2009 Republic Bank Holiday Classic Participating Teams

2009 by Ron Harrison

Boone County – Coach Greg McQueary’s Rebels finished 26-5 last season and will be one of the best teams in the 9th Region again this season.  The Rebels have an excellent guard combination in 6-0 Sr. Mikey Gabbard and 6-0 Sr. Ryan Popp.  6-3 Sr. Ronald Cotton is a shot rejector and athletic rebounder.  Boone County has strength in the paint in 6-4 Sr. Joey Lay and 6-4 Jr. Trevan Brown.  6-6 Sr. Andy Earls passes the ball well and has an excellent shooting touch.  6-4 Jr. Travis Montgomery is also another key returnee.

Clark County  – Coach Scott Humphrey’s Cardinals finished 25-7 last season and are expected to compete with Mason County for the 10th Region title.  Coach Humphrey must compensate for the loss of his top three guards but has an impressive array of talent at his disposal.  6-4 Jr. swingman Robbie Stenzel is a versatile scorer and solid defender.  6-8 Jr. Vinny Zollo scores in the paint and rebounds.  6-5 Jr. Corey Rogers is extremely strong around the basket.  6-7 Jr. forward Travis Purvis missed last season with an injury and could be the missing part of the puzzle for Clark County this season.  6-6 Jr. guard Jaylen Daniel is extremely athletic.

Clinton County – Coach Todd Messer’s Bulldogs finished 17-11 last season competing in the 4th Region.  Clinton County returns a good senior class including 6-3 guard Storm Burchett and 6-4 forward Brandon Durham.  Clinton County has some talented young players that will get a chance to log minutes this season.

Grayson County  – Coach Todd Johnston’s Cougars finished 26-7 last season and captured the 3rd Region title last season.  The Cougars have the talent to repeat this season.  They will be led by 5-10 Sr. point guard Travis Johnston who directs the traffic and has range on his jump shot.  Grayson County has two solid Sr. forwards returning in 6-2 Aaron Deviney and 6-2 Tyler Saltsman.  6-0 Jr. guard Hunter Gary can shoot the ball and 6-0 Sr. Dustin Thomas is a strong, hard-nosed defender.  Although Grayson County is not particularly big, they crash the boards and play an aggressive defense.

Hazard – Coach Allen Holland’s Bulldogs finished 26-9 last season and captured the 14th Region title.  They graduated most of their inside players and must find replacements to defend their regional crown.  6-0 Sr. point guard Josh Whitaker directs the offense and has good range on his jump shot.  5-11 Jr. Eric Back is a good perimeter shooter and 6-2 So. B. J. Combs should put up good numbers this season.  Other players expected to contribute include 6-1 Jr. Jon Combs, 6-1 Fr. Jordan Olinger, 6-2 So. Kyle Spencer, and 6-4 Sr. Allan Fugate.

Highlands – The Bluebirds finished 21-9 last season and Mike Flynn takes over as head coach this season.  Highlands has the talent returning to be one of the best teams in the 9th Region this season.  6-1 Sr. guard Stephen Kowolonek averaged 15 ppg last season.  6-0 Sr. forward George Grote (10 ppg) came on strong last year.  5-9 Sr. Zach Lother returns to direct the offense.  6-0 Sr. guard Stephen Gordon is also a key returnee.  The front court is well manned and experienced with 6-4 Sr. Garrett Smith-Keller, 6-6 Sr. Tyler Grubbs, 6-4 Sr. Cory Dill, and 6-4 Sr. Ben Watson.

Hopkins County Central – Coach Matt Bell’s Storm finished 23-9 last season and should be very competitive in the 2nd Region this season.  6-9 Sr. center Daniel Croft averaged 10 ppg and 8 rpg last season.  5-11 Sr. guard Je'Vonte Hughes is extremely quick to the basket.  6-3 Sr. Nikee Caldwell also started for the Storm last season.  Hopkins County Central also has experience returning in 6-4 Sr. center Shaquille Jernigan, 6-1 Sr. guard Josh Riley, and 6-4 Sr. forward Cameron Tabor

Lexington Catholic – Coach Brandon Salsman’s Knights finished 26-8 last season and captured the 11th Region title.  The Knights suffered key graduation losses but have enough talent returning to challenge for the crown again this season.  6-1 So. guard Jaylen Beckham is ultra quick and gets to the basket with ease.  6-1 Jr. guard Seth Beckham sat out last year after transferring from Bryan Station.  Beckham is athletic and scores off his mid-range jump shot.  6-8 Sr. forward Tanner Peurach is a rapidly improving inside force.  6-4 Jr. Taylor Martin is a versatile swingman with good all-around skills.  6-3 Jr. Scott Schuette can fill it up from the perimeter.  5-10 Jr. William Talbott brings a lot of energy off the bench.  Several other players will log quality minutes as Coach Salsman utilizes a deep rotation.

Male – Coach Tom Crews’ Bulldogs finished 16-12 last season playing in the extremely competitive 7th Region.  Male has an excellent guard duo returning in 5-11 Sr. D'Carlo Hayes (11.2 ppg), and 6-0 Sr. Kevin Glenn (10.5 ppg).  The Bulldogs have another double digit scorer returning in 6-3 Sr. forward Tony Horne (11 ppg).  6-2 Sr. James Pillischafske missed last season and is a deadly outside shooter.  Other players expected to contribute include 6-2 Jr. Chris Way, 6-6 Jr. Bryce Moore, and 6-0 Jr. Solomon Logan

Mercer County – Coach Nelson Cundiff’s Titans finished 15-14 last season and could suprise in the 12th Region wars this season.  6-6 Sr. Jamel Taylor and 6-2 Jr. Clay Cinnamon led the Titans in scoring last year and have a good supporting cast.  Other key returnees include 5-9 Jr. guard Austin Sagraves, 6-1 Sr. guard Kasey McRay, 6-2 Jr. forward Matthew Honchel, and 6-4 Sr. forward Jake Mayes.

