Before I begin rambling a bit, I’m sure you are wondering where the heck are the stories and pictures from Friday’s boys and girls basketball action?
Well, Friday just so happened to be the Kentucky Press Association awards in Louisville and the Times-Tribune sports staff along with the newsroom attended the event. But both Chris and myself will be back in action covering games today which will mean Monday’s edition of the Times-Tribune will be packed with high school basketball action.
Who are the favorites to win the 13th Region boys and girls championships?
Coming into the season, the Harlan County Black Bears were the unanimous picks to win the boys 13th Region crown while many thought the Clay County Lady Tigers would be winning their fifth in a row.
But things have changed since late November and with that said, I’m going to break things down just a tad bit more for everyone.
Let’s start with the boys.
In the driver’s seat — No doubt about it, Harlan County remains the team to beat, but the Black Bears’ loss to Bell County last week showed they are beatable AND you can’t forget about how they have played the past four years in the postseason. Until Harlan County wins the region, there are going to be doubts.
Contenders — Now this is where it gets harder. Of course you’ve got to throw Clay County in there along with Corbin, Knox Central, Middlesboro and North Laurel, and even Jackson County.
The Tigers have already shown they can be tough to beat, but the two teams everyone needs to look out for are Corbin and Middlesboro.
The Redhounds are dangerous, folks, and so are the Yellow Jackets. With the way the 49th District Tournament is set up, Clay County will come out along with either North Laurel or Jackson County. Both the Jaguars and Generals are dangerous in a one-game setting.
Teams to keep an eye on — South Laurel, Bell County, Pineville and Barbourville. These teams are capable of pulling off an upset or two.
And now with the girls’ teams.
In the driver’s seat — Harlan County, Whitley County, Corbin, Bell County and Clay County have the talent to string together three wins and capture the region crown.
Contenders — Barbourville, South Laurel, Lynn Camp and Pineville can surprise.
13th Region district
For all you 13th Region basketball fans out there, I figured I’d give you a little tidbit of information and let you know which high school is the host of each respective district. Each respective district tournament is expected to begin Feb. 20 with the boys’ and girls’ 13th Region Tournament held at Harlan County High School tipping off Feb. 25.
49th District host — Jackson Co. High School
50th District host — Williamsburg High School
51st District host — Barbourville High School
52nd District host — Harlan High School