2008 Republic Bank Holiday Classic Participating Teams

2008 by Ron Harrison

Adair County  – Coach Mark Fudge’s Indians finished 27-6 last season and should contend for the 5th Region title this season.  6-7 Sr. forward/center. Darren Ballou averaged 17.4 ppg and 9.4 rpg last season.  5-9 Sr. point guard. Nick Fudge is an excellent floor general who averaged 7 ppg and 7 apg last season.  Other returning starters are 5-9 Sr. Corey Helm (9.6 ppg) and 6-3 Sr. center Cameron Murrell (4 ppg).  Other players expected to contribute include 6-2 Sr. Chaz Giles, 6-3 Jr. Kyle Sandusky, 5-9 Jr. Tristan Reece, 6-2 Fr. Kyle Young, 6-2 Jr. Jacob Pyles, and 6-1 So. Jon Hansel.

Boone County – Coach Greg McQueary’s Rebels finished 21-8 last season and are expected to be one of the best teams in the 9th Region this season.  6-5 Sr. Steven McFarland (11 ppg) led the Rebels in steals and rebounds.  6-6 Jr. Andy Earls averaged 14 ppg and 6 rpg last season.  6-0 Jr. Mikey Gabbard (8 ppg) led the team in assists.  6-0 Jr. Ryan Popp (6 ppg) had a good summer and is expected to be a key contributor.  Other key returning players are 5-11 Sr. Andrew Brown, 6-2 Sr. Cory Spalding, 5-11 Jr. Josiah Schulze, 6-3 Jr. Ron Cotton, and 6-4 So. Trevan Brown.

Clark County  – Coach Scott Humphrey’s Cardinals finished 22-8 last season and should challenge for the 10th Region crown this season.  6-4 So. Robbie Stenzel has an excellent outside shot and can get to the basket.  6-8 So. Tyler Zollo transferred from a school in Ohio and has solid skills in the paint.  6-2 Sr. Robert Hatton can score off the dribble or with his jump shot.  Other key players include 6-5 So. Jaylen Daniel, 5-7 Sr. Ryan Williams, and 6-4 So. Corey Rogers.  The Cardinals suffered a setback when they lost talented 6-6 So. Travis Purvis with an ACL injury.

duPont Manual – Coach Jimmy Just’s Crimsons finished 21-9 last season and will contend for the 7th Region title.  Manual lost a future star when 6-4 So. Tony Kimbro transferred out-of-state.  However, they return 6-4 Sr. Jacob Jenkins (17 ppg) who is a deadly long-range marksman.  5-11 Jr. Sean Samsel is also a good perimeter shooter.  6-10 Jr. Aleksandar Nikolic is an improving big man who should give Manual production in the paint.  6-1 Sr. Harold Calhoun and 6-2 Jr. Miles Mitchell are also key returnees.

Fort Myers (FL) – Coach Scott Guttery is no stranger to the Bluegrass.  He graduated from Centre College in 2001.  Coach Guttery took over as head coach at Fort Myers in 2007 and led the Greenwave to a 26-4 record.  6-11 Sr. Josh Nicholas and 6-4 Jr. swingman Colin Henry are expected to provide scoring and rebounding.  6-3 So. guard Evin Graham can score and dish the ball.  6-4 So. Matt Yance, 6-1 Jr. Terran McClendon, and 6-3 Sr. John Michael Hodge are all expected to log quality minutes.

Hazard – Coach Al Holland’s Bulldogs finished 31-5 last season and are favored to capture the 14th Region crown again this season.  6-0 Jr. point guard Josh Whitaker (17 ppg) is an excellent floor general who can shoot the ball.  6-5 Sr. Justin Jones (12 ppg) is effective inside and can shoot the mid-range jumper.  6-4 Sr. Michael Campbell (15 ppg) is athletic and strong and hard to defend inside .  6-5 Sr. Robert Warren is a dependable scorer.  The Bulldogs have several other quality returnees including 6-3 Jr. Cory Martin (8 ppg) and promising 6-1 Fr. B. J. Combs

Hopkins County Central – Coach Matt Bell’s Storm finished 14-16 last season but ex[ects to be greatly improved this season and contend for the 2nd Region title.  6-10 Sr. Chuck Jones has the ability to score both inside and out.  6-9 Jr. Dan Croft has greatly improved and should be a force in the paint.  5-9 Sr. Corey Coble will provide stability in the backcourt.

Knott County Central – Coach Justin Amburgey’s Patriots finished 16-11 last season and have the firepower to challenge for the top spot in the 14th Region this year.  6-2 Jr. Stuart Stamper (25 ppg) is a good ballhandler and a versatile scorer.  6-1 Jr. Tate Cox, who transferred from June Buchanan, has good all-around skills and is a deadly perimeter shooter.  The Patriots have several solid players returning including 6-5 Jr. Braxton Ratliff, 6-4 Sr. Jarrod Amburgey, 6-4 Sr. Brent Hall, and 6-5 Sr. Richard Caudill.

