Sophomore guard Tyler Garrison scored 27 points and the Vikings beat Coeburn 64-54 in Monday night’s Coal Classic basketball semifinals at Appalachia.
The Blue Knights (5-4) knocked off Powell Valley 51-42 in last year’s semifinals, going on to win the tourney.
“That’s what it’s about. When you play in these holiday tournaments, you want to win them,” said Vikings coach Zack Moore.
The Vikings (4-2) will face Appalachia (7-0) in tonight’s boys championship game, tentatively slated to tip off at 8:30 p.m. The boys’ finals will be preceded by the girls’ championship showdown between J.I. Burton (7-1) and J.J. Kelly (7-2).
Powell Valley’s boys got 21 points and six rebounds from senior guard Jordan Martin, while Ryan Baker, Dakota Cantrell and Ryan Hubbard did their part to help Powell Valley assert a 42-30 rebounding advantage over Coeburn.
“This is the first game in nine games we’ve been outrebounded,” said Knights coach Jeff Adkins. “They executed their game plan to a tee. They kept us out of sync all night.”
Paying little heed to his torn meniscus, Andrew Adkins scored 20 points for Coeburn while Andrew Pate fired up 15 points and grabbed 10 boards. Phillip Riner had 12 points and six rebounds.
“Andrew has done a really good job of playing at a perfect pace for him. When he’s just running up and down the floor he can be very dangerous,” said Moore, who spent a lot of time with his team Monday morning scrutinizing film on Adkins and Pate.
In the other boys semifinal, Josh Allen had 18 points and eight rebounds as the Bulldogs guaranteed their return to the Coal Classic finals with a 61-48 win over Harlan, Ky. Forrest Stuart scored 17 points and blocked a couple of shots while Mason Stuart added 15 points. Marvin Fechtner had eight rebounds.
Allen Hensley scored 15 points to lead the Green Dragons (3-4). Brandon Taylor added 13.
In boys consolation action, Lee High spread around the scoring on its way to a 68-39 win over Rye Cove. Scotty Woliver scored 12 points for the Generals (3-4) while Tyler Maggard and Steven Young added 10 points apiece. Three other players flirted with double figure scoring. The Eagles (1-7) got 14 points from Jacob Arwood.
In other boys action, big man Otto Fletcher scored 28 points as Council (7-3) upended Covenant Christian Academy 72-34. Shane Presley added 14 for the Cobras (7-3). Jonathan Allison scored 12 points for the Crusaders (2-6).
In consolation girls action, Samantha Balthis scored 13 points as Pound sealed fifth place with a 50-41 win over Rye Cove. LaKrisha Isaac put in 11 points for the Lady Wildcats (7-1) while Jenna Stallard added nine and Katie Stallard scored eight. Christi Hood fired up 21 points to pace the Lady Eagles.
In other girls action, Tasha Trent scored 23 points to pace Powell Valley in a 57-40 win over St. Paul. Lauren Schoolcraft added 13 points for the Lady Vikings (2-6) while Erika Long scored 10. Aleah Wells scored 12 for the Lady Deacons while Rachel Evans added 10 points.