Inside the 15th Region (12-21-15)
Week 3 is in the books and there are no major changes in our top 3. With Christmas tournaments on the horizon and football players rounding into basketball form, we are starting to see what should shape up for a tremendous post season tournament. Lets look at how the region pans out after 3 weeks of play.
1. Lawrence County (7-0) The Bulldogs are still at the top after winning the Hi-Tech signs and graphics tournament in Prestonsburg. LC defeated June Buchanan for the second time this year during the week and put away a much improved Magoffin County squad in the championship. Lawrence seems to be getting stronger as the season progresses and they enter the meat of their schedule. Until someone in the region knocks them off, its theirs to lose.
2. Magoffin County (6-2) Magoffin continues to roll as they advanced to the Hi-Tech signs and graphics Holiday classic championship game (falling to Lawrence County). After a slow start, the Hornets played consistently against the regions top team, but live ball turnovers eventually spelled doom late in the second half. With weapons all over the floor and the ability to go 8 deep, Magoffin continues to impress.
3. Johnson Central (2-3) The Golden Eagles won at Shelby Valley on the road in week 3 after trailing by 9 with just under 3 minutes to play. The first regional opponent JC has played was followed up with a loss on the road to a talented Boyle County team. In the Boyle game, JC had an early 10 point lead, but was unable to hold off a game Rebel squad. JC will be back in action in the Gatlinburg-Pittman Invitational in week 4 as they play in the Gold Flight of the tournament (highest possible flight of 4 available). Testing their might against strong competition will only make JC tougher come tournament time.
4. Betsy Layne (4-3) The Bobcats defeated East Ridge on the road and opened the Derby Classic at Raceland with a win against the host team before falling heavily to 16th Region power Elliott County. Betsy Layne has size in a region that is void of it and may fluctuate heavily in the rankings as the season progresses. For now they hold the 4 spot with a quality win over Pikeville.
5. Pike Central (2-3) The Hawks lost to one of the top teams in the state on the road (Mercer County) after holding their own for about 10 minutes of the game. They have the talent and coaching to go deep in the 15th Region as they continue to challenge themselves with a tough schedule. Pike Central will be in the Berea Invitational in Week 4.
6. Pikeville (3-3) An overtime win vs. Sheldon Clark got the Panthers on the winning path after a few surprising losses. In week 4, Pikeville will compete in the Gatlinburg-Pittman invitational tournament in the White Division (Flight 3 of 4). Look for the Panthers to only get stronger as the season goes on. They have only had the core of their team available for practice about 10 days (football).
7. Shelby Valley (4-3) The Wildcats were defeated by Johnson Central, Lawrence County, and Greenup County in week 3 before picking up a win in the Hi-Tech sigs and graphics holiday classic vs. Prestonsburg. Shelby Valley has two really good players and coach Jim Hicks will look to develop his younger talent around them as the season continues. Valley will host John Burton, VA at home in week 4.
8. South Floyd (2-4) The Raiders defeated Prestonsburg and lost to June Buchanan in week 3. They will travel to the Gatlinburg-Pittman Invitational in week 4 where they will play in the green division (flight 4 of 4). Look for strong guard play to give them a chance in any game. If shooting the ball well, the strong guard play of South Floyd will give them a chance against any 15th Region team they face.
9. East Ridge (5-4) Head Coach Randy McCoy always seems to get the most out of his talent as shown by winning the consolation bracket of the Hi-Tech signs and graphics Holiday classic at Prestonsburg. The Warriors play slow, but are disciplined and will subsequently keep themselves in a lot of games.
10. Paintsville (2-3) The Tigers are young and will only get better. Paintsville will next play in the Ashland Invitational tournament against the host school.
11. Belfry (1-4) The Pirates may not have the best record, but they have lost a triple overtime game, a double overtime game, and an overtime game. They will improve as the season progresses and be a difficult out on their home floor come 60th District Tournament. Look for them to move up as the season progresses.
12. Sheldon Clark (3-7) Sheldon Clark is very young, but has talent. Once they learn how to win, this team could be dangerous.
13. Allen Central (3-6) Picked up a quality win vs. East Ridge in the Hi-Tech signs and graphics Holiday Classic before dropping their next two. Look for the Rebels to be a factor in the 58th District this year as currently they are playing inconsistent.
14. Prestonsburg (2-7) With their only wins against Phelps and Piarist, it looks to be another long year for the Blackcats. The once proud program is struggling to find the will to win early in the year.
15. Phelps (1-5) The Hornets are young, but have some nice pieces that make a regional tournament appearance before they graduate.
16. Piarist (0-8) Piarist has will likely pick up a win when they get into Christian league play.
Agree or Disagree?