BECKLEY – Senior Austin Brewer fired in a short jumper with seconds left to help Tug Valley pull out an important road victory over Greater Beckley Christian (GBC) 61to 60 Saturday night at the Beckley Armory.
The Crusaders had time for one more shot, however Panther forward Thomas Baisden blocked the attempt and coach Garland “Rabbit” Thompson watched as his team pulled out a come-from-behind win over GBC.
“We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat,” Thompson said. “That is a tough place to play and they have a good team. It was a gutsy effort.”
Brewer got the ball on the inbounds pass and drove toward the basket. The play was for him to get a high-ball screen. He used the screen, drove into the lane and fired up the clutch shot from about 10 feet away to give Tug Valley the one point lead.
Tug Valley trailed by 10 points with about 2:00 minutes left in the contest.
Besides Brewer’s big shot, Thompson said several members of his team came up with big moments down the stretch. “Thomas (Baisden) and Hayden (Sturgill) both hit some big free throws for us and Mikey hit a big three.
Newsome led the Panthers with 27 points including seven 3-pointers. Brewer had 11 and Baisden 12 for TVHS.
The Crusaders had a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Newsome boosted the Panther offense with one of his patented 3-pointers.
Legendary Beckley coach Dave Barksdale, now an assistant at GBC, was whistled for a technical for arguing with an official late in the first half.
That led to Newsome swishing in a pair at the charity stripe and Sturgill then connected on a layup to cut the lead to 23-22. Following that play, and a GBC turnover, another Newsome basket gave the Panthers a 24-23 lead.
Late in the second half, Crusaders’ center Brent Daniels picked up his fifth foul with under a minute to go. That was when Baisden sank two big free throws to cut the GBC lead to 60-59. That set up Brewer’s game winning shot with :08 seconds left on the clock.
Beckley is coached by Dan Burch, who coached the old Mingo Christian High School team locally back in the 1990s. He was a local pastor at Chattaroy Missionary Baptist during his time in the Williamson area.
Javonne Staunton-Bailey led GBC with 28 while Keith Mullins added 20 for the home team. Mullins had five 3-pointers.
The win could give Tug Valley the home court advantage in the sectional tourney. They should be voted as the No. 1 seed after their second win over the Crusaders.
The Panthers, ranked No. 2 in Class A, will take on No. 1 Charleston Catholic on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 in the Charleston Civic Center.
Score by quarters:
TVHS …1114 12 21 - 61
GBC … 21 5 20 13 - 60
Tug Valley (15-3) – A. Brewer 11, M. Newsome 27, T. Baisden 12, A. Muncy 5, H. Sturgill 4, C. Dillon 2.
Greater Beckley (10-2) – J. Staunton-Bailey 29, A. Cook 0, B. Daniels 5, K. Mullins 20, A. Helton 0, E. Lehman 0, E. Kidd 4.