Basketball season tips off across the Bluegrass on Monday, with several local teams in action. On the Ohio side, the girls’ season got underway late last week, but several teams get their seasons going this week. Ohio boys’ basketball action will follow later this week.
Here’s a look where each coverage area team will start the season:
Augusta: The Panthers are coming off of an 11-16 season that ended in the 39th District semifinals to Mason County. This season will get started at home on Monday as part of a girl-boy doubleheader against Dayton. The Lady Panthers, who went 9-18 last season, will play at 6 p.m., with the boys’ game to follow. The Panthers beat Dayton, 62-44, to start last season, while the Lady Panthers lost, 50-18.
Bracken County: The Lady Bears will get the Sam Elsbernd era underway on Monday when they travel to Bishop Brossart for a 7:30 p.m. game. The Lady Bears went 11-15 last season. The Polar Bears will try to replace a lot of scoring from a team that went 17-15 last year when they tip off the season on Tuesday at rival Pendleton County. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Fleming County: The Panthers and Lady Panthers both kick off the season on the road on Tuesday. The Panthers, who went 8-24 last season under Matt Taylor, will take on Bourbon County at 7:30 p.m. to start a new season under first-year coach Chris Stapleton. The Lady Panthers went 20-13 during the 2016-2017 season and claimed the 61st District title. They start the season with a 7:30 p.m. game at Raceland.
Lewis County: Jay Fite will start his eighth season with the Lady Lions on Monday at Fairview. The team went 19-12 last year, and have expectations high again as they return a lot of talent. The Lions will get started on Tuesday at Ashland Blazer. Like the Lady Lions, the Lions return a plethora of experience from a season ago, when they went 9-21. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Mason County: The Royals will once again start the season against Maysville foe St. Patrick. Mason County came away with the 83-46 win last year at The Shamrock. This year, the game will be played at the Mason County Fieldhouse on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Royals look to reload after losing their entire starting five from last year’s 23-9 team. They open up a loaded regular season schedule at Rowan County on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Robertson County: Thomas Mitchell makes his return to the Lady Devils on Monday at Bourbon County. The team went 13-16 last season under Patrick Kelsch, who has moved all his efforts to the boys’ side. The Black Devils went 16-15 last season, and will kick off the 2017-2018 season with returning talent, as well as new talent, in Mount Olivet on Tuesday against Augusta. Both games have a 7:30 p.m. start time.
St. Patrick: The Saints and Lady Saints will both get their seasons started on Tuesday. The Saints, who went 8-23 last season and are now under direction of Aaron Rigdon, will travel up the hill to face Mason County in a 7:30 p.m. game. The Lady Saints went 5-23 last season and open up this season at The Shamrock against Covington Latin. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Eastern Brown: The Lady Warriors are gunning for a return to the OHSAA Division III Final Four this year. They started the season on Sunday at Lakota West against Wilmington and fell, 45-30. The Warriors went 13-11 last year, but are the preseason favorite in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference with plenty of talent returning. They’ll start the season on Thursday at Hillsboro. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Georgetown: For the first time in two decades, there will be a new face leading the Lady G-Men on the sideline. Janel Blankespoor will coach her first game for the Georgetown girls’ on Thursday at home against Blanchester. The Lady G-Men went 9-13 last season. The G-Men went 7-18 in the 2016-2017 season, the first under Doug Williams, and have their sights even higher this season. They’ll open at Ripley on Dec. 3.
Manchester: The Lady Hounds won only a couple of games last season, but are hoping to continue to build a foundation under coach Vohn Hoop. Hoop and the Lady Hounds open the season at home against Adena on Monday. The Greyhounds lost some key pieces from last year’s team, but have a big senior class. They open the season on Friday against Fairfield. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Peebles: Billie Jo Justice went 14-8 in her first season with the Peebles girls’ basketball team. She opens up season number two on Monday at Felicity. The Peebles boys’ team will get the season started on Friday, after a 17-6 season last year. They’re scheduled to take on Whiteoak at 7:30 p.m.
Ripley: The Lady Jays dropped their season opener at South Webster on Saturday. They went 10-13 last season, and this year’s young team will look to get back to .500 on Thursday when they travel to preseason SHAC favorite North Adams. The Blue Jays, now under Rex Woodward, will open the season on Friday against Lynchburg-Clay. The game will be played at Southern State Community College.
West Union: The Lady Dragons will begin the quest for their first sectional title in 29 years on Tuesday when they host Huntington in a 7:30 p.m. game. The Dragons went 7-15 last year, and will begin the Greg Himes era on Friday when they travel to Fayetteville-Perry.