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The easy selection when picking the best teams and players in 2011-12 Fifth Region basketball is choosing Marion County’s Lady Knights to repeat as the girls’ champion for a third year.
Coach Trent Milby’s club does return three of the region’s and state’s best players in juniors Makayla Epps and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (both committed to Louisville) and senior Bre Elder (signed with Dayton).
Matter of fact the girls’ Fifth Region is loaded in talent as Green County’s Micah Jones signed this month with Western Kentucky and Lindsey Burd of Hart County has committed to Campbellsville.
Elizabethtown was hit hard by graduation, but does have more talented underclassmen to keep their title quest in place. Look for Nelson County to win the 19th District and Hart County, Green County and LaRue County battle for the 18th.
The boys’ race is a bit tougher to handicap. However, there seems to be only three teams in the running to wear the crown in March.
Defending champion Bardstown does bring back seven of its top 10 players while runner-up John Hardin is also strong as is perennial power North Hardin.
After that, the next five or six teams could all move up to the fourth slot in the top 10.
After North Hardin and John Hardin battle for the 17th District supremacy, Marion County is the favorite in the boys’ 20th (but try telling that to defending champion Taylor County), Bardstown over Bethlehem in the 19th and LaRue County in front of Caverna in the 18th.
The top five boys’ players appear to be point guard Anthony Myrks from Bardstown, North Hardin’s Jermaine Ruttley (who missed the 2010-11 season with an injury), Jordan Cooper of Bethlehem, North Hardin’s Adam Hendrix and Brandon Price from John Hardin.
Fifth Region 2011-12 basketball ratings
Boys’ teams Girls’ teams
1. North Hardin 1. Marion County
2. Bardstown 2. Elizabethtown
3. John Hardin 3. Nelson County
4. Marion County 4. Hart County
5. Bethlehem 5. North Hardin
6. Taylor County 6. Green County
7. LaRue County 7. Washington County
8. Adair County 8. Adair County
9. Caverna 9. LaRue County
10. Central Hardin 10. John Hardin
11. Elizabethtown 11. Taylor County
12. Nelson County 12. Bardstown
13. Fort Knox 13. Central Hardin
14. Green County 14. Bethlehem
15. Washington County 15. Campbellsville
16. Campbellsville 16. Caverna
17. Hart County 17. Fort Knox
Boys’ top players
1. Anthony Myrks (Bardstown), 2. Jermaine Ruttley (North Hardin), 3. Jordan Cooper (Bethlehem), 4. Adam Hendrix (North Hardin), 5. Brandon Price (John Hardin), 6. Jordan Brewer (Bardstown), 7. Kelton Ford (LaRue County), 8. Kyle Sheeran (LaRue County), 9. Jauan Akins (North Hardin), 10. Kyle Young (Adair County), 11. Carlos Litsey (Marion County), 12. Trae Wells (Taylor County).
Girls’ top players
1. Makayla Epps (Marion County), 2. Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Marion County), 3. Bre Elder (Marion County), 4. Micah Jones (Green County), 5. Lindsey Burd (Hart County), 6. Chanel Roberts (North Hardin), 7. Ivy Brown (LaRue County), 8. Mercedes Cox (Adair County), 9. Alexis Brewer (LaRue County), 10. Cierra Drake (Nelson County), 11. Michelle Montgomery (John Hardin), 12. A.J. Lewis (Nelson).