The old sports cliche says you can throw out the records when you get to post-season tournament play.
That held true on Wednesday night as the Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team played Mingo Central in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 semifinals at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
The Tigers came into the game ranked No. 9 in the state and had handled the Miners twice during the regular season to the tune of 53-27 and 54-45.
Mingo Central, however, was improved and surging late in the season, and, with the late addition of 6-foot-7 transfer and impact player Dikembe Dixson, this was a game that was going to go right down to the wire.
It did just that.
The Miners gave Chapmanville all it wanted but in the end, the Tigers escaped with a 48-44 win to advance to the sectional championship game with Scott. Chapmanville (18-5) is set to meet Scott (16-6) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Logan.
The win not only moves the Tigers into the sectional finals it also advances Chapmanville to next week’s Class AA Region 4 co-championship game, something that has eluded the Tigers the last three seasons. Chapmanville last made it to the regional finals in 2010 when the Tigers lost 63-53 to Sisssonville.
A lot will be riding on Friday night’s game.
There will be more at stake than just a sectional title, a trophy and a couple of cut down nets.
Although both the Skyhawks and the Tigers have already automatically advanced to regional play home court will be on the line.
The winner will get to play on their home floor next week for the right to play in the upcoming state tournament.
The loser will hit the road, most likely in a dreaded trip to Poca. The Dots, ranked No. 2 in the state and the Cardinal Conference champions, are 22-1 and the overwhelming favorites. Poca is set to host Nicholas County (14-9) in Friday night’s Region 4 Section 1 final. Nicholas County advanced with a 58-56 win at Sissonville. Poca cruised with a 71-42 victory at home over Clay County.
So Friday’s winner will likely get Nicholas at home.
The loser will probably have to go to the home of the Dots.
Wednesday night’s sectional game between Chapmanville and Mingo Central amounted to an elimination game. The Miners, coached by Harts native and former Logan High School assistant coach Brad Napier, saw their season come to a close at 11-12.
“Right now, the key word is to advance and move on and that’s what we did,” Chapmanville coach Allan Hatcher said. “I thought that we gutted it out. We had a great start. The momentum switched in the game. We didn’t play real well and we were not aggressive in the second quarter. We became very very complacent but our kids reached down and played better. That’s what you do when you have a basketball team that’s battle-tested and plays a pretty good schedule. We reached down and got it done and that’s a complement to our kids.”
The Tigers and the Miners put on a show before a packed house at Willie Akers Arena.
Chapmanville had the early upperhand, jumping out to a 10-0 lead.
Down by as many as 13 points in the second quarter, the Miners picked up their defensive intensity, trying to deny Chapmanville top scorer and shooter Josh Butcher the ball.
It worked as the Miners closed the gap to 23-18 at the half.
“They picked it up,” Coach Hatcher said of the Miners. “When you get behind you do that.”
Mingo Central then took charge in the third, going on a 13-2 run and taking a five-point lead.
The game was tied 33-33 after three and was not decided until the closing seconds.
Butcher, a 6-0 junior guard, hit two huge 3-pointers for Chapmanville at the 5:00 mark and with 4:00 to go to jumpstart the Tigers.
Chapmanville then sealed it by hitting key free throws down the stretch.
With 47.6 ticks to go, Zac Casto nailed two foul shots to put Chapmanville on top 46-43.
Dixson was fouled with 35.9 seconds left but could only manage a split as it was a 46-44 ballgame.
Chapmanville’s Trey Dalton then hit one of two free throws with 32.6 seconds remaining to up the margin to 47-44.
Mingo Central looked to tie it but Alex Lee’s topside 3-pointer with 10 seconds left clanged off the rim no good. Mingo Central’s Julius Hatcher snatched the rebound and was fouled, smartly, by the Tigers given the 3-point margin.
Hatcher missed the first free throw and had to intentionally miss the second one, hoping for a Miner rebound and 3-point attempt. Dalton, however, grabbed the rebound for the Tigers and he was hacked. He then stepped to the line and split, putting the game away.
Butcher led Chapmanville with 16 points. Dalton had 11, while Casto had seven, Brady Cox six, Kenny Plumley five and Joe Tackett three.
Dalton Hatfield led the Miners with a 15-point effort. Mali May had 10, while Dixson was held to six points. Stevie Hammond and Hatcher tossed in four points each. Lee, the second leading scorer on the team behind Dixson, was held to only five points.
