www.charlestondailymail.com Prep Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2015, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Girls high school basketball sectional schedules, results http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150226/DM03/150229413 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150226/DM03/150229413 Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:05:06 -0500 Class AAA

Region 1, Section 1

Wednesday: Parkersburg South 81, Brooke 27; Parkersburg 51, Wheeling Park 31

Friday: No. 2 Parkersburg at No. 1 Parkersburg South, 7 p.m.

Region 1, Section 2

Tuesday: Morgantown 76, University 25; John Marshall 55, Preston 53

Thursday: No. 2 John Marshall at No. 1 Morgantown, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 1

Monday: Spring Mills 81, Hedgesville 42; Musselman 57, Washington 47

Wednesday: Martinsburg 70, Musselman 52; Jefferson 58, Spring Mills 51

Friday: No. 2 Jefferson at No. 1 Martinsburg, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 2

Wednesday: Buckhannon-Upshur 52, Elkins 29; Hampshire 56, Lewis County 54

Friday: No. 2 Hampshire at No. 1 Buckhannon-Upshur, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 1

Monday: Ripley 79, Riverside 24

Wednesday: South Charleston 87, Ripley 37; Capital 56, George Washington 50

Friday: No. 3 Capital at No. 1 South Charleston, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 2

Tuesday: Oak Hill 56, Shady Spring 27

Wednesday: Greenbrier East 81, Oak Hill 32; Princeton 62, Woodrow Wilson 53

Friday: No. 2 Princeton at No. 1 Greenbrier East, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 1

Monday: Winfield 58, Point Pleasant 25

Wednesday: St. Albans 72, Winfield 31; Hurricane 57, Nitro 50

Friday: No. 2 Hurricane at No. 1 St. Albans, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 2

At Logan High School

Monday: Cabell Midland 54, Lincoln County 49

Wednesday: Huntington 63, Cabell Midland 33; Spring Valley 83, Logan 67

Friday: No. 2 Spring Valley at No. 1 Huntington, 7:30 p.m.

Class AA

Region 1, Section 1

Monday: East Fairmont 55, Weir 30

Wednesday: Fairmont Senior 77, East Fairmont 32; North Marion 99, Oak Glen 66

Friday: No. 2 North Marion at No. 1 Fairmont Senior, 7 p.m.

Region 1, Section 2

Monday: Braxton County 51, Webster County 45

Wednesday: Ravenswood 65, Braxton County 42; Ritchie County 41, Roane County 38

Friday: No. 2 Roane County at No. 1 Ravenswood, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 1

Tuesday: Keyser 75, Berkeley Springs 29; Frankfort 59, Petersburg 38

Friday: No. 2 Frankfort at No. 1 Keyser, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 2

Monday: Grafton 50, Philip Barbour 42; Robert C. Byrd 35, Liberty (Harrison) 20

Wednesday: Bridgeport 41, Robert C. Byrd 24; Lincoln 57, Grafton 54, OT

Friday: No. 2 Bridgeport at No. 1 Lincoln, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 1

At Summers County High School

Wednesday: Liberty (Raleigh) 50, Independence 29, ppd. from Monday

Thursday: No. 3 Westside vs. No. 2 Summers County, late; No. 4 Liberty (Raleigh) vs. No. 1 Wyoming East, late

Saturday: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 2

Monday: River View 51, Mount View 43

At Princeton High School

Tuesday: Bluefield 64, James Monroe 59; PikeView 77, River View 31

Thursday: Bluefield vs. PikeView, late

Region 4, Section 1

Monday: Nicholas County 35, Poca 28

Wednesday: Clay County 58, Nicholas County 28; Sissonville 56, Herbert Hoover 41

Friday: No. 2 Sissonville at No. 1 Clay County

Region 4, Section 2

At Williamson Fieldhouse

Monday: Scott 43, Wayne 41

Wednesday: Scott 43, Chapmanville 30; Mingo Central 56, Tolsia 51

Friday: No. 4 Scott vs. No. 2 Mingo Central, 7 p.m.

Class A

Region 1, Section 1

At Brooke High School

Monday: Cameron 53, Bishop Donahue 51; Madonna 70, Hundred 17

Wednesday: Magnolia 47, Madonna 44; Wheeling Central 53, Cameron 31

Friday: No. 2 Magnolia vs. Wheeling Central, 7 p.m.

Region 1, Section 2

Monday: Trinity 74, Paden City 24; Valley (Wetzel) 58, Tyler Consollidated 50

Wednesday: Trinity 60, Clay-Battelle 47; St. Marys 64, Valley 50

Friday: Valley at Trinity, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 1

Monday: Tygarts Valley 60, Harman 33

Wednesday: Tucker County 89, Tygarts Valley 13; Notre Dame 47, Union 27

Friday: No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 1 Tucker County, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 2

Monday: Moorefield 59, Paw Paw 48

Tuesday: Pendleton County 64, East Hardy 58; Pocahontas County 74, Moorefield 21

Friday: No. 2 Pendleton County at No. 1 Pocahontas County, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 1

Tuesday: Greater Beckley Christian 71, Van 32; Man 37, Montcalm 34

Wednesday: Sherman 50, Greater Beckley Christian 43

Thursday: No. 2 Sherman at No. 1 Tug Valley, late

Region 3, Section 2

At Oak Hill High School

Monday: Richwood 60, Greenbrier West 38; Meadow Bridge 43, Valley (Fayette) 32

Wednesday: Fayetteville 59, Richwood 49; Midland Trail 59, Meadow Bridge 54, OT

Friday: No. 2 Midland Trail at No. 1 Fayetteville, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 1

Saturday: Parkersburg Catholic 56, Doddridge County 42; Wirt County 60, Calhoun County 22

Tuesday: Gilmer County 60, Parkersburg Catholic 49; Williamstown 57, Wirt County 54

Friday: No. 2 Gilmer County vs. No. 1 Williamstown, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 2

Monday: Buffalo 56, Wahama 30

Wednesday: St. Joseph 85, Buffalo 31; Charleston Catholic 68, Hannan 25

Friday: No. 2 Charleston Catholic at No. 1 St. Joseph, 7 p.m.

