(Rankings as selected by the coaches)
TOP 10 TEAMS
(Last year’s record in parentheses)
1. Elizabethtown (32-3)
— Lost by one point to eventual champion Covington Holy Cross in state quarterfinals. Won Sweet Sixteen in 1998.
2. Male (26-5) — Reached Sweet Sixteen for fourth time last season (first time since 1996). Also ousted by Holy Cross in March.
3. Butler (23-6) — Tied with Lexington Catholic and Sacred Heart for second-most titles in history.
4. Franklin County (26-7) — Top five scorers all return for Flyers, who were bounced early in last year’s tournament.
5. Mercer County (29-4) — Seygan Robins led Titans to second Sweet Sixteen in history last season as a freshman.
6. Manual (23-7) — Crimsons and Male will vie for 7th Region honors.
7. Bullitt East (22-9) — Title aspirations took a blow when Lindsey Duvall announced she’ll miss season.
8. Murray (27-4) — Junior Maddie Waldrop averaged 16.3 points to lead Tigers. Third- and fourth-leading scorers return as sophomores.
9. Bowling Green (26-8) — Purples sport good blend of youth and experience, led by last year’s leading scorer Oneisha Turner.
10. Eastern (19-7) — Eagles have never reached the Sweet Sixteen; the cost of being in a region with foes like Male and Manual.
TOP 10 PLAYERS
(Year, height, last year’s PPG in parentheses)
1. Erin Boley (Sr., 6-2, 20.1) — Notre Dame commitment tries to lead Elizabethtown to third straight Sweet Sixteen.
2. I’liyah Green (Sr., 6-1, 10.6) — Male product, daughter of former U of L football player Ibn Green, signed with Cincinnati.
3. Lindsey Duvall (Jr., 5-10, Jr.) — Bullitt East star will miss this season after surgery to remove benign tumor on her knee.
4. Krys McCune (Sr., 6-3, 9.5) — Manual star nearly averaged a double-double with 8.6 rebounds. West Virginia signee.
5. Mykassa Robinson (So., 5-7, 10.7) — Ashland Blazer standout could lead Kittens to record-tying fifth 16th Region title.
6. Bree Glover (Sr., 5-11, 19.2) — Will try to get Glasgow back to Sweet Sixteen before heading to Mississippi.
7. Whitney Creech (Sr., 5-9, 42.0) — WKU signee from Jenkins needs 88 points to become fourth Kentuckian to score at least 4,000 points at varsity level. Could be first to hit 5,000.
8. Jaelynn Penn (Jr., 5-10, 10.3) — Agile wing aims to get Butler back in Sweet Sixteen after three-year absence.
9. Seygan Robins (So., 5-7, 14.2) — UK has already offered Mercer County standout who will eclipse 1,000 points early.
10. Malaka Frank (Sr., 5-10, 10.1) — Franklin County went 35 seasons between Sweet Sixteen appearances. WKU pledge could lead them to first back-to-back bids.
SWEET SIXTEEN PICKS
3rd: Muhlenberg County
4th: Bowling Green
8th: Simon Kenton
10th: Mason County
11th: Franklin County
12th: Mercer County
14th: Breathitt County
15th: Johnson Central
16th: East Carter
Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps