Mountain Lions move to title game

The Inter-Mountain photo by Stephanie Murphy Tucker County’s Rudy Pennington is tied up by East Hardy’s Christian Dove during Class A, Region II, Section 2 semifinal play Wednesday night in Hambleton.

HAMBLETON — Tucker County never trailed en route to a 56-41 win over Potomac Valley Conference rival East Hardy Wednesday night in a Class A, Region II, Section 2 semifinal contest.

Next up for the Mountain Lions will be a bout against PVC foe Pendleton County for the sectional title in a contest slated to be hosted at Petersburg High School at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Tucker (8-16) was bested twice in the regular season by the 15-6 top-seed Wildcats. Pendleton pulled out a 54-51 win at TCHS on Feb. 5 before registering a 62-51 verdict in Franklin later in the month.

“We had a good one (tonight) and I was proud of the kids,” Tucker County coach Jim Ambrose said. “We came in a little tight, and so did they (East Hardy) because it was an elimination game.

“We stepped up defensively and our defense looked as good (tonight) as it has all year. If we can play defense like that from here on out, we will be in good shape. But we have to work on limiting the turnovers.”

The Mountain Lions were guilty of 20 miscues on the evening.

Taking the first quarter, 15-10, and coupled with a 12-8 advantage in the second frame, Tucker took a 27-18 lead to the halftime locker room after chalking up a 9-2 run over the last three minutes of the first half.

A 13-10 third stanza by the winners put TCHS out in front even further with a 40-28 advantage to start the fourth frame.

Tucker County reached a 21-point lead midway through the final 8 minutes of regulation to help keep the final verdict well intact.

Jeffrey Snyder notched a double-double with 21 points and 11 caroms in what could be the TCHS senior’s last game on his home court.

Fellow senior Corrick Ambrose recorded 13 markers, four boards, three assists and three steals for the black and gold.

Cameron Wamsley, also a senior, inked nine points and junior Holden Young netted five markers while securing seven rebounds.

Wyatt Betler with six boards and Rudy Pennington with five caroms also chipped in.

East Hardy was paced by the senior duo of Aden Funkhouser with 18 points and Cole Swanson with 11.

East Hardy ended the season with a record of 11-12.