By Kyle Lovern
“It will be a fight. A war is coming!”
That is how Tug Valley Head Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson described the rematch with Greater Beckley Christian coming up for the Region 3, Section 1 championship this weekend.
Tug Valley and Greater Beckley Christian (GBC) split their two regular season games each winning at the other’s home court.
The Panthers have to travel to Beckley once again to take on the Crusaders at the historic Raleigh County Armory with the tipoff Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Last Friday, a much-improved Tug Valley team defeated GBC 67-52, but back in January the Crusaders slayed the Panthers 67-53.
“That won’t be the same Greater Beckley team we see up there this week,” Garland “Rabbit” Thompson said of the Class A sectional championship game. “We have to go back up there and that is a tough place to play.”
“I’m sure they have licked their wounds and they will be ready for us,” Thompson said of the rematch.
“Greater Beckley is lying in the weeds and waiting on us down there,” a restrained Thompson said.
“We’re playing our best basketball of the year,” Thompson added. “We just wanted the chance to play them again.”
Thompson has pretty much settled on a 7-man rotation led by senior Thomas Baisden. Then he has juniors Hayden Sturgell, Kyle Newsome, Austin Baisden, Aaron Copley and Shane Marcum. Sophomore Calvin Blankenship has been one of the team’s top scorers this season. At times this season junior Dwayne Marcum and sophomore Brett Ooten have seen some action for the Panthers in certain situations.
“I have been going with offensive and defensive substitutions,” Thompson added. “I know some of the fans may not like that. But that is basically what we have become.”
“If it helps us win, that’s what counts,” Thompson stressed.
Both teams advanced to the sectional co-finals with wins on Wednesday night. TVHS beat Sherman at home, 74-45, while GBC defeated Man at home 90-57.
Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. and the doors open at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are available at the door.
Tug Valley Results 2013-14
Phelps, Ky. 82 - 40 W
Richwood 52 - 37 W
Westside 59 - 68 L
Belfry, Ky . 56 - 47 W
Greater Beckley Christian 53 - 67 L
Roane County 59 - 53 W (2-0 L ) *
Westside 49 - 60 L
Phelps,Ky 52 - 40 W
Sheldon Clark,Ky 39 - 51 L
Belfry, Ky H.S. 61 - 48 W
Man 78 - 33 W
Lincoln County 66 - 37 W
Roane County 59 - 51 W
Cross Lanes Christian 44 - 39 W
Man 76 - 63 W
Logan 46 - 47 L
Mingo Central 56 - 48 W
Valley (Fayette) 42 - 39 W
Logan 49 - 46 W
Mingo Central 55 - 53 W
Greater Beckley Christian 67 - 52 W
Sectional vs. Sherman 74-45 W
(* Tug Valley won this game, but the SSAC lists it as a 2-0 forfeit loss because of a protest by Roane County.)
(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)