GOODY, Ky. - The Belfry Pirates defeated local rival Tug Valley 80-76 in the Mountain Schoolboy Classic Friday night at the BHS gym in front of a packed house.
The game was physical and that proved to be a positive for Belfry, as they knocked down some crucial free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
Senior guard Sean Hurley led Belfry with 24 points including six 3-pointers, three in the final quarter. Senior Josh Robinson who scored 21 and Tony Messer who banked in 18 followed him. Messer had another double-double with 12 rebounds to go with his point total.
Cameron Johnson chipped in nine and Brett Charles eight for coach Randy Casey’s Pirates.
Tug Valley was led by senior guard Mikey Newsome, who fired in 21 points including five treys and senior Austin Brewer who scored 14. Junior Thomas Baisden also scored 14, while Corey Dillon and Austin Baisden each scored nine. Aaron Muncy chipped in seven. Hayden Sturgell had five assists and scored two points.
Belfry led 38-32 at halftime behind Hurley’s 10 first-half points. By the end of the half the team had already combined to shoot 27 foul shots as the Pirates were 10-17 and the Panthers hit 6-10.
Tug Valley took a 53-51 lead on a 3-point play the old-fashioned way by Muncy. It was their first lead since early in the contest for coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson’s squad.
The two teams continued to battle and the game was knotted up at 72-72 with 1:48 left in the game.
Brewer drove down the lane for a basket to give Tug Valley a 74-72 advantage, but Messer scored on the base line and was fouled. He sank the free throw to give the home team a 75-74 lead with 59 seconds left in the game.
The Panthers missed some key free throws in the final seconds, while Belfry’ Robinson connected 5-of-6 in the closing seconds to help his team win the game.
Messer for Belfry and Muncy for Tug Valley both fouled out with less than 10 seconds left in the game.
The home team outscored the visitors 28-21 in the final quarter.
“I was proud of our effort and toughness tonight against a great opponent,” Casey said. Belfry beat Cass, Georgia on Thursday and was scheduled to play Tolsia on Saturday night.
Belfry was 22-34 from the foul line for 65 percent, while Tug Valley was a col 12-26 for 46 percent.
The Pirates are now 5-2 on the season.
It was the first loss for Tug Valley in quite a while, dating back to last season. The Panthers won the state AA championship in West Virginia last year and only lost two games all season.
Coach Thompson of Tug Valley was obviously disappointed in the loss and said his team would have to work hard this week and get back on track. He was not pleased at his team’s free throw shooting.
Tug Valley also committed 16 turnovers compared to only eight for Belfry.
They are now 3-1 on the season and will play host to Richwood next Saturday at the TVHS gym.
Score by quarters:
TVHS …. 11 21 23 21 - 76
BHS …. 13 25 14 28 - 80
Tug Valley - Muncy 7, Sturgell 2, A. Baisden 9, Newsome 21, Brewer 14, T. Baisden 14, Dillon 9.
Belfry - Hurley 24, Robinson 21, Charles 8, Johnson 9, Messer 18.