High school basketball: German takes his place in record books
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, it's hard enough for someone to move Martinsburg senior Eugene German.
Now he has a permanent place in the West Virginia high school sports record books.
The Bulldogs center became the first person in Mountain State history to start for a school that won Class AAA football and boys basketball state championships in the same school year Saturday, when Martinsburg (26-2) held off Beckley (23-5) by a 57-52 count to win the big school hoops title.
German, an all-tournament selection Saturday night, also won the 2012 Hunt Award as the state's top football lineman. He helped the Bulldogs to their record-tying third consecutive Class AAA football title, and will play at Charlotte.
"We almost didn't have him," Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers said. "He was coming off of football and wasn't sure he wanted to play. I told him that he should take some time and think about it, and then let me know what he thought."
German said he consulted his family and was glad that Rogers accepted him back to the squad when he finally changed his mind.
"I'm just glad he let me come back," said German, who will be joined in the Charlotte football program by George Washington senior Dustin Crouser.
"It's been quite a year," German said. "I think it's just hard work and people pushing me to be successful."
German had eight points and four rebounds in the title game. He had six points in the first quarter, as the Bulldogs built a 17-9 lead. They led by as many as 17 in the second half before Beckley embarked on a 14-0 run that put the game's outcome in doubt until the final minute, when Martinsburg senior Donte' Grantham made 4-of-4 free throws to seal the victory.
It was Martinsburg's second basketball state title in the last five years.
THE CLOCK end of the Civic Center had a negative effect on shooters throughout the tournament.
Whether it was due to teams attacking the bucket in front of the opposing student sections, the non-scoreboard time-of-day clock that is positioned behind the basket high on the wall or other factors, teams shooting at the east end of the floor made 405-of-1,076 field goal attempts in 21 games (37.6 percent).
Meanwhile, teams shooting in front of their home student sections and without additional electronic wall decorations behind the bucket shot 41.8 percent, making 408-of-975 attempts.
Higher-seeded teams fared better when shooting with the clock in the background. At no time was this more apparent than in Saturday's finals, when favored teams shot 44.8 percent with the clock and lower-seeded teams made just 31.3 percent of their attempts on the clock end.
Throughout the tournament, however, the margin between home teams and visitors was little more than two percent. Favorites shot 38.6 percent against the clock and underdogs shot 36.4 percent.
However, shooting in front of their home crowds provided a bigger bonus to favorites. They made 45.5 percent of their shots against a friendly backdrop while visitors shot 38.3 percent.
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THERE WERE 108 double-digit scoring performances by individuals in the tournament's 21 games. On just 15 occasions did a player score more than 20 points in a game.
The high-point game of the tournament came in the first round of the Class AA tournament on Thursday, when Bridgeport senior guard Jordan Haywood was 9-of-17 from the floor and 10-of-10 from the foul line in scoring 28 points.
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MARTINSBURG'S WIN continued the stranglehold on major sport championships possessed by Eastern Panhandle Class AAA schools.
Schools in Berkeley and Jefferson counties have won nine of the last 14 state championships in football, boys basketball and baseball. Of those, seven belong to Martinsburg. The Bulldogs have claimed in titles in all three major sports since 2009.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT