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Boys are hit with hard luck

The Letcher County Central High School Cougars experienced hard luck in last week’s Henry County Invitational in northcentral Kentucky. The Cougars won their first match up but then dropped three straight, including the final two in overtime, to even their record at 6-6.

The Cougars returned to action in last night’s opening round of the WYMT Classic at Perry County Central High School against defending state champion Shelby Valley.

The Cougars return home for the first of three straight games beginning Tuesday, Jan. 11, for a key district matchup with Knott County Central. The Cougars then host a rematch with Jenkins on Jan. 13 before tangling with Powell Valley, Va. on Jan. 15.

In Dave Cantrall’s first weekly boys’ high school basketball poll of this season, released this past Monday, the Cougars’ three straight losses in last week’s Henry County Invitational led to the Cougars’ drop in the 14th Region poll to sixth place behind 17th-ranked Perry County Central, Knott County Central, Hazard, Buckhorn and Breathitt County.

Letcher County Central 69 Williamstown 61

On Dec. 28, the Cougars, led by a game-high 22 points from senior guard Brian Roark and 17 points from junior forward Kendall Ballou, who was just returning from a preseason injury, took control early and led by 20 points early in the fourth quarter before Williamstown, led by Harrison Whaley’s 22 points, rallied late to make the final score more respectable.

LCCHS led 19-10 after the first quarter, 41-29 at the half and 57-41 heading into the final period.

Koree Stewart scored eight points while Logan Johnson and Trenton Whitaker added seven points each. Cody Gregory finished with six points and Matt Boggs wound up with two points.

Henry County 41 Letcher Central 39 (OT)

In a game between two evenly matched teams, the host 8th Region (6-5) Wildcats, led by senior Ben Schroeder’s game-high 20 points, outlasted the Cougars in the early game (9 a.m.) on Dec. 29.

LCCHS led in the early going in the deliberate matchup before trailing 18-14 at the break and 29- 27 at the end of three quarters. The game was tied at 35 at the end of regulation.

Koree Stewart’s 15 points led the 6-4 Cougars. Logan Johnson chipped in with 10 points while Brian Roark added seven points. Cody Gregory scored five points and Kendall Ballou wound up with two points.

Frankfort 79 Letcher County Central 54

Playing just minutes (noon tipoff ) after losing an overtime heartbreaker to the host Henry County Wildcats on Dec. 29, a tired bunch of Cougars, who were a 10-point underdog to the quick and speedy Wildcats, fell behind late in the first half and never could catch up.

Western Hills 75 Letcher Central 72 (2OT)

On Dec. 30, the Cougars’ hard luck continued as the 11th Region Wolverines outlasted LCCHS in double overtime in a game between two evenly matched teams.

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