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Overview: Pikeville reaffirmed its dominance in the region, Floyd Central flexed some muscle on a local 58th district opponent, and status quo was maintained in the rankings after six weeks of play. As we move closer to the All-A tournament and more and more teams play each other in region, district seeding is beginning to manifest what many predicted in the preseason. Check out this week’s rankings below.

Rankings:

1. Pikeville (10-3) – Pikeville stands only as the only team in the 15th without a loss to an in-region opponent. In week six the Panthers went 3-0 with easy wins over East Ridge, Jenkins and Shelby Valley, giving them a commanding 3-0 record in 59th district seeded play. Their closest game during the week was a twelve-point win at home versus Shelby Valley. In week seven, Pikeville will finish up their five game home stand with contests against Belfry and South Laurel. Both games should be much closer then what was on last week’s docket.

2. Floyd Central (9-6) – The Jaguars had only one game in week six, dominating district rival Prestonsburg 75-33 on the road. After a loaded Holiday Schedule, Floyd Central continues their road ways in week seven with 58th district rival Betsy Layne followed by 13th region contender North Laurel. The Betsy Layne game should not be close, but the North Laurel game should be a war. Floyd Central is still talented and one of the favorites to come out of the 15th this March.

3. Shelby Valley (8-5) – Despite having a week to prepare, Shelby Valley fell to district rival Pikeville on the road 64-76. It was their first loss to an in-region team, dropping them to 2-4 on the road this season after opening the year with seven straight home games (went 6-1). The Wildcats will be on the road twice during week seven as they visit Lawrence County and East Ridge. They will be heavily favored in both games and should win easily.

4. Johnson Central (8-8) – The Golden Eagles went 2-1 in week six with a 57th district win over Sheldon Clark 91-61, a double overtime win over Belfry 80-78 and a loss to Simon Kenton 63-77 despite leading at the half. Jacob Rice, Isaiah May and Cory VanHoose all performed well during the week, averaging double figures. Jacob Rice recorded a career high 30 points and Isaiah May posted a career high 13 rebounds in the Belfry win. Cory VanHoose posted a career high 27 points in the Sheldon Clark win. Week seven is huge with respect to 57th District seeding for the Golden Eagles as they host Magoffin County (WYMT game of the week: streamed live) and then travel to Paintsville (will be a crazy environment with a packed house).

5. Pike Central (13-4) – After dropping two in a row, the Hawks bounced back by going 2-0 in week six (wins over Paintsville at home and Magoffin County on the road). The athletic team has yet to peak despite having the most wins of any team in the region. The Paintsville win was their first against a solid team and they will have a chance to pick up another against a very good Chapmanville, WV team in week seven. Chapmanville has two legitimate division one talents on their team this season.

6. Paintsville (11-4) – The Tigers went 1-1 in week six with a loss on the road to Pike Central 59-62 and a win on the road against 57th District rival Sheldon Clark 74-66 (Mason Moore recorded career high 16 rebounds per twitter reports). The Tigers are young and deep and play very hard. With Seth Williams and Mason Moore leading the way they have a good chance to defeat any 15th Region opponent on a given night. They will be tested in week seven as they travel to Letcher Central then host their biggest game of the year as Johnson Central comes to town. The Paintsville/JC game will bring one the best crowds all year and the two fan bases are separated by less than one mile. Should be a great atmosphere in a pivotal 57th seeded game.

7. Belfry (5-6) – In their only contest of the week, the athletic and physical Belfry squad lost a double overtime thriller at home to Johnson Central 78-80. In the game, senior sharp-shooter Isiah Roblee hit a 3FG to send the game into overtime, a 3FG to send the game into double overtime, and a 3FG to tie the game with less than 10s in double overtime before JC freshman Isaiah May hit the game winner. Roblee finished with a game high 33 points. It was the third consecutive overtime game for Belfry and fourth overtime game on the season (they are 1-3 in such games). This team is long, physical, deep with shooter everywhere, and well coached. Belfry is a scary team with ten seniors on their roster and will be a factor in the regional tournament. In week seven they travel to Pikeville then host Phelps and Jenkins. They should easily defeat Phelps and Jenkins and could give Pikeville problems with their size and athleticism.

8. Sheldon Clark (6-9) – The Cardinals lost to both Johnson Central and Paintsville (57th district seeded games) in week six and have dropped five of their last six contest. Trey James continues to put up huge numbers in the middle and has become a triple double machine. When Sheldon Clark can get him the ball inside ten feet, good things happen, but teams that press negate his dominate inside play. The Cardinals should get back on the win train in week seven as they travel to east ridge then host Magoffin County.

9. Betsy Layne (6-8) – The Bobcats dropped their only contest of week six in a 59-62 loss on the road at Lawrence County. It’s the fourth straight loss for Betsy Layne and likely locks them into a first round district matchup with Lawrence County. Week seven will see Betsy Layne travel to Prestonsburg, host Floyd Central, then travel to Jackson City. They will be favored in all but the Floyd Central game.

10. Lawrence County (6-12) – The Bulldogs have played more games than anyone in the region and are well over halfway through their season. Week six saw them go 1-1 with a 26-point loss to Raceland and a huge district win at home over Betsy Layne 62-59 (avenging an overtime loss to the Bobcats earlier in the year). The win over Betsy Layne will likely set up a Betsy Layne/Lawrence County district opener in the 58th, a game that could be the best first round game in the entire region. Week seven will see Lawrence host both Shelby Valley and Tolsia, WV. They will be favored in the Tolsia game.

11. Magoffin County (4-12) – The Hornets lost their only contest in week six at the hands of Pike Central by a final of 51-63. Junior Brady Whitaker continues his stellar play, averaging nearly 19 points per game against the what is usually the other team’s best defender. Magoffin is playing much better than their record indicates and are playing with or beating good teams through 2.5 to 3 full quarters. They just can’t seem to put a full game together as evident by the Pike Central game which they controlled most of the contest. Magoffin will face Johnson Central on the road, Morgan County at home and Sheldon Clark on the road in week seven. This week should determine their district placement and the Johnson Central game will be broadcast live on wymt.com as their game of the week.

12. East Ridge (5-10) – Randy McCoy gets more out of his team than most would think despite having lost ten games. Week six saw them go 1-1 with a win over Jenkins and a near 50-point loss to district rival Pikeville. Sheldon and Shelby Valley will come to Lick Creek in week seven and the Warriors should play them tough despite being large underdogs in both games.

13. Phelps (4-10) – The Hornets went 2-0 in week six with wins at home over Prestonsburg and district rival Piarist. Jenkins and Belfry wait in week seven. Phelps will be favored in the Jenkins contest and heavy underdogs in the Belfry game. One bright spot for the Hornets has been the wing play of sophomore Trey Francis. He is quickly emerging as one of the better sophomores in the region.

14. Prestonsburg (4-10) – Losses to Phelps and Floyd Central and a win at home versus June Buchanan is how week six went for the Blackcats. They struggle to score the ball against average or better teams and lack in both size and guard play to compete against a valid post presence or team that presses. With the outlook as currently constructed it will be a few years before Prestonsburg has a serious chance at top half of the region.

15. Jenkins (0-13) – The Cavaliers were defeated easily by both Pikeville and East Ridge this in week six. Their best chance for a win this season might be June Buchanan in week eight, but the possibility of a winless season may come to fruition.

16. Piarist (1-11) - Piarist lost its only game of the week to Phelps by 35 points. Their week seven contest with Pike Central has been cancelled but they will face both Heritage Academy and Covington Latin within the next seven days. Piarist will not be favored in either game, but they do have potential to be closer than previous contests.

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