Friday night’s win marks a big step for Paint Valley
By Shayne Combs,
I have always felt like good teams have to contain the
ability to win different styles of games that are played
out of their comfort zone. This year’s Paint Valley
team on most nights would probably like to play a
litter faster, higher-scoring game than what was played
Friday night at Huntington. The slower tempo was
something you expected from Coach Uhrig’s
Huntsmen, but Paint Valley was able to play out in
front as the Bearcats controlled this one for the most
part in a 40-37 win. After PV posted 65 and 73
points in its first two wins, Friday’s game took on
a different look, and the Bearcats responded nicely.
The Bearcats also deserve credit for handling the label
of favorite. Many people expected PV to start 3-0
entering Tuesday’s game with Piketon and PV
has done just that including two road wins at North
Adams and Huntington.

Huntington deserves credit for hanging around and
fighting back in the fourth quarter. The green and
white used their 23-match on the defensive end and
great patience on the offensive end to slow things
down, but with Paint Valley stretching its lead to
double-digits in the second half, it ended up being too
much for Huntington to overcome. The biggest
problem for Huntington came on the offensive end.
Throughout the first three quarters, Huntington’s
Dylan Gragg had limited touches, and the touches he
did get attracted several Paint Valley defenders.
Gragg finally got it going a little bit more in the fourth
quarter as the junior scored seven of his game-high 15
points in the final period. Gragg also had 13 rebounds.

Gragg and Paint Valley’s Logan Markko made
for a great match-up of good SVC post players and
both played well. As mentioned before, Gragg posted
the double-double and Markko scored eight points,
grabbed 16 rebounds, and blocked five shots. The
difference in this game came from the supporting
casts. For Huntington, no other player scored over six
points, while PV had Caleb Stratton and Eli Barker
both score in double-digits with 11 and 10 points

Garett Tyree and Aaron Claytor also played key roles
for Paint Valley. Tyree’s athleticism made life
really tough on the Huntington guards, and his defense
played a big role in Gragg not getting touches in the
first half. As for Claytor, the senior only had five
points, but his first-quarter three-pointer was
important in terms of helping PV play out in front. This
was so important, because it allowed PV to stay
patient with their lead which grew to eight to 11 points
for most of the second half.

Despite the 1-3 start, Huntington is developing well. I
like the way this team is understanding tempo, and
when they get a few things figured out on the offensive
end, they are going to give several opponents all they
can handle. As for Paint Valley, Tuesday will be
interesting because of tempo again. Everyone knows
how fast Piketon would like to play. This causes a
problem for Paint Valley because that is the way they
want to play as well. It will be interesting to see how
Paint Valley handles the pressure of Piketon, and to
see how fast they can play without playing too fast.