2007 Lexington Catholic Holiday Classic Participating Teams

2007 by Ron Harrison

Barren County  – Coach Steve Riley’s Trojans finished 13-17 last season and return a solid nucleus of players capable of competing for the 4th Region title.  6-1 Sr. Lee Hubbard averaged 20 ppg and 9 rpg last season and is considered one of the top players in the region.  The Trojans have a solid returning senior class to support Hubbard including 6-0 Cody Wooten, 5-11 Mason Myatt, 5-11 Blake Crabtree, and 5-10 Matt Riley.

Boyle County – Coach Ronnie Bottom’s Rebels finished 18-13 last season and should be one of the best teams in the 12th Region again this season.  6-2 Sr. Christian Williams (15.4 ppg) is an athletic guard who can score from anywhere on the floor.  6-5 Jr. Jordan Aumiller (11.5 ppg) has the ability to score both inside and outside.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-9 So. Rees MacShara, 6-4 Sr. Bryce Perry, 5-9 Sr. Travis Howell, and So. guard Logan Tritapoe.

Central – Coach Doug Bibby’s Yellowjackets finished 11-14 last season but are expected to be one of the best teams in the 6th Region.  Coach Bibby has a lot of talent on his roster including 6-3 Sr. Leevaughn Morris, 6-5 Sr. Leland Blanks, 5-8 Sr. Chris Starks, 5-11 Sr. Lorenzo Unseld, and 5-10 Jr. D. Robinson.  6-5 Jr. Ridge Wilson will be a big asset if he returns to the hardwood after the football season.

Christian County  – Coach Kerry Stovall’s Colonels graduated eight seniors from a team that went 28-5 last season and captured the 2nd Region title.  The Colonels graduated their top three scorers but they still return some very talented players.  5-10 DeCorrian Romero is the only returning senior and will be looked to for leadership.  6-5 So. Shaquille Wilson is expected to have a breakout season and 6-1 Jr. Corey Wilford can put points on the board.  This team will be extremely young but talented.

Clay County – Coach Kevin Spurlock’s Tigers finished 20-9 last season in his first season as head coach of the Tigers.  The Tigers should be very competitive in the balanced 13th Region this season.  6-3 Sr. Justin Hobbs (14 ppg) and 6-2 So. D. J. Wilson are two of the top returnees.  Other players expected to be key contributors include 6-4 Jr. Jeremy Garrison, 6-2 So. Kendale Reed, 6-2 Fr. Matt Mitchell, 5-10 Sr. Ryan Smith, and 5-11 Fr. Todd McDaniel.  The Tigers are young and relatively inexperienced but are athletic and can score and defend.  Clay County should improve throughout the season.

Covington Catholic – Coach Mike Listerman’s Colonels finished 24-7 last season and despite graduating four seniors are expected to be a chief contender for the 9th Region title this season.  6-2 Sr. Michael Grimes and 6-3 Jr. Luke Maile are considered two of the top players in the region.  Other top players in the rotation include 6-7 Sr. Aaron Noll, 6-0 Sr. Chris Bondick, 6-4 Sr. J. D. Schmerge, 5-11 Sr. Chris Roll, and 5-10 Jr. Mitch Shover.  Covington Catholic as usual has experienced personnel who understand the game and will dictate the tempo of the game. 

DeSales – Coach Lance Hammond’s squad finished 13-10 last season but the Colts could challenge for the 6th Region crown this season.  6-2 Sr. Jeff Mullaney, one of the top players in the region, averaged 14 ppg last season.  6-7 Sr. James Melloan averaged 9 ppg and 6 rpg last year.  Other players expected to log quality minutes this season include 5-10 Sr. Cody Cutsinger and 6-3 Sr. Nick Miles.  Coach Hammond has some talented newcomers including 6-2 So. Derek Thornberry and 6-6 So. Nick Roush.

Dixie Heights – Coach Ken Chevalier’s Colonels finished 16-16 last season and enter the 9th Region battles this season with an experienced squad.  Coach Chevalier expects 6-3 Sr. Kyle Kendall (10.5 ppg) to have a great senior campaign.  6-8 250 pound Sr. center Luke Mace averaged 9.5 ppg and 5 rpg last season.  6-3 Sr. Elfin Tyler is capable of putting up big numbers.  Other top players include 6-0 Sr. Jake Lawson and 6-2 Jr. Stephen Pompilio.  The Colonels will need to get consistent perimeter shooting to achieve their team goal.

Elliott County  – Rick Mays’ Lions finished 25-7 last season, captured the 16th Region crown, and return all their top players this season.  6-3 Jr. Jonathan Ferguson averaged 22.5 ppg last season.  6-1 Jr. Ethan Faulkner. (15.6 ppg) and 6-1 Jr. Evan Faulkner (13.2 ppg) both know how to play the game.  Other key players incude 6-2 Jr. Chris Knipp, 6-3 Jr. Jonathan Morgan, 6-1 Sr. Tyler Maynard, and 6-7 Fr. Timmy Knipp.  The Lions have a lot of firepower and Timmy Knipp adds needed size and could develop into a special player.

