West Muskingum Captures Back-to-Back Sectional Titles

Local Sports Sports


Sandy Valley at West Muskingum, sectional title on the lane on the hill.

First quarter 7-7 score Connor Paima down low kicks it out to an open Jack Porter and his three pointer falls.

Close game all night let’s skip to the fourth quarter with a two point Tornadoes lead. Jordan Wigfield uses a little jump stop in the lane and drops in the game tying bucket. 5:34 to play in the quarter.

Now 43-41 West M and it’s a Gage Newsom takeover he scored four consecutive points down the stretch. Four point West M lead with 4:20 to play.

Later in the quarter 47-43 Tornadoes Noah Ray with a slick crossover and drive left to the cup and his lay-up is good. West Muskingum up six with 2 minutes left.

Sandy Valley didn’t go away, Wigfield from beyond the arc and drains it. Tornadoes up three.

1:21 left and Gage Newsom sinks two free throws. 51-46.

Dante Faiello chucks up a three and it goes in. Two point game under a minute.

10 seconds to play 52-49 West Muskingum, Sandy Valley needs the tie, Faiello tries again oh no, a travel is called with one second on the clock.

Jack Porter cashes in on his two free throws and for the second consecutive year the West Muskingum Tornadoes are sectional champs. 54-49 was the final score from the hill. Head Coach Jeff Rinkes on what contributed to the win.

“We gave the ball away quite a bit and didn’t give ourselves a lot of chances. We came back out and settled in a little bit in the second half, got a little more aggressive. If we just settle in and do what we do, we give ourselves a good chance. That’s an awful good team, they made some big shots down the stretch in the end, some big defensive stops on us and they had four kids that were aggressive to the rim. It feels good to beat a good team like that,” stated Rinkes.

Star forward Jacob Anton battled foul trouble and had four fouls early into the third quarter. Connor Paima was thrusted into a bigger role, one that has been familiar all season long. “We can put Jake on one of their better guys because he’s longer, and does a pretty good job of staying in front of the guy. He got caught a few times leaving the floor and getting some fouls. We had to trust him down the end and we put him in way earlier than I planned on it just hoping the sophomore understood to stay in the game. Connor is always he’s come off the bench and played well for us more than once so you almost get to the point where you try to expect that out of him coming in. He’s going to be aggressive, he’s going to be pretty much fundamentally solid so that’s always a good thing,” Rinkes said.

Next up for West Muskingum is against a tough Malvern team. We’re going to have to fix the turnover problem and we’re going to have to defend a whole lot better. Malvern shoots the ball very well, they defend very well, they’re going to be physical. So it’s going to be we’re going to have to come out and fix a lot of things that went wrong tonight,” said Coach Rinkes.

The Tornadoes will play Malvern at Indian Valley on Tuesday, February 28th.

Dylan Kerns
Dylan Kerns was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He spent the last five years in the low-country of South Carolina near Hilton Head Island. Dylan is a graduate of the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at Full Sail University. At Full Sail he learned from various industry professionals including: Dan Patrick, Scott Van Pelt, Mike Tirico, and more on what it takes to be a great sports storyteller. A fun fact is that Dylan was an extra actor in the TV series The Girl From Plainville. In his free time Dylan enjoys stand up comedy, movies, golfing, and eating a lot of good food. He also keeps his music loud. If you see him in the community say hello!