CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Will it be enough?
The Chapmanville Regional High School girls’ basketball team hopes so.
With Wednesday night’s 60-49 win over Mingo Central in a key matchup of Class AA sectional rivals at Chapmanville’s Danny Godby Gymnasium, the Lady Tigers earned a regular season split with the Miners and hope that is enough to secure the No. 1 seed for the upcoming sectional tournament, which is scheduled to begin on Feb. 18.
The Lady Tigers improved to 12-6 overall and 7-5 in the Cardinal Conference with the victory, while the Miners dropped to 13-6, 6-5.
Sectional coaches are expected to vote on the seedings in the coming days and Chapmanville is banking on Wednesday’s win to leave a good impression.
Chapmanville had lost a 52-51 nail-biter to the Miners on Jan. 10 on the road but hold a 7-1 record over sectional foes this season as the Lady Tigers swept Man, Logan and Scott in home-and-home games during the campaign.
The Lady Tigers did not play sectional tournament team Lincoln County during the regular season. The Lady Panthers (11-7), have two recent losses to both Logan and Mingo Central.
The Miners are 6-1 in sectional play but still have to play at Logan (5-12) on Feb. 13.
Scott (8-11) and Man (4-13), along with Logan, have all struggled for the most part this season.
As it stands now, Chapmanville would be the No. 1 seed with Mingo Central second, Lincoln County third, Logan fourth, Scott fifth and Man sixth.
Scott has a better record than Logan but have been pounded twice by the Lady Cats to the tune of 49-6 and 55-26, so logic would say Logan would have the higher seed than the Lady Hawks.
Chapmanville and Mingo Central would get first-round byes. If all falls into place, No. 3 Lincoln County would play No. 6 Man at either Chapmanville or Logan and No. 4 Logan would take on No. 5 seed Scott at CRHS in opening-round games on Feb. 18.
Neutral site gyms at Chapmanville, Logan and Mingo Central will be used for both the girls’ and boys’ sectional tournaments.
Kara Browning led the Lady Tigers with 20 points in the win over MCHS. Kaylee Blair and Taylor Manns had nine each, Olivia Dalton and Madison Webb had eight each and Graci Brumfield came off the bench to tally six points.
Xziah Rhodes paced Mingo Central with a game-high 23 points. Cassidy Cline had 11, Tyshira Joplin nine and Katie Ball six.
“It was a big win,” Chapmanville coach Johnny Williamson said. “We came out with some intensity and that got us going. Kara Browning was 9-for-10 from the foul line and when she’s aggressive and takes it to the hole we play better. We played some zone defense to stay out of foul trouble but they were able to hit some open shots on us.”
Chapmanville led 10-4 early but fell behind 14-13 after one quarter and trailed by as many as seven in the second quarter.
The Lady Tigers led 31-29 at halftime and took care of business in the second half, outscoring the Miners 13-9 in the third to grab a 44-38 lead. CRHS then pulled away in crunch time.
“In the second half we closed out on them a little bit better on defense,” Williamson said. “We knew that they were going to press us and we were ready for it. When you can handle the press that helps.”
Mingo Central coach Brandon Ball said his team wore down in the second half.
“I think that we got fatigued,” he said. “We never did get into the flow of things. We just got out of our rhythm and we could never get into our flow on offense.”
Up one point after one, the Miners hit their groove, however, and was red hot from the perimeter.
A 3-pointer by Cline put Mingo up 17-14. Later on, back-to-back 3s by Cline and Joplin made it a 27-20 game in favor of the Miners, their biggest lead of the night.
Chapmanville then got back into it as Dalton netted a 19-footer, Blair scored on a lay-in, Browning canned a bucket in the lane and Webb tied it up at 29 with 42.9 ticks to go in the third.
Browning’s drive down the lane with 13 seconds left gave CRHS a 31-29 edge at the intermission.
Chapmanville took a 36-29 lead but Mingo was able to trim the deficit to 40-38 with 1:50 left in the third on Cline’s 3.
Brumfield hit two free throws and Dalton’s 18-footer put CRHS on top 44-38 after three quarters of play.
Chapmanville led 50-41 in the fourth after a pair of Manns free throws with 4:21 left but the Miners refused to go away.
With 2:36 to go, Rhodes scored inside the lane to make it a 50-45 ballgame.
The Lady Tigers then pulled away, sinking 8-for-8 from the foul line down the stretch. Browning made two free throws and Dalton sank two more with 1:10 left to make it 55-47.
Then with 56 seconds left, Manns was fouled and Coach Ball was whistled for a technical foul. Manns hit both of her free throws and Browning then stepped to the line and sank both technical foul free throws to put the game away at 59-47.
Williamson praised the play of Browning, Chapamnville’s 5-foot-5 junior guard.
“The last two games Kara hadn’t played very well,” Williamson said. “But we know she can play.”
Barring any major upsets Mingo Central and Chapmanville could meet again in the sectional finals.
“Maybe so but this will give us a little momentum and hopefully we can finish the season out strong,” Williamson said.
Coach Ball said the jury is still out since the sectional voting has not yet been done.
“We beat Lincoln County on the road and that should factor in,” he said. “We still have got to go to Logan on Monday.”
Chapmanville was scheduled to play at Sherman on Thursday in a non-conference game. The Lady Tigers then host Westside on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Senior Night. CRHS has just one senior left on the roster in Manns.
CRHS then hosts Wayne on Feb. 14 in the regular season finale in a Cardinal Conference game.
Mingo was slated to play at Scott on Thursday before hosting Class A Van on Saturday night. The Miners go to Logan on Feb. 13 in the finale.
Girls’ Basketball Standings
Team Conf. All
Wayne 8-3 12-7
Chapmanville 7-5 12-6
Mingo Central 6-5 13-6
Logan 3-8 5-12
Scott 1-11 8-11
Team Conf. All
Winfield 10-1 17-2
Sissonville 9-2 14-5
Poca 9-4 14-5
Nitro 4-8 10-10
Herbert Hoover 0-13 2-19
2016-17 Chapmanville Regional High School
Girls’ Basketball Schedule (12-6, 7-5):
Dec. 7: Man, W 57-23
Dec. 9: vs. Cabell Midland (at Summers County Holiday Tournament), L 31-46
Dec. 10: vs. Pocahontas County (at Summers County Holiday Tournament), W 87-26
Dec. 14: *at Sissonville, L 35-60
Dec. 15: Sherman, W 66-49
Dec. 17: vs. Bridgeport (Big 10/Cardinal Conference Challenge), W 45-37
Dec. 20: *Herbert Hoover, W 74-36
Dec. 29: *Poca, L 37-54
Jan. 3: *Nitro, W 53-26
Jan. 10: *at Mingo Central, L 51-52
Jan. 13: *at Wayne, L 59-73
Jan. 14: *at Scott, W 72-28
Jan. 19: *Scott, W 81-24
Jan. 24: at Man, W 63-15
Jan. 26: *Logan, W 50-31
Feb. 2: *at Winfield, L 39-60
Feb. 4: *at Logan, W 52-42
Feb. 8: *Mingo Central, W 60-49
Feb. 9: at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).