THE NEXT FOUR

Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday) - - Basketball -

Last sea­son’s record in paren­the­ses

2. Franklin County (20-15): The Fly­ers had won three straight 11th Re­gion ti­tles be­fore Scott County knocked them off in last year’s fi­nals. Brook­lynn Miles, an ex­cit­ing sopho­more with mul­ti­ple Di­vi­sion I schools re­cruit­ing her, is back after sit­ting out last sea­son.

3. Paul Lau­rence Dun­bar (22-10): Miss Bas­ket­ball chal­lenger Mashayla Ce­cil is now at EKU but Dun­bar is ex­pected to be the top team in the city once more, and pos­si­bly for the next few years since sev­eral fresh­men are ex­pected to play big roles in 2018-19.

4. Wood­ford County (18-15): Three se­niors grad­u­ated but they took an av­er­age of only seven points with them away from the Yel­low Jack­ets, who will look to make a deeper run after back-to­back ex­its in round one of the re­gion tour­na­ment.

5. Henry Clay (19-12): The Blue Devils would be fa­vored in sev­eral districts around the state but hap­pen to re­side in Scott County’s. They’ll also rely on sev­eral younger play­ers but se­nior Kiya Thomp­son

(13.4 ppg last sea­son) will lead their ef­fort.

TOP 11 PLAY­ERS (In al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der)

Jay Bal­lard, Lex­ing­ton Catholic (Sr.): Knights Coach Steve True says Bal­lard is one of the hard­est work­ing play­ers he’s ever coached. She av­er­aged 16.8 points and 4.1 re­bounds last sea­son but is re­cov­er­ing from off­sea­son

The Cats’ Pause

tabbed Jack­son as one of its pre­sea­son front-run­ners for Miss Bas­ket­ball. Lack of team suc­cess might keep the sec­ondyear Bron­cos from get­ting their first win­ner, but her pro­duc­tion sure won’t: she av­er­aged 26 points last sea­son, fifth­most in the state.

Brook­lynn Miles, Franklin County (So.): Miles played big min­utes for the Fly­ers on the last two of their three straight 11th Re­gion cham­pi­onship teams from 2015-2017 but didn’t play high school ball last sea­son. Her re­turn could be a gamechanger in the hunt for state.

Maaliya Owens,

Scott County (Sr.): The Ten­nessee Tech signee is Scott County’s top re­turn­ing scorer and a con­tender for 11th Re­gion Player of the Year. Scott County has not had a Miss Bas­ket­ball win­ner since Rebecca Gray in 2007.

Kiya Thomp­son, Henry Clay (Sr.): Blue Devils Coach Eric San­ford called Thomp­son “the best-kept se­cret in Ken­tucky” and be­lieves the 5-7 combo guard will be in con­tention for Player of the Year con­sid­er­a­tion by year’s end.

Malea Wil­liams, Scott County (Jr.): Ge­or­gia, St. John’s, Bos­ton Col­lege and Cincin­nati are among the schools that have of­fered Wil­liams, a stringy 6-2 for­ward whose role with the Car­di­nals should swell this sea­son.

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