GOODY, Ky. – Despite losing in the 60th District championship game to Lawrence County, Belfry High School basketball coach Mark Thompson said his squad is ready to head into the 15th Regional tourney this week.
“Overall we are excited to be going to the regional tourney and have a few days to prepare for a very good Pikeville team,” Thompson said. His squad drew the Pikeville Panthers, coached by Elisha Justice.
Belfry (14-17) will take on Pikeville Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at the Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky., the site of the 15th Regional tournament.
“We played them in January after two tough district games. It was a six point game late in the fourth quarter,” Thompson said of PHS. Belfry lost that game 69-58.
The Pirates lost to a good Lawrence County Bulldogs squad 71-53 last Friday, led by senior Timmy Dalton, who fired in 30 points. Dalton is leading the state and the country with a 38 ppg. average.
“We shot 37 percent from the field Friday night. We missed a lot of easy shots,” Thompson said of the 60th District championship game. “We really front rimmed a lot of shots. Maybe the Pike Central game Wednesday took something out of us.”
The Pirates beat their arch rival Pike Central in the semi-finals 56-52 in a come-from-behind hard fought victory.
Belfry has a balanced scoring attack and they are led by senior guards Austin Woolum and Cameron Catron, juniors Devin Varney, Isiah Roblee, Ryan Jessie, Koleston Blankenship and Jaret James, while sophomore Jovie Stack could see action off the bench.
Pikeville is led by junior Wyatt Battaile who averages about 20 ppg., and is their best player. Senior Connor Roberts averages 10 ppg.
The Panthers come in with a 20-8 record and have won 12 of their last 14 games. They beat Shelby Valley 60-52 in the 59th District Tournament championship.
“We really walked into a perfect storm Friday night at Lawrence County on their home floor,” Thompson said. “We just didn’t play our best. That’s frustrating because our two regular season games were close. Honestly, we need to be more mentally tough in those types of games.”
Belfry had beaten Lawrence County at home in the regular season, but lost at Louisa.
Thompson hopes his Pirates’ squad is clicking on all cylinders this week heading into the regional tournament. The team is capable of beating anyone on a given night and Belfry fans hope that will be the case this week at the Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky.
Kyle Lovern is the Managing Eitor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.