The Mingo Central High School girls’ basketball team just wouldn’t go away.
Top seed Wayne was finally able to put away the Miners on Wednesday night, as the Lady Pioneers downed the Lady Miners 56-41 in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 semifinals at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
The win moved Wayne (18-4) into Thursday night’s sectional championship game against county rival Tolsia (12-11), which defeated Chapmanville 56-49 in Wednesday’s other semifinal game.
Mingo Central saw its season come to a close at 7-15. Mingo Central had opened sectional tournament play with a first-round victory Monday night over No. 5 seed and winless Scott (0-21).
Wayne led the Lady Miners by as many as 24 points in the second quarter but had to stave off a late comeback by Mingo Central.
The Lady Miners were able to cut the deficit to as little as eight points midway into the fourth quarter but it was too little too late as Wayne moved on to the sectional championship game and next week’s regional tournament.
Lakyn Adkins paced Wayne with a double-double as she netted a game-high 21 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with her six blocked shots.
Aeriel Adkins also broke into double figures for the Lady Pioneers with a 16-point effort. Maddie Wilcox added seven points and seven rebounds, while Allie Gue had six points and Whitney Sansam four.
Mingo Central was led by Shania Joplin and Hannah Church who tallied 11 and 10 points respectively. Shylah Goff tossed in nine, Kylee Varney six and Mikazia Rhodes five.
The Lady Miners, the No. 4 seed for the sectional tourney, made 7-for-11 of their free throws for 63.6 percent. Wayne sank 15-of-18 from the foul line for 83.3 percent.
Trailing 35-22 after three quarters of play, the Lady Miners began to make a bit of a comeback.
Wayne jumped back on top 39-23 with 7:21 left as Aeriel Adkins sank a pair of free throws.
Mingo Central then went on an 10-2 run, trimming the deficit to 41-33. Church’s 3-pointer cut it to 41-30 with 4:58 to go and Varney’s old-fashioned three-point play with 4:36 left finished off the run.
Wayne answered with a Sansam layup, a pair of free throws by Lakyn Adkins and a layup by Wilcox to push the lead to 47-34.
The Lady Pioneers then outscored Mingo Central 9-7 the rest of the way to close out the win.
Wayne jumped out to an 11-4 lead after one quarter and expanded that to 24-7 at halftime, holding MC to single digits in the first two quarters.
The Lady Pioneers then poured it on in the third quarter, using a 9-2 run, capped off by a 3 by Wilcox, to grab a 33-9 lead — their largest of the evening.
Mingo Central responded with a 13-2 run, closing to within 35-22 after three.
Tolsia 58, Wayne 40
The No. 3 seeded Tolsia Rebels upset county rival and No. 1 seed Wayne 58-40 on Thursday night in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 championship game at Logan.
Tolsia (13-11) was led by Dena Jarrells, who tossed in a game high 32 points.
Sarah Jude had 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Tasha Nichols added 17 rebounds.
Aeriel Adkins led Wayne (18-5) with 10 points.
Both teams advance to next week’s regional tournament.
The Rebels are scheduled to host the loser of Friday’s Sissonville-Poca sectional final. The Pioneers will travel to the winner’s court in the other regional co-final.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).