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Paintsville celebrates after winning the 15th Region All “A” Classic championship against Shelby Valley 57-55 Sunday at the Appalachian Wireless Arena.

Shelby Valley looked poised to go back to the All “A” Classic state championship for a second straight season.

Shelby Valley’s Cody Potter and Paintsville’s Colby Fugate dueled in the fourth quarter.

Sometimes looks can be deceiving as Paintsville fought and clawed to a 57-55 win over the Wildcats Sunday at the Appalachian Wireless Arena to claim the 15th Region All “A” Classic title.

Paintsville will take on Harlan at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the All “A” Classic state tournament at the McBrayer Arena in Richmond.

Shelby Valley jumped out to a 15-5 lead on the Tigers.

Cody Potter scored 11 first-quarter points; he knocked down three threes in the first stanza.

Paintsville started to chip away little by little after that.

Colby Fugate scored with 5:34 left in the half to cut the lead to 18-9. Then Rex Castle scored and was fouled; he made the free throw to cut the lead to 18-12 with  4:40 left in the first half.

Fugate scored again with 2:56 left in the half to cut the lead to 18-17.

Potter answered as he was fouled on a three-point attempt. He made all three free throws to put the Wildcats up 21-17 with 2:30 left. He scored again as the time ran out of the first half to give the Wildcats a 29-19 halftime lead.

Potter scored 34 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Wildcats.

In the the third quarter, Paintsville fought all the way back into the game.

Fugate knocked down a three with 2:09 left to cap off an 11-0 run and tie the game up at 39-39.

Shelby Valley and Paintsville were tied at 40-40 entering the fourth quarter of play.

Fugate led the way for Paintsville finishing with 34 points and four rebounds.

Nick Keeton opened the fourth with a basket for the Tigers and Fugate scored again to give Paintsville a 44-40 lead.

Potter scored four straight to tie the game at 44-44 with 4:46 to play.

Fugate answered with a three to put the Tigers up 47-44 with 4:25 left.

Ryan Gibson followed with a basket to push the Paintsville lead to 49-44.

Potter answered by firing in a three with 3:51 to play to cut the lead to 49-47.

Fugate answered with a three of his own with 3:30 left to push the lead to 52-47.

In the game, Potter made six of his 12 three-point attempts, while Fugate made four of his 12 attempts from deep.

Gibson scored with 2:46 to push the Tigers’ lead to 54-47.

Potter knocked down another three to close the gap to four with just 1:52 to play.

With 1:44 left, Castle knocked down a pair of free throws to push the lead to 56-50.

Shelby Valley’s Kaden Robinson answered with two free throws of his own with 1:16 left.

Then things really got interesting.

Shelby Valley’s Keian Worrix was came up with a steal from behind on Castle. Castle was whistled for the foul and then, an intentional foul was called on the play.

That gave the Wildcats an one-and-one and then two free throws and the ball.

Worrix missed the front end of the one-and-one.

Potter stepped to the line and drained his free throws to cut the lead to 56-54 with just 46 seconds left to play.

The Wildcats got the ball back and Potter drove to the basket and was fouled with just 14 seconds left.

Potter made the first free throw, but uncharacteristically missed the second.

Paintsville held a 56-55 lead.

Fugate was fouled with just 9.3 seconds left.

He made the first and uncharacteristically missed the second.

That gave Shelby Valley one last shot, but a three at the buzzer didn’t go in and Paintsville pulled out the win.

This will be Paintsville’s first appearance in the 15th Region All “A” Classic since 2008.

Paintsville coach Landon Slone was a senior in 2008 and helped lead the Tigers to the All “A” Classic state tournament. The Tigers lost in the championship to University Heights 74-68 that season.

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Paintsville    5    14    21    17    —57

Shelby Valley    15    14    11    15    — 55

Paintsville — Colby Fugate 34, Braxton Tharp 8, Nick Keeton 6, Ryan Gibson 4, Baron Ratliff 3, Rex Castle 2.

