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Breaking down the Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10: Week 9

(WYMT)
Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 7:11 PM EST
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Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 – Boys’ Week 9 Breakdown

There were a few shakeups in this week’s Top 10. Let’s take a look at how those teams fared last week while looking ahead to this week.

1. Somerset (19-3)

Last Week: defeated Pulaski County 72-52, defeated Anderson County 52-46

This Week: vs. No. 6 North Laurel, vs. No. 7 Pulaski County, vs. Martin County (Jock Sutherland Classic)

After an impressive victory over district rival Pulaski County and avoiding a letdown to Anderson County, the Briar Jumpers have overtaken Hazard for the top spot in this week’s rankings. Somerset had three players score in double figures against Pulaski County including Kade Grundy. The junior led the way with 27 points. Grundy was also the team’s leading scorer last time out against Anderson County with 20 points. The guard leads the team in scoring at 16.8 PPG. The Briar Jumpers are the only team in the 12th Region that is undefeated in district play (5-0).

Jeron Dunbar’s team has two home games with fellow Mountain Top 10 teams North Laurel and Pulaski County on Tuesday and Friday followed by a neutral matchup with Martin County on Saturday. The contest against the Cardinals is a part of the Jock Sutherland Classic at Lafayette High School.

2. Clay County (16-7)

Last Week: defeated No. 6 North Laurel 76-67, defeated Oneida Baptist Institute 81-56, lost to Henry Clay 70-66

This Week: defeated Barbourville 82-59, at Jackson County

The Tigers completed a regular-season sweep of the Jaguars in Manchester last week. Glenn Gray’s crew followed that victory up with another one over the Mountaineers to remain unbeaten within the 49th District (6-0). However, Clay County had their three-game win streak snapped at the hands of Henry Clay in Lexington. Senior Jacob Curry tied his season-high for points in a game with 30 against North Laurel. The guard also led the Tigers in scoring against OBI with 26. Junior Connor Robinson (11 points, 13 rebounds) and senior Evan Langdon (15 points, 12 rebounds) produced double-doubles against North Laurel. Junior Connor Farmer paced the Tigers with 25 points against Henry Clay.

Clay County got the better of Barbourville in a battle of the Tigers on Monday. The number two team in the top 10 will now make the trip to Jackson County for a 49th District tilt with the Generals on Friday.

3. Hazard (18-4)

Last Week: defeated Breathitt County 68-64, lost to Perry Central 65-64 (overtime), defeated Leslie County 56-51

This Week: vs. Knott Central, at Buckhorn

The Bulldogs started last week off with a narrow victory over the Bobcats but were upended inside Memorial Gymnasium against arch-nemesis Perry Central in overtime. Al Holland’s squad did bounce back against 54th District counterpart Leslie County. Junior Wade Pelphrey had 20-plus point performances against Breathitt County and Perry Central but Reece Fletcher recorded a double-double against the Eagles (15 points, 12 rebounds). Pelphrey has scored double figures in nine consecutive games and leads Hazard in scoring at 16.4 PPG. Senior Logan Hall is the other Bulldog that is averaging double digits in scoring at 14.2 PPG.

Hazard will play host to Knott Central in a Mountain Top 10 contest on Tuesday. The Bulldogs also travel to Buckhorn to face the Wildcats in a district showdown on Saturday.

4. South Laurel (18-4)

Last Week: defeated Corbin 66-41, defeated Williamsburg 59-46

This Week: at Harlan County, vs. No. 6 North Laurel, at Pikeville

Jeff Davis’ team continues to sizzle as the Cardinals have now extended their winning streak to seven games. South Laurel is one of only two teams that has won at least ten games or more against 13th Region opponents. Clay County has accomplished this feat as well. Senior Matthew Cromer put up 30 points in the victory over the Yellow Jackets. Cromer has scored 30 points or more nine times this season and leads the 13th Region in scoring at 24.6 PPG. Senior Brett Norvell continues to bring strong contributions to the team as well. Norvell tallied 16 points and seven rebounds against Corbin while producing 13 points and 11 rebounds against Williamsburg.

Two road games bookend the Cardinals this week as they head to Harlan County on Tuesday and Pikeville on Saturday. South Laurel squares off with in-county rival North Laurel on Friday in the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week Presented by ARH. The Jaguars won the first contest at North Laurel back in December, 73-63.

