CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — There’s an old sports cliche to not look past your opponent in post-season tournament play.
The Class AA No. 3-ranked Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team has a goal of making a deep state tournament run — possibly even winning the state championship — a first in the long history of Tigers’ basketball.
However, Chapmanville (20-4) must first get past a scrappy Winfield (15-9) team on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Class AA Region 4 co-final at Chapmanville’s Danny Godby Gymasium.
The Tigers met the Generals once this season — way back in mid-December — resulting in a 55-44 victory by CRHS.
Chapmanville coach Brad Napier, however, knows the Generals are no slouch and will be tough to beat.
“Winfield’s just about as scrappy of a team as we have played all year,” Napier said. “They have the Frye kid and a couple of other kids who have really come along. The Frye kid is their second leading scorer and he’s a freshman. He hit six 3s the other night against Poca in the sectional game. They are very guard oriented and very quick. They have four or five guys that can all shoot the 3-ball really well. It’s going to be a challenge for us to try to slow them down offensively and get them to come off the 3-point line.”
Winfield lost to Poca 60-53 in Saturday night’s sectional finals, while the Tigers were a surprisingly easy 62-37 winner over Mingo Central in a game played at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Napier said the Generals play sound defense and his Tigers will have to find a way to find the open man and get good shots.
“They play such good defense that it’s tough to get shots off against them,” Napier said. “They aren’t going to let you get open shots. They are very physical. They bump you, hold you and grab you when you come off screens. There’s not a lot of open looks to be had against them. Hopefully we can get enough good looks and be strong with the ball, not turn it over and get some opportunities to score. They are a very good defensive team.”
Wednesday’s other co-final has Poca (19-5) hosting Mingo Central (18-7) in another 7 p.m. tip.
The winners advance to play in the state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center, while the two losers will see its season come to a close.
CRHS is led by junior guard Drew Williamson, who averages 20.3 points a game, good for second in the Cardinal Conference. Dylan Smith, another junior guard, averages 10.5 points per contest.
Chapmanville also has depth with guards Kyle Browning, Devin Collins and freshman Phillip Mullins and post men Hunter Neil (6-7), Tyler Moore (6-5) and freshman Obinna Killen (6-8).
Winfield’s top scorer is Braeden McGrew, who averages 17.7 points per game. Tate Hancock (10.2) and Andrew Huff (10.0) are two of the Generals’ other top scorers.
Freshman guard Christian Frye led Winfield with 20 points, hitting 6-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc. Huff had 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench. McGrew was held to nine points on a trio of treys. He also had six steals, however.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.