15th Region Week 10 Review: Sickness Hampers Competition
Overview: Sickness and cancellations were rampant in the 15th Region this week as several teams played a limited schedule, did not compete altogether or were even unable to practice. With District tournaments looming, coaches are scrambling to fill their schedules and prepare their teams both physically and mentally. Listed below are the rankings after ten weeks of play.
Rankings (overall record):
1. (-) Shelby Valley (19-5) – The Wildcats remain in the top spot after a 2-0 week ten that included two 30 plus point wins over Pike Central and Jenkins (both on the road), pushing the current win streak to five games. Mr. Basketball candidate Cody Potter continues to lead the way, scoring nearly 25 ppg and grabbing just under 10 rpg while shooting 42% from beyond the three-point arc. Mix this with Kaden Robinson (13.0 ppg) and Elijah Sykes (11.3 ppg) and Shelby Valley has a potent lineup that can score both inside and out. Week eleven will see Shelby Valley face Martin County on the road and Floyd Central at home.
2. (-) Johnson Central (14-8) – The Golden Eagles were forced to cancel both their contests during the week due to sickness in the school district. Like many surrounding districts, the Johnson County Board of Education cancelled school and all extracurricular activities and events to include practices. JC lost a home game versus Perry Central and a road game at Belfry despite having no players sick. They also lost valuable practice time as they were not allowed to condition on school grounds during this time as a precautionary measure. JC will be back in action this week as they finish out district play with Magoffin County at home then travel to Scott County on Saturday. JC will likely be in the 2/3 game in the 57th District opener and face either Paintsville or Martin County depending on the outcome of their game.
3. (-) Paintsville (12-10) – The Tigers went 1-0 in week ten with an 83-68 win on the road at Belfry. The game was never in doubt as Paintsville jumped out to an early 20-point lead and then subbed generously throughout the game in both the early and late stages. Colby Fugate and Nick Keeton both went for 20 plus in the game. Paintsville has two games on the schedule for week eleven as they play their fourth and final home game versus Floyd Central then travel to Martin County for a game that will determine the top overall seed in the 57th District.
4. (-) Martin County (12-12) – Martin County is back at .500 for the first time since December 19th and has won five of their last six games to include going 2-0 in week ten. The Cardinals were able to knock off Lawrence County and Magoffin County by nearly identical scores (defeated LC 61-53 and MC 61-52). In the Magoffin County game, the Cardinals trailed by seven at half time and trailed by two midway through the fourth, but were able to remain undefeated at home. Freshman Parker Davis hit the go ahead 3FG late in the contest to give Martin County the lead for good. The Magoffin County win sets up a winner take all district show down with Paintsville on Valentine’s Day with the top seed in the 57th on the line. Week eleven will also feature Shelby Valley at home. For Martin County, it will be a difficult task to remain at or above .500 this week after fighting their way back.
5. (-) Pikeville (12-9) – Pikeville lost their only game this week against a 20-win South Laurel squad 65-67 in overtime. Late in regulation, Sophomore Rylee Sammons had a point blank shot to win the game on what looked to be a no-call foul. Despite the loss, the Panthers showed they are still a force to be reckoned with despite being down their entire backcourt for the rest of the season. East Ridge and Lawrence County come calling in week eleven.
6. (-) Lawrence County (17-9) – The Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight to include a pair of 20-point wins over 58th District foes Floyd Central and Betsy Layne in week ten. Lawrence County has locked up the top overall seed in the 58th and will face Floyd Central in the opening round of the tournament. This team continues to just roll along and under the radar, but might shock someone in the regional. Week eleven will see them host both Prestonsburg and Pikeville.
7. (Up 1) Phelps (15-10) – The Hornets are having one of their best seasons in the past 20 years, are in first place in the 60th District and have a current five game winning streak to include going 2-0 in week ten. Wins over Hurley, VA by 26-points and Belfry by 15-points mark a drastic change in the guard on the Pike County border. Trey Francis continues to lead the charge as he is currently averaging 17.3 ppg and 12.0 rpg from the wing position. In week eleven the Hornets will face Letcher Central and Belfry on the road.
