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Overview: Johnson Central knocked off Paintsville on the road in a game they never trailed, Pikeville dominated Clay County at home, Shelby Valley cruised to easy wins and Magoffin County welcomes back the return of their suspended players. These are just a few of the headlines after ten weeks of play. Rankings and reviews are as follows:
Rankings (overall record):

1. (-) Shelby Valley (22-4) – The Wildcats remain in the top spot after going 2-0 this week with comfortable wins over Magoffin County (72-33) and East Ridge (61-35). Cody Potter is averaging 23.7 ppg and 10.0 rpg while shooting an impressive 43% from deep on 221 attempts. Match that with the energy and effort Shelby Valley’s role players bring night in and night out and you have an exceptional team. Expect Valley to roll in week eleven with home games versus Belfry and Pike Central and a road game versus Jenkins.

2. (Up 1) Pikeville (15-7) – Pikeville defeated Clay County 89-55 at home in their only contest of the week, extending their current win streak to four games. In the game, Connor Roberts paced the Panthers with 35 points on 12/16 shooting as Clay County had no answer for the half-court 1-2-2 pressure. Rylee Sammons, J.T. Orem and Christian Billiter also hit double figures in the win. Pikeville is the best defensive team in the region with their physical strength and size and will be tested in week eleven as they travel to Clay County before hosting Sheldon Clark. It will be a much different test playing Clay County in Manchester this week, expect the game to be much closer.

3. (Up 1) Johnson Central (18-5) – The Golden Eagles posted a 2-1 record this week with a home win over Sheldon Clark 67-38, a road win over cross town rival Paintsville 68-62 and a road loss at Clay County 59-72. In the Paintsville game, Johnson Central led by 16 points late in the third quarter and had a fast break dunk attempt that was missed that could have extended the lead. Paintsville immediately got 3FG’s on back to back possessions cutting what should have been and 18-point lead to 10 points and making a game out of it. In the end, JC would never trail and hit enough FT’s late to hold on despite multiple starters fouling out. The Golden Eagles will have a chance to tie for the 57th district regular season crown in week eleven with a win at Magoffin County. They will also have Lawrence County at home and Ashland on the road.

4. (Down 2) Paintsville (14-5) – Disappointing week as the Tigers went 1-2 with a win over Huntington St. Joe’s regional team and back-to-back losses versus Johnson Central at home and Floyd Central on the road. Colby Fugate and Seth Williams continue to be the statistical leaders on the team as the Tigers have hit a rough spot in their season, losing three of the last five overall. In the loss to Floyd Central, Seth Williams did not play, but it’s still a head scratcher as Floyd Central entered the game 2-20 overall. Both Paintsville and Johnson Central lost the night after playing one another in an emotional rivalry game and both lost on the road. The Tigers will look to regroup in week eleven as they open what will be a three game home stand versus Belfry and Letcher Central.

5. (-) Lawrence County (17-7) – The Bulldogs went 1-1 in week ten as they played the first two games of what will be a five game road trip. The loss came at Russell 71-77 as both Cody and Tyler Maynard hit the 20-point plateau. The win came on the road at Floyd Central 53-50 and locked up the top overall seed for the Bulldogs in the 58th District. That seed means they will play Floyd Central in the opening game on their home court. Week eleven might be the toughest so far this season as Lawrence County travels to Sheldon Clark, Johnson Central and Paris.

6. (-) Sheldon Clark (9-14) – Sheldon Clark’s transfer is still not eligible and the Cardinals went 1-1 in week eleven as they await an appeal ruling. A loss on the road at Johnson Central 38-67 and a win on the road at Belfry 65-59 is how the week played out. With the Johnson Central loss, Sheldon Clark is assured to play either JC or Paintsville in the opening round of the district. In week eleven, SC will host Lawrence County and Breathitt County then travel to Magoffin County and Pikeville. If they win at Magoffin County, they will be the three seed, if they lose, they will flip with Magoffin County for the three seed unless Magoffin County defeats JC.

