15th Region Week 4 Review: Top Heavy Region!
Overview: Shelby Valley and Johnson Central both went undefeated in Holiday Classics, Paintsville brought home another tournament title to the region on a buzzer beater, Pikeville knocked off a top five team in the state and Sheldon Clark headed to Las Vegas in week four. The top of the region remains status quo as the gap between the first four and the rest has grown significantly. Below are the 15th Region rankings after four weeks of play.
Rankings (overall record):
1. (-) Shelby Valley (8-0) – The Wildcats continue to shine behind the play of Cody Potter. This week Potter dropped back-to-back 40 plus point games in the Hi-Tech Signs and Graphix Holiday Classic at Prestonsburg, hitting 18 triples combine in the three game event. Valley beat Prestonsburg 55-48, Perry Central 78-71 and Cordia 74-61 despite not having Cameron Worrix for most of the later two contest (status unknown). After Christmas, the Wildcats travel to Belfry for the Mountain School Boy Classic where they face Bourbon County, Morgan County and Phelps. They will be favored in all three games.
2. (-) Johnson Central (7-1) – The Golden Eagles only loss continues to be against Shelby Valley as they went 4-0 in week four with wins over Lawrence County (74-55), Perry Central (78-68), Cordia (69-62) and Pike Central (61-24). Johnson Central led by 20 plus in the second half of all four games before going to the bench and like Shelby Valley, finished the Hi-Tech Signs and Graphix Holiday Classic undefeated. Surprisingly, the Perry Central win marked the first time in school history the Golden Eagles defeated the Commodores in boys’ basketball. JC also made history in the Pike Central game, giving up the fewest points in school history. Isaiah May, Jacob Rice and Cory VanHoose are leading the three headed monster that is Johnson Central. May has scored in double figures in every game of the season and continues to show off his athleticism with lob dunks. Rice stuffs the stat column every night and draws the toughest defensive assignment on a regular basis. VanHoose scores and rebounds in bunches with his strength and quickness. JC will look to keep rolling after Christmas as they travel to Bath County for the Dan Swartz Holiday Tournament. They will be the favorite and open with Russell.
3. (-) Pikeville (5-2) – The Panthers picked up the best win of the season for any team in the region in week four, knocking off state #4 Warren Central in convincing fashion 57-39 (Smokey Mountain Classic in Gatlinburg - semifinals). It was the second consecutive win against an undefeated opponent for Pikeville in the tournament (beat Oasis, FL 69-64 in opening round) as they advanced to the championship game before falling to Bullitt Central 54-57. Pikeville also defeated Harlan 84-48 earlier in week four. In the Warren Central game, Pikeville was led by Connor Roberts with 27 points as he joined the Pikeville 1,000-point club. Pikeville is big, physical and can play any style of game. They will be challenged again in week five as they drew the toughest three games in the Mountain School Boy Classic at Belfry, facing Hart County, Logan, WV and Bourbon County.
4. (-) Paintsville (8-2) – Like the other top teams in the region, Paintsville had a stellar week, bringing home the second tournament win of the season to the region in the form of a Derby Classic Championship. The Tigers play a lot of close games (eight of their ten games have been decided by a combined 19 points) and opened the week with a district win at home over Magoffin county 64-60 despite trailing by four midway through the final quarter. Paintsville then traveled to Raceland for the Derby Classic. They opened with a blow-out of Anderson County 77-52 then followed with nail-biter against Morgan County 64-62 in a game won with late FT’s. In the championship game against Allen County-Scottsville, Paintsville was down two with 1.1s to play when freshman Colby Fugate caught a sideline inbounds pass and nailed a 25 footer at the buzzer for the win. It was Fugate’s second buzzer beater in the last five games as he hit one to defeat North Laurel down one in week three. In week five, the Tigers play in the Mountain School Boy Classic at Belfry for one game against Hart County.
5. (-) Lawrence County (7-4) – The Bulldogs are not in the top four of the region, but on a given night could knock off any of them as they are athletic, long and play very fast. Lawrence County puts five players on the floor that are all capable of scoring 20 points in a game and are well coached. In week four, the Bulldogs went 1-1 with their second consecutive loss to Johnson Central (55-74) and a win against East Carter (67-50). In week five, Lawrence will host Cross Lanes Christian, WV. People should not sleep on this team as right now they are the top sleeper in the region.
6. (Up 2) Phelps (3-2) – The Hornets did not play in week four and move up two spots as Sheldon Clark and Belfry went a combined 1-6 to fall below them. Phelps is back in action at the Mountain School Boy Classic at Belfry with Magoffin County and Shelby Valley. They also have Twin Valley, VA on the road in week five.
