Monday, February 25, 2013

Regional Tournaments Start Shaking Tonight

The next step on The Road to Rupp begins tonight as Regional Tournaments get underway.

Let's take a look at some of the best matchups for Big Monday:

The 12th region will have the best game in the state as the 2 top teams, according to the Cantrall Rankings, face off tonight. Pulaski County and Wayne County will tip off at 6pm at Lincoln County High School and there is a good possibility the winner will make it to the regional finals. Pulaski has probably been the most consistent team in the 12th and many who keep close tabs on the region think they are the favorite to make it to Rupp. Wayne County has the most wins in the 12th with a 24-7 record, but the loss to Southwestern in the district finals has set up a very tough first round opponent. I will be at the game tonight so keep an eye on @theroadtorupp on twitter for updates.

Cordia plays Breathitt County in the 1st round of the 14th region tournament at Letcher County Central. The Lions, led by senior point guard Emmanuel Owootoah, have been impressive over the last couple of months since Owootoah and Marlon King were ruled eligible. The key for Cordia is big man Dondre Warren, who shot 2-11 in the district tournament loss to Knott County. If Warren can finish around the basket as he did vs. Letcher Central, and keep grabbing boards (17 vs. Knott), Breathitt County will have their hands full. The word out of Jackson is Breathitt might have a couple players ineligible due to some type of KHSAA suspension, but nothing is confirmed. If true though, Cordia would be my pick to have their rematch with Perry Central in the semifinals.

Pikeville plays Pike Central at 8pm in the East KY Expo Center in Pikeville. Pike Central always plays the Panthers tough, dropping 2 games in the regular season by an average of 7 points. The big question for the Panthers will be the play of Ray Kansongo, who could be the best player in the mountains on any given night, or a liability to the rest of the team when he has to go to the free throw line. The young Panthers will have to get out of the gate early and keep Pike Central from hanging around or there could be an upset in the making. I don't think that will happen as Ethan Rowe and Kansongo will be too much for the Hawks. Would be a great matchup with Johnson Central in the 2nd round if both advance.

An exciting time continues tonight, and as you can tell, both Rowan County and Oldham County are excited.

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