ASHLAND • The Div. 3-1A Tournament began last Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Ashland with three Benton County teams in action. The Blue Devils and Rebels saw their seasons come to an end while the Lady Blue Devils punched their ticket into the Class 1A playoffs with a convincing win over H.W. Byers.

(B) Myrtle 69, Ashland 58

Sophomore guard Jaden Taylor scored 18 of his game-high 24 points Tuesday in the first half to help lead the Hawks into Wednesday’s semifinals.

Myrtle (12-17) plays county rival West Union (16-12) at 8:30 p.m. The Eagles swept the Hawks in the regular season.

“We fell short twice and we had a chance to beat (West Union),” Taylor said. “We need to play together as a team. That’s what has killed us.”

Taylor connected on four 3-pointers in the first half to help Myrtle take a 37-24 halftime lead.

“I felt good in the first half,” Taylor said, then smiled.

Ashland (5-19) rallied in the third quarter to cut the Hawks’ lead to 47-44 with the help of two late 3-pointers by Emit Bell.

Myrtle answered the run behind guard A.I. Nugent, who scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

Kenneth Morgan scored 19 points and Quintavious Cotton 13 for Ashland.

“We were able to make some runs, but you’ve got to have some defensive stops,” Ashland coach Michael Cathey said.

(G) Ashland 60, Byers 37

Cherica Cheairs scored 21 points, Sylena Smith 17 and Jeneria Williams 10 to lead the Lady Blue Devils (8-17) into the semifinals against West Union.

(B) Coldwater 68, Hickory Flat 58

Coldwater’s Torrence Matthews scored 25 points to lead the Cougars into the semifinals against H.W. Byers.

Hickory Flat (9-20) was led by Alex Tatum with 16 points. Wesley Green added 14 and Jonah Baker 13 for the Rebels.

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