KSR is covering the Kentucky high school basketball postseason, from the region tournaments all the way to the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena (March 31 – April 3). Over the next week, we’ll be providing previews of each region, updates on each round, and in-depth coverage of the finals. Today, the 16th Region Tournament tips off at Morehead State University. Here’s a preview.
The first game features the West Carter Comets taking on the Raceland Rams at 5:30 p.m. The favorite to win the tournament takes the court in the nightcap as Ashland Blazer faces off with Bath County. The Tomcats are averaging 73.0 points per contest and have won its games by an average of 12.6 points per game.
The 16th region is defensive by nature. Five teams are ranked near the top of the KHSAA in scoring defense. Elliott County leads the way after allowing a mere 47.5 points per game. The Lions are followed by Rowan County (49.6), Lewis County (52.6), and Raceland (53). The region also has three players that are averaging over 20 points per game: Zachary Otis (Bath County) 25.5 ppg, Kirk Pence (Raceland) 25.0 ppg, and Ashland’s Cole Villers’ 22.6 ppg.
Schedule (All games at Morehead State)
Saturday, March 20, 5:30 PM: West Carter (12-6) vs. Raceland (11-7)
Saturday, March 20, 8:00 PM: Ashland Blazer (17-4) vs. Bath County (7-15)
Monday, March 22, 5:30 PM: Lewis County (14-8) vs. Boyd County (14-9)
Monday, March 22, 8:00 PM: Rowan County (13-3) vs. Elliott County (8-9)
Thursday, March 25, 5:30 PM: Semifinal No. 1
Thursday, March 25, 8:00 PM: Semifinal No. 2
Saturday, March 27, 2:00 PM: Final
Team to Beat
Ashland Blazer has won over 2,000 games in its storied history. The Tomcats finished the 2020 season with an undefeated record. Its run to Rupp Arena was canceled due to COVID-19. Ashland enters the 16th region tournament as the prohibitive favorite and ranked 8th in the KSR Prep Poll.
Players to Watch
Zachary Otis (Bath County) – 25.5 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game
Kirk Pence (Raceland) – 25.0 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game
Cole Villers (Ashland Blazer) – 22.6 points per game
Colin Porter (Ashland Blazer) – 17.7 points per game
Mason Moore (Rowan County) – 19.6 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game
Carson Webb (Boyd County) – 9.2 points per game
Logan Liles (Lewis County) – 16.0 points per game
Gage Leadingham (West Carter) – 8.9 points per game
Bryson Dickerson (Elliott County) – 13.1 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game
Morehead State will allow 15% capacity, 975 fans total.
If you go to the games, remember to share your pictures with us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RoadToRupp. We’ll be posting fan galleries on the site and social media throughout the week.