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BOYS STATES: Huntington Rolls Past Parkersburg South in Semis

By Rich Stevens

The seeds for the West Virginia boys state high school basketball tournament have been reasonably accurate since the system was implemented in 2005.

Except, perhaps, in the case of Huntington.

The Highlanders will try for their third consecutive Class AAA title on Saturday after dispatching of Parkersburg South – its victim in last year’s championship game 66-52 in Friday’s semifinals at the Charleston Civic Center.

Huntington (25-1) faces undefeated and top-seeded Morgantown (26-0) for the Class AAA championship at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.

In winning back-to-back state titles, Huntington’s victims included the top seeds – Parkersburg South in 2015 and Washington in 2014.

Much like Morgantown, Washington was undefeated going into its meeting with Huntington.

In dispatching of the Patriots (19-8), Huntington gave up eight of the game’s first nine points. After a timeout, it scored all but two of the quarter’s next 21 points to take a nine-point lead.

“When the game started out we were a little bit too excited, maybe a little too much emotion,” Hess said. “When you have somebody like Tavian Dunn-Martin, gets us right back into the game and gets everybody else going too.”

Dunn-Martin, the only Huntington player remaining from its 2013 state quarterfinal team that lost to Martinsburg, hit a 3-pointer and followed a Dajon Congleton 3-pointer with two more.

The end of Parkersburg South’s appeared headed to an abrupt end, trailing by 19 with 5:24 remaining.

However, the Patriots cut the lead to 10 with 1:56 to go before Huntington scored eight of the next 10 points to salt the game away.

“There’s always an end,” said emotional Parkersburg South head coach Mike Fallon. “There’s no way to prepare for it. In the long run, we just couldn’t score.”

Cody Boggs had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead South, while Garrett Gilkeson finished with 11 points and seven boards.

Dunn-Martin continued his hot shooting from long range, hitting 5-of-10 3-pointers. He finished with 19 points and is 10-of-20 from long range in the quarterfinals and semifinals this week. J.R. Howard had 21 points to lead Huntington and Congleton added 10 points and 13 boards.

Dunn-Martin will play in his 10th state tournament game on Saturday when the Highlanders face unbeaten and top-seeded Morgantown (26-0) at 7:15 p.m.

“No matter where he is he can pull it,” Gilkeson said of Dunn-Martin. “There are quick shooters out there but it doesn’t matter where he is.”

The Akron recruit will play in his 10th state tournament game on Saturday. Through nine games, he has played 251 minutes and has scored 166 points with 27 3-pointers and is 33-of-40 from the free throw line.

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