BECKLEY - The Tug Valley High School boys’ basketball team lost in the Class A Region 3 Section 1 final to arch rival Greater Beckley Christian 49-37 on Saturday afternoon at the historic Raleigh County Armory.
The two teams had split their regular season games each winning on their own home courts. GBC had received the No. 1 seed this season, thus they were able to host the sectional championship game.
The Panthers were extremely cold from behind the 3-point line only hitting 2-of-22 shots.
Even after trailing by 20 points late in the game, Tug Valley fought back to cut the lead to just six points in the final quarter. They just couldn’t get over the hump after falling behind on the road.
Tug Valley had not lost a post-season basketball since 2011 when they felll to Poca when they were still playing in Class AA. The Panthers are the defending Class A state champs and in 2012 won the Class A championship. Their tournament winning streak was 13 heading into Saturday’s contest against GBC.
The Panthers have been a thorn in the side of the Crusaders for the last couple of seasons, losing the sectional to TVHS last year at Naugatuck. They lost three times to the Panthers last season.
GBC’s Javonne Staunton-Bailey was limited to only nine points, as were Isaiah Francis and Brent Daniels. Elisha Kidd led the way with 18 points.
As he has done so many times this season, senior Thomas Baisden led Tug Valley with 16 points. Calvin Blankenship and Hayden Sturgell each scored six for the Panthers.
Tug Valley (17-6) will travel to Smithers, W.Va., to take on Section 2 champion Valley Fayette (21-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The two teams met once this season on Feb. 21 in Naugatuck as the Greyhounds lost 42-39 to the Panthers.
GBC (18-6) is set to host Meadow Bridge (14-10) in the other regional co-final on Wednesday at 7 p.m.