Posted January 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm

by Alan B. Gibson

Breaking the Top 25 ice

As I pointed out in this space last week, the Bulldogs are being looked at across this basketball Bluegrass state as one of the top teams to be reckoned with this season. Last week, we were just a fraction of a point outside of the Lexington Herald Leader’s Dave Cantrell Basketball: Rating The State – falling into the No. 26 spot.

It had to be coming – and barring an unexpected loss – soon.

So, in this, the second release of the Cantrell Ratings, the Dawgs broke the ice, so to speak, and made their way into the Top 25, falling in at the No. 23 spot in Kentucky’s rankings list.

Clinton County’s three spot jump comes on the heels of Friday night’s lop-sided win over the Hornets of Metcalfe County (86-40). Even more responsible for Clinton County’s climb last week were a handful of games we weren’t even involved in, and most often, that’s the biggest cause in rises and falls in polls.

Lexington Christian, a team that held the 25th spot in last week’s polling, dropped back to back games over the week, a loss to Paul Dunbar (84-79) followed by dropping a decision to Tates Creek (49-41), to take its record to 9-5.

Another team that held a spot in front of the Dawgs in last week’s rankings, Newport Catholic, the number 22nd ranked team in the January 2 poll, also dropped a game last week, falling to the state’s No. 1 ranked team, Louisville Trinity.

Now granted, the state’s 22nd ranked team, should have lost to the top rated squad, but Newport didn’t just lose – they took a thumping at the hands of Trinity – losing 73-34.

Put all of that together, along with some other movement higher in the Cantrell rankings, and you’ve got your reasons for the Dawgs moving up to claim a spot in the Top 25.

Monday’s Cantrell rankings have Clinton County as the third best team in our 4th Region, behind Bowling Green (15th in the state) and Warren Central (17th in the state). Another 4th Region top team, the Scotties of Glasgow, are just behind Clinton County in the fourth spot region wise, and just slightly out of the state Top 25.

There are other polls – some showing Clinton County a little higher ranked, some showing the Dawgs a lot higher ranked, and some holding Clinton County just a little lower than the H-L Cantrell rankings.

For instance, the Courier Journal’s Litkenhous system only puts up a Top 20, and our Dawgs are not in that list, but looking at the overall region rankings, the C-J system has Clinton County in fourth place in our region, just behind Glasgow.

Not sure how long it’s been since our Bulldogs have been ranked, but being included in a season that has become this much fun already – just makes it a little more fun to follow.