7. (Down 1) Sheldon Clark (3-6) – The Cardinals made their way to Las Vegas this week for the Tarkanian Classic. They were able to pick up a win in their opening game by defeating Valley, NV 55-44, but then lost their next three contest by a 20, 23 and 25 points respectively. We don’t know much about the quality of competition, but it seemed Sheldon Clark was less than competitive in their last three games. The region’s top prospect Trey James held his own and was a lone bright spot for a team that is still breaking in four new starters. The Cardinals are off in week five before returning to action in the new year.
8. (Up 1) Prestonsburg (5-4) – The Blackcats went 1-2 in week four against very good competition. They played Shelby Valley, the region’s top team, very close before falling 48-55 then defeated East Ridge 53-43. Prestonsburg closed out the Hi-Tech Signs and Graphix Holiday Classic with a loss against Perry Central 42-62. This team is still leading the 58th district and will likely be in the regional tournament if they keep progressing. In week five, Prestonsburg will travel to Williamstown for their Holiday Tournament. They open with Thomas Nelson in a very winnable game.
9. (Up 2) Magoffin County (5-5) – Magoffin County, along with Phelps, makes the biggest jump this week, moving two places up the rankings. The Hornets seem to be finding their stride and went 1-1 in week four with a three-point win at home over Pike Central (58-55) and a narrow loss on the road in 57th District action to Paintsville 60-64 in a game they led midway through the 4th. Magoffin travels to Belfry in week five for the Mountain School Boy Classic as where they will face Phelps and East Ridge. It would be a great victory if the Hornets can finish 2018 above .500 after starting the season 0-3.
10. (-) Pike Central (7-4) – Pike Central went 2-2 in week four with wins over Union, VA and June Buchanan and losses to Magoffin County and Johnson Central. In the Johnson Central game, the Hawks were only able to put up 24 points (no FG after six-minute mark of second quarter). This team has seven wins, but the schedule is suspect as they have not been close to the top teams in the region. Their best win in currently Prestonsburg. In week five, Pike Central will travel to Pigeon Forge to compete in the King of the Smokies Tournament.
11. (Down 4) Belfry (1-6) – Belfry takes the biggest fall this week, dropping four spots as they are trending sharply downward. After opening the season with a home win, the Pirates have dropped six in a row, including some losses to very weak competition. In week four they lost to Model, Sayre and Harlan Independent, failing to reach the 60-point plateau in any game. They will return home and hopefully pick up a win in week five as they host East Ridge, Bourbon County and Morgan County in the Mountain School Boy Classic. East Ridge is the only game they will be favored in.
12. (Up 1) Betsy Layne (5-3) – The Bobcats won their only game in week four by knocking off Floyd Central at home 47-41. The win moved Betsy Layne to 1-0 in 58th District play. They will play Morgan County, Hart County and East Ridge at Belfry in Mountain School Boy Classic in week five.
13. (Up 1) East Ridge (4-4) – Head Coach Randy McCoy is feeling better and is kind of back on the sidelines as he observes and gives insight close to the bench, recovering from open heart surgery. Seeing their coach might have sparked the Warriors as they went 2-1 in week four, avenging a 16-point loss to Grundy, VA at home with a 20-point win on the road (85-65). East Ridge also defeated Hurley, VA (63-44) before falling to Prestonsburg (43-53). This team is very young and couple years away from being at the top of the region, but can give any teams fits if they are hot.
14. (Down 2) Floyd Central (2-10) – Since an opening win, Floyd Central has dropped ten of their last eleven games, only defeating Piarist in that stretch. The controversy surrounding Head Coach Kevin Spurlock and the eight players that quit a few weeks ago has a left a dark cloud over the program. This was evident as the Jaguars lost to winless Nelson County at home (52-57) and then suffered a 52-point beat down (29-81) to First Love Christian Academy, PA. Not only has Floyd Central been unable to win games, they are also not very competitive in their losses. With the latest loss, the program is now under .500 (21-22) for the first time in their young history. Hopefully they can buck this trend in week five as they travel to the Cumberland Falls Invitational at Corbin for more tough competition, but the outlook is not bright.
15. (-) Jenkins (1-9) – The Cavaliers are on a one game win streak for the first time in the better part of three seasons. Jenkins picked up their first win since the 2016-2017 season when they defeated June Buchanan in the play-in game of the 53rd district tournament by knocking off Jackson City 72-69. Jenkins has no games scheduled in week five
16. (-) Piarist (0-7) – The Knights did not play a game in week four and have no games scheduled for week five.
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Last edited by 15th Region; Dec 23, 18 at 08:28 PM.