Drew Williamson was raining down the 3-pointers on Friday night in Chapmanville’s King Coal Classic game against Huntington St. Joe.
The sophomore guard drilled seven 3s and poured in a game-high 29 points but it wasn’t enough as the Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team lost 69-64 to Huntington St. Joe at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Williamson, second in the Cardinal Conference in scoring at just a hair under 20 points per game, buried six 3s in the first half, including five in the second quarter alone to lead the Tigers.
He also helped lead a late-game Tiger surge.
St. Joe, coached by Logan graduate Ross Scaggs, was able to hold off CRHS and improve to 10-5 on the season. Chapmanville, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped on Thursday night in an 80-60 loss at Tolsia, fell to 8-5.
Jordan Whitt also broke into double digits in scoring for Chapmanville with 12 points.
Four players led St. Joe’s balanced attack. DeAndre Murphy led the way with 15 points. Keith Clemens had 13, John Dawson 12 and John Morrison 11.
Jacob Strieter had nine points and seven rebounds.
Kyle Browning added five points, 11 assists and seven boards for Chapmanville. Tyler Moore had six points, Hunter Neil four and James Ellis two. Dylan Smith had six points and five assists.
CRHS first-year coach Brad Napier said his team played much better than it did at Tolsia.
“The difference between last night and tonight was effort, focus and intensity,” Napier said. “We had all three of those things tonight. Last night at Tolsia we didn’t have any of the three. That was our worst game of the season but tonight we turned it around and had one of our best games of the season. We’re never happy to lose but that team (St. Joe) has a chance to win a state championship. They have three or four guys that can play college ball. I’m happy with the effort. A play here and a play there and we could have very easily won this game.”
Led by Williamson’s longrange marksmanship, the Tigers trailed only 35-34 at halftime.
“He’s actually been struggling with his shot,” Napier said. “I was really happy to see him get it back tonight. He hasn’t been shooting the ball like he’s capable.”
The game then see-sawed some.
In the third, a topside 3 by Clemens at the buzzer but the Irish on top 53-51 after three periods of play.
In the fourth at the 6:42 mark, Williamson hit another triple to put Chapmanville ahead 58-56.
It turned out to be the last lead of the night by the Tigers.
A layup by Murphy with 4:47 left tied it up at 58 and then a minute later Murphy completed an old-fashioned three-point play to put St. Joe up for good, 61-58.
Chapmanville stayed within three at 63-60 with 2:16 to go after Smith’s 15-footer but that was as close as the Tigers could get.
Two Dawson free throws and two more makes by Morrison pushed the margin to 67-60.
Browning scored a hoop with eight seconds left to inch the Tigers to within 68-64 but Murphy more or less put the win on ice by splitting from the foul line with 6.8 ticks left.
Napier also praised the play of his big men.
“Our big guys were also good tonight, especially defensively,” he said. “They took a lot of charges and got into foul trouble early. That was the difference in the game. Offense comes and goes but we have to start playing defense if we want to make it to the state tournament.”
The Irish jumped out to a 9-2 lead but a 9-0 Tigers’ run put Chapmanville ahead 11-9.
St. Joe then went on a 10-0 run, capped off by a Murphy dunk, to lead 19-11 after one.
The lead swelled to 10 but the Tigers came back, slicing the deficit to 25-21 after a Williamson 3.
After three more Williamson treys, CRHS closed to within 33-32 with 2:48 left until halftime.
St. Joe was 25-for-50 shooting for an even 50 percent. Chapmanville made 28-for-58 of its field goals for 48.3 percent.
The Irish were 12-for-19 from the free throw line. CRHS only made one trip to the foul line and was 0-for-1.
St. Joe also outrebounded Chapmanville 29-23.
The Tigers are scheduled to return to action with Tuesday night’s road game at Class AA No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Poca. Tip time is 7 p.m.
“It doesn’t get any easier for us,” Coach Napier said.
The Dots overwhelmed the Tigers 94-43 earlier in the season at Chapmanville. The Tigers, however, did not have an injured Williamson in the that game.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).