-- All the good feelings the Cumberland Redskins stirred up with their improbable run to Rupp Arena last year didn't translate into a whole lot of wins this season, as the team finished 9-17 with a loss to Knox Central in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
On the plus side, senior guard Michael Lawson staked his claim as the most improved player in the 52nd District, in my opinion. Additionally and perhaps more importantly junior center Kevin McIlquham (13.7 ppg) seemed to hit his stride late in the season, providing plenty of optimism about next year. "Mac" should be one of the region's top post players in 2004-05, perhaps second only to Clay County's Rodney Mitchell.
-- Perhaps the county team that showed the most marked improvement from 2002-03 was the Harlan Green Dragons. In coach Casey Lester's second year, the Dragons went from 3-23 to 8-19 primarily behind the impressive play of their young backcourt. Freshman John Smith poured in 17.6 points per game, and sophomore Ryan Clem wasn't far behind (14.9 ppg). Says here that in two years, the Dragons will be a force to be reckoned with in the region.
-- A major scoring mark is set to fall in 2004-05. If Cawood guard Blake Hubbs stays healthy, he has an excellent shot at passing former Mr. Basketball Phil Cox as the Trojans' all-time leading scorer. Hubbs has scored 1,825 points, third on Cawood's all-time list. He should pass No. 2 Nick Sanford (1,893) sometime early next season. Cox's mark of 2,401 is 576 points away, meaning Hubbs would need to average just 20.6 points per game if the Trojans play 28 games next year.
Additionally, the aforementioned Smith isn't too far away from 1,000 career points at Harlan. Smith has currently poured in 793 in his short career.
Cawood's Shawn Ely should also break the 1,000-point mark during his senior season. He currently needs 336 points.