SALYERSVILLE - Magoffin County was prepared when 15th Region title contender Pike County Central visited over the weekend. The Hornets nearly knocked off Pike County Central before the Hawks battled back to win 63-51 on Saturday.
The Hawks entered the week with the 15th Region's best record.
With the loss, Magoffin County dropped to 4-12.
Pike County Central improved to 13-4 with the win.
Magoffin County started strong, edging Pike County Central 13-12 in the first quarter, The Hornets led 29-26 at halftime but Pike County Central fared better following the break. After moving ahead in the third quarter, Pike County Central doubled up the Hornets 20-10 in the final period to pull away to win.
"After leading the game for two and a half quarters, we kind of lost our focus in the fourth quarter with shot selection and had some defensive breakdowns late," Magoffin County Coach Scott Castle commented, following his team's loss. "I felt that and the fact that our rebounding focus dropped was the difference in the game. Nevertheless, I'm proud of the effort our kids gave throughout the game. I feel that we are improving game by game and think improvement will continue to be seen as I continue to work hard at practice and learn more about their roles and game situations. This was quite different than our second game of the season at Pike County Central where they controlled the game from start to finish."
Pike County Central had rolled past the Hornets 83-60 when the two teams met in an early-season game in Pike County on December 2.
Magoffin County shot 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field in the latest game versus Pike County Central. The Hornets were 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Magoffin County was only 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from the free throw line.
Brady Whitaker led Magoffin County with 19 points.
Dylan Arnett was the only other Magoffin County player to reach double figures in the scoring column, posting 11 points.
Isaiah Salyer scored eight points, Chandler Lykins netted four points and Mason Lovely posted three points for the Hornets.
Michael Conley, Logan Lovely and Nolan Arnett rounded out the Magoffin County scoring with two points apiece.
Nolan Arnett led Magoffin County inside, grabbing seven rebounds.
Finishing directly behind Nolan Arnett in the key category, Dylan Arnett delivered six rebounds.
Magoffin County was hosting border rival Morgan County at press time on Wednesday. The Magoffin County-Morgan County boys' basketball game ended too late to make this edition. Complete coverage of the Magoffin County-Morgan County matchup will appear in next week's edition.
Magoffin County has additional regular-season games remaining versus Sheldon Clark, Johnson Central, Belfry, Jenkins, Knott County Central, Paintsville, Shelby Valley, Floyd Central, Lawrence County and Prestonsburg.
Brady Whitaker scored 19 points as Magoffin County fell short in a game against visiting Pike County Central over the weekend. staff photo