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Statewide girls sectional basketball schedule, scores http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229458 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229458 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:29:11 -0500

Class AAA

Region 1, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday: Parkersburg South 81, Brooke 27; Parkersburg 51, Wheeling Park 31

Friday: No. 2 Parkersburg at No. 1 Parkersburg South

Region 1, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Tuesday: Morgantown 76, University 25; John Marshall 55, Preston 53

Thursday: No. 2 John Marshall at No. 1 Morgantown

Region 2, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: Spring Mills 81, Hedgesville 42; Musselman 57, Washington 47

Wednesday: Martinsburg 70, Musselman 52; No. 3 Spring Mills at No. 2 Jefferson, late;

Friday: Spring Mills-Jefferson winner at No. 1 Martinsburg,

Region 2, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday: No. 4 Elkins at No. 1 Buckhannon-Upshur, late; No. 3 Lewis County at No. 2 Hampshire, late

Friday: Semifinal winners at higher seed

Region 3, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: Ripley 79, Riverside 24

Wednesday: South Charleston 87, Ripley 37; Capital 56, George Washington 50

Friday: No. 3 Capital at No. 1 South Charleston

Region 3, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Tuesday: Oak Hill 56, Shady Spring 27

Wednesday: Greenbrier East 81, Oak Hill 32; Princeton 62, Woodrow Wilson 53

Friday: No. 2 Princeton at No. 1 Greenbrier East

Region 4, Section 1

Monday: Winfield 58, Point Pleasant 25

Wednesday: St. Albans 72, Winfield 31; Hurricane 57, Nitro 50

Friday: No. 2 Hurricane at No. 1 St. Albans

Region 4, Section 2

At Logan High School

Monday: Cabell Midland 54, Lincoln County 49

Wednesday: Huntington 63, Cabell Midland 33; Spring Valley 83, Logan 67

Friday: No. 2 Spring Valley at No. 1 Huntington, 7:30 p.m.

Class AA

Region 1, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: East Fairmont 55, Weir 30

Wednesday: Fairmont Senior 77, East Fairmont 32; North Marion 99, Oak Glen 66

Friday: No. 2 North Marion at No. 1 Fairmont Senior

Region 1, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: Braxton County 51, Webster County 45

Wednesday: Ravenswood 65, Braxton County 42; No. 3 Ritchie County at No. 2 Roane County, late

Friday: Ritchie County-Roane County winner at No. 1 Ravenswood

Region 2, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Tuesday: Keyser 75, Berkeley Springs 29; Frankfort 59, Petersburg 38

Friday: No. 2 Frankfort at No. 1 Keyser

Region 2, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: Grafton 50, Philip Barbour 42; Robert C. Byrd 35, Liberty (Harrison) 20

Wednesday: Bridgeport 41, Robert C. Byrd 24; Lincoln 57, Grafton 54, OT

Friday: No. 2 Bridgeport at No. 1 Lincoln

Region 3, Section 1

At Summers County HS

Wednesday: Liberty (Raleigh) 50, Independence 29, ppd. from Monday

Thursday: No. 3 Westside vs. No. 2 Summers County, ppd. from Tuesday, 6 p.m.; No. 4 Liberty (Raleigh) vs. No. 1 Wyoming East, 8 p.m.

Saturday: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 2

Monday: River View 51, Mount View 43

At Princeton High School

Tuesday: Bluefield 64, James Monroe 59; PikeView 77, River View 31

Thursday: Bluefield vs. PikeView, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: Nicholas County 35, Poca 28

Wednesday: Clay County 58, Nicholas County 28; Sissonville 56, Herbert Hoover 41

Friday: No. 2 Sissonville at No. 1 Clay County

Region 4, Section 2

At Williamson Fieldhouse

Monday: Scott 43, Wayne 41

Wednesday: Scott 43, Chapmanville 30; No. 3 Tolsia vs. No. 2 Mingo Central, late.

Friday: No. 4 Scott vs. Tolsia-Mingo Central winner, 7 p.m.

Class A

Region 1, Section 1

At Brooke High School

Monday: Cameron 53, Bishop Donahue 51; Madonna 70, Hundred 17

Wednesday: Magnolia 47, Madonna 44; Wheeling Central 53, Cameron 31

Friday: No. 2 Magnolia vs. Wheeling Central, 7 p.m.

