (Somerset has also joined this club). Fraley was the leading scorer in that contest for the Maroons with 19 points. Pulaski County will now get ready for the 47th District tournament at Rockcastle County next week.

5. Somerset (22-5)

Last Week: defeated Wayne County 68-64 (double overtime), lost to No. 4 Pulaski County 71-56, defeated Green County 79-40

This Week: defeated Garrard County 62-52, vs. Danville

Since their loss to St. Henry in the All-A Quarterfinals, things have been positive by-and-large for Somerset as Jeron Dunbar’s team has won four of their last six. In fact, the KABC named Dunbar as Coach of the Year in the 12th Region last week. Junior Kade Grundy had a team-high 27 points and corralled eight boards in the narrow escape against Wayne County. Junior Dylan Burton was the team’s only double digit scorer (21 points) in the loss to fourth-seed Pulaski County. Burton had the most points in the game against Green County as well as the guard contributed with 18 points. Junior Jackson Cooper (17 points) and Grundy (13 points) also made it into double figures against the Dragons.

The Briar Jumpers acquired their 10 th victory in 12 th Region play on Tuesday night against Garrard County. Somerset’s regular season concludes with a clash against Danville on Thursday.

6. Hazard (23-5)

Last Week: defeated Cordia 71-50, defeated Wolfe County 86-70, lost to No. 3 North Laurel 63-60 (overtime)

This Week: defeated Letcher Central 63-39, vs. Estill County

Even though the Bulldogs have won five of their last six contests, Al Holland’s squad drops two spots in this week’s poll. Hazard remains one of two teams to have double-digit victories in 14th Region play (Wolfe County is the other). Junior Wade Pelphrey led the way in scoring with 16 points against Cordia but senior Reece Fletcher had a solid game overall. The big man had 15 points and nine rebounds against the Lions. Pelphrey had an outstanding game against the Wolves, scoring a game-high 32 points on 13 field goals made out of 16 attempted. In fact, Pelphrey did not miss a shot from inside the three-point line (11 for 11). In their intense battle with North Laurel, four players made it into double figures including Pelphrey and junior Jarrett Napier. The two guards tallied 13 points while senior Logan Hall recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Hazard’s regular season ends with back-to-back games at Memorial Gymnasium. The Bulldogs downed Letcher Central on Tuesday night, improving to 13-1 against 14th Region teams. Al Holland’s squad will take on Estill County in their regular-season finale on Friday.

7. Shelby Valley (22-6)

Last Week: lost to No. 9 Martin County 53-48, defeated Floyd Central 73-42

This Week: defeated Huntington Prep Regional (WV) 77-52, defeated Magoffin County 73-62, at Johnson Central

Despite the loss to Martin County, the Wildcats continue to lead the 15th Region in victories and is just one of two teams that have not lost 10 games or more in a minimum of 20 games played (Pikeville is the other team). Shelby Valley also has the highest Ratings Percentage Index in the region. Senior Cody Potter was selected by the KABC as the 15th Region Player of the Year. Potter (19 points and 10 rebounds) and sophomore Elijah Sykes (12 points and 10 rebounds) produced double-doubles in the loss to Martin County. Potter scored his second most points in a game this season with 39 points in the win against Floyd Central.

Shelby Valley is 2-for-2 this week, manhandling a West Virginia foe in Huntington Prep Regional and Magoffin County. Jim Hicks’ crew heads to Paintsville to take on another 15th Region opponent in Johnson Central for their regular-season finale on Friday.

8. Knox Central (19-7)

Last Week: defeated Pineville 75-64, lost to No. 2 Clay County 88-76, lost to No. 1 South Laurel 71-57, defeated Cordia 73-61

This Week: defeated No. 10 Knott Central 76-67, vs. Barbourville, at No. 3 North Laurel

The Panthers went through one of the toughest stretches in their schedule and managed to split the week. After defeating 51st District rival Pineville, Knox Central fell for the first time in region play this season against Clay County. The Panthers dropped another home contest against a red-hot South Laurel squad then bounced back with a win against a feisty ball club in Cordia. Junior Jevonte Turner produced 27 points and seven rebounds against the Mountain Lions while the guard recorded a team-high 28 points in the matchup with Clay County. Turner led the team in scoring again against South Laurel with 22 but senior Zach Patterson hit the 20-point mark as well. Both Patterson and Turner recorded 22 points in the victory at Cordia.

Things do not get any easier this week but Tony Patterson’s team got the better of Knott Central for the second time this season on Tuesday night. The Panthers will now do battle against 51st District foe Barbourville on Thursday while heading to London for another Mountain Top 10 showdown with North Laurel on Friday.

9. Martin County (16-12)

Last Week: defeated No. 7 Shelby Valley 53-48, defeated Paintsville 52-42

This Week: defeated Betsy Layne 68-51, defeated Prestonsburg 82-49, vs. Pikeville

After a long sabbatical, the Cardinals have found themselves back in the Mountain Top 10. Jason James’ squad was 9-12 at one point but are playing good basketball at an appropriate time, having won six consecutive matchups. Senior Braxton Maynard had a team-high 18 points in the victory against the Wildcats sophomore Brady Dingess led Martin County with 18 points in the slugfest with Paintsville. Dingess leads the team in scoring at 16.2 PPG while junior big man is averaging a double-double (15.1 PPG and 11.6 RPG).

