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Defense Wins Championships: Lady Cats Capture District Title Freezing Floyd Central

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – It wasn’t pretty, but the result sure was nice for the Lady Blackcats.


In a game that did not see the lead change hands, Prestonsburg found a path to victory by forcing 23 turnovers in defeating Floyd Central 52-39 to capture the Girls’ 58th District Championship Thursday night at Prestonsburg Fieldhouse.


Those turnovers by Floyd Central led to 23 points for Prestonsburg, helping the Lady Blackcats win their first district championship in eight seasons.


Prestonsburg survived another poor shooting night from the free throw line and from the field by using their defensive pressure to force Floyd Central into erratic play as the Lady Jaguars were never fluid with the basketball during the game.


Prestonsburg struggled from the charity stripe, shooting 10-of-27 from the line. The Lady Blackcats also overcame poor shooting from the field, going 19-for-56, while only converting five field goals after halftime.


The struggles were worse for Floyd Central. The Lady Jaguars shot 13-for-48 for 27% from the field the entire game, 3-of-16 from 3-point range and were outrebounded 44-39 with Prestonsburg claiming 22 offensive rebounds.


Maddy Engle was the lone bright spot for Floyd Central, scoring 18 points while grabbing seven boards.


The Lady Blackcats left the door wide open in the 3rd quarter for a Lady Jaguar rally, yet Floyd Central couldn’t take advantage. Prestonsburg only made two field goals and went 1-for-9 from the line in the period, but Floyd Central could not capitalize, only outscoring Prestonsburg 6-5 to end the quarter.


In the end, it was Prestonsburg’s 3-2 zone pressure in the halfcourt which enabled them to bottleneck the driving lane and contain Floyd Central’s star Riley Jo Compton, who didn’t score a field goal until the 3rd quarter and finished with only 11 points.


Audrey Prater was named Tournament MVP as she led Prestonsburg with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 3-of-4 from the outside and dished out three assists while recording 2 steals in 21 minutes of action.


Jade Fitzpatrick contributed 12 points and Haley Lafferty scored 10 while leading the team with 11 rebounds.


Another streak was snapped with the win as Prestonsburg head coach Brandon Kidd defeated Floyd Central for the first time ever. The Lady Blackcats came into last night’s contest (0-17) versus the Lady Jaguars. Earlier this week, coach “BK” recorded his first district tournament win when Prestonsburg knocked out Lawrence County, snapping a 7-game winless streak in postseason play.


Kidd now joins Charles Collins, Bridget Clay, Harold Tackett, Bobby Hamilton, Jack Pack and Brandon Gearheart as coaches to lead Prestonsburg to a district title.


The Lady Blackcats will now skip the chaos of the super-regional format as they’ll advance to the traditional 15th Region Tournament starting Monday. A tournament draw will be held Friday morning at Appalachian Wireless Arena to determine the tournament field.


As district runner up, Floyd Central will host a “2nd round” game of the super-regional this Saturday against either Betsy Layne, East Ridge or Paintsville. The 2-seed and 3-seed from the same district cannot meet until the tournament semifinals, thus Lawrence County, who eliminated Magoffin County 60-31 last night in super-regional play, cannot play Floyd Central in Saturday’s “2nd round.”


PRESTONSBURG (52) – Prater 5 (3) 5-13 18. Lafferty 4 2-2 10. Tackett 2-6 2. Fitzpatrick 5 (1) 1-4 12. Howard 2 4. Newsome 3 0-2, 6. Brewer 0. K. Stephens 0. Conn 0. B. Stephens 0. Slone 0.


FG Pct.: 33.9. FT Pct.: 37.0. 3-pointers: 4-15 (Prater 3-4, Lafferty 0-5, Fitzpatrict 1-4, Howard 0-2). PF 19. Fouled out: Tackett. Turnovers 15. Assists 15.


FLOYD CENTRAL (39) – Crase 0. Engle 5 (1) 7-9 18. Compton 4 3-4 11. Laferty 1 0-1 2. Hall 2 (1) 5. Adkins 1 (1) 3. Rackey 0. Moore 0. O’Bryan 0. Bentley 0. Anderson 0. Garcia 0.


FG Pct.: 27.1. FT Pct.: 71.4. 3-pointers: 3-16 (Engle 1-2, Adkins 1-4, Hall 1-6, Compton 0-1, Crase 0-3). PF. 18. Fouled out: Crace. Turnovers: 23. Assists 7.


PRESTONSBURG       14 18 5 15 – 52

FLOYD CENTRAL        9  10 6 14 – 39



Lawrence County Pushes Back Prestonsburg 89-76 to Reach 58th Finals

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – The Lawrence County Bulldogs continued their dominance over Prestonsburg since joining the 58th District with a convincing 89-76 victory in the semifinals of the 58th District Tournament at Prestonsburg Fieldhouse Tuesday evening.


Lawrence County has beaten Prestonsburg 15 times in 18 games since moving into the 58th district and has now won 9 of their last 10 against the Blackcats.


The Bulldogs jumped out to 28-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter and owned a 44-22 lead at halftime, yet the Blackcats put together a 33-point third quarter performance, starting the period on an 8-0 run yet Lawrence County would maintain a 58-55 lead by the start of the fourth.


Prestonsburg took the lead with 7:05 to play with a layup by Jaxon Estridge giving the Blackcats a slim advantage 59-58, yet the lead was short-lived as Lawrence County’s Logan Ratliff would go the opposite way and sink a 3-pointer, giving the lead back to the Bulldogs for good.


Lawrence County was led by Andrew Bloomfield with 31 points while Prestonsburg was paced by freshman Braxton Keathley’s 24.


The Bulldogs (23-6) will meet Floyd Central for the district championship Thursday evening. The Blackcats (16-14) will travel to Pike County Central where they’ll face Phelps as they start super regional action.


LAWRENCE CO. (89) Bloomfield 12 7-11 31. Perry 4 (1) 2-2 13. Marcum 4 1-2 9. Fetherholf 4-4 4. Ratliff 4 (1) 2-5 11.  Woods 6 (3) 0-1 15. Scaggs 2 2-4 6. Davis 0.


