www.charlestondailymail.com Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Prep basketball roundup: Cavender leads Winfield to sectional win http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229677 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229677 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 23:00:51 -0500

from staff reports

Megan Cavender scored 27 points to lead Winfield to 58-25 win in girls Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 basketball play Monday. Cheyenne Sawyer added 13 points for the Generals (5-16), while Rachel Krashnewski contributed 12 points.

For Point Pleasant, whose season ended at 3-17, Marlee Bruner led the way with 11 points.

The win advances Winfield to a Wednesday evening sectional meeting at St. Albans.

Ripley 79, Riverside 34 - Audra Thomas poured in 28 points to lead the Vikings (7-14) to the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 home win. Maggy Criser added 15 points for Ripley, which advances to play at South Charleston on Wednesday, while Presley Fisher added 11 points.

For Riverside (0-19), Carly Price netted a team-high 11 points.

In boys high school play:

Poca 73, Herbert Hoover 41 - The Class AA top-ranked Dots improved to 19-0 with the easy road win.

Elijah Cuffee paced Poca with 23 points, while Noah Frampton added 19 points and Matt Chandler 12.

Poca will host Nitro this evening at 7:30.

For Herbert Hoover (9-10), Brad Grose netted a team-high 14 points.

Nitro 53, St. Albans 51 - Senior Ian Lee scored 20 points and Ryan Eary added nine to lead the Wildcats (4-16) at home.

For St. Albans (3-15), Jeff Seams scored 20 points with Phillip Hall adding 18.

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Rich Stevens: Redskins, Cougars boys poised for playoffs http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229682 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229682 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:48:12 -0500 There were at least two questions answered during Saturday's Mountain State Athletic Conference Night of Champions.

First, the Hurricane boys basketball team is on the same pace as it was last year at this time (and you know how that turned out).

Second, Capital isn't going to fade down the stretch as in recent seasons.

Both teams made statements at the South Charleston Community Center, with the Redskins taking a second consecutive game over defending Class AAA Huntington in the consolation game and the Cougars steamrolling South Charleston in the championship.

Certainly, the results said more about the play of the winning teams rather than the losing ones.

Hurricane held off the Highlanders for the second straight time. Coach Lance Sutherland said he's more concerned about March than he is the first three months of the season.

It shows.

Senior Noah Fenerty has developed into more than a serviceable 6-foot-6 post player and it's no surprise that, when Brandon Ford plays well, the Redskins are successful.

Hurricane has won nine consecutive games with Ford averaging 15 points with four games with at least 18. During the Redskins' 6-5 start to the season, Ford was at 11.3 points per game with one game with 18 or more.

The Redskins trailed Huntington by eight at halftime on Saturday and Ford had four points and three rebounds in the third quarter when Hurricane cut the lead to two. Ford had six rebounds and was 2-of-3 from the floor in the second half.

His Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality often has coach Lance Sutherland stumped, but when he's Jekyll, good chemistry awaits. Guard Trey Dawson and guard/forward J.T. Rogoszewski are the cornerstones of the Redskins, but Hurricane needs a lot of parts going in the same direction to be successful.

Hurricane - which jumped from 10th to sixth in the Associated Press Class AAA Poll - isn't blessed with year-around basketball players. It has athletes who can take direction. Last year's all-for-one and one-for-all approach carried the Redskins to the title game where they lost in three overtimes. The dynamic ability of Huntington's Tavian Dunn-Martin and the other parts of the Huntington attack clearly show that Huntington has more basketball talent than Hurricane, but it didn't matter on Saturday.

Surprisingly Capital, a program that has made 15 state tournament appearances in its first 25 years since becoming the consolidation of Stonewall Jackson and Charleston high schools in 1989, is on its longest state tourney drought.

There hasn't been an elite eight showing at the Charleston Civic Center for coach Carl Clark's program since 2010 when it reached the semifinals.

In 2012, I opined that the Kanawha Valley basketball scene is better when Capital is a contender.

The Cougars are contenders again, especially with the deadline for sectional seeding ballots being noon on Tuesday, fresh on the heels of Capital's ransacking of the Black Eagles.

That doesn't make Saturday's 67-38 victory over South Charleston, which was the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Class AAA rankings, sure-fire evidence that the Cougars are headed to the state tournament.

Then again, earning the No. 1 seed in the state's strongest big school section could go a long way toward a spot among the teams playing at the Charleston Civic Center March 18-21.

Capital, which moved from third to second in the rankings, will have to navigate through George Washington, the much-improved programs at Ripley and Riverside, and, of course, South Charleston. From the old-school post play of players like the Vikings' Luke Layhew and Chase Johnson and the Warriors' Josh Carpenter to the talent of the Black Eagles, the five-team section is brutal.

A second-place finish in the section isn't a good option, with the reward being a visit to face slick point guard Christian Ortiz and Greenbrier East or Noah Hancock and Woodrow Wilson in the Region 3 co-finals. Three of the top five teams in last week's Associated Press Class AAA Poll are in this region.

Senior Jordan Kinney attributes much of Capital's success to its seven seniors. I do as well, but it's more the personality, quiet leadership and guidance of Kinney, who is setting a positive example as a captain. Not all teams have a Jordan Kinney to follow.

They've won 10 consecutive games including a home-and-home sweep of George Washington and wins over Ripley and Riverside.

There are no guarantees with Hurricane, Capital or any of the other 123 teams seeking berths to be part of the most exciting four days of basketball in the state.

The sectionals begin on Monday and all we know for sure is that it's going to be a wild ride.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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South Charleston's Pitts snags football offer from Auburn http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229683 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229683 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:47:50 -0500 By Chuck McGill CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The highest-paid assistant in college football delivered South Charleston's Derrek Pitts his first scholarship offer Monday.

Pitts, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound rising junior received an offer to play football at Auburn University. Pitts, a Class of 2017 recruit, received the scholarship from first-year Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who compiled a 28-21 record the last four seasons at the University of Florida.

"Coach Muschamp got a hold of Derrek on Sunday and let him know they watched his film and they really liked him and wanted to offer him," South Charleston football coach Donnie Mays said Monday evening. "They wanted to see him first."

That never happened. Muschamp called Mays at the school on Monday and Mays mitigated any concerns the defensive coordinator had about Pitts' size.

"He said, 'if that's how tall he is, then consider Derrek Pitts an offer from Auburn," Mays said of the phone conversation with the Auburn assistant.

Pitts was a Daily Mail all-Kanawha Valley pick as a defensive back last season. Mays said Pitts could stay in the secondary and be a safety or cornerback, depending on the scheme, or grow into an outside linebacker spot at the next level.

Of course, there are two years before Pitts even has to make a decision.

"The first team that offers you wants you the most," Mays said. "Derrek really likes Auburn. They played in the national championship game last year, it is an SEC school, the SEC puts players into the NFL and it's a good school with good academics."

Mays anticipates more offers for Pitts, who will participate in Virginia Tech's junior day this weekend and WVU's next month. He'll visit Oklahoma during this coming football season and see his cousin, Charles Tapper, who plays for the Sooners. Tapper was an all-Big 12 first team pick as a sophomore and honorable mention selection as a junior, and elected to return to OU for his senior season.

"He's just trying to enjoy this process," Mays said of Pitts. "He didn't say anything about (the offer). He went straight into the weight room and was going at it like he always does. The only thing on his mind right now is the 2015 season."

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WVU's Mountaineer Athletic Club fundraises at record pace http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229684 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229684 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:37:44 -0500 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN - After seven months of the fiscal year, West Virginia University's athletic department fundraising is reaching numbers it has never reached before.

The Mountaineer Athletic Club began the 2014-15 financial cycle by setting record highs in four of the first seven months. It has already created new seven-month highs and is tracking toward all-time highs for an entire year, according to executive director Matt Borman.

"The date we trust goes back to 2005, but before that, I can't see us having better months during this time frame than what we've already had because our fundraising back then wasn't near what it is now," the senior associate athletic director said.

Borman said the overall money given to the MAC from July 1, 2014 to Jan. 30, 2015 was roughly $8.29 million. A year ago at this time, the number was about $7.15 million. The record high at this point in a fiscal year was $7.45 million in 2012-13.

That was also the year the MAC raised a record $23 million. Last year, the MAC reported about $20 million.

While that's significant for the overall campaign, what the MAC is doing within for the annual giving fund is more meaningful. The annual giving fund doesn't generate sums or donations as large as the major gifts category, but the totals for major gifts can soar and sink from year to year based on the number of major donors and the size of their donations.

"The annual fund is something that we need to be consistently strong year in and year out because out of that fund we pay the scholarship bill and run the department on a day-to-day basis," Borman said.