The Cardinals played their final true road game of the regular season against Betsy Layne on Monday as they downed the Bobcats for their 11th victory in 15th Region play. Martin County won their ninth home game of the season against Prestonsburg on Tuesday, improving to 12-2 in region action in the process. The Cardinals wrap up regular season play with the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week Presented by ARH on Thursday against Pikeville.

10. Knott Central (17-9)

Last Week: lost to No. 3 North Laurel 85-54, lost to George Rogers Clark 70-50, lost to Betsy Layne 80-79 (quadruple overtime)

This Week: lost to No. 8 Knox Central 76-67

Last week did not go to plan for the Patriots as Bb King’s team went on the road for three games and dropped all three. The junior duo of Colby Napier and Kent Damron led Knott Central in scoring against the Jaguars. Napier produced 23 points while Damron recorded 22 points. In the loss to GRC, the Patriots generated their lowest point total in a game since December 27th against Holy Cross out of Covington. The Patriots found themselves in one of the best games in recent memory against Betsy Layne but were unable to pull out the victory.

Knott Central’s final regular season contest ended in a hard-fought battle with Knox Central but ultimately, the Patriots fell short.

Here’s the latest in-depth look at the Girls’ Mountain Top 10 as the last week of regular season action is underway.
1. South Laurel (20-5)

Last Week: defeated No. 8 Hazard 71-56

This Week: defeated Clay County 71-32, vs. No. 6 Rockcastle County, at Butler

The Lady Cardinals continue to hold down the top spot for another week. Chris Souder’s team won their only tilt last week, taking down Hazard for the second time this season. Senior Amerah Steele had a team-high 20 points and record 12 rebounds for yet another double-double in the win but the bigger story was the return of fellow senior Ally Collett. In her first game since tearing her PCL, Collett had 13 points and five rebounds.

South Laurel cruised past Clay County on Monday for their 20 th victory of the season. Collett hit the 2,500-point plateau in the contest at Manchester. The Lady Cardinals will play their final home game of the regular season on Thursday against sixth-ranked Rockcastle while traveling to Louisville to take on Butler on Saturday.

2. Southwestern (22-5)

Last Week: defeated Boyle County 52-28, defeated Pulaski County 60-26, lost to Simon Kenton 67-59

This Week: defeated Washington County Washington County 70-21, vs. Mercer County

Despite having their six-game win streak come to a halt to Simon Kenton, the Warriors continue to be a mainstay at the top of the Mountain Top 10. Senior Regi Cundiff had a team-high 15 points points to go along with seven rebounds in the dominant victory against the Lady Rebels. Cundiff also paced Southwestern with 16 points and five rebounds against archrival Pulaski County. Junior Alexa Smiddy and senior Kennedy Harris were the co-leading scorers in the outing against Simon Kenton, scoring 15 points.

The Warriors played Washington County and got the victory in convincing fashion over the Commanderettes. Junior Molden’s team ends the regular season with a clash against Mercer County on Friday.

3. Pikeville (21-6)

Last Week: defeated Letcher Central 67-56, defeated Perry Central 80-52

This Week: lost to Belfry 62-42, vs. No. 8 Hazard

The Lady Panthers continue to lead the pack in the 15th Region. Four players found their way into double figures in the victory against Letcher Central including Kirsten Cole-Williamson. The senior had 26 points on 10 of 14 shooting while hauling in 11 boards. Three players scored double-digits in the win against the Lady Commodores including Cole-Williamson. Cole-Williamson scored 17 points while senior Kelsey Jo Tackett contributed to the cause with 14 points including four triples. The 80-point outing against Perry Central was the most points that Kristy Orem’s team has scored in a game this season.

Pikeville lost to a 15th Region squad for only the second time this season on Monday as the Lady Pirates ended up getting the better of Pikeville in Belfry. Pikeville looks to rebound on Thursday in their final regular season game against number eight Hazard.

4. North Laurel (23-4)

Last Week: defeated Knott Central 80-49

This Week: defeated Knox Central 85-48, at Scott County

After picking up their first loss in a true road game this season against Hazard, the Lady Jaguars bounced back with an impressive victory at Knott Central. Four players scored 10 or more points against the Lady Patriots including leading scorer Hailee Valentine. The sophomore mustered up 18 points while 7th Grader Halle Collins recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The

victory against Knott Central was the second time that Eddie Mahan’s squad had held an opponent to less than 50 points in their last three games. North Laurel also outrebounded Knott Central, 42-21.

The Lady Jaguars extended their run of holding their opponents to less than 50 in three of their last four when they thumped Knox Central on Tuesday night. North Laurel puts a bow on their regular season on Thursday as they head north for a date with Scott County.

