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Mountain 7 teams take 3 of 4 Grand semifinal slots

Kevin Mays • Dec 28, 2019 at 2:16 AM

WISE — Mountain 7 District boys basketball will be well represented in the semifinals of the Grand Home Furnishings Holiday Classic.

After Lee High took a convincing quarterfinal win over Virginia High earlier Friday, Ridgeview did its part to set up an all-Mountain 7 semifinal round with its 62-53 victory over defending tournament champion Eastside at Virginia-Wise’s Prior Convocation Center.

Those wins and Union’s victory over J.I. Burton in the nightcap gave the Mountain 7 three of the four semifinalists.

The Wolfpack (7-2), off to the best start in the program’s five-year history, got plenty of looks from the outside and made 10 3-point shots. But Ridgeview’s strength down the stretch came from inside the paint and solid defense.

View photos from Day 2 of the Grand Holiday Classic

“I was proud of our overall team effort by our offense and defense especially,” said Ridgeview coach Evan McCowan.

“(Inside was) where we thought we might have a little bit of an advantage. We wanted to go inside early with them. We wanted to be patient offensively and look for great shots,” McCowan added. “A team like Eastside can get hot at any moment and come back on you. I never really felt comfortable until the very end of the game there because Eastside can get hot at any given time.”

The Spartans (1-5) pulled within three, 42-39, with just over seven minutes left to play, but the Wolfpack didn’t let them get any closer. Ridgeview used a 10-2 run to go up 52-41 with 4:35 remaining and wasn’t threatened again.

Gabe Brown led Ridgeview with 26 points and seven rebounds. Brody Counts came through with 19 points and Trenton Adkins pulled down 12 boards for the Wolfpack. Ridgeview faces Lee on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in the tournament semis.

The loss dropped Eastside to the consolation bracket. The Spartans play Virginia High on Monday at 4 p.m.

UNION 69, J.I. BURTON 56

Union jumped out to a 23-16 first-quarter lead and then held off a determined Burton squad.

Malachai Jenkins scored 21 points to lead the Bears (4-2). Noah Jordan finished with 11 points, and Sean Cusano and Bradley Bunch controlled the boards with 14 and 11 rebounds.

Burton (5-2) got 16 points from Trevor Culbertson and 14 from Zac Campbell. The Raiders meet Honaker at 5:30 p.m. on Monday in a consolation game.

Union takes on Richlands in Saturday’s first semifinal, set for 7 p.m.

LEE 58, VIRGINIA HIGH 39

Lee (6-1) jumped on top of Virginia High early and never let up in playing its way into the semifinal round.

Jacob Whitaker powered the Generals with a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds. Dylan Fannon scored 16 points and Jaxon Collier finished with 12.

Gavin Austin’s 10-point performance was tops for Virginia High (3-3).

RICHLANDS 38, HONAKER 33

Down 28-26 after three quarters, the Blue Tornado outscored the Tigers 12-5 in the fourth to take the win.

Cade Simmons led Richlands (4-2) with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Luke Wess added 12 points. Junior Gage Holmes was the team’s defensive standout, finishing with 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots.

Honaker (3-5) got 11 points from Grayson Honaker, and T.J. Mullins totaled seven points and 12 rebounds.

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