By Kyle Lovern
NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley Panthers rolled over the Tide of Sherman 74-45 Wednesday night in the first round of the Region 3, Section 1 tournament played at the TVHS gym.
The game started a little sloppy and Sherman hung around as the Panthers led 16-10 after the first quarter. The Tide had five early turnovers and the Panthers had four in the first quarter. In the first half TVHS had 8 miscues, while SHS had 9.
Tug Valley outscored Sherman 20-10 in the second quarter to take a 36-20 lead into the dressing room at the half.
The Panthers really poured it on in the third quarter holding Sherman to just 7 points, while firing in 21 to build on their lead. Most of the final quarter saw Coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson play his substitutes and JV players.
“I thought we played pretty good. We held them to 36 points before we started subbing,” Thompson said. “That was our goal. We got out in transition. I thought Hayden and Thomas played very well.”
“We jumped out on them. When you play ahead, it’s tough for a team to come back - especially here at Tug Valley,” Thompson said of his home court. “I’m tickled to death. We’re one of the final 16 teams.”
“Sherman battled, you have to give them credit,” Thompson said. “We may have a few more horses than they did.”
Once again senior Thomas Baisden led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points, while junior Hayden Sturgell scored 14. Aaron Copley fired in 12, while sophomore Calvin Blankenship chipped in 11. Blankenship picked up his 4th foul early in the third period and did not see much action the rest of the game.
Sturgell dished out 7 assists, while Blankenship handed out 4 assists. Baisden had 7 rebounds for TVHS.
Tug Valley shot 56 percent from the floor on 30-54 shooting, including 8-13 from behind the arc. They were 6-8 at the foul line for 75 percent.
Sherman was led by Greg Brewer who scored 14 points.
The Panthers will now play in the sectional championship on Saturday afternoon against Greater Beckley Christian. The tipoff time is 1:00 p.m. at the Raleigh County Armory. (See adjacent story for the preview of that game.)
Score by quarters:
Sherman 9-13) 10 10 7 18 - 45
Tug Valley (16-6) 16 20 21 17 - 74
Sherman (45) – S. Pauley 4, C. Smith 6, A. Lowe 4, J. Pauley 4, T. Stewart 1, G. Brewer 14, C. Muncy 8, B. Harrah 4.
Tug Valley (74) – K. Newsome 8, A. Copley 12, H. Sturgell 14, A. Baisden 4, C. Blankenship 11, T. Baisden 17, B. Ooten 2, S. Marcum xx, J. Farley 2, B. Spaulding 2, C. Oliver 2, D. Marcum 0.
(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)