WISE — Wise Central’s two main perimeter shooters weren’t quite as hot Tuesday night as they were the last time they saw Clintwood at the David J. Prior Convocation Center.
But the Greenwave were still on the crispy side when the Warriors were finished with them.
Jimmy Williams hit six 3-pointers on his way to a team-leading 22 points and Caleb Mills stroked four treys en route to 20, leading the Warriors to a 73-55 Lonesome Pine District tournament semifinal win over Clintwood on the campus of Virginia-Wise.
Central (9-14) advanced to face Union (16-7) in Friday’s LPD tournament finals after the Bears beat J.I. Burton 59-42 in an earlier semifinal clash Tuesday night.
“I just came out and hit that first one. I felt good and kept on shooting,” said Williams, who had a 6-for-9 showing from downtown and also dished out six assists.
Mills added five assists.
In the teams’ first clash at the Virginia-Wise arena this season, Mills hit seven of the 13 treys the Warriors laid on Clintwood. Central won that game 92-69.
But Williams’ confidence as a shooter was shaken after Central’s subsequent 76-58 loss at Clintwood, Central coach T.J. McAmis noted.
“We just talked. Over the three days we had to prepare, he looked like the old Jimmy,” McAmis said. “If we can shoot that well right here at the right time, we can have some fun.”
The Greenwave (11-12) had no fun whatsoever on the perimeter Tuesday night, going 0-for-12 from 3-point range. Clintwood coach Evan McCowan said that made all the difference.
“They made 10 tonight and we made zero. Usually, when we win games we’re knocking down four or five a game,” McCowan. said “We were contesting shots. I felt like we were getting out on their shooters quick. They were just getting the looks they wanted out of their offense.”
Jake Buchanan added 11 points for the Warriors. Nick England had nine rebounds and Aaron Thompson gathered in six rebounds, also handing out four assists.
Robbie Mullins led Clintwood with 28 points, also pulling down eight rebounds and distributing six assists. Dalton Dahley collected eight boards.
In Tuesday’s opener, Union got 18 points off the bench — including 10 from post Logan Schoolcraft — to prevail over the Raiders.
A week ago to the day, Union humbled Burton 59-24 at Big Stone Gap. Bears coach Zack Moore was on full alert Tuesday.
“Kids look at the score. They don’t always look at everything that happens in a game. They think, ‘We killed them.’ But at our place, Burton didn’t play very good,” said Moore, whose team squeaked past the Raiders in their matchup at Norton. “During practice, I was definitely working to get our attention.”
Colby Addington got everybody’s attention, scoring 16 points, corralling 12 rebounds and parceling out six assists for Union. Tyler Vernon scored 15 points, also grabbing eight boards and blocking one shot.
Riley Maggard scored 13 points to lead the Raiders (10-13), who’ll face Clintwood in consolation play Friday. Ervin Beaty scored 12 and McKenzie Blair grabbed 12 rebounds.
“Even though we had the same result, there was a big difference between this game and the last one,” said Burton coach Aaron Williams. “I was proud of our effort, but we just didn’t shoot the ball well in the second half. We just went cold.”