Class B: Road Branch, Herndon win crowns

By John Conley - [email protected]

Road Branch and Herndon took top honors at the Wyoming County Class B eighth grade championships at Mullens last Tuesday.

Class B boys

A hot start fueled Road Branch’s run to the Wyoming County Class B boys title on Tuesday night.

The Tigers held off Huff Consolidated, 51-46, at Mullens Middle School.

Road Branch had a 10-0 lead before the Raiders got on the board. Their quickness forced a number of turnovers and created scoring chances.

“We talked about getting off to a good start and we did,” said Tigers coach Jamie Lusk. “I think our 1-3-1 (zone) defense gave them trouble for a while and then they adjusted.”

Huff trimmed the lead to 17-11 after one quarter and got within one at 17-16 and 20-19.

Road Branch had a 29-23 edge at the half.

The Raiders narrowed the margin to 37-35, but Road Branch answered with an 8-3 run.

At 49-44, Ethan Blackburn sealed the win for the Tigers with a pair of free throws.

“We believe this is the first group of Road Branch eighth graders to win the championship four years in a row,” Lusk remarked.

“Our kids always show up and play hard,” said the coach, who praised all of his players. “They are a great group of boys.”

The game marked the last for Huff coach Sarah Patrick, who is retiring at the end of the 2016-17 school term.

Class B girls

Herndon nipped Huff, 32-29, to win the girls Class B crown.

Herndon had a 17-15 edge at the half and nursed a small lead through most of the third and fourth quarters.

Huff rallied from a 29-23 deficit to tie the game, 29-29, late.

Makayla Criss scored inside with :54.7 to play give the Indians a 32-29 lead. Neither team scored again.

“They’re quick and good athletes,” said Herndon coach Donald Griffith of his team. “I told them if they played the way they could, they could win this game.”

The teams split a pair of two-point decisions in the regular season. “We knew it would be a close game,” said Griffith.

“Defense wins championships,” the coach added. “They play good defense.”

The Indians were 6-2 against the Class B teams in the county, Griffith reported.

John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.

John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.

By John Conley

[email protected]

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