15th Region Week 7 Review: Top 4 Remain The Same!
Overview: All-A action tips off in the region this week as a huge Shelby Valley/Paintsville game looms with the winner likely facing Pikeville in the finals, Johnson Central picked up two more wins behind stellar play from Isaiah May and Jacob Rice and every team in the region now has at least two losses. Listed below are the rankings and summaries after seven weeks of play.
Rankings (overall record):
1. (-) Shelby Valley (14-2) – The Wildcats remain in the top spot this week despite dropping their second game of the season to South Charleston, WV 42-46 in the Hatfield-McCoy Shootout at Williamson, WV. Cody Potter had a monster game versus South Charleston with 22 points and 18 rebounds, pushing his averages to 26.2 ppg and 10.7 rpg on the season. Prior to the South Charleston loss, Shelby Valley picked up wins over Magoffin County 76-66 and East Ridge 77-34. In week eight, the Wildcats will begin the All-A where they open with Piarist. They will likely face Paintsville in a semifinal appearance.
2. (-) Paintsville (11-2) – In their only game of the week, the Tigers picked up a 62-48 win at home over district rival Sheldon Clark. Braxton Tharp led three players in double figures with 15 points while Nick Keeton posted another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Like most other schools in the 15th region, Paintsville plays in the All-A this week, opening with Betsy Layne. If all goes as expected, you should see a Paintsville vs. Shelby Valley semifinal.
3. (-) Johnson Central (12-2) – The Golden Eagles bounced back nicely after losing to Paintsville in week six with two double digit wins in week seven. JC got a blow-out win at Sheldon Clark 85-59 in a game where Isaiah May (23) and Jacob Rice (21) shot a combine 7/9 from deep and a ten-point win over 16th Region defending champion Boyd County 82-72. In the Boyd County game, May again led all scorers with 20 points to include two 2-handed dunks from the guard position. A challenging week eight awaits as the Golden Eagles travel to Pikeville, host Magoffin County and then make their way to Clark County where they face a talented Clark County team.
4. (-) Pikeville (8-6) – The Panthers went 1-1 in week seven with a win on road at Belfry 71-59 and a loss in double overtime to Tug Valley, WV in the Hatfield-McCoy shootout at Williamson, WV 68-70. In the Tug Valley game, Pikeville erased a ten-point deficit with one minute to play in regulation to force overtime and had a chance to win at the end of the first overtime, but missed an open 3FG. Pikeville is a very physical team that is streaky shooting the ball from deep and limited on their scoring options outside of Connor Roberts. The Panthers will host Johnson Central then began All-A play in week eight. They open with Jenkins in the All-A and are favored to meet the winner of the Paintsville/Shelby Valley game in the regional final.
5. (-) Lawrence County (12-5) – The Bulldogs went 1-1 in week seven as they represented the 15th Region in the 2A sectionals. In their first game of the week, LC defeated Sheldon Clark at home 59-52 in game which they trailed for more than three quarters (down 13 at half) and closed on a huge run to put the game away. The Bulldogs would then make their way to the 2A sectional tournament versus Morgan County where they would fall 60-77. It was the second loss to Morgan County on the season. In fact, Morgan County and Johnson Central represent four of the five losses on the year for Lawrence County. At this point in the year, it’s becoming clear that Lawrence County is the best team outside the big four mentioned above. Magoffin County, Floyd Central and Buckhorn are on the docket for week eight. The Magoffin County will be an interesting contest on the road as the Hornets are playing much better as of late.
6. (-) Magoffin County (9-7) – The Hornets completed a four game home stand in week seven, going 1-1 on the week and 2-2 overall during the stretch. Magoffin played the region’s top ranked team, Shelby Valley, to a 66-76 loss and were able to beat Belfry at home 66-52 for the second time in six days. In both games this week, the Hornets were led in scoring by Brady Whitaker with 20 plus and Isaiah Salyer with 20 and 16 respectively. This is a scary team as they begin to find their stride midseason. Week eight is huge for their district seeding as the travel to Sheldon Clark and Johnson Central while hosting Lawrence County in between those games.
