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🚌“The Road To Rupp”, Regionals Loom as Shot at Glory Awaits in Lexington🏀

@CoachRyanKY 🦉

This entire venture into sports journalism has been quite the journey for me. It has taken me to gyms in high schools all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Slamming away at articles and content in hopes of one day achieving my dream. For those who don’t know, my "Hardwood Chronicles" started when I was in college as a manager for the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Sure, I got a degree, but I studied the hardwood inside of “Colonel-ville” with much more passion and intention than what the Stratton School of Justice Studies across campus could provide me. I experienced an amazing ride with some amazing stories, (that’s called a tease), I will tell those stories one day when the time is right. That is a very long winded way of saying that I love the game of basketball. I love the smell of the freshly waxed floor. I love the smell of the concession stands filling the concourse. I love the bands. I love everything about the game…it is my happy place. I am always brainstorming ideas to bring positive content about athletics in our beautiful home state. My idea for today felt like one that comes from a well informed place and is purely for your entertainment. It’s “personnel” not personal. Today we are going to be picking the teams......who in my opinion, will be cutting down the nylon and heading to Rupp Arena to compete for their shot at hometown glory in the KHSAA State Basketball Tournament.

Region 1: Calloway County

Player to Watch: Eli Finley, 6’1” G

(What to watch for: Eli Finley and Jonah Butler, both juniors, execute the pick-and-pop at an elite level. Look for them to center their offense around this concept.)

Region 2: Lyon County

Player to Watch: Jack Reddick, 6’3” G

(What to watch for: The Lyon’s Brady Shoulders will be the primary rebounder and look to get Reddick the ball in transition. Reddick, whom recently committed to “Dunk City” aka Florida Gulf Coast University will look to dish the rock to All-Time KHSAA Leading Scorer, Travis Perry, to convert quick buckets on their offensive end.)

Region 3: Butler County

Player to Watch: Ty Price, 5’9” G

(What to watch for: Price, an undersized guard, is a shot taker….AND a shot maker as well. Look for him to be the primary focal point on Offense for the Bears.)

Region 4: Warren Central

Player to Watch: Kade Unseld, 6’5” Combo

(What to watch for: Unseld signed with the hometown WKU Hilltoppers. They look to repeat as State Champions.)

Region 5: Adair County

Player to Watch: Isaiah Cochran, 6’7” F

(What to watch for: The Indian’s Conor Loy willingly feeds Cochran the ball, Loy can score in droves if he heats up. Cochran gobbles up boards on both ends at a high clip.)

Region 6: Evangel Christian

Player to Watch: Christian Doerr, 6’2” G

(What to watch for: Doerr recently took a trip to Morehead State University for an official visit. Scores the basketball well but is a willing passer to open teammates.)

Region 7: DuPont Manual

Player to Watch: Justice Decker, 6”5” Combo

(What to Watch for:  Manual went on a 6 game winning streak in February, showing that they can string together the wins necessary to have post season success. Decker can provide for tough matchups on both ends as he is very athletic and possesses a good knowledge of basic basketball principles.)

Region 8: North Oldham

Player to Watch: Coach David Levitch

(What to Watch for: The Green team from Goshen are efficient, like really efficient. They are the second most efficient team in the country in points per possession, trailing only the basketball factory Montverde Academy in Florida.)

Region 9: Newport

Player to Watch: Taylen Kinney, 6’ G

(What to Watch for: Kinney holds interest from most major Division 1 programs. He is a deadeye shooter and can get his shot off quickly. If he gets hot, Newport is a tough out.)

Region 10: George Rogers Clark

Player to Watch: Reshaun Hampton, 5’10” G

(What to Watch for: The Cardinals have found a way to win tight games late. Large part in due to Hampton’s veteran leadership running point.)

Region 11: Great Crossing

Player to Watch: Malachi Moreno, 7’1” F

(What to Watch for: Moreno, a junior for the Warhawks, is the #42 Ranked Recruit in the ESPN Top 100 for the c/o 2025. Enough said.)

Region 12: Danville Christian Academy

Player to Watch: Lual Ayiei, 6’11” C

(What to Watch for: Ayiei has a slim frame but runs the floor like a guard. He can beat you in transition if you don’t have your running shoes on.)

Region 13: Harlan County

Player to Watch: Trent Noah, 6’7” G

(What to Watch for: Noah is committed to the red hot South Carolina Gamecocks for next season. He hopes to leave Harlan as a state champion as Mr. Basketball seems out of the picture.)

Region 14: Breathitt County

Player to Watch: Austin Sperry, 6”4” G

(What to Watch for: Back to defend their regional crown, Sperry will hope to generate offense by beating on ball defense with flashy speed and nice athleticism.)

Region 15: Pikeville

Player to Watch: Charlie Fitzer, 6’9” F

(What to Watch for: Don’t be fooled by his height, he will pull it from deep if open.)

Region 16: Ashland

Player to Watch: Zander Carter, 6’4” G

(What to Watch for: This team plays with high expectations from coaches and fans alike. The pressure will be on them to return to Rupp Arena.)

My State Champion Pick………

The Great Crossing Warhawks

My Mr. Basketball Pick………

Travis Perry, Lyon County 6’2” G

Whew! What a journey that was. I hope you enjoyed my picks, I highly encourage you to find your way into a regional tournament this week. You’ll be in for a treat as the KHSAA boasts some of the best post season prep basketball in the “Home of the Brave.”

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