Region 1, Section 2

Monday: Trinity 74, Paden City 24; Valley (Wetzel) 58, Tyler Consollidated 50

Wednesday: Trinity at Clay-Battelle, late; Valley (Wetzel) at St. Marys, late

Friday: Semifinal winners at higher seed

Region 2, Section 1

Monday: Tygarts Valley 60, Harman 33

Wednesday: Tucker County 89, Tygarts Valley 13; No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Union, late

Friday: Notre Dame-Union winner at No. 1 Tucker County winners at higher seed

Region 2, Section 2

Monday: Moorefield 59, Paw Paw 48

Tuesday: Pendleton County 64, East Hardy 58; Pocahontas County 74, Moorefield 21

Friday: No. 2 Pendleton County at No. 1 Pocahontas County, 7 p.m.

Region 3, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Tuesday: Greater Beckley Christian 71, Van 32; Man 37, Montcalm 34

Wednesday: Sherman 50, Greater Beckley Christian 43

No. 3 Greater Beckley Christian at No. 2 Sherman, late; Tug Valley 46, Man 28

Thursday: No. 2 Sherman at No. 1 Tug Valley

Region 3, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

At Oak Hill High School

Monday: Richwood 60, Greenbrier West 38; Meadow Bridge 43, Valley (Fayette) 32

Wednesday: Fayetteville 59, Richwood 49; No. 6 Meadow Bridge vs. No. 2 Midland Trail, late

Friday: Meadow Bridge-Midland Trail winner at No. 1 Fayetteville, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 1

Saturday: Parkersburg Catholic 56, Doddridge County 42; Wirt County 60, Calhoun County 22

Tuesday: Gilmer County 60, Parkersburg Catholic 49; Williamstown 57, Wirt County 54

Friday: No. 2 Gilmer County vs. No. 1 Williamstown, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: Buffalo 56, Wahama 30

Wednesday: St. Joseph 85, Buffalo 31; Charleston Catholic 68, Hannan 25

Friday: No. 2 Charleston Catholic at No. 1 St. Joseph

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Capital girls upset George Washington in sectionals http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229459 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229459 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:27:25 -0500 By Derek Taylor CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Often, young programs working to find their feet have trouble putting away big wins.

Near misses and frustrations tend to pile up in these instances, but Capital sophomore Alex Gray made sure the Cougars put the final nail in George Washington's coffin in the final minute, lifting the Cougars to a 56-50 win over their Patriots at George Washington High School in the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 semifinals Wednesday night.

After leading by as many as 16 early in the third quarter, the Cougars (8-13) watched as GW chipped away at the lead after a first-half performance that left Patriots coach Jamie LaMaster wholly unimpressed.

"Are they better than us, no. Do they want it more than we do? It sure looks like it," LaMaster said. "They just outplayed us."

Instead of going away, though, GW (12-8) relied on a series of 3-pointers by Maria Romeo, and staged a comeback that actually saw the Patriots take their first lead of the game with 1:05 left when Hailey Stewart hit a pair of free throws to make give them a 48-47 advantage.

"We did," Capital coach Ahmed Witten said when asked if the Cougars had trouble closing the win out due to their youth and inexperience.

"The third quarter has been our worst quarter all year, by far," Witten said "We had to hold on to it. Our girls didn't want the year to end tonight."

With the score tied at 48-48, LaMaster called for a timeout with 57 seconds left. Out of the timeout, GW's Dee McMilan brought the ball up the court only to have it snatched from her possession by Gray, who went coast to coast for the final two of her game-high 21 points.

GW tried to recover, but another steal - this time by India Hairston-James - led to a bucket by Dashia Foster and a four-point lead with 18 seconds left. GW sophomore Shi Banks was able to sink a pair of free throws just four seconds later to cut the lead back to two, but Breanna Pauly made a free throw and then chucked in a half-court heave at the final buzzer for a 3-pointer that provided the final margin of victory.

"We're trying to catch some deja vu," Witten said. "Two years ago with Coach (B.J.) Calabrese, they got hot at the right time, beat Greenbrier East and made it to the state tournament. This is a big win for our program, a big win. We're trying to do the same thing they did then."

Capital will get at least two more games as a result of the upset. They will play at top-seeded South Charleston in the sectional final at 7 p.m. Friday. The winner of that game will play host to one regional co-final next Tuesday, with the loser going on the road to face the Section 2 champion in regional play.

Banks, who averaged close to 20 points per game in the regular season, battled foul trouble somewhat in both halves, but finished with a team-high 14 points to go with a game-high nine blocked shots. Romeo finished with 13 points for the Patriots. The Cougars assumed control of the game when Banks went to the bench in the second quarter after picking up her second personal foul. The Cougars outscored GW 14-2 before the halftime buzzer to take a 32-23 lead into the half.

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

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St. Albans girls open sectional play with win against Winfield http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229460 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229460 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:22:02 -0500

By NICK BROCKMAN

For The Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - St. Albans rolled to the sectional championship as the Red Dragons girls basketball team decisively defeated fourth-seeded Winfield on Wednesday evening.

Top-seeded St. Albans led wire-to-wire in a dominating defensive display for a 72-31 Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 semifinal win. With the victory, the Red Dragons advance to play host to No. 2 seed Hurricane at 7 p.m. Friday.

"We take a lot of pride in our defense," SA coach Scott James said. "We average giving up around 40 points per game, and they did a tremendous job after that first quarter."

St. Albans (18-5) made the most of its opportunities offensively, but shined on the defensive end too. In total, the Red Dragons forced the Generals to commit 33 turnovers.

"It just felt good, because we knew that we wanted to win," Red Dragons post player Haleigh Legg said. "We just shut them down. That's what we had to do."