The annual giving fund generated around $2.32 million in the fiscal year's first seven months, zooming past where it was at this point last year ($1.19 million) and the all-time seven-month mark ($1.88 million in 2011-12).

The full-year record from 2012-13 is about $15 million, and the MAC reported around $14 million last year.

Donations always increase later in the year, and the gifts attached to season tickets and parking passes for football and basketball make up most of the annual giving fund. Those amounts range from $100 to $25,000 annually, where the greater the sum, the greater the benefits for the person making the donation.

The Mountaineers have always relied on season ticket sales to pay the largest and most important bills within the athletic department. In recent years, though, those annual sales figures have risen and fallen, either slightly or noticeably. The MAC understood and adjusted.

"One thing we've tried to focus on in the last couple of years is getting people away from transaction fundraising in our annual fund," Borman said. "We don't want people to give just their per-seat minimum. We don't want them to give a certain level just to get a Blue Lot parking pass. We want to sell them on the difference they're making in the lives of our student-athletes by not only giving to that fund, but by giving more than just what is required to get tickets or a parking pass."

Two ideas in particular have proved useful. The MAC has stressed a "next level" concept to many donors, encouraging them to jump from the donation point they were for one year to the next level in the following year. Understanding that might be difficult for some patrons, the MAC has also recommended its Give 112% concept in which donors donate the same they did the year before, plus another 12 percent.

The MAC had something similar before, but changed the goal from 110 percent to 112 upon entering the Big 12.

"Our goal is to get as many people as possible involved in that fund," Borman said. "We want to add to that every year and also encourage those individuals already involved to increase what they're giving. Every year we're trying to build on that fund."

Borman can do that better now because his arm of the athletic department is finally stable. His eight-person department lost two major gift officers last spring to jobs like Borman's at Eastern Michigan and Creighton.

"We lost two guys who had built strong relationships with donors in the areas they were working, and replacing that immediately is impossible," Borman said. "We were fully staffed in August and had people back on the road building those relationships again."

It's much like when a football program loses an assistant coach to another school. The team has to find a new assistant who can coach the position, but also has to find a way to make sure the team keeps recruiting the area the departing coach worked.

WVU hired M.G. Bailey from George Washington and put him in charge of Washington, D.C., and the metropolitan New York area. Jacob Kirkham came to WVU from Utah and works throughout Virginia and south Florida, but he's also spending time in places he knows in California.

Ben Murray, the associate athletic director in charge of major gifts, covers Texas. Wheeling native Kevin Miller, the assistant athletic director in charge of annual fund, came to WVU from Georgia State and handles Atlanta. Mike Gilstorf manages Phoenix and north Florida.

All five have their own regions in West Virginia.

"We really have a history in a majority of the areas that have a high concentration of alumni," Borman said. "If the WVU Foundation or the Alumni Association suddenly realizes we've got a lot more donors in a certain area we haven't been too active in, we'll be out there trying to add new areas. Moving to the Big 12, we focused a little more on Texas and the additional opportunities to reach out to donors and give them opportunities they haven't had before."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

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Big 12's biggest team awaits Mountaineers on Tuesday http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229686 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229686 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:36:43 -0500 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN - With two weeks remaining in the regular season, there are four teams with a chance to win the Big 12 title.

No. 20 West Virginia is one of them, perhaps improbably because of the size of some of its losses and the depths of some of its statistical rankings, but perhaps logically as well because of how the Mountaineers operate.

"This group, for whatever reason, hasn't lacked in confidence," WVU coach Bob Huggins said.

The same could be said for No. 8 Kansas, which lost early in the season by 32 points to top-ranked Kentucky and then later by 25 points on the road against Temple, but is in first place after winning or sharing the last 10 regular-season titles. The Jayhawks and second-place and 12th-ranked Iowa State, which lost at Texas Tech and is 2-5 on the road in Big 12 play, haven't taken back-to-back losses this season.

The Mountaineers have, but just once, while third-place and 16th-ranked Oklahoma has twice. That came during a dangerous 3-4 start to Big 12 play, but the Sooners have overshadowed that by going 7-1 since.

"More than anything else, it's going to happen because of parity," Huggins said. "There's just no one who is just head and shoulders above anybody."

Technically, that's proven to be true in the Big 12, the top-rated conference according to the RPI and the Sagarin Ratings. Literally, though, there is an exception and it's coming to the Coliseum on Tuesday night. The Mountaineers (21-6, 9-5 Big 12) play host to Texas (17-10, 6-8) at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

The Longhorns have lost two in a row and have only beaten TCU, Texas Tech and Kansas State, the bottom three teams in the conference standings, to go 4-6 since beating WVU last month. They are still the tallest, longest and bulkiest team in the Big 12 with three starters and two reserves standing between 6-foot-8 and 6-11 and weighing between 240 and 285 pounds - and that's presuming Cameron Ridley is just 6-9, 285.

The Mountaineers didn't handle that well in three losses last season or in the 77-50 loss this season. Sustaining their championship dreams means finally finding a way past Texas.

"Run around it," Huggins said. "We didn't do a very good job. We missed a bunch of shots and we kind of panicked. I think that was the first time we ever really got down like that. We panicked a little bit and took shots we shouldn't take. We took them too quickly and we rushed things inside."

The numbers remain ugly. The Mountaineers still haven't finished with fewer points, baskets (13), assists (five) and points off turnovers (eight), a lower shooting percentage (24.1) and a worse rebounding margin (minus-12). WVU has trailed by at least 10 points in seven games this season but has never faced a deficit larger than the 29 points it saw late in the Erwin Center.

"I think it was a lot of things at once," Huggins said. "We didn't make shots. I think we had some new guys who weren't really accustom to them, no matter how much you tell them about their size. They're the best shot-blocking team in America. They've got more guys who can block shots than anybody else - well, maybe Kentucky's got more, but it's close. It changes things.

"We just didn't score the ball. We started up 5-0 and then we didn't score the ball for almost 10 minutes, and then you can't pressure. Then when you can, you can't because you kind of lose it when you can't score. I just don't think we were equipped to deal with it at that point of the year."

WVU was 15-7 before the loss, which took the team's average margin of defeat from 1.5 points to 10 points per game. The Mountaineers nevertheless rallied, needing overtime to beat TCU, scrapping together a win at Kansas State and then handling Texas Tech by 18 points at home.

Then again, those three teams have been good to the rest of the league, too, and reality seemed to reintroduce itself in consecutive losses to Oklahoma by 19 points and Baylor by 18. A narrow win at home against Kansas State was a brief reprieve before a 20-point loss at Iowa State.

The Mountaineers feel better now than they have all season, though, thanks to wins last week against Kansas and Oklahoma State, the current epitome of life in the Big 12 with three straight losses to fall out of the rankings after three straight wins against ranked teams. Before last week's wins, WVU's conference victories were against the three bottom teams and the Sooners, who righted that wrong with a romp at home.

Now WVU can make a fix of its own and look worthy of a top spot in the standings by proving the first Texas game was, as Huggins described, a "calamity of errors" his players believe they have since overcome.

"As bad as we played, the game still really wasn't too far out of hand until the second half," said point guard Juwan Staten, who averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 assists last week and shot 51 percent from the floor and 60 percent from 3-point range to win his third conference player of the week award this season.

"We just didn't play a good game. We didn't force them to do anything they didn't want to do. We couldn't run offense. Our press wasn't effective. It really wasn't anything they did. I think it was that we played a real bad basketball game. I think we're much better since then and now we want to keep that momentum and take it forward."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

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WVU rises to No. 20 in AP top 25 poll http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229704 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229704 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:40:31 -0500

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - After defeating nationally ranked teams in consecutive games for the fifth time in program history, the West Virginia University men's basketball team climbed to No. 20 in the Associated Press top 25 poll. The rankings were released Monday afternoon.

The Mountaineers are 21-6 overall and 9-5 in the Big 12 after they beat No. 8 Kansas and No. 22 Oklahoma State last week. WVU, which moved up three spots in the media poll, hosts unranked Texas on Tuesday night.

West Virginia is one of five Big 12 teams in the top 25, following No. 8 Kansas, No. 12 Iowa State, No. 16 Oklahoma and No. 19 Baylor.

Kentucky is the unanimous No. 1 for the fourth straight week.

The Wildcats (27-0) received all 65 first-place votes from a 65-member media panel Monday after routing Tennessee and Auburn last week.

Virginia remained No. 2, followed by Gonzaga, Duke, Wisconsin, Villanova and Arizona. It's the first time the top seven have remained the same for six straight weeks since 1992-93.

Northern Iowa moved into the top 10 for the first time in school history, sliding in behind No. 8 Kansas and No. 9 Notre Dame.

San Diego State returned to the poll at No. 24, and No. 25 Providence was ranked for the first time since the final poll of 2003-04.

