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Derek Taylor: Hurricane hopes to make it official

It's been noted a few times during the 2012-13 basketball season that Hurricane has never reached the State Tournament.

True and false.

The Redskins have never reached the State Tournament in Class AAA, but reached the state quarterfinals in 1953 as a member of Class B. The forerunner of Class A, that year's Class B quarterfinals field also included Meadow Bridge, Piedmont, Davis, Lost Creek, Pax, runner-up Hundred and state champion Athens.

For those without consolidation charts within arm's reach, Hurricane, Meadow Bridge and Hundred are the only schools in that bunch still in existence.

The rest became South Harrison (Lost Creek), Tucker County (Davis) and PikeView (Athens) through consolidation or part of Oak Hill (Pax) and Keyser (Piedmont) through absorption.

In 1953, only the semifinalists advanced to the State Tournament in Class B.

In fact, it was not until 1985 when eight teams in each of the three modern competitive classes reached what is most commonly known in the high school vernacular as "states".

Second-year Coach Lance Sutherland has the opportunity to remove all asterisks from Hurricane's postseason history tonight, when the Redskins (19-5) host Logan (8-16) in a Class AAA Region 4 co-final at 7 p.m.

The Redskins beat Logan on the Wildcats' home floor at Willie Akers Arena, 67-60, on Dec. 11. It was the teams' only meeting this season. Hurricane got 27 points and 11 assists from senior point Rasaan Harris in their sectional semifinal win over Point Pleasant last week, then had junior forward Henry Sorsaia score 27 points and pull down 13 rebounds in a 75-45 rout of Nitro in the sectional championship game Friday.

Logan fell to Huntington in the Section 2 final, 49-36. The Wildcats have appeared in the last three Class AAA State Tournaments, and own seven state titles.

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NITRO WILL also look to break a tournament drought tonight.

The Wildcats (11-13) play at Huntington (17-6) looking to advance to the State Tournament for the first time since 1999. While not as lengthy of a streak as Hurricane's, the Wildcats have gone through seven head coaches since that appearance.

The addition of Coach Bryan Faber prior to the 2011-12 season coincided with the emergence of star point guard Angelo Sirianni. Now a senior and a 1,000-point scorer, Sirianni is the Kanawha Valley's leading scorer whose team is still alive in the postseason. He averages 20.8 points per game.

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RIVERSIDE'S TRIP to the Raleigh County Convention Center tonight for a Class AAA Region 3 co-final will perhaps bring the Dusty Herscher coaching saga full circle.

The Warriors (10-14) visit Beckley (20-4) just less than four weeks after Herscher, Riverside's coach, was suspended indefinitely by school principal Valery Harper. The day of he was suspended, the Flying Eagles dished out an 88-45 beating to the Warriors, who were on that night coached by Riverside girls coach Scott Garretson, are currently under the guidance of interim coach Chad Metten.

Riverside shocked George Washington in the Region 3, Section 1 semifinals but then came back to earth in the sectional final, losing to South Charleston, 80-50, last Friday.

Beckley has won 16 consecutive games and has not lost since falling 48-44 at Winfield on Jan. 10.

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SOUTH CHARLESTON owns a streak the polar opposite of those claimed at Hurricane and Nitro. The Black Eagles (22-2) host Greenbrier East tonight with a chance to earn their sixth consecutive State Tournament bid. South Charleston's current streak of five straight appearances is the longest among Class AAA schools.

Standing in SC's way is Greenbrier East (20-4), a team the Black Eagles beat 67-41 in South Charleston just 11 days ago. The Spartans began the season with 15 consecutive wins, and are 5-4 since.

Tucker County (19-3) owns the longest current streak of State Tournament appearances, with 11. The Mountain Lions reached the Class AA tournament in 2002 and have made it to Charleston every year since as a member of Class A.

They play host to East Hardy (13-10) on Thursday night in attempt to add to their streak.

Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT


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