CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Brad Napier and the Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team is feeling good about its chances this season to make it back to the state tournament for the third year in a row.
With a good blend of talent, experience, size and all the intangibles, the Tigers are hoping to duplicate or even exceed last year’s 17-9 season.
The Tigers won their sectional title last year, took the co-regional championship with a two-point win over Sissonville and advanced to last year’s Class AA state tournament.
At state, Chapmanville nearly pulled off a huge upset but ended up falling 30-28 to the defending state champion Poca Dots at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Tigers, though, face a very difficult 2016-17 schedule and will be battle-tested come March and post-season tournament time.
Chapmanville hopes to be right in the thick of things when it counts and with a deep roster expectations are high for the Tigers this season.
CRHS is scheduled to tip off the season on Saturday night at home against prep school and powerhouse Mountain Mission (Va.).
“Things are going pretty good but we’re getting kind of tired of practice,” Chapmanville second-year coach Brad Napier said. “The guys are ready to play someone different. Our expectations are the same as any year. We want to make it to the state tournament first and see where we go from there. We never really set a goal of winning a specific amount of games but we want to try to win our conference, win our section, win our region and get to the state tournament.”
With plenty of players back from last year’s already successful team, the Tigers hope to soar to new heights this season.
“Experience is probably one of our strengths,” Napier said. “That was a weakness for us last year. We played a lot of young kids. We have three very experienced guards back and we have three or four post guys who have played a lot of basketball.”
Back for Chapmanville is a trio of guards including 6-foot-3 junior Drew Williamson.
Williamson is a pure shooter and can fill it up from 3-point range. Last year, he averaged 19.6 points a game.
“Drew is a really talented player,” Napier said. “He can score a bunch of different ways. He can put it on the floor and get to the basket. He can shoot the 3 and he’s got a good mid-range pull-up shot. He can score just about any way that you can.”
Also returning in the back court is 5-9 junior point guard Kyle Browning, who tossed in 9.1 points a game a year ago.
“Kyle is a super good point guard,” Napier said. “I would put him up against any point guard in the state. He works his tail off every day. He can score when he needs to and he can knock down shots. He’s a clutch foul shooter as we saw last year in big games. He’s also probably our best defender.”
Dylan Smith, a 5-10 junior guard, also returns. The gritty Smith averaged 10.3 points a game last year and is the fastest of the Tigers.
“Dylan is gritty and hard-nosed,” Napier said. “He’s pretty tough. He gives us something that no one else has and that’s elite speed. He’s our quickest guy.”
Chapmanville has a fourth guard option in 6-1 sophomore Devin Collins, who saw some playing time last year as a freshman.
“Devin Collins is a guy who played a little bit last year,” Napier said. “He’s really worked hard this summer. He’s gotten stronger and he’s gotten quicker. Devin is a very high basketball IQ guy. He’s in the right spots and he knows where to be both offensively and defensively. He’s grown and he’s about 6-2 now. Last year he was about 5-10. He’s a knock down shooter too and if he gets open shots he’ll hit them.”
Freshman guard Philip Mullins (6-0) may also see time this season for CRHS.
“Our fifth guy would probably be Philip Mullins,” Napier said. “He’s a freshman. He’s a super talented guy but we think he will factor into some playing time at some point this year.”
Down low at forward, Chapmanville returns 6-5 senior Tyler Moore (8.1 ppg.).
“Tyler did a great job for us last year,” Napier said. “He’s still trying to get in shape but he’s got all the tools to be a really good player. By mid-season he’ll be in a lot better physical condition. He knows our offense and defense and we’re going to rely on him a lot. He brings a physical presence to us that we need.”
The Tigers have size in the middle with 6-7 center Hunter Neil. The senior came on strong last year for Chapmanville and was a presence in the paint. Neil averaged 9.8 points a game last year.
“Hunter’s had a really good fall in the fall leagues. He played well,” Napier said. “He’s gotten himself into a little bit better shape. Last year, it was about mid-season until he was really in good shape. He’s worked hard in our weight program. He’s been looking good. We’re expecting a big thing out of him this year.”
A top reserve from last year, James Ellis, is also back for the Tigers. Ellis, a junior forward, stands 6-2.
“James Ellis played some last year,” Napier said. “He’s very smart and knows where to be. He plays hard and he’s a good defender. He’s one of our better defenders. He can guard wings or inside players. He’s about 6-3 and he’s another guy that we will be depending on a lot.”
Chapmanville has additional size and athleticism with dynamic 6-8 freshman, Obinna Anochili-Killen, a native of Nigeria.
“Obinna is a freshman and he’s kind of feeling his way out as far as learning the offense and learning the defense,” Napier said. “He’s 6-8 and he’s very athletic. You don’t see that many 6-8 freshmen in West Virginia. He’s a big-time talent. There’s a lot of colleges that are already showing interest in him this summer. He’s originally from Nigeria. He’s another guy that is going to play some minutes for us. We expect him to have a lot of good moments this year and in the future.”
Rounding out the CRHS roster are: sophomore guard Tucker Dalton (5-8); junior forward Carson Toney (5-10); senior guard Fidelis Nwafor (6-3); sophomore guard Hunter Cook (5-9); sophomore forward Aaron Terry (6-0); senior guard Tristan Browning (5-9); junior guard CJ Dalton (5-7); sophomore guard Brennan Williams (6-0); sophomore forward Nicholas Eldridge (6-0); sophomore guard Garrett Richard (5-4); freshman guard Garret Dingess (5-8); and freshman forward Andrew Williams (6-0).
“We have a bunch of other kids who have a chance to play,” Napier said. “There are four or five other sophomores, juniors and freshmen that are going to be really good players. We could play as many as 11 or 12 guys this year. We have to get into a rhythm as far as rotating guys.”
2016-17 Chapmanville Regional
High School Boys’ Basketball Schedule
Dec. 10: Mountain Mission, Va., 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13: *at Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 16: at Fairmont Senior (Big Ten/Cardinal Conference Challenge at RCB), 8 p.m.
Dec. 22: Pikeview (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), 9 p.m.
Dec. 23: vs. TBA (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), TBA
Dec. 27-29: at Daytona Beach Classic, Daytona Beach, Fla, TBA
Jan. 6: *at Wayne, 7 p.m.
Jan. 10: *at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: *Nitro, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20:* at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: *Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: at Man, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: *Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3: *Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: *Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: Man, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10: *Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: *at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 17: * Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
* Cardinal Conference game
2016-17 Chapmanville Regional
High School Boys’ Basketball Roster
No. Pos. Name Cl. Ht. Wt.
3/5 Guard Kyle Browning 11 5-9 150
5 Guard Tucker Dalton 10 5-8 130
11 Guard Dylan Smith 11 5-10 150
12 Forward Carson Toney 11 5-10 165
13 Guard Drew Williamson 11 6-3 180
22 Guard Fidelis Nwafor 12 6-3 190
23 Forward Tyler Moore 12 6-5 200
32 Forward James Ellis 11 6-2 170
33 Guard Hunter Cook 10 5-9 130
34 Forward Aaron Terry 10 6-0 130
50/42 Center Hunter Neil 12 6-7 230
Guard Tristan Browning 12 5-9 185
Guard Christopher Dalton 11 5-7 165
Guard Brennan Williams 10 6-0 155
Guard Devin Collins 10 6-1 130
Forward Nicholas Eldridge 10 6-0 140
Guard Garrett Richard 10 5-4 125
Guard Garret Dingess 9 5-8 140
Center Obinna Anochili-Killen 9 6-8 185
Forward Andrew Williams 9 6-0 180
Forward Philip Mullins 9 6-0 155
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).