5. Shelby Valley (17-5)

Last Week: defeated Belfry 88-79, defeated East Ridge 75-58

This Week: at Pike Central, at Jenkins, vs. Floyd Central

Jim Hicks’ team continues to be at the head of the 15th Region field as the Wildcats have won three straight and five of their last six. Another reason why Shelby Valley continues to be in the top five is that they have taken care of business in district play (6-0). Senior Cody Potter paced the Wildcats in scoring against Belfry and East Ridge but Elijah Sykes had his best game of the season against the Pirates. The sophomore had 23 points and 15 rebounds. The 88-point outing against Belfry was the most points scored by the Wildcats in a game this season.

Shelby Valley’s first two games this week are road contests. The first one is against Pike Central on Tuesday. The Wildcats will also meet Jenkins on Friday followed by a home game with Floyd Central on Saturday.

6. North Laurel (15-7)

Last Week: lost to No. 2 Clay County 76-67, defeated Jackson County 69-36

This Week: at No. 1 Somerset, at No. 4 South Laurel

Nate Valentine’s ball club was unable to get revenge on the Tigers but manhandled the Generals for a regular-season sweep. The story for most of the year has been freshman Reed Sheppard. However, Cole Kelley has been a more viable scoring option lately as the senior has scored double figures in five straight contests and 20 points or more in two of the last three. Kelley just missed that mark in North Laurel’s last game against Jackson County as the guard had 19 points on 6 of 9 from the field.

The Jaguars will finish off a seven-game road stand with two stiff challenges. Tuesday’s clash will be against the top-ranked Briar Jumpers while Friday’s tussle will be a rematch against South Laurel in the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week Presented by ARH (see South Laurel for results of the first game).

7. Pulaski County (18-5)

Last Week: lost to No. 1 Somerset 72-52, defeated Rockcastle County 74-46, lost to East Jessamine 53-50

This Week: vs. Mercer County, at No. 1 Somerset

The Maroons were blitzed at home by Somerset before rebounding against Rockcastle County. Pulaski County also picked up their second loss in the last three games against East Jessamine in the North/South Shootout Classic. The matchup against the Jaguars was the first time this season that Pulaski County lost a game in which it held an opponent to less than 60 points. KJ Combs led the Maroons in scoring against Somerset as the junior had 14 points to go along with six rebounds. Combs was also the go-to-player against the Rockets, putting up a stat-line of 18 points and five boards. Sophomore Caleb Sloan had a strong game against Rockcastle County as well (17 points, 14 rebounds). Sophomore Zach Travis had a team-high 17 points against East Jessamine.

The Maroons will go head-to-head with Mercer County on Tuesday followed by a rematch with number one Somerset on Friday. The date with the Briar Jumpers will be Pulaski County’s final road game of the regular season.

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8. Knott Central (16-4)

Last Week: Idle

This Week: at No. 3 Hazard, vs. Wolfe County

The Patriots decided to step away from the action last week. Bb King’s squad is 9-1 in 14th Region play and has not lost a game inside of the 53rd District (5-0). Knott Central is tied for second with Breathitt County in the 14th Region in field goal percentage at 49.9%. Only Jackson City is making their field goals at a higher rate in the region (50%). Junior Colby Napier is 23rd in the state and second in the 14th Region in three-point shots made per game at 2.8. Only Jackson City’s Terry Alexander is making more per game at a higher clip (3.7) among region players.

Knott Central is slated to meet Hazard on Tuesday in a Mountain Top 10 showdown. The Patriots also have Wolfe County coming to town on Saturday.

9. Paintsville (11-10)

Last Week: defeated Magoffin County 84-73, lost to Johnson Central 57-47

This Week: at Belfry

Paintsville got back into the win column against the Hornets but were tripped up by in-county rival Johnson Central as the Golden Eagles forced a split in the regular-season series. The tandem of sophomore Colby Fugate and senior Nick Keeton were instrumental in the Tigers victory against Magoffin County. Fugate scored his second-most points in a game this season with 38 and buried eight triples while Keeton generated 34 points and 19 rebounds. Fugate also led the way with 20 points against Johnson Central while Keeton had 11 points and 13 boards. Fugate has now scored 20 points or more in eleven games this season and has failed to reach double digits only once.

Landon Slone’s team will play their only game this week against Belfry on Tuesday.

10. Knox Central (15-5)

Last Week: lost to Wayne County 56-53

This Week: vs. Jackson County, vs. Prestonsburg

The Panthers continue to cling to the final spot in the Mountain Top 10 but have now lost three of their last four. Tony Patterson’s squad dropped another close battle last week, this time at the hands of Wayne County. Junior Jevonte Turner had a team-high 18 points against the Cardinals while corralling five rebounds. Zach Patterson was Knox Central’s other double-digit scorer as the senior tallied 15 points. Patterson also had six rebounds. Despite the loss, the Panthers still lead the 13th Region and are in the top ten in the state in field goal percentage (51.5%).

