If you’re a high school basketball fan this has got to be the greatest time of the year for you. It’s not quite March yet, but I’m sure everyone has March Madness. The 13th Region Boys Tournament tipped-off Monday and yes, I was surprised Middlesboro pulled off the upset over Corbin. The Redhounds have no reason to hang their heads. They turned in an impressive season and won 24 games.
Even though Barbourville’s season is over, Dinky Phipps’ squad should be proud of the season they had. The Tigers had 19 wins, including victories over both Harlan County and Knox Central. Not many expected Phipps’ squad to do much after losing players such as Tanner Broughton and Josh Hildebrand to graduation last season, but the Tigers surprised many.
I was also impressed with the way senior Devon Mills played this season. He’s one of the frontrunners to win the Times-Tribune Player of the Year award and if he does win the award, he would be very deserving.
Big games up next
I’ve said this once already, but today should be a pretty good pair of games at Harlan County. Don’t think for a second the Black Bears don’t have some pressure on them going into their game against South Laurel. Harlan County is expected to win and South Laurel has nothing to lose. I picked Harlan County to win, but don’t be surprised to see Jeff Davis’ squad pull off the shocker.
The second game is pretty interesting, too. The defending 13th Region champions will try to get past Knox Central, but it’s not going to be easy. The Panthers seem to be healthy and are peaking at the right time. Whoever wins this game has a good shot at making a run at the 13th Region championship.