CHAPMANIVILLE — The Poca Dots appear to be steamrolling ahead to a second straight Class AA state championship.
Poca, which won the state title last year and completed an undefeated season, seem to be headed again to the state title, barring any major upsets.
Chapmanville Regional has the daunting task on Tuesday night by playing the Dots on their home floor.
The last time the two teams hooked up, Chapmanville lost 94-43 on Jan. 8 at CRHS.
The Tigers, however, didn’t have the services of top scorer Drew Williamson that night.
Chapmanville hopes to make a game of it this time and challenge the Dots.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. tonight at Poca High School.
Chapmanville currently sits at 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the Cardinal Conference. The Tigers played very well last Friday night in Logan’s King Coal Classic before falling 69-64 to a very solid Huntington St. Joe Class A team.
Poca, ranked No. 1 in Class AA, is 11-2 overall and 7-0 in the conference.
Chapmanville coach Brad Napier said the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers, which also hit the road on Friday night at Class AA sectional foe and conference rival Scott.
“We have Poca on Tuesday, so the road don’t get any easier,” Napier said. “It’s over there and then we are at Scott on Friday. It doesn’t get any easier but if we play like we did tonight we’ll be fine.”
Williamson netted 29 points against St. Joe and hit seven big 3-pointers. The Irish were able to hold off the Tigers late in the game.
Several other Tigers played very well against St. Joe.
Jordan Whitt also broke into double digits in scoring for Chapmanville with 12 points.
Kyle Browning added five points, 11 assists and seven boards. Tyler Moore had six points and Dylan Smith had six points and five assists.
“Kyle and Dylan have been very good the last four or five games,” Napier said. “They have both really stepped up and they are making plays. I’m really happy with both of them. They are probably our two hardest working kids.”
The Tigers played much better against the Irish as opposed to last Thursday when Chapmanville lost 80-60 at Tolsia, another 2A sectional opponent and Cardinal Conference team.
“I’m happy. I just wished that we would have got the win tonight,” Napier said. “I’m just happy with the way we bounced back from the Tolsia game and with the intensity that we had. Our teamwork was great. We passed the ball really well. We just have to make a play here and there to win.”
Napier said his team enjoyed playing at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena again.
“It’s been awhile. We’ve had some sectional tournament games here the last few years,” Napier said. “It’s always fun to come back here and play, no matter where you are coaching at. It’s always a great atmosphere here. It’s a great place to play.”
Next year, when Logan rejoins the Cardinal Conference, Chapmanville and Logan will renew their rivalry. The two teams haven’t played each other in six years.
“That will be fun,” said Napier, a former longtime Logan assistant coach.
Since beating Chapmanville, Poca has reeled off four more lopsided wins over Wayne (85-39), Tolsia (83-23) in the Hatfield-McCoy Shootout in Williamson, and also Mingo Central (80-34) and Herbert Hoover (65-39).
Poca is led by Elijah Cuffee, who leads the Cardinal in scoring at 22.8 points per game. Luke Frampton is third at 18.7 points a game. The Dots also have Kaden Meeks (13.8).
Williamson was second in the conference in scoring last week at 19.9 points per contest.
Poca’s only two losses were over Christmas break in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in defeats to out-of-state powerhouses St. Francis, Ga. (73-56) and Mullins, S.C. (83-69).
School Conf All
Poca 7-0 11-2
Herbert Hoover 5-2 8-3
Tolsia 5-4 10-5
Sissonville 4-3 8-5
Chapmanville 4-3 8-5
Scott 4-5 5-8
Wayne 1-7 4-10
Mingo Central 1-8 1-14
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).