PRESTONSBURG (76) Keathley 11 2-4 24. Ferrell 3 (2) 1-4 9. Allen 5 (2) 9. Stidham 3 (1) 2-2 9. Napier 3 2-2 8. Estridge 4 (1) 9. Nairn 2 1-2 5.


PRESTONSBURG        9  13 33 21 – 76

LAWRENCE CO.         28 16 14 31 - 89

Jaguars Rise Above Bobcats to Reach 58th District Finals

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – For the first time in five seasons the Floyd Central Jaguars are returning to the finals of the Boys' 58th District Tournament behind a 71-65 win over Betsy Layne Tuesday night at Prestonsburg Fieldhouse.


The win gave the Jaguars a 3-game sweep over the Bobcats this season.


Betsy Layne didn’t show much of an offensive attack, shooting 41% from the floor mostly on layups or settling for outside looks. The Bobcats shot (9-30) from 3-point range, while only attempting 28 field goals inside the arch. 

Floyd Central improved their shooting in the second half to finish at 54% from the field and (6-15) from 3-point range.


The Bobcats owned a 29-25 lead at the half after Floyd Central appeared to be pressing a bit on the court after starters Brody Buck and Chris Spriggs picked up two fouls each and failed to score.


By the third quarter, Braden Moore caught fire chalking up 10 points giving the Jaguars a slim 4-point lead, 48-44 heading to the fourth quarter.


Betsy Layne tied the game 54-54 at the 5:28 mark on a 3-pointer in the left corner by Carter Parsons, yet the Jags answered immediately with a bucket plus one from Spriggs, putting Floyd Central ahead 57-54. Spriggs would extend the lead 59-54 after a steal and layup giving the Jaguars the lead for good.


Braden Moore had an impressive night for Floyd Central as he led all scorers with 24 points while grabbing five rebounds, dishing out four assists and blocked two shots. Ronnie Samons tallied 16 points and Chris Spriggs finished with 11.


Betsy Layne was led by Andrew Kidd with 21 points. Cameron Pente and Carter Parsons each connected on four 3-point baskets and finished with 16 points and 15 points respectfully.


Floyd Central (15-13) moves on to Thursday’s championship game where they’ll face Lawrence County. The Bulldogs have dominated the Jaguars over the past five seasons, winning 13 of their 14 matchups. Lawrence County swept Floyd Central in their two prior matchups during the regular season.


Betsy Layne (16-15) was able to draw a BYE in the new super regional format and will face the winner of a district tournament runner-up from the 57th, 59th or 60th district on the road Saturday.


FLOYD CENTRAL (71) – B. Moore 8 (3) 1-2 24. Spriggs 3 (1) 4-5 11. Boyd 3 (1) 2-2 9. Samons 8 0-1 16. Buck 2 4. D. Moore 3 (1) 7. Meade 0.


BETSY LAYNE (65) – Parsons 5 (4) 1-1 15. T. Hall 2 1-1 5. Pente 6 (4) 16. T. Martin 2 (1) 1-3 6. Kidd 8 5-6 21. G. Hall 1 2. B. Hall 0.


BETSY LAYNE             11 18 15 21 - 65

FLOYD CENTRAL       14 11 23 23 - 71

Youth Movement: Lady Jags return to District Finals with 61-60 win over Lady Cats.

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – Hoops, they did it again.


No one expected the Floyd Central Lady Jaguars to extend their string of appearances in the 58th District Tournament finals by starting two 8th graders this season, yet first-year coach Ty Little has watched his team mature through some ups and downs with the final results being the same as it’s ever been – a seventh-consecutive trip to the championship game.


Floyd Central outlasted a fisty Betsy Layne Lady Cats squad 61-60 in Monday’s nightcap of the 58th District Tournament at the Fieldhouse.


8th grader Raegan Laferty led the way for Floyd Central with a double-double performance, 19 points and 12 rebounds to compliment senior Riley Jo Compton’s 15 point, 10 rebound effort. Senior Kaylee Hall pumped in 12 points with 2 long range 3-pointers in the second half to help seal the win.


Laferty has been coming on strong as the regular season wound down, displaying her ability to score in multiple ways. Laferty had success on the post during the night, backing down defending and also sunk a 3-pointer and while also blocking 2 shots on the defensive end.


Both teams played a clean game with Floyd Central enjoying a 10-point margin at the half, 36-26 and maintained a 5-point advantage by the start of the 4th quarter.


Betsy Layne made a charge with Jaden Pente tying the game 46-46 early in the final quarter, followed by a block shot on the other end by Haleigh Damron and a bucket in return by Kinleigh Martin to give Betsy Layne the lead, 48-46 with just over 6 minutes left.


Hall led the Floyd Central rally with a 3-pointer in the right corner to tie the game 53-53 with 5:13 left. Laferty then knocked down a set shot from 15 feet to give the Lady Jags the advantage with just over 4 minutes to play, 55-53.


Pente tied the game again 55-55 at the 3:05 mark. Next possession, another 8th grader for Floyd Central, Maddy Engle hit a driving layup giving Floyd Central the lead back 57-55.


Betsy Layne would tie the game again 57-57, staying that way until Laferty drove to the basket for her last basket, making it 59-57 with 0:33 seconds left.


Floyd Central stretched the lead 61-57 on another layup this time from sophomore Chloe Crase with 0:05 seconds left. Betsy Layne inbounded the ball with Laci Hall sinking a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded making the final 61-60 Floyd Central.


The Lady Jaguars will be searching for their first district tournament title since 2019 when they face Prestonsburg on Wednesday night.


FLOYD CENTRAL (61) - Crase 2, 4. Engle 3 2-3, 8. Compton 6 3-5, 15. Laferty 8 (1) 2-6, 19. Hall 5 (2), 12. Adkins 1 (1), 3. Rackey 0.


BETSY LAYNE (60) - Pente 4 (1) 5-6, 14. Jarrell 3 (1) 7. Hall 2 (1) 5. Martin 6 2-4, 14. Damron 4 (3) 2-2 13. Collins 3 (1) 7. Williams 0. Howell 0. 


