PIKEVILLE - Former 15th Region champion Betsy Layne was outscored in each of the first three quarters Wednesday as 2013 title contender Shelby Valley pulled away to win 58-28 in the opening round of this year’s regional girls’ basketball tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
The loss eliminated Betsy Layne from the postseason. Betsy Layne exited the 2012-13 season 14-14.
With the win, Shelby Valley improved to 26-4 and advanced to the regional tournament’s semifinals.
University of Pikeville signee Breanna Fraley and Lakyn Mullins led Shelby Valley with 16 points apiece. Rachel Smith joined Fraley and Mullins in double figures, adding 12 points for the Lady Wildcats.
The champion out of the 59th District, Shelby Valley limited Betsy Layne in the third quarter, using a big run to distance itself from the Floyd County team.
Shelby Valley added to its lead in each quarter. After edging Betsy Layne 12-11 in the opening quarter, Shelby Valley doubled up the Ladycats 16-8 in the second period to lead 28=19 at halftime.
Thriving early after intermission, Shelby Valley outscored Betsy Layne 17-4 in the third quarter.
Paige Watkins paced Betsy Layne with 15 points. Watkins was nine-of-15 from the free throw line.
Brandy Morrow joined Watkins in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
T.J. Tackett aided Betsy Layne with six points.
Kelsie Tackett, Chloe Johnson and Francesca Brunati chipped in two points apiece for the Ladycats.
Betsy Layne shot 35.9 percent (14-of-39) from the field. The Ladycats were only one-of-nine from 3-point range.
Watkins was the only Betsy Layne to shoot free throws.
15th Region Tournament
at East Kentucky Expo Center
Shelby Valley 58, Betsy Layne 38
Betsy Layne (38): Kelsie Tackett 2, T.J. Tackett 6, Morrow 11, Watkins 15, Johnson 2, Brunati 2.
Shelby Valley (58): Rowe 3, Mullins 16, Wright 2, Smith 12, Fraley 16, Jones 3, Smallwood 2, Honaker 2, Blackburn 2.
Betsy Layne……1184 15-38
Shelby Valley…12 16 17 12-58