Inside the 15th Region (12-14-15)
Week 2 saw some surprises as Betsy Layne has established a monster in the low post and Magoffin County punished Pikeville on the road. Lawrence is still top dog, but there are many key match-ups to watch in week 3. Lets see how the ranking pan out after two weeks of play.
Week 2 Team Rankings:
1. Lawrence County (3-0) – The Bulldogs retain the top spot after two quality wins in week 2. Lawrence had a 67-62 win at home against a very big, athletic, June Buchanan team and followed that up with an 83-74 win on the road against a much improved Boyd County team. In the June Buchanan win, LC had four players in double figures with Austin Chaffins and Timmy Dalton posting double-doubles (both in points and rebounding). The solid scoring attack was key as the game was played with a 4-8 point window for nearly 3 quarters. Following the JBS victory, the Bulldogs traveled to Boyd County and picked up the W against a Lions squad with Rupp Arena aspirations (no stats available). In week 3 Lawrence County will host Lewis County at home and then travel to Prestonsburg for the Hi-Tech Holiday Classic (will open with Shelby Valley). This is the first of many Christmas Tournaments for the Bulldogs and one they will be heavily favored to win.
2. Magoffin County (3-1) – The Hornets are looking like many thought they might. Impressive wins in week 2 over a solid South Floyd team and a very good Pikeville team solidified their ranking at the number 2 spot. Week 2 opened with a 67-56 win at home over South Floyd. In the game Trenton Russell again showed out from the SF position by recording a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Three days later, the Hornets traveled to Pikeville for a much anticipated showdown with a highly touted Panther squad. The game was not competitive as Magoffin flirted with a 40 point late in the game, finishing with an 85-50 victory in a hostile environment against a quality opponent (no stats available). Week 3 will see the Hornets open district play on the road at Paintsville then travel to the Hi-Tech Holiday Classic at Prestonsburg. In the Holiday tournament the Hornets could match-up with Lawrence County in what might be a regional tournament preview.
3. Shelby Valley (3-0) – The Wildcats defeated Prestonsburg at home in a closer than expected game during week 2 (49-43). In the game Hunter Swindall led Shelby Valley in both scoring and rebounding as he recorded 24 points and 8 boards. Week 3 will see SV host regional power Johnson Central at home then open the Hi-Tech Holiday Classic at Prestonsburg with Lawrence County. We will find out if the Wildcats are contenders or pretenders this week as they will play two of the best teams in the 15th Region.
4. Johnson Central (1-2) – Johnson Central lost to 14th Region power Perry Central at home during week 2 by a final of 63-75. The game was much closer than the final score indicated as the Golden Eagles came back to tie the game with under 3 minutes to play (late FT’s and a Perry Central dunk as the teams were shaking hands led to the final outcome). In the Perry Central game, JC was led by Mason Blair with 21 pts, 9 rbs, 3 ast, 3 stls. The Golden Eagles will see big man Tyler Pack (football), Tyrese Allen (football), and Evan Adkins (football) return to the varsity bench and be available to play. In week 3 Johnson Central will travel to Shelby Valley and to Boyle County. The schedule doesn’t let up for Head Coach Tommy McKenzie, but look for him to get the Eagles peaking at the right time as they are still establishing identities.
5. Betsy Layne (2-2) – The Bobcats are the early surprise in the 15th Region thus far. After losing over 90% of their scoring and rebounding to graduation, Betsy Layne picked up two big wins at home over Pikeville (83-80) and Belfry (78-66). In the Pikeville game, Bobcat big man Zach Hamilton (who transferred back to BL from Pikeville) showed out with 34 points and 17 rebounds. Simply stated he was unstoppable down low and BL made a concerned effort to force feed him. In the Belfry game, Hamilton backed up his Pikeville performance with 26 points and 17 rebounds. The Belfry game also saw two other Bobcats hit the 20 point mark as Grant Osborn (21) and Jakob Ariaz (23) shot the ball well. In week 3 Betsy Layne will travel to East Ridge and then the Derby Classic in Raceland (open with the host Raceland).
Close to getting in the top 5:
Pike Central (2-2) – The Hawks are improving against a very difficult schedule. Look for them to be near the top by the end.
Pikeville (2-3) – The Panthers had a tough week, but make no mistake they are very good and well coached. Look for them to peak after the Holiday tournament push as they are still defining roles and identities after receiving their football players back early last week.
Agree or Disagree?