High School Basketball

Shelby Valley boys bring it home

RICHMOND — Pike County's hoops history includes legendary coach John Bill Trivette of Pikeville and Mr. Basketball winners Ervin Stepp of Phelps (1980) and Todd May of Virgie (1982).

Now it can finally claim a state championship, too, after Shelby Valley won the boys' Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic on Sunday.

The Wildcats won the small-school title by holding off Bardstown 58-55, four hours after a semifinal upset of No. 1 Elliott County in Eastern Kentucky's McBrayer Arena.

"We're bringing the big trophy back home," a teary-eyed Coach Jason Booher said.

Shelby Valley had a couple of great escapes on Super Sunday.

Shelby Valley's awful foul shooting allowed Elliott County and Bardstown to rally in the closing minutes. Both teams missed what would have been tying three-pointers in the last seconds.

"I guarantee you, we'll be shooting a lot of free throws in practice the next three weeks," Booher said with a smile.

Fatigue might have been a factor. Shelby Valley played four games in about 40 hours.

"I know I'm a little tired," said junior star Elisha Justice.

Justice, the tournament MVP, led the Wildcats with 13 points, six assists and two steals against Bardstown. One of those thefts came when Bardstown had the ball with a chance to tie with five seconds left.

Justice missed the front end of the bonus, giving Bardstown one last gasp, but Jordan Hickman missed an off-balance 35-footer.

"We just wanted to show everybody we can compete with anybody in the state," Justice said. "We had a great showing and we had a lot of support from back home."

Justice had 51 points, 18 steals, 14 assists and nine rebounds in four games.

"He's been making plays his whole career," Booher said. "That's why he's all-state, and we hope a Mr. Basketball candidate next year."

Justice's supporting cast came up big. Logan Bryant had 12 points and Tyler Newsome had nine off the bench.

Taylor Newsome added five points and 12 rebounds. Big men Ashley Hatfield, Devan Adams and Curby Tackett combined for 17 points and 11 rebounds.

"I've been around basketball all my life," Booher said. "And it's always kept me strong. I've always dreamed about being a state champion as a player or a coach. I'll have to pinch myself to make sure this is real.

"It's exciting for the kids, the community and for Pike County."

Bardstown, which won the All "A" in 2006 and was runner-up in '07, was led by Jordan Hickman's 21 points and five assists.

Demarco Phillips added 13 points and five rebounds.

"We had a couple opportunities at the end to tie it up but just couldn't do it," Tigers Coach Gary Goode said.

Bardstown, which saw its 10-game winning streak snapped, will regroup as it gets ready to defend its regional title in a few weeks.

"We pick up a lot here that helps us in the 5th Region," Goode said. "Shelby Valley had big guys and good guards, and we'll rely on this experience to get better.'"

Semifinals: In Sunday morning's final four, Shelby Valley upset No. 1 Elliott County 55-52, and Bardstown beat Hazard 52-46.

Shelby Valley led 55-40 with just over three minutes left. But the Wildcats missed nine consecutive free throws down the stretch, and Elliott County stormed back.

The Lions had a chance to tie, but Timmy Knipp's three-pointer with two seconds left fell short.

Justice led Shelby Valley with 12 points, seven steals and six rebounds. Hatfield also had 12 points, and Adams added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Elliott County, losing to a Kentucky opponent for the first time this season, was led by Ethan Faulkner's 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

"Give Shelby Valley a lot of credit," Elliott County Coach Rick Mays said. "We knew what they were going to do, but we didn't react well to it.

"How we handle this will tell how good a team we'll be at tournament time."

Bardstown got the best of Hazard in the first semifinal. Hickman led the Tigers with 21 points, including four free throws in the last 29 seconds that clinched the win.

Robert Warren had 13 points and nine rebounds for Hazard.

shelby valley 58, bardstown 55

BARDSTOWN (16-5) — D. Edelen 3-10 2-3 8, D. Phillips 6-8 1-4 13, Downs 2-7 0-0 6, Cochran 1-2 2-2 5, Hickman 8-15 3-4 21, R. Phillips 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 20-42 10-15 55.

SHELBY VALLEY (18-4) — Hatfield 2-11 1-2 6, Justice 6-15 0-1 13, Bryant 5-8 0-0 12, Taylor Newsome 2-3 1-4 5, Adams 3-5 0-1 6, Varney 1-2 0-0 2, Tyler Newsome 3-4 0-0 9, Tackett 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 24-52 3-10 58.

Bardstown 17 7 17 14—55

Shelby Valley 18 13 14 13—58

bardstown 52, hazard 46

Semifinals

BARDSTOWN (16-4) — Hickman 6-13 7-11 21, D. Edelen 5-13 2-2 12, D. Phillips 2-6 0-0 4, Downs 2-8 1-2 7, Cochran 0-3 0-0 0, R. Phillips 1-2 2-2 4, S. Edelen 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 18-49 12-17 52.

HAZARD (17-6) — Warren 6-9 1-2 13, Martin 3-9 1-2 7, Jones 2-4 2-2 6, Whitaker 0-3 6-8 6, Combs 2-7 0-2 4, Back 3-9 1-2 8, Kidd 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 17-45 11-18 46.

Bardstown 17 11 11 13—52

Hazard 8 7 16 15—46

shelby valley 55, elliott county 52

Semifinals

ELLIOTT COUNTY (19-2) — Ferguson 5-14 4-6 15, Ethan Faulkner 4-5 5-5 15, Evan Faulkner 2-11 0-0 4, T. Knipp 1-6 1-2 4, C. Knipp 6-11 0-0 14, Nickell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-48 10-13 52.

SHELBY VALLEY (17-4) — Justice 6-12 0-2 12, Hatfield 5-15 2-3 12, Taylor Newsome 2-5 0-0 4, Adams 5-7 1-2 11, Bryant 1-3 0-5 2, Tackett 2-4 2-4 6, Tyler Newsome 1-3 2-4 4, Varney 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 23-50 9-22 55.

Elliott Co. 7 16 14 15—52

Shelby Valley 16 20 13 6—55

All-tournament team

Elisha Justice (MVP), Devan Adams, Ashley Hatfield and Taylor Newsome of Shelby Valley; Jordan Hickman, Demarco Phillips and Damien Edelen of Bards town; Corey Martin of Hazard; Ethan Faulkner, Evan Faulkner and Jonathan Ferguson of Elliott County; James David Strange of Pineville; Cody Rich of Edmonson County

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