McCreary Central – Coach Robert Jones’ Raiders finished 21-12 last season and are one of the favorites to capture the 12th Region title this season.  6-2 Sr. Aaron Watts is very athletic and can either score off penetration or with his long-range jumper.  6-0 Sr. Zack Roark has all-around skills and is one of the best in the region.  5-8 Sr. Ben Wright is a solid point guard and 6-5 Jr. Jacob Dixon shoots the ball and can record double digits anytime.  6-4 Sr. Tyler Perry, 6-4 Sr. Sean Privett, and promising 6-3 Fr. Tyson Williams can score inside. 

Muhlenberg County – Coach Reggie Warford takes over at this new school formed by the consolidation of North Muhlenberg and South Muhlenberg.  The Mustangs have enough talent to compete for the 3rd Region championship.  6-0 Jr. Michael Civils is a good floor leader who can score.  6-4 Sr. Joe Gabbard averaged 13 ppg last season.  Coach Warford's sons 6-4 Sr. Grant Warford and 6-0 So. Tyler Warford are talented and moved in from Pittsburgh.  Other players expected to contribute include 5-11 Jr. Kraig Farley and 5-8 Sr. Josh Hawkins.  The Mustangs have the talent and if they gel as a team could be a tough opponent this season.

Perry County Central  – The Commodores finished 25-6 last season and Coach Allen Hatcher has them poised to make a serious run for the 14th Region title this season.  5-10 Sr. point guard Jordan Amis does a good job directing the offense and 6-3 Sr. guard Chris Noble is a good perimeter shooter.  6-5 Sr. forward Tyler Mullins can score off the dribble or with his jump shot.  6-3 Sr. forward Josh Salyers and 6-4 Jr. Axl Sizemore are also key returnees.  6-3 Sr. forward Cory Martin transferred from Hazard and will be a valuable addition to the team,

Prestonsburg – Coach Jack Pack’s Blackcats finished 18-13 last season but graduated several key performers.  The Blackcats will have to rapidly rebuild to compete in the 15th Region battles this season.  6-2 Sr. guard Michael Burchett averaged 14 ppg last season and should improve that number this season.  Other players expected to contribute include 6-0 Sr. forward Cameron Tincher and 5-9 Jr. guard Warren Blackburn.  Several of the Blackcats play football and will rapidly improve once they get their basketball "legs".

Scott – Coach Brad Carr’s Eagles finished 23-9 last season and will be very competitive in the 10th Region this season.  6-1 Jr. Kellen Smith is an excellent point guard and can score off penetration or with his long-range jumper.  6-8 Sr. center Daniel O'Conner gives the Eagles an inside presence.  6-4 Sr. Keylo Jones is very athletic and is a good scorer and rebounder.  6-4 Sr. Jake Niederegger is also capable of putting up good numbers on offense. 

Seneca – Coach Steve Sergeant’s Redhawks finished 16-12 last season and return most of their firepower to compete in the 7th Region battles.  6-4 Sr. forward Aaron Neace is very athletic and averaged 15 ppg last season.  6-2 Sr. guard Zach McElwain (12.0 ppg) is an excellent shooter who can also pass the ball.  Other players expected to contribute include 6-2 Jr. Martez Harris, 6-3 Sr. Jordan Jacobs, 6-2 Jr. Kevin Shaw and 6-4 Sr. Andre Hearn.

St. Xavier  – Coach Kevin Klein’s Tigers finished 13-13 last season and return a lot of experienced players to compete in the 7th Region this season.  6-0 Sr. guard Patrick Butcher and 6-4 Sr. forward Nick Spalding both averaged over 8 ppg last season.  6-4 Sr. Matt Lohr, 6-0 Sr. Bryan Just, and 6-4 Sr. Justin Raque should log significant minutes.  The Tigers have experience (eight seniors), and size (seven players 6-4 or taller).  St. Xavier lost several games by a narrow margin and hopefully the added experience will help add to the win total.

Trinity – Coach Mike Szabo’s Shamrocks finished 22-8 last season and have a blend of experience and youth that could make them very competitive in the 7th Region this season.  6-4 Sr. guard Josh Sewell (15 ppg) is very athletic and scores off penetration or with his pull-up jumper.  6-5 Sr. swingman Taylor Epley averaged 10 ppg last season.  6-5 Jr. Chancellor Armstrong can score inside and 6-0 So. Charles Foster is an excellent defensive guard.  6-0 Fr. James Quick is a football star who is equally adept on the hardwood and the Shamrocks have a very talented sophomore class including Foster, 6-1 Troy Saxton, 6-3 Eric Zipperle, 6-2 Andrew Perito, 6-5 Nathan Dieudonne.

West Jessamine  – The Colts finished 28-9 last season and captured the 12th Region title.  Damon Kelley takes over as head coach this season and is one of the top contenders in the region.  The Colts will be led by 6-2 Sr. Jarrod Polson who distributes the ball and is a versatile scorer who can beat you in a variety of ways.  6-4 Jr. forward Dylan Pohl and 5-11 Sr. guard Keston Bartholomew provide offensive punch.  Other key players include 5-11 Sr. guard Kyle Mefford, 6-2 Sr. forward David Elliott, 6-4 Sr. forward Gus Sherrow, and 6-2 Jr. Bradley Strait

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.