Shelby Valley — Cody Potter 34, Eli Sykes 9, Kaden Robinson 5, Zack Johnson 4, Keian Worrix 3.

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Paintsville’s Nick Keeton celebrates as his teammates and coaches storm the court after the Tigers picked up a 57-55 win over Shelby Valley to capture the 15th Region All “A” Classic championship.

15th Region semifinals

Paintsville 31,

Phelps 28

Paintsville found a way to move on to the 15th Region All “A” Classic championship.

Paintsville and Phelps both struggled to score.

It was a defensive war between the two squads.

Paintsville finished the game shooting 29.3 percent from the field (12 for 41), while Phelps shot 33 percent from the floor (13 for 39).

Phelps held an 11-9 lead after the first.

Neither team scored double digits in the second or third quarters. Paintsville scored 11 points in the fourth.

At halftime, the game was tied at 17-17.

Paintsville scored just three points in the third and Phelps scored four.

In the fourth, Paintsville outscored Phelps 11-7.

Colby Fugate and Nick Keeton each scored in double figures for the Tigers. Fugate scored a game-high 13 points, while Keeton scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Paintsville out rebounded Phelps 32-22.

Dominick Francis led the way for the Hornets with a team-high 10 points. Jason Casey added eight points. Trey Francis scored four points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

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Paintsville    9    8    3    11    — 31

Phelps    11    6    4    7    — 28

Paintsville — Colby Fugate 13, Nick Keeton 10, Baron Ratliff 5, Braxton Tharp 2, Rex Castle 1.

Phelps — Dominick Francis 10, Jason Casey 8, Trey Fancis 4, Cameron Sanson 2, Landon Dotson 2, Seth Mayhorn 2.

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Paintsville guard Braxton Tharp is guarded by Shelby Valley’s Russ Osborne and Kaden Robinson in the final seconds of the 15th Region All “A” Classic championship.

Shelby Valley 66,

Pikeville 52

The Wildcats jumped out to an 18-0 lead over Pikeville Saturday night in the last semifinal.

Pikeville lost Laithan Hall to an injury the night before and lost Rylee Sammons in the first quarter as well.

After Pikeville settled down, they cut into the lead and had it to 10 by the fourth.

Pikeville couldn’t ever really get back into the game.

Cody Potter had a huge night for the Wildcats scoring a game-high 33 points. He knocked down four of his eight three-point attempts. Potter also grabbed nine rebounds and came up with three steals.

Eli Sykes also had a big game for the Wildcats as he scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Kaden Robinson added 10 points. Eighth-grader Russ Osoborne chipped in with four points and Keian Worrix had three points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals on the night.

Nick Robinson led the way for Pikeville with a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds. Grayson Harris followed with 13 points and two steals. Seth Pugh and Connor Byers each scored six points. Tate Walters and John Flanery each had four points. Rylee Sammons scored one before leaving with an injury.

Shelby Valley shot 50 percent from the field (20 for 40), while holding Pikeville to just 35.6 percent shooting (16 for 45).

The Wildcats out rebounded Pikeville 33-21.

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Shelby Valley    22    11    9    24    — 66

Pikeville    1    14    10    27    — 52

Shelby Valley — Cody Potter 33, Eli Sykes 16, Kaden Robinson 10, Russ Osborne 4, Keian Worrix 3.

Pikeville — Nick Robinson 18, Grayson Harris 13, Seth Pugh 6, Connor Byers 6, Tate Walters 4, John Flanery 4, Rylee Sammons 1.

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Paintsville’s Colby Fugate dribbles the ball down the court against Phelps Saturday night in the 15th Region semifinals.

Shelby Valley 61,

Prestonsburg 57

Prestonsburg kept hanging around and hanging around.

The Wildcats walked away with a 61-57 win over the Blackcats in the 15th Region All “A” Classic at the Appalachian Wireless Arena Friday night.

