Seventh Region preview

The high school basketball season in Kentucky starts in six days. Editor Conor Revell gives his picks for the top five teams and top 10 players in the Seventh Region. The Sixth preview came out Monday and you can see it here.

  1. Sacred Heart: The Valkyries 11 of their 12 players from last season including all five starters. Grace Berger, Natalie Fichter, Kia Sivils, and Kiki Samsel are seniors and will lead the team as they go for a second straight Seventh Region title.
  2. Manual: The Lady Crimsons return everybody but Tonysha Curry and Marlena Groves. Look for senior Jalen Johnson and junior Nila Blackford to have huge seasons as the squad looks to win their second Seventh Region title in three years.
  3. Male: The Bulldogs return two of the guards in the Seventh Region – seniors Ciaja Harbison and Emillia Sexton – and have junior Cameron Browning to handle the rebounding and defense down low.
  4. Eastern: The Lady Eagles lost some key players from a year but return Breanna Anthony, Mikayla Kinnard, and Briana Mishler. If Eastern can get some help from the bench, the top three teams better way.
  5. Christian Academy: The Centurions might have the best player in the region – sophomore Shelby Calhoun – and Sarah McDonald is a great compliment. CAL is always tough and will once again be a player in the region.

Top returning players to watch (listed in alphabetical order) 

  • Grace Berger (Sacred Heart): Averaged 14.4 points and 8.6 rebound as a junior.
  • Nila Blackford (Manual): Averaged 12.8 points and 7.8 rebounds as a sophomore.
  • Cameron Browning (Male): Averaged 12.2 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore.
  • Shelby Calhon (CAL): Averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds as a freshman.
  • Ciaja Harbison (Male): Averaged 13.1 points as a junior.
  • Jalea Johnson (Manual): Averaged 20 points as a junior.
  • Mikayla Kinnard (Eastern): Averaged 11.9 points and 6.3 rebounds as a sophomore.
  • Kiki Samsel (Sacred Heart): Averaged 12.2 points as a junior.
  • Emellia Sexton (Male): Averaged 12.2 points as a junior before tearing her ACL.
  • Erin Toller (Sacred Heart): Averaged 7.9 points as a freshman.