Boyle takes a swing at No. 1
You can’t categorically say that Trinity is the best boys basketball team in Kentucky, but you can make a pretty good case for it. The Shamrocks are ranked No. 1 in the state by the Associated Press for the second straight week, and this week they’re a unanimous choice.
And they’re next for Boyle County.
Boyle plays at Trinity tonight in a game that certainly takes the concept of “playing a tough schedule” to another level. The Rebels have so far engineered an impressive turnaround after last year’s disappointing 8-19 campaign, as they are 13-5 this season and poised to earn the top seed for the 45th District Tournament. And they have played several quality opponents this season, including West Jessamine, John Hardin and Shelby County.
But Trinity is a different animal. The Shamrocks are 18-2, with their only losses coming to Shelby and Ballard in the first 16 days of the season. They have won 16 straight games since the Ballard loss, including four wins each in what are currently considered the three best invitational tournaments in the state: the King of the Bluegrass, Lexington Catholic’s Republic Bank Classic and the Louisville Invitational.
Trinity is the first team to win all three of those tournaments in the same season. It avenged its early loss to No. 2 Ballard in the LIT and has mowed down every other opponent it has faced from the powerful 7th Region, including No. 4 Eastern, No. 8 Jeffersontown and No. 9 Seneca, as well as Male and St. Xavier.
The Shamrocks have one of the top candidates for Mr. Basketball in senior guard Josh Sewell, who was named most valuable player in all three of the above tournaments and who needs just 28 points to become their all-time leading scorer.
Boyle has not played Trinity since the 1992-93 season, when the Rebels won 76-61. This game comes at a critical spot in the schedule for the Rebels, as it is game five of a seven-game stretch that includes six games against teams with winning records and four against district rivals, including a rematch of its win over Lincoln County on Friday in Stanford and a Feb. 5 game at Danville that will conclude its district schedule.
The Rebels have held their own within the 12th Region, where they are 6-2,
and ranked sixth in the latest edition of the Durden Ratings that will be published in the Advocate on Wednesday. With a rating of 84.6, they are exactly 13 points behind McCreary Central, the region’s top-ranked team. And they are roughly 20 points behind Trinity, which at 104.5 is strangely ranked only seventh in the state and fourth in the 7th Region behind Ballard (which is No. 1 in the state according to Durden), Eastern and Jeffersontown, all of which the Shamrocks have beaten.