Lexington Catholic – Coach Brandon Salsman’s Knights finished 32-4 last season but graduated eight seniors including several key players.  Although Lexington Catholic will be an inexperienced team, they have one of the best guard combinations in the state in Vee Sanford and Taylor Botkin.  6-3 Sr. Vee Sanford (13 ppg) has a complete game and defends well.  6-2 Sr. Taylor Botkin is a steady guard who could have an excellent year.  6-4 So. Taylor Martin and 6-0 Fr. Jaylen Beckham are expected to provide immediate help.  Other players expected to log quality minutes include 6-7 Jr. Tanner Peurach, 6-3 So. Scott Schuette, 5-10 So. William Talbott, and 6-7 Jr. Hall Conrad.

Lexington Christian Academy – Coach Tommy Huston’s Eagles will have size and good perimeter shooting which will help them compete in the strong 11th Region competition.  6-6 Jr. Will Evans has good skills and a nice shooting touch.  6-4 Sr. Grant Sparks has improved and added strength.  6-2 Jr. Branden Burdette is a capable scorer who can put up points in a hurry.  Other players expected to contribute this season include 6-3 Sr. Storm Cherry, 5-11 So. Carlton Helton, 5-9 Jr. Will Kindred, 6-0 Sr. Brandon Heilig, 6-1 Jr. Evan Stephens, 6-3 Jr. Charlie Gullette, and 5-11 Fr. Taylor Barnette.  Barnette can shoot the ball and could make an immediate impact for the Eagles.  Coach Huston’s system utilizes a lot of players which will allow several to log quality minutes.

Madisonville-North Hopkins  – Marty Cline takes over as head coach this season and the Maroons finished 22-10 last season and should compete for the 2nd Region title.  6-7 Sr. Jon Hood (23.8 ppg) is a leading candidate for Mr. Basketball and is a versatile scorer with range on his shot.  Other players expected to be key contributors include 6-0 Sr. L. J. Gregory, 6-0 Sr. Carl Hatchett, 5-11 Sr. Ryan Robinson, 6-0 So. Dylan Basham, 5-9 Jr. Isiah White, 6-0 Jr. Robert Hatchett, and 6-3 Jr. Joe Kington

McCreary Central – Coach Robert Jones’ Raiders finished 24-5 last season and are a slight favorite to capture the 12th Region title.  6-2 Jr. guard Aaron Watts (22.2 ppg) is a skilled player who can score off the dribble or knock down the long-range jump shot.  The Raiders will depend on several talented young players to help Watts shoulder the scoring load.  Some players expected to be key include 6-5 So. Jacob Dixon, Jr. Zack Roark, and Jr. Ben Wright.

Newport Central Catholic – Coach Grant Brannen’s Thoroughbreds finished 16-10 last season and once again will be very competitive in the 9th Region.  5-9 Sr. Jeramie Connor is a good three point shooter and Coach Brannen expects quality play from 5-11 Sr. Brian Gish, 6-3 Sr. Matt Giesler, 6-2 Sr. Steffen Roll, and 6-3 Sr. Jake Olberding.  5-6 Jr. Grant Pangallo and 6-1 Jr. Shaun Meyer are also expected to contribute.

Perry County Central  – The Commodores finished 14-19 last season but improved as the season progressed under Coach Allen Hatcher and could challenge for the 14th Region crown this season.  Perry County Central returns four starters in 6-3 Jr. forward Chris Noble, 6-4 Sr. center Klay Maggard, and the guard combination of 6-2 Sr. Deron Amis, and 5-10 Jr. Jordan Amis.  Other players expected be key contributors this season include 6-3 So. Axl Sizemore, 6-4 Jr. Josh Salyers, 6-5 Jr. Tyler Mullins, and 5-11 Sr. Jacob Watts.

St. Xavier  – The Tigers finished 6-19 last season and Kevin Klein takes over as head coach this season.  Coach Klein’s squad has some talent returning and has worked hard to improve to compete in the always tough 7th Region.  6-5 Sr. Brian Gunter and 6-4 Sr. Dalton O’Brien are capable inside players.  St. Xavier 5-11 Jr. Patrick Butcher is a good perimeter shooter.  6-3 Jr. Matt Lohr is also a key returning player

Trinity – Coach Mike Szabo’s Shamrocks finished 11-14 last season but despite being young and playing in the very competitive 7th Region, should be much improved this season.  6-4 Jr. wing player Josh Sewell is very athletic and a versatile scorer.  The Shamrocks should get leadership from seniors 6-3 Melvyn Little, 6-8 Trapper Graff, and 6-2 Caleb Hammon.  6-4 Jr. Taylor Epley, 5-10 Jr. Daniel Corbett, and 6-4 So. Chancellor Armstrong are also key returnees.  5-10 Fr. Chris Harrison is a good ballhandler and shooter who should make an immediate impact.

Please send your comments and questions to Ron Harrison at prephoops@yahoo.com.

Ron Harrison’s reports on this and other basketball events appear on http://www.kyprephoops.com.