NAUGATUCK — The Tug Valley High School boys’ basketball team turned the tables on Logan with a 49-46 win on Saturday night at Naugatuck in the rematch between the Wildcats and the Panthers.
Just a week ago, Logan had beaten Tug Valley 47-46 at Willie Akers Arena to snap a four-game losing streak to the Panthers.
Saturday night’s contest was a see-saw, low-scoring battle.
Single-A Tug Valley won it with three seconds left as sophomore Calvin Blankenship sank two clutch free throws to set the final score.
Blankenship scored 15 points for the Panthers, including a half-court heave at the buzzer to end the first half of play. Thomas Baisden added 14 points for Tug.
It was a good week for Tug Valley, which beat arch-rival Mingo Central and then knocked off Valley Fayette and Logan.
Freshman Braxton Goff led Logan with 12 points, while Zak Miller netted 11.
The Wildcats close out the regular season with three games beginning with Monday’s home makeup contest with Class A Greater Beckley Christian.
The Cats then host Parkersburg on Tuesday night on Senior Night and close out on Thursday at Capital.
Logan then plays the following week in the Class AAA sectional tourney at Cabell Midland.
LHS is scheduled to open sectional play on Wednesday, March 5 at 8 p.m. against Spring Valley as expected. Logan received the No. 3 seed while Spring Valley is the second seed.
The sectional tourney opens on Monday, March 3 at Huntington High School as No. 4 seed Cabell Midland plays No. 5 Lincoln County at 7:30 p.m., Logan High School Athletics Director Brian Atkinson said. The winner then moves on to play No. 1 seed Huntington on March 5 at 6 p.m. at Cabell Midland.
The two semifinal winners are set to play on Friday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Cabell Midland.
Tug Valley (14-5), which has won two straight state championships, have a rematch with county rival Mingo Central on Tuesday night on the road and close out on Thursday night at home against sectional foe Greater Beckley Christian.
The Panthers are 5-1 vs. 3A Logan over the course of the last three seasons.
Huntington St. Joe 90,
HUNTINGTON — The Man High School boys basketball team fell on the road last Friday to Class A No. 2 Huntington St. Joe, 90-74.
The Irish used a pair of first half runs to separate themselves from the Hillbillies to pull away for the victory.
The loss snapped Man’s two-game winning streak.
Man jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and held a four-point advantage, 15-11, before St. Joe closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run to take a 26-17 after one quarter of play.
The Irish extended their lead to 14 points, 33-19, thanks to a 7-2 run to start the second quarter. Man responded with a 6-0 mini spurt, starting with Daniel Buchanon’s three-point play and capped off with Cameron Simpson’s 3-point basket, to cut the deficit to 33-25.
However, it would be as close as the Billies would get as the Irish answered with a 9-0 run to take a 42-25 advantage with 2:44 to play in the first half.
Man closed the gap to 14, 45-31, at the halftime, but the Hillbillies could get no closer in the second half.
The Irish put the game on ice with a 31-12 run in the third quarter and led by as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter before the Hillbillies responded with a 31-14 fourth quarter to set the final score at 90-74.
John Thomas Keffer led Man with 25 points. He had five assists, five rebounds and connected on 10-of-11 free throws.
Jake Adkins and Marquel Brown joined Keffer in double figures with 16 and 12 points respectively. Erik Files had eight, Kenny Joe Adkins six, Buchanon five and Simpson three to close out the scoring for the Hillbillies. Brown and Buchanon each pulled down a team high six rebounds.
Keith Clemons led four St. Joe’s players in double figures with 24 points.
Brian Conaty added 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and four steals. Payne Meadows had 18 points and dished out eight assists while Anthony Rabel recorded a double-double finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jonathan Armstead added six, Owen Huffman four and Travis McNeil two to round out the Irish scoring.
St. Joe connected on 33-of-70 field goal attempts, out-rebounded the Hillbillies, 41-28, hauled down 15 offensive rebounds and forced 21 Hillbilly turnovers. Man was 26-of-57 from the field and was able to knock down 17-of-20 free throw attempts in the contest.
Man, now 10-10 on the year, closes out the regular season Tuesday night at home against Class AA No. 9 Chapmanville.
The Hillbillies will then open Class A Region III Section I tournament against an opponent to be announced sometime Monday when the pairings are expected to be released.