Blackcats capture Right Beaver Classic championship
by STEVE LeMASTER
EASTERN - The Prestonsburg Elementary School boys’ basketball team defeated McDowell in the championship game of the Right Beaver Classic on Saturday as part of a Prestonsburg sweep. Prestonsburg’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams swept the tournament for the first time in school history.
The Blackcats defeated May Valley and Betsy Layne en route to the tournament’s title game versus McDowell.
Head coach Doug Hopkins guided both Prestonsburg teams to titles. Hopkins is in his third year of coaching the Prestonsburg girls’ basketball team. He is in his second season at the helm of the PES boys’ basketball program. Saturday was a special day for the PES basketball coach. His father, Jimmie Hopkins, started the Right Beaver Classic in the early-1990s when he was coaching at Martin.
“This was a special win for me,” said Hopkins. “My father , Jimmie Hopkins, started this tournament in the early 90s while he was coaching at Martin.”
The Prestonsburg boys dominated throughout the tournament.
“As I learned from my father, who was a longtime coach, if you teach them the basic fundamentals, good things happen,” Hopkins confided. “With the boys, we have a six-man rotation. Every quarter, a different team starts.”
“A special thanks goes out to the fans that came out to support us,” Hopkins commented. “A big thanks also goes out to Principal Brent Rose, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Sean Ousley and Assistant Principal Carey Davis for all their help and support as well as my assistant coaches. Paul Burchett has been with me for two years with the girls and he is a tremendous asset and also, Ricky Ward, who started helping me this year with the boys.”
More on the Prestonsburg boys team’s run to the Right Beaver Classic championship follows.
Prestonsburg 50, May Valley 6: Prestonsburg controlled its first round game versus May Valley from the opening tip and cruised to a 50-6 win.
The Blackcats put the game out of May Valley’s reach early. Prestonsburg outscored May Valley 22-0 in the first quarter and packed a commanding 32-0 lead into halftime.
Nine scorers helped lead a balanced Prestonsburg scoring attack.
Jaxon Watts paced Prestonsburg with a game-high nine points. Cameron Wright and Jake Hyden added eight points each for the Blackcats.
Other scorers for Prestonsburg included Kane Scarberry (six points), Hunter Ousley (six points), Grant Justice (six points), Blake Slone (four points), Zach Thompson (two points) and Noah Marcum (two points).
Prestonsburg led 40-4 at the end of the third quarter.
Dylan Mosley, Preston Crase and Chayse Meade scored two points apiece for May Valley in the loss.
Prestonsburg 34, Betsy Layne 10: Jaxon Watts scored a game-high nine points and Blake Slone added eight as Prestonsburg defeated Betsy Layne 34-10 in the second round of the Right Beaver Classic.
The Blackcats outscored Betsy Layne 8-3 in each of the first two quarters. After carrying a 16-6 lead into halftime, Prestonsburg added to its advantage early in the second half. The Blackcats blanked Betsy Layne 8-0 in the third quarter.
Zach Thompson tossed in six points, Grant Justice and Jake Hyden scored four each and Hunter Ousley added three for the Prestonsburg boys’ basketball team.
Four different Betsy Layne players provided scoring in the setback.
Prestonsburg 32, McDowell 12 (Championship Game): Jaxon Watts poured in a game-high 13 points to lead Prestonsburg to a convincing 32-12 victory over McDowell in the championship game of the Right Beaver Classic.
Watts led a group of eight Prestonsburg scorers. Grant Justice and Blake Slone scored four points apiece for the Blackcats. Zach Thompson followed, chipping in three points in Prestonsburg’s championship-clinching win. Jake Hyden, Kane Scarberry and Hunter Ousley rounded out the Prestonsburg scoring with two points each.
Austin Shelton paced McDowell with four points. Brant Potter and William Johnson pushed in three points apiece and Ethan Sparkman netted two for the Daredevils.
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