Twin Valley advances to regionals
Twin Valley (55) Vs. Northwood (53)
Feb 19, 2016
for the Daily Telegraph
HONAKER, Va. — It has been some time since Twin Valley boys have been in a championship basketball game.

In a thriller that wasn’t decided until the final buzzer, Twin Valley advanced to the Crooked Road Conference finals, holding off Northwood 55-53 in semifinal play at A.P. Baldwin Gymnasium. Also, with Honaker’s win over Hurley, the Buchanan County Panthers will advance to the 1A West Regional tournament.

“This is special,” second-year Twin Valley coach Matt Baldwin said. “We’ve been talking about this all year. There are several things that haven’t happened at Twin Valley since about 2008 or 2009. We’ve got a winning record, made it to the conference championship and clinched a region berth, this is just great.”

Twin Valley led throughout the fourth quarter. They were up 55-50 after two vital free throws by Tayten Sykes with 49 seconds remaining. Tyler Young was fouled on a drive to the basket for Northwood, made the shot and the free throw to make it a two-point contest with 38 seconds left to play.

Sykes missed the front of a one-and-one on Twin Valley’s next two possessions to give Northwood a chance, but the shots wouldn’t fall. Skylar Call had an open look from the right wing and it narrowly bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

“That shot didn’t win or lose the game,” said Northwood coach Jerad Ward. “Those shots missed earlier count just as much, the game’s not won there at the end.”

It appeared Twin Valley would roll to an easy win in the first half. When Sykes made a layup they led 22-13 with 4:17 to play in the second quarter. Eric Doane scored in the paint for Northwood to ignite a 19-1 run. Northwood was up 32-23 at the half.

“We didn’t really mesh at the beginning of the game,” Ward said. “At the end of the second everything started clicking. Defensively we really turned it up and started pressing well. We were trapping and getting some turnovers, a lot of good things happened.”

Twin Valley turned it around quickly, led by Sykes attacking the basket to start the third quarter on a 14-2 run. From that point, Twin Valley upped the lead to as many as eight points before Northwood closed the gap at the end.

“We hit a lag in the third and they made that run on us,” commented Ward. “I thought we battled as hard as we could, we just went a little flat offensively. I felt we played the best defensive game we possibly could. We missed some free throws and layups that cost us the game.”

Call (13 points), Chris Greer (12) and Tyler Young (10) led the Northwood offense. Sykes had a game-high 20 points for Twin Valley and Austin Shortridge added 12 points.

It will be Honaker battling Twin Valley for the CRC boy’s title tonight.

“I’m glad to get another shot against Honaker,” Baldwin said. “That conference championship means a lot to us and I expect my boys to come out and play like it does tomorrow.”

At A.P. Baldwin Gymnasium


Roberts 1 0-0 2, Greer 4 4-8 12, Doane 2 0-3 4, Young 3 3-3 10, Dinsmore 2 3-4 7, Call 5 1-2 13, Turley 1 1-2 3, Trivitt 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 12-22 53.


Wagner 2 0-1 4, Sykes 8 4-7 20, McClanahan 0 0- 0, Owens 0 0-0 0, Payne 5 0-1 11, Cooper 0 0-0 0, Shortridge 3 4-4 12, Mullins 3 2-2 8. Totals 21 10-15 55.

Northwood....................8 24 6 15 — 53

Twin Valley..................16 7 17 15 — 55

3-point goals – Northwood 3 (Young 1, Call 2), Twin Valley 3 (Payne 1, Shortridge 2). Total fouls – Northwood 16, Twin Valley 17. Fouled out - Doane. Technicals – none.

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Twin Valley 16 7 17 15 0 55
Northwood 8 24 6 15 0 53
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