NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley Panthers pulled together a fourth quarter rally; to claw past the Hurricane Redskins by a final score of 51-48 on Saturday night.
The Panthers entered the fourth quarter down by six points, but put together a comeback that produced a three point home court win. Jeremy Dillon pulled down five rebounds during the fourth period and the Panthers scoring totaled up enough points to outscore the Redskins 19-10 in the final period.
The Panthers (7-0) have yet to lose a game this season and defeating class 3A Hurricane was a big obstacle they needed to get over in order to keep the win streak alive. The Panthers have shown a sporadic pattern early in the season with scoring consistency.
Many fans think Tug Valley plays in spurts but, they have always came through in clutch situations. This win will put the No. 2 Panthers nipping at Wheeling Central’s heels in the state rankings.
The Panthers only combined for 16 points at the end of the first half, the Redskins held the lead with 24 points. The Panthers slightly chopped away at Hurricane’s lead in the third period but really turned on the juice during the fourth period for the come behind win.
Dillon recorded a game-high 12 rebounds to add to his eight points and three blocks during the night. Tyler May led the way for the Panthers in scoring by hitting two 3’s, four field goals and three foul shouts for a total of 17 points. Calvin Balnkenship contributed nine points and pulled in six rebounds.
Nicholas Muto scored a game-high 26 points for the Redskins making up, just over half of his teams points. Muto could not win the game alone because the Redskins committed 16 turnovers during the game compared to the Panthers 10.
Both teams shot fairly close, with the Redskins barely edging out the Panthers in free throw shooting. Hurricane shot 14 for 21 from the foul line and the Panthers shot 11 for 20. The three points gained by Hurricane on foul shots was not enough because Tug Valley scored two 3-pointers in the final period to rise above the Redskins. Both May and Garrett Brown hit big time 3’s in the fourth period.
The Panthers move their winning streak up to seven after beating Greater Beckley Christian Friday night on the road and now defeating Hurricane at home. Tonight (Tuesday) the Panthers will travel to face Wesley Christian, a team that is definitely no push over.
Scores by quarter:
TV: 9 7 16 19 – 51
Hur: 15 9 14 10 – 48
TV: Tyler May -17, Calvin Blankenship -9, Jeremy Dillon -8, Chandler Runyon -7, Johnathan Blankenship -3, Garrett Brown – 3, Carson May -2, Corbin Oliver -2.
Hur: Nicholaus Muto -26, Evan Dearing -7, Jacob Lawrence -6, Braxton Dobert -5, Ryan Midkiff -2, Jo Muto -2.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)