By Mark Carpenter –
The Southern Hills Athletic Conference junior high tournaments will hold their championship games this Saturday at West Union High School, but there will be no teams from Adams County playing for titles. The county had five teams in last weekend’s semi-finals played at Eastern Brown, but all five went down to defeat in seventh and eighth grade action.
The first county squad to be eliminated from the tournament was the West Union eighth grade girls, who had upset Manchester in the quarter final round. The Lady Dragons ran into a very good one-loss Fairfield team and fell in the semis by a final score of 41-12.
Next to fall were the seventh grade boys from North Adams. The Devils had reached the semis by defeating Peebles in the quarters, but fell in the semis to the tourney’s #1 seed Lynchburg. The Mustangs rolled to a big win over Coach Ryan Unger’s Devils, final score 47-19.
Coach Shannon Staggs and his seventh grade North Adams Lady Devils faced off with regular season champion and #1 seed Eastern Brown in the semi-finals and were eliminated in a low-scoring, close affair. The Lady Devils had numerous late opportunities to pull off the upset, but could not get a basket to fall and fell to the Lady Warriors by the final count of 14-12.
Coach Taylor Jodrey’s eighth grade North Adams girls squad reached the semi-finals with a 35-19 win over Fayetteville, but like their seventh grade counterparts, they faced a semi match up with unbeaten and #1 seeded Eastern Brown. The Lady Warriors proved why they were the tourney’s top seed, handing the North Adams girls a 42-27 defeat to end the Lady Devils’ season.
Without a doubt the most disappointing loss by a county team came in the final game of the semi-final round. Coach Greg Scott and his #2 seeded Manchester Greyhounds eighth grade boys had snuck into the semis with a last-minute 43-42 win over Whiteoak and looked like they had shaken off that lackluster performance when they blitzed #3 seed Fairfield on their way to a seemingly insurmountable 31-13 halftime lead.
Unfortunately for the Greyhounds, the second half was the exact opposite of the first half. With leading scorer Isaiah Scott battling foul trouble and the Lions hitting a remarkable eight three-point goals in the second half, the Hounds squandered away the huge halftime advantage. Fairfield put up 43 points in the second half, outscoring Manchester 25-14 in the third quarter and 18-7 in the fourth, and came all the way back to defeat the stunned Greyhounds by a final score of 56-52, ending what had been an outstanding season for the eighth grade Hounds.