Story & Photo
By Carl Holcomb
Beep. Beep. The alarm went off for Tucker County at halftime, waking them up in time to secure the Class A Region II Section 2 semifinal victory over the Cougars.
A berth in the Class A Region II Section 2 championship and Region II final was on the line last Wednesday in Hambleton and East Hardy fought hard to be in contention within three points at halftime, but Tucker County switched gears and pounced for an 81-52 win.
“We played a lot better D and pressured the ball. We woke up, needed a wake-up call,” Tucker County coach Dave Helmick remarked.
“At times we’ve done that this year playing with more effort in the second half. We got out and ran our offense, made some fast breaks.
That’s what we needed to do the whole game. East Hardy played us tough both games in the regular season. They are strong and athletic, sometimes they get us down in the post and we have to deal with that. Our goal was to beat them up and down the floor and I thought we did that a lot better in the second half. We’ve always been to the section finals.”
Tucker County has been in the section championship game every year for about two decades.
The Mountain Lions got the scoring started with a jumper by Josh Kincaid, but East Hardy responded with a 3-pointer from Drew Kelican to take the lead at 7:26.
East Hardy’s Brett Tharp grabbed a defensive rebound, then Tucker County got the ball back on rebound by Kordell Fulton and couldn’t connect again as Aden Funkhouser collected the carom for the Cougars.
Fulton swiped the ball and passed to Ethan Crosten for a layup to regain the lead.