MAN — The Man High School boys’ basketball team, ranked No. 2 this week in Class A, defeated the top ranked team in Class A on Tuesday, the Tug Valley Panthers, 85-56, at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse before a nearly packed house.
Juniors Austin Ball and Caleb Blevins led the way for Man.
Ball had a double-double monster game with 21 points and 18 rebounds while Blevins buried five 3-pointers and tallied game high scoring honors with 24 points in the Billies’ 29-point win.
Man improved to 4-0 on the season with the win while Tug Valley dropped to 5-1.
The two teams are sectional rivals.
“We played hard from start to finish and the kids got after it,” said Man head coach T.J. Blevins. “They had a chip on their shoulders after they lost the top ranking this week Tug Valley has a good team. They will be there at the end. We executed but were a little sloppy in the fourth quarter. We took care of the ball better tonight.”
Tug Valley jumped out to an early 5-0 run on two free throws by Caleb May and a 3-pointer by Joby Sorrell with 6:43 to go in the opening period.
Man answered back with back-to-back 3s to take a 6-5 advantage and took the lead for good at the 4:57 mark. The Billies pushed their lead to 14-7 with 1:19 to go. MHS took a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Man outscored the Panthers 24-10 to take a commanding 41-21 margin at the end of the first half of play.
Hunter Anderson came off the bench and played nine minutes for the Billies and scored nine points, while Ball pumped in eight points including a breakaway slam.
Peyton Adams hit a shot to open the second half to give Man 43-21 lead.
Ethan Colegrove hit a short jumper in the lane for TVHS and Jermiah Harless hit a 3-ball for Man to make it 46-23 with 6:21 to play.
Man later went on a 5-0 run mid way in the third stanza on a 3 by Adams and a two by Ball to make it 51-27.
Man took a 57-37 lead heading into the final period of play.
Joby Sorrell connected on a 3 to open the fourth frame to make it 57-40.
Man then went on a mini 6-0 run to push the lead back to 25 points at 65-40 on 3-balls by Blevins.
Adams then scored on an old-fashioned three-point play and Blevins hit another 3-pointer to put the game on ice at 77-53 with just 2:44 showing on a turning clock.
Man cruised in the final minutes of play to take the lopsided 85-56 win.
Ball netted 21 points, pulled down 18 rebounds and had seven assists for Man.
Adams had big game with 16 points while Hunter Anderson just missed double digits with nine.
Jackson Tackett score seven, while Jeremiah Harless, Israel Canterbury and Ryan Cozart all had three each.
Tug Valley was led by Caleb May with 17 points.
Easton Davis had 10, while Justin Hall and Joby Sorrell netted nine each. Ian Reed had six and Colegrove five.
Man won the battle of the boards, 36-22, and was 10 of 12 at the free throw line. Tug Valley was 10 of 13.
The Panthers were back in action on Saturday night and suffered their second loss of the season, once again on the road at Westside by a final score of 74-64.
May dropped 28 points and added 10 assists on the night in the losing effort while Colegrove and Davis followed him with 14 apiece. Colegrove also had 11 rebounds.
Senior Justin Hall had eight points to round out the scoring for TVHS while Ian Reed and Joby Sorrell were held scoreless in the game.
With the pair of losses the Panthers fall to 5-2 on the season and were back in action on Tuesday night on the road at Mingo Central.
TVHS will then play three straight games to close out the week as they will play at Van on Thursday, travel to Sherman on Friday, and then play host to No 6 raked Greater Beckley Christian.