Litratings releases first list

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By Tommie Kendall

In the first boys’ basketball Litkenhous Ratings released Monday morning, Shelby Valley is ranked the top team in Kentucky, Shelby County is the top among 8th Region teams, Henry County is 11th in the region and Eminence is 16th.

The Litkenhous Ratings are a computerized formula that ranks the state’s teams based on record, strength of schedule and other factors against in-state schools. The girls’ ratings have not been released.

Shelby Valley, playing out of the 15th Region, is off to a 6-2 start and a perfect 4-0 against Kentucky schools. Shelby Valley is led by Elisha Justice, who’s averaging 24.5 points per game, is considered a Mr. Basketball candidate and has committed to the University of Louisville.

Justice and his Shelby Valley squad beat Henry County, 53-26, in the opening round of the All “A” Classic state tournament last season. They went on to win the state title for the smallest 125 schools in Kentucky, won the 15th Region tournament and won one game in the Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament.

Shortly after Henry took the 27-point loss, Henry’s head coach at the time, Jason Holland, said it was by far the best team Henry had played all season.

“It’s a tough draw to open against a team like that,” said Holland, who now coaches at Oldham County. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they can win the whole thing (Sweet 16). Not to take anything away from the teams we’ve played this season, but they are 20 points better than all of them. There’s just so many things they can do.”

Shelby Valley’s current 107.0 rating is almost 10 points ahead of Ballard at 98.2. Eastern is third at 97.5, Jeffersontown is fourth at 95.5 and Scott County is fifth at 95.0.

The top team in the 8th Region is Shelby County, who is 14th in the state at 88.8. Anderson County is second at 83.4, South Oldham is third at 82.9, Simon Kenton is fourth at 75.5 and North Oldham is fifth at 68.7. The remaining teams in the region, in order, are Gallatin County, Oldham, Walton-Verona, Owen County, Spencer County, Henry, Grant County, Carroll County, Williamstown, Trimble County and Eminence. Henry has a rating of 57.2 and Eminence is at 15.7.

Last week, Henry went 2-2 in the Shirley Kearns Holiday Classic, hosted by Model High School. The Wildcats lost to Breathitt County (72-65) in their opener last Tuesday, defeated Somerset (50-43) and lost to Frankfort (58-55) on Wednesday, and defeated Wolfe County (76-35) on Thursday. The Cats, led by first-year head coach Derek Springate, entered the new year with an even 7-7 overall record.

Meanwhile, Eminence’s last game was a 77-57 loss to Heritage Academy on Dec. 22. The Warriors, coached by Chris Nethery, are 1-7 overall with a 49-43 win over Kentucky School for the Deaf on Dec. 17. They hosted Spencer County on Tuesday and travel to Louisville Collegiate this Thursday at 6 p.m.

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