Legg led all scorers with a game-high 19 points off the bench. Senior Breanna Propst, a 5-foot-10 forward, finished with a double-double, contributing 14 points and 13 rebounds, to go with five steals. Sophomore guard Alli Johnson totaled 12 points, as did senior guard Lexie Cooper.

The Generals (5-17) played shorthanded with just six players dressing. Winfield senior standout Haylea Roberson, a 1,000-point career scorer, did not play. Roberson tore a muscle in her stomach last week and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

"My hat's off to Winfield, their numbers are way down," James said. "Their girls went out there and fought. They did a heck of a job considering their situation."

Without Roberson, Winfield senior Cheyenne Sawyer and sophomore center Rachel Kraschnewski carried the offensive load, with each player scoring 10 points.

As a result of Winfield's low numbers, the team played through foul trouble. Four players committed two fouls in the first half, with Kraschnewski committing three fouls before halftime. Kim Moore fouled out with 1:48 to play in the third quarter, as the Generals finished from that point with just five players.

In the second quarter, Winfield tallied just four points coming on two Kraschnewski field goals. The Red Dragons defense swarmed the Generals, forcing 21 first-half turnovers. At halftime, SA led 34-14. Propst led all scorers at the half with 12 points.

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Long leads Sissonville girls past Hoover in sectionals http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229461 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229461 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:21:31 -0500 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Sissonville freshman Mikayla Long wasn't a part of last season's state tournament run for the Indians girls basketball team, which ended in a runner-up finish.

Long made her presence felt in her first postseason game Wednesday night, scoring 18 points to help lead Sissonville to a 56-41 victory over rival Herbert Hoover in a Class AA Region 4, Section 1 semifinal.

With the win, the No. 2 seed Indians improve to 18-2 and will advance to the sectional final Friday against top seed Clay County. Both teams already have qualified for regional competition next week no matter the result.

Long scored eight points for Sissonville in the first quarter, and at halftime, had scored 13 her team's 32 points, as the Indians led by 11 at the break. She added five rebounds and six assists.

"She stepped up huge and hit some big shots," Sissonville coach Rich Skeen said. "As the season has gone on, we have expected more and more out of Mikayla and she has really stepped up and earned that. She has had a good year. She was big tonight."

Sissonville had already knocked off Hoover twice in the regular season and started strong against the Huskies on Wednesday, taking a 20-11 lead into the second quarter.

The Indians' second-leading scorer, Karli Pinkerton, picked up her third foul with 6:55 left in the first half with the Indians leading by 12, and Hoover made a quick charge, cutting the lead to six at 27-21.

A 5-0 run to end the first half gave Sissonville its cushion back at halftime, and the Huskies could get no closer than seven the rest of the game.

To go along with Long's strong game, Pinkerton added 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Madison Jones contributed 15 points and five rebounds, and Brooke Reed chipped in with 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

In a losing effort for Hoover, Bailey Aab scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, ending her Husky career. The senior was a three-sport standout, and will play college soccer at Davis and Elkins.

Hoover coach Greg Ullman was proud of the accomplishments of his senior class that included Aab, Caroline Thornburg, Bethany Romine and Zoey Carte.

"It has been a very good group," Ullman said. "They have won over 50 games and is probably the winningest senior group that has went through Hoover in history. They will be sorely missed."

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Roundup: Greene gets win No. 300 as SC girls beat Ripley http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229462 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229462 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:20:29 -0500

From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - South Charleston coach Gary Greene collected his 300th career win as the Black Eagles defeated Ripley, 87-37, in the Class AAA Region 3 Section 1 semifinal play. Three South Charleston players scored in double figures. South Charleston's Talia Cashwell led all scorers with 22 points. Shyanne Dunham poured in 18 points and Aaliyah Dunham added another 14 in the victory. Ripley led by three after the first quarter but was outscored 74-21 through the rest of the game. Lexi Miller led the Vikings with nine points in the loss. South Charleston improves to 18-4 and moves to the sectional final against Capital on Friday.

In other action:

Charleston Catholic 68, Hannan 25 - Catholic's Catherine Bandak scored 14 to lead all scorers in the Class A Region 4 Section 2 semifinal. Peri Bailey added another 12 for the Irish. Hannan's Tamara Wilson had seven points in the loss. Catholic improves to 9-10 and will play St. Joseph on Friday in the sectional final.

Hurricane 57, Nitro 50 - Abby Waston notched a double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds to lead Hurricane (15-6) to a home win over Nitro in a Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 game Wednesday. Mary Rogoszewski added 15 points and six blocks, while Maddy Weeks chipped in 13 points as part of the Redskins' win.

For the Wildcats, Savannah Shamblin scored 34 points, including four baskets from beyond the arc and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.

Nicholas County 58, Clay County 28

Clay County (18-3) cruised to a Class AA Region 4, Section 1 win behind a 24-point performance by McKinzee Barker over Clay County Wednesday. Sarah Boggs and Bethany Young each added eight points in the Grizzles' win.

McKinzee Martin paced the Panthers (17-4) with 13 points in the loss, while Brooklyn Loss added seven.

In boys basketball:

Charleston Catholic 55, Braxton County 42

Charleson Catholic broke open a close game with a 15-4 run in the fourth quarter to win on the road. Junior Hayden McCarty scored 19 points to lead the Irish. Stan McKown added another 14 in the win. Tre Stout led Braxton County with 14 in the loss. Braxton County falls to 5-13. Catholic improves to 13-6.

