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Panthers roar into second straight title game

Paul Adkins
Sports Editor

11 months 27 days 14 hours ago |181 Views | | | Email | Print

CHARLESTON (AP) — Tug Valley was set to play for a second consecutive boys state basketball championship.


Thomas Baisden scored 18 points, Mikey Newsome had 16 and top-seeded Tug Valley beat Tucker County 54-41 in the Class A semifinals Friday at the Charleston Civic Center.


No. 1-ranked Tug Valley (24-3) was scheduled to face No. 3 Charleston Catholic for the title on Saturday. Tug Valley beat the Irish earlier this season, 61-38.


Tug Valley defeated Bluefield in last year’s Class AA title game and dropped to Class A this season.


Fourth-seeded Tucker County (21-4) was hoping to advance to the championship game for the first time since 2004, when it lost to Wheeling Central.


Tug Valley never trailed and broke open a close game with a 12-4 run in the third quarter.


Ian Nichols had 26 points and 14 rebounds for Tucker County.


Charleston Catholic 61,


Wheeling Central 55


CHARLESTON (AP) — Defending champion Charleston Catholic will get the chance to play for another Class A championship.


Nick George scored 24 points, Zach Casto had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and the Irish beat Wheeling Central 61-55 in Friday’s semifinals.


Third-seeded Charleston Catholic (24-3) advances to Saturday’s championship game for a record ninth time, including eight trips in the past nine years.


Wheeling Central trimmed an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to 47-44 on two Chase Harler free throws with 3:16 left in the game. Charleston Catholic scored the next six points but didn’t secure the win until Casto made two free throws with 3 seconds left.


For seventh-seeded Wheeling Central (14-13), David Park had 18 points, Chase Harler had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Brandon Wallace had 12 points and 10 rebounds.


Bluefield 54,


Robert C. Byrd 48


CHARLESTON (AP) — Bluefield used a late 12-0 run to beat Robert C. Byrd 54-48 Friday night, giving the Beavers a second-straight berth in the Class AA championship game.


Top-seeded Bluefield (24-3) will play second-seeded Fairmont Senior on Saturday. Bluefield was the top seed last year when it lost to Tug Valley for the title.


Fourth-seeded Robert C. Byrd (20-7) was in the semifinals for the first time since 1996.


Anthony Eades led Bluefield with 15 points. D.J. Edwards added 13 and Lykel Collier and Michael Yost had 10 apiece.


Robert C. Byrd’s Devonti Birch had 18 points and 11 rebounds.


There were six lead changes in the third quarter, but Robert C. Byrd went scoreless for nearly eight minutes. Anthony Eades’ layup put Bluefield ahead 50-41 with 2:05 left in the game.


Fairmont Senior 65,


Bridgeport 58


CHARLESTON (AP) — Travon Horton and Jarin Hilson scored 19 points apiece to lead Fairmont Senior to a 65-58 win over Bridgeport in the Class AA semifinals Friday.


Shaquille Washington added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Fairmont Senior.


Second-seeded Fairmont Senior (21-6) returns to the championship game for the first time since 1998, when it lost to Woodrow Wilson in Class AAA.


Bridgeport’s John Wilfong sank two free throws with 48 seconds left to bring Bridgeport within 61-58, but the Indians didn’t score again. Fairmont Senior sank four free throws in the final 38 seconds.


Sixth-seeded Bridgeport (19-8) was trying to return to the championship game for the first time since winning the 2001 title.


Jordan Haywood led Bridgeport with 17 points. Wilfong had 16 and Tyler Sprouse 15.


Beckley Woodrow Wilson 64,


South Charleston 57


CHARLESTON (AP) — Nequan Carrington scored 16 points and Beckley Woodrow Wilson held off South Charleston 64-57 in the Class AAA semifinals Friday night.


On Saturday night against top-seeded Martinsburg, No. 2 Woodrow Wilson (23-4) was set to go after its record 17th championship and first since 2008.


Woodrow Wilson’s Donte Nabors and Andrew Johnson added 14 points apiece.


Woodrow Wilson led 58-52 with 2:03 remaining after a Carrington layup.


Third-seeded South Charleston (24-3) closed the gap to 58-56 with 1:32 left after a Hunter Moles layup and two Rashaud Kincade free throws.


But the Black Eagles scored one point the rest of the game.


South Charleston was trying to return to the championship game for the first time since 2009.


Devyn Harris scored 16 points and Moles had 15 for South Charleston.


Martinsburg 45,


Washington High 42


CHARLESTON (AP) — Donte’ Grantham scored 18 points to lead Martinsburg to a 45-42 win over Eastern Panhandle rival Washington High School in the Class AAA semifinals Friday night.


Top-seeded Martinsburg (25-2) beat fourth-seeded Washington (21-6) for the fourth time this season and returns to the championship game for the first time since winning the 2009 title.


Martinsburg never trailed and led 22-15 at halftime.


Washington trimmed an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to 44-42 on Keldon Bell’s 3-pointer with 58 seconds left. Jalen Lewis made a free throw with 8 seconds left for Martinsburg but he missed the second attempt. Washington got the rebound and called a timeout, but Bell missed a 3-point try at the buzzer.


Dominique Newman led Washington with 15 points.

Reach at or 304-752-6950.

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