By Kyle Lovern
NAUGATUCK – The real winners for the future will be the Tug Valley Panthers. The two feeder schools for TVHS – Kermit and Lenore met for the Mingo County Middle School boy’s championship on Friday night as the two top seeds.
Lenore was the No. 1 seed and Kermit the No. 2 seed heading into the annual tournament. The Rangers and Blue Devils split their regular season games.
Kermit won the title last year.
However it was Lenore, coached by James Ed Baisden, which won the county crown this year 37-30 on Friday night in front of a huge crowd at the Tug Valley High School gym.
“It was a good basketball game,” Baisden said. “We started out a little slow in the first half. But, in the second half we played Ranger basketball. I’m thankful for our players and coaching staff. I also want to thank our principal for her support, the fans and the school.”
Baisden told the WDN that this would be his last year of coaching. He is hanging it up after this season.
Lenore led 12-7 after the first quarter, however the Blue Devils fought back to outscore the Rangers 7-2 in the second period. The score at the half was 14-14.
In the second half LMS outscored KMS 23-16 to pull away with the championship game victory.
Lenore’s Jeremy Dillon led all scorers with 20 points. He was followed by Mason Layne with 8, Jonathan Blankenship with 5 and Noah Lucas chipped in 3.
For Kermit Tyler May fired in 17 points including four 3-pointers. Colby Savage scored 8 and Garrett Brown 5 for the Blue Devils. Kermit is coached by Edwyn May.
After the game a trophy presentation was held.
Score by quarters:
KMS – 7 7 6 10 - 30
LMS – 12 2 10 13 - 37
Kermit –T. May 17, C. Savage 8, G. Brown 5, B. Preece 0, C. Stroud 0, C. Spaulding 0 and K. Sturgell 0.
Lenore – J. Blankenship 6, J. Dillon 20, M. Layne 8, N. Lucas 3, Z. Samuel 0.
Burch 42, Matewan 36
The Burch Bulldogs came from behind to defeat the Matewan Tigers 42-36 to take third place in the consolation game.
The Bulldogs trailed by 10 points at one time late in the game, but made 8-10 free throws down the stretch and came up with a couple of big steals to pull out the victory. Matewan went cold in the final quarter as Burch outscored the Tigers 19-5. MMS also missed some foul shots in the final quarter that hurt their chances of clinging to the lead.
BMS is coached by Melvin Cunninghan, while MMS is led by first year head coach Jack Stewart.
Drew Hatfield led Burch with 15 points, while Chris Bailey added 8 and Corbin Farley 7. Chase Warden scored 6, Ducky Dillon 5 and Derrick Scott 1 for BMS.
Devin Turner led Matewan with 16 points, while Sid Sipple scored 9 and Seth Goad had 8. Trevor Belcher chipped in 6, while Nathan May added 3.
Score by quarters:
MMS – 11 12 8 5 - 36
BMS – 6 12 5 19 – 42
MMS - N. May 3, D. Turner 16, S. Sipple 9, T. Belcher 6, S. Goad .
BMS – D. Hatfield 15, D. Scott 1, C. Warden 6, D. Dillon 5, C. Bailey 8, C. Farley 7.
(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)