Besty Layne    20   6 15 18 - 60.

Floyd Central  13 23 10 15 - 61.

Lady Blackcats Take Down Defending Champion Lady Dawgs in OT 59-57

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – Prestonsburg Lady Blackcats head coach Brandon Kidd won his 100th game earlier this month, yet he would’ve traded all those for just one win in the district tournament.


In a true David vs. Goliath matchup, Prestonsburg slayed 4-time defending district champion and reigning 15th Region champion Lawrence County Monday night 59-57 at Prestonsburg Fieldhouse in the opening round of the 58th District Tournament.


The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Lady Blackcats against Lawrence County and gave Coach “BK” the first signature win of his coaching career as his girls are one step closer to cutting down the nets.


Prestonsburg had lost 7-consecutive district tournament games going into last night’s contest. Meanwhile, Lawrence County has had a stranglehold on this district, winning eight consecutive district tournament games and four titles. Against Prestonsburg, the Lady Dawgs were (14-3) against the Lady Blackcats since joining the 58th District.


Audrey Prater slashed Lawrence County with a 20-point performance to coincide with eight assists and five rebounds. Jade Fitzpatrick hit some key shots while dropping in 11 points. Allison Howard pulled down a team-high six rebounds to compliment her 11-point effort and Ashley Tackett was a perfect (5-5) from the field and chipped in 10 points for Prestonsburg.


The Lady Blackcats overcame a (12-27) shooting night from the free throw line yet shot the ball slightly better than Lawrence County from the field: 40% as compared to 34% shooting for the Lady Dawgs.


With 3:12 to play in the 4th quarter, Kaison Ward connected on a 3-pointer from the corner to give Lawrence County a 44-39 advantage. Next possession, Lawrence County’s Jade Patton extended the lead with a baseline layup to make it 46-39 with 2:22 remaining.


Prestonsburg would fight back with an Amelia Newsome put in and following a Lawrence County turnover, Ashley Tackett converted a layup tightening the game 46-43 Lawrence County lead.


Lawrence County’s Sophie Adkins would have her runner blocked, resulting in a technical foul when she disagreed with the call at the 1:23 mark. The technical was her final personal foul, sending her to the bench and leaving Lawrence County without their top two scorers for the remainder of the contest.


Prater would hit (1-2) free throws and the Lady Blackcats would take possession and make good with a driving layup from Allison Howard to tie the game 46-46 with just over 1 minute left.


After another Lawrence County turnover, Jade Fitzpatrick converted a long jumper, giving Prestonsburg the lead 48-46 with 0:55 seconds left in regulation.


Lawrence County’s Leandra Curnutte was fouled on a drive to tie the game, settling for (1-2) free throws to tighten the game 48-47 Prestonsburg with 0:41 seconds left. Prater would then take the ball length of the court, miss a layup, but was fouled going after her own miss, resulting in two free throws for Prater, hitting 1 of 2 to make it 49-47 Prestonsburg.


Ward would make a put-in on the block with 0:19 seconds left to tie the game 49-49. Next play, Prestonsburg’s Prater is fouled in transition and breaks the tie hitting 1 of 2 free throws again – 50-49 with 0:15 seconds left.


Lawrence County would miss on two looks at the basket in the final possession of the 4th. The ball fell to the corner where a scramble ensued and a foul was called with 0:00 left on the clock, spoiling a victory in regulation for Prestonsburg as the Lady Dawgs would have Abby Nelson on the line with two free throws and 0:00.4 of a second left. Nelson made the first, missed the second, sending the game to overtime tied at 50-50.


Prestonsburg would outscore Lawrence County 9-7 in the overtime period to preserve the upset, 59-57.


The Lady Blackcats will face Floyd Central in Wednesday’s championship, which will be played after Lawrence County faces Magoffin County in a “first four” contest starting at 6 p.m. at the Fieldhouse. Prestonsburg is in search of their first district tournament title since 2016.


PRESTONSBURG (59) – Prater 4 (3) 9-14, 20. Fitzpatrick 5 0-1, 11. Howard 4 (1) 2-6, 11. Tackett 5 0-1, 10. Newsome 2, 4. Lafferty 1 (1), 3. Brewer 0. Stephens 0. Conn 0.


LAWRENCE CO. (57) – Adkins 4 (1) 8-10, 17. Curnutte 2 (2) 1-2, 7. Ward 3 (2) 1-3, 9. Patton 6 5-8, 17. Nelson 1 1-2, 3. Maynard 0 2-2, 2. Artrip 0 2-2, 2.


Prestonsburg 12 11 10 17 9 – 59

Lawrence Co. 13 10 13 14 7 - 57

Hager Named New Head Football Coach at Prestonsburg

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) - Like father, like son.


Martin County High School football offensive coordinator Wesley Hager has been named as the new head football coach of Prestonsburg High School.


It's a homecoming for Hager, who graduated from Prestonsburg High School in 2017 while playing for his father, Shawn Hager, who was then serving as assistant football coach for the Blackcats. 


Now, father and son will face off in a yearly rivalry game when Wesley leads the Blackcats against dear old Dad's Floyd Central Jaguars.


Wesley has been coaching several sports at Martin County - much like his father has while at Floyd Central.  


Wesley Hager left a position on his father's staff at Floyd Central to become the head baseball coach at Martin County High School. Hager also served as assistant basketball coach. 


Prestonsburg and Floyd Central will meet this coming fall in a high-stakes district contest at Josh Francis Field. The game is guaranteed to be a must-see event more than before, taking this friendly rivalry to new heights.


The hiring of a former alumnus will hopefully instill a sense of hope for a program that has been floundering. The Blackcats lost to both county rivals Betsy Layne and Floyd Central in the same season for the first time in school history in 2023. The loss to Betsy Layne was particularly hard for fans to take considering the Bobcats hadn't defeated Prestonsburg in over 30-years. The programs met again in the opening round of postseason play with Betsy Layne also emerging victorious, ending the Blackcats season at (5-6).