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Wayne High football coach Harmon, wife suspended http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229463 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229463 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:13:42 -0500

FROM STAFF REPORTS

WAYNE, W.Va. - Wayne High School football coach Tom Harmon, whose Pioneers won the 2006, 2011 and 2012 Class AA state championships, was suspended following a vote at the Wayne Board of Education on Tuesday night, according to WCHS.

Harmon - head coach, teacher and athletic director - and his wife, Christi Harman, a teacher's aide, were suspended, with the coach receiving 15 working days suspension without pay and his wife receiving 10 working days suspension without pay. The suspensions will begin on Monday.

Superintendent Sandra Pertee recommended the suspension following an investigation, although the nature of the investigation was not disclosed during the meeting because it was a personnel matter.

The Harmons did not request hearings, according to board president Trey Morrone.

Under Tom Harmon, the Wayne football program tied the state record for consecutive wins with old Ansted High School by registering 36 in a row.

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GW's Smith looks to cap season with another wrestling title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229476 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229476 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:07:27 -0500 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It's been a good year for George Washington senior David Smith.

At the 2014 prep wrestling state tournament, Smith won the Class AAA 285-pound individual championship. Last October, he committed to play Division I football for the Mid-American Conference's Kent State. In December, he was named to the Class AAA football All-State first team as an offensive lineman and, so far this wrestling season, he has won every match he's been a part of. All 50 of them.

Smith, back at 285 this season for GW, enters the 2015 state tournament, starting today at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, as the likely favorite in his weight class and it would be easy for most anyone in that position ­- an undefeated, defending state champion - to be overconfident or even a little cocky.

Not Smith.

"I try and go into every matching thinking anything can happen on any given day," he said. "I just make sure I'm mentally and physically prepared. I can't slack in any match. You get caught on your back at any time, the match is over."

As a junior, Smith entered the wrestling season well above the 285-pound limit. He had to work hard to cut weight and keep it down, and though his season ended with a state championship, he acknowledged it was a real struggle the first part of the schedule. He had no such problem as a senior.

"It was great not having to worry about my weight," Smith said. "I was below 290 at the start of the first practice. It's great. I can eat whatever I want any day of the week. It makes it so much easier and I feel so much better going into the matches with more energy."

Smith said carbohydrates are a staple of his diet on a typical match day. He eats them the night before and then will have several sandwiches ­- turkey or chicken usually - throughout the day leading up to his match.

"I like to get a lot of carbs and protein in me," Smith said. "It keeps my energy level up."

Smith's first opponent in Huntington is John Marshall sophomore Nathan Simmons (11-16), the fourth-place finisher from Region 1 and a wrestler Smith has beaten once before this season. Either Martinsburg senior Joshua Kerns (41-8) or Winfield senior JoJo Masi (9-3) would be the potential second-round opponent.

"Going into the state tournament, I've got to forget about my record. I start out 0-0 at this tournament and I'm trying to win a second title," Smith said. "Our goal for ourselves is to worry about how we do individually and the team will take care of itself. Coach (Richard) Harper wants us to stay in a back room, typically, so we don't see all the highs and lows. It can take a mental toll."

That doesn't mean Smith and the other GW wrestlers are all about individual glory. Smith and fellow senior David Pancake (Region 3 runner-up at 132) serve as the Patriots' team captains and it's a job Smith said they take very seriously.

"Me and Dave Pancake, we're the captains so we try to keep everyone up," Smith said. "Our goal as a team is a state title. If each individual can do their best and do their part the team points will take care of itself."

Smith, Pancake and the other eight qualifiers begin their quest for a Class AAA team title today with weigh-ins, scheduled to start at 4:30. Wrestling is scheduled to begin tentatively at 6:30 following the conclusion of weigh-ins.

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

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Winfield strong going into state wrestling tournament http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229477 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150225/DM03/150229477 Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:05:23 -0500 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Poor weather conditions, specifically snow, ice and cold, have caused quite a bit of havoc all over the state in recent weeks and sports have felt the full brunt of that.

Games and practices were canceled nearly statewide for most of last week, but that didn't stop wrestling from getting its regional championship tournaments in on Friday and Saturday. Winfield made school history when it qualified seven wrestlers for the state tournament, its most since moving to Class AAA in fall of 2008 and among the best regional showings in Generals' history. It was school history that almost didn't happen, however.

Winfield coach Mike Cochran said he received a phone call about 45 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time informing him the Putnam County Schools' buses that were supposed to take the Generals to the Region 3 tournament at Cabell Midland were not coming thanks to the icy road conditions that covered most of the state on Saturday. His team was on its own to find a way from Putnam County to neighboring Cabell County.

They needed a solution and they needed it fast. Parents stepped up and Winfield got its wrestlers to the tournament on time, Cochran said.

"We've gone to tournaments in worse weather on the bus," he said. "I was real surprised when I got the call. Luckily, my parents, they're very committed to these guys. They all came together and got our guys to the tournament."

Once on the mats at Midland, the Generals showed they can compete with anyone on a given day. Several Winfield wrestlers have the talent and ability to challenge for individual state championships this weekend, headlined by two-time title winner Bryce Humphreys (35-2), a senior wrestling at 132 pounds this season.

Humphreys carried a long winning streak into this season that came to an end with a loss to Ripley's Lucas Simpkins, himself a former state champion, in the semifinals at January's WSAZ Invitational tournament. Throw Huntington senior Jordan Allen, a three-time individual state title winner, in the mix and 132 is likely the deepest of any individual weight class at this weekend's state tournament. Humphreys defeated Allen on points to win the Region 4 title.

