CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — The Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team has been known to D up some this season.
The Wyoming East Warrors can run the floor, hit the 3-point shot and put some big numbers up on the scoreboard.
Something will have to give on Thursday morning when No. 3 seed Chapmanville (21-4) takes on No. 6 seed Wyoming East (15-10) in the first round of the Class AA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Tip off is set for 9:30 a.m. as both teams will be getting an early wake-up call.
Chapmanville coach Brad Napier said his Tigers must be able to defend against Wyoming East’s 3-point barrage.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us to try and slow them down offensively as well as they shoot it,” Napier said. “That’s probably going to be the key to the game. They shoot a bunch of 3s and they make a lot of 3s. I don’t know if we’ve played a team all year long that shoots as well as they do. All five of their starters can shoot the 3.”
The Warriors’ top scorers are 5-foot-8 senior guard guard Johnathan Sims and 6-4 senior power forward Dylan Brehm, who each average 15 points a game.
Corey McKinney, a 5-7 senior guard, and 6-5 senior center Zach Cook, each average 10 points per contest.
Wyoming East also has 5-10 senior guard Logan Mullins and 5-10 freshman guard Mcquade Canada, who both average five points a game.
Chapmanville is led by 6-3 junior guard Drew Williamson, who averages 20.6 points per game.
The only other double digit scorer is 5-10 junior guard Dylan Smith, who checks in at 10.5 points per contest.
Hunter Neil (9.8 ppg.), a 6-7 senior center, and Kyle Browning (9.6 ppg.), a 6-0 junior guard, both average close to 10 points per game.
The Tigers also have 6-1 sophomore guard Devin Collins (8.9 ppg.), 6-8 freshman center Obinna Killen (8.8 ppg.) and 6-5 senior power forward Tyler Moore (7.4 ppg.).
Chapmanville has depth and a good inside/outside game.
Williamson, Smith, Browning and Collins are deadly from the 3-point arc.
The Tigers can also pound it inside with Neil, Killen and Moore.
“It’s just according to what they try to take away,” Napier said. “We’re going to take what they give us. If they try to double our guys inside we’ll try to take some things to try to counter that. If they try to pressure up on us that should give us one-on-one opportunities down low.”
Wyoming East is known for its shooters but in its 57-41 regional win over Shady Spring, the Warriors played lockdown defense, holding the Tigers to just five points in the second quarter.
“I thought our team played good defense. Really, both teams played good defense,” Wyoming East first-year coach Derek Brooks told the Pineville Independent Herald.
The Warriors trailed, 8-7, after the first period but Brehm’s hot shooting and stellar stops on the defensive end put them in control.
Brehm hit from 15 feet on the right wing and followed his own miss to the basket early in the second to put WEHS ahead for good at 11-10. He hit another one from the left wing as East went on a 10-0 run.
Wyoming East led 25-13 at the half.
“I told them at halftime, you have to come out on fire,” Brooks said. “You don’t want to have a let down.”
They didn’t as the Warriors opened the third period with seven straight points.
Brehm had a game-high 20 points in the win. East took a 35-20 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We’ve been playing together since we were kids,” Cook said. “We always wanted to win a state championship.
Brooks said his team in confident heading into the state tourney.
“We’re not finished,” Brooks said. “I told the kids it takes six wins to win the state championship. We’ve got three more to go.”
The Chapmanville/Wyoming East winner will move on to play Friday at 11:15 a.m. in the semifinals against the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal pitting No. 2 Bluefield (22-3) vs. No. 7 Lincoln (12-13).
The state championship game is set for Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The other two first-round games have No. 1 and tourney favorite Fairmont Senior (22-3) taking on No. 8 Herbert Hoover (13-13) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and No. 4 Philip Barbour (22-3) battling it out against No. 5 Mingo Central (19-6) on Thursday at 9 p.m.
CLASS AA STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Thursday, March 16
Game 1: No. 3 Chapmanville (21-4) vs. No. 6 Wyoming East (15-10), 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 2 Bluefield (22-3) vs. No. 7 Lincoln (12-13), 1 p.m.
Game 3: No. 1 Fairmont Senior (22-3) vs. No. 8 Herbert Hoover (13-13), 5:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 4 Philip Barbour (22-3) vs. No. 5 Mingo Central (19-6), 9 p.m.
Friday, March 17
Semifinal: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 11:15 a.m.
Semifinal: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 18
Class AA boys basketball state championship, 2:30 p.m.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.