Simon Kenton remains atop the Northern Kentucky Girls’ Power 9 this week, largely unchallenged by another Northern Kentucky foe. While No. 1 is firmly in the Pioneers’ grasp, Week 3 of our rankings saw more movement in the 3-5 spots with hot-handed Scott surging to No. 3.
Here’s a closer look at the third edition of the Power 9, based on strength of schedule, overall statistical success and our staff observations from the season.
1. Simon Kenton
Record: 13-3 (Last week: 1)
This week’s opponents: Versus Franklin County at Scott County Toyota Classic Thursday, versus Scott County at Scott County Toyota Class Friday, versus Ryle at Scott County Toyota Classic Saturday and at Boone County Monday.
Simon Kenton’s winning streak is now eight straight and the Pioneers continue to run roughshod over area teams, most recently beating Grant County, 71-35, Jan. 14.
Now seven area teams are among the 13 foes to fall to the Pioneers, including Scott twice. Scott is the only area team to play Simon Kenton within 28 points in a 58-46 final Jan. 4.
Junior guard Allyson Niece leads the Simon Kenton offense with 16.9 points per game. Junior forward Shelby Harmeyer has added 10.8 points per game with senior center Madi Meier at 9.5, freshman guard Maggi Jones 8.4, junior guard Bailee Harney at 8.3 and freshman guard Morgan Stamper at 5.9.
The Pioneers were again ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Kentucky girls’ basketball poll this week and are the only local team ranked in the top 10.
Record: 13-3 (Last week: 2)
This week’s opponents: Versus Holy Cross Thursday, versus Southwestern Saturday.
DuPont Manual, ranked No. 5 in the latest AP state poll, ended the Bulldogs’ six-game winning streak in a 48-45 final Jan. 14, but the Bulldogs still sit firmly at No. 2 this week.
The defending 9th Region champs have won 11 of 13 overall. Sophomore guard Kamari Graham leads four Bulldogs averaging double figures with 14.7 points per game. Junior guard Laila Johnson has added 14.4 points per game with senior guard Jaynice Stovall at 12.9 and junior forward Tyrah McClendon-Englemon at 10.7 points per game with a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game.
Record: 10-7 (Last week: 4)
This week’s opponents: Versus Sacred Heart Wednesday, at Nicholas County Friday, at Dixie Heights Saturday.
The Eagles won three straight since a 58-46 loss to top-ranked Simon Kenton on Jan. 4, including wins over No. 4 Conner Jan. 10 and No. 6 Campbell County Jan. 13.
Scott has won six of eight overall and has jumped all the way to No. 3 in this week’s rankings. Junior Anna Clephane leads the Eagles with 22.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while junior Alexis Stapleton has added 13.2 points and sophomore Summer Secrist has scored 10.4 points per game for the Eagles. Secrist is shooting 51.8 percent from the field.
Record: 15-3 (Last week: 5)
This week’s opponents: At St. Henry Thursday, versus Cooper Saturday and versus Newport Monday.
Conner has won three straight by double-digits since its Jan. 10 loss to Scott at home, including a 67-40 romp Tuesday night at Brossart. Conner has won eight of nine and 10 of 12 overall.
Sophomore guard Courtney Hurst was leading the Cougars with 14.8 points per game entering Tuesday night’s game at Brossart to top three Conner sophomores averaging double digits.
Guard Savannah Jordan had added 10.8 and forward Maddie Burcham had scored 10.1 points per game while co-leading the team with 6.9 rebounds per game. Senior center Calee Duncan was also grabbing 6.9 boards per game and was the fourth-leading scorer at 7.4 points per game.
Record: 13-5 (Last week: 3)
This week’s opponents: Versus Cooper Thursday and at Campbell County Saturday.
No. 7 Holy Cross ended the Bluebirds’ four-game winning streak with a 58-56 win Tuesday night at Holy Cross.
It was the first loss of the season to a Northern Kentucky team for the Birds. Highlands had won 12 of 14 since a 1-2 start to the season heading into Tuesday.
Senior Jenna Martin leads Highlands with 15.4 points per game and had made 80 percent of her free throws this season. Sophomore guard Zoie Barth has added 15.3 points per game, made 84 of 99 free throws and grabbed 4.1 rebounds per game.
6. Campbell County
Record: 14-5 (Last week: 6)
This week’s opponents: Versus Highlands Saturday and at Harrison County Monday.
Junior guard Taylor Clos was the story of the week for the Camels with 46 points in a 69-61 win over Cincinnati Walnut Hills Jan. 14. Clos was leading the Camels with 22 points per game entering a 58-40 win at Boone County Tuesday night in which she led all scorers with 24. She was making 47.2 percent of her shots from the field and had converted 95 of 115 free throws. Clos had also grabbed 4.7 rebounds per game.
Junior forward Mackenzie Schwarber had added 12.7 points per game and a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per contest for the Camels. The defending 10th Region champs have won two straight since their Jan. 13 loss at No. 3 Scott and have won eight of nine overall.
7. Holy Cross
Record: 13-5 (Last week: 7)
This week’s opponents: At Holmes Thursday.
Holy Cross has won five straight, including wins over St. Henry and Beechwood last week to claim the 9th Region All “A” Classic championship before outlasting No. 5 Highlands Tuesday. The Indians have won nine of 10 overall, but have a tough stretch with a visit to No. 2 Holmes Thursday and a game at No. 6 Campbell County Jan. 25.
Record: 9-4 (Last week: 8)
This week’s opponents: At Highlands Thursday, at Conner Saturday and at Grant County Tuesday.
The Jaguars have won four straight and eight of nine since a 1-3 start this season, but games against No. 5 Highlands and No. 4 Conner loom this week.
Junior guard Lexi Held leads a trio of double-digit scorers with 15.8 points per game for the Jags while senior guard Hailey Anderson has added 13.2 points while shooting better than 55 percent from the field. Junior guard Asyah Mitchell has made nearly 60 percent of her shots from the field and has scored 12.2 points per game for Cooper. Held leads Cooper with and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Record: 10-10 (Last week: 10)
This week’s opponents: Versus Scott County at Scott County Toyota Classic Wednesday, versus Franklin County at Scott County Toyota Class Friday, versus Simon Kenton at Scott County Toyota Classic Saturday.
The Raiders fell to 10-10 with their loss to Bullitt East Jan. 14 at Marion County’s Autism Awareness Classic, but held on to the No. 9 spot. Senior Lauren Schwartz and freshman guard Maddie Scherr lead Ryle.