Cochran said he was afraid after the loss to Simpkins that his standout senior might lose some of his drive with his win streak having come to an end. Humphreys responded almost totally opposite of that.

"That 132-pound weight class is definitely brutal," Cochran said. "Ever since the WSAZ tournament, he's turned it up a notch. He's practicing harder than he was. You can tell he has that goal now. He wants to go out on top. Whether he does it or not, we'll see, but he has that commitment. He's a champion and he's working harder. He's hoping he meets Simpkins in the finals."

Humphreys begins his quest for a third state title against Martinsburg junior Nick Hampton (21-19), the Region 2 fourth-place finisher. Teammate and fellow senior Evan Fairchild (29-7) could also challenge for a run at 145. He opens the tournament against Parkersburg South sophomore T.J. Lambiotte (36-7), the third-place finisher from Region 1. Another senior, Noah Julian (42-8), took third at 220 in the Region 4 tournament and will face Brooke sophomore Alexander Edgell (19-12) in his first match.

"We've got some really good wrestlers," Cochran said. "Noah Julian has been on his game all season at 220 and he's in a good place. Evan Fairchild is really committed too. He's been on the edge of winning the big one and has a good shot at placing this year."

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IN CLASS AAA, Huntington will look to win its third consecutive team state championship, but will likely receive a push near the top of the standings from Parkersburg South. The Patriots won the Region 1 championship and qualified wrestlers for the state tournament in all 14 weight classes. Making that just a little more impressive is the fact that none of those 14 enter this weekend as a fourth-place regional finisher. South had eight regional champions, one runner-up and five third-place finishers. Huntington qualified wrestlers in 13 of the 14 weight classes, with 285 being the only class without a Highlander.

Independence is the defending champion in Class AA/A and appear poised to defend that title. Like Huntington in Class AAA, Independence qualified a wrestler in every weight class but 285 and, like the Highlanders, the Patriots will face a challenge in winning another team title. Greenbrier West, the 2013 state title winner, was runner-up to Independence in the Region 3 tournament and also qualified 13 wrestlers, missing out in just the 220-pound weight class. Oak Glen, Calhoun County and North Marion also could pose a threat near the top of the standings.

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HUNTINGTON'S ALLEN is the only wrestler going for a fourth individual state championship this weekend. His teammate, fellow senior Logan Grass, has been among the best this season at 120-pounds and owns two individual titles and had a runner-up finish as a freshman. Three sophomores, two in Class AA/A and one in Class AAA, return looking for a second title in as many prep seasons.

Parkersburg South's Justin Allman (Class AAA 182) and Independence's Jacob Hart (AA/A 113) and Noah Adams (AA/A 170) each won their respective regionals last week and have the opportunity to become multiple-title-winning sophomores.

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Unbeaten Poca boys sprint away from Nitro http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150224/DM03/150229586 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150224/DM03/150229586 Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:05:17 -0500

By NICK BROCKMAN

for the daily mail

POCA, W.Va. - With March and the postseason less than a week away, the Poca boys basketball team displayed some of its best play all year long in a dominating win versus Nitro on Tuesday evening.

The Dots played tight early with the visiting Wildcats before pulling away late in a decisive 76-39 win. With the victory, Poca improved its record to 20-0 and exhibited the team remains atop of its game nearing the most pivotal part of the season.

"We're playing really well right now, shooting the ball much better, passing the ball well," Poca coach Allen Osborne said. "We played really well defensively the second half, and I thought we came out and got after them pretty good, played pretty well."

Whether making the extra pass, playing aggressive defense or taking the best shot offensively, Poca played with poise and precision, and the chemistry showed, especially between sophomores Elijah Cuffee and Luke Frampton.

"We play AAU together and it's good for us, because we always play together in the summer," Frampton said of his basketball bond with Cuffee. "It's year-round for us, so it's fun playing together."

Frampton led all scorers with a game-high 20 points, including 6-of-9 from three-point range, while Cuffee scored 18, to go with nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. Frampton added a team-high five assists.

The stats speak to the players' drive to continually improve, Cuffee said, as the Dots advance toward the postseason.

"That's what coach Osborne has really been stressing about is playing our best basketball at the end of the season," he said. "That's what he's been telling us to do."

With so much attention on Poca this season, because of the team's expectations, the Dots have endured the best effort from each of their opponents, and that has made the squad stronger, Osborne said.

"It's been a great thing, a great thing, because we've had to take everybody's best shot and played in front of good crowds all year," he said. "Basically, it's good for tournament time, because everybody is going to play hard and in front of good crowds. It's been great for us."

The Wildcats (4-16) manufactured a solid effort early to challenge the Dots. In the first half, Poca held a one-point advantage following a 3-point basket by Nitro's Austin Woodrum just seconds into the second quarter.

However, from that point, the Dots closed the first half on a 16-5 run to go ahead 30-18 at halftime. Cuffee tallied 12 first-half points to lead all scorers at that point.

In the second half, Poca continued to build upon its double-digit lead.

"The difference was we did a better job contesting shots," Osborne said as Poca pulled away from Nitro. "They got some good looks, and they can make shots when you don't guard them. We did a good job on the boards. Christian Buckley got some loose balls, kicked it back in for some buckets, and I thought we were a little bit more aggressive the second half."