Knox Central looks to get back on track with two more home games as Jackson County comes to Barbourville on Tuesday. The Panthers will also face Prestonsburg on Friday.

Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10 – Girls’ Week 9 Breakdown

There is a new team at the top of the Girls’ poll. Let’s take a look back at last week’s action while looking ahead to this week.

1. South Laurel (18-4)

Last Week: defeated Wayne County 74-67, defeated Corbin 80-45, defeated Williamsburg 85-30

This Week: vs. Scott County

The Lady Cardinals continue to surge as Chris Souder’s team has now won eight in a row. South Laurel has had very little issues scoring the basketball as they have scored 70 points or more in six of their last eight games. Three players scored at least 20 points in the victory against Wayne County including senior Amerah Steele. Steele led the team with 24 points and eight rebounds. South Laurel also shot 54% percent from beyond the arc against the Lady Cardinals (12 for 22). Steele also produced double-doubles against Corbin (29 points, 10 rebounds) and Williamsburg (25 points, 10 rebounds).

South Laurel’s only contest this week is against Scott County on Saturday.

2. Southwestern (17-4)

Last Week: defeated McCreary Central 70-29, defeated West Jessamine 75-22

This Week: vs. Lincoln County, vs. Madison Southern

After losing a tight affair to South Laurel, the Warriors desecrated McCreary Central and West Jessamine. The Warriors are now 7-2 against 12th Region teams. Southwestern knocked down 13 threes on 25 attempts against the Raiders (52%). Junior Molden’s squad was also hot from three against West Jessamine, hitting seven threes on 14 attempts (50%). Senior Kennedy Harris had a team-high 18 points against McCreary Central while junior Alexa Smiddy paced Southwestern with 19 points against the Colts in the North/South Shootout Classic.

The Warriors will be at home for back-to-back contests this week. Lincoln County will come to town Tuesday followed by a matchup with Madison County on Thursday.

3. North Laurel (20-3)

Last Week: defeated Clay County 81-55, defeated Jackson County 76-55, lost to Casey County 77-60

This Week: at Madison Southern, at Hazard

The Lady Jaguars routed Clay County and Jackson County to take the 49th District regular-season title but were overwhelmed by Casey County on Senior Day. Despite the loss to the Lady Rebels, Eddie Mahan’s team is the only 13th Region team to have 20 wins up to this point. Sophomore Hailee Valentine had 20 points while going 6 for 10 from the field in the victory over the Lady Tigers. Valentine also tallied 25 points in the loss to Casey County. Four players made it into double figures in scoring in the victory over the Lady Generals including Gracie Jervis. The senior had a team-high 19 points.

North Laurel now concludes their regular season with five straight road games. The first two of those road games will be against Madison Southern on Tuesday followed by a date with Hazard on Saturday.

4. Pikeville (18-4)

Last Week: defeated Lawrence County 63-54, defeated No. 5 Shelby Valley 56-46

This Week: defeated East Ridge 61-46, vs. Belfry, vs. Russell

It seems as though the Lady Panthers can do no wrong as Kristy Orem’s crew is riding a six-game win streak and have taken 13 of their 14. Kirsten Cole-Williamson continues to spearhead Pikeville’s attack as the senior just missed out on a double-double against Lawrence County (18 points, nine rebounds). 8th Grader Trinity Rose also got into double figures with 15 in that contest. In their third head-to-head battle with Shelby Valley, senior Kelsey Jo Tackett bell cowed the team in scoring with 15 points while Cole-Williamson and senior Alexia Wilkerson also had 10 or more points.

The Lady Panthers are off to a good start this week with a victory over East Ridge on Monday night. Two more games await Pikeville later in the week. They will link up Belfry on Thursday while taking on the Russell Red Devils on Saturday.

5. Shelby Valley (13-7)

Last Week: lost to No. 4 Pikeville 56-46

This Week: vs. East Ridge, at Jenkins, vs. Pulaski County (Jackson City Prep Classic)

The rubber match against Pikeville did not turn out in the Lady Kats’ favor. The “Alyssa” duo of sophomore Alyssa Elswick and senior Alyssa Newsom were the only double-digit scorers for Shelby Valley against the Lady Panthers. Elswick contributed with 16 points and eight rebounds while Newsom pitched in with 10 points. Coming into this week, The Lady Kats are second in the 15th Region and 21st in the state in field goal percentage at 43.3%. Shelby Valley only trails Belfry in the region in that department as the Lady Pirates are shooting at a 44.3% clip.

