Shootout at the Big House Live Blog–Monday 2/8/16

12:05 I arrived at the Charleston Civic Center to catch the very end of St. Joseph defeating Williamstown 81-58 in girls’ action. Man knocked off Paden City 57-36 in a boys’ contest in the first game of the day.

Now we’re ready for a boys’ game between St. Joseph and Williamstown, two of the top teams in Class A Region 4. This has a chance to be the best game of the day here at the Civic Center.

12:45 St. Joe leads Williamstown 30-23 at the half. The Irish got off to a very sluggish start and have not shot well in the first half, but once they started going to the basket a little more, Williamstown had trouble defending them. St. Joe provides several matchup problems.

Deaundra Murphy scored 14 of his 16 first half points in the second quarter, and Jacob Strieter has added 9 for St. Joe. Isaac Brown has 8 to lead the Yellow Jackets.

1:50 Williamstown pulled out a tough 68-60 win over St. Joe in overtime. The Irish led 49-41 at the end of the third and seemed to have control of the game, but Williamstown scored the first nine points of the first quarter to grab the lead, and the game was tight the rest of the way. The game was tied at 60 as time ran down, but John Dawson’s 3-point attempt to win it for St. Joe would not fall.

Williamstown scored the lone point of the first 2:30 of overtime and clung to a 61-60 lead. The Jackets were a solid 7-of-8 from the line down the stretch from there to seal the victory. Riley Allen finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Williamstown. Brown added 22 points and 9 boards, and Landon Travis 17 points and 11 boards. Murphy finished with 19 points to lead St. Joe, with Strieter adding 13 points and 13 rebounds.

This is a really nice win for Williamstown. I was not sure how they would handle the athleticism that St. Joe has, especially at the guard position, but they did an excellent job on defense. Outside of a stretch in the second quarter, they did a good job of keeping the Irish from getting to the rim and force them into outside shots. St. Joe had a rough shooting game (6-of-32 from behind the arc) and could not overcome it. There is still a lot of basketball to be played, but it certainly feels like both of these squads will be playing in the state tournament out of Region 4.

Up next, Liberty (Raleigh) will take on Indian Creek (OH).

2:25 Indian Creek (OH) leads Liberty (Raleigh) 22-19 at the half in a contest that has been close throughout. Dylan Dickens and Jacob Daniel lead Liberty with 6 apiece, and Noah Wimbish has added 5.

3:05 Indian Lake held on for a 54-45 victory over Liberty. The Raiders never could make a run at the lead in the second half. Dickens finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Liberty, with Wimbish adding 13 points and Tyler Sloan 10.

Scott and St. Albans boys coming up next.

4:40 St. Albans came away with a 62-58 win over Scott. The Skyhawks pushed out to a 9-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but St. Albans answered quickly to cut the lead back to two. They took the lead late and knocked down some free throws and big shots to secure the win.

Philip Hall was huge in the fourth quarter for the Red Dragons, scoring 15 of his 22 points in the final period while grabbing 15 rebounds. Dujuan Dawson knocked down a couple of huge 3-pointers late and finished with 18 points, and Zach Smith added 13. Tanner Bell led all scorers with 23 points for Scott, and Alan Johnson added 18.

St. Albans and Logan girls are up next, but that was the last game I’ll be able to watch today. I’ll be back bright and early in the morning for all of tomorrow’s action.

2016 Shootout at the Big House Schedule

The Little General Shootout at the Big House will take place February 8-10 at the Charleston Civic Center. As usual, there is a great lineup of games this year, especially on Wednesday. I look forward to taking in a lot of the action at the Civic Center this week. Here is the schedule for the games.

Monday, February 8

9:30 am                Boys      Man vs. Paden City

10:50 am              Girls       Williamstown vs. St. Joseph

12:10 pm              Boys      Williamstown vs. St. Joseph

1:30 pm                Boys      Liberty (Raleigh) vs. Indian Lake (OH)

