The power lies to the north in the girls 12th Region this year.
The top three contenders —¿Lincoln County, Danville and Mercer County — have combined to go 34-9 against 12th Region competition.
The Patriots, led by seniors Emily Fox and Sydney Harris, have everything a team needs to win. Fox is a four-year starter and does it on both ends of the court. Harris has become a solid scoring threat inside and out, is athletic, can rebound and shoot free throws. The Patriots start four seniors and a junior and bring a senior off their bench along with four other players for a solid 10-player rotation.
Also, Lincoln is one of the best free throw shooting teams in the state at 72 percent. That stat as much as any is why Lincoln will earn the repeat.
The Admirals have two close losses to Lincoln, but have wins over Mercer County and Louisville Sacred Heart. What will hurt Danville is the loss of guard Cameron McPherson, which cuts into the Ads’ depth.
Mercer has the backcourt play to hang with Lincoln, but lacks size and experience up front.
Players to Watch
Emily Fox — The senior guard is the best all-around player in the region while attracting teams’ best defenders each night. She carried the Patriots to the state semifinals last year, and rarely gets rattled in the clutch.
Kasey Young — The best inside-outside player in the region, the Eastern Kentucky signee can take over a game and is almost impossible to stop. If she gets hot, the 5-10 forward can carry the Admirals a long way.
Cassidy Martin — The transfer from Tennessee has been arguably the best player in the region, leading the area in scoring and free throw percentage.
Teams to Watch
Lincoln County — The defending champions returned everyone and have been perfect in the region this year. The repeat is theirs to lose, but don’t look for that to happen.
Danville — The Admirals have experience at every spot and have won some big games this year. It would not be a major surprise to see them heading to Bowling Green.
Mercer County — The Titans’ backcourt may be the best in the area, but the key is going to be their play down low.
45th—Lincoln County; 46th—Mercer County; 47th—Casey County.
Best First-Round Matchup
Danville vs. Boyle County, 45th District—The two rivals split their two meeting during the regular season, but Danville cruised in their win on Feb. 1. If the district game is anything like their first meeting, a 52-49 Boyle win, it should make for a heck of a contest.