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South Iron cruises to fourth AV title in row

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AV Tournament

South Iron guard Drenin Dinkins splits Arcadia Valley forwards Jackson Dement (32) and Alex Reeves in the second quarter of an Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament semifinal game on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Ironton.

IRONTON – For the fourth consecutive year, the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament belonged to South Iron with everyone else competing for second place.

The Panthers posted their third victory of the week amid a continuous clock, defeating Fredericktown 68-37 in the championship contest on Thursday night.

Drenin Dinkins tallied 23 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs, and secured a perfect 12-0 varsity record through the 95-year event along with fellow seniors D.J. Prater and Champ McMurry.

Prater notched five assists before halftime, and posted his second straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as South Iron (3-0) sank 14-of-15 free throws.

Fredericktown (2-1) reached its first Thanksgiving final in nine years of participation following a dramatic semifinal comeback and buzzer beater against West County.

But the Blackcats were overmatched by the defending Class 1 state champions, who opened the game with quality shot selection and burned their opponents several times in transition.

Andrew Starkey finished with 13 points and senior guard Lane Sikes added nine on three 3-pointers for a club that committed 19 turnovers unofficially.

South Iron jumped ahead 7-0 and eventually 12-3 on consecutive 3-pointers by McMurry and Martez Burse, who had nine and 11 points, respectively.

Fredericktown was limited to five made field goals during the first half, three of which belonged to Starkey on mid-range or perimeter jumpers.

Dinkins drove the length of the court for a dazzling reverse layup after tucking the ball under the rim on a double clutch, then sank two 3-pointers to help create a 47-16 halftime lead.

Sikes connected twice from the perimeter, and the Blackcats carried a 16-15 scoring edge in the third period as South Iron endured a brief stretch of unforced turnovers.

Cohlbe Dunnahoo chipped in seven points for third-seeded Fredericktown, who lost reserve guard Mark Heine to a knee injury while breaking up an outlet pass in the third quarter.

Arcadia Valley 67, West County 62

IRONTON – Arcadia Valley dominated the first half of its home tournament third-place game against a West County team still reeling from a late-minute collapse less than 24 hours earlier.

The Tigers saw their 20-point halftime advantage shrink to two possessions in the closing moments Thursday night, but held on for a 67-62 triumph.

Jackson Dement provided a game-high 18 points plus eight rebounds, and Willie Carter had his strongest effort of the week with 15 points for Arcadia Valley (2-1).

Colin Whited scored on a weak-side rebound, and Gavan Douglas capped a 14-2 run from long range as the Tigers ended the first quarter leading 18-6.

West County shot a miserable 3-of-27 from the field before intermission, and trailed 35-15 after AV back-up center Brandon Logan hit two shots from the paint.

Dement ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer that danced around the rim and dropped through at the buzzer, then began the fourth with a strong move to restore a 52-37 difference.

West County (1-2) showed resilience to battle back after a 3-pointer and transition layup by Carter made it 45-27. Freshman Ty Harlow sparked the rally with consecutive triples.

Matthew Menzel worked hard inside for 17 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Bulldogs, and converted an stellar 13-of-14 free throws in the game.

Jaxon Campbell beat the Tigers on a fast-break layup through contact, and cashed in the 3-point play to bring West County within 52-45 with less than six minutes remaining.

Whited and Carter countered with crucial steals and layups for AV, which preserved the outcome with Dement going 5-of-6 from the stripe late.

The Tigers picked up eight points and seven rebounds each from Alex Reeves and Whited.

Harlow netted 12 points and Jase Campbell powered his way to 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs, who trailed 62-56 when Carter Reed nailed a corner 3-poitner with 28 seconds left.


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