KHSAA Proposed Football Realignment 2025-26

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WMDJ) – The KHSAA Board of Control released a proposed draft for football realignment in the 2025-26 seasons on Wednesday.


A total of 24 schools could be switching classes. One of the changes involves moving a familiar mountain foe back down to Class 2A for the first time since 2006.


When the current two-year cycle of realignment was approved last year, Belfry elected to “play-up” and remain in Class 3A although their enrollment numbers had declined. The proposed draft going forward would return the Pirates to a crowded Class 2A, District 8 joining other Pike County schools East Ridge, Pike Central and Shelby Valley along with Betsy Layne.


Class 2A, District 7 keeps the foursome of Floyd Central, Knott County Central, Martin County and Prestonsburg, while shifting Leslie County over from District 6, creating a 5-team field fighting for four playoff spots.


Class 2A, District 6 would be reshaped by adding Jackson County and Morgan County back into district competition rather than playing independently, while dropping West Carter back to 2A to join the only holdover Breathitt County to fill out the District 6.


Also rejoining district play would be Jenkins and Phelps. Both schools would be tasked to compete with Hazard, Paintsville and defending state champion Pikeville in Class 1A, District 8. Phelps last played in district competition in 2021. Jenkins restarted football as an independent last season finishing (0-10) after not having a season in 2022 and 2020. The Cavaliers last won a football game in 2016 against South Floyd.


The realignment draft must be approved by the Board of Control during a meeting in May. The Board voted to not allow teams to “play-up” in class, thus forcing Belfry and West Carter to fall from 3A to 2A competition after both schools requested to play-up during the current cycle.


Here’s a complete list of the proposed draft:



Class 1A

District 1- Ballard Memorial, Caverna, Fulton County, Russellville

District 2- Bethlehem, Campbellsville, Holy Cross (Louisville), Kentucky Country Day

District 3- Bellevue, Dayton, Newport, Newport Central Catholic

District 4- Bishop Brossart, Holy Cross (Covington), Ludlow, Trimble County

District 5- Berea, Eminence, Frankfort, Sayre District 6- Fairview, Nicholas County, Paris, Raceland

District 7- Harlan, Lynn Camp, Middlesboro, Pineville, Williamsburg

District 8- Hazard, Jenkins, Paintsville, Phelps, Pikeville


Class 2A

District 1- Caldwell County, Crittenden County, Fort Campbell, Mayfield, Todd County Central, Trigg County

District 2- Fort Knox, Hancock County, McLean County, Owensboro Catholic

District 3- Clinton County, Green County, Metcalfe County, Monroe County, Somerset

District 4- Danville, Lexington Christian, Shawnee, Washington County, WEB DuBois

District 5- Beechwood, Bracken County, Gallatin County, Owen County, St. Henry District, Walton-Verona

District 6- Breathitt County, Jackson County, Morgan County, West Carter

District 7- Floyd Central, Knott County Central, Leslie County, Martin County, Prestonsburg

District -8 Belfry, Betsy Layne, East Ridge, Pike County Central, Shelby Valley


Class 3A

District 1- Hopkins County Central, Murray, Union County, Webster County

District 2- Adair County, Butler County, Edmonson County, Glasgow, Hart County

District 3- Bardstown, Central, Christian Academy-Louisville, DeSales, Thomas Nelson, Western

District 4- Casey County, Garrard County, LaRue County, Lexington Catholic, Mercer County

District 5- Bourbon County, Carroll County, Henry County, Lloyd Memorial, Pendleton County

District 6- Bath County, East Carter, Fleming County, Lewis County, Russell

District 7- Bell County, Clay County, Knox Central, McCreary Central, Rockcastle County

District 8- Estill County, Lawrence County, Letcher County Central, Magoffin County, Powell County


Class 4A

District 1- Allen County-Scottsville, Calloway County, Franklin-Simpson, Logan County, Paducah Tilghman, Warren East

District 2- Breckinridge County, Elizabethtown, John Hardin, Marion County, Nelson County

District 3- Doss, North Oldham, Valley, Waggener

District 4- Franklin County, Shelby County, Spencer County, Western Hills

District 5- Covington Catholic, Grant County, Harrison County, Highlands, Holmes, Mason County

District 6- Ashland Blazer, Boyd County, Greenup County, Johnson Central, Rowan County

District 7- Boyle County, Lincoln County, Russell County, Taylor County, Wayne County

District 8- Corbin, Harlan County, Perry County Central, Whitley County


Class 5A

District 1- Apollo, Graves County, Madisonville-North Hopkins, Marshall County, Muhlenberg County, Owensboro

District 2- Barren County, Bowling Green, Grayson County, Greenwood, Ohio County, Warren Central

District 3- Atherton, Butler, Iroquois, Seneca

District 4- Bullitt Central, Fairdale, Jeffersontown, Moore, North Bullitt

District 5- Boone County, Conner, Cooper, Dixie Heights, Scott

District 6- Anderson County, Collins, Scott County, South Oldham, Woodford County

District 7- East Jessamine, Madison Southern, Montgomery County, West Jessamine

District 8- North Laurel, Pulaski County, South Laurel, Southwestern


Class 6A

District 1- Christian County, Henderson County, Hopkinsville, McCracken County

District 2- Central Hardin, Daviess County, Meade County, South Warren

District 3- DuPont Manual, North Hardin, Pleasure Ridge Park, St. Xavier

District 4- Bullitt East, Fern Creek, Male, Southern

District 5- Ballard, Eastern, Oldham County, Trinity (Louisville)

District 6- Campbell County, Great Crossing, Ryle, Simon Kenton

District 7- Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Tates Creek

District 8- Bryan Station, Frederick Douglass, George Rogers Clark, Madison Central

Floyd Central to Face Test at Martin County Tuesday

INEZ, Ky. (WMDJ) – The Floyd Central Jaguars will take to the road for a matchup against defending 15th Region champion Martin County on Tuesday.


