Last updated: March 07. 2014 2:59AM - 759 Views
By - klovern@civitasmedia.com



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NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley boys’ basketball team rolled over the Tide of Sherman 74-45 Wednesday night in the first round of the Region 3 Section 1 tournament played at the TVHS gym.


The game started a little sloppy and Sherman hung around as the Panthers led 16-10 after the first quarter. The Tide had five early turnovers and the Panthers had four in the first quarter. In the first half TVHS had eight miscues, while SHS had nine.


Tug Valley outscored Sherman 20-10 in the second quarter to take a 36-20 lead into the dressing room at the half.


The Panthers really poured it on in the third quarter holding Sherman to just seven points, while firing in 21 to build on their lead. Most of the final quarter saw Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson play his substitutes and JV players.


Once again senior Thomas Baisden led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points, while junior Hayden Sturgell scored 14. Aaron Copley fired in 12, while sophomore Calvin Blankenship chipped in 11. Blankenship picked up his 4th foul early in the third period and did not see much action the rest of the game.


Sturgell dished out seven assists, while Blankenship handed out four assists. Baisden had seven rebounds for TVHS.


Tug Valley shot 56 percent from the floor on 30-for-54 shooting, including 8-of-13 from behind the arc. They were 6-for-8 at the foul line for 75 percent.


Sherman was led by Greg Brewer who scored 14 points.


The Panthers will now play in the sectional championship on Saturday afternoon against Greater Beckley Christian. The tipoff time is 1 p.m. at the Raleigh County Armory.


Panthers ready for GBC


“It will be a fight. A war is coming!”


That is how Tug Valley Head Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson described the rematch with Greater Beckley Christian coming up for the Region 3 Section 1 championship this weekend.


Tug Valley and Greater Beckley Christian (GBC) split their two regular season games each winning at the other’s home court.


The Panthers have to travel to Beckley once again to take on the Crusaders at the historic Raleigh County Armory with the tipoff Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.


Last Friday, a much-improved Tug Valley team defeated GBC 67-52, but back in January the Crusaders slayed the Panthers 67-53.


“That won’t be the same Greater Beckley team we see up there this week,” Garland “Rabbit” Thompson said of the Class A sectional championship game. “We have to go back up there and that is a tough place to play. I’m sure they have licked their wounds and they will be ready for us. Greater Beckley is lying in the weeds and waiting on us down there.


“We’re playing our best basketball of the year. We just wanted the chance to play them again.”


Thompson has pretty much settled on a seven-man rotation led by senior Thomas Baisden. Then he has juniors Hayden Sturgell, Kyle Newsome, Austin Baisden, Aaron Copley and Shane Marcum. Sophomore Calvin Blankenship has been one of the team’s top scorers this season. At times this season junior Dwayne Marcum and sophomore Brett Ooten have seen some action for the Panthers in certain situations.


“I have been going with offensive and defensive substitutions,” Thompson said. “I know some of the fans may not like that. But that is basically what we have become. If it helps us win, that’s what counts.”


Both teams advanced to the sectional co-finals with wins on Wednesday night. TVHS beat Sherman at home, 74-45, while GBC defeated Man at home 90-57.


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