8. (Down 1) Magoffin County (12-11) – The Hornets dropped their only game of week ten to Martin County 52-61 in a game they led by seven at the half, by three after three and by two (with the ball) under four minutes to play. This team is talented and balanced, but seems to find a way to lose late rather than win. They have four games on the schedule in week eleven to include Johnson Central, Morgan County Jenkins and East Ridge. They will be favored in all but the JC game. If they lose to JC then will be locked in the four seed in the 57th and will either face Martin County or Paintsville in the first round of districts.
9. (-) Betsy Layne (14-8) – The Bobcats went 1-1 in week ten with a dominating win over Floyd Central and a beat down loss to Lawrence County at home by 20. This locks the Betsy Layne into the 2/3 game in the 58th District where they will face Prestonsburg. The Bobcats still have issues when going to the bench, but are experimenting with different lineup’s in what they hope will lead to sustained play over the course of a game. They will have Letcher Central, Belfry and Knott Central all at home in week eleven.
10. (-) Belfry (7-12) – After a promising start to the season, Belfry has now lost ten of their last eleven games to include four in a row. In week ten, the Pirates lost to Paintsville at home and Phelps on the road by identical 15 point margins. Freshman point guard Sal Dean is exciting to watch on the offensive end, but plays very little defense to include leaking out for easy buckets rather than grabbing defensive rebounds. Play like that is a microcosm of the season for Belfry, they cannot seem to pull in the same direction. This team has athletes and shooters and if they figure it out could shock someone in the tournament. In week ten they will play on four consecutive nights against Pike Central, Phelps, Betsy Layne and Henry Clay
11. (Up 1) East Ridge (7-13) – The Warriors won their only contest in week ten by knocking off Letcher Central 75-60 on the road. Hot shooting behind the arc was the recipe for success as the team knocked down 57.1% of their attempts in the game. Pikeville and Pike Central come calling in week eleven as East Ridge looks to gain momentum going into the post season. Pikeville will be their opening district game in the 59th.
12. (Down 1) Prestonsburg (6-12) – Like Johnson Central, Prestonsburg did not play a contest in week ten due to illness/cancellations from other opponents. They drop a spot due to East Ridge picking up a win and holding the head-to-head win between the two as well. In week eleven, the Black Cats will face Lawrence County, Menifee County and Floyd Central as they look to break the longest active losing streak in the region (11 games: Jenkins won last week).
13. (-) Pike Central (6-17) – Pike Central was dominated in their only contest in week ten as Shelby Valley steam rolled them at home 37-68. The good news on the season is that this squad could still get the top overall seed in the 60th district is they win out and then win the tie breaker. That scenario begins this week as they face Belfry on the road in a heated rivalry game (the next two district games will be the following week). It’s important to note that the top seed in the 60th District gets a bye into the regional tournament as Piarist is not fielding a team this season.
14. (-) Floyd Central (4-18) – The Jags dropped both contests this week and have now lost eight in a row and eleven of their last twelve overall. It does not get any easier in week eleven as Floyd Central travels to Paintsville, Shelby Valley and Prestonsburg. It is unlikely FC gets another win until they face Jenkins in week twelve. To say the least, it has been a difficult season for first year head coach Alan Joe Moore.
15. (-) Jenkins (1-17) – The Cavaliers picked up their first win of the season by knocking off June Buchanan 60-52 on the road. This was an impressive turn around considering JBS had beaten Jenkins at home by 26-points earlier in the season. In their other contest this week, Jenkins was doubled up by Shelby Valley 36-72. Jenkins has an excellent chance to get another win in week eleven as they host Rye Cove, VA, a team that beat them 67-69 on the road in week four. Jenkins will also face Letcher County, Magoffin County and OBI in week eleven.
16. (-) Piarist (0-1) – Season cancelled long ago. Still waiting to hear whether or not they will compete in districts. All signs say no.
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