‘Jacks Take Second In ‘Cat Tourney; Third In OVAC?Class A
Ronald Morris scored 25 points, including a trio of threeballs, but it wasn’t enough for the Valley Lumberjacks to get by the St. Marys Blue Devils in the championship match Feb. 21 of the Bob and Sharon Burton Holiday Classic tournament that has been postponed because of weather since December.
Valley was defeated 69-61 by the state-ranked Blue Devils, who led 27-18 after eight minutes of play. The ‘Jacks would trim their deficit with a 17-11 scoring spurt in the second period to go to intermission down only three points, 38-35.
In the third period, the Blue Devils increased their lead to double figures before the Lumberjacks outscored St. Marys in the final period. But, there was not enough time for Valley to gain the nod.
Following Morris in the scoring column was Matthew Poling with 17, including a threeball, while Jeremiah Burch netted seven markers, including one from downtown. Clay Ueltschy and Alex Henderson each added five markers, while Dustin Bickerstaff netted a deuce.
The Lumberjacks have a date with Tyler Consolidated in Kidwell Feb. 25 before the second season begins with sectional play taking center stage next week.
The Valley Lumberjacks stirred up the Hornets Nest with a third-place finish in the OVAC Class A championship, winning 66-55 over Hundred Feb. 19.
After a 65-42 loss to the Hornets in January, the Lumberjacks had a little payback in store.
The Hornets took the lead after one period of play at 15-11, but the ‘Jacks outscored their hosts 15-10 to take a one point lead into the locker-room.
It was all Lumberjacks in the second half to claim the third spot in the OVAC Class A.
The ‘Jacks’ Alex “Hondo” Henderson led all scorers with 19 points, including a threeball, while Matthew Poling and Ronald “Mercury” Morris tallied 17 and 14 points, respectively. Clay Ueltschy added seven markers, while Jeremiah Burch tallied five points. Dustin Bickerstaff and Josh Highley each netted a deuce.
The Hornets’ Emery Smith scored 17 points, including a pair of three-point baskets, while Dalton Kuhn drilled a pair of baskets from long range to go along with 13 points. Logan McDiffitt tallied a dozen points, including a trio of trifectas.
Zach “Sunshine” Phillips chipped in with eight points, while Brady Koontz and Mitch Moore tallied three and two points, respectively, for the Hornets.
Valley made 20-21 free throws, while the Hornets only swished the nets 12-22 times from the line.
After watching a close junior varsity game where Hundred took care of the Lumberjacks 41-32, you knew the varsity game was going to be special. It was!
After falling behind in the first period – and losing point guard McDiffitt to the bench with three fouls – it looked bleak for the Hornets. But, Kuhn and Smith combined for 46 points, 15 rebounds, and connected on five three-point baskets, while making 10-12 free throws to help Hundred beat Valley 67-60 Feb. 22 in Hundred.
Both teams committed turnovers to start the game. Valley’s Morris drove to the bucket and netted the game’s first points. Moments later, his teammate, Alex Henderson, was fouled in the act and swished both attempts, causing the Hornets to call a time out.
After the short break, the ‘Jacks missed a pair of charity tosses, while Smith canned one of two freebies to put Hundred on the board. A basket from beyond the arc by Morris and a deuce by Garrett Ueltschy forced another time out from Hundred, now down 9-1.
This time McDiffitt swished the cords from beyond the arc, but Henderson matched that with a three pointer of his own. Phillips tacked on a freebie after a missed shot, but Morris topped that with a three-point play the old fashion way to give the Lumberjacks a 15-5 lead.
McDiffitt stopped the bleeding with a triple and Tyrell Watson put in a missed shot. Smith tallied two more freebies to close the gap to 15-12. The Lumberjacks’ point guard got the best of the Hornet point guard and scored on a pair of charity tosses, while McDiffitt picked up his third foul and sat until the fourth period.
Phillips, who was celebrating his 18th birthday, tallied a put-back for the hosts, but Poling went coast-to-coast to give Valley a 19-14 lead after one period.
Bickerstaff scored the first bucket in the second period and Shane Kuhn netted a basket on an assist by Phillips.
Midway in the second period, Dalton Kuhn gave Hundred its first lead of the game on a basket from the top of the key. Valley retook the lead on a pair of free throws from Clay Ueltschy, but Koontz made a charity toss before the half to give Hundred the lead, 32-31.
Smith netted a threeball to start the second half and Morris made 1-2 free throws from the get-go of the period. A Henderson put-back and a Hundred turnover, forced another Hornet time out.
Morris scored inside and this is where the Hornets took over. Smith drained a deuce and Dalton Kuhn drained a runner. Garrett Ueltschy stopped the bleeding with a jumper, but Smith and Dalton Kuhn both swished the twine from beyond the arc.
Smith nailed a jumper and Dalton swished another three pointer before Poling stopped the Hornet run with a basket to out the Hornet lead to 50-39 after three periods of play.
Dalton Kuhn connected from downtown to give Hundred its largest lead of the game, but Poling made a pair of charity tosses to start the fourth period.
Poling scored 12 points in the fourth period to keep Valley in it, but Hundred wouldn’t be denied.
Poling led Valley with 20 points, while Morris added 15 markers, including a basket from beyond the arc. Garrett and Clay Ueltschy combined for 11 points, while Henderson netted nine, including one bucket from downtown. Burch added a three pointer, while Bickerstaff nailed a deuce.
Dalton Kuhn had a game-high 23 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc, while Smith chipped in with 20 points, including a pair of three pointers. McDiffitt, in limited action, scored nine points, including a pair of triples, while Phillips netted eight points and hauled in 13 rebounds. Koontz scored three charity tosses, while Watson and Shane Kuhn each tallied a deuce.
If you haven’t seen Hundred and Valley play, you better get out to Hundred Saturday at 7 p.m. for a clash of two Wetzel County teams duking it out in the opener of the Region I, Section I contest.