CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tucker County saw its string of four consecutive Class A state semifinal appearances come to a grinding halt with an opening-round state tournament loss last season.
On Wednesday night the fourth-seeded Mountain Lions (21-3) shot themselves back into familiar territory in a 68-61 win over fifth-seeded Greater Beckley Christian (19-6) in the quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center.
Tucker County, playing in its 12th straight state tournament, advances to the semifinals, where it will square off against No. 1 Tug Valley (23-3) at 1 p.m. Friday.
Tucker County shot 48.3 percent in the first half, including a 7-of-15 from 3-point range to build a lead that reached as high as 18 points late in the half.
"In the first half, defensively, we got out of what we do," Greater Beckley Coach Dan Burd said. "We gave up a lot of threes in the first two quarters."
Tucker Coach Tom Gutshall was obviously pleased with his team's effort, especially in the first half.
"In the half I thought we executed really well offensively, I really did," Gutshall said. "I thought the kids were patient and I though the kids made the shots when we ran our offense. They were switching inside and that's why we were popping out and taking the three.
"Our kids probably played as well offensively in the first half as we've played all year."
Tucker County's Tyler Snyder tallied 15 first-half points en route to a game-high 22 points, while Ian Nichols contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds.