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Veteran Johnson Central Squad Tops Young Bobcats

Isaiah May - photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Eagles’ Senior Trio of May, VanHoose and King really impressive

PAINTSVILLE – February 20, 2021 – Brendon D. Miller

Breathitt travelled to Paintsville on Friday Night for a matchup with the 11-1 Johnson Central Golden Eagles. The Eagles came in as the top-rated team in the 15th Region with a RPI of .71749, suffering their only loss to 16th Region power Ashland Blazer early in the season. Both teams were coming off extended breaks due to the weather as Johnson Central had not played since last Friday the 12th, and the Bobcats last took the court in Jackson on Saturday night.

Full photo gallery of game:

Johnson Central is an experienced, veteran-laden and battle-tested team with eight seniors and three juniors forming their top 11. The Eagles are led by their three-headed attack of seniors Isaiah May (16.8 ppg), Cory VanHoose (16.2 ppg) and John King (10.8 ppg). All three had big nights on Friday as each topped their average with May leading with 20, VanHoose 19, and King 18.

The Game was streamed LIVE on the BSN Youtube Channel with Darrell McCoy and Kevin Keathley on the call: Please pardon the low audio in the intro and 1st quarter (Brendon’s doing!! LOL)

Breathitt hung close in the first period fighting back from an early deficit to lead at the 2:16 mark and head the first break with the game tied at 18. Johnson Central’s offense was in high drive in the second, with a 28-11 run that opened the game up and game them the margin of victory. The Eagles stemmed every run Breathitt made in the 2nd half, to take the win 85-70.

Breathitt Sophomore Center Bryce Hoskins led the way with a double-double with 17 and 10 doing much damage in the paint, and Freshman Austin Sperry had his now commom place packed stat line of 17 points with six assists and five rebounds.

Bryce Hoskins – photo by Brendon D. Miller – BSN

King and VanHoose each opened their account for the night with six on three baskets each while May hit his first 3-pointer for three, and Junior Ryleh McKenzie had a 3-pointer. Hoskins had three buckets in the lane for six, while Jaylen Turner scored five including a 3-pointer and Tyler Christy added four. At the end of the 1st, the teams were even at 18.

Cory VanHoose – photo by Brendon D. Miller -BSN

Junior Connor Lemaster came off the bench for the Eagles to score all eight of his points on the night as he knocked down two 3-pointers. May hit his second 3-pointer and had seven, while VanHoose added five and King four. Hoskins had a basket and free throw for three, and sixth-man Andrew Combs hit a 3-pointer for the Bobcats. Breathitt was held to 11 points in the frame and at the half, Johnson Central led by 17, 46-29.

May continued his strong night in the 3rd with seven more, while VanHoose splashed two 3-pointers for six, and King had two buckets for four. The Eagles reached their largest lead of the game at 20, at the 1:06 mark of the quarter. Sperry topped Breathitt scoring with six, and Luke Bellamy hit his 2nd of three 3-pointers in the game. Headed to the fourth, the lead was 19, 66-47.

John King – photo by Brendon D. Miller – BSN

Breathitt put the ball in Sperry’s hands in the 4th, as he slashed for three baskets and hit a pull up 3-pointer for 10. Hoskins netted three buckets in the lane for six, and each reached their co-team-high 17. May hit his third 3-pointer of the night to set his game-high 20, while McKenzie added five, King four, and VanHoose, Kamen Rice and Grant Rice each had a bucket.

On the game, Johnson Central shot 47.2% (34 of 72) from the field and 37.5% (9 of 24) from behind the arc on the night, while Breathitt was 45.3% (19 of 64) and 38.1% (8 of 21). The Eagles won the battle on the boards 41-38, and only committed eight turnovers as compared to 16 for the Bobcats. Johnson Central had 13 points off those Bobcat turnovers. Breathitt did accumulate more 2nd chance points with 17 to 16 by Johnson while the Eagles had more bench points 15-11.

Austin Sperry – photo by Brendon D. Miller – BSN
Scoring by Quarter1st2nd3rd4thTotal

JOHNSON CENTRAL – Isaiah May 20, Cory VanHoose 19, John King 18, Ryleh McKenzie 9, Connor Lemaster 8, Kamen Slone 4, Grant Rice 4, Josh Slone 2, Ryan Sartin-Slone 1.

BREATHITT COUNTY – Bryce Hoskins 17, Austin Sperry 17, Jaylen Turner 9, Luke Bellamy 9, Tyler Christy 7, Andrew Combs 6, Blake Ritchie 3, Caden Turner 2.

Johnson Central improved to 12-1 and will be in action on Saturday at the Mountain Schoolboy Classic at Belfry where they are scheduled to play both Pikeville and Phelps. Those games can be seen on D&D Sports Facebook.

Breathitt was scheduled to host Lee County tonight, but game has now been rescheduled as of this morning. The Bobcats are next scheduled to play at Harlan County on Tuesday Night.

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