With the end of another Basketball season, the inevitable questions arise. Meaning, what’s next? The future looks bright for so many teams in the 5th Region even if the cast of participants look a little different.
Louisville Trinity may have won another State Title (in basketball this time), but the boys season really doesn’t stop after the KHSAA State Tournament concludes in Rupp Arena. Maybe the sport takes a hiatus for a little while, but summer basketball tournaments will start soon and then offseason gyms will be open. Finally, November will be here before you know it.
In short, let’s take a look at next season and make some quick takes.
Central Hardin may have lost Jacob Hobbs, but there will be Gavin George and Chase Elmore to lead another cast of characters for Matt Nickell’s Bruins which always seem to put together a competitive team no matter who they lose.
North Hardin appeared to have fallen on hard times again after the Dream Class of Jackson, Young, Harris, Brandon Maxwell and Will Alexander graduated, but there could be reason to believe that they could be back on top soon with Josh Moore, Jalen Sharps and Naasir Johnson coming back. The Trojans have always been an athletic team and all they need is some more experience.
Elizabethtown showed lots of improvement after losing all five starters from the previous season and with guards Jaquais Franklin, Camden Williams and Myles Fields they will be in good shape. James Haire’s team had to survive a learning curve in the 5th Region and did a marvelous job. The good thing is these guys were sophomores and now will learn how well they have progressed quickly in a very tough District.
Coach Montelle Irvin’s Marion County Knights may have made the biggest move making a Final Four appearance in the Region Tournament before falling to John Hardin. The Knights could be a threat for seasons to come with only one senior in the starting lineup. John Adams, Tyshay Epps, Mason Sullivan and Jamison Epps lead an athletic group that won 22-games.
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Once again, LaRue County came up just short and it took an overtime thriller against eventual Region Runner-up Taylor County to oust them. Still, coach Paul Childress will have a great team returning despite losing three starters meaning forward Mark Goode will be a key component in the team’s game plan next season.
Taylor County surprised many with a great comeback season after winning just five games the previous season and it looks like first season coach Jeff Gumm might have another Region final team in the making even though they did lose All Area guard TreVon Smith, DeJhon Irvin, Cooper Parks and Grant McQueary. Gumm will rebuild next season’s team out of Nick Knifley and a cast of characters.
Also, the question remains whether Washington County, Bardstown, Adair County and Hart County can build around the success that they have had in the past. Only time will tell.
And then last but not least we have the John Hardin Bulldogs, who dared to be immortal starting out 35-0 before finally discovering that they were human. Yes! the Bulldogs lost some starters that were key parts in the Bulldogs offensive machine, but they have plenty where that came from. Alex Matthews, Trevon Harris and Preston Murrell will be back and if the Region believes that this group will be a push over then they better take a close look at last season’s team which lost Mickey Pearson and Malik Wright and were caught looking after the regular season passed by them.
So, nothing really changes, but the players and that’s what makes the sport what it is.