3:00 pm                Boys      St. Albans vs. Scott

4:20 pm                Girls       St. Albans vs. Logan

5:40 pm                Girls       George Washington vs. Hurricane

7:00 pm                Boys      Logan vs. Shady Spring

8:20 pm                Boys      Winfield vs. Oak Hill

9:30 pm                Boys      Teays Valley Christian vs. New Life Christian

Tuesday, February 9

9:30 am                Girls       Lincoln County vs. Gilmer County

10:50 am              Boys      Lincoln County vs. Gilmer County

12:10 pm              Boys      Webster County vs. Oak Glen

1:30 pm                Boys      Ravenswood vs. Point Pleasant

3:00 pm                Girls       Chapmanville vs. Wyoming East

4:20 pm                Boys      Chapmanville vs. Wyoming East

5:40 pm                Boys      Charleston Catholic vs. St. Marys

7:00 pm                Boys      George Washington vs. University

8:20 pm                Boys      Greater Beckley Christian vs. James Monroe

9:30 pm                Boys      Huntington Prep vs. First Love Christian

Wednesday, February 10

8:15 am                Girls       Parkersburg vs. Spring Valley

9:30 am                Girls       River View vs. Notre Dame

10:50 am              Boys      Petersburg vs. North Marion

12:10 pm              Boys      Mountain Mission (VA) vs. First Love Christian

1:30 pm                Boys      Robert C. Byrd vs. Westside

3:00 pm                Girls       South Charleston vs. Morgantown

4:20 pm                Boys      Capital vs. Morgantown

5:40 pm                Boys      Magnolia vs. Tug Valley

7:00 pm                Girls       Parkersburg South vs. Buckhannon-Upshur

8:20 pm                Boys      Parkersburg South vs. Ripley

9:30 pm                Boys      Bridgeport vs. Huntington

Big Atlantic Classic Live Blog

1:50 We’re about ready for tip off of the AA Championship game of the Big Atlantic Classic at the BRCCC between Wyoming East and Robert C. Byrd. These two teams met earlier this season in Fairmont with RCB winning 68-54.

One girls’ consolation and two boys’ AAA consolation games have already been played this morning. I was not in attendance for the girls’ game, in which St. Albans knocked off Hampshire 52-42.

I arrived in the first quarter of University’s 73-37 blowout victory over Princeton. Ethan Ridgeway scored 19 to lead the Hawks with Austin Forbes adding 10, while standout Geoff Hamperian did not play. Colton Fix scored 12 to lead Princeton.

In the other AAA boys’ consolation game, Shady Spring knocked down 9 of 16 3-pointers and held off late runs by Hampshire to come away with a 57-52 win. Logan Cook and Keith Sexton scored 13 apiece to lead Shady. Jordan Grapes led all scorers with 16 points for Hampshire, with Jordan Richardson adding 14 and John Judy 11.

2:35 Luke Dyer hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give RCB a 31-30 lead over Wyoming East, which I believe is RCB’s first lead of the game. RCB started slow and fell behind 12-4 early, but they have recovered nicely from that.

Dyer has 15 points to lead RCB and has knocked down a couple of 3-pointers. David Carte has again been dominant inside, scoring 13 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and blocking 3 shots in the first half.

4:05 Wyoming East survived for a 75-70 win over RCB in double overtime. East held the advantage late in both regulation and the first overtime. Dante Speas hit a basket to tie the game with about 5 seconds to play in regulation, and Alec Lusk’s final shot hit the rim but would not fall. East again held a 2-point lead late in the first overtime, and after RCB got up a shot, Tre Junkins tipped the ball back toward the rim. It rolled all around the rim until it finally dropped in as the buzzer sounded to send the game to a second overtime.

East got the advantage in the third overtime as well. The Warriors held a 3-point lead with about 15 seconds to play, and ended up fouling with just over 5 seconds left to send RCB to the line. RCB could not convert a free throw, East grabbed the rebound, and Johnathan Sims hit a pair of free throws to ice the game.

This is a huge win for Wyoming East, who was again playing without big man Cody Lester due to an ankle injury. Carte was dominant inside, finishing with 30 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Sims added 15 points, Lusk 10, and Foldon 9. Dyer finished with 22 to lead RCB, with Speas and Junkins adding 14 apiece.

A final in one of the girls’ brackets between undefeated Huntington and George Washington is coming up next.

5:40 Huntington’s girls remained undefeated on the season with a 59-41 win over George Washington to capture the championship in one of the girls’ brackets. Jordyn Dawson and Dazha Congleton scored 17 points apiece to lead Huntington, while Katy Darnell scored 16 and Shi Banks 12 to pace the Patriots.

Up next, we have the boys’ Class A championship between Van and Greater Beckley Christian.

7:10 Van knocked off Greater Beckley Christian by a final of 51-42 to capture the boys’ Single A championship. The Bulldogs led for the majority of the game and built a 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but GBC made a quick run to cut it all the way back to 2. They could never tie it or take the lead, though, and Van shot an outstanding 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Tyler Stewart had a great game for Van and led all scorers with 24 points. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer for the season, Taylor Jarrell, finished with 10. Anthony Helton led GBC with 13 points, and Jay Moore added 10 for the Crusaders.

Up next, we have a championship in one of the boys’ AAA brackets between Woodrow Wilson and Greenbrier East.

