By Kyle Lovern
NAUGATUCK - Tug Valley played its best game of the year thus far rolling to an easy 78-33 victory at home over the Man Hillbillies in front of a sparse crowd at the TVHS gym in Naugatuck.
The Panthers of Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson jumped out to a 19-7 first quarter lead and led 38-22 heading into the dressing room at the half.
Sophomore Brett Ooten, who started the game, had six of Tug Valley’s first nine points to help get his team started. Senior center Thomas Baisden had 12 first half points, sophomore guard Calvin Blankenship fired in 10, including a pair of 3’s and junior Kyle Newsome flipped in 9 points.
TVHS came out with full-court pressure, which seemed to bother the Hillbillies, forcing them into taking some bad shots. Man also committed 10 turnovers in the first half and Tug Valley took advantage of many of those mistakes and scored.
The third quarter was even worse for the Billies, as Tug Valley held them to just two points. The Panthers outscored Man 20-2 in the period.
In the final quarter, Thompson played his reserves as 15 players saw action for the Panthers.
Blankenship led Tug Valley in scoring with 19 points, while Thomas Baisden was right behind him with 18. Newsome came off the bench to score 12 and Hayden Sturgell chipped in 10, giving TVHS four players in double figures.
Ooten finished with 6 points, Aaron Copley had 3, Tyler Workman 2, Austin Baisden 2, Dewayne Marcum 4 and freshmen twin brothers Justin and Jared Farley each scored 2 points off the bench.
Man’s John Thomas Keffer, who came into the game averaging 20 points per game, was held to just eight, four of those coming in the last quarter against the JV players. J. Adkins added 7 points, while Simpson had 6 points on a pair of 3-pointers.
Tug Valley hit 28-of-64 field goal attempts for 44 percent. They made 4-12 treys and were 18-of-21 at the foul line for 86 percent. The Panthers had 15 turnovers, something that has plagued them in past games.
Man was 10-55 from the floor for 18 percent and 10-18 at the free throw line for 55 percent. They had 19 turnovers.
“We shot the ball pretty well last night. That was our best game of the season,” Thompson said. “I thought Calvin played a good game and that was Kyle’s best game he has had this season.”
“I hope we can keep up the momentum,” Thompson added. “We don’t have much time to rest.”
Tug Valley, now 7- 4, traveled to Lincoln County last night and will head to Roane County on Saturday. Man, now 5-7, hosts Phelps, Ky. tonight and heads to River View on Tuesday.
Score by quarters:
Man (5-7) - 7 15 2 9 - 33
Tug Valley (7-4) -19 19 20 20 - 78
Man (33) - Keffer 8, K. Adkins 4, Files 4, Simpson 6, J. Adkins 7, Buchanan 4
Tug Valley (78) - Newsome 12, Copley 3, Ja. Farley 2, Ju. Farley 2, Sturgell 10, A. Baisden 2, Workman 2, Blankenship 17, T. Baisden 18, Ooten 6, D. Marcum 4
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or Twitter @KyleLovern)