Buckley finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, as the Dots held a 39-19 rebounding advantage.

For Nitro, Ian Lee paced the team with 12 points, while Brooks scored 11 off the bench. Junior guard Neil Sallada did not play for the Wildcats after being ejected in a previous contest.

Nitro coach Garrett Burdette was unavailable for comment.

Despite the many positives for the Dots, Cuffee said Poca remains vigilant in improving its abilities.

"We always want to get better in every aspect of the game, mainly defense," he said. "We have to get better at defense."

With the proper mindset, this year's Poca squad looks toward even greater success as the postseason approaches.

"I don't think it's a bunch of pressure, but everyone's giving their best shot against us," Frampton said. "You just have to take it one game at a time and do what you have to do."

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Roundup: Late FTs lift Riverside boys past GW http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150224/DM03/150229587 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150224/DM03/150229587 Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:04:22 -0500 Boys basketball roundup

from staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - After a tight, back-and-forth game, Riverside senior Tamar Lawson buried a pair of late free-throws to propel Riverside to a 59-58 win at George Washington in boys high school basketball action Tuesday night.

Lawson finished with a game-high 22 points for the Warriors (9-10), while Josh Carpenter and Dajon Watkins added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

For GW (13-8), Jonah Cosby scored a team-high 18 points, followed by Justin Phillips with 14.

Charleston Catholic 69, Fayetteville 45 - Sam Jenkins' 13 points helped lead the Irish (12-6) to the road win. Ben Fairless added 12 points for Catholic, while Roger Burdette and Hayden McCarty contributed 11 points apiece.

For Fayetteville (6-12), Will Fenton led the way with 13 points.

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Statewide boys basketball sectional pairings http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150224/DM03/150229607 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20150224/DM03/150229607 Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:41:21 -0500 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Capital made the most of its final game before the sectional ballots were returned on Tuesday.

On the strength of the Cougars' 67-38 Mountain State Athletic Conference championship victory over South Charleston, Capital secured the No. 1 seed in the Class AAA, Region 3, Section 1 tournament beginning Monday. The Black Eagles were No. 1 in the Associated Press Class AAA Poll and had a victory over Capital earlier in the season. However, the Cougars routed South Charleston less than three days before the ballots were due - the deadline was noon on Tuesday.

Other Class AAA top seeds were Parkersburg South (Region 1, Section 1), Morgantown (Region 1, Section 2), Martinsburg (Region 2, Section 1), Hampshire (Region 2, Section 2), Greenbrier East (Region 3, Section 2), 2014 Class AAA runner-up Hurricane (Region 4, Section 1) and defending Class AAA champion Huntington (Region 4, Section 2).

In Class AA, the three remaining unbeaten teams - Poca, Fairmont Senior and Bridgeport - entering Tuesday night, received No. 1 seeds. The Polar Bears and Indians met on Tuesday night. Poca earned the top seed in Region 4, Section 1, while Fairmont Senior (Region 1, Section 1) and Bridgeport (Region 2, Section 2) headlined their respective sections. The other double-A top seeds are Ravenswood (Region 1, Section 2), Keyser (Region 2, Section 1), Westside (Region 3, Section 1), defending champion Bluefield (Region 3, Section 2) and Chapmanville (Region 4, Section 2).

In Class A, defending champion Wheeling Central claimed top billing in arguably the strongest section in the class, Region 1, Section 1. Other No. 1 seeds are St. Marys (Region 1, Section 2), Notre Dame (Region 2, Section 1), Moorefield (Region 2, Section 2), Tug Valley (Region 3, Section 1), Valley-Fayette (Region 3, Section 2), Williamstown (Region 4, Section 1) and Charleston Catholic (Region 4, Section 2).

Some sectional tournaments get underway on Saturday with all to be completed by Saturday, Feb. 28, weather permitting. The winner of each section will play host to the runner-up in the region's other section in the regional co-final for a spot in the state tournament March 18-21 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Class AAA

Region 1, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday: No. 4 Brooke at No. 1 Parkersburg South; No. 3 Parkersburg at No. 2 Wheeling Park

Friday: Brooke-South winner vs. Parkersburg-Park winner, at higher seed

Region 1, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday: No. 4 John Marshall at No. 1 Morgantown; No. 3 University at No. 2 Preston

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 2, Section 1

Monday: No. 5 Hedgesville at No. 4 Spring Mills, 7 p.m.; No. 6 Washington at No. 3 Musselman, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Hedgesville-Spring Mills winner at No. 1 Martinsburg, 7 p.m.; Washington-Musselman winner at No. 2 Jefferson, 7 p.m.

Friday: Championship, at higher seed, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday: No. 4 Elkins vs. No. 1 Hampshire, at Keyser, 7 p.m.; No. 3 Buckhannon-Upshur at No. 2 Lewis County, 7 p.m.

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 3, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: No. 5 Ripley at No. 4 Riverside

Wednesday: No. 3 George Washington at No. 2 South Charleston; Ripley-Riverside winner at No. 1 Capital

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 3, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: No. 5 Oak Hill at No. 4 Shady Spring

Wednesday: No. 3 Princeton at No. 2 Woodrow Wilson; Oak Hill-Shady Spring winner at No. 1 Greenbrier East

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 4, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: No. 5 Point Pleasant at No. 4 Nitro

Wednesday: No. 3 St. Albans at No. 2 Winfield; Point-Nitro winner at No. 1 Hurricane

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 4, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

at Cabell Midland

Monday: No. 5 Cabell Midland vs. No. 4 Lincoln County

Wednesday: No. 2 Logan vs. No. 3 Spring Valley; Midland-Lincoln winner vs. No. 1 Huntington

Friday: Championship

Class AA

Region 1, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.

