Inside the 15th Region (12-12-16)

  1. #1
    by 15th Region is offline Premium Member
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    Overview: The 57th District begins to show its dominance as all 4 teams go undefeated in week 2. The player of the year race begins to heat up as Timmy Dalton, Mason Blair, Dylan James, and Trenton Russell all go for big numbers and big averages early in the season. As the season ebbs and flows, look for the top 3 teams to continue to separate themselves from the rest of the region.

    1. Johnson Central (4-0) – The Golden Eagles were perfect in week two, picking up a 15 point win over Lawrence County (93-78) and a two point win over Rowan County (71-69). In the Lawrence County game, JC senior standout Mason Blair hit 12 3FG (tied 5th most in KHSAA history – school record) on his way to 50 points (Blair shot nearly 60% for the game and 47% from 3FG on the game). Cole Crace played outstanding in the Lawrence game as well, posting 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists as the Golden Eagles never trailed and led by as many as 20 in the 2nd half. In the Rowan County game, JC opened very slow, allowing the Vikings to build a 12 point lead late in the second quarter. JC would respond with a 25-8 third period and despite missing late FT’s would hold on for the win. Crace was big again, going for 19 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals. Blair got it going in the second half, hitting 5 triples, and finished with a team high 26 points. Week three will see the Golden Eagles host an undefeated Shelby Valley squad, then travel to Prestonsburg to face East Ridge, and close with Perry Central on the road in a tough out of region contest.

    2. Sheldon Clark (3-1) – The Cardinals played great in week two with quality wins over two out of region opponents. In the first contest of the week, Sheldon Clark defeated a very physical Buckhorn squad at home by an impressive score of 79-53. In the game senior standout Dylan James had 24 points and 11 rebounds with his athletic wing Dave Cantrell dropping in 20 to go with 5 boards. Collectively the Cardinals had 25 assists on 32 made FG’s. In the second game of the week, SC traveled to Breathitt County to take on Lexington’s Tates Creek. Different opponent, same result. The Cardinals defeated the Commodores 55-49. No stats were available from Tates Creek game at time of release. Two more tough contests in week three as the Cardinals play 16th Region foes West Carter and Rowan County both on the road at Rowan County this upcoming Friday and Saturday respectively.

    3. Magoffin County (3-2) – The Hornets bounced back nicely after opening 1-2 in week one with two wins in week two. The sickness seems to have passed and the Hornets starters showed their strength with a dominating win over Betsy Layne on the road 65-29 followed by an outstanding out of region win versus Mason County 82-79 (played at Robertson County). Senior standout Trenton Russell led the way in both games, scoring 30 against Betsy Layne on the road followed by 36 versus Mason County. Russell hit seven triples in both games. Not to be outdone, Hornet senior standout Jaren Lovely scored 29 in the win versus Mason County. In fact, only 4 Hornets scored the combine 82 in the game. As the season continues, look for Magoffin County to develop their bench as they still await the return of starter Dalton Peters (Intestinal injury from football). Week three will see the Hornets play Prestonsburg, Paintsville, and Shelby Valley. The Paintsville game is the first seeded game in a loaded 57th District (played at Paintsville) and should see a packed house.

    4. Lawrence County (5-2) – Lawrence County lost 4 starters to graduation and arguably their 2nd best player to transfer. It don’t matter though when you have senior standout Timmy Dalton. Dalton is leading the region in scoring at nearly 37 ppg, joining his AAU teammate and Johnson Central standout Mason Blair as one of two in the region above 30 ppg. Dalton is also averaging 10.5 rpg from the guard position. Going 2-1 in week two, Dalton had 37 points 10 rebounds in a 66-49 win over East Ridge on the road, followed by a 42 point 10 rebound performance in a loss to Johnson Central at home. The Bulldogs closed out the week with a 79-50 win over Allen Central on the road in a game that was not competitive. Dalton had over 20 at halftime, but final numbers were not posted at time of print. The Bulldogs are better than expected this season and look to show it again in week three as they become road warriors in playing Pike Central and Lewis County on their home courts, before traveling to Rowan County to play two games in one day versus Madison Southern and Southwestern respectively.

    5. East Ridge (2-2) – The Warriors went 0-2 in week 2, losing to Lawrence County 49-66 and Belfry 40-41. In the Lawrence County game the Warriors led after the first quarter and late into the second quarter before Timmy Dalton took over. They never recovered. In the Belfry game it was back and forth, but the Pirates made one more play in a tightly contested game. The Pikeville faithful will make a claim they should be above East Ridge, but the Warriors hold the best in-region win thus far this season, defeating Magoffin County, and the Panthers have yet to be tested by their schedule. East Ridge will be busy in week three with 5 games. They play Piarist, Johnson Central, Betsy Layne, Prestonsburg, and Elliott County. They will be favored in all but the Johnson Central and Elliott County game (two teams currently favored in their respective regions). Tough week for Rand McCoy and his squad, but make no mistake, they will not beat themselves.

