High School Basketball

Boys' Area previews

Berea

Coach: Bill Smallwood

Last season: 13-14

Top players: Ryan Smith (6-4 sr.), Chase Riddle (6-3 jr.), Jay Callahan (6-4 sr.), Jeremy Hamilton (6-0 jr.), Logan Hutchins (6-4 jr.), Nathan Vaughn (5-10 so.), Justin Hubbard (6-4 jr.), Ben Miller (5-7 fr.)

Outlook: Smallwood, who led the Pirates from 1987-2001, returned as coach last year, and Berea responded by setting school records in rebounding and defense. Key returnees include Smith (9 rpg) and Riddle (8 ppg). Defense and board work should be solid again. Offense might need time to jell.

Bourbon County

Coach: Jay Bordas

Last season: 11-19

Top players: Adam Lynch (6-3 sr.); Maurice Hogue (5-11 sr.); Matt Kenney (6-5 sr.); Alex McFarland (6-1 jr.); Josh Bailey (6-3 sr.); Jacob Covey (6-0 jr.); Chris Norman (6-2 so.); Taylor Barnes (5-9 jr.); Chris Gillispie (6-0 eighth-grader)

Outlook: Bordas, a former assistant at Henry Clay, takes over the Colonels. He says they'll be physical, aggressive and more fast-paced. Lynch (12 ppg, 7 rpg) and Hogue (8 ppg) are returning starters. Bordas also likes his team's depth.

Clark County

Coach: Scott Humphrey

Last season: 22-8

Top players: Robbie Stenzel (6-4 so.); Robert Hatton (6-2 sr.); Vinny Zollo (6-8 so.); Ryan Williams (5-7 sr.); Corey Rogers (6-4 so.); Travis Purvis (6-6 so.); Christian Brewer (6-1 so.), Jaylen Daniel (6-5 so.)

Outlook: The Cardinals are the team to beat in the 10th Region. Stenzel (19 ppg) is a proven player as a sophomore. Hatton (12 ppg), Williams (10 ppg) and Rogers (8 ppg) are veterans, too. Knee injury will sideline Purvis (7 ppg) for the season. Newcomer Zollo, who has committed to UK, boosts Clark County's profile across the state.

East Jessamine

Coach: Chris O'Bryan

Last season: 12-20

Top players: Darrius Jackson (5-11 sr.), Kyle Lamb (5-11 jr.), Jordan Redd (6-2 so.), Shane Worley (6-5 sr.), Clay McKinzie (6-2 sr.), Matt Fitch (5-11 sr.); Seth Corman (6-3 sr.), Stephan Smith (6-5 sr.)

Outlook: The Jaguars have experience, size and quickness, leading O'Bryan to think he's got his best all-around team in years. Jackson (12 ppg), Lamb (10 ppg), Redd (9 ppg, 5 rpg) and Worley (8 ppg, 6 rpg) will provide the foundation.

Frankfort

Coach: Michael Allen

Last season: 2-21

Top players: Dylan Gilkey (6-1 so.), Micah Goff (6-4 sr.), Keri Metcalf (6-0 sr.)

Outlook: Allen, in his second season as coach, sees better days ahead for the Panthers. They should be athletic and able to play transition basketball. Gilkey (11 ppg) and Goff (9 ppg, 5 rpg) will set the pace. Defense should be a strength; rebounding could be a weakness.

Franklin County

Coach: Scott Chalk

Last season: 20-10

Top players: Andy Donovan (6-8 sr.); Barrett Meyer (6-3 sr.); Vance Hall (6-3 jr.); DeRon Hicks (6-0 sr.); Brandon Jennells (6-0 jr.); Ryan Conner (6-5 sr.); Oakley Watkins (6-3 sr.)

Outlook: The Flyers return everybody, including six players who averaged between nine and 14 points last year — Meyer (14 ppg), Donovan (11 ppg) and Hall (10 ppg) among them. The team has good size, experience and three-point shooters, all ingredients that could make Franklin County a challenger to Scott County in the 11th Region.

Madison Central

Coach: Allen Feldhaus Jr.

Last season: 17-13

Top players: Keshawn Simpson (6-2 sr.), Terry Jarvis (6-2 sr.), Vince Clay (6-2 sr.), Tyler Mays (5-8 sr.), JaQuentin Jenkins (6-2 sr.)

Outlook: The Indians must fill the void left by All-State player Aaron Morris. They'll lack size but will be athletic. Simpson, who missed last season with a foot injury, will be a force. Clay (12 ppg) and Jarvis (6 ppg) will be consistent contributors. Feldhaus likes his team's overall speed, quickness, shooting ability and chemistry.

