CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Following Chapmanville Regional’s 65-42 win over Wyoming East on Thursday morning in the first game of the Class AA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center many were looking ahead to Friday’s semifinals.
It would likely be a clash between No. 3 seed Chapmanville (22-4) and No. 2 seed Bluefield.
Lincoln, however, had something to say about that after the Cougars, one of the two Cinderella teams in the Double-A state tournament field, scored a shocking 63-59 upset win over the Beavers.
All this despite a sub .500 record heading into the state tournament.
That puts Lincoln (13-13) into Friday’s 11:15 a.m. showdown with Chapmanville in one of the two state semifinals.
The Cougars, one of three Big Ten Conference teams in the state tournament, are led by 6-2 senior forward Chase Riley, who checks in at 19.2 points a game. Lincoln also has 6-3 junior forward Cory Fazalare (10.0 ppg.), 6-3 junior guard Jonathan Leep (7.5 ppg.) and 5-9 junior guard Kobie Carpenter (6.1 ppg.).
Riley finished with 28 points in Thursday’s stunning upset, including the game-clinching runaway layup in the closing seconds.
The other two first-round games on Thursday had No. 1 and tourney favorite Fairmont Senior (22-3) taking on No. 8 Herbert Hoover (13-13) and No. 4 Philip Barbour (22-3) battling it out against No. 5 Mingo Central (19-6) in the late game.
Foul trouble no trouble
Chapmanville’s two big men, 6-foot-8 freshman center Obinna Killen and 6-7 senior forward/center Hunter Neil each battled foul trouble in Thursday’s state tourney game vs. Wyoming East.
The Tigers, though, picked up the slack as they have done all year.
“Sometimes we’ve played better with the small lineup,” CRHS coach Brad Napier said. “It goes from game to game. Sometimes we can hurt you inside and other nights we can hurt you pressing and hitting a bunch of 3s. That’s probably the strength of our team. We’ve got eight or nine guys that can do different things and we can put different lineups out there. We can go big or small. Whatever we need to do we try to do. We’ve got a bunch of guys that are pretty good players.”
Chapmanville led just 30-23 over Wyoming East at the half but picked up its defensive intensity.
“When we pick up our defensive intensity our offense will come,” junior guard Dylan Smith said.
Wyoming East coach Derek Brooks said the Tigers’ defense was one of the keys to Chapmanville’s win.
“They guarded the ball really well,” Brooks said. “They play aggressive defense which in the game films that we’ve seen they’ve kind of sagged. But we’re used to that and we’re used to aggressive defense. We’ve played Bluefield and they are on us four quarters and 32 minutes. They were kind of the same way tonight. We just couldn’t get any open looks.”
Wyoming East’s Corey McKinney said the Tigers didn’t allow for many open looks at the basket.
“They smothered me,” McKinney said. “They know that we’re a shooting team. The guarded really well on the outside and I couldn’t get any open shots.”
The poll was right
When it comes to presidential politics the polls are often wrong as seen during the last presidential election.
However, people must have thought Chapmanville’s chances were very good to beat Wyoming East in Thursday’s state tourney opener.
In a Twitter poll conducted by the Logan Banner 88 percent of voters picked the Tigers to beat the Warriors with only 12 percent picking Wyoming East.
They were spot on as CRHS won 65-42 over East.
A total of 242 people responded to the poll.
On a hot streak
With Thursday morning’s win over Wyoming East in the first round of the Class AA state tournament, Chapmanville Regional has now won eight games in a row.
The Tigers are also 17-1 over their last 18 games.
The only defeat since after Christmas break was a 59-56 double overtime loss at home to Mingo Central.
Two of Chapmanville’s losses came to out-of-state teams in late December in the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic in Florida.
2016-17 Chapmanville Regional
High School Boys’ Basketball Schedule (22-4, 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), W 65-42
March 17: vs. Lincoln (Class AA state tournament at Charleston), 11:15 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.