Shelby Valley will play their second straight home game on Wednesday against East Ridge then travel to Jenkins on Friday. The Lady Kats already own wins over the Lady Cavaliers and Lady Hawks this season. Lonnie Rowe’s squad will also matchup with Pulaski County in the Jackson City Prep Classic on Saturday.

6. Bell County (18-3)

Last Week: defeated Barbourville 68-52, defeated Harlan 65-29

This Week: defeated Whitley County 73-66, at Knox Central, vs. Middlesboro

The Lady Bobcats are starting to hit their stride once again David Teague’s team is on a five-game win streak and remain one of three teams in the 13th Region to have an undefeated record in region play (10-0). Bell County is also 5-0 inside the 52nd District. Abby Harris was dominant against the Lady Tigers as the senior recorded a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Four players reached double digits in scoring in the triumph over Harlan as Harris and 8th Grader Nadine Johnson led the way with 13 points.

Bell County found a way past Whitley County to pick up their 18th victory of the season to start the week off right. The Lady Bobcats also have meetings with Knox Central on Tuesday along with Middlesboro on Friday. The Lady Bobcats took the first meeting over the Lady Jackets, 63-30 back on January 3rd while they cruised by the Lady Panthers, 65-45 on January 9th.

7. Rockcastle County (17-6)

Last Week: defeated Pulaski County 56-50

This Week: defeated Clay County 60-28, at Jackson County

The Lady Rockets are flying high at the moment as they have now won five straight contests. Rockcastle County was able to get out of Somerset with a close victory over Pulaski County but routed Clay County for one of their more lopsided victories of the 2019-20 campaign. The Lady Rockets surrendered their second-fewest amount of points in a game this season against the Lady Tigers. The Lady Rockets lead the 12th Region and are tenth in the state in free throw shooting at 71.7%.

The Lady Rockets are hoping to go undefeated this week as they head to McKee for a duel with Jackson County on Tuesday.

8. Knott Central (13-8)

Last Week: defeated Leslie County 71-54

This Week: vs. Letcher Central, at Powell County

Jeff Honeycutt’s squad won their only contest last week as the Lady Patriots eased past Leslie County for the second time this season. Freshman Presley Fletcher was tremendous for Knott Central in that victory as she scored 28 points and hauled in seven rebounds. Freshman Abby Maggard and senior Keara Mullins also made their way into double figures. The Lady Patriots are the only 14th Region team that is undefeated in region action (10-0) and are 4-0 against teams in their district.

Knott Central hopes to keep their undefeated record in the 53rd District intact as they welcome in Letcher Central on Friday while facing 14th Region foe Powell County on Saturday. The Lady Patriots defeated the Lady Cougars in a thrilling overtime clash, 70-60 back on January 17th.

9. Martin County (15-7)

Last Week: defeated Pike Central 62-56, defeated Magoffin County 63-39

This Week: defeated Johnson Central 50-46, vs. Morgan County (Jackson City Prep Classic)

The Lady Cardinals went 2-0 with wins over the Lady Hawks and the Lady Hornets to remain in the latest Mountain Top 10. Coming into last week, Martin County had only scored 60 points or more in a game three times. They accomplished that feat in both victories last week. Three players led the team in scoring in their victory over Pike Central (senior Kristen Isaac, junior Lakyn Porter and sophomore Lynndsey Cassell each had 15 points). Robin Newsome’s squad is the only team in the 15th Region that has not lost a game in district play (6-0).

The Lady Cardinals squeaked by in-region foe Johnson Central on Monday night to improve to 11-2 against the 15th Region. Martin County will meet Morgan County on Saturday in the Jackson City Prep Classic at Jackson City School.

10. Wolfe County (17-5)

Last Week: defeated Owsley County 56-51

This Week: at Breathitt County, vs. Jenkins, at Middlesboro

The Lady Wolves are making their Mountain Top 10 debut this week as the fighting Gary Brown’s have won five consecutive games. Wolfe County was tested against Owsley County but ultimately put the Lady Owls away for the second time this season. Senior Hailey Smith leads the team in scoring at 24.6 PPG and had a double-double (29 points, 10 rebounds) in the victory over Owsley County. The Lady Wolves are one of three 14th Region teams with at least 10 or more victories in region play (11-2) and own a 5-0 record against 55th District teams.

Wolfe County will travel to Breathitt County on Tuesday followed by a home game against Jenkins on Wednesday. They will round out the week on Saturday with a trip to Middlesboro.

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