Panthers dominate in All A title game: Pikeville 63, Shelby Valley 42

Teddy Paynter

PIKEVILLE — Hidden away in Pikeville’s dominating 63-42 victory over Shelby Valley in the 15th Region All A Classic championship game at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center this past Sunday —  was its defensive effort.

“I thought today we put it all together,” Pikeville head coach Elisha Justice said. “We won not only because we can score but on the defensive end as well.”

Justice said his players are learning what it takes to win a championship.

“Our guys were as focused today as the have been all year and they are beginning to understand what it takes to succeed,” he added. “That was a really good basketball team we beat.”

Wyatt Battaile was solid on both ends of the floor, finishing with a game-high 23 points and six rebounds as the Panthers improved to 14-3. 

“He can do so many different things out there,” Justice said. “He’s the best player in the region in my opinion,” Justice, a former Mr. Kentucky Basketball while playing at Shelby Valley said.

Kyle Watkins followed with 14 points while Cade Byers finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Pikeville held a 30-20 halftime lead before putting distance between them and Valley in the third period.

“The first few minutes of the third period were crucial,” Justice said. “We came out and made a run and took control of the game from that point on.”

Valley, now 11-6, seemingly never was able to get into any kind of offensive rhythm from early on.

“We just never really put much together offensively,” Valley head coach Jim Hicks said. “You can’t shoot the basketball as poorly as we did today and expect to win.”

Blake Burke paced the Wildcats with 14 points while Cameron Worrix chipped in eight.

The Wildcats were pushed to the limits in a semifinal-round win over Paintsville while the Panthers handily defeated Prestonsburg.

“That part of playing in a tournament like this,” Hicks said. “You don’t make excuses for your team. We both played the night before. You have to be focused and ready play and today we were not that team.”

Pikeville opened All A state tournament play Thursday night in Richmond against Somerset.


At Pikeville

(All A Classic championship)


SV (11-6)…...............................7  13    6  16 – 42

PK (14-3)….............................13  17  16  17 – 63


Shelby Valley (42) – Cameron Worrix 2(1) 1-3 8; Blake Burke 4 6-9 14; Tanner Bentley 1 0-2 2; Cody Potter 1 2-4 4; Zach Honaker 2 0-0 4; Cody Hamilton 0 1-2 1; Keian Worrix 1 1-2 3; Orbie McPeek 2 0-0 4; and Brandon Little 0 2-4 2. Totals: 13(1) 13-26 42.

Pikeville – Kyle Watkins 2(2) 4-4 14; Wyatt Battaile 7(2) 3-4 23; Evan Rhodes 1 1-2 3; Connor Roberts 3 2-4 8; Cade Byers 4 0-0 8; Grayson Harris 0(1) 0-0 3; Christian Billiter 0 2-2 2; and Jackson Mullins 0 2-2 2. Totals: 17(5) 14-19 63.