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Running back Garrison leaves WVU football program http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229705 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229705 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:02:43 -0500

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia running back Dustin Garrison announced on his Twitter page Monday he's leaving the team to play somewhere else for his final season.

Garrison. who later confirmed the news for the Charleston Daily Mail, is a fifth-year senior with one season of eligibility remaining.

Garrison is from New Orleans and came to WVU from Houston. He fled his home with his family before Hurricane Katrina and was the best player in Houston as a high school senior, when he led Pearland High to an undefeated season and a state championship.

The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Garrison was WVU's starter as a freshman and set the school's freshman record with 291 yards against Bowling Green in 2011.

Garrison tore knee ligaments before the Orange Bowl that season and was used sparingly the following season. He redshirted in 2013 because of a hamstring injury and carried just 20 times this past season.

Garrison would have returned to a situation with juniors Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood ahead of him and senior Andrew Buie and redshirt freshman Dontae Thomas-Williams battling for carries.

Garrison is on track to graduate in the spring and would be eligible next season at a Division I school.

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Derek Redd: Road has been bumpy for Herd http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229710 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150223/DM03/150229710 Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:21:26 -0500 Home court isn't just an advantage for the Marshall men's basketball team. It's nearly a necessity.

Thundering Herd coach Dan D'Antoni has said more than once that, in his mind, home-court advantage is strongest in basketball above all sports. Attendance at the Henderson Center has jumped in recent games past 5,000 to a vocal 6,000 or more. But even when crowds were more sparse, the Henderson Center court was a much more prosperous section of hardwood for the Herd.

Of Marshall's nine wins this season, eight have come at home. D'Antoni has also said that teams have the ability to take some of that home-crowd energy and use it to fuel them when they set out for foreign territory. Yet that hasn't happened for Marshall much this season.

The Herd is 1-11 away from home - 1-10 in true road games, plus a neutral-court loss to West Virginia at the Charleston Civic Center. That lone win came in Hattiesburg, Miss., against Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles sit at 7-19 overall and 2-13 in Conference USA and are playing for pride, since they're sitting out the 2015 postseason as it deals with an NCAA investigation.

The numbers show just how rough the road has been for Marshall this year.

n The Herd shoots nearly seven percent worse on the road (35.6 percent), than at home (42.4 percent).

n That trend extends to the 3-point line, where Marshall shoots 29.4 percent away from the Henderson Center and 33.2 percent inside it.

n Those struggles are a big reason why the Herd averages more than 11 fewer points on the road. Marshall scores 71.8 per game in Huntington and 60.5 per game elsewhere.

n Marshall's last three road games - blowout losses at Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and UAB - were especially difficult. The Herd shot no better than 33.3 percent overall and 30 percent from 3-point range. It also failed to crack 60 points, scoring no more than 57 in any of the three.

n Ball security isn't much better. At home, Marshall averages slightly more assists (15.4 per game) than turnovers (14.3). The numbers flip-flop in a big way on the road, where the Herd averages 10.3 assists and 16.7 turnovers a game.

That all makes this week, Marshall's final pair of regular-season home games, even more crucial. The Herd hosts Florida International on Thursday and Florida Atlantic on Saturday. As of now, FAU is the only postseason-eligible team sitting below Marshall for the final spot in the C-USA tournament. Yet the Owls remain in striking distance.

Marshall sits at 5-9 in conference and FAU is at 1-13, each with four games left to play. If Marshall drops all four and FAU wins all four, the Owls would grab that final playoff spot thanks to a pair of wins over the Herd. Now, FAU hasn't won a game since beating Marshall on Jan. 17, so it would be a long shot, but it's a shot nonetheless.

A win in either game this week would lock Marshall into the conference tournament. Such a victory is imperative, considering the Herd concludes the regular season at Old Dominion - which beat Marshall by 22 in Huntington - and Charlotte - which trailed Marshall just once in a five-point win at the Henderson Center.

The Herd held double-digit leads over both FIU and FAU on their respective home courts before stumbling down the stretch, so it would stand to reason that the Henderson Center confines could give Marshall enough of a jolt to hold the lead should it take one.

Marshall could use the comfort of knowing as early as possible that its C-USA tournament ticket is punched, because if the Herd earns a trip to Birmingham, Ala., for that tournament, it must face its road woes all over again.

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WVU rides consecutive top 25 wins into pesky Texas matchup http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229767 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229767 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 21:13:39 -0500 By Mike Casazza

Click here for more analysis from Mike Casazza

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia is home for what amounts to a break in the brutish Big 12 Tuesday with a game against an unranked team.

Yet that unranked team is Texas, which beat the Mountaineers 77-50 last month. The Longhorns have won the past four games in the series by 11, 17, 17 and 27 points and led by at least 21 in each.

"We're definitely feeling some type of way about that game and how it went in Texas," WVU point guard Juwan Staten said after Saturday's 73-63 road win against then-No. 22 Oklahoma State. "There should be a little extra, added motivation."

The Mountaineers (21-6, 9-5 Big 12), who have played eight of their conference games against ranked teams and two more against a team that was ranked previously, were No. 23 last week and will rise in Monday's poll after beating the Cowboys and No. 8 Kansas. In six days, they doubled their win total against top-25 teams, and the back-to-back wins followed stretches of three losses in four games by 20, 19 and 18 points and four losses in eight games.

The longer stretch began with the road loss to the Longhorns (17-10, 6-8). WVU finished with the season's worst totals for points, baskets (13), field goal percentage (24.1), assists (five), rebounding margin (minus-12) and points off turnovers (eight).

"We want them, to be honest," said WVU forward Devin Williams, who has 13 points and 10 rebounds in four career games against Texas and its formidable frontcourt. "They're a great team and we respect that team. They have some great big men, some great guards and a great coach, stuff like that, but we're going after them."

Bob Huggins, who will finish the season as the 11th-winningest Division I coach of all-time and possibly also the Big 12 coach of the year, admired his team's enthusiasm, but wouldn't match it because of the time he has to prepare for Texas and its 2-3 zone.

The Mountaineers flew home Saturday, practiced Sunday and will practice again Monday.

"I'd just as soon play it on Wednesday, but they don't let me vote on it for some reason," Huggins said.

Quick turnarounds aren't new in the league, and WVU has handled them well. It began by opening Big 12 play with a Saturday-Monday set and wins on the road against TCU and Texas Tech. The season's other Saturday-Monday saw the Mountaineers lose at Iowa State and beat Kansas.

WVU has played two other Saturday-Tuesday sets, losing at home to the Cyclones and winning at home against Oklahoma and later winning at home against TCU and winning at Kansas State. In a Wednesday-Saturday set, WVU won at home against Kansas State and lost at Iowa State.

The only other time the team traveled home after the first game was this past week, when the Mountaineers lost by 20 at Iowa State and then redefined their season by beating Kansas.

The Mountaineers aren't new to that, so this could be easier than last week. Having five days between the Jayhawks and Cowboys wasn't quite what Huggins wanted, but he made it work.

"The good thing about going into (Saturday's) game was we had two good days of practice," he said. "We got a little out of whack, but we could go a little harder in practice than what we did there for a little while."

NCAA rules require one day off during a week. Huggins left his team alone Tuesday and Wednesday but then had to deal with some scheduling quirks.

"I thought we had a pretty good practice Thursday and an OK practice Friday, but it's kind of hard for them when they get out of their comfort zone," Huggins said. "We had to practice earlier and take an earlier flight and because of that we didn't really watch as much film as we normally watch. When we got to the hotel (Friday evening), that was the first time we'd watched film on Oklahoma State."

Not surprisingly, whether because of the circumstances leading up to the game or just because of who they are, the Mountaineers missed 8 of 10 shots to start the game and trailed 13-4 when Huggins called a timeout.

He reminded his players what he cautioned them about before the game, one they played with guard Jevon Carter under the weather, forward Brandon Watkins (left MCL sprain) watching from the bench for a third straight outing and guard Tarik Phillip never seeing the floor.

"I thought they'd be OK, but I told them before the game started I didn't see the bounce," Huggins said. "I just didn't see the bounce we'd had. My fear was we don't come out to play and meet their intensity level and play as hard as they do and we're really going to struggle. I thought our guys really responded to that."

WVU's reaction was a 9-0 run on 4-for-5 shooting. The score was tied 25-25 at halftime, but the Mountaineers started the second half with a 13-2 run. The Cowboys made eight shots in both halves and went 8:29 without a basket in the first half and 8:31 without a basket in the second half. They only took 36 shots, matching the lowest total by a WVU opponent this season. It's been 16 seasons since an opponent attempted fewer.

The Mountaineers shot 40.4 percent, but made a season-high 10 3-pointers on 20 attempts and had assists on 14 of 19 baskets. They outrebounded Oklahoma State 37-20, and 18 offensive rebounds led to a 16-4 advantage in second-chance points.

"The team competed and played well, played excellently," Staten said. "Usually we come out after halftime and have lulls, and throughout the game we can have rough spots. We kept it together and played tough. Defensively, we still fouled too much, but for the most part we played good defense and we executed on offense."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

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W.Va. State men hold on against Notre Dame College http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229768 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229768 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 21:11:24 -0500 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia State University men's basketball team won't be playing this season beyond the Mountain East Conference Tournament.

If the Yellow Jackets happen to win their postseason tourney for the first time since they were members of the West Virginia Conference (2009-10), they'll stay at home in the last season the MEC doesn't get an automatic qualifier.

At this point, State coach Bryan Poore is just looking for momentum with the fast-approaching postseason.

Junior Markee Mazyck had 26 points and 13 rebounds as State earned an 85-74 victory over Notre Dame College (14-12, 10-10 MEC) on Sunday night at the Walker Convocation Center.

It marks only the second time this season that State has beaten a team with a winning record. The first was a 73-66 win at Shepherd on Dec. 14.

"We looked like a basketball team tonight that seemed to know what it was supposed to do," said Poore, who needs four victories to pass Mark Cardwell as the all-time winningest coach at State. "Now, we've just got to build on it. I knew it was going to come sooner or later. I haven't tanked on these guys and they haven't tanked on me."

One light moment came with 10 seconds left when freshman Jordan McMillian had a breakaway and couldn't decide whether to dunk or pull the ball out and run the clock. He was whistled for traveling, and Poore just smiled and patted him on the back.

"I yelled, 'No, no,' and that's a freshman thing," Poore said. "He's excited and he's going to go. They had stopped fouling so you dribble it out and run out the clock."

State had four double-figure scorers and shot 50 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the foul line. Its 3-point percentage was 45.8, and somewhat neutralized 17 turnovers by finishing with a season-high 20 assists.

The victory avenged a 92-83 loss to the Falcons on Jan. 10 in a game which State led by two at halftime before being outscored by 11 in the second half.

The Yellow Jackets held another halftime lead against coach Tim Koenig's team, but extended it on their home floor.

The game was tied at 70 with four minutes left before guard Dimitrios Jelen-Joy hit a 3-pointer. Following a miss by Notre Dame forward Oliver Megins, Jelen-Joy hit another 3 for a six-point lead. Another Megins miss led to a pair of Damion Harris free throws with 1:28 left.

"It was a tie game with three minutes to go and we had three open 3s," Koenig said. "Didn't make them, they had looks and they made them. Our transition defense was terrible. I'm disappointed in that."

Harris, in addition to his 20-point performance on 9-of-11 shooting, he had three of his six rebounds in the final two minutes to halt any second chances for Notre Dame. The Falcons had enough of those as far as State was concerned, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 23-4 in second-chance points. Harris didn't play in the first meeting.

"Damion and Markee needed to play through all these games to turn the corner," Poore said. "They've been more consistent, they're more in the flow, making game shots, getting in better game shape. Markee sat out a year and Damion sat out two years of competitive basketball. This is a whole lot different than open gym."

Freshman Will Voorhees, a 6-foot-7 forward, had 25 points and 13 rebounds for Notre Dame, while Lawrence DeArmond had 16 points and eight boards and Tyree Gaiter had 13 points, seven assists and four steals.

This was a coming-out party of sorts for State, which had a season-high in assists (20), led by its highest total for one player with nine for Dominic Phillips.

But, it was more than that for State, which will finish the season with four games in seven days, continuing with a visit from Urbana on Tuesday, a trip to Wheeling Jesuit on Thursday and a short jaunt to the University of Charleston on Saturday.

Inclement weather forced the shuffling of State's schedule. The Yellow Jackets were originally scheduled to play at Wheeling Jesuit on Tuesday, but that contest was moved back two days.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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MSAC third-place win 'great' for St. Albans girls http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229772 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229772 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:31:39 -0500 By Derek Taylor CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Perhaps his recent experience with beating an opponent twice in the regular season then facing them with a state tournament berth on the line has made Scott James wary of putting too much stock into late-season accomplishments.

Perhaps James' fondness for St. Albans - the city as well as the high school - allowed him to dwell longer on the big picture after the Class AAA No. 6 Red Dragons beat No. 9 Spring Valley 81-79 on Saturday in the Mountain State Athletic Conference third-place game during the league's Night of Champions at the South Charleston Community Center.

Asked whether the all-around team performance in a game against a ranked opponent so soon before the start of sectional tournament play was more important than SA's highest finish in the MSAC standings in school history, James didn't hesitate to side with history.

"The win is more important and I'll tell you why: it's been a long process. We inherited a team that was 0-23 and it took a long while to get things turned around," James said. "This is just another step in the progression of the program.

"To compete is important, but to come up here in this situation against a great team - and they had Madi Morris back, which we were not expecting - and to win makes it a great win," James said. "If you'd have told me they'd score 79 points and we'd still win, I'd have called you a liar before the ballgame."

Nearly everything fell St. Albans' way in the second half against the Timberwolves (14-8) on Saturday. Sophomore forward Haleigh Legg was 7 of 7 shooting and went 7 of 7 from the free throw line to establish her career high with 21 points. Senior Breanna Propst made 13 of 16 free throws, had 12 rebounds and also finished with 21 points as the Dragons (17-5) were 28 of 35 from the line.

"They're unbelievable at the foul line. They live at the foul line and they live on the blocks," Spring Valley coach Bo Miller said. "They make their foul shots. They're pretty good."

Senior shooting guard Lexie Cooper, the Daily Mail's 2014 Kanawha Valley Defensive Player of the Year, had five steals, including one from Spring Valley All-State point guard Sarah Kelly in the game's final minute that led to a layup from SA freshman Jaden McDaniels and put SA up for good.

A year ago, however, St. Albans was a ranked team that had defeated Cabell Midland twice in the regular season. Then, when SA played host to the Knights in a Region 4 co-final with a state tournament berth on the line, Midland pulled the upset and extended St. Albans' state tournament drought which reaches to 1993.

Cooper, while not alluding directly to that loss, toed a closer line tied to the present when asked the same question that was presented to her coach.

"I think it's both important. We've really been trying to show people our team, because people don't really respect us that much," Cooper said. "We're showing them we deserve respect. I just think it's a big deal that we did both those things today."

Top-seeded St. Albans will open postseason play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at home, when it takes on the winner of Monday's game between No. 4 seed Winfield (4-16) and fifth-seeded Point Pleasant (3-17) in Class AAA's Region 4, Section 1 tournament. No. 3 seed Nitro (10-10) will play at second-seeded Hurricane (14-6) at the same day and time, with the winners of Wednesday's games playing for the sectional championship Friday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Wednesday's semifinal between Nitro and Hurricane will showcase two of the MSAC's leading scorers. The Redskins are led by University of Charleston commit and MSAC Player of the Year Abby Watson, who enters the postseason averaging 21.7 points per game and is buouyed by freshman Mary Rogoszewski's 12.1-point average and sophomore Maddy Weeks' 11.9 points per game. Nitro senior Savannah Shamblin, the school's third all-time leading scorer, averages an area-best 26.9 points per game.

The other side of the Region 4 bracket will be played at Logan, with top-seeded and Class AAA No. 3 Huntington (19-2), the MSAC champion, awaiting the winner of Monday's play-in game between Lincoln County (8-11) and Cabell Midland (8-11). Spring Valley and Logan will also play Wednesday, with the final on Friday. The loser of each sectional championship game will play at the winner of the opposite section in regional co-championship games on March 3.

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ELSEWHERE, PLAY in Class AAA's Region 3, Section 1 begins Monday when No. 4 seed Ripley (6-14) plays host to winless fifth seed Riverside (0-18). The winner of that game will visit top-seeded South Charleston (17-4) on Wednesday, with No. 3 seed Capital (7-13) playing at No. 2 seed George Washington (12-7) the same night. The semifinal winners will meet Friday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

South Charleston fell flat in the fourth quarter Saturday against Huntington in the MSAC championship game, being outscored 21-8 en route to a 72-55 loss.

"We just didn't take care of the ball there, and we tried to change defenses to put pressure on them, but we just didn't play very well," SC coach Gary Greene said.

Since claiming a 14-point win at home against second-ranked Parkersburg South on Dec. 27, fifth-ranked SC is 3-3 against teams ranked in the latest Associated Press girls basketball poll. One thing in the Black Eagles' favor, however, is that the only other team in Region 3 that has been ranked all season is Greenbrier East (14-3), the top seed in Section 2.

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SISSONVILLE WRAPPED up the Cardinal Conference championship by virtue of Saturday's cancelled game at Chapmanville. The Indians (19-2) finished with a 13-0 record in the league, with Chapmanville at 11-1 in conference play and 14-5 overall.

The teams, on opposite sides of the Class AA Region 4 bracket, begin sectional play this week with No. 2 seed Sissonville taking on rival and No. 3 seed Herbert Hoover (13-6) in Section 1 on Wednesday in Sissonville. Top-seeded Clay County (17-3) awaits the winner of Monday's first-round game between No. 5 seed Poca (7-13) and No. 4 seed Nicholas County (8-9), to be played in Summersville. The semifinal winners will meet Friday at the highest-remaining seed's gym.

Section 2 will be played at the Williamson Fieldhouse. Class AA regional games are scheduled for March 4.

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CHARLESTON CATHOLIC received the No. 2 seed in Class A's Region 4, Section 2 tournament. The Irish (8-10) will open play Wednesday at home against No. 3 seed Hannan (3-10), with the winner advancing to Friday's championship. Wahama (0-15) and Buffalo (1-18) play the first-round game on Monday in Buffalo, with the winner moving on to face six-time defending state champion and top-seeded St. Joseph (14-5) on Wednesday in Huntington.

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

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George Washington wrestling team turns focus to state tournament http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229773 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229773 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:30:27 -0500 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The George Washington wrestling team came close to claiming a Class AAA Region 3 championship on Saturday in Beckley, but the Patriots came up three points shy of Ripley to finish as runner-up.

Missing out on a championship trophy by that margin stung a bit, sure, but GW coach Richard Harper said that is all over and the focus is squarely on next weekend's state tournament in Huntington.

GW led all Kanawha Valley schools with 10 state tournament qualifiers. Senior David Smith will try to win the 285-pound weight class for the second consecutive season after claiming the regional title on Saturday, while juniors Philip Sharp (113) and Sam Moore (126) also won regional titles. Those three aren't the only ones Harper expects to make noise at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena

"You go into that tournament 0-0 and it's anyone's game," Harper said. "Whoever feels better and is wrestling better can win. Ideally, we've got 10 guys going in and I expect all 10 to do well. The pill that came out makes the road a little tougher but we just play that out and don't worry too much about it. We just hope to still have some guys there wrestling on Saturday and have some guys contending for a high place. That's our main job right now, getting their minds set and getting ready for that long three-day haul at the state tournament."

The "pill" Harper referred to is what determines the tournament draw as far as where each wrestler, depending on their regional finish, is placed in the state tournament bracket. Of the three possibilities, pill No. 2 was picked and created some potentially tough matchups for several of the Patriots' wrestlers.

Once the pill was picked and the tournament bracket was set is when GW turned it's attention away from the agony just missing out on the regional team title to preparing for the state tournament.

"We came up three points shorts of a regional title so we weren't real thrilled about that," he said. "A lot of things could change that but it's over and done with. Once that pill came out Saturday night they forgot all about that."

In addition to the three regional champions, GW's other seven qualifiers are senior David Pancake (132), junior Levi Smith (138), junior Corey Shamblin (145), junior Logan Priddy (160), junior Hunter Jones (170), freshman Tanner Williams (182) and junior Jared Tate (220)

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SIX WRESTLERS enter the final weekend of the season with a chance to finish undefeated, including one from the Kanawha Valley.

GW's Smith, the defending Class AAA 285 state champion who has committed to play football at Kent State, improved his record to 50-0 after claiming the Region 3 title this weekend. Smith's first round opponent is John Marshall sophomore Nathan Simmons (11-16).

Three other Class AAA wrestlers have zero losses - University senior Ryan Lopez (42-0, 152), Wheeling Park senior and two-time state runner-up Dallas Baciak (40-0, 126) and Buckhannon-Upshur senior Brandon Tenney (48-0, 126). Baciak and Tenney are on opposite sides of the 126 bracket, setting up the possibility of an all-undefeated state championship match on Saturday night in Huntington.

In Class AA/A, Independence sophomore Noah Adams (40-0, 170) and Clay County junior Brandon White (46-0, 195) enter the tournament with the chance to finish the season without a loss. Adams, the 2014 state champion at 152, can win his second title in as many seasons while White finished third at 195 last season.

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THE BATTLE at the top of the Class AAA 132-pound weight class continued in the Region 4 championship match on Saturday. Winfield senior Bryce Humphreys (35-2), a two-time state champion, won a 6-3 decision against Huntington senior Jordan Allen (25-9), a three-time state champion. Not to be forgotten, Ripley junior Lucas Simpkins (39-2), also a former individual state champion, won the Region 3 title. Simpkins and Allen are in the 132 upper bracket while Humphreys in lower bracket.

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WINFIELD QUALIFIED the second-most wrestlers among the Kanawha Valley schools, with seven Generals set for an appearance in the state tournament. Herbert Hoover was next with six in the tournament field followed by St. Albans and Riverside (five each), Nitro and Sissonville (three each), Capital and Hurricane (two each) with South Charleston and Buffalo each sending one wrestler to Huntington.

Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.

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UC softball to lean on senior pitchers this season http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229774 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229774 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:28:43 -0500 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - There is an old adage that pitching wins. University of Charleston softball coach Ray Loeser certainly hopes that is the case.

Loeser's Golden Eagles return Morgan Aguirre and Courtney Fain, not only the team's top two pitchers but a pair of the best arms in the Mountain East Conference.

Aguirre, a former Logan standout, and Fain ranked at the top of the MEC in several key pitching categories, including strikeouts, wins and saves.

Loeser knows he has quite the 1-2 pitching punch, which gives the Golden Eagles an opportunity to win every game they are in the circle.

UC opened its season with a pair of victories - 11-2 and 7-0 - against Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. Aguirre dazzled in her 2015 debut, tossing six shutout innings with six strikeouts and two hits allowed in the shutout win. Fain gave up a couple of earned runs in the 11-2 victory, but allowed just one hit with four strikeouts and four walks.

UC is coming off a 32-19 season and was predicted to finish fourth in the preseason MEC coaches poll.

"Offense is nice but pitching wins," Loeser said. "It is nice to know that whoever you play, you have a chance to compete and win. We feel like we feature two of the top pitchers in the conference.

"When you have two, you are doing a lot better than a lot of the other teams. A lot of teams have a great pitcher but we can bring two. The key to success is having two and it makes things much easier."

Aguirre had a 2.27 earned run average (sixth best in the MEC), a .222 opposing batting average (fifth), 165 strikeouts (second), 14 wins (eighth) and three saves (third) last season. Fain tossed 154 innings pitched (ninth in the MEC) with 159 strikeouts (third), 14 wins (eighth) and two saves (fifth).

Loeser said his hurlers bring something different to the table.

"They are so complementary of each other," Loeser said. "Courtney is trying to set you up more and mix more up and down, in and out. Morgan's goal is to throw the ball by you. She has great velocity."

Loeser uses them equally as Fain was 14-7 and Aguirre 14-9 last season. Sometimes they pitch in the same game in relief of each other, by design.

"The goal is to win every game you play, and what that entails in how we use them, I don't know," Loeser said. "Statistics show hitters do much better when they see a pitcher a third time."

Despite their successes last season, neither made the all-MEC first or second team, something that Loeser believes they should have but knows is a result of their shared usage.

"They hurt each award-wise because who do you pick?", Loeser said. "They just want the team to win and it's a great feeling to know you have the pitching position filled with two of the best."

Fain knows that whether their role is starting or coming out of the bullpen, that opportunities will be there for individual and team success.

"It's a great feeling to know we have two good pitchers at any time," Fain said. "Our dynamic works really well. We are different pitchers and whether we pitch four and three, or all seven innings, it's something completely different for batters."

Fain and Aguirre are seniors, so Loeser brought in former Wayne standout Jessie Rowe and plans to bring his freshman along slowly.

"We can give an opportunity to Jessie Rowe, who is a former state champion," the UC coach said. "She can come in here and develop and compete at the highest level for the next four years."

Offensively, UC is led by Rachelle Toppings, a second-team all-conference selection last season after hitting .393, third best in the MEC.

"Having our leading hitter back in Rachelle is great," Loeser said. "She was our only all-conference player. She is key to our offense and it's nice to have her back in the lineup."

Shortstop Andrea Hayes also returns, coming off a season that saw the speedster rank in the top two of the league in triples with six and third in stolen bases with 22.

"It's a great feeling to return your starting shortstop, who has been out there everyday," Loeser said. "She led the team in hits, runs and stolen bases. She is one of our offensive catalysts."

Loeser is excited that he returns six starters on offense, including Hayes, Toppings, center fielder Katelyn Hamilton, catcher Ayla Santos, third baseman Kelly Browning and second baseman Jenna Evans.

"It is huge when you return two senior pitchers and so many starters, including three of your infielders at third, short and second," Loeser said. "Those things help a lot."