8:55 Woodrow Wilson tore apart Greenbrier East and rolled to an 85-57 win. Woodrow raced out to a 27-9 lead at the end of the first and 53-25 lead and the half and cruised from there. Breland Walton led the Flying Eagles with 20 points off the bench, with Isaiah Francis adding 17 and Brenton Walton 11. Karim Ezzeddine led East with 17 and Evan Canterbury added 15.

The domination was thorough for Beckley, who was relentless on defense and on the boards. They out-rebounded the Spartans 54-24 and grabbed an astounding 28 offensive rebounds on 36 missed shots. I don’t think I’ve see any team play better all year than Beckley did tonight.

Up next, we have the nightcap between Capital and Parkersburg South for the championship of the other AAA bracket. Should be another good one.

10:25 After a back-and forth second half, Capital took a late lead and held on for a 62-55 win over Parkersburg South to claim the championship of the other AAA bracket of the Big Atlantic Classic. Leondre Rogers led all scorers with 26 for the Cougars, with Crunchy Bays adding 17 and Anthony Pittman 9. Cole Day led South with 18 points, with Garrett Gilkeson chipping in 15 and Cody Boggs 10.

Capital got off to a very sluggish start and trailed 12-3 at the end of the first quarter. Rogers did not play in the first quarter, but he checked into the game to begin the second and made an immediate impact. South led 25-23 at the half. The action in the second half was great as the teams changed leads several times. Capital took the lead for good with a couple minutes to play and made free throws to seal the win.

That’s it from the Big Atlantic Classic and a fantastic day of hoops.

Wyoming East at Westside 2/5/16

Wyoming East knocked off Westside on Friday night by a final of 64-47, beating the Renegades for the second time this season. David Carte led the Warriors with 20 points inside, and Logan Blankenship added 18. Isaiah Lester led the Renegades with 13 points.

I covered this game for the Beckley Register-Herald. You can read the full game story here.

Ripley at Riverside 2/4/16

7:20 We’re nearing tip in Quincy for an important sectional matchup between Riverside and Ripley. The Warriors really need this one because they have not yet beaten a sectional opponent, even though they have a really good record. If Ripley wins, they can stay on track for the 2-seed, having already beaten South Charleston and George Washington and lost to Capital. This one should be really good.

Dajon Watkins is not dressed tonight and appears to be out due to injury. That is a tough one for Riverside, which has to deal with Ripley’s Chase Johnson and Luke Layhew inside.

8:10 Ripley holds a narrow 23-22 lead over Riverside at the half in a game that has been tight the whole way. Each team had a key piece miss a big chunk of the first half with two fouls: Layhew for Ripley, and Zac Warden for Riverside. Nathan Hall came up huge for the Vikings off the bench, scoring 10 points, all in the second quarter while Layhew was out. Henry Barron-Houchins, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career when he hit an early 3-pointer, leads Riverside with 8, while Warden and Josh Carpenter have been limited to two points apiece.

These teams are pretty even, and I look for this to be a good one to the end.

9:05 Riverside pulled out a 52-50 win over Ripley after a crazy, crazy ending.

Ripley led for most of the second half, pushing the lead all the way out to 9 midway through the fourth quarter. Riverside started chipping away at the lead, led mostly by Barron-Houchins and Warden. Warden hit a pair of free throws with about a minute and a half to play to cut the Viking lead to 49-48, and then Ripley tried to run clock and eventually draw a foul. Cole Sigman came up with a steal with about 30 seconds to play and dribbled down to lay it in. His shot was blocked by Layhew, but it was ruled a goaltend, and Riverside took a 1-point lead. (I believe that was their first lead of the half.)

The remainder of the game was pretty chaotic. The ball changed hands a couple times, and the chaotic sequence ended with Johnson at the line for 2 shots for Ripley down by 1 point with 1.8 seconds on the clock. Johnson missed the first and made the second to tie the game, but Ripley was whistled for a foul on the rebound of that second shot. Warden went to the other end of the court and knocked down a pair of free throws to put Riverside back ahead, and Ripley’s final heave from half court went off the rim but did not fall.

Riverside’s win throws this section into chaos. Capital is still undefeated in the section, but nothing else is clear. Ripley has beaten GW and South Charleston but lost to Riverside. Riverside has beaten Ripley but lost to South Charleston. GW lost to Ripley but has yet to play South Charleston, Riverside, or Capital. South Charleston beat Riverside but lost to Ripley and has yet to play GW. Capital is in control of the top seed right now, but I think all spots 2-5 are in play for all four of the other teams in the section. It will be fascinating to see how this section plays out in the rest of the season, and that sectional tournament has a chance to be fantastic.