East Ridge (TN) – The East Ridge Pioneers are coached by John Goddard.  They are led by 6-11 Sr. Phillip Jurick who has signed with Tennessee and is a McDonald’s All-American candidate.  Other key performers include 6-1 Sr. Seneca Davision and 5-11 Sr. Dejuan Cooper (a transfer from Brainerd High School).

Franklin County  – Coach Scott Chalk’s Flyers finished 15-12 last season and while they have only one starter returning they have some nice talent returning to compete in the always tough 11th Region.  This team will be relatively inexperienced but will have good size and will be a good shooting team.  6-2 Jr. Barrett Meyer (9.3 ppg) is a returning starter.  Other potential starters include 6-0 Jr. Deron Hicks, 6-4 Jr. Ryan Conner, 6-2 So. Vance Hall, and 6-8 Jr. Andy Donovan (a transfer from Lexington Catholic).  Coach Chalk also expects to get help from last year’s very good freshmen team in Bryce Burton, Sean Thompson, Lyndon McKee, and Jordan Parris

Grace Baptist Academy (TN) – Coach Jon Mattheiss’ Screamin’ Eagles finished 19-11 last season.  5-11 So. Brandon Herman led the team in scoring with 14.3 ppg.  6-10 Sr. Carter McMasters averaged 14 ppg, 11 rpg, and 5 bpg last season.  6-8 Jr. Patrick Shaughnessy was second on the team last year in rebounds and blocks.

June Buchanan – Co-Coaches Gary and Jim Stepp’s Crusaders finished 26-7 last season and captured the 14th Region crown.  They return a lot of firepower and are favored to repeat as regional champion.  6-4 Sr. Clark Stepp averaged 25 ppg and is an excellent ballhandler and passer.  6-0 So. Tate Cox (14 ppg) and 6-1 So. Clint Stepp (9 ppg) are excellent perimeter shooters.  6-6 Sr. Trey Short and 6-9 Jr. Garrison Collins give June Buchanan an inside presence.  6-4 Sr. Joe Hall, 6-4 Jr. Brent Hall, and 6-2 Sr. Seth Hall are expected to log quality minutes.

Lafayette  – Coach Damon Kelley’s Generals finished slipped to 11-17 last season, graduated two players, lost a key player Jr. Vee Sanford, via transfer, and 6-0 Sr. Tommy Gifford (15 ppg) decided not to play basketball this year.  Coach Kelley enters the 11th Region wars searching for firepower.  5-11 Sr. guard Dante Stewart averaged 15 ppg last season and is expected to rejoin the team in January.  Coach Kelley expects a big season from 6-4 Jr. Deron Linton.  6-1 Sr. Adi Zaimovic is expected to add perimeter shooting.  Other players expected to log quality minutes are include 6-1 Jr. Tony Taylor, 6-4 Sr. Donte Turner, 6-4 Sr. Bobby Morris, 6-0 Jr. Tyler Barber, 6-3 So. Micah Miller, 5-11 So. Michael Walker, 6-0 So. John Burton, and 5-8 So. Wells Lawless.  Several players, including some talented sophs, will have opportunities to step up this season as a result of the missing firepower from last year’s team. 

Lexington Catholic – Coach Brandon Salsman’s Knights finished 23-10 last season and will challenge not only for the 11th Region but for state honors as well.  6-5 Sr. Taylor Stewart (15 ppg) is an atheltic swingman who can score.  6-5 Sr. Nathan Novosel (16 ppg) is a warrior inside and 6-6 Sr. Jordan Smart (12 ppg) has downtown range on his shot.  6-3 Jr. Taylor Botkin and 5-10 Sr. John Tribble are experienced, capable guards.  6-3 Jr. Vee Sanford transferred from Lafayette and is a versatile athlete who can play anywhere on the floor.  Coach Salsman as usual has a deep rotation and expects quality minutes from 6-3 Sr. Tyler Corvin, 6-0 Sr. guard Will Hicks, and 5-10 Sr. Zack Peffer.  Coach Salsman also brings up two talented freshmen, 6-3 Taylor Martin and 6-3 Scott Schuette.

Lexington Christian Academy – Coach Tommy Houston’s Eagles finished 10-16 last season but has an excellent team and should be improved entering the 11th Region campaign this season.  LCA suffered an early loss when 6-4 Sr. Patrick Nevitt went down with an injury but hopefully he can return later in the season.  LCA should get scoring from the trio of guards, 6-1 Jr. Tyler Townsend, 6-0 Sr. Cameron Marshall, and 5-11 Sr. Trace Helton.  6-4 So. Will Evans has rapidly improved and can score both inside and out.  6-0 Sr. Wes Rogers, 6-4 Jr. Shane Crain, 6-4 Jr. Grant Sparks, 6-3 Sr. Daniel Langley, and 6-1 So. Branden Burdette will all contribute this season.  Coach Houston’s uptempo style and hard-nosed play will nedcessitate several players logging quality time this season.

