MAN — It will be difficult for the Man High School boys’ basketball team to duplicate last year’s results.
The Hillbillies made it to the Class A state tournament and finished with a 14-12 record, led by its dynamic backcourt duo of Jordan Simpson and Seth Hainer.
Simpson, who became Man’s all-time leading scorer, is gone however, as he has been lost to graduation. Hainer has also graduated, along with four other seniors — Shane Browning, Coty Crum, Kaleb Spurlock and Josh Booth, a 6-foot-4 center.
Last year, Man routed Van 94-38 in the sectional tourney before falling 62-56 to Charleston Catholic in the sectional finals. A 64-45 win at Huntington St. Joe secured the Billies’ trip to the state tourney where Man lost again to the Charleston Catholic Irish, 62-57 at the Charleston Civic Center in the first round of the Class A state tourney.
The youthful Billies, coached by Harvey Arms, are scheduled to open the 2012-13 basketball season on Dec. 11 at River View. Man then hosts Huntington St. Joe on Dec. 14 in the home opener before going to Mount View on Dec. 18 and hosting Fayetteville on Dec. 22.
The Billies then are set to take part in the annual Bob Runyon Memorial Tournament Dec. 28-29 at Chapmanville Regional High School. Man is matched up against host Chapmanville on Dec. 28 and will take on either Mount View or Pikeview in the championship or consolation game on Dec. 29. Chapmanville is led by first-year head coach Allan Hatcher, the dad of Logan High School coach Mark Hatcher.
Man is scheduled to take on county rival Chapmanville three times this year.
In addition to the tourney game at Chapmanville, the Billies are slated to host the Tigers on Jan. 2, 2013 and go to Chapmanville in the regular season finale on Feb. 19.
Another highlight to Man’s schedule this season is a home-and-home series against Tug Valley, last year’s Class AA state champions, which have moved down to Single-A status this season and will play in Man’s section. The Hillbillies host the Panthers on Jan. 9 and are set to play Tug Valley on Jan. 26 in Naugatuck.
The Billies and Panthers did not play each other last season. Tug Valley is led by its returning three guards Mikey Newsome, Aaron Muncy and Austin Brewer. Mason Pack, the Panthers’ 6-9 center, has been lost to graduation.
Man will also have a home-and-home series against Class AA Westside. The Billies play the Renegades on the road on Jan. 8 and host Westside one week later on Jan. 15. Man lost twice to Westside last year in 70-54 and 78-66 setbacks.
Added to Man’s schedule this season is a home-and-home series against Greater Beckley Christian.
The Billies have two-game sets this year against Huntington St. Joe, Class AA teams Mount View and River View and Single-A Fayetteville. Man split with Mount View last season and swept River View.