He’s the greatest high school basketball coach in the state of Kentucky and this weekend First National Bank of Manchester will once again honor him with the Bobby Keith Classic on Saturday.

Three of the 13th region’s top teams will be in action at Bobby Keith Gymnasium.

First National Bank of Manchester Chief Executive Officer Luke Shepherd says it’s an honor to host the prestigious event.

“The name Bobby Keith is synonymous with high school basketball not only in our area, but across the state of Kentucky,” Shepherd said.  “We (FNB) are extremely excited to once again sponsor this event and honor this great coach.  We’ve got some outstanding talent from our area on display and I’d like to invite everyone to come out and enjoy three fantastic games Saturday.”

Things will get underway at 3 p.m. with one of the 13th region’s top team facing one of the best teams in the 12thregion.

Pulaski Southwestern (9-5) vs. North Laurel (9-3) 3 p.m.

Don’t let Southwestern’s record fool you, they’ve lost three games in a row by a total of eight points.  Southwestern is led by Cole Dysinger with 20 ppg., rated as a top player in the 12th region.

The Warriors will have their hands full with coach Nate Valentine’s Jaguars.  North’s only loss to a Kentucky opponent came in the first game of the year to Collins, 78-59.  Their biggest win to date was a 73-63 win over rival South Laurel.  The Jags are led by Cole Kelley at 18 ppg. and standout freshman Reed Sheppard with 16 ppg.  They have three players averaging double figures along with Ryan Davidson at 15 ppg.

Montgomery Co. (9-5) vs. Harlan Co. (8-5) 5 p.m.

13th region basketball fans will see a familiar face on the Montgomery County bench in former South Laurel coach Steve Wright.  This is Wright’s first year with the Indians.  

Montgomery has three players averaging double figures.

Harlan County coach Michael Jones always has the Black Bears playing competitive basketball

His club has played several 13th region schools this season including a narrow 66-63 loss to North Laurel; wins over Bell County and Middlesboro and an 11-point loss at Knox Central.

Like the Indians, the Bears have three players averaging double figures led by Taylor Spurlock at 17 ppg.

South Laurel (11-3) vs. Clay Co. (10-5) 7 p.m.

The Tigers will be hoping for a better outcome than the one they had last Saturday against the Cardinals in London (see related story).

The Cardinals will have seven days off between games with Clay and will enter Keith Gymnasium with fresh legs.  Clay was set to play North Laurel on Friday night in London before returning to host South.

It’s a tough stretch for the Tigers to play two region rivals back-to-back, but coach Glenn Gray has challenged this team with a tough schedule all season long.

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