High School Sports

Boys’ All ‘A’ Classic: Newport Central Catholic eyes fourth straight title

Newport Central Catholic's Ben Weyer drives with the ball against Hancock County, during the opening round of the boys Touchstone Energy All-A Classic, in Frankfort, Thursday, January 29, 2015.
Newport Central Catholic's Ben Weyer drives with the ball against Hancock County, during the opening round of the boys Touchstone Energy All-A Classic, in Frankfort, Thursday, January 29, 2015.

Can anyone dethrone Newport Central Catholic?

That should be the No.1 question in fans’ minds as the boys’ All “A” Classic begins Thursday at the Frankfort Convention Center. The No. 10 Thoroughbreds have won the previous three tournaments and looked like world beaters en route to all three crowns.

Ben Weyer leads NewCath with 21.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Luke Moeves (14.8 ppg) is third in the state with 3.5 three-point makes per game.

Lexington Christian, representing the 11th Region for the 12th time in 13 years after rallying to defeat Frankfort on Monday, has the unenviable task of playing NewCath in the first round. The Thoroughbreds ended LCA’s run in the small-school tournament the last two seasons.

The Eagles played NewCath to a four-point semifinals loss last season — the closest any team has come to knocking off the 9th Region stalwart in the last three All “A” Classics. LCA has taken several losses to top-20 competition this season, but led or trailed by single digits to many of those teams down the stretch. Coach Nate Valentine stressed conditioning in two-a-day workouts that took place during the recent snow break.

“A lot of times when your confidence is struggling, that’s the only thing you can do, is get back in the gym and go to work and that’s what gets it back,” Valentine said. “I’m hoping that these last two games (wins over Berea and Frankfort) they’ve gotten some confidence and we can come out and be in position to win it.”

No. 22 Owen County, which made its debut in the Cantrall top 25 this week, is a viable candidate to knock NewCath from its perch should it come out of the bottom half of the bracket. Mr. Basketball candidate and Northern Kentucky signee Carson Williams is averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds for the Rebels, who have won eight straight and 10 of their last 11 entering the tournament.

Cordia isn’t ranked in the ratings but is capable of making noise, as it did in 2014 when it reached the finals in its first trip to the main tournament. “We were so close,” senior Zeke Biallas told WYMT in December. “ ... so we want to finish it off now this year.” Junior Anthony Nelson leads Cordia with 17.7 ppg. The Lions are coached by former University of Kentucky player and fifth-year coach Rodrick Rhodes.

Four teams in the tournament are among the top 20 in state three-point shooting: Green County (52.4 percent, first), NewCath (44.4, fourth), Bishop Brossart (40.6, 10th) and Owen County (38.1). Green County has only attempted 21 shots from beyond the arc this season; the other three have all tried more than 200.

Bishop Brossart upset Paris to claim the 10th Region’s bid for the 12th time in 14 seasons.

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

Cantrall Ratings

School

Rating

Newport Catholic

80.9

Owen County

77.6

Lexington Christian

72.1

Murray

71.3

Bishop Brossart

68.1

Danville

67.4

Kentucky Country Day

66.1

Morgan County

64.4

Green County

63.1

University Heights

60.6

Shelby Valley

58.0

McLean County

54.8

Pineville

51.6

Shawnee

51.3

Glasgow

46.9

Cordia

NR

All ‘A’ Classic first round

At Frankfort Convention Center

(All games Thursday; in bracket order)

8:30 a.m.: Cordia (10-6) vs. Glasgow (8-11)

10 a.m.: Pineville (15-4) vs. University Heights (10-10)

11:30 a.m.: Danville (10-9) vs. Shawnee (5-11)

1 p.m.: Lexington Christian (12-10) vs. Newport Central Catholic (15-3)

5 p.m.: McLean County (7-11) vs. Morgan County (15-4)

6:30 p.m.: Kentucky Country Day (10-5) vs. Owen County (17-2)

8 p.m.: Bishop Brossart (15-3) vs. Murray (16-4)

9:30 p.m.: Shelby Valley (14-4) vs. Green County (14-6)

Past winners

(x-won KHSAA state championship)

1990

University Heights

1991

University Heights

1992

Lexington Catholic

1993

Dilce Combs

1994

Harlan

1995

Harlan

1996

University Heights

1997

Lexington Catholic

1998

University Heights

1999

University Heights

2000

Newport Central Catholic

2001

Glasgow

2002

University Heights

2003

St. Henry

2004

Hazard

2005

University Heights

2006

Bardstown

2007

Bishop Brossart

2008

University Heights

2009

Shelby Valley

2010

x-Shelby Valley

2011

Betsy Layne

2012

Covington Holy Cross

2013

Newport Central Catholic

2014

Newport Central Catholic

2015

Newport Central Catholic

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