Posted On: 02/19/18 12:33 PM
The postseason is finally upon us and the Road to Rupp Arena starts this week. The amount of schools in the postseason will be cut down to 128 once the district rounds are complete. Only district champions and runners-up move on to regional tournaments and there are sure to be several upsets this week. As we continue with our postseason previews, we move to the Fifteenth region where up to 5 different teams could be considered candidates to make it to Rupp Arena and the region is truly wide open. Here’s a district by district breakdown of the match-ups:
57th District (Games played at Johnson Central):
Play gets underway on Tuesday night as Paintsville tips off against Magoffin County. Paintsville swept the season series against Magoffin, winning by 25 and then by 12. Magoffin did end the season strong as they won 3 out of their last 4 games so they are riding a bit of momentum into their district semifinal.
The second semifinal is on Wednesday night and features Johnson Central and Sheldon Clark going head to head. Johnson Central won their two regular season meetings by a combined 72 points so it’s unlikely Sheldon Clark makes it to the championship round.
58th District (Games played at Floyd Central):
The 58th features another set of Tuesday/Wednesday games as Floyd Central and Lawrence County tip off on Tuesday night. The two teams met twice in the regular season and Floyd took both games. The first meeting was a 42 point beating but the second was a 5 point game. If Lawrence can win the 3rd matchup it will be a really impressive turnaround from the 42 point loss they just suffered on January 24th.
The Wednesday night game will be a 4th meeting between Betsy Layne and Prestonsburg. All 3 games have been close. Betsy Layne has won 2 of the 3 and Prestonsburg looks to even the series at 2 while ending Betsy Layne’s season.
59th District (Games played at Shelby Valley):
Both semifinals in the 59th are played on Tuesday night. In the opener Shelby Valley plays host to Jenkins. In the 2 prior meetings, Shelby Valley has won by a combined 78 points so I wouldn’t hold my breath for a Jenkins win in the first semifinal.
The second semifinal on Monday night is defending regional champion Pikeville going up against East Ridge. Pikeville has beaten East Ridge by more than 40 points in the two regular season meetings so you can likely pencil Pikeville into the championship game on Friday night.
60th District (Games played at Pike County Central):
Monday night the tournament tips off with Belfry beating the Piarist School. The only regular season meeting between the two schools resulted in a 75-12 win for Belfry. Unless the Piarist School has done some serious recruiting since February 2nd, their season likely ends on Monday night.
Tuesday night the other semifinal takes place as Pike County Central takes on Phelps. Central took on Phelps twice in the regular season and won handily both times. There isn’t much reason to expect Phelps to win advance on Tuesday.
Champions: Paintsville, Floyd Central, Shelby Valley, Pike County Central
Runners-Up: Johnson Central, Prestonsburg, Pikeville, Belfry