The halfway point of the basketball season came and went when I wasn’t looking, but it isn’t far behind us, so I’m taking the opportunity to assess the health of all 16 area teams with roughly 5 1/2 weeks of the regular season remaining.
Some teams have much more spring in their steps than many of us thought they would, while others are looking a little sickly. Here are the reports from my 16 house calls:
In excellent health: No area team is in better shape so far than Garrard County, which shares the 12th Region’s best winning percentage with its 12-3 record and has been apparently playing some really good basketball. (In the interest of full disclosure, the Golden Lions are one of the few teams I haven’t seen yet, so I’m just reading the charts so far.) Burgin, which had the best record in the region until last night, also fits into this category even though district rival West Jessamine dropped 100 points on the Bulldogs last night.
And never mind losses like that one. Both of these teams are performing much better than the prognosis they were given in November, which is what I’m basing much of these ratings on.
Clean bill of health: Put Lincoln County in this category, as the Patriots seemed to have gotten back on track after catching a bug during the holidays. Mercer County belongs here despite its losing record, because many of its losses have been to good teams in close games, and for now I’m going to throw out last night’s beatdown by John Hardin. Kentucky School for the Deaf falls here, too, as the Colonels try to ready themselves for the upcoming Mason-Dixon Tournament.
Needing follow-up visits: Danville must be closely monitored, as the Admirals have been all over the graph so far with impressive wins such as its victories over McCreary Central and Adair County this week and lopsided losses to teams such as South Oldham and Lincoln County, which it had beaten two weeks earlier. The Ads have shown remarkable progress lately, but they’re not out of the woods.
In poor health: Boyle County has gotten better since losing its first seven games but is still weakened by a lack of consistent offensive production. And four of Casey County’s five wins have come against two of the region’s weakest teams, Monticello and Somerset, so these Rebels are in need of a shot in the arm as well.
In excellent health: It should be no surprise to find Casey County and Lincoln County under this heading. The two teams are combined 27-5, with barely so much as a hiccup so far as they prepare for a run at the regional title. Only one of them can win, and perhaps neither of them will, but both should be counted among the very bet teams in their schools’ histories by season’s end.
Clean bill of health: Players at Boyle County and Garrard County have taken their medicine, followed doctor’s orders and recovered considerably faster than expected. These two teams have combined to go 22-7, beating the teams they should beat and surprising some others along the way.
Needing a follow-up visit: Mercer County has managed 10 wins, but has also lost six games by an average of 18.2 points each. The Titans can look really good on some nights and really bad on others, and we’re really not sure what to make of that yet, so we’ll order further tests and bill the insurance company.
In poor health: It probably sounds more serious than it is to Danville, Burgin and Kentucky School for the Deaf to be listed here, but all of these teams simply lack the strength they need because they’re just too young. My advice: Eat your vegetables and get stronger. (I’m not a pediatrician, after all.)