Much was made about the location of Tuesday’s Virginia Class 2 semifinal game between Gate City and Graham, chiefly because it was being played in a middle school gym.
Turns out, the location didn’t seem to matter much.
Mac McClung dropped 42 as Gate City defeated Graham 70-59 to earn a spot in the state title game.
Coming into the game Tuesday, there was colorful discussion about the chosen location. Graham, the region champion, was given the option to choose the venue. It chose Tazewell Middle School. Each team was allotted 1,000 tickets, which, considering the appeal of Gate City and, more specifically, McClung, seemed comically low.
This fact wasn’t lost on the Gate City faithful, who had fans turned away from the quarterfinal game in a much larger venue.
In fairness to Graham, there’s no indication that its choice of venue had anything to do with the opponent. Besides that, reports say up to 3,500 fans packed Tazewell.
Further, Graham smoked Gate City just a few weeks prior at UVA-Wise.
But that wasn’t the case Tuesday. Now Gate City and Mac McClung move on to the state title game Friday at Virginia Commonwealth.