The contest should be a true test for the Jaguars, who have won six of their last seven games. On Saturday, the Jaguars defeated visiting Johnson Central 71-58. Braden Moore scored 17 points, Dylan Boyd and Chris Spriggs had 14 points each. Spriggs also dished out seven assists in the win.


Floyd Central (13-12) is back to full strength with the return of senior guard Dawson Moore, who had to sit five games before being medically cleared to play again.


Martin County (18-9) has been rolling since losing to Pikeville in the 15th Region All “A” championship on January 21st. The Cardinals had won eight straight games before falling at 10th region power George Rogers Clark this past weekend 83-72 on the road.


The series is tied (2-2) after the Jaguars beat the Cardinals 90-84 last season.


Listen to the game on WMDJ starting at 7:10 p.m. with the pregame. Tip-off set for 7:30 at Inez. This will be a radio-only broadcast because Facebook livestreaming is prohibited. You can also listen to the game on or by downloading the new WMDJ mobile app.

Betsy Layne Celebrates Glory Road Wins at Dome

BETSY LAYNE, Ky. (WMDJ) – The Betsy Layne Bobcats chalked up a pair of wins over their oldest rival as alumni, community and fans gathered inside the D.W. Howard Memorial Fieldhouse to reminisce the good ole days Saturday afternoon.


Both teams secured the 3rd-seed in the upcoming 58th District Tournament as the Bobcats defeated Prestonsburg 51-45 and the Lady Cats defeated the Lady Blackcats 48-34.


The Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame recognized the Fieldhouse as, “an Eastern Kentucky landmark to this day (and) a staple in Betsy Layne and around Floyd County.” Legendary boys’ head coach William “Junior” Newsome Jr., recalled watching the facility being built in the late 1960s from his classroom window on what was then Betsy Layne High School and recalled, “Travelers along U.S. 23 would stop by daily to see the progress and ask to go inside.”


The hexagonal-shaped building and its dome seated 2,000 spectators and replaced the school’s wooden gymnasium that was destroyed by fire two years prior. The first varsity basketball game played in the structure was on February 17th, 1970, a 106-72 win for the Bobcats over the Dorton Wildcats.


On Saturday, you could hear the names of Bobcat legends like 4-time All-State player Dan Hall, NCAA All-American Grady Wallace and so many others being floated in the air. 15th Region championship teams from 1976 and 1980 were honored along with the 2011 State All “A” Championship squad, with many of their members such as Nathan Martin, Casey Adkins and Dylan Hamilton looking as if they wanted to suit up and finish out the second half of the Bobcats contest.


The boys also wore replica jerseys of the 1980 team, which included red trim with white letters against the familiar Bobcat blue. Judging by reactions, red was a welcomed sight to fans.

The Lady Cat champions of the past were also remembered for their achievements. Former coach Cassandra Akers, who won a school-record 165 games at Betsy Layne, rejoined her former region championship teams from 2003 and 2005 to be honored during the event. Akers led the Lady Cats to the quarterfinals of the Sweet 16 in 2003 after defeating Campbell County 56-47. It marked the first and only time that a Floyd County school had won a game at the girls' state tournament.


While entertainers like Dwight Yoakum, Ronnie Milsap, Conway Twitty, Keith Whitley, Dolly Parton and many others have visited “the Dome”, it’s the basketball games that are most remembered.


In the opening game today, the Betsy Layne girls outlasted Prestonsburg for the win as both teams combined to shoot (25-111) from the field.


Laci Hall had the most success on the afternoon, tossing in 14 points for the Lady Cats. Jaden Pente scored 13 points while senior Haleigh Damron put together a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.


In the second contest, the boys were unable to replicate the high scoring game they played a week ago at Prestonsburg, yet Betsy Layne still prevailed.


Betsy Layne struggled from the field shooting 35% for the game, yet battled their way through every Prestonsburg run. Carter Parsons enjoyed a solid third quarter scoring 10 points during the period and finished with 15 points. Andrew Kidd enjoyed a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.


Prestonsburg’s leading scorer on the season Braxton Keathley didn’t score until the fourth quarter and finished with seven points on (2-8) shooting from the field in what was clearly a frustrating day. Mason Stidham was the only Blackcat to score in double figures with 11 points.


Betsy Layne (14-13) will face Floyd Central in the opening round of the boys’ 58th District Tournament while Prestonsburg (15-12) will face 1-seed Lawrence County.


The matchups will be the same on the girls’ side with quarterfinal girls action happening Monday, February 26th. The boys’ quarterfinals are set for Tuesday, February 27th. Girls championship on Wednesday and the boys finals on Thursday.

Betsy Layne's DW Howard Fieldhouse set to be Honored Saturday

BETSY LAYNE, Ky. (WMDJ) – Floyd County will soon have another facility honored as part of the Glory Road project as D.W. Howard Memorial Fieldhouse will receive official recognition this Saturday afternoon.


“The Dome” will join Prestonsburg Fieldhouse, Wayland Gymnasium and Wheelwright Gymnasium as part of the project, a mission being conducted by the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in Louisville to help preserve and recognize the history of high school basketball.


Betsy Layne’s girls will face Prestonsburg at 1 p.m. followed by boys’ action at 3 p.m.


During halftime of the girls’ game, there will be recognition of past girls teams including the 15th Region championship teams from 1994, 2003 and 2005. Also, the 15th Region All “A” Classic championship team of 2010 will be recognized.


At the conclusion of the first game, recognition of the boys’ 15th Region championship teams from 1976 and 1980 will be honored along with the 2011 State All “A” Tournament champions.


WMDJ will have legendary Bobcat coaches Cassandra Akers and William “Junior” Newsome on the broadcast to relive the past and talk about the ceremonies, while calling the action. Pregame starts at 12:30 p.m. Listen live on 100.1 FM,, the new WMDJ mobile app or watch the game on the WMDJ Facebook page live.

Reds Mourn Death of Don Gullett

CINCINNATI (WMDJ) - The Cincinnati Reds offer condolences to the family and friends of Reds Hall of Fame pitcher Don Gullett, who died today at age 73.


