CHAPMANVILLE — To avoid the Poca Dots.
That’s really what the Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team is playing for.
Sure, a sectional championship will be on the line when the Tigers (15-8) are scheduled to play arch-rival Scott (11-12) Friday night in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 title game at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
The real goal, of course, is Charleston and the state tournament.
For one team the road to Charleston could be blocked by a very good Poca team.
The winner of tonight’s game will most likely avoid Poca and would host Sissonville next Thursday, March 10 in one of the two Class AA Region 4 co-finals.
The loser, however, will most likely get the dreaded task of playing at No. 1-ranked and state powerhouse Poca on Thursday.
Poca (21-2) and Sissonville are scheduled to play each other on Friday night in the Region 4 Section 1 championship game. The Dots crushed Nicholas County, 104-49, in Tuesday’s sectional semifinals while the Indians beat Herbert Hoover, 56-45.
Poca is heavily favored to beat Sissonville. The Dots thumped the Indians 97-66 this season in the only meeting between the two schools.
Chapmanville advanced to Friday night’s sectional finals with Tuesday’s 65-41 blowout win over Tolsia. Scott also dispatched a team from Wayne County as the Skyhawks soared over the Wayne Pioneers 78-60.
The Tigers will be looking for revenge on Scott as Chapmanville has lost twice this season to the Skyhawks in a 75-72 overtime loss at home and a 66-62 setback on Feb. 5 on the road.
Game 3 looks to be another close one.
Drew Williamson paced Coach Brad Napier’s Tigers with an 18-point effort in the win over Tolsia. Dylan Smith had 12 points, while Hunter Neil added 12 points and six blocked shots for the Tigers. Kyle Browning also broke into double digits in scoring with 10 points.
Tyler Moore had eight and Jordan Whitt five for the Tigers.
In Tuesday’s win over Wayne, the Skyhawks were led by Tanner Bell, who powered his way into the lane for several second-chance buckets in the paint and finished the night with 23 points.
Patrick Underwood tossed in 17 points for Scott as he drilled three 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Alan Johnson and Andrew Day also reached double figures in scoring for Scott with 12 and 10 points respectively. Johnson canned 6-for-7 of his free throws.
The last meeting between Chapmanville and Scott was a barn-burner.
Johnson led the Skyhawks with 20 points. Underwood and Bell each had 14. Andrew Day had 12.
The Tigers were paced Williamson, who pitched in 31 points. Jordan Whitt had 13 and Smith 10.
The Skyhawks led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter.
The Tigers then rallied in the fourth quarter.
Chapmanville cut it to five at 54-49, however, Scott was able to push the lead out to 61-49 with a Johnson old-fashioned three-point play.
Williamson then led another Chapmanville comeback as he hit two free throws, had a three-point play and later hit a 3-point shot as the Tigers closed to with 63-59 with 26.4 points left.
Johnson netted two free throws to make it 65-59 but Williamson buried another 3 to close Chapmanville within 65-62 with 16 seconds remaining.
Johnson then split from the foul line to put it away.
Poca would be heavily favored to beat either Chapmanville or Scott next week in the regional finals.
The Dots routed the Tigers twice this season by 94-43 and 60-37 scores. Poca also beat Scott twice during the regular season to the tune of 76-42 and 40-29.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).