Wolves harpoon Whale Branch to advance

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The Timberland Wolves utilized some wicked long-distance aerial artillery to defeat Whale Branch, 74-68, in the Lower State semifinals to advance to the Class AA Final Four.

The Wolves never trailed in the game after the first quarter, and led in the third quarter by as many as 12 points to improve to 19-7 for the season and mark a return to the Lower State finals for the first time since the 2011 season.

The outside tandem of Shamell Williams and Dailyn McKinney kept Timberland on top and matched the Warriors’ Jay and Mike Middleton bucket for bucket.

McKinney led all scorers with 24 points and Williams added 19 points to pace the Wolves.

Mike Middleton led Whale Branch with 23 points, Marlon Williams chipped in 14 points, and Jay Middleton added an even dozen.

Timberland will face the winner of the Battery Creek–Ridgeland-Hardeeville game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Florence Civic Center for the right to play for the Class AA state championship at 4 p.m. March 7 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.