Reds Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini said, "Don dedicated 24 years to this franchise as a player, coach and minor league instructor. An anchor on the pitching staff of one of the greatest baseball teams in history, his contributions to our rich tradition, our city and his community will never be forgotten."


The native of Lynn, Kentucky was selected by the Reds in the first round, 14th overall, of the June 1969 draft. He was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2002.


After just 11 minor league appearances, in 1970 Gullett joined the Reds as a 19-year-old rookie and in 236 games over the next 7 seasons went 91-44 with a 3.03 ERA before he was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees in November 1976.


While with Cincinnati, he pitched in 5 National League Championship Series and in 4 World Series. From 1975-1977 Gullett won 3 straight World Series titles, including 2 with the Reds (1975, 1976) and another with the Yankees (1977).


From 1990-2005 Gullett spent 16 seasons in the Reds' organization as a coach, including the last 13 years as a bullpen and pitching coach on the Major League staff.


Floyd Central Stays Hot with Win over Knott Co. Central 75-72

EASTERN, Ky. (WMDJ) – The Floyd Central Jaguars continued to correct their charted course winning their fourth game in five tries, defeating Knott County Central 75-72 Tuesday night at home.


The Jaguars unofficially shot 62% from the field, bolstered by big performances from seniors Braden Moore and Ronnie Samons.


Samons led the way with 26 points on (12-14) shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds, two steals and two assists. Moore pumped in 25 points with five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals.


As a team, Floyd Central dished out a combined 20 assists, with Chris Spriggs leading the way with 12 dimes.


Both teams enjoyed double-digit leads throughout the contest as the game swayed back and forth. The Jaguars used a (15-3) 2nd quarter push to own a 43-33 lead at the half, yet the Patriots rallied with a 26-14 advantage in the 3rd quarter to retake the lead at 59-57 starting the final period of play.


The Jaguars would begin the 4th quarter with a 3-point basket by Spriggs, followed by a break away layup by Moore after a Patriots miss. Next trip down for Knott County resulted in a steal by Samons, which led to another made 3-pointer from Moore.


After a timeout by Knott Co. Central, the run would continue with another long-range bomb from the hands of Dylan Boyd, as the Jaguars reeled off 11 unanswered points, which proved to be enough to seal the win.


The Patriots were playing shorthanded without the services of Jayden Huff, had four players in double figures: Drake Slone 21, Hunter Haddix 16, Braxton Reade 14 and Chance Amburgey 12 point.


Floyd Central (11-12) will host Huntington Expression Prep on Thursday, February 15th at 7 p.m.

Boys Basketball Tuesday: Knott Central at Floyd Central on WMDJ

EASTERN, Ky. (WMDJ) - The Floyd Central Jaguars (10-12) will host another 14th region opponent on Tuesday as the Knott County Central Patriots will attempt to stop Floyd Central's recent success against 14th region foes.


Following the Jaguars' win over Breathitt County 83-78 on Saturday night, Floyd Central is (16-12) all-time vs. 14th region competition, winning 5 of their last 7 games in those matchups. 


The Jaguars got a double-double effort from sophomore point guard Chris Spriggs as he dropped 14 points on (5-8) shooting and dished 12 assists while swiping five steals in the win. Senior Braden Moore pumped in 21 points and led all Jags in scoring, followed by sophomore Dylan Boyd tossing in 20 points. Seniors Ronnie Samons and Brody Buck enjoyed 19 and 11 point performances respectfully.


Floyd Central is (3-3) all-time vs. Knott County Central, winning their last two matchups against the Patriots, which were throwback games. The Jaguars morphed into the Wayland Wasps in a pair of wins over the Hindman Yellowjackets in games played at Hindman Gym and Wayland Gym last season. 


Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Floyd Central High School. You can listen to the game on 100.1 FM, or by downloading the new WMDJ Mobile App powered by Appalachian Wireless. You can also WATCH the game on our WMDJ Facebook Page LIVE. 



Boys' Sweet 16 Pairings Feature All-Mountain Matchup, Girls Draw 5th Region

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WMDJ) – There will be an all-mountain matchup when the greatest show in hoops begins in March.


The Boys' Sweet 16 pairings were drawn Monday. 


Opening round games on Wednesday, March 20th will feature the 15th Region champion vs. the champion of the 14th region. Other matchups in opening round play include: Region 8 vs. Region 11, Region 16 vs. Region 2 and Region 5 vs. Region 1.


The matchups on Thursday will pit Region 13 vs. Region 4, Region 9 vs. Region 10, Region 12 vs. Region 7 and Region 3 vs. Region 6.


Quarterfinals will be played Friday, March 22nd with the semifinals and championship on Saturday, March 23rd. Times for games will be announced at a later date.


The Girls' Sweet 16 will begin on Wednesday, March 13th at Rupp Arena. Here are the pairings for opening day: Region 4 vs. Region 14, Region 1 vs. Region 16, Region 6 vs. Region 8, Region 11 vs. Region 13. 


The champion of the 15th Region will face the champion from the 5th region on day 2 of opening round play on Thursday, March 14th. Bethlehem is a 3-time defending 5th Region champion and a heavy favorite to repeat as champions this season.


Other matchups on the girls side on Thursday include: Region 10 vs. Region 7, Region 9 vs. Region 12 and Region 3 vs. Region 2.  


Girls quarterfinals will be played Friday, March 15th with the semifinals and championship on Saturday, March 16th. 

58th District Recap: Prestonsburg Girls Rally for Win, Betsy Layne Boys Roll


PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – The Prestonsburg Lady Cats picked up their first district win of the season at the right time, rallying for a 49-38 victory over visiting Betsy Layne Friday night.


On a night that honored the 50th anniversary of the Lady Cats basketball program, former coaches and alumni watched as Prestonsburg put together a 27-16 run in the second half to rally for the win.


Audrey Prater led the charge for Prestonsburg with 12 points and five rebounds. Allison Howard chipped in 9 points. Ashley Tackett scored 7 points and led the team with 9 rebounds.


