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Overview: Several games were cancelled due to weather in week seven as the top teams remain the same. The 15th Region heads into the All-A Classic with 3 teams seriously contending for the title in Pikeville, Paintsville and Shelby Valley. Let’s check out the rankings after seven weeks of play!

1. Pikeville (11-3) – The Panthers continue to roll through the region as in week seven they defeated a senior led, athletic Belfry team 70-55 at home. Pikeville remains the only undefeated team to regional competition. Wyatt Battaile and company will open the All-A in week eight versus Sheldon Clark. They are the favorite to win the 15th Region All-A and have a fairly easy path to the finals where they should face the winner between Shelby Valley and Paintsville.

2. Floyd Central (10-6) – Floyd Central was one of few teams in the state to play this past Friday as the Commonwealth prepared for what many thought was snowmageddon. The Jag’s knocked off district rival Betsy Layne on the road 66-31 in a contest that wasn’t even that close. Week eight will have Floyd Central host Lexington’s Henry Clay.

3. Shelby Valley (9-5) – Like many other 15th Region teams, Shelby Valley was only able to get in one game in week seven. They defeated Lawrence County 87-66 on the road as Cody Potter and company continue to roll. Right now Shelby Valley is playing harder than any team in the region and are as serious contender to win the region is they can keep winning the effort game. Week eight will see them in the 15th Region All-A as they open with Piarist and should advance to play Paintsville in the semifinal. Valley defeated Paintsville at home 62-58 in early December.

4. Johnson Central (8-8) – The Golden Eagles had both scheduled games cancelled this week. The first game was to be at home versus Magoffin County but due to a tragic death in the faculty, the Hornets took time to honor their teacher and give their student body a chance to pay their respects. Applause to both administrations in a show of support. The Magoffin game is scheduled to be played on Tuesday of week eight. The second game of the week was on the road against cross town rival Paintsville. According to weather reports, a potentially dangerous cold front was moving in and the game was cancelled (no make-up date set). As it turns out, it simply rained until late into the evening Friday so in a sense it was the first time in the historic rivalry that a basketball contest got rained out. JC will face Magoffin at home, Mingo Central (WV) in the Hatfield McCoy shootout and Bath County at home in week eight. The Hall of Fame game this Saturday could also feature a different team as if Bath County advances to the 16th Region All-A championship (games moved back due to weather) that game could be cancelled as well.

5. Pike Central (14-4) – The Hawks have the most wins in the region and were 1-0 in week seven with an easy 88-21 win over Piarist. They are long an athletic and have played more in-region opponents than anyone else in the 15th (played 12 15th Region teams). Week eight will have Pike Central travel to Belfry in a heated rivalry game that could determine the 60th District top seed, then host Hazard. The Belfry contest is the most important game of the year thus far.

6. Paintsville (12-4) – Paintsville was 1-0 in week seven with a win over Letcher Central on the road 84-83. In the game the Tigers opened strong and had a commanding lead in the first half only to see Letcher come all the way back and take the lead late. The Tigers regained the lead and held off a baseline jumper at the buzzer to hold on. Their other game in week seven was a rain out (see JC summary) against their cross town rivalry in one of the most heated match-up’s in the state year in and year out (no make-up date scheduled). Paintsville opens the All-A in week eight with East Ridge in a game they will be heavily favored.

7. Belfry (5-7) – The Pirates have dropped three in a row after their week seven loss to Pikeville on the road 55-70. The game was close in the 2nd half, but a late third quarter run by the Panthers was never answered and Belfry never recovered. This team is long, athletic, senior laden and physical. They have the ability to beat anyone in the region on a given night. Week eight will see them host Pike Central (biggest game of the year so far as it could decide 60th district top seed) and Magoffin County before traveling across the river to face Logan, WV in the Hatfield McCoy at Williamson, WV.

8. Sheldon Clark (7-9) – The Cardinals won their only game in week seven in the form of a 67-57 win on the road at East Ridge. Freshman Trey James dominated with several dunks and blocked shots. Tough draw for Sheldon Clark in the All-A as they get Pikeville in the opening round. James will be a force as he always is. If the rest of the team can produce, it could be a game, but Pikeville is heavily favored on paper.

9. Betsy Layne (7-9) – Betsy Layne was 1-1 in week seven with a big district win over 58th rival Prestonsburg on the road, followed by a district loss to Floyd Central at home. The Prestonsburg game was close throughout (50-46) and the Floyd Central was a blowout from the tip (66-31). Betsy Layne opens the All-A with Phelps in week eight and could pull an upset with their post play. No other games are scheduled in week eight aside from the All-A.

10. Lawrence County (6-13) – The Bulldogs have played more games than anyone in the region thus far and lost their only game in week seven, falling to Shelby Valley at home by 21 points. This team is scrappy and could come out of the 58th district if they can work their way into the 2/3 match-up. Their week eight game on the road at Prestonsburg will determine this seeding. If they can win, they virtually assure themselves a district date with Betsy Layne. The Bulldogs will also host Tolsia, WV and Russell in the week eight as well.

11. Magoffin County (4-13) – Magoffin rightfully rescheduled its district game with Johnson Central following the tragic death of a beloved faculty member. In week seven they did host Morgan County, falling 59-63. In the Morgan game, the Hornets missed several key FT’s under 20s (two to tie and two to take the lead). A foul with 0.7s left made the final 4-point margin partially misleading. In week eight the Hornet’s will travel to both Johnson Central (rescheduled from week seven) and Belfry.

12. East Ridge (5-11) – East Ridge lost its only game in week seven in the form of a 57-67 loss to Sheldon Clark. The Warriors play hard and are gaining experience every week but just don’t have the fire power the top half of the region possesses. Week eight will see them open the All-A with Paintsville in a game they will be big underdogs in. They will also play Mountain Mission, VA and compete in the Hatfield McCoy at Williamson, WV during the week (subject to change should they advance in the All-A).

13. Phelps (5-11) – The Hornets went 1-1 in week seven with a win over Jenkins and a close loss to Letcher Central (both at home). In week eight the Hornets will face Betsy Layne in the All-A before traveling to Williamson, WV for the Hatfield McCoy shootout (opponent’s TBD – two games). Trey Francis is a fun player to watch if you get a chance to see the Hornets play!

14. Prestonsburg (5-11) – Prestonsburg went 1-1 in week seven with a win over Piarist and loss to Betsy Layne (both at home). The Piarist win was expected as they have never defeated any 15th Region opponent in Boys’ Basketball, but the loss to Betsy Layne puts the Blackcats at 0-3 and last in the 58th district. That’s not a good place to be as that position will almost certainly put you against Floyd Central and a likely one-and-done exit in the post-season.

15. Jenkins (0-15) – The Cavaliers went 0-2 in week seven but have a chance in week eight to get their first win of the season as they travel to June Buchanan. They got a bye in the All-A blind draw and will await their opponent in that tournament. Jenkins does not play Piarist this season, but would win by easily by double digits for those wondering the rankings. Hopefully Jenkins can get that win as there are few realistic opportunities left this season.

16. Piarist (1-13) – The Knights went 0-2 in week seven, scoring a combine 35 points in both losses. They will get hammered by Shelby Valley in the opening All-A game and then be big underdogs versus Burgin in week eight. They do have a win this season.

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