5. Shelby Valley (17-8)

Last Week: lost to Letcher Central 53-52, defeated Betsy Layne 79-35

This Week: defeated Knott Central 62-37, vs. Menifee County

Lonnie Rowe’s ball club fell to the Lady Cougars in a heartbreaker but returned to form against Betsy Layne to improve to eight games above .500 at the time. The sophomore tandem of Cassidy Rowe (12 points) and Alyssa Elswick (10 points) led the way in scoring against Letcher Central. The Lady Kats had multiple scorers in double figures against Betsy Layne including senior Alyssa Newsom. The guard generated 24 points on 10 of 12 from the field. Shelby Valley also connected on their three-point shots at a 52% rate (10 of 19).

The Lady Kats picked up their 17th victory of the season against Knott Central on Tuesday. Friday’s matchup against Menifee County will be Shelby Valley’s last in the regular season.

6. Rockcastle County (22-6)

Last Week: defeated Mercer County 62-58, defeated Madison Central


This Week: defeated Great Crossing 78-68, defeated Garrard County 70-41,

at No. 1 South Laurel

The Lady Rockets may be the hottest team in the Mountain Top 10 at the moment. Chrysti Noble’s squad came into this week having won eight in a row. Five players made it into double figures in win against Mercer County including McKenzi Himes. The senior had a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards. Junior Casey Coleman also recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. It was Coleman’s turn to be the pace setter in points against the Lady Eagles as the forward tallied 16 while freshman Keelee King produced 15.

Rockcastle County extended their streak to ten with wins against the Warhawks and the Lady Lions on Monday and Tuesday. However, that streak will be tested on Thursday as the Lady Rockets head to London to take on the top-ranked Lady Cardinals.

7. Bell County (21-4)

Last Week: defeated Red Bird 73-49, defeated Middlesboro 77-43, defeated Washburn (TN) 51-43

This Week: vs. Whitley County

After losing for just the fourth time this season against Knox Central, David Teague’s team seems to be back on track once again. The Lady Bobcats have won three straight with victories coming against the Lady Cardinals, the Lady Jackets and the Pirates. Senior Abby Harris continues to be the go-to player for Bell County as the guard had 17 points against Red Bird while freshman Talyah McQueen pitched in with 14 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Ashtyn Meyers and junior Abigail Cornett had a team-high 13 points versus Middlesboro. Harris came back to take the mantle of being the leading scorer against Washburn, generating 24 points to go along with eight rebounds.

The Lady Bobcats round out their regular season on Friday against the Lady Colonels.

8. Hazard (16-9)

Last Week: defeated Jenkins 71-52, lost to No. 1 South Laurel 71-56, lost to Somerset 70-57

This Week: lost to Letcher Central 54-41, at No. 3 Pikeville

Just when it looked like they were starting to hit their rhythm, the Lady Bulldogs fell in back-to-back contests against South Laurel and Somerset. Junior Hayley Caudill had a team-high 22 points on 7 of 12 shooting against the Lady Cardinals. Senior Desiree Sturgill (13 points) and senior Tayler Riley (11 points) also made into double figures. In the outing against the Briar Jumpers, three players tallied 10 or more points. Sturgill paced Hazard with 20 points while Caudill poured in 15 and junior Libby Danner recorded 10.

The Lady Bulldogs dropped their third straight against Letcher Central on Tuesday. Larry Caudill’s crew hopes to right the ship in the regular-season finale at third-ranked Pikeville on Thursday.

9. Wolfe County (22-5)

Last Week: defeated Morgan County 56-52, defeated Lee County 80-22, defeated Prestonsburg 72-48

This Week: at Estill County, vs. Powell County

After falling out of the Mountain Top 10 one week ago, the Lady Wolves return to the polls this week. Like Rockcastle County, Wolfe County comes into this week scorching hot as they have won ten consecutive contests. Hailey Smith continues to score at will against the opposition as the senior scored a game-high 25 points against Morgan County while the guard torched the Lady Kats with 37 points. Smith backed up that performance with a 39-point outing against the Lady Blackcats. Smith has had many outstanding games this season including the most points in one quarter in KHSAA history against Breathitt County just a couple of weeks ago.

The Lady Wolves conclude their regular season with two games against 14th Region foes. Gary Brown’s unit heads to Irvine on Wednesday for a tilt against Estill County while Powell County makes the trek to Campton on Friday.

10. Martin County (18-8)

Last Week: defeated Belfry 52-51, defeated Betsy Layne 57-24, lost to Floyd Central 58-52

This Week: defeated Phelps 60-52, at Fleming County, at Lawrence County

Martin County rounds out the Girls’ Mountain Top 10 this week. Robin Newsome’s ball club squeaked by Belfry but enjoyed a much more comfortable victory against Betsy Layne before losing at home for the first time this season against Floyd Central. Madison Thompson recorded a double-double against the Lady Pirates as the senior produced 17 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Kristen Isaac nearly duplicated that feat against Betsy Layne with 17 points and nine rebounds. Thompson, an Alice Lloyd College commit, one of her best games of the season against the Lady Jaguars, delivering 25 points and 14 rebounds.

The Lady Cardinals took care of business against Phelps on Monday night and improved to 14-3 in 15th Region play in the process. Martin County finishes up the regular season on the road as they head to Fleming County to battle the

Panthers on Wednesday while traveling to Louisa to meet Lawrence County on Friday.