Prestonsburg led 2-0 to start the game, yet didn’t retake the lead until the end of the third quarter. Jade Fitzpatrick pulled the Lady Cats to 31-30 on a drive to the basket, followed by a steal and bucket by Olivia Brewer to put Prestonsburg back on top as the buzzer sounded.


Betsy Layne only converted four field goals in the second half and struggled at the free throw line shooting (4-15). Betsy Layne was led by Jaden Pente’s 13 points.


Betsy Layne falls to (13-9/1-4) while Prestonsburg evened their record to (11-11/1-4). Both teams will face off next Saturday at D.W. Howard Memorial Fieldhouse with the winner securing the 3rd-seed in the 58th District Tournament.



In the nightcap, the Betsy Layne boys used a (10-19) shooting performance from the outside to put away Prestonsburg 90-51.


Betsy Layne has now won 5 of their last 6 games.


The Bobcats led 28-20 at the end of the 1st quarter and doubled their lead at the 5:49 mark of the 2nd quarter on a runout layup and subsequent 3-point play by Tanner Hall to make it 38-22. Betsy Layne would close the quarter on a 12-2 run to lead 50-24 at the half.


Prestonsburg would get no closer.


Five Bobcats scored in double figures: Hall and Carter Parsons led the way with 16 points, Cameron Pente 12, 11 apiece for Andrew Kidd and Tanner Martin.


Prestonsburg’s Braxton Keathley dropped in 23 points. Kaden Allen scored 11. Blackcats shot (19-62) from the field overall.


Betsy Layne (13-10/2-3) pulled themselves into position to avoid the district cellar with the victory. Prestonsburg (14-11/1-4) would have to defeat the Bobcats by 40 points in their next matchup to avoid a matchup with Lawrence County in the 58th District Tournament.

PHS Welcomes Back Former Lady Blackcat Players and Coaches Friday


PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – The administration at Prestonsburg High School is welcoming back all former players and coaches of the Lady Blackcats as the program will recognize 50 years of basketball this Friday, February 9th.


Alumni players and coaches will be recognized between the girls and boys varsity games at Prestonsburg Fieldhouse. There will also be a reception for alumni at the school prior to the start of girls contest at 6 p.m. 


The Lady Blackcats (10-11 / 0-4) are still searching for their first district win of the season as they host Betsy Layne (13-8 / 1-3), who’s enjoyed a resurgent season.


With Lawrence County and Floyd Central wrapping up their district play and locking down the top two seeds in the upcoming 58th District Tournament on the girls side, Betsy Layne and Prestonsburg are playing to determine who will finish 3rd and 4th in the standings.


Both schools will meet again for boys’ action in the nightcap. Prestonsburg is sitting at (14-10 / 1-3) and trying to finish the season with a winning record for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign when the Blackcats won 18 games under then-coach Jack Pack.

Betsy Layne has won 4 of their last 5 games, raising their record to (12-10 / 1-3). The Bobcats have picked up two victories this week, defeating Paintsville 69-64 on Monday and knocking off Shelby Valley on the road 69-60 on Tuesday.


WMDJ will broadcast both games Friday night. Tune to 100.1 FM or listen online at or download the new WMDJ mobile app to hear the action. You can also watch both games on the WMDJ Facebook page live.

Bulldogs Take Two, Claim 1-Seeds in District Tournament




EASTERN, Ky. (WMDJ) – Leandra Curnutte knocked down three 3-point baskets to go along with 17 points leading Lawrence County to a 52-38 win over Floyd Central Tuesday night.


The victory helped Lawrence County (14-8 / 5-1) secure the regular season 58th District crown and lock up the top seed in the upcoming district tournament.


Sophie Adkins and Kaison Ward each had 13 points for the Lady Dawgs.


Floyd Central’s Carmen Rackey scored six points to start the game, helping the Lady Jaguars to an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, points would come at a premium for Floyd Central the rest of the game as the Lady Jaguars struggled from the field, shooting 14-44 for 32%.


The Lady Dawgs held Floyd Central’s star Riley Compton in check, holding her to only nine points. Compton did grab nine rebounds in the loss.


Floyd Central (9-13 / 4-2) will be the 2-seed in the district tournament, facing either Betsy Layne or Prestonsburg. The Lady Jaguars will host Shelby Valley this Friday.



Three Lawrence County starters dropped 20 or more points to help the Bulldogs outlast Floyd Central 99-87 Tuesday night.


Andrew Bloomfield led the Bulldogs with 26 points connecting on three 3-point baskets. Freshman Hayden Perry netted 22 while senior Blake Marcum scored 20 points in the win, helping Lawrence County (19-4 / 5-1) secure the 1-seed in the upcoming Boys’ 58th District Tournament.


Sophomore Gunner Woods also scored 15 points off the bench for the Bulldogs.


Lawrence County led 72-67 at the start of the fourth quarter and used an 11-2 run to extend their advantage to help put the game away.


The Bulldogs shot a blistering (11-15) from beyond the arch in the win.


Senior Braden Moore led Floyd Central (9-12 / 3-3) with 23 points. Junior point guard Chris Spriggs tallied 21 while seniors Ronnie Samons and Brody Buck chipped in 15 and 11 points respectfully.


The Jaguars will now play the waiting game as the district seeding will shake out between the results of Prestonsburg and Betsy Layne going head-to-head twice over the next 10 days.


Floyd Central’s next game will this Saturday at home hosting Breathitt County.

Showdown for First Place in 58th District Tuesday

EASTERN, Ky. (WMDJ) – Both matchups between Lawrence County and Floyd Central on Tuesday evening will decide the outcome of the 1-seed in the upcoming 58th District Tournament to be played at Prestonsburg Fieldhouse.


Last season was the first and only time the Lady Jaguars did not at least tie for first place in the final district standings. A win Tuesday would give Floyd Central their first outright regular season title since 2021 and third all-time.


First-year coach Ty Little has watched his team overcome inexperience as they have won five of their last seven games.


“Our girls have really stepped up their play throughout January and the back half of the season. Some of the inexperience and youth that we dealt with in the beginning are starting to balance out and the team is coming full circle. I believe that we are getting incrementally better every single day” Little said.