7. (Up 1) Phelps (7-6) – The Hornets went 2-1 in week seven with wins over Mingo Central, WV (winless) and Man, WV (both games in the Hatfield McCoy Shootout at Williamson, WV). The loss came on the road at Letcher Central 55-72. Junior standout Trey Francis continues to average 20 plus points and 11 plus rebounds a game and will led his Hornets into the All-A this week as they face Sheldon Clark (winner gets East Ridge). This could be a semi-final run for Phelps, as the Sheldon Clark game will be very competitive. Sheldon Clark did beat Phelps easily in a preseason scrimmage.
8. (Up 1) Prestonsburg (8-7) – The Blackcats won their only contest of the week as they easily defeated Jenkins 90-63 at home. Prestonsburg has not won more than two games in a row this season, nor have they lost more than two in a row. Brent Rose is eyeing the first winning season for the program in a very long time and will be tested in week eight as he plays Morgan County and then participates in the All-A (drew a bye) before hosting district rival Betsy Layne.
9. (Down 2) Sheldon Clark (5-11) – Tough week for the Cardinals as they went 0-4 with all but one game resulting in a single digit margin. Paintsville, Lawrence County, Wyoming East, WV and Johnson Central all knocked off Sheldon Clark. To be fair to Sheldon Clark, all four teams were favorites to win and standout Trey James played well, nearly recording a triple double against Johnson Central (1 block short). Sheldon Clark will face Phelps in the All-A and could then potentially face East Ridge and Pikeville in week seven. Prior to that, Sheldon Clark will host Magoffin County for the first time this season in a huge 57th district seeded game.
10. (-) Pike Central (11-6) – The weak schedule continues for the Hawks as they knocked off Betsy Layne 68-55 in their only contest of the week. Belfry comes calling in week eight in what will be a heated rivalry game. That will be followed up with Knott Central at Clark County so the schedule gets a bit better. The Belfry game will be Pike Centrals first district game of the season and the first district game for any team in the 60th.
11. (-) Belfry (5-11) – Belfry picked up two wins and two losses in week eight. The two wins (Jenkins and Mingo Central, WV) snapped a three game skid and gives the Pirates momentum going into their next contest versus Pike Central, their biggest basketball rival, but the teams they beat have a combine one win on the season. Belfry will play Phelps and Knott Central to round out week eight. This team has plenty of athletes and pass the eye test in warmup’s but are still looking for an identity on the court. This could be the week they put it all together.
12. (-) Betsy Layne (7-8) – The Bobcats lost their only contest of the week to Pike Central 55-68. They will play two games on the same day this coming Tuesday as they host both Piarist and Jackson City. They will end week eight by playing Paintsville in the opening round of the All-A Classic.
13. (-) East Ridge (5-10) – The Warriors lost both contest in week seven, getting beat by 43 at the hands of Shelby Valley and then losing to Scott, WV 67-171 in the Hatfield McCoy Shootout at Williamson, WV. East Ridge should get back on track in week eight as they host Mountain Mission, VA before opening All-A play where they drew a bye to play the winner between Sheldon Clark and Phelps.
14. (-) Floyd Central (2-16) – Shawn Hagar is at the helm for Floyd Central and some of the players that quit have returned, but the nightmare season continues. Week seven saw two more losses against Perry Central 31-63 and North Laurel 50-70. Floyd Central now has the second longest losing streak in the region behind only Piarist (dating back to last season) and will not be favored to win another game this year. Hard to believe that this team was ranked in the top five in the preseason and opened with an impressive win.
15. (-) Jenkins (1-14) – Three more losses in week seven for the Cavaliers. This week they will play Pikeville in the All-A before traveling to Owsley County. Good news is they already have a one win on their schedule and could pick a few more later in the season.
16. (-) Piarist (0-11) – The Knights were 0-1 in week seven and with only eight games left on the season will likely finish winless yet again.
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