The Tug Valley Panthers used a 25-4 second quarter to break a close game open on the way to a 77-34 win over the Huntington St Joe Irish on Thursday to capture a regional co-championship in Naugatuck.
The Panthers (22-3) came out strong and took an 11-7 lead over the Irish (13-12) after the first period. Then, Tug Valley took control, scoring 25 points in the second frame and carrying a 36-11 lead into the locker room at the half. The lead continued to grow in the third quarter as the Panthers held a 60-28 advantage after three periods. Tug Valley cruised from there.
Joey Gollihue and Ashton Davis led the way for Tug Valley with 17 points each. Bryson Elia followed with 10 points. Parker Davis had 9 points. Buddy Marcum netted 7 points. Braydun Ferris fired in 6 points. Brady Brewer added 3 points. Caden Brewer, Johnathan Wagner, Carson Newsome and Kaden Hale finished with 2 points each.
St Joe was paced by Caden Ehirim with 19 points. Isiah Sanders followed with 7 points. Grady Paynter and Marshall Reynolds scored 3 points apiece. Jayden Chen chipped in 2 points.
Tug Valley has now earned the 2nd seed in the Class A state tournament and will play 7th seed Wahama on Wednesday. The opening tip is set for 7:15 pm at the Charleston Civic Center.
St Joe (34) – Caden Ehirim 19, Isiah Sanders 7, Grady Paynter 3, Marshall Reynolds 3, Jayden Chen 2
Tug Valley (77) – Joey Gollihue 17, Ashton Davis 17, Bryson Elia 10, Parker Davis 9, Buddy Marcum 7, Braydun Ferris 6, Brady Brewer 3, Caden Brewer 2, Johnathan Wagner 2, Carson Newsome 2, Kaden Hale 2