Paint Valley 50, Clay 45
BAINBRIDGE — Clay senior Shaden Malone nearly brought the Panthers back from a 16-point deficit with eight minutes to play.
Trailing No. 15-seed Paint Valley 38-22 entering the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s Division IV sectional semifinal, Malone scored 18 of the Panthers’ 23 points in the final quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome as the Bearcats held on for the win.
The Clay senior scored a game-high 29 points in the final postseason game of his Panther career.
Gavin Cayton scored eight points on four-made field goals, while Jaden Jessee and Evan Balestra scored five and three respectively.
In building up their lead to 16 through the first three periods, Paint Valley saw eight different players score, led by Conner Free and Dax Estep’s team-high 13 points apiece.
The Bearcats advance to Saturday’s sectional championship where they’ll travel to face No. 2-seed Trimble on Saturday, Feb. 27.
Clay (4-19) will graduate four seniors from their 2020-21 roster, including Malone, Jessee, Clay Cottle, and Jaymes Jones.
South Gallia 71, East 31
CROWN CITY — The East Tartans’ 2020-21 postseason came to an end on Wednesday with their 73-31 loss to South Gallia in a Division IV sectional semiifnal.
The host Rebels, a No. 10 seed in the Division IV bracket, scored the game’s first 12 points and never trailed in their win over the No. 20-seed Tartans.
Their largest lead came in the just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter as they took a 67-17 advantage.
SG’s Brayden Hammond led all scorers with a game-high 24 points, including 11-made field goals.
East was led by Jaylen Mayhew and Matthew Flannery who each scored a team-high six points.
SG advances to the sectional championship where they’ll face No. 7-seed Peebles on Saturday, Feb. 27.