Lincoln County – Coach Jeff Jackson’s Patriots finished 24-10 last season and captured the 12th Region title.  Lincoln County graduated key players from last year’s squad but return an impressive guard trio of 6-2 Sr. Noah Keeton (10.8 ppg), 6-1 Sr. Ryan Young (13.7 ppg), and 5-11 Sr. Daniel Ralston (9.2 ppg).  6-4 Jr. Ethan Spurlin is also expected to have a big season.  Several members of the junior class are likely to contribute including 6-2 Trey Owsley, 5-9 Seth Ellis, 6-1 Drew Jackson, 5-9 Trevor Edgington, and 6-1 Skyler Gilbert.

Mason County – Coach Chris O’Hearn’s Royals finished 28-3 last season and are not only favored to capture the 10th Region title but are one of the favorites to capture the state championship.  6-7 Sr. Darius Miller is one of the favorites for Mr. Basketball this season and averaged 19 ppg and 8 rpg last season.  Miller is a versatile performer who can handle, pass, shoot, and defend anywhere on the floor.  6-7 Sr. Trevor Setty (12 ppg) has excellent range on his shot and 6-3 Jr. Russ Middleton (12 ppg) is a point guard with size who can score.  Several other Royals will contribute including 6-3 Sr. Ethan King, 6-2 Jr. Keith Downing, 6-2 Sr. Jackson Tolle, 5-9 Jr. Ryan Hamm, 5-10 Jr. Jeremy Thompson, and 6-5 So. Phil Barner.

North Oldham  – Coach Danny Edelen’s Mustangs finished 9-17 last season but has the depth, size, and experience to compete with the top teams in the 8th Region.  The Mustangs have bought into an uptempo style of play and could be a potential dark horse in the region.  North Oldham will be led by 6-3 Sr. Michael Rowan (17 ppg, 6 rpg) and 6-5 Jr. Dale Tingle (12 ppg, 5 rpg).  Other players expected to be key contributors include 6-2 Sr. Ryan Gallas, 5-10 Sr. Kevin Christian, 6-6 Jr. Kyle Feuquay, 6-2 Sr. Sam Haley, 5-10 So. Alex Foley, and 5-10 Jr. Andrew Tuller

Paintsville – Coach Bill Mike Runyon’s Tigers finished 20-10 last season and return four starters and should compete for the 15th Region title.  6-3 Sr. Landon Slone, 6-0 Sr. Blake Bundy, 6-2 Sr. Shane Grimm, and 6-2 Sr. J. D. VanHoose are returning starters.  6-3 Sr. Daniel Meade and 6-0 Sr. Jeremy Pack are also expected to be key players.  Slone, VanHoose, and Grimm are considered to be three of the best players in the region. 

St. Xavier  – Coach Joe Bergamini’s Tigers finished 9-17 last season but expect to be improved this season.  St. Xavier plays in the always strong 7th Region and have a very challenging out-of-region schedule.  Key players are expected to include 6-4 Sr. Patrick Ratterman, 6-5 Sr. Clay Naiser, 6-3 Sr. Will Brooks, 5-10 So. Wyatt Gray, 6-1 Jr. Matt Brutscher, 6-2 Jr. Dalton O’Brien, and 6-2 Jr. Brian Gunter.

Shaler Area (PA)  – The Titans are coached by Howie Ruppert and finished 16-9 last season.  6-3 Sr. swingman Dan Wirkowski averaged 16 ppg and 7.5 rpg and is also a three year letter winner in football.  Other key players include a 5-10 Sr. point guard Ben Altmeyer and 6-0 Sr. forward Matt Pendleton.

Simon Kenton – Coach Trent Steiner’s Pioneers finished 24-9 last season and graduated three of the top players in the region in Josh Hurd, Mike Hester, and Josh Elbert.  However, the Pioneers are confident they can still compete for the 8th Region title this season.  6-2 Sr. Zach Layne and 5-7 Sr. Nate Ponzer are expected to be key returnees.  6-5 265 pound Sr. center Brandon Meagley, 6-3 Sr. Josh Brown, 5-10 Sr. Jeff Slavey, and 6-0 Jr. Langdon Barnes are expected to step up this season.  The Pioneers had seven seniors on the roster last season.

White County (TN) – Coach Eric Mitchell’s Warriors finished 29-9 last season.  The Warriors are led by 6-2 Sr. Tyler Greene and 6-3 Sr. Kyle DelaneyGreene and Delaney have been named to several all-state teams in Tennessee.  6-0 Sr. Josh Brown is also a key contributor.

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.