LOGAN, W.Va. — Offense wins games and gets all the glory but defense is what could carry you to a state championship.
The Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team hopes that holds true next week in Charleston.
The Tigers flexed their defensive muscles on Wednesday night, defeating Winfield, 65-44, in the Class AA Region 4 co-championship game at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
The win powered Chapmanville (21-4) into next Thursday morning’s Class AA state tournament quarterfinals where the No. 3 seeded and No. 4-ranked Tigers are scheduled to play No. 6 seed Wyoming East (15-10) at the Charleston Civic Center in a 9:30 a.m. tip.
Chapmanville’s inside play of big men Hunter Neil, a 6-foot-7 senior, 6-8 freshman Obinna Killen and 6-5 senior Tyler Moore was particularly key in the victory over the Generals.
Smaller Winfield seemed to have a tough time inside the paint as just about every shot was either contested or altered.
Killen finished the game with five blocked shots and 13 rebounds. Guard Kyle Browning ended up with five big steals.
Junior all-state candidate leading scorer Drew Williamson said Killen has been a great addition to the Tigers’ team this season, giving Chapmanville another inside presense on both ends of the floor.
“That’s because Obinna is the Landlord in there,” Williamson joked. “He’s got like a 7-foot-1 wingspan. Him and Hunter Neil do a great job protecting the paint. Kyle Browning and our guards also harassed them. I thought that we really played great defense and great as a team tonight.”
Neil said Killen has been superb.
“Obinna’s been a big help,” Neil said. “He’s an outstanding player.”
Moore said Chapmanville’s defensive play has been overlooked all season by some.
“I think our defense was the difference,” he said.
And Hoover makes three
With Wednesday night’s Region 4 co-finals featuring four Cardinal Conference teams, the league was assured of at least two teams making it to the Class AA state tournament field next week in Charleston.
Moments after Chapmanville defeated Winfield at Logan to wrap up a state tourney berth, it was learned Mingo Central had also punched a ticket to the Big Dance after going to Poca and defeating the Dots 61-53, breaking Poca’s 53-game home winning streak dating back to 2013.
The Miners (19-6) bounced back after getting thoroughly pounded, 62-37, last week by Chapmanville in the sectional title game at Logan.
However, there will be a third unlikely Cardinal Conference team in the state tournament.
Herbert Hoover, just the No. 8-rated team this season in the conference with a 2-11 league mark, advanced to the state tournament with Wednesday’s 55-51 double overtime victory over Robert C. Byrd.
Herbert Hoover (13-13), received the No. 8 seed and will play No. 1 seed Fairmont Senior (22-3) on Thursday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the state tourney.
The Herbert Hoover community was devastated last summer by flooding, which damaged the high school and several of the Huskies’ athletic facilities.
Chase King led the Huskies with 21 points in the win over RCB.
Other first-round state tourney matchups have No. 2 Bluefield (22-3) taking on No. 7 Lincoln (12-13) on March 16 at 1 p.m. and No. 4 Phillip Barbour battling it out against No. 5 Mingo Central at 9 p.m.
If Chapmanville beats Wyoming East in the opener, the Tigers would play the Bluefield/Lincoln winner on March 17 at 11:15 a.m. in one of two semifinals.
The other semifinal is set for 7:15 p.m. on March 17 as the Fairmont/Hoover winner plays the Phillip Barbour/Mingo Central winner.
The Class AA state championship game is set for Saturday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m.
In a Twitter poll conducted by the Logan Banner, 67 percent of voters picked Chapmanville to beat Winfield with 33 percent choosing the Generals.
A total of 315 people participated in the poll.
Class AA state tournament seeds
1. Fairmont Senior 22-3
2. Bluefield 22-3
3. Chapmanville 21-4
4. Philip Barbour 22-3
5. Mingo Central 19-6
6. Wyoming East 15-10
7. Lincoln 12-13
8. Herbert Hoover 13-13
2016-17 Chapmanville Regional
High School Boys’ Basketball Schedule (21-4, 12-1):
Dec. 10: Mountain Mission, Va., W 64-47
Dec. 13: *at Winfield, W 66-55
Dec. 17: at Fairmont Senior (Big Ten/Cardinal Conference Challenge at RCB), L 54-72
Dec. 22: Mount View (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), W 66-57
Dec. 23: vs. Pikeview (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), W 71-60
Dec. 27: vs. Woodstock, Ga. (Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic at Daytona Beach, Fla.), W 83-76 (OT)
Dec. 29: vs. Atlantic, Fla. (Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic at Daytona Beach, Fla.), L 43-62
Dec. 30: vs. Rowan County, Ky. (Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic at Daytona Beach, Fla.), L 64-72
Jan. 10: *at Sissonville, W 76-56
Jan. 13: *at Scott, W 95-54
Jan. 14: *at Wayne, W 69-48
Jan. 17: *Nitro, W 85-60
Jan. 20:*at Logan, W 67-60
Jan. 27: at Man, W 105-32
Jan. 28: *Poca, W 59-56
Jan. 31: *Herbert Hoover, W 62-49
Feb. 3: *Scott, W 66-38
Feb. 4: *Mingo Central, L 56-59 (2OT)
Feb. 7: Man, W 94-35
Feb. 10: *Logan, W 73-62
Feb. 14: *at Mingo Central, W 61-59 (OT)
Feb. 16: * Wayne, W 80-47
Feb. 28: vs. Lincoln County (Class AA sectionals at Logan), W 69-37
March 2: vs. Mingo Central (Class AA sectionals at Logan), W 62-37
March 8: vs. Winfield (Class AA regionals at Logan), W 65-44
March 16: vs. Wyoming East (Class AA state tournament at Charleston), 9:30 a.m.
* Cardinal Conference game
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.