The Tigers were a respectable 15-for-32 shooting for 46.9 percent. The Miners were 13-for-30 for 43.3 percent. At the free throw line, the Tigers made 7-for-13 for 61.9 percent. MC was 8-for-15 for 65.2 percent.
Chapmanville was outrebounded 18-17.
Plumley led the Tigers on the boards with six rebounds. Dixson had nine.
Mingo Central turned the ball over only 10 times. The TIgers had even fewer with six.
Fueled by two Butcher 3-pointers, Chapmanville started out on fire with a 10-0 lead over MC. Butcher finished the game 4-for-5 from behind the 3-point arc and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He also had two assists, a steal and a rebound.
Mingo Central finally scored with a Julius Hatcher 3 but CRHS soon led 16-4 after a Cox layin and a Dalton 19-foot pull-up jumper.
It was 18-7 after one after a 13-foot floater by Dalton down the middle.
Chapmanville moved the lead to 20-7 in the second with a pair of Dalton free throws. It would be the largest lead of the night for the Tigers.
The Miners came back, going on an 11-4 run to close the gap to 24-18 at the half.
Mingo Central then turned up the defensive pressure on Chapmanville and dominated the Tigers in the third quarter, putting CRHS on the ropes.
After three CRHS misses at the free throw line, Dixson put the Miners within one at 26-25 with 4:32 left in the third after a couple of makes from the foul line.
Hatcher then put MC ahead for the first time at 28-26 with a 15-footer at the 3:03 mark.
Then after May’s three-point play with 2:31 left it was 31-26 Mingo Central.
The Miners seemed to be taking control of the game.
Chapmanville, though, clawed back. Tackett’s big 3-pointer with 22 seconds to go in the period ended up tying things up at 33 after three.
Then in the fourth, the game went into a see-saw frenzy. After ties at 35 and 37, Butcher drilled a 3 to make it 40-39 Chapmanville with 4:55 to go in the game.
Hammond’s drive off the window put the Miners back on top at 41-40.
Then with 4:01 remaining, Butcher canned another trey, putting the Tigers ahead 43-41.
It was the momentum buster Chapmanville was looking for.
“Both of those 3s were big,” Coach Hatcher said. “Tackett’s 3 at end of the third quarter was also big. That tied it going into the fourth.”
The Miners managed to pull to within one again at 44-43 with a Lee putback but Chapmanville then managed the clock and got to the foul line where the Tigers were already in the bonus.
Chapmanville then hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold on.
The Tigers shift focus to Scott, a team they split with during the regular season.
“We’re moving on and we have a chance to host a regional if we can win on Friday night,” Hatcher said. “It’s going to be a good one. Scott has a good team.”
The Scott High School boys’ basketball team easily got past Wayne, 79-41, on Wednesday night in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 semifinals at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Scott (16-6) advanced to Friday night’s sectional championship game with arch-rival Chapmanville (18-5). The Tigers moved on with Wednesday night’s 48-44 victory over Mingo Central.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at Logan.
Scott led Wayne 19-6 after one quarter, 33-13 at the half and 61-24 after three. The Skyhawks played very well and led the Pioneers by as many as 40 points in the fourth quarter.
Wayne, which was playing the game without leading scorer Grant Ferguson, saw its season come to an end at 12-11. Ferguson was reportedly out due to illness.
Scott had a balanced attack, led by Anthony Sigmon’s 18 points.
Nick Kuhn and Patrick Underwood came off the bench to toss in nine points each. Cody Brown added seven points, while Tanner Bell and Dylan Dehart had six each off the bench. Eric May and Andrew Day had five points each. Garrett Price and Logan Webb had four apiece. Brandon Lafauci and Alex Ables had three each.
Brett Justice led Wayne with a 15-point effort. Nate Earl had 10, while Colby Wickline had four. Cameron Wallace, Brayden Baker, Tucker Watts and Seth Napier had two each.
The Skyhawks made 33-of-71 of its shots from the floor for 46.5 percent. Wayne was only 17-for-66 for 25.8 percent. Scott was 7-for-17 from the free throw line for 41.2 percent. The Pioneers were a perfect 4-for-4.
Scott owned the boards and outrebounded Wayne 54-30. Sigmon had 12 rebounds and Underwood 10.