Loeser is also expecting big things from returnee Allison Evans, along with newcomers Cortney Norris, Bethany Williams and Alayna Carlson.

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W.Va. State softball returns deep roster http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229775 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229775 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:28:14 -0500 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Last season was a timultuous one for the West Virginia State softball program.

Former Yellow Jacket coach Bob Allen resigned mid-season and assistant coach Kerri Blackwell took over the team for the remainder on an interim basis.

Blackwell was officially named the head coach in June and is excited to be leading the way for State. The Yellow Jackets were predicted to finish eighth in the Mountain East coaches pre-season poll.

"We are very excited and to see what the future holds," Blackwell said. "The team has worked really hard. The program is about the kids and the culture that we build here. We are very proud of it."

State opens the season on March 1 in the Snowbird Softball Tourney In Myrtle Beach, S.C., against Kings College (Pa.) in a doubleheader. The Yellow Jackets will play nine games down at the tournament.

Blackwell, who was been an assistant coach for State for seven seasons, was a former Herbert Hoover and University of Charleston softball standout. She earned All-West Virginia Conference honors all four years of her college playing career and was the 1998 Daily Mail Kanawha County Player of the Year.

State brings back a lot of experience, including eight returning starters. The only senior the Yellow Jacket loses is Mattie Best, who will be an assistant coach with the team along with longtime assistant Nip Anderson.

The returners include Sydney Kaplan, seniors Alana Weyant, Sabrina Schouten, Kelsey Martin, Victoria Crawford, Hannah Griffith, and Megan Schoolcraft along with Dee Dee Loftis.

"It is nice to have that leadership with all the returners back," Blackwell said. "They are 100 percent a whole unit and team. They know if one does well, they all do well."

Offensively, State is led by first team All-MEC performer Kaplan, a former Cabell Midland standout, who led the league in home runs with 12. The junior also is the leading returning hitter, and posted a .322 average in 2014.

"Sydney is a workhorse," Blackwell said. "She is a very focused and determined kid. I am excited to see what she is going to do this year. She leads by example and will give her best, 100 percent."

Pitching appears to be the biggest obstacle facing Blackwell and State entering the season after the Yellow Jackets lost standout pitcher Anna Eggleston, who transferred to West Virginia Wesleyan. Allen is now an assistant on the Bobcats as well.

Eggleston was not only the workhorse for State but also the entire MEC, pitching the most innings in the league by almost 50 frames. Eggleston threw 249.2 innings.

Blackwell brought in three pitchers to go along with the two returning in hoping to replace Eggleston, a first-team All-MEC selection.

"We have a quality pitching staff," Blackwell said. "They all will do work for us. We have Ally Burgess, Ali Haynes, Calli Norton, Chelsey Parkins and Jessica Simmons."

Blackwell is also excited about a slew of newcomers, who are all expected to see the field and contribute to the team.

They include Burgess, Norton, Ally Funk, Diamond Mejia, Micca Mirabella, Shandell Curtis, and Chelsey Parkins.

"I look forward to our freshmen being a huge part of what we do," Blackwell said. "They have shown me day-in and day-out that they are ready for the challenge. I expect all of them to get quality playing time and all are going to be contributing components to our success."

State has a number of former area standouts on its roster including Martin of Hurricane, Loftis from Sissonville, Crawford of Cabell Midland, Griffith from Scott, and Haynes of St. Albans.

Local newcomers to the team locally include Funk of Winfield, and Buffalo's Parkins, who won the a Class A state title all four seasons with the Bison.

There are several other key former local area standouts that are playing on teams throughout the Mountain East Conference.

They include Charleston Catholic's Brianna Ross of West Virginia Wesleyan, St. Albans' Alyssa Bonham of Concord, and Hurricane's Addie Fullen of Fairmont State.

Several MEC teams have multiple former area players on their rosters, including West Liberty's Damia Mogielski (Herbert Hoover) and Katie Higginbotham (Buffalo) along with Glenville State's McKenzie Edmonds (Herbert Hoover) and Bailey Rabel (George Washington).

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Joey Logano wins Daytona 500 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/ARTICLE/150229788 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/ARTICLE/150229788 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 18:08:18 -0500

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Joey Logano, the driver who has spent seven years trying to live up to impossible expectations, raced to his first career Daytona 500 victory Sunday as he continued to reward Roger Penske for catapulting him into one of NASCAR's top stars.

Nicknamed "Sliced Bread" when he broke into the Sprint Cup Series at 18 because so many predicted him to be the next big thing, Logano found himself searching for a new job after four underwhelming seasons.

He was snatched up by Penske for the 2013 season after being dropped by Joe Gibbs Racing, a move that jumpstarted his career. His victory in "The Great American Race" on Sunday gave "The Captain" his second Daytona 500 title. Penske, one of the most respected team owners in motorsports, also has a record 15 Indianapolis 500 wins.

"Daytona 500, oh my God! Are you kidding me?" Logano yelled in victory lane. "I was so nervous the whole race."

The 24-year-old from Connecticut was quiet for most of the race, which was dominated by four-time champion Jeff Gordon.

Making the final Daytona 500 start of his career, Gordon won the pole and led the field to green in the first race of his last Sprint Cup season. Gordon kept his Chevrolet out front for 77 of the first 100 laps, and led a race-high 87 laps.

But when the slicing and dicing for the win began, Gordon was mired in traffic and Logano suddenly found himself in contention. He had reason to fret, though, after Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski went to the garage with an engine failure.

Then Ryan Blaney, another Ford driver, also lost an engine, and Logano was in danger of the same fate.

But after Blaney's engine failure set up a restart with 19 laps remaining, Logano buckled down for white-knuckle, three-wide racing throughout the field. He surged to the front and seemed to have the race under control, but a caution with three laps remaining forced him to fight for the win one last time.

NASCAR needed nearly seven minutes of stoppage to clean the track, and it set up a two-lap sprint to the finish.

Logano sat in his car thinking about a strategy, which wasn't the most comforting feeling.

"You got a red flag, and they give you the opportunity to think of everything," he said.

And even though Penske and a committee of team executives watch from the roof and offer advice, there was nothing in his ear with the win on the line.

"It's funny because the whole team gets pretty quiet when you're about to win the Daytona 500," Logano said.

He got a terrific jump on the field, and as Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. mounted their push for the lead, a wreck further back in the field brought out the yellow flag.

It froze the field and Logano won under caution.

Reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick finished second and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., the defending race winner.

Denny Hamlin finished fourth in a Toyota and was followed by six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle.

Gordon was involved in the final accident and finished 33rd.

Tony Stewart's drought at Daytona extended to 0-for-17 when he was involved in a multi-car accident on an early restart.

Stewart seemed to drift up the track into rookie Ryan Blaney, and the contact sent Stewart into the outside wall. Stewart took his car to the garage, returned to the race down 64 laps, and eventually called it a day and accepted his 42nd-place finish.

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Kyle Busch breaks right leg in crash at Daytona http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/ARTICLE/150229804 ARTICLE http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/ARTICLE/150229804 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 09:27:09 -0500

By JENNA FRYER

AP Auto Racing Writer

Play our auto racing challenge

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Kyle Busch broke his right leg and left foot in a vicious hit Saturday into a concrete wall during the Xfinity Series race. He'll miss the Daytona 500 on Sunday and is out indefinitely.

Busch sustained a right lower leg compound fracture and left mid-foot fracture in the crash with eight laps remaining. Joe Gibbs Racing said he had surgery to repair his left leg, was resting comfortably and will remain hospitalized for observation.

Later Saturday night, NASCAR's final appeals officer upheld Kurt Busch's indefinite suspension for an alleged domestic assault on an ex-girlfriend last fall. It means the Daytona 500 will not have one of the Busch brothers in the field for the first time since 2000.

Matt Crafton, a two-time Truck Series champion, will replace Busch in the No. 18 Toyota on Sunday in the season-opening Sprint Cup Series race. It will be Crafton's Daytona 500 debut.

Busch's injury occurred when his car slammed head-on into an interior wall that did not have an energy-absorbing SAFER barrier. It's a similar injury to the one suffered by Tony Stewart in an August 2013 sprint car crash, but not as severe as Stewart's was a double compound fracture.

Stewart missed the final 15 races of 2013, couldn't get in a race car until February, 2014, and underwent a fourth surgery in December to replace the rod in his leg. He walked with a limp for more than a year.

Stewart tweeted that he "felt terrible" for his former teammate. "He's tough and will bounce back soon. Thinking about you bud!" the three-time NASCAR champion posted.

A somber Joie Chitwood, president of Daytona International Speedway, said the track failed in not having the soft walls and will start next week on having them installed "on every inch of our property."

