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15th Region Week 2 Review: Despite Controversy, Basketball Continues

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Overview: Controversy dominated the headlines in week two of the 15th Region as allegations flooded out of Floyd Central. Despite the negativity, some basketball was played and student athletes showcased their skills across the mountains. Week two rankings and team recaps are as follows:


Rankings (overall record):

1. (-) Johnson Central (1-0) – The Golden Eagles were idle in week two. Week three will see them host Shelby Valley before traveling to Tolsia, WV for the Rebel Classic. While at Tolsia, JC will face Huntington, WV in the opening round of the tournament and are guaranteed two games. Johnson Central also welcomes back key football players to the roster this week, adding size and depth to an already talented team.


2. (-) Pikeville (0-0) – The Panthers are the last 15th Region team to open the season as they have been waiting for most of their starters to get back from football. Week three will see them travel to district foe Jenkins then open play with Louisville Central in the Pikeville Invitational Tournament.


3. (-) Paintsville (1-2) – The Tigers went 1-1 in week two with both games being in the WYMT tournament. In the opening round, Paintsville fell just short to Knox Central by a final of 77-78 (Williams 26 points, Fugate 21 points) despite having a shot inside 15 feet to win. In the consolation game, Paintsville picked up their first win by defeating Harlan County 66-63 with standout Seth Williams only scoring 4 points. In the Harlan County game, freshman Colby Fugate again electrified, hitting five 3FG’s and scoring a game high 21 points. This team is very talented and still working on substitution patterns and late game scenarios. The tough schedule they have played thus far will only benefit their team maturity late. Although it is early, Colby Fugate is establishing himself as not only a team leader, but one of the best players in the region. Paintsville will host Powell County, open district play with Sheldon Clark on the road, and play North Laurel in week three. They should be favored in every game.


4. (-) Shelby Valley (3-0) – The Wildcats picked up two more blowout wins in week two in the form of a 70-37 win at home over Betsy Layne and an 87-57 win on the road versus Pike Central. All three of Shelby Valley’s wins have been by 30 or more points against less than stellar competition. Nonetheless, junior prospect Cody Potter has continued to shine alongside senior playmaker Cameron Worrix. These two are excellent players that are surrounded by quality role players. Shelby Valley plays hard and goes very deep in their rotations. The schedule gets much tougher in week three as the Wildcats travel to Johnson Central then play Knott Central (@Pike Central) in the Buffalo Wild Wings Shootout. We will know much more about Shelby Valley after this week.


5. (Up 1) Belfry (1-0) – The Pirates opened the season with a quality win at home over Wayne, WV 72-61. Belfry was led in scoring by Dezmon Roblee (23) and also saw newcomer Devin Browning hit double figures (15). This team plays hard, but may take some time to find its identity after losing so many seniors from last year’s squad. Week three will see the Pirates on the road against Lawrence County, Knox Central and Letcher Central. It will be a challenging week to say the least.


6. (Up 1) Sheldon Clark (2-1) – The Cardinals defeated Betsy Layne at home in week two by a final of 48-44 in what was a surprisingly close contest. Trey James and Braxton Maynard paced the Cardinals in double figures (13 points and 12 points respectively). James was also very close to a triple-double, posting 9 rebounds and 9 blocks in the game. The schedule gets extremely difficult in week three as Sheldon Clark hosts Paintsville and then travels to Perry Central.


7. (Up 1) Lawrence County (3-2) – The Bulldogs went 2-1 this week with double digit wins at home over Phelps and Magoffin County and a huge 58th district loss on the road at Prestonsburg. Maynard continues to lead LC and they will have another full slate of games in week three as they face Belfry, Lewis County, Tolsia, WV and a TBA in the Rebel Classic (also at Tolsia). Lawrence is a fun team to watch as they play fast and shoot a lot of triples.


8. (Down 3) Floyd Central (1-4) – The entire basketball community has undoubtedly heard the allegations coming out of Floyd Central with respect to Head Coach Kevin Spurlock. What we know is that several players have quit, the school suspended the coach and the team has lost four games in a row to include two this week in the WYMT classic. The Jaguars were blown out by Clay County 43-66 and again by Bell County 44-73 in the consolation game. Floyd Central will host Piarist, travel to Prestonsburg and face Hazard at Pike Central in week three. Coach Spurlock has stated he will return to the sidelines for the Hazard game so we will see what happens. In the meantime, the Prestonsburg game has huge 58th district seed implications as the Black cats are already 1-0 in seeded games. Hopefully Floyd Central can get things together and move forward as the season progresses.


9. (Up 1) Phelps (3-1) – The Hornets went 1-1 in week two with a home win over Prestonsburg and a loss on the road to Lawrence County. This could be the year they make it back to the regional tournament as there is no clear cut favorite in the 60th district and they have the best player in Trey Francis. The Hornets have a tough home test in week three as Morgan County comes to the fieldhouse.


10. (Up 1) Pike Central (3-2) – Pike Central went 2-1 in week two with easy wins over East Ridge and Jenkins and a 30-point loss to Shelby Valley at home in a game that was not very competitive. The Hawks are young and still establishing their identity. They have a tendency to play extremely well in stretches and then equally poorly the next few minutes. Betsy Layne, Mountain Mission, VA and Buckhorn is on the slate in week three. You should expect at least two more wins.


11. (Up 1) Prestonsburg (2-2) – Prestonsburg picked up a huge 58th District win in week two as they knocked off Lawrence County at home 74-67. They also dropped a road game to Phelps 40-52. Magoffin County at home and a huge district game against a reeling Floyd Central make week three extremely important for new Head Coach Brent Rose. It will be interesting to see how this young team continues to develop.


12. (Down 3) East Ridge (1-2) – The Warriors went 0-2 in week two as they still await the return of Head Coach Randy McCoy (open heart surgery). Losses to Grundy, VA (16 points) and Pike Central (20 points) are bad losses to say the least, but the great thing about basketball is you get to play a lot of games. Week three will see four of the easiest games possible as East Ridge will play Piarist, Jenkins, Betsy Layne and Hurley, VA. They should be favored in every game.


13. (-) Magoffin County (2-3) – The Hornets went 2-1 in week two with wins over Jenkins and Robertson County and a loss to Lawrence County. Prestonsburg, June Buchanan and Letcher Central are on the docket for week three as Magoffin County will look to build on their current two game winning streak. So far this season, this team has under achieved as they continue to shoot a very low percentage from the field.


14. (-) Betsy Layne (2-3) – Despite easy scheduling, the Bobcats are below .500 after an 0-2 week. A blowout loss to Shelby Valley 37-70 followed by an extremely competitive loss to Sheldon Clark 44-48 is how Betsy Layne closed out this week. More wins could be on the horizon as Betsy Layne will have East Ridge, Pike Central and Piarist in week three. They will get at least one win.


15. (-) Jenkins (0-6) – Week two saw Jenkins got 0-3 with their closest game being a 35-point loss. Week three will see them play Pikeville, East Ridge and Letcher Central. Expect three more losses. In fact, Jenkins won’t be favored in a game until they play Piarist in February.


16. (-) Piarist (0-5) – The Knights went 0-3 in week two as they continue a season in which they will play no home games (building gym). They were more competitive with Lee County (lost by 20) and Cordia (lost 63-67: Cordia played middle school/freshman aged players). Do not expect another remotely close game until mid-January.


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