Cody Potter led the way for the Wildcats scoring a team-high 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Keian Worrix followed with 14 points and five assists. Worrix made some big plays down the stretch to help the Wildcats pull out the win.

Gunnar Williams helped the Blackcats stay close. Williams scored a game-high 29 points. He shot eight for 12 from the field and five of nine from three. Graham Burchett also reached double figures scoring with 12 points. Adams Slone added nine.

Shelby Valley took control in the third outscoring the Blackcats 18-4.

Prestonsburg fought back and outscored the Wildcats 28-18 in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough.

Shelby Valley shot 61.8 percent from the field (21 for 34), but Prestonsburg shot 48.6 percent from the field (18 for 37).

Each team had 12 turnovers.

Shelby Valley out rebounded the Blackcats 20-16.

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Shelby Valley    12    13    18    18    — 61

Prestonsburg    13    12    4    28    — 57

Shelby Valley — Cody Potter 19, Keian Worrix 14, Kaden Robinson 10, Eli Sykes 8, Zack Johnson 7, Chaz Brown 2, Russ Osborne 1.

Prestonsburg — Gunnar Williams 29, Graham Burchett 12, Adam Slone 9, Grant Justice 5, Will Gullett 2.

Pikeville 78

Martin Co. 71 (OT)

The Pikeville Panthers won Friday night in an overtime thriller with a final score of 78-71 over the Martin County Cardinals to advance to the All “A” Classic semifinal.

The win comes off an excellent shooting display from the Panthers, who shot 48 percent from the field (28 for 64) from three-point range (six for 21) and 89 percent (17 for 20) from the line.

Pikeville was without one of their key starters for most of the game. Laithan Hall went down on a play late in the first quarter and was unable to return to action, but other players stepped up and delivered when the team needed it most.

Martin County came out of the blocks fast. They controlled the tip and were the first on the board with a three-pointer from Jordan Dalton.

Soon after, Pikeville started heating up with two threes of their own as well as some free throws from Rylee Samons; that sparked a 14-5 Pikeville run in the last five minutes of the first.

In the second, Martin County outscored the Panthers 18-13 which included some strong plays from Trey James. A monstrous dunk at the halfway point of the second sent shockwaves through the stands. Not long after, James was fouled on a shot and still managed to get the bucket. He then converted on the free throw to tie the game with a minute and a half left in the second.   

 With a close score of 27-26 at the half, Pikeville came out hot and outscored the Cardinals in the third with strong contributions by Sammons and Conner Byers. The Panthers held a 43-36 lead entering the fourth.

Just as the game was winding down and everyone thought it was over, the Cardinals scored five unanswered points in the last 45 seconds to tie the game at 57-57at the end of regulation. Trey James converted another three-point play and then Jordan Dalton scored off the fast break tying the game with only 12 seconds remaining.

In ovetime, it was a battle from the line with both teams shooting a combined 21 free throws in the final 4:00 period.

James struck first with a strong move to the rim which resulted in an alley-oop dunk in the first 15 seconds of overtime for Martin County.

Pikeville then went to work with Tate Walters scoring five unanswered points to put the Panthers in front with 2:30 left on the clock. The teams then began trading free throws which eventually led to the win for the Panthers.

Rylee Samons led the Panthers in scoring with a game-high 27 points and six rebounds. He scored 12 points from the free-throw line on a perfect 12 for 12 shooting night. Grayson Harris and Nick Robinson added 13 points and 10 points respectively.

Brady Dingess led the way for the Cardinals with 21 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. James followed with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

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Pikeville    13    13    16    14    21    — 78

Martin Co.    8    18    10    21    14    — 71

Pikeville — Rylee Sammons 27, Grayson Harris 13, Nick Robinson 10, Connor Byers 8, Tate Walters 7, Seth Pugh 4, John Flanery 4, Laithan Hall 3, Peyton Boyd-Blair 2.

Martin County — Brady Dingess 21, Trey James 19, Braxton Maynard 11, Jordan Dalton 8, Ethan Smith-Mills 7, Luke Hale 5.

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