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Shelby Valley achieves program first and advances to State Championship game
April 14, 2010Road to Rupp | PNC | KHSAA Sweet 16
Shelby Valley came out and immediately took the lead. They would extend their lead to eight with under three minutes left to play in the first quarter. In the first quarter alone, Shelby Valley would hit three three point shots to add to their lead. As this quarter ended, Shelby had added a few more to their lead and were up by eleven.
In the second quarter, they continued to increase their lead, but a three by Justin Lang would cut their lead back to eleven. That lead turned into eight, when Mason County hit yet another three, this time by Jordan Gilbert. Senior Elisha Justice immediately answered with a three of his own, his third this half, and the Wildcats were back up by eleven. As the half ended, Mason County had once again cut the score, and it stood at Shelby Valley 39, Mason County 30.
The battle of the threes would continue into the third period, when the two teams scored back to back threes again with just over three minutes remaining. Shelby Valley continued to lead by nine. Shelby Valley was able to gain a little bit more of their lead back. A three by Justice as the quarter ended would put them up by 14 going into the fourth period.
In the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, Mason County had decreased Shelby Valley’s lead to 10. But the Wildcat’s fought back, and were soon up again by 14. Mason would try to come back, but as the clock ticked down, Shelby Valley pulled away from the Royals and secured their spot in tonight’s championship game. The final score was Shelby Valley 71 Mason County 51.
Head coach Jason Booher said that in his teams victory you saw a great team that played unselfishly. He added, on Senior Elisha Justices play, “Elisha is Elisha, and he’s been that way for a long time…He knows for us to be our best, he has to share with his teammates,” Booher said.
Elisha Justice had 31 points for the Wildcats, 15 of those came from three point baskets. The game ended with a total of 13 hit three point shots. For Mason County, Jordan Gilbert led, with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Senior Ashley Hatfield also had 15 points for the Wildcats.
Tonight’s appearance in the State Championship game will be the first in their program’s history. It will also be the first time they have ever met Ballard. Booher said tonight’s game will be tough, but they are excited about it. He said Ballard is quick, athletic and their main strength is that “they can make good teams, even great teams, look bad.” He added that his team will be well-rested and ready to play though. Tip-off for tonight’s Championship Game is set for eight.