For the Daily News
MAN — It was the rubber match and winner-take-all on Tuesday night as the Man High School girls’ basketball team met up with Tug Valley in the first round of the Class A sectional tournament at the Man Middle School gym.
Tug Valley came out on top, downing the Lady Billies 50-40 and ending Man’s season at 9-12.
With the game tied 36-36 at the end of three quarters, Tug Valley would outscore the Lady Billies 14-4 to come away with the victory and move on in the sectional tourney. The Lady Panthers will now take on the Sherman Lady Tide.
Tug Valley (8-11) had split with Man during the regular season, losing 52-47 at home and then winning 71-68 late in the season on the road.
The Lady Panthers did not play Sherman during the regular season. The teams were slated to play each other twice but both meetings were canceled due to weather.
Man coach Tonia Ward said her team just could not put the ball into the hole.
“We just missed too many layups and foul shots and that really hurt us,” she said.
The Lady Billies were led by Mika McCoy’s 17 points. Morgan Conn also reached double digits with 11 points. Tessa Mullins had seven, Hunter Harvey three and Hannah Harvey two.
Tug Valley was paced in scoring by Adreanna Vance, who netted 17 points. Hannah Armstrong had 14, Taylor Parsley 10 and Madison May three. Katie Robinson, Savannah Wilson and Elizabeth Dotson all had two points.
The Lady Panthers led Man 12-4 after one quarter and 24-17 at the half before the Lady Billies forged a 36-36 tie after three.
Tug Valley jumped out to an early 11-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Vance with 1:35 to go in the first quarter.
Man could only manage two free throws in the first stanza early on by Conn and Hunter Harvey. McCoy hit a shot with just three ticks left as Tug Valley led by eight after one quarter of play.
Armstrong then hit two free throws to push the Lady Panther lead to 10 points at 16-6 with 6:08 left until the intermission.
Man cut it to 20-17 with two Mullins free throws and a hoop by McCoy.
Parsley then made three foul shots after being fouled on a 3-point shot attempt as the Lady Panthers would take a 24-17 halftime lead.
Man would then play its best quarter of the game in the third as the Lady Billies outscored TVHS 19-12.
The Lady Billies got a boost from McCoy and Mullins, who each nailed 3-pointers. Conn added a basket and two foul shots as Man tied it 36-36 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Tug Valley then went on a 5-0 run in the fourth on a basket inside the paint by Armstrong and a 3-ball by Vance to make it a 41-36 ballgame with 6:19 left.
The Lady Billies had a chance to get back into it but missed three straight free throws.
Vance countered by hitting four straight charity tosses as TVHS led 47-40 with 1:15 left in the game.
Man once again shot itself in the foot by missing two more free throws.
Dotson then put the win on ice for the Lady Panthers with a bucket to make it 50-40 with only 25 seconds left in the game.
Tug Valley will travel to Sherman on Friday night for the sectional championship game.
Score by quarters:
Tug Valley - 12 12 12 14 - 50
Man - 4 13 19 4 - 40