Tucker County, Irish advance
PHILIPPI – Tucker and Notre Dame will battle for the Class A, Region 2, Section 1 title after earning wins Wednesday night at Rex Pyles Arena.
The top-seed Mountain Lions cruised to a 59-30 victory over South Harrison in the opening game, while the Irish claimed a 63-50 win over Tygarts Valley in the nightcap.
The championship game will be held at 7 p.m. Friday.
Tucker County limited the Hawks to just three field goals over the first two quarters in its victory, and were never threatened after building a 17-2 cushion after the first period.
“We played very well on defense in the first quarter,” Mountain Lion coach Tom Gutshall said. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well, however, but got the job done.”
Ian Nichols had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead Tucker County (18-3). Nathaniel Goldstein added 11 points, and Tyler Snyder and Austin Zirk 10 points each. Snyder also had six steals and Trevor Kidwell tallied seven rebounds on the night.
Cory Messenger had 12 points for the Hawks, who end the season 11-13.
Notre Dame (12-8) used a first-half 3-point barrage to earn a spot in the title game.
The Irish drilled nine treys in the first half, leading 28-8 after the first quarter and 46-26 at intermission.
Justin Goff had all four of his 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 16 points for the Irish.
“We knew they were capable of shooting the ball well,” Tygarts Valley coach Tom Wamsley said. “We made a little run at them in the second half and had some opportunities, but they pulled away in the fourth quarter.”
The Bulldogs, who end the season 15-8, cut the margin to 11 early in the fourth quarter before Notre Dame’s Cal Cistaro answered with an old-fashioned 3-point play to push the lead back to 14. Cistaro scored seven of his game-high 19 points in the final canto.
Drew Ridgway also reached double figures for the winners with 13 points.
Brett Griffith, playing his final game for the Bulldogs, and junior Derrick Villarico each had 12 points in a losing effort. Fellow seniors Adam Cassell and Brandon Pritt added 11 and nine points, respectively. Pritt also had seven rebounds and three assists and Cassell five rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Tucker County won both regular-season meetings with Notre Dame by scores of 73-60 and 61-42.