BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Lady Hawks look to continue success

Pike County Central head basketball coach Derrick Newsome says his team’s third straight 20-win season one year ago could be attributed to half-court defensive pressure.

He hopes the trend continues in what will be his sixth season at the helm.

“It’s pretty simple for us this season, we’ve got to lock people down on the defensive end…that was our staple,” he said. “And we must do a good job of rebounding.”

He returns four key players from last year, Kelsi Brinager, Chloe Neece, Bailey Birchfield and Lexi Newsome.

Newsome says he will count heavily on newcomer exchange student Anna Carnell, freshman Hannah May and sophomore Sarah Justice to provide the lift needed to keep this program on top.

The Lady Hawks opened the season Dec.  2.

Pike Central schedule

Dec. 2              Martin County            Home

Dec. 3              Pikeville                      Away

Dec.  5             Betsy Layne                Away

Dec. 9, 12, 14  Mountain Classic        Away

Clay County, TBA, TBA at Knott Central

Dec. 17            Shelby Valley             Away

Dec. 20-21      Pike Central Classic    Home

Lynn Camp, North Laurel

Dec. 23            Hazard                        Away

Dec. 27-30      Sunshine Classic         Away

TBA, TBA, TBA, Daytona, Fla.

Jan. 3, 6, 10     Kentucky  2A championship

Magoffin County, TBA, TBA, STBD

Jan. 14             Lawrence County       Home

Jan. 16             Phelps                          Home

Jan. 24             Belfry                          Home

Jan. 25             Lady Hawk 1-day Showcase

Knott County Central Home

Jan. 27             East Ridge                  Home

Jan. 28             Martin County            Away

Feb. 3              Belfry                          Away

Feb. 5              Pikeville                      Home

Feb. 6              Mt. Mission, Va.         Home

Feb. 8              Phelps                          Away

Feb. 11            Letcher Central           Home

Feb. 13            Johnson  Central         Home

Feb. 18            Magoffin County        Away

Feb. 21            Paintsville                    Home