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Tug Valley guards Audrey Evans (32), Kaylea Baisden (10), and Alyssa Newsome (20) play on the defensive end during the Lady Panthers 49-31 win over Tucker County in the girls semifinals of the girls Class A State Tournament on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at the Charleston Coliseum. 

CHARLESTON — No. 1 seed Tug Valley punched their ticket to a girls state championship game for the first time in school history on Thursday night at the Charleston Coliseum as they relied on a strong defensive showing in a 49-31 win over No. 4 seed Tucker County. 

The Lady Panthers (14-2) advanced to play No. 2 seed Cameron (18-1) in the Class A state championship game on Saturdayin a 10 a.m. start. Both teams will be looking for their first state title in school history. 

In the win over the Lady Mountain Lions, Tug Valley received a huge performance from senior forward Makayla May on both ends of the court.

Offensively, May notched double-double finishing the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds, six on the offensive end, to go along with three assist.

On the defensive end however is where May made an even bigger impact as she drew the task of guarding 6'1" Tucker County center Kadie Colebank, who led the Lady Lions with 16 points in their opening round win on Tuesday. 

May limited Colebank to only two points in the semifinal win and only one shot attempt for the entire game and drew the praises of head coach Clyde Farley in the postgame. 

Tug Valley held Tucker County to only five points in the first quarter and led 11-5 going into the second quarter of play where they outscored the Lady Lions 12-7 to take a 23-12 into halftime. 

Late in the third quarter Tucker County cut the Tug lead back to seven at 30-23 after a three by Brylee Wetzel but TVHS ended the quarter on a 9-0 run thanks to six points from May and a three from Newsome at the buzzer to take a commanding 39-23 lead into the fourth where they would cruise to the 18-point win. 

Baisden was the leading scorer on the night as she netted a game high 17-points to go along with nine rebounds, five steals, and three assists. Newsome also finished the game in double-figures with 10. 

Audrey Evans, Autumn Hall, and Haley Gillman each had two points to round out the scoring for Tug Valley. 

Macy Helmick led Tucker County with nine points while Wetzel had eight. The Lady Lions only had 32 shot attempts the entire game as they committed 27 turnovers. 

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com

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