By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
MOUNT PLEASANT – He may have only scored two points, but in Jonathan Ashley’s eyes Darius King was the hero of their Division 2-1A Tournament opening game.
With Ashland sharpshooter Darius Dukes lighting up the scoreboard, Ashley gave King the duty of shutting down the Blue Devils’ leading scorer.
King performed his task admirably, holding Dukes to only five points in the fourth quarter in Myrtle’s 75-59 win. The Hawks advance to Thursday’s semifinals where they will face Coldwater.
“He stayed under Dukes’ chin in the second half and threw him off,” Ashley said. “He got some steals and got us easy buckets. His effort, we don’t win without it.”
Dukes ended a fantastic senior season for Ashland (11-18) by scoring 33 points.
One of his six three-pointers on the night followed by a layup cut Myrtle’s lead to 57-51 with under a minute to play in the third.
The Hawks (18-12) responded and upped their lead to double-digits for good by the end of the quarter on two free throws by Johnathan West and a layup by Ben Paist at the buzzer.
Robert Montgomery dropped in 25 points, including a big three right before halftime that upped Myrtle’s lead to 39-31, to lead the Hawks.
(G) Myrtle 47, Ingomar 29: Aspriona Gilbert dominated the game in the post, scoring 19 points and adding 14 rebounds for the Lady Hawks (26-4).
Kate Webb was the only double-digit scorer for Ingomar (10-19) with 12 points. Myrtle will face host H.W. Byers, the state’s top-ranked Class 1A school, on Thursday.
(B) Ingomar 62, West Union 47: Matt Hale led the Falcons (16-12) with 17 points, while Chase Taylor scored 14 in West Union’s season-ending loss.
(G) Ashland 82, West Union 49: Dametris Anderson scored 29 points to lead four Lady Devils in double-digits.