RED JACKET, W.Va. – The Mingo Central and Chapmanville Regional basketball series has the making of a really good rivalry between two of the state’s top Class AA teams.
Just over a week ago the Miners defeated the No. 4-ranked Tigers on their home court 59-56 in double overtime. On Tuesday night, on Miner Mountain, Chapmanville returned the favor beating No. 3 Mingo Central 61-59 in overtime.
The game had big implications for both teams.
It had a lot of impact on the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Class AA sectional tournament and it could help determine the winner of the Cardinal Conference.
The first half was a low scoring affair. Neither of the teams shot the ball well and turnovers were a key issue in the first half.
The score at the end of the first quarters was 11-8 with Mingo Central leading. At halftime the two teams went into the dressing room tied at 18.
Mingo Central was only 6-of-30 shooting in the first half and Chapmanville was 6-of-21.
“I don’t know if it was really good defense in the first half or just bad offense – maybe it was a combination,” Chapmanville Coach Brad Napier said. “I know we had 13 turnovers in the first half. We only average 12 per game.”
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Mingo Central Coach Kevin Hatfield said after the game. “The first half neither team shot well – just like the first game.”
“We did better taking care of the ball in the second half,” Napier said. “We only had four in the second half. I thought both teams battled hard.”
“It was a tournament-type atmosphere and game,” the Tiger coach added. “We have a ton of respect for those guys. They have some really good players. They had some guys who made some big shots. Keysean’s corner 3 was big and we had some guys who stepped up. Devin Collins was huge off the bench for us.”
What proved to be the game winning shot in overtime was a short baseline jumper by Kyle Browning. His basket gave Chapmanville a 61-59 lead with 1.2 seconds left in the overtime.
“What was big about that is that he missed that same shot in the last game in the same exact spot to win the game. So this time he put it in,” Napier said. “Both teams are so evenly matched. If we play 10 times it will probably be like that each game. Like Kevin and I were talking, I don’t think either one of us want to do this again. I’m proud of our guys and I’m proud of Mingo Central’s kids too.”
Napier was the former coach for the Miners before moving back to Logan County.
The two teams could meet again in the upcoming sectional tournament, depending on how things work out for both.
“We had two times once in the second and again later in the game when we had control of the game,” Hatfield said of his squad. “Every time we got a lead we quit running offense or went one-on-one or made bad passes. I felt we had the game in control.”
However, he said he felt his team would then have three or four bad possessions and let the Tigers back in the game.
In the third quarter Mingo went on a 7-0 run on a 3-pointer by Keysean Rhodes, a dunk by Aaron Banks, and a short jumper by Jeremy Dillon, which gave the Miners a 36-28 lead.
After an exchange of baskets freshman Drew Hatfield hit a jumper at the buzzer to give Mingo Central a 41-34 lead heading into the final quarter.
But Chapmanville did not give up and Dylan Smith gave them a big lift with a corner trey to cut the lead to 46-41. The Tigers continued that run and tied the game at 46-all.
“Mental mistakes are pretty much what cost us the game,” Hatfield said.
He said his team did not run the half-court offense and they missed some key free throws.
“Chapmanville did a good job and they want to slow us down. They don’t want us to run the ball and make us run our offense. But we quit and didn’t do that well tonight,” Hatfield said. “Hopefully our guys learned from their mistakes and that they need to listen to the coaching staff. We need to box out better and have better effort – we gave away two leads by taking some bad shots. But I give credit to Chapmanville. If we play them again it will be another tough game.”
Down the stretch the game was back-and-forth. Dillon got a rebound on a missed free throw by Rhodes and was fouled. He made a pair of foul shots to give the Miners a 48-46 lead.
Drew Williamson answered with a shot in the lane for Chapmanville and he was fouled. He completed the old-fashioned three-point play to give his team at 49-48 lead with 3:08 left in regulation.
On the next Mingo possession Obinna Killen picked up his fifth foul with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter.
Dillon was fouled again and made 1-of-2 to tie the game at 49.
Banks stole the ball for Mingo Central and Dillon got the ball, drove the length of the floor and was fouled. He calmly hit two clutch free throws to give the Miners a 51-49 lead.
Hunter Neil was fouled on the other end of the court and also his two big free throws to tie the game at 51 with 1:50 remaining in regulation.
Then once again Dillon was fouled and went to the line shooting the double bonus and he made both to give MCHS a 53-51 lead with 1:12 left.
But Collins nailed a long 3-pointer for the Tigers on their next possession to give his team a 54-53 lead with 55.8 seconds left.
Mingo went up by two, 56-54 on a 3-pointer by Rhodes from the corner with 15.5 seconds to go.
Then Chapmanville’s Williamson went to the line shooting the one-and-one and swished a pair of free throws to tie the game at 56-56.
Dillon got off a shot for Mingo in heavy traffic but he missed and the Tigers got the rebound with .08 left. They were unable to get a good shot with that little bit of time left.
The game went into overtime and an extra four minutes had to be played to determine the winner.
Dillon sank a floater in the lane to give Mingo Central a 58-56 lead. The Tigers missed on their next try and the Miners got the rebound with an excellent chance to add to their lead. However a pair of missed free throws gave Chapmanville hope.
With just 47 seconds left in OT Napier called a timeout. He set up a play and once again Collins came up big for the Tigers nailing a long 3 to give his team a 59-58 lead.
Dillon got the ball and drove the baseline and put up a reverse layup that didn’t fall, but he was fouled with 11.8 seconds left. He made 1-of-2 at the free throw line which tied the game at 59-59.
Then Browning hit his clutch game winner and Mingo Central called a final timeout with 1.2 seconds left. The Miners actually had a good play and Banks had a contested shot at the rim, but it wouldn’t fall and the Tigers got revenge beating Mingo Central on their home court.
Collins led Chapmanville with 20 points off the bench. All of his baskets were 3-pointers as he hit six from behind the arc. Williamson was next for Chapmanville scoring 17 points — 14 coming in the second half. Smith finished with eight, Browning seven and Killen and Neil six each.
Dillon finished with 27 points and nine rebounds to lead Mingo Central, while Hatfield scored 11 and Rhodes nine. Banks and Daniel Buchanan chipped in five each, while Canaan Fletcher had an off game on offense only scoring two. Fletcher got into early foul trouble and had to sit much of the first half.
Mingo Central ended up 19-for-25 at the free throw line for 76 percent, while the Tigers were 11-for-16 for 69 percent.
Chapmanville made nine 3-pointers in the game, including six by Collins, while Mingo Central only made four, two by Rhodes and one by Hatfield.
Chapmanville Regional (17-4) has one regular season game left as they play host to Wayne on Thursday night.
Mingo Central will play host to Nitro on Friday night, then they hit the road for a couple of tough Cardinal Conference games. They play at Poca on Saturday, Feb. 18 and then travel over to Logan on Monday, Feb. 20.
Boys’ Basketball Standings
Team Conf. All
Chapmanville 11-1 17-4
Mingo Central 9-2 15-4
Logan 7-4 12-7
Scott 2-12 6-14
Wayne 0-11 4-16
Team Conf. All
Poca 7-4 13-5
Winfield 7-4 12-7
Sissonville 7-6 12-7
Nitro 6-6 12-7
Herbert Hoover 2-9 9-11
Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.