Gate City, VHS to face off for C-40 championship

Greg Peters • Feb 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

GATE CITY — The seedings for the Clinch Mountain Conference 40 boys basketball tournament held true Friday: Both No. 1 seed Gate City and No. 2 Virginia High advanced to Saturday night’s championship game.

The Blue Devils fought off several charges to defeat Union 62-50, and the Bearcats slipped by Lee High 61-48.

Gate City, which opened up a 17-13 first-quarter lead, fought off serious comebacks by the Bears in the second and third periods.

A minute into the second, Union’s Desmond Burney nailed a 3-point shot that gave the Bears their only lead of the game, 18-17.

Once again the Blue Devils forged ahead, but with just over three minutes before halftime, Burney again sank a basket to tie the score at 23.

The Blue Devils answered by closing out the half on a 13-4 run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers by John Reed Barnes.

Union (12-11) opened the third period with yet another charge. The Bears went on a 7-0 run and pulled to within four at 41-35.

The Blue Devils (17-5) managed only six points in the third period and their lead shrank back to four in the fourth, 45-41, but Gate City embarked on a 10-2 run and was never threatened from there.

Michael Collier led Gate City with 14 points and Dylan Jenkins, battling a minor injury, followed with 13. Nick Qualls had 10 points.

Logan Schoolcraft finished with a game-high 16 points and Jake Barnett added 12 for Union.

Virginia High’s win echoed that of the Blue Devils.

The Bearcats (19-5) built a 18-point lead in the second half before a late charge by the Generals closed the gap to 46-38 with just under three minutes to go in the contest.

Lee (8-15) went into fouling mode for the last two minutes but the Bearcats’ Derrick Lee was up to the task. Lee was 12-of-15 from the foul line in the fourth period, and he finished with a game-high 22 points.

Dylan Hounshell topped Lee with 15 points with Kemp Yeary adding 12.

Saturday’s game will be the second time in just over a week that Gate City and Virginia High have faced off. The Bearcats defeated the Blue Devils 74-64 last Friday at home.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Saturday's print edition or our electronic edition.

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