7. (-) Magoffin County (11-12) –
The Hornets went 0-2 this week but it was without the region’s leading scorer Brady Whitaker, or their big man in the middle Randy Bailey as both were suspended for two games following their ejections in the Paintsville game. With both out, Magoffin lost to Letcher Central 52-56 and Shelby Valley 33-72 both on the road. The week the Hornets will play four home games versus Johnson Central, Prestonsburg, Sheldon Clark and East Ridge. Magoffin is assured to play either Paintsville or Johnson Central in the opening round of the 57th district tournament at Paintsville.

8. (-) Pike Central (15-9) – The Hawks locked up the top seed in the 60th district and a virtual guarantee to be in the regional tournament (play Piarist in opening round) in week ten as they went 1-1. The win on the road at Belfry 62-44 gave Pike Central that top spot. They also lost at home to Letcher Central 39-49 as the offense went into another drought. If Pike Central can get consistent scoring, they can play with the upper level teams in the region but that has not been the case thus far as their best win on the season is at home versus Prestonsburg.

9. (Up 1) Phelps (10-12) – The Hornets went 2-1 this week and move up one spot. Wins on the road versus River View, WV and Twin Valley, VA were sandwiched around a loss on the road to Belfry in a competitive game (lost 45-50). With the outcomes around the district, it is assured that Phelps and Belfry will play in the opening round of the district tournament at Phelps in what should be a great game. In week eleven, the Hornets will face Man, WV Pike Central and Jackson City.

10. (Up 1) Prestonsburg (12-12) – The Blackcats had a 3-1 week to get back to .500 on the season with wins over Piarist, Leslie County and Betsy Layne and a loss on the road to Buckhorn. With district play set, Prestonsburg will play Betsy Layne at Lawrence County in the opening round of the 58th district tournament. In week eleven the will wrap up their four game home trip by playing Magoffin and Floyd Central.


11. (Down 2) Belfry (7-17) – The Pirates went 1-2 in week ten, breaking their five game losing streak with a home win over Phelps 50-45 then starting a new one with a home loss to Sheldon Clark 59-65. Belfry will play 60th district host Phelps in the opening round of post season play and will look to improve before and negate a ton of negative energy around the team. Shelby Valley, Paintsville and Betsy Layne are on the schedule for week eleven.

12. (-) Betsy Layne (11-11) – Betsy Layne’s best win this season is against Prestonsburg and/or a twenty loss Floyd Central team. They lost at home to Prestonsburg in week ten 42-48 and will now play them at Lawrence County in the first round of the 58th district tournament. Jenkins, Buckhorn, Belfry and Lynn Camp will be this week’s opponents.

13. (Up 1) Floyd Central (3-20) – It’s difficult to move a team up that has twenty losses on the season, but all of Floyd Central’s players are back and they defeated a very good Paintsville team who was heavy favorites despite Seth Williams not playing. The win snapped a 16 game losing streak this season after Lawrence County defeated the Jag’s on Friday. Floyd Central is locked into the four seed in the 58th district and a date with host Lawrence County. Prestonsburg and Boyd County are on the schedule for this week as Floyd Central closes out a five game home stand.

14. (Down 1) East Ridge (9-13) – The Warriors defeated Hurley, VA and got thumped by Shelby Valley in their only two contests this week. They will host the district tournament and play Shelby Valley in first round in a two weeks. This week they have Letcher Central, Piarist and Magoffin County.

15. (-) Jenkins (1-21) – The Cavaliers dropped their only game this week to Barbourville 29-65. The good news is they will get a win this coming week as they have Piarist on the schedule and could be competitive with June Buchanan at home.

16. (-) Piarist (0-20) – Four more losses this week for the Knights with the closest game being a 22-point loss to Burgin. Expect three more losses in week eleven as it’s almost certain Piarist will not win this season.

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