On the winner-take-all matchup with Lawrence County, Little said his girls must be at their best. Little says, “Lawrence County and Coach Feltner are always a well-prepared and efficient team. They are a tough opponent and will require us to be at our best! This should be a really exciting game with two very hungry teams who are determined to make a run in the postseason.”


The Lady Jags and Lady Bulldogs are deadlocked at (10-10) in their all-time series.


Meanwhile, Floyd Central’s boys can clinch the 1-seed with a win over the Bulldogs by five points or more. Lawrence County will take the top spot with a win or a loss by less than 5 points. If Floyd Central wins the game by exactly five points, a coin flip will decide the 1-seed.


After enduring a seven-game losing streak and dropping 10 of 13 games, the Jaguars (9-11) have won back-to-back games over district rivals Betsy Layne 57-48 and Prestonsburg 107-83.


WMDJ will broadcast both matchups with girls’ action beginning at 6 p.m. followed by the boys’ in the nightcap.  Listen to the game on 100.1 FM, the new WMDJ mobile app or at You can also watch the game streaming live on the WMDJ Facebook page.


WMDJ sports announcer Josh McKinney also contributed to this article.

58th District Recap: Floyd Central Sweeps Prestonsburg, Betsy Layne Boys Take Down Lawrence


FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – The roar heard just off Ky. Route 80 Friday night was the sound of Jaguar Nation after Floyd Central freewheeled their way to a 27-point outburst in the first quarter, handing Prestonsburg a 107-83 setback.


The Jaguars (9-11) set a new school record for most points scored in a single game, eclipsing the previous mark of 93.


Braden Moore showed how far he has bounced back from a mid-season ankle injury as he led the way for Floyd Central with 32 points on (10-17) shooting from the field. He also connected on (7-12) from 3-point range, including four-made 3-pointers in the first quarter. Moore also dished 8 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds and made 3 steals while only committing 1 turnover in 30 minutes of action.


All five starters for Floyd Central scored in double digits. Ronnie Samons finished with 23 points. Brody Buck enjoyed a quiet double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Spriggs chipped in 15 points with 8 assists. Dylan Boyd tossed in 13 points with 5 assists.


The most telling sign of success for Floyd Central was how well they shared the basketball. The Jaguars finished with a total of 32 assists while committing only 11 turnovers.


Prestonsburg sputtered from the start, shooting 36% from the field in the first half and (2-12) from beyond the arch. The Blackcats chipped a 31-point deficit down to 18 by the fourth quarter, but never recovered.


The Blackcats (13-9) were led by Mason Stidham with 28 points. Braxton Keathley scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.


The win places Floyd Central in position to finish district play no worse than third. District seeding is more important than ever as seeding could come into play in the upcoming Super Regional format.



The Bobcats outlasted the Bulldogs to pick up their first win in district play defeating the Lawrence County 66-62 at Junior Newsome Arena Friday night.


Betsy Layne (10-9) came into the game winless against district opponents, dropping their first 3 matchups.


The Bobcats sealed the win at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, avenging a loss to Lawrence County earlier this season and splitting their regular season series.


Tanner Hall finished with 18 points for the Bobcats. Andrew Kidd also scored 18 points for Betsy Layne. Cameron Pente netted 15 points. Tanner Martin scored 10.




Floyd Central assured themselves a chance to win the 58th District regular season title with their fourth district victory last night, defeating Prestonsburg 70-45.


The Lady Jaguars saw two players finish with double-double efforts. Senior Riley-Jo Compton lead the way with 25 points and 19 rebounds. 8th-grader Reagan Laferty scored 21 points and snatched 10 rebounds.


Laferty scored 6-straight baskets during a crucial stretch in the third quarter to push the Lady Jaguars forward for the win.


Another talented middle-schooler Maddy Engle scored 14 points off the bench for Floyd Central.


The Lady Jaguars swiped 14 steals and forced Prestonsburg into 23 turnovers in route to the win.



As in their first matchup this season, the Lady Cats reveled in large leads, yet couldn’t hold on as Lawrence County outlasted Betsy Layne 54-48.


The Lady Cats enjoyed a 16-point advantage at one point but couldn’t seal the victory at home.


The win sets up a showdown for first place and the number seed in the upcoming district tournament in a winner-take-all matchup between Lawrence County and Floyd Central on Tuesday at Floyd Central. Both teams are (4-1) in district play.


58th District Boys Standings:

1. Lawrence County (17-4 / 4-1)

2. Floyd Central (9-11 / 3-2)

3. Prestonsburg (13-9 / 1-3)

4. Betsy Layne (10-9 / 1-3)


58th District Girls Standings:

1. Floyd Central (8-12 / 4-1)

2. Lawrence County (13-8 / 4-1)

3. Betsy Layne (12-8 / 1-3)

4. Prestonsburg (9-9 / 0-4)



Jaguars host Blackcats in District Basketball Friday night

EASTERN, Ky. (WMDJ) - The Floyd Central Jaguars will entertain rival Prestonsburg this Friday, February 2nd in two key district matchups.


The Lady Jaguars (7-12) are currently tied with Lawrence County for first-place in the 58th District with a (3-1) record. A win for Floyd Central over the Lady Blackcats would lock-up the number 1 seed in the upcoming District Tournament, starting February 26th. 


Meanwhile, Prestonsburg head coach Brandon Kidd recently became the 2nd all-time wins leader in Lady Blackcats history. He'll be searching for the 100th victory of his coaching career when his ladies take the court. A win would also be a first-ever for Prestonsburg over Floyd Central. The Lady Jaguars defeated Prestonsburg 67-50 back on December 7th. 


Since having their 6-game winning streak snapped, Coach Chase Parsley's Prestonsburg Blackcats (13-8) have dropped 3 of their last 4, including an 85-79 setback to Paintsville on Tuesday at home. Prestonsburg defeated Floyd Central (8-11) 77-72 on January 8th at the Fieldhouse.


Both games will be broadcast on WMDJ 100.1 FM and livestreamed on our WMDJ Facebook page beginning at 5:45 p.m. Friday evening.







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