Hillbillies survive cold shooting night to sweep season series from Panthers


The Man Hillbillies continue to make history and Tuesday night they did something that hasn’t been done in 16 years. Class A No. 2 Man beat No. 9 Tug Valley, 46-40, inside a packed Man Memorial Fieldhouse on Tuesday night to finish the Hillbillies swept the season series against its sectional rival for the first time since the 2005-06 season. “I know the last two years I keep sounding like a broken record, but we continue to rewrite the history books here at Man,” Man coach TJ Blevins said. “We will do something that hasn’t been done in years, and I am glad I am along for the ride because these boys, every one of them from top to bottom deserve it.” “Tug Valley brought a big crowd with them tonight,” Blevins said. “Like I told the boys after the game, this atmosphere that we had tonight you would have to times by 20 whenever we get to Logan.” With the postseason tournament just around the corner, Man is 6-0 against sectional competition. The Hillbillies swept the season series with Tolsia and Tug Valley and have road wins over Sherman and Van. Ballots will be sent out to the coaches Friday afternoon and the results will be tabulated and released Tuesday afternoon. Man, which has won 11 straight games and sits at 15-2 overall, is expected to be the number one seed in the Class A Region IV Section I tournament. “I hope so to take a little bit of pressure off of us but if not, we are going are to get after it in practice and prepare for Thursday and Friday,” Blevins said. “It’s always a good win when you can beat somebody in your section.” The Hillbillies host Sherman Thursday night and Van Friday night in hopes of finishing 8-0 against sectional foes. Man used an 11-2 third quarter run, holding the Panthers without a field goal over the final 3:26 of the period, to take a 34-25 after three quarters of play. Tug Valley answered with five quick points to start the fourth quarter trimming the deficit to four points, 34-30, but Man answered with four straight points to take a 38-30 lead on Aden Martin’s 13-foot jumper with 5:20 remaining. Tug Valley wouldn’t quit as the Panthers responded with a 10-2 run to close the gap to 40-38 following Kaden Hale’s 3-pointer with 0:45 remaining. With 0:23 remaining, Man junior Jacob Walls came up with the play of the game to save the day for the Hillbillies. With Tug Valley in a fouling situation, Jeremiah Harless found a cutting Martin for what appeared to be an apparent layup, however, Martin’s shot rolled off the rim and into the hands of Walls, who put it back in giving Man a 42-38 lead. The shot by Walls was his only points of the contest to go along with four rebounds. Three of Walls’ four rebounds came on the offensive glass and along with James Scites, who had five points, two assists, two rebounds and two steals, the duo gave Man a spark off the bench. “He (Scites) definitely stepped up and we said that if we could get him at the top of the key that he would shake somebody,” Blevins said. “He knows his role and he came in and put in good minutes.” “Jacob Walls got that offensive putback that was huge when Aden missed that layup,” Blevins said. “Jacob was there to fill it up and we got good guys, we got role players and a good seven or eight kids.” Ethan Colegrove scored with 0:17 remaining to bring the Panthers within two, 42-40, but Harless was able to sink four free throws in the final seconds as Man held on for the victory. Man led 7-4 after one quarter and held a 19-6 lead following a pair of Martin free throws with 4:15 to play. Tug Valley answered with eight points to close the half and trailed Man 19-14 at halftime. “I don’t like that 19-point first half, but you will still take the win especially over a sectional opponent,” Blevins said. “Hopefully we finish up the rest of this week and try to get that one seed for the sectional tournament.” Tug Valley would score the first eight points of the third quarter to take a 22-19 lead on a Hale 3-pointer, but Man’s Trey Brown would answer with a 3 of his own to tie the contest at 22. Brown’s basket ended a 9:43 field goal drought and a 7:37 scoring drought for the Hillbillies. “Give Tug Valley all the credit in the world,” Blevins said. “Garland had those boys pumped up and ready to go.” Harless led Man with a game-high 18 points and hauled down 15 rebounds for his 10th consecutive double-double. Harless had 11 rebounds in the first quarter and finished 11-of-12 from the free throw line including a perfect 6-for-6 in the fourth quarter. “Jeremiah hit some really big free throws for us down the stretch,” Blevins said. “I didn’t he had 11 rebounds in the first quarter and that shows why he had 45 in a game.” “He’s a monster right now,” Blevins said. “He is playing really good for us.” Martin added 11 points for the Hillbillies who shot a season low 25.5 percent (13-of-51) from the field. The Hillbillies made just 13 field goals, which was also a season low, and were held to their second lowest output of the season, 46 points. “I think our last practice kind of carried over into this,” Blevins said. “We didn’t have two good practices and we are starting to get a little relaxed, and that can’t right now especially this time of the year.” “We got a lot to look forward to in the next week or so,” Blevins said. “I think we are going to correct it, get back at it in practice and you will see a different team come Thursday and Friday.” Joey Gollihue led Tug Valley with 12 points while Colegrove had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Ashton Davis finished with 11 for the Panthers. Tug Valley, who has lost seven of 10 games, fell to 10-9 on the season and will host Van on Thursday. Man 46, Tug Valley 40

Tug Valley (10-9) Joey Gollihue 5-12 1-2 12, Ethan Colegrove 5-11 1-2 11, Ashton Davis 4-7 0-0 11, Kaden Hale 2-6 0-0 6, Buddy Marcum 0-4 0-2 0. Totals: 16-40 2-6 40.

Man (15-2) Jeremiah Harless 3-7 11-12 18, Aden Martin 4-11 2-5 11, Trey Brown 2-12 1-2 7, James Scites 2-2 1-2 5, Caleb Blevins 1-12 0-0 3, Jacob Walls 1-3 0-0 2, Jordan Adams 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 13-51 15-21 46.

Tug Valley 4 10 11 15- 40 Man 7 12 15 12- 46 3-point field goals- Tug Valley 6-19 (Gollihue 1-6, Colegrove 0-1, Davis 3-5, Hale 2-6, Marcum 0-1), Man 5-27 (Harless 1-1, Martin 1-4, Brown 2-8, Blevins 1-12, Walls 0-2). Rebounds- Tug Valley 24 (Colegrove 12), Man 30 (Harless 15). Assists- Tug Valley 10 (Gollihue 7), Man 8 (Adams 2, Scites 2). Total fouls-Tug Valley 15, Man 10. Fouled out-None. Technicals-Colegrove.

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