CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — When the Chapmanville Regional High School basketball team stepped onto the floor back in November to begin preparations for the upcoming 2016-17 season the Tigers felt pretty good about their team.
CRHS coach Brad Napier and his staff put five season goals up on the magic marker board.
Three of those goals have already been met.
Two more are still within reach.
The Tigers host Winfield on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a state tournament berth on the line.
Chapmanville is searching for its second straight trip to the state tourney and third overall trip in the last four years.
The Tigers have never won a game in the state tournament.
Chapmanville never even made it to state until 2014 when former coach Allan Hatcher led the Tigers to Charleston. CRHS eventually was ousted 63-34 by Bluefield in the opening round.
Then last year, Chapmanville came close but lost 30-28 to the Poca Dots.
“It’s been a good year but it’s not done yet,” CRHS coach Brad Napier said. “Our biggest goals are still ahead of us. We began the season with five goals. The first goal was to win our holiday tournament. The second goal was to win the Cardinal Conference. The third was to win the sectional. The fourth goal is to win the regional and the fifth goal is to win the state championship. We have accomplished three out of our five goals but we’ve still got two big ones left to work toward.”
Likely a sellout
Wednesday’s game is pretty much a lock to be a sellout at Chapmanville’s 1,550-seat Danny Godby Gymnasium.
“The guys are really excited,” Napier said. “Tickets went on sale this morning (Tuesday) at the school and there was a line all the way out the front door. It’s pretty exciting when you’ve got your community support. Our last six or seven games have basically been in front of packed gyms. It’s been great and a lot of excitement. Our kids have enjoyed playing in front of the big crowds and all of the great atmospheres.”
Spreading the wealth
Chapmanville’s big men — Hunter Neil, Tyler Moore and Hunter Neil — have all played well this season for the Tigers along with the team’s steady guard play, led by Drew Williamson.
“They’ve been solid pretty much all year,” Napier said of his big men. “We have different guys step up for us on different nights. It could be any of our top eight or nine guys that have big games. Our balance is our strength of our team. It’s not a one or two or three guy show. It’s a very balanced team effort most nights. In different games different guys have oppportunities to score. We just try to counter what the other teams give us and take advantage of it whether it be with our inside play or our guard play.”
Tigers on a roll
The Tigers are 15-1 over their last 16 games heading into the game.
The lone loss during the span was a 59-56 overtime setback to Mingo Central on Feb. 4 at home.
Two of Chapmanville’s losses were in Florida to out-of-state teams as the Tigers took part in the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic over Christmas break. Those defeats were to Atlantic, Fla. (62-43) and Rowan County, Ky. (72-64).
The only other loss this season by Chapmanville was Dec. 17 to Fairmont Senior in a 72-54 setback to the Polar Bears in the Big Ten/Cardinal Conference Challenge at Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg.
Rowan County finished 26-10 and was just one game away from reaching Kentucky’s single-class Sweet Sixteen state tournament as the Vikings lost 78-75 in triple overtime to West Carter on Monday night.
Atlantic High School, located in Port Orange, Fla., is currently 24-5 on the season.
Fairmont Senior is 21-3 and hosts Petersburg on Wednesday night in its regional co-final.
CLASS AA REGIONAL FINALS
(All games 7 p.m. tipoffs)
Class AA Region 1
North Marion (15-9) at Philip Barbour (21-3)
Petersburg (15-9) at Fairmont Senior (21-3)
Class AA Region 2
Robert C. Byrd (13-11) at Herbert Hoover (12-13)
Lewis County (11-13) at Lincoln (11-13)
Class AA Region 3
Westside (16-8) at Bluefield (21-3)
Shady Spring (15-9) at Wyoming East (14-10)
Class AA Region 4
Mingo Central (18-6) at Poca (19-5)
Winfield (15-9) at Chapmanville (20-4)
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.