Simon Kenton, Holmes maintain top spots in new Northern Kentucky girls' basketball Power 9 ranking

Posted at 12:42 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 14:11:47-05

Simon Kenton remains atop the Northern Kentucky Girls’ Power 9 this week with no signs of relinquishing the No. 1 ranking and Holmes is solidly at No. 2. An eventful week caused a little movement at spots four through nine.

Here’s a closer look at the second edition of the Power 9, based on strength of schedule, overall statistical success and our staff observations from the season.

1. Simon Kenton

Record: 12-3 (Last week: 1)

This week’s opponents: Versus Grant County Saturday.

Simon Kenton has won seven straight and maintains its firm grip on the top spot in the Power 9 this week.

Seven area teams are among the 12 foes to fall to the Pioneers and only Scott has played Simon Kenton within 28 points. Simon Kenton beat the Eagles 58-46 last week before cruising past Dixie Heights at home on Monday, 75-47.

Junior guard Allyson Niece paced the Simon Kenton offense with 18.1 points per game heading into Monday’s game. Five other Pioneers -- senior center Madi Meier (9.1), junior forward Shelby Harmeyer (9.2), freshman guard Maggi Jones (8.7), junior guard Bailee Harney (8.6) and freshman guard Morgan Stamper (6.4) are all dependable scorers.

The Pioneers are ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press Kentucky girls’ basketball poll -- the only local team ranked in the top 10.

RELATED: See last week's NKY girls Power 9.

2. Holmes

Record: 13-2 (Last week: 2)

This week’s opponents: Versus Holy Cross Monday.

The defending 9th Region champs are rolling. The Bulldogs have won six straight and 11 of 12 overall, including a 43-31 win over Notre Dame Jan. 4.

Sophomore guard Kamari Graham leads four Bulldogs averaging double figures with 15.3 points per game. Junior guard Laila Johnson has added 14.3 points per game, with senior guard Jaynice Stovall at 12.8 and junior forward Tyrah McClendon-Englemon at 12.5 points per game with a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game.

RELATED: Take a look at where NKY boys' teams are ranked this week.

3. Highlands

Record: 11-4 (Last week: 3)

This week’s opponents: Versus Mason County Thursday, versus Newport Saturday and at Holy Cross Tuesday.

Highlands has won 10 of 12 since a 1-2 start to the season, including a 32-win over Newport Central Catholic Jan. 6 and a 57-45 win at Notre Dame Tuesday night.

Sophomore guard Zoie Barth led the team with an average of 15.6 points per game entering Tuesday’s contest. Prior to the game at Notre Dame, Barth had made 61 of 71 free throws and grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game. Senior Jenna Martin has added 14.5 points per game and had made 80 percent of her free throws entering Tuesday.

The Bluebirds still have not lost to a Northern Kentucky team all season. Their most recent loss came at Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy, 47-41, on Jan. 3.

RELATED: Who holds the top girls' spot in Ohio this week?

4. Scott

Record: 9-7 (Last week: 7)

This week’s opponents: Versus Campbell County Friday.

The Eagles surged three spots this week with back-to-back wins following a 58-46 loss to top-ranked Simon Kenton on Jan. 4.

Following that home loss, Scott cruised past Beechwood, 72-42 and went on the road to beat No. 5 Conner, 73-62, Tuesday night.

Junior Anna Clephane led the Eagles with 22.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game heading into Tuesday’s game. Junior Alexis Stapleton had added 13.1 points and sophomore Summer Secrist has scored 9.9 points per game for the Eagles. Secrist was shooting 51.7 percent from the field prior to Tuesday.

5. Conner

Record: 12-3 (Last week: 4)

This week’s opponents: Versus Grant County Thursday, at Dixie Heights Friday and at Brossart Tuesday.

Conner’s five-game winning streak ended Tuesday in the loss to Scott, but the Cougars have won seven of nine overall.

The Cougars had cruised past Boone County, 67-29 on Jan. 6 and outlasted Southwestern, 62-58 the next night at Franklin County.

Sophomore guard Courtney Hurst continued to lead three sophomore double-digit scorers for the Cougars with 14.3 points per game entering Tuesday night. Guard Savannah Jordan had added 11.3 and forward Maddie Burcham has scored 10.4 points per game while leading the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.

6. Campbell County

Record: 11-4 (Last week: 5)

This week’s opponents: Versus Dixie Heights Wednesday, at Scott Friday, versus Walnut Hills Saturday and at Boone County Tuesday.

The defending 10th Region champs have won five straight and nine of 10 overall, but are looking at a grueling four-game week with matchups with No. 4 Scott Friday and Cincinnati No. 5 Walnut Hills Saturday this weekend.

Junior guard Taylor Clos is scoring 21.1 points per game for Campbell County while making 48.5 percent of her shots from the field and 65 of 80 free throws. Clos has also grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game. Junior forward Mackenzie Schwarber has added 12.0 points per game and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per contest for the Camels.

7. Holy Cross

Record: 10-5 (Last week: 6)

This week’s opponents: Versus St. Henry at the 9th Region All “A” Classic Friday at Bellevue, All “A” Classic final Saturday at Bellevue (if advance), versus Highlands Tuesday.

Holy Cross has won nine of 11 after a 1-3 start to the season with the semifinals and possibly the finals of the 9th Region All “A” Classic coming up this weekend at Bellevue.

Senior guard Aleah Tucker is the top scoring option for the Indians.

8. Cooper

Record: 7-4 (Last week: 9)

This week’s opponents: At Ryle Wednesday, at Grant County Thursday.

The Jaguars are up one spot from last week after a 55-50 win over No. 9 Ryle Jan. 4. Cooper has won two straight and six of seven since a 1-3 start this season.

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 56.3 percent from the field. Junior guard Asyah Mitchell has made 58.3 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.

9. Ryle

Record: 10-9 (Last week: unranked)

This week’s opponents: Versus Bullitt East at Marion County Saturday.

The Raiders enter the Power 9 on a two-game winning streak and with wins in eight of their last 11. Senior Lauren Schwartz and freshman guard Maddie Scherr lead Ryle.

Dropped out: Newport Central Catholic (7-6).