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Overview: Johnson Central brought home their second tournament win of the year and third to the region, Shelby Valley suffered their first loss, Paintsville continues to roll and the 2A Classic is set to tip off for regional teams. Rankings are as follows:

Rankings (overall record):
1. (-) Shelby Valley (10-1) – Shelby Valley lost their first game of the year, but remain number one as they finished 2-1 in week five. In the Mountain School Boy Classic at Belfry, the Wildcats fell to Bourbon County 47-61 despite 29 points from Cody Potter. They would bounce back with a 65-53 win over Morgan County and a 53-44 win over Phelps. In all three games Potter played extremely well, even hitting his 3rd half court buzzer beater to end a quarter, but the rest of the team struggled to score. Zone defense seems to be the formula to stopping Valley as a team. In week six, Shelby Valley will travel to Betsy Layne and then host Pikeville in a what is expected to be a packed house.

2. (-) Johnson Central (10-1) – The Golden Eagles traveled to Bath County for the Dan Swartz Classic in week five and came away with their second tournament victory of the Holiday Season (Rebel Classic at Tolsia). JC dominated the competition, defeating Russell 81-61, East Carter 76-58, and Anderson County 81-61. Sophomore standout Isaiah May took home his second tournament MVP averaging 24.3 points and 7 rebounds during the event. The Golden Eagles have four players averaging over 11 points per game and play a fast tempo that’s hard to match. With playmakers like Jacob Rice and May, it’s extremely difficult to focus your defense on taking one of them away as four or five other kids have the ability to score 20 in a game. Johnson Central will put their nine game win streak on the line as they host Paintsville in week six. This is one of the best rivalries in the state and will see a packed house.

3. (Up 1) Paintsville (9-2) – Paintsville extended their win streak to nine games with a 71-62 win over Hart County in the Mountain School Boy Classic at Belfry. Like Johnson Central, Paintsville also has four players that average in double figures as they are led by freshman standout Colby Fugate. With two game winners already this season, Fugate will look to lead his team into hostile territory as Paintsville faces Johnson Central on the road in week six. How big is the Paintsville/JC game? It’s the only game for both teams all week and that’s probably not by accident. The atmosphere will be electric as both team’s matchup very well with each other. Expect a packed house and close contest in one of the best rivalries in Kentucky.

4. (Down 1) Pikeville (6-4) – The Panthers went 1-2 in week six, albeit against a difficult schedule. Pikeville defeated Hart County 79-47 in the Mountain School Boy Classic at Belfry and then fell to Logan, WV 62-70 and Bourbon County 60-64 on back-to-back nights. Logan is one the best teams in 2A in the state of West Virginia and boast major D1 talent. Bourbon County is very good as well, giving Shelby Valley their only loss of the season. Despite the losses, Pikeville is still one of two undefeated teams within the region (Shelby Valley). That will change this Saturday as they travel Valley for a huge 59th District showdown. Prior to Saturday’s Shelby Valley game, Pikeville will be on the road at East Ridge in another 59th District seeded game.

5. (-) Lawrence County (8-4) – The Bulldogs won their only contest in week five with a 72-60 home win over Cross Lanes Christian, WV. Week six will see Lawrence County hit the road for two games as they travel to Betsy Layne for an important 58th District seeded contest and then to Magoffin County where they face Pike Central. Lawrence is the best team in the region outside the big four above and will try to stay sharp this week as they will play only their second game in the last thirteen days going into Betsy Layne.

6. (Up 1) Sheldon Clark (3-6) – The Cardinals were idle in week five and will be idle again in week six. Hopefully the two plus week layoff won’t affect their play in the new year. Sheldon Clark will play Piarist in week seven when they return to action.

7. (Up 2) Magoffin County (7-5) – Since losing their first three games of the season, Magoffin County is 7-2 to include going 2-0 in week five. This past week they defeated Phelps in overtime 61-59 and then got a payback win over East Ridge 62-60 after (lost to ER by 19 earlier in season). This team was rated highly in the preseason and could be finding their stride mid-season. In week six they host the 2A classic where they drew a bye.

8. (Down 2) Phelps (3-4) – This is not your typical Hornets team and junior play maker Trey Francis is a very good player averaging another double-double for the second straight year (20/11). However, they have lost four in a row to include an overtime loss in week five to Magoffin County and a nine-point loss to the region’s top team in Shelby Valley. Phelps is still the best team in the 60th district and should be in the regional tournament. Phelps has Prestonsburg and Grundy, VA in week six.

9. (Down 1) Prestonsburg (6-6) – Prestonsburg went 1-2 in week five in the Williamstown Classic. They lost their opening game to Thomas Nelson, defeated host Williamstown, then lost the 5th place game to McCreary Central. Despite the losses, it’s been a long time since the Black Cats were at or above .500 coming out of the new year.

10. (-) Pike Central (8-5) – The Hawks went 1-1 in week five, participating in the King of the Smokies. The Hawks have Wolfe County, Jenkins and Lawrence County (2A Classic at Magoffin County) in week six. This team could be in the regional tournament out of the 60th District.

11. (Up 1) Betsy Layne (7-4) – Betsy Layne is playing better and picked up two wins against one loss in week five by knocking off Hart County and East Ridge and falling to Morgan County. The Bobcats have three players averaging in double figures and will need every bit of that scoring and more in week six as they face Lawrence County, Shelby Valley and Phelps in games they will underdogs in.

12. (Down 1) Belfry (2-8) – Belfry snapped their six game losing streak in week five, but started another one that is currently at two games. Belfry defeated East Ridge and then fell to Bourbon County and Morgan County by double digits. In week six, Belfry will open the 2A Classic with Floyd Central at Magoffin County.

13. (-) East Ridge (4-7) – The Warriors dropped all three games in week five at the Mountains School Boy Classic at Belfry. Belfry, Magoffin County and Betsy Layne all knocked off the Warriors, but one game was in overtime and it was by a combine eleven points. It was good to see Randy McCoy roaming the sidelines again as he continues to recover. Expect him to be back on the sidelines leading his team soon!

14. (-) Floyd Central (2-13) – The nightmare season continues for Floyd Central as their losing streak has ballooned to nine games and tied the longest in the region this year to include Piarist. The good news is the season is half way over and the young kids playing are getting valuable experience for the future. Floyd Central will play Belfry at Magoffin County in the 2A Classic opening round in week six.

15. (-) Jenkins (1-9) – After their first win in two years, the Cavaliers were idle in week five. This week they will play Pike Central and East Ridge where they will be heavy underdogs.

16. (-) Piarist (0-8) – Piarist was defeated by a home school team in week five. They play Jackson City in week six.

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