"The Daytona International Speedway did not live up to its responsibility today. We should have had SAFER barrier there," Chitwood said. "We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now."

Track officials will install tire packs along that 850-foot linear square foot of wall that Busch hit in time for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Chitwood said planning on covering the entire 2.5-mile facility would begin Monday.

"This is not going to happen again. We're going to live up to our responsibility," Chitwood said. "We really can't mention financials as a reason for this. Come Monday, we're going to start the plan to put SAFER barrier everywhere here and finances don't come into play. That's really not a question."

Following the hit, Busch was only able to climb halfway through his window and was pointing in the direction of his right leg when rescue personnel arrived.

Busch was pulled from the car and laid on the ground, and his leg appeared to be stabilized in a splint before he was placed on a stretcher then into an ambulance. His wife, Samantha, was crying as she left the infield care center with team owner Joe Gibbs and team president J.D. Gibbs. Samantha Busch is pregnant with the couple's first child, a boy due in May.

Busch was transported to a hospital, and NASCAR announced roughly an hour later that Busch won't participate Sunday in the Sprint Cup Series' season-opening Daytona 500.

As Busch was being treated in a hospital, older brother Kurt was in front of NASCAR's final appeals officer trying to get his indefinite suspension lifted.

Stewart-Haas Racing will use Regan Smith in the Daytona 500 as Kurt Busch's replacement.

Ryan Reed won the race, his first career national series victory, in the debut event for Xfinity as sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier series.

Reed, the 21-year-old driver for Roush Fenway Racing, passed Brad Keselowski for the lead on the last lap to grab the win. Diagnosed four years ago with Type 1 diabetes, Reed thanked sponsor Eli Lilly, which runs a "Drive to Stop Diabetes" campaign.

"I thought I would never drive a race car again. Now, I'm standing here in victory lane at Daytona with Roush Fenway," he said. "Not only for me and my family, but every kid who gets diagnosed with diabetes or anything that says you can't do something. Just go and there and overcome it and do it and win and do the best you can."

But the focus was on Busch's injury, which occurred when his car slid fast through the grass and slammed into a wall that did not have the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers that were one of the many safety initiatives that came about after Dale Earnhardt's death in 2001. The SAFER Barrier debuted in 2002 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The walls were developed by Dr. Dean Sicking at the University of Nebraska and are currently installed in some form at every track used by NASCAR's top series.

The barriers, a combination of steel and foam, cost about $500 a foot which can be a hefty bill at a 2.5 mile superspeedway like Daytona. The soft walls absorb the energy during impact and lessen injuries sustained to a driver.

Tracks only install SAFER barriers where NASCAR recommends to them they should be placed. NASCAR, meanwhile, cites evaluations of high-impact areas in deciding where the material should be placed.

Reaction was swift after Busch's wreck on social media from drivers calling on NASCAR to install the energy-absorbing material everywhere at race tracks.

"It's beyond me why we don't have soft walls everywhere," tweeted six-time champion Jimmie Johnson.

Former driver Jeff Burton, now a television analyst, called on NASCAR to overcome costs, "It's very expensive but we have to find a way."

And Smith, who earlier in the race rolled his car for the first time in his career, said it was inexcusable in 2015 for tracks hosting national events not to have SAFER barriers everywhere.

"I'm genuinely furious right now," tweeted Smith, the driver who will replace Kurt Busch in the Daytona 500.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said the series will accelerate talks with all tracks in the series about the installation of additional SAFER barriers.

"We all know that racing is an inherently dangerous sport, but our priority is safety, and we'll continue to put things in place that make this sport as safe as possible," O'Donnell said.

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Kanawha Valley wrestlers claim 13 regional titles http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229807 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150222/DM03/150229807 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 00:17:41 -0500 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Wrestlers from the Kanawha Valley claimed 13 regional championships ahead of next weekend's state tournament in Huntington.

In Class AA/A Region 4, Herbert Hoover senior Blake Whittington (170-pounds) and Sissonville Senior Clay Whitney (285) each won titles with Hoover sophomore Chase Stover (113) and Buffalo sophomore Dylan Lucas (152) placing second in their weight classes.

Three George Washington wrestlers ­ - juniors Philip Sharp (113) and Sam Moore (126) along with senior David Smith (285) ­- won in Class AAA Region 3. South Charleston senior Fred Crozier (160), Riverside sophomore Brice Pomeroy (195) and junior Hunter Green (145) along with Capital sophomore Chris Harris (220) also took first in the region with Riverside sophomore Steven Slack (106), GW senior David Pancake (132), GW juniors Levi Smith (138) and Hunter Jones (170) and GW freshman Tanner Williams (182) finishing as runners-up.

KV wrestlers produced four titles in Class AAA Region 4. St. Albans won two of those with junior Micah Crewdson (126) and sophomore Michael Milam (152) each winning. Winfield senior and two-time state champion Bryce Humphreys won at 132 while Nitro senior Hunter Skeens took first at 220. St. Albans junior Trey Harmon (138), Winfield senior Evan Fairchild (145) and Nitro junior Terrel Jackson (160) each finished second in Region 4.

Other Kanawha Valley state tournament qualifiers:

Class AA/A

Herbert Hoover: Justin Stover (frehsman, 106); Zach Callen (senior, 138); Alex Goff (senior, 152); Ben Bailey (freshman, 220).

Sissonville: Jon Garnes (senior, 120); Caleb Whittington (freshman, 145).

Class AAA

Capital: Christian Price (junior, 126).

Riverside: Dustin Young (senior, 132); Nick Stirewalt (junior, 285).

George Washington: Corey Shamblin (junior, 145); Logan Priddy (junior, 160); Jared Tate (junior, 220).

Hurricane: Josh Talbott (sophomore, 106); Chase Gibson (sophomore, 152).

Winfield: Desean Williams (sophomore, 113); Tyler Payne (senior, 170); Michael Doss (senior, 195); Noah Julian (senior, 220).

St. Albans: Isiah Whittington (freshman, 120); Anthony Atkins (junior, 145).

Nitro: Nick DeVaney (sophomore, 285).

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No. 3 Capital rolls No. 1 South Charleston http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150221/DM03/150229808 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150221/DM03/150229808 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 23:07:13 -0500 By Rich Stevens While South Charleston boys basketball head coach Vic Herbert sat on the bench in agony from sciatica, Capital brought the pain on the floor, inflicting a 67-38 rout on the top-ranked team in the Associated Press Class AAA Poll on Saturday.

This wasn't an ordinary one-sided result. The Black Eagles (19-2) were protecting a 29-game winning streak at the South Charleston Community Center and this loss came in the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday night in front of a packed house.

Oh, and it was the worst defeat in Herbert's tenure at South Charleston, which began in 2009.

"I thought the kids played real well," said the typically stoic Carl Clark, who is in his 21st season guiding the third-ranked Cougars. "We kept the pressure on Brandon (Knapper) and I think it kind of wore him down. When he went out of the ballgame ... I don't know why he went out of the ballgame and didn't come back in, he was hitting shots at the beginning and as the second quarter was winding down he wasn't hitting as much."

Capital's 10th consecutive victory was guided by the speed of sophomore point guard Leondre Rogers, the basket attacking of junior combo guard Miguel Bays and the steadying influence of senior Jordan Kinney.

It also came without Knapper for the final 11:47. Knapper, a junior and WVU recruit who is a candidate for the Evans Award given to the state's top boys basketball player, was removed from the game with 4:13 left in the third. Following a disagreement with an assistant coach, he remained on the bench after scoring just 12 points, 11.7 below his average.

"It is an internal matter and it will be dealt with swiftly," said Herbert in reference to Knapper.

The presence of its star hardly made a difference in the worst defeat South Charleston has suffered since Dec. 17, 2007 when Capital handed coach Bobby Dawson's Black Eagles an eerily similar loss, 67-39, at Capital High School. Knapper scored 10 points in the first quarter and added his final basket with 6:54 remaining in the second. Capital (16-3) answered with a 17-3 run into halftime. Knapper's total was a season low, beating his previous low mark of 13, which he had in a 74-43 rout of Elkins in the Shootout in the Big House on Feb. 11.

"That was one or two of the worst displays of basketball I've had as a coach," said Herbert, who coached at Logan from 1986-93 and won the 1991 Class AAA state title with the Wildcats. "You can't take anything away from (Capital). They beat our butts. They were the better team tonight."

In multiple ways.

Rogers had just six first-half points on 2-of-9 shooting, but had four steals and three assists. Knapper also picked up both of his fouls - the second came with 4:48 left in the first half - while guarding the speedster.

"Coach and cap (captain Jordan Kinney) always tell me it starts with the point guard," Rogers said. "Defense is the key."