Saturday: No. 5 Weir at No. 4 North Marion

Tuesday: No. 3 East Fairmont at No. 2 Oak Glen; Weir-North Marion winner at No. 1 Fairmont Senior

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 1, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: No. 5 Braxton County at No. 4 Ritchie County

Tuesday: Braxton-Ritchie winner at No. 1 Ravenswood; No. 3 Roane County at No. 2 Webster County

Friday: Championship at higher seed

Region 2, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Tuesday: No. 4 Petersburg at No. 1 Keyser; No. 3 Berkeley Springs at No. 2 Frankfort

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 2, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Saturday: No. 6 Liberty-Harrison at No. 3 Lincoln; No. 5 Philip Barbour at No. 4 Grafton

Tuesday: Grafton-Philip Barbour winner at No. 1 Bridgeport; Lincoln-Liberty winner at No. 2 Robert C. Byrd

Thursday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 3, Section 1

Friday, at Westside: No. 5 Independence vs. No. 4 Summers County, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center: No. 3 Liberty-Raleigh vs. No. 2 Wyoming East, 6 p.m.; Independence vs. No. 1 Westside, 8 p.m.

Thursday: Championship, at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, 7:30 p.m.

Region 3, Section 2

Friday: No. 5 James Monroe at No. 4 River View, 7 p.m.

Tuesday (at Princeton): James Monroe-River View winner vs. No. 1 Bluefield, 6 p.m.; No. 3 Mount View vs. No. 2 PikeView, 8 p.m.

Thursday (at Princeton): Championship, 7 p.m.

Region 4, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Saturday: No. 5 Clay County at No. 4 Nicholas County

Tuesday: No. 3 Herbert Hoover at No. 2 Sissonville; Nicholas-Clay winner at No. 1 Poca

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 4, Section 2

At Willie Akers Arena, Logan

Saturday: No. 5 Tolsia vs. No. 4 Wayne, 7:30 p.m.

Monday: Tolsia-Wayne winner vs. No. 1 Chapmanville, 6:30 p.m.; No. 3 Mingo Central vs. No. 2 Scott, 8 p.m.

Friday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Class A

Region 1, Section 1

At Moundsville Fieldhouse

Saturday: No. 5 Madonna vs. No. 4 Cameron, 6 p.m.; No. 6 Hundred vs. No. 3 Bishop Donahue, 8 p.m.

Wednesday: Bishop Donahue-Hundred winner vs. No. 2 Magnolia, 6 p.m.; Cameron-Madonna winner vs. No. 1 Wheeling Central

Friday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Region 1, Section 2

Saturday: No. 5 Tyler Consolidated vs. No. 4 Valley-Wetzel, at Paden City, 7 p.m.; No. 6 Clay-Battelle vs. No. 3 Trinity, 7 p.m., at TBA

Wednesday (at Doddridge County): Trinity-Clay-Battelle winner vs. No. 2 Paden City, 6 p.m.; Valley-Tyler winner vs. No. 1 St. Marys, 7:30 p.m.

Friday (at Doddridge County): Championship, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 1

Saturday: No. 5 Union at No. 5 Tygarts Valley, 7 p.m.; No. 6 South Harrison vs. No. 3 Harman, at Tucker County, time TBA

Wednesday (at Elkins): Union-Tygarts winner vs. No. 1 Notre Dame, 6 p.m.; South Harrison-Harman winner vs. No. 2 Tucker County, 7:45 p.m.

Friday (at Elkins): Championship, 7 p.m.

Region 2, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Saturday: No. 5 Paw Paw at No. 4 East Hardy

Tuesday: Paw Paw-East Hardy winner at No. 1 Moorefield; No. 3 Pendleton County at No. 2 Pocahontas County

Friday (at Petersburg): Championship

iRegion 3, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Saturday: No. 5 Van at No. 4 Sherman; No. 6 Montcalm at No. 3 Man

Tuesday: Van-Sherman winner at No. 1 Tug Valley; Man-Montcalm winner at No. 2 Greater Beckley Christian

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 3, Section 2

at Oak Hill High School

Monday: No. 5 Fayetteville vs. No. 4 Midland Trail, 5:30 p.m.; No. 6 Greenbrier West vs. No. 3 Meadow Bridge, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: No. 1 Valley vs. Trail-Fayetteville winner, 5:30 p.m.; No. 2 Richwood vs. Meadow Bridge-Greenbrier West winner, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Championship at higher seed, 7:30 p.m.

Region 4, Section 1

(All games at 7 p.m.)

No. 5 Parkersburg Catholic at No. 4 Wirt County; No. 6 Calhoun County at No. 3 Doddridge County

Tuesday: Parkersburg Catholic-Wirt County winner at No. 1 Williamstown; Calhoun County-Doddridge County winner at No. 2 Gilmer County

Friday: Championship, at higher seed

Region 4, Section 2

(All games at 7 p.m.)

Monday: No. 5 Hannan at No. 4 Buffalo

Wednesday (at Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex): Hannan-Buffalo winner vs. No. 1 Charleston Catholic; No. 3 Wahama vs. No. 2 St. Joseph

Friday: Championship, at neutral site

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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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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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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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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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