Spring Valley tops Midland, HHS falls
HUNTINGTON -- As the minutes wound down Wednesday in the Class AAA, Region IV, Section 2 girls basketball semifinals Cabell Midland had all the momentum and Spring Valley -- the top-ranked team in the section -- was on its heels a bit.
Then, the Timberwolves got back to what made them one of the state's top-ranked teams all season by playing some solid pressure defense.
Spring Valley forced three consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes to turn a two-possession game into a 57-47 win over the Knights at Huntington High School.
"I hate that either team had to be eliminated because Midland is a really good team," Spring Valley coach Bo Miller said.
"They got us on our heels a bit and we started playing not to lose."
The Timberwolves will meet Logan, who upset Huntington High in a wild nightcap, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, at Huntington High School.
After trailing by 13 early in the third quarter, Cabell Midland cut its deficit to 51-47 following a 10-foot jump shot by Sierra Jordan with 2:20 left.
The Midland Knights missed an opportunity at the rim to cut the lead to one possession and Spring Valley got a pair of free throws on the other end to push the lead to six before Cabell Midland had three straight turnovers in the game's crucial stages.
Cabell Midland had 22 turnovers in the contest.
"The bounces went their way in some situations and not in ours," Cabell Midland coach Matt Adkins said. "I'm proud of my girls though. That's the thing about this team -- they never gave up. That was the mark of this team all season."
Jordan led all scorers with 25 points while adding eight rebounds, but she was countered by Spring Valley's Madison Morris, who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Spring Valley's Brooke Heck had 11 points for the Timberwolves.
"I think the post play on both sides was really good," Miller said. "Those two girls from Midland are really long and Jordan's offensive game has gotten a lot better."
Spring Valley advances to Friday's Class AAA, Region IV, Section 2 championship game. The win also assured the Timberwolves of moving on to next week's Class AAA, Region IV finals with the chance to advance to the state tournament.
CABELL MIDLAND 16 10 16 5 -- 47: Ellis 8, Harden 4, Pitkin 8, Haggerty 2, Jordan 25.
SPRING VALLEY 19 17 12 9 -- 57: Heck 11, Butcher 2, Ratcliff 4, Lemons 3, Mac. Morris 9, Mad. Morris 22, Kelly 6.
LOGAN 78, HUNTINGTON HIGH 70: Coming into the game, there were several teams being talked about in the Class AAA, Region IV, Section 2 tournament.
Honestly, Logan wasn't one of them.
That is, until Wednesday night.
The Wildcats came into Huntington High's gym and proved that their comeback from a 22-point deficit early in the season to win against the Highlanders was no fluke in a 78-70 victory that ended Huntington High's season.
Guard Shayna Gore was in tears as she came out of the game with seconds on the clock after scoring 27 and dishing out seven assists.
"People have looked at us in the past and said 'That's a win' but we want to make school history," Gore said. "I'm beyond proud of my team this year. This is unbelievable."
The Wildcats connected on 10 3-pointers including a pair in the fourth quarter that spaced out the gap and led to the victory.
Huntington High cut the lead to two points early in the fourth, but at a critical juncture, Gore and teammate Kyra Cline connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead from a two-possession game into double digits.
While the outside game was solid, it was the play of Monica Mitchell on the interior that made a huge difference.
Mitchell finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds while taking on the Highlanders' tandem of Ericka Budd and Dominique Gibson. Budd fouled out in the third quarter after Gibson had exited because of a leg injury, and Mitchell took over on the backboards.
"Monica Mitchell is an absolute stud," Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. "She's as good as any center I've seen and she's a freshman."
Defensively, Gertz went to a box-and-one on Huntington High's Kiana Evans, and the Marshall University signee never got into a rhythm.
Evans, who had just four field goal attempts in the first half, ended the contest with 22 points as she closed out her Huntington High career.
Dazha Congleton finished with 18 points for the Highlanders while Alexis Williams added 11.
In addition to Gore and Mitchell, Logan got 14 points from Cline and 13 from Hannah Tothe.
LOGAN 18 15 13 32 -- 78: Tothe 13, Cline 14, Mitchell 21, Toppings 3, Gore 27.
HUNTINGTON HIGH 17 9 15 29 -- 70: Williams 11, Congleton 18, Gibson 5, Budd 5, Evans 22, Johnson 3, Toppins 1, Parrish 5.