LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. — A circuit judge’s ruling clears the way for the Lincoln County High School cheerleading team to compete in the Dec. 8 State Championships in the Capital City — at least for now.

In an order issued Friday, Lincoln County Circuit Judge Jay Hoke granted an injunction sought after the team finished 4th in the regional cheerleading competition due to a penalty of 20 points for a timing violation.

The Panther routine lasted four-tenths of a second longer than the allotted time.

Earlier this week, counsel for the Lincoln County Board of Education argued the timing penalty was applied in error.

Attorneys for the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission backed the decisions of the judges at the competition.

Judge Hoke sided with Lincoln County and ruled the team would suffer “irreparable harm” if kept out of the State Tournament.

The WVSSAC has the option of appealing the case to the state Supreme Court.