BOYS’ HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Magoffin County rolls past tournament host Paintsville

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PAINTSVILLE - Magoffin County rolled in its 2015-16 postseason debut, defeating tournament host Paintsville 71-54 in the opening round game of the 57th District Boys’ Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night (Feb. 24).

With the win, Magoffin County improved to 21-7, qualified for the 15th Region Tournament and advanced to the 57th District championship game. 

Former state champion Paintsville ended its season 8-17 with the loss. 

Magoffin County shot 41.9 percent (18-of-43) from the field. The Hornets were 6-for-13 (46.2 percent) from 3-point range.

Magoffin County shot 65.9 percent (29-of-44) from the free throw line. 

The Hornets owned multiple leads over longtime rival Paintsville before notching the 17-point win.

Four Magoffin County players reached double figures in the scoring column. 

Leading the Hornets offensively, Trenton Russell scored 18 points. Posting a double-double, Russell, one of the 15th Region’s top boys’ basketball players, pulled down 12 rebounds in the victory. 

Following Russell in double figures for Magoffin County in the district tournament game triumph, Jaren Lovely and Brady Whitaker scored 16 points apiece. 

Accompanying three of his teammates in double digits, Ryan Mullins contributed 14 points. 

Strong from start to finish, especially around the goal, Mullins recorded a double-double, pulling down a game-high 18 rebounds for the Hornets.

Other scorers for Magoffin County were Tyler Fitzpatrick (three points), Grayson Hall (two points) and Dalton Peters (two points. 

Magoffin County topped Paintsville for the third time in the 2015-16 season. The Hornets swept the two 57th District foes’ annual two-game regular-season series. 

Magoffin County, under the direction of head coach Robbie Russell, advanced to meet Johnson Central in the 57th District championship game at Paintsville High School. 

In the other opening round game of the 57th District Boys’ Basketball Tournament, Johnson Central defeated Sheldon Clark 64-40 on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

In the 57th District Girls’ Basketball Tournament, the Magoffin County Lady Hornets and the Johnson Central Lady Eagles advanced to a title game and the regional tournament.