Madison Southern

Coach: Shane Buttry

Last season: 6-23

Top players: Carrington Roberts (5-9 jr.); Rico Brown (5-10 jr.); Joey Wallace (6-4 jr.); Jimmy Freel (6-3 jr.); Christian Schneider (5-7 jr.); Aaron Ponder (6-0 so.); Chad Wheaton (6-0 so.); A.J. Jeck (5-7 so.)

Outlook: The Eagles should have more depth and more shooters and scorers than last season. With only one senior, Madison Southern isn't loaded with experience, although Roberts (12 ppg), Wallace (9 ppg), Brown (7.5 ppg) and Freel (5 ppg) are veterans.

Model

Coach: Wes Scarberry

Last season: 11-18

Top players: Michael Daniel (5-11 sr.), Gabe Cormney (5-10 jr.), Bryce Botts (6-1 fr.), Anders Kipp (6-4 jr.), Matt Witt (6-1 jr.), Dennis Smith (5-8 so.), Tanner Hall (6-3 so.)

Outlook: Devon Gerald (25 ppg) and Merrick Marriott (17 ppg) leave big holes to fill. But Scarberry is high on his young talent and thinks the Patriots will be a better team this season. Cormney (5 ppg) and Daniel (3 ppg) will lend experience.

Paris

Coach: Cary Barr

Last season: 3-19

Top players: Tion Thomas (6-0 sr.), Jordan Barnett (6-1 sr.), Trent Rankin (6-3 jr.), Jordan Stevens (6-3 sr.), Matt Baker (6-6 sr.).

Outlook: The Greyhounds have some experience, including Thomas (13 ppg, 7 rpg), Barnett (9 ppg, 5 rpg), Rankin (7 ppg, 5 rpg) and Stevens (4 ppg). Baker returns after injury sidelined him for second half of last season. Team's assets also include speed and quickness.

Scott County

Coach: Billy Hicks

Last season: 20-12

Top players: Richie Phares (6-7 sr.); Ge-Lawn Guyn (6-0 jr.); Aaron Ford (6-1 sr.); Dakotah Euton (6-8 jr.); Chad Jackson (6-4 jr.); Austin Flannery (6-2 jr.); Tamron Manning (6-3 fr.), Isaiah Ivey (6-1 fr.)

Outlook: Everybody expects Scott County, strengthened by transfers Euton, Jackson and Flannery, to make a run at its third state title. The Cardinals seem to have it all — size inside, quickness outside and lots of depth. The only question is how all the parts will fit together.

Western Hills

Coach: Enoch Welch

Last season: 15-14

Top players: Mike Satterwhite (6-8 sr.); Darius Reed (5-9 sr.); J.T. Riddle (6-3 jr.); Nolan McGaughey (5-10 sr.); Dylan Curry (6-6 jr.); Marcus Wise (6-3 sr.); Joe Weber (6-4 sr.); Jordan Barrass (5-10 so.)

Outlook: The Wolverines graduated big scorers Jay Van and Matt Hyatt, but they return a strong inside player in Satterwhite, who averaged 11 rebounds last year. Welch is also high on his team's defense. Curry returns after sitting out last season with an injury.

West Jessamine

Coach: Robert Hammonds

Last season: 22-11

Top players: Jonathan Rehner (6-4 sr.), Jarrod Polson (6-1 jr.), Nick Zeimann (6-1 jr.), Randy Troyer (5-8 sr.), Dylan Pohl (6-4 so.), David Elliott (6-3 jr.), Keston Bartholomew (6-2 jr.), Kyle Mefford (5-11 jr.), Bradley Strait (6-1 so.)

Outlook: Colts should be more athletic, and so they'll play more up-tempo. Rehner (14 ppg, 4 rpg) and Polson (14 ppg, 3 apg) are the only returnees with a lot of experience. But newcomers will provide good depth. Hammonds thinks this team is better than the last two seasons, when West Jessamine was a region runner-up and semifinalist.

Woodford County

Coach: Brad Mefford

Last season: 18-11

Top players: Dominique Johnson (6-3 jr.); J.D. Miller (6-8 sr.), Branden Raider (6-3 sr.), Bradley Lucas (5-11 sr.), Cameron Mattingly (6-3 sr.), Brett Pennington (6-2 sr.), Steven Duckworth (6-0 sr.), Stan Serdyuk (6-3 jr.), Bobby Neal (6-4 jr.), Patrick White (6-0 jr.), Carson Reynolds (6-1 jr.)

Outlook: Mefford's message to his players: Buy into the team concept with heart and soul if you want to survive in the 11th Region. Johnson (10 ppg, 6 rpg) is the top returnee. Miller and Raider made strides this summer. The Yellow Jackets will need balanced scoring to match last season's total of 18 wins.

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