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Overview: Lawrence County continues to surprise behind Timmy Dalton, Sheldon Clark looks to get healthy, and Johnson Central is still the team to beat. Let’s see how the rankings pan out after six weeks of play.

1. Johnson Central (11-3) – Johnson Central remains at the top after six weeks of play with two less losses than any team in the region despite dropping two of three in the Henry County Invitational. Mason Blair and Cole Crace lead the way as one of the most dynamic backcourts in the state and with 7-footer Leon Moshefy getting better every day, the Golden Eagles will look to round into post season form late in January. Mason Blair is on pace to break the season made 3FG and career made 3FG state records as he is second in the nation in made 3FG per game per max preps. Week seven will see JC open district play with Magoffin on the road and Paintsville at home. Look for packed gyms this week!

2. Sheldon Clark (9-6) – Don’t read too much into some of the recent losses by the Cardinals as they have been without their best player in Dylan James (continues to recover from an ankle injury). The Cardinals are deep, can shoot, and have go to scorers when the game is tight. Once James returns to full strength they will be a stronger force then they already are. Sheldon Clark will look to wrap up the All-A Title this week as they are the favorite.

3. Lawrence County (10-6) – The young Bulldogs has a stud in Timmy Dalton and he continues to lead them. Dalton is currently 2nd in the nation in scoring per max preps at nearly 38 ppg (also averages double digit rebounds) while shooting in the 60% range from the field. Lawrence did drop their third match-up of the season with Lewis County after blowing them out in the previous two. Dalton will take the Bulldogs into 60th district play as they have key games with Belfry and Phelps this week.

4. Magoffin County (10-6) – The Hornets are very good but very thin in depth. Their first five can play with anyone in the region but sometimes run out of gas late as seen in the WYTM Classic where they dropped two of three. Jaren Lovely and Trenton Russell are a dynamic duo that can both go for 30 plus on a given night. Magoffin will need big performances from them as district seeding is on the line in week seven with Johnson Central coming into town. Should be a great atmosphere in Salyersville!

5. Pikeville (8-5) – Pikeville has nice talent and a go to player in Wyatt Battaile (best junior in the region), but has yet to get an impressive win. The soft schedule will harden up this week as they will face district rival East Ridge in the All-A semifinals then follow that up with what should be Sheldon Clark. The Panthers can move up with wins this week against better competition.

6. Paintsville (6-6) – The Tigers are better than expected under first year coach Landon Slone. They have yet to be competitive against the better teams in the region, but have held their own against everyone else. If they shoot well, Paintsville will be in every regional contest with their effort and pressure. They have a huge contest with cross town rival Johnson Central is week seven. If not in the 57th, Paintsville would be a solid pick to make it to the regional tournament.

7. East Ridge (7-5) – The Warriors are in the All-A regional semifinals yet again as they face district foe Pikeville next. They will also face Shelby Valley is a seeded contest this week as the fighting Randy McCoy’s continue their controlled tempo and deliberate style. East Ridge could make a claim to be rated higher and will definitely have a chance to do so this week.

8. South Floyd (8-5) – South Floyd has the second leading rebounder in the state and solid guard play in the back court. They will face Sheldon Clark (All-A), Betsy Layne, and Johnson Central in week seven, coming in as underdogs in all but one game. South Floyd is a sleeper that could make a lot of noise down the stretch. With wins this week could jump several spots.

9. Belfry (5-6) – Lawrence County, Phelps and Pikeville await the Pirates in week seven as they face two 60th district opponents for seeding purposes. Belfry has lots of athleticism and like Paintsville are tough to beat when they shoot it well. Time will tell if they are contenders or pretenders.

10. Pike Central (7-6) – The Hawks have great inside play with Eads and Wallace controlling the interior. What they are lacking is consistent guard play. If Coach Whitaker can bring his back court along, Pike Central could make a mid-season push up the rankings. For now they are near the bottom, but unlike other teams, have potential.

11. Shelby Valley (8-6) – The Wildcats are young, but still without a quality win. They will have a chance to get one in week seven as they play East Ridge and Knott Central. Cody Potter is playing well and second in the state in made 3FG per game (Mason Blair of Johnson Central is number one). Can the Wildcats put together four quarters against a strong opponent?

12. Allen Central (4-11) – The Rebels have lost seven in a row and 11 of their last 12 after opening 3-0 on the season. They play hard but struggle to score in long stretches. Luckily they are in the 58th District and still favored to get into the regional tournament. Paintsville and Prestonsburg will come calling in week seven.

13. Phelps (6-7) – Junior standout Christian Mounts scored his 1,000th point in week six as he hopes to lead Phelps to its first winning season since the 2011-2012 campaign. With his athleticism and play making ability it might be possible. Phelps will run the 60th District gauntlet in week seven as they face Lawrence County, Pike Central, and Belfry. They will be underdogs in all three put could pull an upset.

14. Prestonsburg (3-12) – Prestonsburg is young and thankfully in the 58th District. If they keep improving they have a punchers chance of making to the regional tournament. They will face Pike Central and District foe Allen Central in week seven.

15. Betsy Layne (1-14) – The Bobcats picked up their first win of the season versus another winless team in Metcalf County (overtime). Betsy Layne is young and improving as their scores are getting closer, but the long season will continue for coach Keathley.

16. Piarist (1-13) – The Knights are no longer on the list of teams without a win. They have a chance to possible pick up another later in the season but week seven should see more of the same.

Agree or Disagree?

Note: Look for a decision and announcement to be made about district realignment and possible super regional in the coming weeks. Designated representatives are discussing the issues and needed change as Floyd Central will create a 3 team district next year. Lots of options are on the table so it should be interesting to see what is decided.