14th Region preview: Commodores looking to take the next step
Tony McGuire — Sports Editor
The Perry County Central Commodores came one game short of the state tournament last season, and will be looking to break Knott Central’s hold on the title. The Commodores will return two of the region’s top players in guard Braxton Beverly and center Justin Johnson.
The Commodores will be able to rely on some experience in several seniors, including Johnson, Jon-Eric Begley, Tyler Fugate, John Toomer, Jarin Bowen, and Justin Caldwell. Coach Shannon Hoskins will also have three juniors (Austin Neace, Nathan Pray and Travis Stacy), three sophomores (Braxton Beverly, Tyler Lawson and Matt Turner) and three freshmen (Austin Hill, Damon Tobler and Nahim Lee) on the team.
The Commodores are staring down a tough schedule that will have them competing in the annual WYMT Mountain Basketball Classic, Joe B. Hall Prep Classic, and the Mr. Basketball Classic. And there are several other intriguing matchups with several mountain teams as well, including a rematch of last season’s 14th Region title game with Knott Central on Feb. 13.
When asked about how he saw the 54th district shaping up, Coach Hoskins said he feels his team will compete, but every school in the district will put talented players on the court.
“The 54th district is the strongest in the 14th region,” Hoskins said. “Perry Central and Hazard are definitely in the top five teams. Buckhorn and Leslie County can beat anyone on any given night.”
With the goal of reaching the Sweet Sixteen in March, Hoskins acknowledged it will be challenging in a tough 14th Region, especially with Knott Central, the region’s defending champs, returning much of last year’s team.
“Everyone has to beat Knott County to go to the state tournament,” commented Hoskins on the region. “We are at the top of the region, and we will have to defeat Knott if we are going to reach our goal of playing in Rupp Arena.”
Perry Central Commodores 2013-14 Schedule
Dec 3, 13 Breathitt County home 7:30 PM
Dec 6, 13 Henry Clay at Tates Creek 8:00 PM Mr. Basketball Classic
Dec 7, 13 Powell County home 7:30 PM
Dec 10, 13 Johnson Central away 7:30 PM
Dec 13, 13 Hazard home 7:30 PM
Dec 14, 13 North Laurel at Clay County 6:30 PM Bobby Keith Classic
Dec 19, 13 TBA at Fairdale King of the Bluegrass
Dec 26, 13 TBA home TECO Coal Commodore Classic
Dec 27, 13 Breathitt County home 8:00 PM TECO Coal Commodore Classic
Jan 3, 14 Owsley County away 7:30 PM
Jan 4, 14 Simon Kenton at Lexington Catholic Goodfellas Pizzeria National Shootout
Jan 8, 14 TBA at Knott County Central WYMT Mountain Classic
Jan 8, 14 Bell County at Knott County Central 6:00 PM WYMT Mountain Classic
Jan 17, 14 Harlan County away 7:30 PM
Jan 21, 14 Clay County home 7:30 PM
Jan 23, 14 Letcher County Central away 7:30 PM
Jan 25, 14 Southwestern at Montgomery County Joe B. Hall Prep Classic
Jan 28, 14 Wolfe County home 7:30 PM
Feb 1, 14 Grant County at Various Sites Appalachian Wireless Kentucky Prep Showcase
Feb 7, 14 Hazard away 7:30 PM
Feb 11, 14 Knox Central away 7:30 PM
Feb 13, 14 Knott County Central away 7:30 PM
Feb 15, 14 Central Hardin home 7:30 PM
Feb 17, 14 Jackson County home 7:30 PM
Feb 21, 14 Cordia away 7:30 PM
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