The coolest sporting event in the state | Sports

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Elisha Justice of Pikeville and her son Uriah Justice


Just look at the faces of the Pikeville players on Wednesday night and you know why the UK Healthcare/KHSAA Sweet 16 is the coolest sporting event in the state.

Pikeville was having fun.

Not many people gave them a chance against North Laurel.

The Jaguars have a lot of talent, especially with Reed Sheppard and Ryan Davidson, but Pikeville has talent all over the field.

Keian Worrix and Rylee Samons both had breathtaking games.

Worrix’s quickness and ball-handling prowess was on display for most of the fourth quarter. The Panthers had a lead and they were ticking a certain clock before entering their sets and Worrix used it to show off his deadly crossover.

Worrix was the maestro in the field. At one point in the fourth quarter, he ran through Sheppard so hard that Sheppard fell to the ground. Worrix didn’t finish the game as he missed the pull-up, but the crowd went wild anyway.

Then in the fourth quarter he rushed around the field and he drove inside but then started to come back towards the perimeter but instead made a spectacular pass behind the back that Nick Robinson didn’t expect not and it resulted in turnover. ; a milestone turnover that fans erupted for once again. But instead of lowering his head, he came back on defense and knocked the ball off a North Laurel player. The ball went out of bounds, but it also slid about 10 feet out of bounds. The crowd erupted in their stampede once again seconds after his spectacular turnover.

Samons did the same.

He had a reverse layup in the first that looked like he had no chance of doing it, but the ball circled around the cylinder and went in; he was fouled, but missed the free throw. This spectacular play came early and helped the Panthers take the lead.

Pikeville was having fun and smiling and the team was playing together.

The team’s defense was also key for the Panthers.

Laithan Hall sacrificed his offense to focus on guarding Sheppard.

Tate Walters has done a bit of everything.

Robinson did what he always does, play a solid score when he had the opportunity and control the boards.

Pikeville was longer than North Laurel and faster.

It was a fun game.

But now the Panthers have an even bigger task at hand as they face George Rogers Clark (RCMP) at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon in the Sweet 16 quarter-finals.

RCMP has a bit of everything.

The Cardinals are ranked as the best team in the state and many people think the Sweet 16 is theirs to lose.

Again, no one is talking about Pikeville.

What did GRC do in their first round match against Perry Central?

Everything the Cardinals wanted as they earned a 77-36 win over the 14th Region champions.

GRC has three really solid guarantors in Jerone Morton, Sam Parrish and Reshaun Hampton.

Inside, Trent Edwards has great size and speed. He can score, rebound and block shots. Additionally, he can step out into the open field and complete fastbreaks.

Oh yeah, he can knock all three down too.

Tanner Walton is the other guy on the inside and he does a lot of dirty work.

RCMP has a lot of team gear.

Pikeville has team speed.

Can the Panthers create another surprise?

We will find out on Friday afternoon.

Never count on a team led by Elisha Justice during this time of year.

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