Painstville – Basketball Preview

Paintsville looks to keep their tradition alive and bring another district and regional title to Johnson County.

The Paintsville Lady Tigers, coached by veteran Head Coach Les Trimble, look to inch their way closer to that 57th District title. The Lady Tigers finished runner up in the District with a 19-13 record and return 5 of their top 6 players from last years squad.

KEY PLAYERS RETURNING – Junior Emilea Preece returns as the Lady Tigers leading scorer and second leading rebounder. Preece averaged 15.7 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. Throughout last season, the growth and development of Preece was one of the best in the Region. The Lady Tigers also return, 8th grader, Kylie Kinner. Kinner was the teams 2nd leading score with 11 points per game. She was Paintsville primary threat behind the three point arc last season. The Tigers will also return Senior Camryn Helton who averaged over 7 points per game.

Another player who will play a key role in the Lady Tigers success is Junior guard KK Vannoy. Vannoy transferred from Johnson Central earlier in the summer. Vannoy is a true athlete who can score both inside and outside. A very physical defender so look for Vannoy to play big minutes for the Lady Tigers.

KEY LOSSES – The Lady Tigers lost only one senior but it will be big shoes to fill. Ava Hyden was a physical defender who led the team in rebounding. She was the heart and sole of the Lady Tigers and it will be interesting to see who steps up to fill this role.

Final thoughts -The Lady Tigers have the talent to beat any team on any given night. If the youth of the Lady Tigers continues to develop they could be a real threat come tournament time.

Only two short years removed from a Regional Title, the Tigers look to be one of the top teams in the 57th District once again. The Tigers finished runner up in the 57th District Tournament last season and finished with a 19-9 record. As the season begins, Head Coach Landon Slone will continue to a Fugate to lead the way for the Tigers.

KEY RETURNING PLAYERS – The Fugate that coach Slone will be looking to is Conner Fugate. Conner was the teams second leading scorer at 15.5 points per game and leading rebounder at 8.4 per game. The most important attribute Fugate must bring is leadership. The Tigers lost three of their starters off last years team and Fugate must be their impact player this season.

Coach Slone will also look toward Senior AJ James to be a bigger part of the Tiger offense. James will handle the point guard position for the Tigers and his play will be a key for the Tigers to reach the Regional Tournament.

Paintsville may have one of the Top 3 front courts in the Region with Fugate, Jase Kinner and eight grader Brock Woods. The size and power of Woods and Kinner would make a tough combination for the Tigers. Add in the aggressive play of Fugate and watch out.

Also, we have been hearing off-season rumblings that standout athlete Jonah Porter will be returning to the hardwood this season. If rumors are true Porter will be a tremendous boost in the scoring column and give Landon Slone another perimeter defender.

KEY LOSSES – The graduation of Colby Fugate Braxton Tharp and Barron Ratliff will be huge for Tigers to overcome this season. For the past 3 years, Colby Fuguate has been the star at Paintsville. Last season Colby scored 23.2 while Tharp the steady PG scored 12.2. The Tigers will be looking for someone else to step up and pick up the scoring load.

Final Thoughts- Paintsville will rely heavily on Fugate and his scoring ability. After playing along side him for many years one thing is for sure Connor Fugate is a winner and will no doubt be up for the challange. Another thing is for certain Coach Landon Slone will have his Tigers ready as tournament time approaches.

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