Boys basketball: Hurricane wants to win states
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Hurricane lost its first game of the 2012-13 boys basketball season, Coach Lance Sutherland took the stumble in stride.
A 17-point loss to Beckley on Dec. 18 that was much closer than the final score indicated would only help the Redskins in their pursuit of the first Class AAA state tournament berth in school history, he reasoned.
Nearly three months later, Hurricane (20-5) has that state tournament bid. It also has a rematch with Beckley (21-4), the No. 2 seed in the Class AAA field, in the quarterfinals.
The teams will tip off at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center in the middle game of the first session of the 100th boys state tournament.
Hurricane junior forward Henry Sorsaia said while the history-making element of the Redskins' bid is important, the team needs to quickly refocus.
"One of our goals was to make the state tournament," Sorsaia said. "But we've found another goal: to win a state championship.
"We're not just going there for nothing. We want to win it."
The Beckley-Hurricane matchup is the only rematch of a regular-season game in the Class AAA quarterfinals. Top-seeded Martinsburg (23-2) plays No. 8 seed Huntington at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday; No. 4 Washington (20-5) will make its first state tournament appearance and play No. 5 Parkersburg South (21-4) at 11:15 a.m. Thursday; and No. 3 South Charleston (23-2) will play No. 6 Morgantown (19-6) at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
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THE TOURNAMENT could potentially start out with a bang, as Class A No. 3 seed and defending champion Charleston Catholic (22-3) meets No. 6 seed Buffalo (21-4) in the tournament opener at 9:30 a.m.
The Bison upset Parkersburg Catholic, 64-61, in Parkersburg last Thursday to earn their first trip to the state tournament since 2008. Catholic and Buffalo have met three times, with Catholic winning all three meetings by an average score of 14 points per win.
In their most recent meeting Catholic beat the Bison 55-44 in the Class A Region 4, Section 2 finals.
Hurricane takes on Beckley in the second game, then Ohio Valley Class A rivals Magnolia (21-4) and Wheeling Central (13-12) meet in the 1 p.m. game. The Maroon Knights edged St. Marys 50-48 in a Region 1 co-final last Thursday in St. Marys.
Magnolia, led by 2,000-point scorer Mark Winters, a 6-foot-6 senior who became the school's all-time leading scorer last week, beat Central in three prior meetings this season. Most recently, the Blue Eagles won 74-50 in the Region 1, Section 1 finals in New Martinsville.
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ALL FOUR of Thursday's Class AA quarterfinal games will feature teams from the Big 10 Conference.
No. 2 seed Fairmont Senior, No. 4 Robert C. Byrd, No. 6 Bridgeport and No. 8 North Marion will take on Scott, Tolsia, Westside and Bluefield, respectively.
Each Big 10 team in the tournament dropped from Class AAA to Class AA this school year.
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THE SECONDARY School Activities Commission will recognize teams and players from past tournaments throughout the quarterfinal and semifinal games.
The SSAC will recognize players from before 1940 during halftime of the Hurricane-Beckley game Wednesday, with players from 1940-49 being recognized at halftime of the Martinsburg-Huntington contest that evening.
Players from 1950-59 will be honored during halftime of the Washington-Parkersburg South game Thursday morning, and players from 1960-69 will be recognized at the intermission of the game between South Charleston and Morgantown.
The Class AA semifinal that begins at 11:15 a.m. Friday will see players from 1970-79 honored, with players from 1980-89 honored during the Class AA final that tips off at 7:15 p.m. that night.
The Class A championship begins at noon Saturday, and its halftime will see players from 1990-99 honored. Players that have starred in the state tournament since 2000 will be recognized during halftime of the Class AA game, which is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at email@example.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT