Pairings for Mountain Basketball Classic announced: Hornets to meet former 14th Region champion Knott County Central
HAZARD - Pairings have been announced for the 2017 WYMT Mountain Basketball Classic. The year 2017 will mark the 30th anniversary for the Mountain Basketball Classic. Preseason 15th Region boys’ basketball favorite Magoffin County will be a part of the 2017 tournament as it looks to capture a title. The Hornets are slated to meet perennial 14th Region title contender Knott County Central in the first round of the Mountain Basketball Classic at 8:30 p.m. on January 3.
The 14 teams (six girls, eight boys) that will participate in the 2017 WYMT-hosted tournaments. The girls’ basketball teams selected for the tradition-rich tournament were Breathitt County, Harlan, Harlan County, Knott County Central, North Laurel and Perry County Central. The boys’ basketball teams chosen for the highly-anticipated event were Cordia, Harlan County, Hazard, Knott County Central, Knox Central, Magoffin County, North Laurel and Perry County Central.
Magoffin County is set to make its third appearance in the Mountain Classic. The Hornets made their first appearance in the tournament in 1996 and returned to play in the event again in 2001. Magoffin County is 3-3 all-time in the Mountain Classic.
The Hornets ended the 20150-16 season 22-9. Trenton Russell and Jaren Lovely combined to average over 40 points per game for the Hornets during the 2015-16 season and are poised to take the floor in the 2016-17 campaign. Russell led Magoffin County in both scoring and rebounding in the 2015-16 season, averaging 23.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the Hornets. He was ranked first in the 15th Region Coaches Association Preseason Player Rankings.
Lovely, a standout baseball player, who has signed with Marshall University, averaged 17.3 points per game for the Magoffin County boys’ basketball team.
Magoffin County started preseason practice in mid-October and played in its first of two scrimmages over the weekend.
The 2017 Mountain Classic is slated to be played Monday, January 2 -Saturday, January 7 at Perry County Central High School.
Other first round pairings in the Mountain Basketball Classic are as follows: Perry County Central vs. Knox Central, Cordia vs. Harlan County, Hazard vs. North Laurel.