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Dan Weber: Boys, Girls Basketball State Rankings; Boys All-A Preview

Dan Weber writes a sports column for The River City News. Contact him at

If the first Associated Press high school boys basketball rankings of 2022 are any sign, it’s going to be a season-long head-to-head race between Winchester’s George Rogers Clark and Covington Catholic for the top spot. And as Northern Kentucky observers can tell you from experience over the years, the votes are downstate mostly. Which explains why No. 1 GRC finished with nine of the panel’s dozen first-place votes to second-place CovCath’s two and 117 total points to the Colonels’ 101. 

Now neither team has played one another nor lost to a Kentucky team although they both were in the King of Bluegrass Tournament won by CovCath which saw GRC eliminated in the second round by a South Carolina team that also did not make the finals. CovCath beat No. 4 North Laurel 79-67 for the title after North Laurel eliminated the South Carolina team. In GRC’s favor is the fact that the Cardinal has gone on to beat both No. 3 Ballard and North Laurel since then while CovCath has beaten No. 5 Louisville Male.

No other Northern Kentucky team made the Top 10 with the voting, records and total points breaking down this way: 1. George Rogers Clark (9), 11-1, 117; 2. Covington Catholic (2), 12-2, 101; 3. Ballard, 10-4, 86; 4. North Laurel, 10-3, 68; 5. Male, 8-3, 54; 6. Pulaski County, (1), 15-0, 48; 7. Lexington Catholic, 11-3, 32; 8. Ashland Blazer, 9-4, 28; 9. Bowling Green, 10-2, 27; 10. Warren Central, 10-1, 21. Others receiving votes: Woodford County 17. Manual 12. Perry County Central 7. Murray 6. McCracken County 6. Lincoln County 5. Madison Central 5. Pikeville 5. Jeffersontown 4. Boyle County 3. Cooper 2. Greenwood 1. Madisonville-North Hopkins 1. North Oldham 1.

*** NO. 4 NOTRE DAME TOPS LOCALS IN GIRLS VOTE: Notre Dame Academy’s 9-1 Pandas, at No. 4 in the state in girls high school basketball rankings, top Northern Kentucky’s teams this week with Ryle at No. 8 and Dixie Heights tied for No. 9. Here are the numbers and leaders: 1. Sacred Heart (12), 13-1, 120; 2. Bullitt East, 13-1, 94; 3. George Rogers Clark, 11-1, 93; 4. Notre Dame, 9-1, 75; 5. Anderson County, 12-1, 66; 6. McCracken County, 12-1,53; 7. Franklin County, 11-1, 38; 8. Ryle, 10-2, 23; 9; (tie) Pikeville, 11-1, 12; 9. (tie) Bowling Green, 8-3, 12; 9. (tie) Dixie Heights, 11-2; 12; Others receiving votes: Russell 10. Marshall County 9. Corbin 9. North Laurel 6. Mercy 6. Southwestern 4. Berea 3. Henderson County 3. Male 3. Danville 3. Breckinridge County 3. Owensboro Catholic 2. Pulaski County 1.

Here are this week's voters according to the AP: Daily News, Bowling Green; Enquirer, Cincinnati; Times-Tribune, Corbin; The News-Enterprise, Elizabethtown; The Gleaner, Henderson; Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington; Courier-Journal, Louisville; The Ledger Independent, Maysville; Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro; The Commonwealth-Journal, Somerset; WSON, Henderson.

*** TWO NKU WOMEN’S GAMES VICTIMS TO COVID: With the announcement that NKU’s women’s basketball home games Friday against Robert Morris and Sunday against Youngstown State have been “canceled due to Covid-19 implications,” it’s hard to say what happened or what will happen. Will they be forfeits or no-contests? Was this a case that involved all three teams – or just NKU or maybe just the visitors? And will the games be rescheduled?

Here’s what we do know according to the NKU press release: “Given the surge in positive cases due to the Omicron variant, the (Horizon League) Council agreed that a high volume of breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals is considered extraordinary. Pending a review, the Horizon League will make a determination on whether the game will be deemed a forfeit or a no contest. If needed, additional updates to the schedule will be announced at a later date.” Got that? Didn’t think so.

*** NHSSCA NAMES BEECHWOOD’S NEFF: The National High School Strength Coaches Association has named Beechwood’s Logan Neff as the association’s Kentucky State Director. Neff is the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Beechwood Independent Schools.

*** ALL “A” CLASSIC BOYS TOURNEY FEATURES STATE LEADERS: The state’s leading scorer, Holy Cross’s Jacob Meyer, and its top rebounding team, Dayton’s Greendevils, are both featured in the 43rd annual Boys Ninth Region All “A” Classic Basketball Tournament next week hosted by Villa Madonna. Meyer has edged ahead at the No. 1 spot with his 40.6 points a game over No. 2 Justin Becker from Robertson County who is at 39.7 ppg. Dayton, meanwhile, with 41.9 rebounds a game, tops the state in that category.

With 15 championships since 1990, Newport Central Catholic has been the dominant power here with St. Henry having won seven and Holy Cross six All “A” regional titles. Newport has two titles with Walton-Verona and Beechwood one each.

Two games will open play Monday with Villa Madonna facing Dayton at 6 p.m. and Bellevue against Holy Cross at 7:45. Tuesday’s doubleheader has Heritage against the VMA-Dayton winner at 6 and NewCath against Ludlow at 7:45 in the upper bracket. On Wednesday, it’s Beechwood vs. the Bellevue-Holy Cross winner at 6 and in the final opening round game in the lower bracket, it’s St. Henry vs. Newport. Semifinals will be at 6 and 7:45 Friday with the championship game set for 7 Saturday.

--Dan Weber