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Overview: District Tournaments are set in the 15th as we quickly approach post season play. Tim Dalton and Mason Blair continue their assault on the record books. Pikeville, Sheldon Clark, Magoffin County, and Johnson Central have separated themselves as the teams to beat as we enter the final week of the regular season. Let’s see how the rankings have changed after eleven weeks of play.

1. Johnson Central (22-6) – Winning nine games in a row (last loss on January 19th), the Golden Eagles are peaking at the right time. Week eleven saw them go 3-0 with wins against Pike Central, Paintsville and Ashland all on the road. The Paintsville win (Mason Blair dropped 47 in 3 quarters) gave Johnson Central at tie for the 57th District regular season title and put them into a draw for the top overall seed. Head Coach Tommy McKenzie then used his wizardry to pull out the top overall seed (Monday afternoon). JC will play Paintsville in the opening round of 57th district play after just defeating them on their home floor 106-77 in a game that could have been much worse. In the Ashland game, senior standout Mason Blair hit five 3FG to tie the state record for the most made in a season (145). One of the top scorers in the nation will look to break that record in week twelve as the Golden Eagles travel to Tates Creek Friday night for their last regular season game.

2. Sheldon Clark (17-11) – The Cardinals only had one game in week eleven as they hosted Prestonsburg (winning in dominating fashion). Sheldon Clark is possibly the most complete team in the region and with their size and physical play will be tough for anyone to beat in the post-season. After finishing in a tie for the 57th District regular season crown, the Cardinals drew the two seed and will face District Tournament host Magoffin County in the opening round. Sheldon Clark finishes the regular season with Lawrence County and Shelby Valley at home. The Lawrence County game will be interesting as Cardinal PG Shawn Moore will see this old teammates for the first time (Moore transferred from Lawrence County over the summer).

3. Pikeville (17-7) – Like Johnson Central, Pikeville is hot right now. They have won nine of their last ten with assistant coaches Greg Newsom and Jason Booher providing key leadership for the team. The Panthers have blown out East Ridge, Shelby Valley and Pike Central in the past week of play and will close out the regular season with Magoffin County and Paintsville on the road. Panther faithful have a real shot to win the region and many think they should be ranked higher, but they have not played Sheldon Clark or Johnson Central. Week twelve will show where they are as they travel to Magoffin County. A venue where the Hornets knocked off both Johnson Central and Sheldon Clark. Pikeville defeated Magoffin at home handily, but the Hornets are a different animal in Salyersville. Pikeville will host Piarist in the 60th District opener.

4. Lawrence County (18-10) – The Bulldogs impressive season continues as Tim Dalton continues to make his Mr. Basketball push. In a 106-103 regulation win against Greenup County, Dalton put up 60 points in a triple double. He continues to lead the nation is scoring per max preps as over 38 ppg and recently crossed the 1,000 rebound mark making him the first person in the 15th since former Paintsville great and currently Johnson Central assistant J. R. VanHoose to have 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Lawrence did drop their second game in week eleven as Boyd County beat them by nearly 30. When Tim is off, this team will struggle, but when he is on, they can beat anyone in the region. Lawrence County will host Phelps in the 60th District opener.

5. Magoffin County (16-10) –
The Hornets went 1-2 in week eleven with losses to South Floyd on the road and Knott Central at home. In the Knott Central game, Magoffin had a 5 point lead and the ball with 90s to play, but were defeated by seven. Missed FT’s, rushed shots, and careless turnovers are to blame. It was their first loss of the season in the new gym. The Hornets were able to bounce back with a blowout win versus Prestonsburg. Week twelve will see Magoffin host Pikeville (lost by 17 earlier in the season) then travel to Pike Central to close. Magoffin drew the three seed in the 57th District Tournament and will host Sheldon Clark in the first round. Make no mistake that the Hornets are gonna be tough to beat at home.

6. South Floyd (16-11) – The Raiders are hard to figure out. One night they get beat at home by Prestonsburg at the buzzer, the next night they knock off Magoffin County on the same floor. South Floyd has plenty of talent and one of the best rebounders in the state in Brady Conn. This showed as they went 2-1 in week eleven with wins over Magoffin County and June Buchanan and a loss on the road to Hazard. The Raiders will close the regular season with Pike Central, June Buchanan and Piarist before facing Prestonsburg in the 58th District Tournament on the road.

7. East Ridge (17-9) – The Warriors went 2-1 in week eleven with wins over Mountain Mission, VA and Piarist and a blowout loss to Pikeville. Piarist, Ambassador Christian, WV and Lawrence County will finish out the regular season for East Ridge as they prepare to face Shelby Valley in the district tournament.

8. Pike Central (13-11) – The Hawks went 1-2 in week eleven with losses to Pikeville and Johnson Central and a win at Menifee County. The addition of Levard Missick (6’4’’ swing player – transfer) will help, but only time will tell if the addition can gel with the current chemistry. Pike Central has size and physical play and when their guards are on can be scary. They will face Belfry in the opening round of the 60th District Tournament.

9. Belfry (10-16) – The Pirates have lost three in a row and five of their last six. Week eleven saw them drop a close one at East Ridge, then get blown out by Perry Central. Belfry will have Paintsville, Allen Central, and Prestonsburg to close out the regular season before heading into post season play versus Pike Central. They have good, quick, guards and that will keep you in most games.

10. Shelby Valley (15-11) – The young Wildcats seem to have hit a wall but did go 1-1 in week eleven with a win versus Jenkins and a loss to Pikeville. They will close out the season with Pike Central and Sheldon Clark before meeting East Ridge in the 59th District Tournament. If they are hitting from deep they will be tough to beat. Their defense has been where improvement is needed the most however.

11. Paintsville (7-17) – First year coach Landon Slone is getting trial by fire as his Tigers went 0-3 in week eleven to include blow-out losses to Johnson Central and Knox Central both at home. Paintsville has lost 12 of their last 13 and will close out the regular season with Belfry, Prestonsburg, and Pikeville. Having drawn Johnson Central in the 57th District Tournament, Paintsville could very well be looking at their first 20 loss season since the 2009-2010 campaign.

12. Phelps (12-16) – The Hornets got back on the win train in week eleven, going 2-0 versus Piarist and Ridgeview, VA. Phelps will have Allen Central and Riverside Christian to close out the regular season then face Lawrence County on the road in the 60th District Tournament opener. Phelps always has a chance with Christian Mounts (best kept secret in the state). The sneaky athletic guard is one of the states top scorers and wows crowds with big time in game dunks that no one expects him to be able to do (check out his twitter and youtube).

13. Allen Central (12-15) – The Rebels went 2-0 in week eleven and have won five of their last six overall. Allen Central finished tied for the 58th District regular season title with South Floyd and won the coin flip for the top overall seed. They will face Betsy Layne in the opening round of the tournament. Before then they face Belfry, Phelps, and Piarist to close out the regular season.

14. Prestonsburg (7-20) –
The Blackcats met the 57th District in week eleven and it was not pretty. Blow out losses to both Sheldon Clark and Magoffin County. They did pick up a win versus Piarist for what its worth. Prestonsburg finished as the three seed in the 58th District Tournament and will host South Floyd in the opening round of the playoffs.

15. Betsy Layne (5-22) –
The Bobcats went 2-1 in week eleven and have shown slow but steady improvement over the season. They could pick up a few more wins this week as they host Lee County and Jenkins. Betsy Layne will play Allen Central in the 58th District Tournament.

16. Piarist (1-24) – Week eleven saw the Knights go 0-4. There are no more winnable games on the season as it will end when they play Pikeville in the 59th District Tournament.

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