    6. Pikeville (2-0) – The Panthers picked up two wins to open the season, seeing junior Wyatt Battaile (D1 offer from Mercer) go for 28 and 14 respectively. The competition has been very suspect in Piarist (win 93-11) and Phelps (win 91-63) and doesn’t look to improve in week three as they host Harlan Independent (home) and Evangel Christian (then a TBD) in the Pikeville Invitational. Watkins and Hamilton (transfers from Betsy Layne) combine for 15 points in the first win and 7 points in the second win. The Panthers have the potential to be very good, but we will not know until the competition picks up and until they play a road game against stiff competition. For now they are slotted at 6th.

    7. South Floyd (2-1) – The Raiders went 2-0 in week two with wins over Jenkins 100-73 and 58th District foe Allen Central on the road 86-71. Big man Brady Conn had 25 points and 15 rebounds in the Jenkins win (J.R. Tackett had 19 points), while J.R. Tackett (27) and Jacob Collins (24) led the way versus Allen Central. South Floyd is tough, gritty, and expected to be a factor in the region all year long with their inside-out play. Week three will see South Floyd travel to Prestonsburg as they look to take an early 2-0 edge in district seeded games, then host both Hazard and Powell County. Could be a nice week for the Raiders.

    8. Paintsville (2-0) – First year Head Coach Landon Slone picked up his first career wins in week two as Paintsville opened with wins at home against Pike Central 62-59 and Betsy Layne 77-43. Paintsville is physical and plays fast. If not for the 57th competition, the Tigers would be favored to advance to the regional tournament in any other district. Week three will see the Tigers host Magoffin County in opening play for the 57th (should be a great crowd) and then travel to Prestonsburg to play Shelby Valley.

    9. Shelby Valley (6-0) – The Wildcats are undefeated but their six opponents have a combine win/loss record of 4-23 with two of those wins coming against one another. Needless to say they are untested. Their young players have looked great thus far, but Tuesday night will be a different animal as they travel to Johnson Central in their week three opener. After that, they play Elliott County, Magoffin County, and Paintsville. We will know if they are pretenders or contenders going into week four, as this week will be very difficult.

    10. Belfry (2-0) – The Pirates opened the season in week two with quality wins at home over East Ridge (41-40) and Bath County in overtime 60-55. Isiah Roblee led the team in scoring both games with 11 and 14 points respectively. Great start for Coach Thompson and his club going into week three as they travel to Letcher Central then host Betsy Layne. This team could be the sleeper in the region.

    11. Pike Central (3-1) – The Hawks went 2-1 in week two with a narrow win at home versus Allen Central 81-73, then a loss on the road to Paintsville 59-62, followed by a win against Prestonsburg at Allen Central 71-52 (trailed at halftime). Adjusting to coach Whitaker may take some time and we could see the Hawks rise up the rankings as the season progresses. There is good talent there with Wallace, Eads, and Conn. Week three will be tough as Pike Central has Lawrence County in district play, Knott Central, Cabell-Midland, WV, and June Buchanan.

    12. Allen Central (3-3) – The Rebels opened 3-0 in week one, but went 0-3 in week two with losses to South Floyd in district play, Lawrence County, and Pike Central. Early on, Allen Central has been led by freshman Ethan Smith-Mills as he is averaging double figures. Only one game in week three as they make the trip to Magoffin County.

    13. Phelps (1-4) – The Hornets went 1-2 in week two with a blowout loss to Pikeville, blowout win versus Prestonsburg, and a close loss to Pineville. Junior standout Christian Mounts is battling through injury right now, but has the ability to keep the Hornets close in just about any game. Look for them to get better as the year progresses. Week three should see them pick up another win versus Betsy Layne on the road.

    14. Prestonsburg (1-4) – The Blackcats went 1-3 in week two, losing to Shelby Valley, Phelps, and Pike Central and defeating Piarist. This young Prestonsburg squad plays hard and has the ability to put good quarters and good halves together (evident by the fact they led Pike Central by two at half time Saturday: lost 71-52. If this squad continues to improve and learn to put multiple halves together, they could make some noise in a weak 58th District. One thing about this squad though, they don’t complain, don’t question coaches, and bring “it” every game regardless of score or outcome.

    15. Betsy Layne (0-5) – Three games in week two, three running clocks put on the Bobcats. Letcher Central, Magoffin County, and Paintsville all had blowout wins. This will be a tough, rebuilding season for Betsy Layne. They have East Ridge, Belfry, and Phelps in week three.

    16. Piarist (0-7) – The Knights were 0-3 in week two, scoring a season high 41 versus Riverside Christian albeit in an 18 point loss. Hopefully Piarist will pick up their first win in two years at some point during the season.

    Agree or Disagree?
    Last edited by 15th Region; Dec 11, 16 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Good work. Always love seeing your stuff 15th Region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by All State Baseball View Post
    Good work. Always love seeing your stuff 15th Region.
    Thank you sir! Love what you do as well!

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    15th Region as a whole is not real good this year.

    With that said, your top 5 with Belfry and SF should all have competitive games and battle for who wins this region.

    Some of the other teams schedules are as weak as water.

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    Perhaps, but the mostly likely scenario is that the 15th region winner comes from the 57th. I would argue that the top of the 57th can compete with most of the state but would agree that as a whole the region is weak.

    Belfry can be a sleeper as can South Floyd. I would not pick either one to come out the 57th District however.

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    15th has some really fun players to watch as well. Would not be surprised to 4 of the top 15 scorers in the state to come from the 15th. Makes for great action when they play one another!

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