Ritchie County displayed a blistering offensive performance that was too much for Lincoln to handle as the Rebels took an 89-78 victory over the Cougars for the Class AA, Region II, Section 1 title Friday night at Robert C. Byrd High School.
Ritchie County (14-8) will take on the winner of Saturday's South Harrison-Bridgeport contest Thursday at RCB for the regional championship. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Ritchie connected on 30 of 48 shots from the floor (62.5 percent) and were 15 of 22 (68.2 percent) in the first half when the Rebels built a 43-30 halftime lead.
"We played very well and when we are shooting like we were, then we are a difficult team to play," Ritchie County coach Tom Cowan said. "We are just happy with the win and then we must play even better next week."
Eli Heagy and Shane Dotson were the reasons the Cougars (11-11) had so much trouble keeping pace with the Rebels.
Heagy, a junior guard, fired in 14 points and Dotson, also a junior, added 12 points and five rebounds in the dominant first half for Ritchie.
Heagy and Dotson had outstanding performances. Heagy finished with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting. Dotson connected on nine of 12 shots from the floor and seven of nine at the foul line for 25 points, while also grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds.
"(Heagy and Dotson) created a lot of matchup problems and (Ritchie) shot the ball really well," Lincoln coach Rob Hawkins said. "They did a very good job adjusting to our defenses early. They got us in foul trouble, and they are also an excellent basketball team."
The Rebels increased their lead to as much as 20 points, 74-54, with 4:52 left in the game. However, the Cougars closed within nine points with under a minute to play on the 3-point shooting of Jared Bryant and Mitch Barnes.
Bryant hit three 3-pointers, while Barnes netted two in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to overcome the large deficit.
Bryant led Lincoln with 20 points. Barnes and Jordan Toth followed with 16 points each, while David Ray Harris added 12 points.
Jay Cronin finished in double figures for Ritchie County with 15 points and Ryan Jones added 10.