Covington Catholic at Bracken County headlines 9/10 Region Challenge this Saturday

Bracken County will host the St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine 9/10 Region Challenge on Saturday, December 10th. It will feature four girls games and two boys games.

Admission is $5.00 for all-day entry. Coaches passes will be accepted, and all St. Elizabeth Healthcare employees will get in free with a valid work ID. All games will be streamed live at go.prepspin.com for $5.00 which gets you all six games.

7:30pm – Covington Catholic vs. Bracken County (Boys)

This game will feature two of the state’s top leading scorers with Blake Reed of Bracken County and Evan Ipsaro of Covington Catholic.

Evan Ipsaro is averaging 26.0 points per game with 4.8 rebounds per game. He is also shooing 52.2% from the field and 90% from the free throw line.

The Miami University commit is Covington Catholic’s key scorer and facilitator. Ipsaro led CovCath to the 9th Region championship and the semifinals of the Sweet Sixteen last season.

Even though they lost big men Mitchell Riley and Chandler Starks, CovCath is still ranked as the best team in the 9th and a top ten team in the state. Their style of play is more guard-heavy and higher scoring than last year. They are averaging 74.8 ppg so far.

The Colonels are 4-0 heading into Saturday’s game with a win over St. Henry, where Ipsaro scored 30, and Scott Ruthatz became the school’s all-time winningest coach with 314 wins in 12 season.

The Polar Bears are 3-0 and will face Montgomery County at home on Thursday before hosting the 2014 and 2018 state champions and defending 9th Region champions.

Blake Reed is averaging 30 points a game and put up 46 in the Polar Bears’ 78-71 win over Scott. Reed currently has 2,714 career points as a junior. He also led the state in 3-point field goals last year with 123.

The two teams have met four times before in the late 70s and early 80s, with Covington Catholic winning all four. This will be one of Bracken County’s biggest tests of the season in a loaded schedule with other 9th Region favorite Cooper, Lyon County, Ashland, and state champion George Rogers Clark.

Bracken County is scheduled to play at Covington Catholic in the 2023-24 season.

6:15pm – Boone County vs. Harrison County (Boys)

9th Region Boone County starts off at 0-4. However, those losses are against Newport Catholic, Highlands, Tates Creek, and Newport.

The Rebels have four players averaging double figures with junior Thomas Williams at 19.7 and senior Will Raleigh at 15.3.

Harrison County starts off at 3-0 with close calls against Ryle and Central Hardin in the opening week.

The Thorobreds are led in scoring by senior 6’5″ wing JD Kendall. He is averaging 16.3 ppg. Following Kendall is junior guard Kaydon Custard, one of the best guards in the region, at 15.7 ppg. Will Furnish is a 6’11” senior averaging 13.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg.

They will take on Bishop Brossart in Alexandria on Friday night.

4:45pm – Highlands vs. Bracken County (Girls)

The Lady Bears fell in a heartbreaker to district rival Mason County on Monday 33-31. They are led by sophomore Nicole Archibald averaging 18 ppg.

This will be the Lady Bears’ fourth game of the week. They play Eastern, OH on Wednesday and Lewis County on Thursday.

Highlands is coached by alumna Jamie Walz Richey in her 21st season with the Lady Bluebirds. Coach Richey won Miss Basketball in 1996 and scored 4,948 points.

Highlands is led in scoring by Saylor Macke who is averaging 14.5 ppg.

They play Holy Cross on Thursday.

2:30pm – Dixie Heights vs. Montgomery County (Girls)

Dixie Heights won this game last year 74-58 and made 16 threes. Ella Steczynski was 8 of 10 from three and scored 26 points.

Steczynski averaged only 8.6 ppg last year but returns this year as their leading scorer averaging 15.8 ppg.

Montgomery County is 3-0 and will take on Bishop Brossart on Friday after beating district rival Paris 45-43 on Tuesday.

MoCo is led be Allie Dillon with 21.0 ppg and Hayden Barrier with 12.7 ppg. The backcourt duo is one of the best in the 10th Region and puts the Lady Indians second in the region rankings.

12:45pm – Newport Central Catholic vs. Mason County (Girls)

Newport Catholic won last year’s game vs. Mason County in the 9/10 Challenge 57-40. Expect this game to be closer, though, as the Lady Thorobreds last Rylee Turner who scored 36 in that one and averaged 26.3 ppg last season.

NewCath is now led by Caroline Eaglin who is averaging 19.7 ppg.

Mason County comes in at 3-1 with a win over district rival Bracken County on Monday. They are led in scoring by Laci Burns with 13.3 ppg and Macey Littleton with 10.5.

11:00am – Boone County vs. Pendleton County (Girls)

Boone County is 1-3 so far. They are led by Kassidy Peters with 11.3 ppg.

Pendleton County is off to a hot 3-0 start and had a big win over Bishop Brossart on Tuesday 52-50.

The Lady Wildcats are coached by familiar 10th Region face Patrick Kelsch.

Leading them in scoring is Lilly Ashcraft with 15.0 ppg. Followed by Saniah Thomas with 14.3 and Cara Stewart with 12.0