CORBIN — Defending champion Clay County was impressive yet again in Saturday’s 13th Region semifinal. The Tigers broke open their game against Williamsburg with a 16-3 run from late in the first quarter until midway through the second and went on to a 79-58 win over the Yellow Jackets.
“Our boys are stepping up. It’s time to play and we know if we lose we go home,” Tiger coach Robert Marcum said. “We’ve got a young team, but we’re a team that’s hungry. We’re playing really good, we’ve contested a lot of shots here in this tournament and put together two nice wins.”
Sophomore forward Wes Wolfe scored the first eight Clay County points and scored 13 of his 20 in the first quarter.
Williamsburg’s Hunter Sulfridge hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 10, but the Tigers got a jumper from Trey Farmer and a 3-pointer from Tyler “Chip” McDaniel to go up by five. Two free throws by Andrew Griffith pulled Williamsburg within 17-14 with 1:54 to go in the first. But Ryan House hit a 3-pointer, Wolfe added a free throws and then came up with a steal and scored to make it 23-14.
Skyler Griffith’s trey brought the Jackets within 23-17 by the end of the first. But Clay got two 3s from Farmer as they scored the first ten points of the second quarter. Wolfe’s basket pushed the lead to 33-17 with 4:17 left in the half.
“Wes got us going early. Anytime they you play physical it’s right up his alley and he played well,” Marcum added. “We played in a tournament, the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic, where they just let you play and he was probably the best player we had down there. Chip is doing a heck of a job and being very unselfish in getting his teammates open. We’re playing team ball all the way around and we just shot a phenomenal percentage in that first half.”
Another 3 from Griffith had Williamsburg as close as 13, but McDaniel hit two treys over the final 2:22 and then found Blake Smith for a late basket as Tigers went into the half up 45-23.
Clay shot 68 percent in the first half (19-of-28) and hit six of nine 3-point shots. For the game they went 33 of 56 from the field. The Tigers held Williamsburg to 32 percent shooting (eight of 25) in the first half and 21 of 56 for the game.
Clay County never let the Jackets put a run together to get back in the game and they went on to the 21-point win.
Joining Wolfe in double-figures were Farmer with 16 points, Smith with 14, McDaniel with 11 and Jake Allen with 12.
Skyler and Andrew Griffith scored 14 points each to lead the Jackets while Dalton Sizemore finished with 13 and Corey Shelton 12. Williamsburg ends the season with a record of 16-17.
Clay County (22-8) was set to play Corbin for the 13th Region title Monday night.
“Corbin knocked off the team (Jackson County) that gave us fits all year. Anytime you get into the regional finals you can throw everything out because it’s going to be two hungry teams,” Marcum added.
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CLAY COUNTY (22-8)
Tyler McDaniel 4-6 0-0 11, Blake Smith 7-14 0-0 14, Jake Allen 5-6 2-2 12, Wes Wolfe 9-15 2-4 20, Trey Farmer 6-10 2-3 16, Ryan House 2-3 2-2 6, Trevor Sams 0-1 0-0 0, Will Sexton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 33-56 7-10 79.
Corey Shelton 5-13 2-3 12, Chase Lowrie 0-2 2-4 2, Andrew Griffith 5-15 2-2 14, Dalton Sizemore 5-8 0-0 13, Hunter Sulfridge 1-6 0-0 3, Skyler Griffith 5-11 0-0 14, Eric Poore 0-1 0-0 0, Michael Rose-Creekmore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-56 6-9 58.
|3-point goals: Clay County 6-11 (McDaniel 3-4, Farmer 2-3, House 1-2, Smith 0-1, Sams 0-1), Williamsburg 10-23 (SGriffith 4-7, Sizemore 3-5, AGriffith 2-5, Sulfridge 1-2, Shelton 0-2, Lowrie 0-1, Poore 0-1). Rebounds: Clay County 33 (Smith 9, Wolfe 7), Williamsburg 22 (AGriffith 10). Assists: Clay County 16 (McDaniel 6), Williamsburg 13 (Shelton 5, Lowrie 4). Turnovers: Clay County 6, Williamsburg 8. Fouled out: none.|