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Tigers complete semifinal field by defeating Ellington

IRONTON – The final first-round contest at the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament saw the host team give new coach Mike Key a season-opening victory on Tuesday night. The fourth-seeded Tigers benefited from 31 turnovers in a 63-51 decision over No. 5 Ellington.

Arcadia Valley (1-0) also struggled at times with 21 turnovers of its own in a game that featured a torrid pace throughout, but reeled off a series of transition baskets in the second quarter to build a 35-24 halftime lead.

Arcadia Valley, which last won the event in 2002, will tangle with the top seed and two-time defending champion, South Iron tonight at 6 p.m. in the semifinals.

The Tigers maintained a double-digit cushion during the entire second half, thanks in part to tremendous free-throw shooting. Arcadia Valley made 16-18 attempts as a squad, while Ellington (0-1) was just 2-8 from the line.

Gordon Seigreist and Derek Brewer crashed the offensive boards for two straight putbacks to give the Whippets a quick 4-0 start, but the Tigers countered with a Jack Franklin jumper and a driving layup by Logan Smith off of a steal to set the tone for a wild start.

Franklin went on to score 11 first quarter points, including a three-pointer from the wing to put Arcadia Valley ahead for the first time at 11-10. Franklin finished with 25 points to lead all scorers.

After Ellington took the lead in the second quarter on a leaning jumper by Brewer, Arcadia Valley closed the half on a 12-4 run. Dereck Wilson scored a layup after hauling in a long transition pass for a five-point lead.

Jake Yarbrough converted a three-point play in transition, and Franklin buried his second triple following another steal on the ensuing possession to increase the spread to 33-22 just before the intermission.

Wilson highlighted a short sequence during the third quarter for the Tigers. The sophomore guard splashed down a three-pointer, then hit a high bank shot after making a clean steal to give Arcadia Valley a commanding 52-33 advantage. Wilson finished the game with 11 points off of the bench.

Ellington scored the first five points of the final stanza on a transition layup by Seigriest and a triple from Brewer, but Abe Warren stopped the rally by finishing a two-on-one break at the other end.

Walter Spitzmiller made four straight free throws down the stretch to produce the largest lead of the night at 62-42.

Brewer completed a strong effort with a team-high 19 points for the Whippets, while Seigriest added 12.

Ellington 14 10 11 16 – 51

Arcadia Valley 15 20 19 9 – 63

SCORING:

Ellington – Brewer 19, Seigreist 12, Swyres 7, Kerley 5, Smith 4, Molder 2, Fox 2.

3-pointers – Brewer.

Arcadia Valley – Franklin 25, Wilson 11, Yarbrough 7, Smith 6, Benz 4, Warren 4, Spitzmiller 4, Sutton 2.

3-pointers – Franklin 3, Smith, Wilson.

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