The Black Eagles had six turnovers in the second quarter and nine in the first half. The Cougars didn't commit one in the first quarter and had only four at halftime, playing the up-tempo style that is a staple of the program and helped the Cougars win back-to-back Class AAA titles in 2000 and 2001.

"We had a walk-through (Saturday) and talked about not taking as many jumpers, get more rebounds and the last time they outrebounded us," said Bays, who had a career-high 26 points and was 7-of-11 from the floor in the second half. "We have speed and when we get the rebound, outlet and go down the court."

Assistant coach Sean Knapper - Brandon Knapper's father - stood and directed the team most of the night while Herbert sat on the bench after a fall Saturday that triggered pain in his sciatic nerve.

The Black Eagles couldn't put a dent in the lead, as Capital ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run, started the fourth with a 9-2 run and took its biggest lead at 64-34 with 1:51 left on a Kinney dunk.

The victory, Bays said, showed that the Cougars aren't going to wilt in the postseason as they seek their first state tournament berth since 2010 when all of the current players were in middle school.

"It's a big statement," Bays said. "When we get to states, people will take us seriously."

Kinney, who was named the Most Valuable Player of Capital's state football championship game victory over South Charleston in December, said having so many upperclassmen on the roster makes a difference.

"Last year we only had one senior," said Kinney, who had 11 points (6.9 below his average) as well as three assists, two steals and a blocked shot while taking only 12 shots. "A leader doesn't have to be a senior, but it helps when your leaders are seniors. This year we have seven. We've played together for four years. We just step up."

Capital will conclude its regular season on Feb. 26 when the Cougars visit Logan. Clark's team will play just 20 regular-season games - two shy of the maximum - after it didn't play its two games as an original participant of the Big Atlantic Classic in Beckley.

South Charleston wraps up the regular season on Saturday at Wheeling Park.

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Marshall suffers more cold shooting in loss to UAB http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150221/DM03/150229810 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150221/DM03/150229810 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 22:33:12 -0500

from staff reports

Another cold shooting night led to another disappointing road result for the Marshall men's basketball team.

The Thundering Herd dropped its second straight game Saturday night, a 72-54 setback at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, by shooting just 17 of 59 from the floor (28.8 percent) and 4 of 25 from 3-point range (16 percent). Marshall (9-18, 5-9 Conference USA) has won just one of 12 games away from the Cam Henderson Center.

"We're back to where we can't score," Marshall coach Dan D'Antoni said on the postgame radio broadcast. "You can't shoot in the 28-percent area. It puts too much pressure on your defense. I thought, defensively, we were in great shape until we just couldn't score. Then they broke it open a little bit in the second half."

All 11 Marshall players scored Saturday, but only one - Justin Edmonds with 11 points - scored in double figures. Foul trouble again plagued leading scorer Ryan Taylor, who fouled out with 3:43 left in the game and recorded just nine points and seven rebounds.

The boards once again were a problem for the Herd, as UAB (15-13, 11-4 C-USA) outrebounded Marshall, 48-38.

The Herd began the game making 3 of its first 5 shots and held an early 7-0 lead, as the Blazers missed their first seven shots from the floor. Marshall went cold after that, making 7 of 28 from the floor after that first flurry. UAB led by as many as 11 in the first half before heading into halftime up 31-22.

As poorly as UAB shot in the first half - 32.4 percent on 11-of-34 shooting - Marshall was worse. At 10 for 33, the Herd ended the half shooting just 30.3 percent. The Herd had a pair of key players in first-half foul trouble. Ryan Taylor played just five first-half minutes after picking up three fouls, and Jay Johnson was saddled with three fouls as well.

"When (Taylor) is not in there, we don't have that distributor," D'Antoni said. "And we need that extra distributor in there with (point guard Aleksa Nikolic). He can't carry a team yet as a freshman. He's just not there."

Nikolic recorded two assists against five turnovers and scored just two points on 1 of 8 shooting.

Austin Loop scored seven points for Marshall, but made just 1 of 7 from the floor and 1 of 6 from 3-point range. UAB got a pair of double-doubles from William Lee (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Chris Coakley (11 points, 13 rebounds).

Marshall heads back to the Cam Henderson Center this week and will host Florida International at 8 p.m. Thursday (GetTV).

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Huntington pulls away from SC to claim MSAC title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150221/DM03/150229821 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150221/DM03/150229821 Sat, 21 Feb 2015 21:06:35 -0500 By Derek Taylor SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Mountain State Athetic Conference girls basketball championship game almost didn't happen Saturday.

Huntington coach Lonnie Lucas was sure glad he made the drive to the South Charleston Community Center after all, as the Highlanders got 23 points and 15 rebounds from Jordyn Dawson and a near triple-double from Dazha Congleton to beat South Charleston 72-55 to claim the conference title.

"Greene and I talked this morning. We almost called it off ourselves," Lucas said, referring to an early conversation he had with SC coach Gary Greene on Saturday, which saw snow and rain create treacherous traveling conditions and even prohibit several Huntington reserves from making the trip with their team.

"He said, 'I'll do whatever you want to do, coach. You've got farther to drive.' I said, 'Well, we need to play and you need to play...let's see if I can get there."

Lucas and the Class AAA No. 3 Highalnders (19-2) got there all right, and though they led SC (17-4) just 51-47 entering the fourth quarter, it was that final eight minutes in which Congleton, Dawson and others showed their superiority most.

A putback by SC's Rhea Smith opened the quarter and brought the Black Eagles to within two points of the lead, but consecutive buckets by Ericka Budd and Lacy Johnson set up sophomore guard Lexi Sheffield's back-to-back baskets that included a 3-pointer and put the Highlanders up 60-49 before SC could get back on the scoreboard.

Sheffield had 12 points in the win while Budd finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Highlanders won the battle on the boards 45-35, while - especially in the second half - SC could get almost no offensive production out of any player besides sophomore and 2014 Kanawha Valley Rookie of the Year Aaliyah Dunham.

Dunham finished with a team-high 21 points.

"We were able to keep our starters in most of the time," Lucas said. "We didn't have to take Jordyn out at any time, didn't have to take Lexi out in the second half. We took Dazha out for minute to get a minute's rest.

"We got a little gap in there when we didn't take it to the basket," Lucas said. "We wanted to jack up 3s. That's not us...when we settled down and did what we're supposed to do I started to feel a little more comfortable."

For Greene, the game devolved into what he has found most frustrating about his young but talented team all season.

"As a team, we go into streaks where we're missing 1-and-2-footers," Greene said. "The offense is getting us some great looks. But if you miss 1-and-2 footers, and you miss 12-foot jump shots when there's nobody on you...that's what we've been fighting all year, for four-and-five minutes at a time.

"I told them, 'We've been off 11 days, but there's no excuse for not boxing out twice on free throws,'" Greene said. "That went into four points. I don't think we got a loose ball tonight. I don't care if you're off for 111 days, you can go for loose balls and you can box out on free throws."

SC shot 37.1 percent (23 of 62) from the floor, but other than Dunham - who frequently was shooting from the perimeter thus more interior shots were taken by the rest of the team - the Black Eagles were 14-of-41 (34.1 percent).

Congleton finished the night with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

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

HUNTINGTON 72, SOUTH CHARLESTON 55

Huntington (19-2)

Lacy Johnson 2-6 2-2 7, Lexi Sheffield 4-5 1-1 12, Dazha Congleton 6-18 5-6 18, Jordyn Dawson 10-17 0-2 23, Ericka Budd 5-12 0-0 10, Mariah Harmon 1-4 0-1 2, Kersta Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Joselyn Almonte 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 28-63 8-12 72.

South Charleston (17-4)

Aaliyah Dunham 9-21 1-2 21, Taliah Cashwell 4-19 1-1 10, Rhea Smith 5-7 0-0 10, Jayla Brown 2-5 0-0 4, Aryaunna Mosley 2-6 1-2 5, BRi More 1-3 2-2 4, Shyanne Dunham 0-1 1-4 1, Haley Baker 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 23-62 6-11 55.

Huntington 12 21 18 21 ­- 72

South Charleston 15 16 16 8 - 55

3-point shooting: Huntington 8-17 (Sheffield 3-3, Dawson 3-3, Congleton 1-5, Johnson 1-4, Harmon 0-2), SC 3-11 (A. Dunham 2-6, Cashwell 1-4, Brown 0-1); Rebounds: Huntington 45 (Dawson 15, Budd 9, Congleton 9), SC 35 (Smith 11); Assists: Huntington 12 (Congleton 8), SC 5 (A. Dunham 2); Steals: Huntington 3 (Congleton 2), SC 3 (Cashwell, Mosley, Moore); Blocks: Huntington 6 (Dawson 4), SC 3 (Smith 2); Total fouls: Huntington 13, SC 15; Turnovers: Huntington 10, SC 7.

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