We’re at the mid-way point of the current high school basketball season and it’s time to hand out mid-term grades.
There have been some exciting games played by the four area teams and plenty more to come including the 2005 district tournament, the last of its kind.
This week the boys report cards.
Corbin (7-7): Some feel the Redhounds should have a much better record at this point of the season. With a big loss to graduation, a player injured in the final football game and another not playing, the Redhounds are lucky to be at the .500.
I would put Corbin’s schedule in the top ten when it comes to playing strong schedules. For it’s size, they are playing some of the toughest teams in the area. They have lost at Pulaski County, North Laurel and Bell County. That’s three of the toughest places to play.
The loss to Cawood and Blake Hubbs. As long as Hubbs is on the floor, you can count on Cawood being one of the top teams in the 13th region.
You don’t have to look far for leadership on this team. Brad Lawson, Andrew Parks and Jordan Noble have provided that each night out. The Redhounds have improved each week and that’s what is supposed to happen with a tough schedule.
At the mid-way point of the season, I’m giving the Redhounds a B. Little better than average with some improvement to do before tournament time.
Lynn Camp (9-4): With its schedule the Wildcats are on par. They have played about where you expected them to be at this time of the season. Coach Anthony Pennington’s team started the season with a near upset of Bell County on Log Mountain.
That would have put the Wildcats on the plus side right off the bat. The loss to Somerset and a good Barbourville team which wasn’t too unexpected. The Wildcats then reeled off nine straight wins before losing to Monticello.
The only plus win came at Williamsburg when the Cats won 77-73. The rest of the wins were expected to happen. However, they didn’t play their best at Evarts last week. That was a team they should have blown out.
Their two biggest tests were at Knox Central Friday night and at home this week against Whitley County.
Lynn Camp has survived the mixture of two transfers from Corbin High School. Early in the season it looked as if there might be problems but Pennington has molded the team into one. The chemistry is getting better with each outing and it looks as if the Wildcats might make a run in the All “A” as well as district tournament. C+
Whitley County (6-8): Whoever decided on Darrell Guffey as the Colonels coach after Brian Evans left last year needs a pat on the back. Guffey was an excellent choice to turn the Colonels around.
Being a 4A school, the Colonels should have a winning season every year, but history shows the program has had difficult times in the past. I haven’t been around long enough to pass judgment.
This year’s Colonels haven’t really lost to anyone that they shouldn’t have despite Barbourville and Somerset being Class A size schools. Whitley County has 11 games remaining, I believe the Colonels will win eight of those games. That will give them a winning record in Guffey’s first season.
The Colonels have the tools to compete with anyone on their schedule. The biggest test and a measuring tool will be January 28 when the Rockets of Rockcastle County come to Lawson Gym.
Senior Jeremy Taylor leads the Colonels in scoring along with classmates Sammy Wilson and Travis Raper. They have two other seniors in J. J. Morgan and Adam Prewitt, both capable of helping the Colonels get to the regional tournament come March.
The only thing I think this team lacks is confidence. Whitley County is a team that could be scary tournament time and would definitely be a team considered the dark horse. C+
Williamsburg (5-9): One of the smallest schools in the state, the Yellow Jackets seem to be in the underdogs role every time they step on the court.
Being four games under .500 coach Donnie Haynes must be somewhat disappointed having five seniors on the floor.
However, if you look at their schedule, there’s no loss to a smaller team other than Pineville, but then the Lions started the season winning four of six games. Williamsburg beat a pretty good Garrard County team, 64-59 and took an easy win from Owen County, 66-43, which is a good 8th Region Class A team.
The Yellow Jackets have been in every game except at Barbourville and Indiana’s Restoration Christian in the Beth Haven Tournament. They took the host team in overtime before losing, 72-69.
Senior John McRay has had a good season for the Yellow Jackets and senior Kevin Caddell seems to be stepping up his game which gives Williamsburg the outside attack they didn’t start the season with.
The football players are just now getting accustomed to the basketball floor. The Yellow Jackets still have some tough games ahead of them with the likes of Barbourville, Harlan, Corbin, Lynn Camp and Madison Southern.
I’m a firm believer that a difficult schedule will pay off in the end. Apparently something UK and U of L needed this year.
Haynes is a smart coach and he will have the Jackets ready come tournament time. C+
Two weeks ago I listed my top stories and top athletes for 2004. On our website I am running a People’s Choice. You can log onto corbinnewsjournal.com and go under your favorite school and vote for the top athletes of 2004. I will be running that until the end of the month.
We are looking for several correspondents. If you like high school sports and would like to help get information after ballgames and report the scores to me on Tuesday night’s I would love to talk with you. High school students, avid fans are welcome. Give me a call at 528-9767.
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