WVC tournament: Battlers win, Zimmerman grabs indefinite bragging rights over Dye
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Greg Zimmerman sat on the bench inside the Charleston Civic Center with 2:44 left of Thursday's West Virginia Conference tournament quarterfinal matchup between Alderson-Broaddus and Glenville State.
Zimmerman, the longtime A-B coach, grimaced as he extended his right leg while forward Adam Kline shot free throws on his end of the court. Zimmerman pulled the leg of his dress pants up to the knee and a trainer hurriedly wrapped his calf.
Later, after Alderson-Broaddus outlasted Glenville State, 82-69, to advance to today's semifinals, Zimmerman limped down the hall in the bowels of the Civic Center and passed Glenville State Coach Stephen Dye.
"I don't feel sorry for you, coach," Dye said.
These two go way back.
Thursday was the final opportunity for Dye to take down his former coach. Dye played for Zimmerman for four seasons from 2002-05, and together they won three WVC tournament championships and clinched four NCAA tournament berths. Dye set the NCAA record for 3-pointers made (444) during his four-year A-B career.
As coaches, however, Zimmerman has held the upper hand. A-B is a perfect 7-0 against Glenville State since Dye took over the program before the 2009-10 season. Now, with the WVC morphing into the Mountain East and A-B headed to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, the two have no scheduled meetings in the foreseeable future.
After A-B's 13-0 run late in Thursday's second half helped the Battlers put away the game, Zimmerman grabbed bragging rights indefinitely.
"That was probably on my mind too much, to be honest with you," Dye said of beating his former coach. "I wanted to get him. That's payback hurting his leg. I about broke my ankle one time and he told me to stop being soft. I don't feel sorry for him at all. I wanted to get him and this is the last time we're playing.
"I told him 'Until you leave, I'm not scheduling you guys.' I wanted to win the last one."
That looked possible after Glenville State (13-16) erased an early eight-point second-half deficit to tie it on a floater by D.J. Blanks with 15:04 left of the game.
The two teams played neck-and-neck over the next seven minutes, with four ties and six lead changes over that stretch. Two Jamel Morris free throws with 8:11 left gave the Pioneers their final lead.
The Battlers (20-8) took control from there.
A-B scored 13 unanswered points over the next 3:08 to build a 68-56 lead with 5:03 left. Glenville State never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
"I just didn't feel like we came down with the big plays when it was tied with about 10 minutes left," Dye said. "We didn't come down with a big shot or a big stop and they did."
A-B senior Kurklin Bohanon had 14 of his game-high 29 points after Glenville State took its one-point lead with 8:11 left. Bohanon outscored the Pioneers by himself, 14-13, over the final eight minutes.
Bohanon, a 6-foot-3 senior, went 11-for-21 from the field and added nine rebounds and four steals. Four A-B players scored in double figures, including double-doubles from 6-4 senior Roy Brown (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Kline (12 points, 11 boards), a 6-6 junior who starred at Winfield High School.
Three of the Battlers' four double-figure scorers are seniors. Glenville State doesn't have a senior on its roster, so Dye thinks his program's Mountain East future is "very bright."
His hobbled mentor Zimmerman, who said he thought he pulled or tore a muscle when he tried to stand up during the second half, agreed with his former star.
"They've played everybody tough," said Zimmerman, who is in his 12th season at Alderson-Broaddus. "He's got a really nice bunch of kids coming. They're going to be really good in this new conference in the next couple of years.
"Steve played for me for four years and I love the guy. I'm glad we won, but he's one of my guys."
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at email@example.com or 304-348-7949.