The Tigers sealed their county championship with their second win over Tug Valley, 60-58, Tuesday night at Tug Valley High School in Naugatuck.
"This is a very big win for us," Matewan Coach Phillip Mitchell said. "I can't remember any Matewan team that has beaten Tug Valley at Matewan and at Tug Valley in the same season — ever. It was a heck of a ballgame. We had two sick. Matt Kennedy and Colton Copley were sick and Nathaniel (Mitchell) hurt his shoulder and I had to take him out. But, we got the win."
Tug is the only West Virginia team to beat the Tigers this season. The Panthers got a 66-56 win over Matewan in late December in the Jason Kominar Tournament at Tug Valley. The Tigers got revenge for that loss at Matewan when they beat the Panthers, 59-49, on January 13.
Brandon Burgraff scored a season-high 33 points to lead the Tigers past the Class AA Panthers.
"Brandon played a good game," Coach Mitchell said. "He scored 14 of his 33 in the third quarter."
The two teams finished the first quarter tied at 11. Tug Valley took a 31-27 lead at halftime after outscoring the Tigers 20-16 in the second period.
But, Matewan outscored Tug 21-9 in the third stanza to take a 48-40 lead heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth period, the Panthers outscored Matewan 18-12, but it wasn't enough to overcome their deficit and the Tigers took home the two-point, hard-fought victory.
Matewan improves to 16-2 with the win.
The Tigers got eight points apiece from Copley and Josh Sammons, while Kennedy added seven and Nathaniel Mitchell scored four.
Tug Valley was led by Michael Evans and Zack Preece with 19 points each. Preece netted five 3-pointers for 15 of his total.
Channing Preece scored 11, Austin Vance netted six and Derek Hayes finished with three.
"Matt and Colton did a good job on the boards," Coach Mitchell said. "This was just a good, team effort. We rebounded well, got up and down the court and scored. Chaz Clusky and Max Whitt gave us some good minutes off the bench."
The win comes just days after Matewan suffered its second loss of the season, 61-57, to Phelps, Ky., at the Tigerdome in Matewan on Valentine's Day.
"I think we're back on track," Coach Mitchell said.
The Tigers return to action Thursday night at home against the Williamson Wolfpack. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers fall to 11-8 with the loss and return to action Thursday night at home against Scott.
Huntington St. Joseph 44, Burch 36
DELBARTON — The Burch Bulldogs fell Tuesday night at home to Huntington St. Joseph, 44-36.
The Bulldogs were outscored 16-8 in the first quarter and went into the intermission behind 21-13. St. Joe outscored Burch 14-11 in the third quarter and held off a late Burch rally to take home the eight-point victory.
Burch was led by Ryan Hatfield with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal. Keith Hill was next with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist. Zac Runyon scored seven. Dave Hatfield added four points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Jacob Stratton led the Bulldogs on the boards with 10 rebounds. He also scored two points, gave three assists and got two steals. Corey Cook netted a free throw, gave three assists and got a pair of rebounds.
Burch made 15 field goals, including four 3-pointers.
From the foul line, the Bulldogs made 2-of-5 charity tosses.
St. Joe was led by Josh Pierson and Parker Smith with 10 points apiece. Aaron Williams scored eight, Cody Bragg netted five, Jacob Blevins scored four, Josh Chambers dumped in three and Phil Harris and Charles Bellomy each netted two.
St. Joe, which improves to 9-6 with the win, scored 18 field goals, including four 3s, and made 4-of-7 foul shots.
The Bulldogs return to action Thursday night at home against Man. Tipoff for the game is 7:30 p.m.