According to The Courier-journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, Trinity High School is the favorite to take the title at this week’s Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16.
But if the ratings hold, the Shamrocks will face a difficult road to the championship.
The No. 2 Shamrocks (29-5) are among seven teams in the Top 20 of the Litkenhous Ratings to reach the tournament that will run Wednesday-Sunday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Also qualifying were No. 3 Scott County, No. 5 Hopkinsville, No. 6 Covington Catholic, No. 7 Wayne County, No. 8 Pleasure Ridge Park and No. 11 Knott County Central.
Trinity will open play at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday against unranked Owensboro but would face Hopkinsville in the quarterfinals, Scott County in the semifinals and Covington Catholic in the final if the Litratings are correct.
Trinity coach Mike Szabo put little stock into his team being named the favorite.
“I guess it’s a reflection on the body of work we were able to have this season, and I’m proud of that,” Szabo said. “We’ve had a great year, and the kids have really improved along the way. … We’re playing our best basketball at the right time.”
If the Litratings hold, Friday’s quarterfinals could feature four big-time matchups with Hopkinsville-Trinity, Scott County-Johnson Central, Wayne County-Knott County Central and PRP-Covington Catholic.
OTHER BASKETBALL NUGGETS
* Kentucky’s Mr. and Miss Basketball awards will be given Tuesday night during a ceremony at the Lexington Convention Center.
The seven Mr. Basketball finalists are Ballard’s Quentin Snider and Kelan Martin, Lafayette’s Jackson Davis, Scott County’s Trent Gilbert, Johnson Central’s Shane Hall, Dixie Heights’ Brandon Hatton and Perry County Central’s Justin Johnson.
The seven Miss Basketball finalists are Anderson County’s Makenzie Cann and Eriel McKee, LaRue County’s Ivy Brown, Newport Central Catholic’s Nicole Kiernan, Ballard’s Javonna Layfield, Perry County Central’s Kayla Rankin and Sacred Heart’s DaiJia Ruffin.
* The Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches has named its boys’ Players and Coaches of the Year for each region.
Players of the Year from the Louisville area are Pleasure Ridge Park’s Lamontray Harris (Sixth Region), Ballard’s Quentin Snider (Seventh Region) and Collins’ Ralphie Stone (Eighth Region).
Coaches of the Year from the Louisville area are DeSales’ John Mingus (Sixth Region), Eastern’s David Henley (Seventh Region) and South Oldham’s Steve Simpson (Eighth Region).
Here is the entire list of winners:
First Region — Patrick Hubert (St. Mary); Second — Trey Edwards (Hopkinsville); Third — Jacob Revlett (McLean County); Fourth — Chris Porter-Bunton (Warren Central); Fifth — Caleb Wigginton (Taylor County); Sixth — Lamontray Harris (Pleasure Ridge Park); Seventh — Quentin Snider (Ballard); Eighth — Ralphie Stone (Collins); Ninth — Brandon Hatton (Dixie Heights); 10th — Brent Bach (Augusta); 11th — Jackson Davis (Lafayette); 12th — Daulton Peters (West Jessamine); 13th — Jordan Fox (Jackson County); 14th – Justin Johnson (Perry County Central); 15th — Shane Hall (Johnson Central); 16th – Troy Steward (Fleming County).Players of the Year:
* First Region — Bruce Lane (Calloway County); Second — Tim Haworth (Hopkinsville); Third — Brian Robinson (Frederick Fraize) and Josh Roberts (Hancock County); Fourth — Warren Cunningham (Barren County); Fifth — James Haire (Elizabethtown); Sixth — John Mingus (DeSales); Seventh — David Henley (Eastern); Eighth — Steve Simpson (South Oldham); Ninth — Ron Dawn (Newport Central Catholic); 10th — Chris O’Hearn (Mason County); 11th — Mike Mendenhall (Lafayette); 12th — Rodney Woods (Wayne County); 13th — Brian Evans (Knox Central) and Jerry Overby (Whitley County); 14th — Robert Hammonds (Letcher County Central); 15th — Frank Smith (Sheldon Clark); 16th — Brandon Baker (East Carter).Coaches of the Year:
* Three teams that reached the Sweet 16 have been invited to participate in the 2015 Girls’ Louisville Invitational Tournament, set for Jan. 27-31 at Bellarmine University’s Knights Hall.
Second Region champion Henderson County, state runner-up Elizabethtown and state semifinalist Ashland Blazer will join Franklin County in the field, tournament director Joyce Seymour announced.
The other 12 teams will come from the Louisville area based on their standing in the Litratings.
* Total attendance for the Girls’ Sweet 16 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green was 31,540, which was down from 2013 (39,686) but up from 2012 (30,382). Western Kentucky University’s contract to host the Girls’ Sweet 16 will run out after the 2015 event.
* Whitley County’s Brandi Smith and Magoffin County’s Jamie Castle both scored 14 points to lead the East All-Stars (Regions 9-16) to an 81-79 victory over the West (Regions 1-8) in Saturday’s KABC Girls’ All-Star Game at Warren Central.
Lafayette’s Sarah Cooley was named East MVP after posting 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ballard’s Javonna Layfield was the West MVP after scoring a game-high 17 points. Eastern’s Madison Raque added 12 points.
* Four girls’ coaches were inducted into the KABC’s Court of Honor — Andy Groves of McLean County and Hopkins County Central (Regions 1-4), Todd Gilley of Henry County (Regions 5-8), Jim Higgins of Highlands (Regions 9-12) and Larry Anderson of Whitley County (Regions 13-16).
* Sacred Heart’s DaiJia Ruffin and Raven Merriweather finished their careers among the top 15 scorers in program history.
Ruffin finished with 1,655 to rank No. 4. Merriweather totaled 1,211 to rank No. 14. Crystal Kelly is the program’s all-time leader with 2,377 points.