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Overview: Shelby Valley’s Cody Potter goes for 42, Pikeville sees a star go down with injury and a new member breaks into the top four in the rankings. Read more below to catch up on 15th Region action after 3 weeks of play!
Rankings:

1. Pikeville (2-1) – The Panthers went 1-1 in week three while hosting the Pikeville Invitational Tournament. In the opening round, Pikeville defeated Paul Laurence Dunbar 80-64. In the game Wyatt Battaile had 30 points in less than three quarters of play before an ankle injury required him to be carried off the court. In the Championship, Pikeville was only trailing Louisville Ballard by four points (without the region’s best player), but eventually fell 69-90. In week four, Pikeville will travel to Harlan before playing in the Prestonsburg Holiday Classic where they open with Cordia.

2. Floyd Central (6-2) – Week three saw the Jaguars open district play with a blow-out win versus Prestonsburg 80-65 then travel to Pike Central for the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic where they faced Chapmanville, WV (losing 60-74). In the Chapmanville game, Floyd Central actually played quite well, but Chapmanville is just that good with multiple D1 players. The schedule does not let up as in week four Floyd Central will play Madison Central and Letcher County in the Kentucky Bank Challenge at Rowan County

3. Pike Central (7-1) – Pike Central is playing well and has the most wins in the region behind the solid guard play of Christian Mounts and Seth Conn. In week three they defeated Jenkins, Louisville Eastern, and Breathitt County. The schedule is not the most challenging at this point, but will get tougher after Christmas. Week four will see the Hawks host Jenkins before opening the Prestonsburg Holiday Classic with Lawrence County.

4. Shelby Valley (6-1) – Shelby Valley has yet to play a game away from home and only have a few quality opponents on their entire schedule. They did go 1-1 against two of those opponents in week three with a win against Johnson Central 58-52 and a loss versus Tug Valley, WV 70-74. In the Tug Valley game, Shelby Valley trailed by as many as 17 before Cody Potter got hot from behind the line and the Wildcats got an 8- qpoint possession (Potter was fouled on shot attempt followed by double T’s on a player = 6 FT’s, Potter hit 5/6 and then hit a 3FG when they got the ball back). Potter finished with career high 42 points to go with 10 rebounds. Tyler May led Tug Valley with 20 points.

5. Johnson Central (3-4) – The young Golden Eagles went 1-2 in week three with losses at Shelby Valley 52-58 and to Knox Central 69-77 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Shootout at Pike Central. In the Shelby Valley game, JC led by five entering the fourth quarter but were only able to make 10-24 FT’s to include several missed front end’s and could not hold off Valley down the stretch. In the Knox Central game, JC got down 20 in the first quarter but came all the way back in the 4th and had the ball under 2min with a chance to take the lead. Freshman Isaiah May led JC in the Knox Central game with 27 points (Junior Jacob Rice had 21 points). The Golden Eagles did pick up a win vs. Louisville Eastern 61-49 in a game that was not even that close (led by 21 before subbing). Week four will see JC travel to Gatlinburg for the Smoky Mountain Classic where they open with Central (Norton), VA.

6. Paintsville (6-2) – The Tigers defeated three opponents in a 48-hour span in the week three as they knocked off Magoffin County at home then Menifee and Evangelical Christian in the same day in the Berea Invitational Tournament. In the third place game of the aforementioned tournament, Paintsville lost to Madison Central 57-88 in a game Madison Central opened 18-0 despite Paintsville starting with technical foul shots due to Madison Central touching the rims in warm-up’s (missed both). Paintsville also knocked off Sheldon Clark in district play in week three, putting the at 2-0 in the 57th. In week four, the Tigers will travel to Rowan County for the Kentucky Bank Challenge where they will face Holmes and Boyd County.

7. Belfry (2-2) – Belfry got wins at home versus Letcher Central and Piarist 65-56 and 76-15 respectively and took a close loss to Knott Central 49-52 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Classic at Pike Central. This team is very scrappy and if they are hitting shots are capable of knocking off anyone on a given night. In week four, Belfry will host Lawrence County then play Bourbon County and Pendleton County at Rowan County in the Kentucky Bank Challenge.

8. Sheldon Clark (4-3) – Sheldon Clark went 1-1 in week three with a blow-out loss to Paintsville on the road and blow-out win versus East Ridge at home. In the Paintsville game, the score was very close at halftime before the Tigers went to the press and put the game away, winning by 18. The Cardinals play in the Derby Classic in week four, opening with West Carter.

9. Betsy Layne (4-3) – Betsy Layne is steadily climbing the rankings, going 2-0 in week three with wins over East Ridge and Lawrence County. The Bobcats have physical play inside and solid guard play with average shooting. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it going as in week four they travel to the Smoky Mountain Classic where they open with Kentucky Country Day.

10. Lawrence County (4-5) – Lawrence County went 2-2 in week three with close wins against Magoffin County and Phelps (overtime) and losses to Lewis County and Betsy Layne. It will not get easier in week four as Lawrence travels to Belfry and then opens the Prestonsburg Holiday Classic with Pike Central.

11. Prestonsburg (2-3) – The Blackcats defeated Phelps by 12 and lost to Floyd Central by 15 in week three. Drake Nunnery and Austin Endicott have been carrying Prestonsburg as they look to get back on the win train in their own Holiday Classic in week four. They open the tournament with Magoffin County.

12. Magoffin County (1-7) – Magoffin County has dropped six in a row and despite excellent play from Junior guard Brady Whitaker, can’t seem to get consistent play for four quarters. They will play with or lead very good teams for two plus quarters, then get blown out over a four-minute stretch, unable to recover. This team will get better as the season progresses and be much tougher come district tournament time.

13. East Ridge (3-4) – The Warriors went 1-2 in week three with a slim five-point win at Jenkins and losses to Betsy Layne and Sheldon Clark (the Betsy Layne game was close). This squad has a few upper classmen, but most of the talent is younger and still developing. Week four will see East Ridge travel to play in the Prestonsburg Holiday Classic where they open with Morgan County.

14. Phelps (2-4) – Phelps was 0-2 in week three, but gave Prestonsburg and Lawrence County (lost in overtime) all they wanted. Phelps is not one of the better teams in the region, but it’s surprising how competitive they have been despite losing Christian Mounts to transfer.

15. Jenkins (0-9) – Jenkins went 0-3 in week three with all games being played at home. The Cavaliers were only competitive in the East Ridge game. The long season continues in week four as Jenkins travels to Middlesboro and Pike Central.

16. Piarist (1-5) - Piarist lost 15-76 versus Belfry in district play this week scoring only 9 points in the first half. They play in the Rose Hill All Private Invitational this week where they should be more competitive.

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