High School Basketball

‘We wanted to do the best that we can.’ Team plays in honor of slain police officer

Police officers salute as Scotty Hamilton’s flag-draped casket is taken to a funeral home in downtown Pikeville.
Police officers salute as Scotty Hamilton’s flag-draped casket is taken to a funeral home in downtown Pikeville. Lexington Herald-Leader

Pikeville basketball players wore blue ribbons on their sneakers during their first-round game Wednesday night against John Hardin in the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen.

The ribbons were in honor of Scotty Hamilton, a police officer who was shot and killed Tuesday night. Hamilton, who had been a member of the Pikeville police department since 2006, was recognized by the KHSAA with a moment a silence prior to tipoff.

The Panthers, heavy underdogs going into the matchup, upset John Hardin, 72-69, after three overtimes in one of the longest games played in tournament history.

Pikeville’s head coach, Elisha Justice — a Pike County native — and players was about playing the team playing its game in honor of Hamilton, who played football at Shelby Valley, Justice’s alma mater.

“That was a terrible tragedy,” Justice said. “It happened last night and I think most of us got word of that this morning. It’s a hard thing to try and comfort anybody in a time like that but we wanted to do the best that we can and try to represent home as good as we can, and all these guys wore the blue ribbon on their shoes, just in honor of the police officer and to just show our respects.

“We’ve got a great community, too. Anybody that has social media has seen everybody come together back home and rally around that family. That was a really good thing.”

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

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