With any luck the Chapmanville and Logan high school boys’ basketball teams hope to win in Tuesday’s Class AA Region 4 Section 2 semifinals and then meet on Friday night in the sectional championship game.
Then the Tigers and Wildcats would both advance to the upcoming regional co-championship games.
A couple more wins there and both Chapmanville and Logan would advance to the state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
That’s the goal for both county teams.
But first things first.
Both the Tigers and Wildcats will have tough semifinal round games on Tuesday night as No. 1 seed Chapmanville (18-4) is scheduled to face off with Lincoln County on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Logan in one of the two sectional semifinal games.
Then at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Chapmanville Regional High School, Logan (14-9) will square off with No. 2 seed Mingo Central (17-5).
Both Chapmanville and Mingo Central received first-round byes.
Logan advanced easily with an 80-29 victory over winless Man on Saturday night at Chapmanville.
Lincoln County moved on with a 76-63 victory over Scott in a game also played at Chapmanville.
Logan and Mingo Central met twice in the regular season with the Miners winning both games.
Mingo Central won 60-52 at Logan just last Monday. Earlier in the season at Mingo Central, the Wildcats lost 73-59 to the Miners.
Logan is led by 6-foot-3 freshman guard David Early, who was fourth in the Cardinal Conference this season in scoring at 19.5 points a game.
Dino Noe (10.2) and Will Akers (10.0) are Logan’s other two top scorers.
Logan coach Zach Green said it should be a good matchup with the Miners in the third meeting.
“We were right there with them in that last game,” Green said. “We had a stretch of a couple of minutes where it seemed like we turned the ball over just about every possession. We got eight straight stops but turned the ball over in six of those. We’re really excited about that opportunity and we’re looking forward to a really good game.”
Mingo Central is led by first-year coach Kevin Hatfield.
The new coach was able to completely turn around a team that went just 2-20 last year under former Tug Valley coach Garland Thompson.
The addition of transfer and all-state performer Jeremy Dillon and freshman Drew Hatfield, helped the Miners improved greatly this season.
Dillon, a former Tug Valley player who quarterbacked the Mingo Central football team to last year’s Class AA state championship, winning the state’s Kennedy Award on the way, leads the Miners in scoring at 20.4 points per game, good for second in the conference behind Poca’s Luke Frampton.
Hatfield, who played varsity basketball last year as an eighth-grader at Sheldon Clark (Ky.), averages 15.3 points a game.
Seniors Aaron Banks, Keshean Rhodes and Daniel Buchanan have also played pivotal roles this season, and having transfer Canaan Fletcher for a full season has also helped the Miners.
Banks started out the season as the sixth man, but ended up in a starting role and has been pivotal to the team’s success.
Chapmanville is led by 6-3 junior guard Drew Williamson, who is second in the conference in scoring at 20.6 points a game.
Junior guard Dylan Smith averages 10.5 points a game.
Several other Tigers have been key to the team’s success this season, including guards Kyle Browning and Devin Collins, 6-5 forward Tyler Moore, 6-7 forward/center Hunter Neil and 6-8 center Obinna Killen, a freshman who played his first varsity ball of his career this season.
Others, such as James Ellis, have also given the Tigers valuable minutes off the bench.
It’s been a long layoff for Coach Brad Napier and the Tigers, which haven’t played a game in 12 days.
The last time Chapmanville played was Feb. 16 with an 80-47 victory at home over Wayne.
“That’s a little concerning but the guys have practiced really really well,” Napier said. “I’ve been really pleased with our practices. That has given us a chance to get healthy. We had a lot of guys battling the flu and battling injuries. Drew had an ankle that was giving him some problems. Kyle had a thigh that was giving him problems. We were pretty banged up toward the end of the year. I gave them three days off. They’ve had a chance to get healthy and get back to full speed. That’s been good for us.”
Chapmanville and Lincoln County did not meet during the regular season.
The Panthers had five players reach double figures in scoring in the sectional win over Scott.
Nate Spencer led Lincoln County with 24 points while Jacob Kirkendoll had 16 points. Jake Ashley tossed in 14, Cory Rusk 12 and Caleb Rusk 10.
The Panthers are on a six-game winning streak heading into the game.
Lincoln County’s losses this season have been to Pocahontas County (57-51), 3A Spring Valley (62-52), Mingo Central (60-52), Sissonville (79-63), Nitro (51-43) and Gilmer County (48-35) in a game played at the Charleston Civic Center as part of the Little General Shootout at the Big House.
“Lincoln County has a good team,” Napier said. “We’ve probably got the toughest section in the state. There’s not going to be any easy games in this section. We’re expecting a tough game and a battle on Tuesday night. Both games will be a battle, including the Logan/Mingo game. This section is brutal. If you come out of this section and this region you have a chance to win the whole thing. It’s going to take a great effort just to get out of this thing.”
Class AA Region 4 Section 2
Saturday, Feb. 25 games
Lincoln County 76, Scott 63
Logan 80, Man 29
Tuesday, Feb. 28 games:
Chapmanville (18-4) vs. Lincoln County (17-6) at Logan, 6:30 p.m.
Mingo Central (17-5) vs. Logan (14-9) at Chapmanville, 8 p.m.
Friday, March 3 game:
Semifinal winners (Class AA sectional championship game), TBA
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.