Big Atlantic Classic Schedule and Results

Here are the schedules and results for the Big Atlantic Classic, held in Beckley at the Raleigh County Convention Center (Armory) the week of February 1-6. There are two girls’ brackets, two AAA boys’ bracket, one AA boys’ bracket, and one A boys’ bracket, all of which contain four teams. There are also middle school games and a national game, which are not included on this schedule.


Monday February 1

7:25 pm                Boys A                  Van 62  Fayetteville 54   Final

9:00 pm                Boys A                  Greater Beckley Christian 47  Greenbrier West 44   Final


Tuesday February 2

7:25 pm                Boys AA               Robert C. Byrd 64  Independence 47   Final

9:00 pm                Boys AA               Wyoming East 98  Scott 64   Final


Wednesday February 3

3:45 pm                Boys A                  Fayetteville 72  Greenbrier West 55   Final (Consolation)

5:30 pm                Boys AAA (1)      Parkersburg South 75  Princeton 60   Final

9:00 pm                Boys AA               Scott 64  Independence 62   Final (Consolation)


Thursday February 4

2:30 pm                Girls (1)                Huntington 76  Hampshire 42   Final

4:05 pm                Girls (1)                George Washington 38  St. Albans 30   Final

5:45 pm                Girls (2)                Greenbrier East 57  Capital 49   Final

7:30 pm                Girls (2)                Morgantown 50  Wyoming East 27   Final


Friday February 5

2:00 pm                Girls (2)                Wyoming East 62  Capital 43   Final (Consolation)

4:00 pm                Boys AAA (1)      Capital 69  University 56   Final

5:40 pm                Boys AAA (2)      Greenbrier East 76  Shady Spring 60   Final

7:20 pm                Girls (2)                Morgantown 65  Greenbrier East 35   Final (Championship)

9:00 pm                Boys AAA (2)      Woodrow Wilson 84  Hampshire 46   Final

Saturday February 6

9:00 am                Girls (1)                St. Albans 52  Hampshire 42   Final (Consolation)

10:40 am              Boys AAA (1)      University 73  Princeton 37   Final (Consolation)

12:20 am              Boys AAA (2)      Shady Spring 57  Hampshire 52   Final (Consolation)

2:00 pm                Boys AA               Wyoming East 75  Robert C. Byrd 70   Final 2OT (Championship)

4:00 pm                Girls (1)                Huntington 59  George Washington 41   Final (Championship)

5:40 pm                Boys A                  Van 51  Greater Beckley Christian 42   Final (Championship)

7:20 pm                Boys AAA (2)      Woodrow Wilson 85  Greenbrier East 57   Final (Championship)

9:00 pm                Boys AAA (1)      Capital 62  Parkersburg South 55   Final (Championship)

MSPHoops Podcast 1/31/16

After a couple weeks of a break, Philip and Jack are back with a new Mountain State Prep Hoops Podcast. We break down the week’s action, including Magnolia’s win over Wheeling Central, Winfield taking down rival Hurricane, and Westside’s buzzer-beating win over Scott. We also preview a great upcoming week of hoops action. You can listen below.

Williamstown at Ravenswood 2/2/16

Riley Heatherington’s 19 points in his return to the lineup led Ravenswood to a 56-44 victory over visiting Williamstown at The Pit. Logan Jarrett and Isaiah Morgan added 11 apiece for the Red Devils. Landon Travis scored 16 to lead Williamstown, and Bradley Alsup chipped in 11.

Ravenswood felt in control of the game pretty much from the opening trip, and I do not believe they ever trailed. The Red Devils held a comfortable margin in each of the first two periods, but Williamstown was able to finish strong in both quarters, and the Ravenswood lead was just 5 at the half at 29-24. Early in the third period, the Red Devils pushed the lead out to double digits, and Williamstown never could mount a serious threat to take the lead.

Heatherington being in the lineup makes a big difference for Ravenswood. He had missed a few weeks, and though the Red Devils had played fairly well in that span, they just are not the same without his ability to score and be a constant threat to knock down outside shots. Though he doesn’t really play in the post on offense, his size is also a big asset for this team. Ravenswood is solid defensively and has several scoring options on offense. If they stay healthy and get rolling, I’ll be interested to see how much damage they can do come march.

This is just the second loss of the season for Williamstown and first to an in-state team. Outside of Travis, the Yellow Jackets really struggled to get going offensively. Big man Riley Allen had a tough night offensively, scoring just six points without connecting on a field goal. I’d say tonight is probably an aberration for Williamstown, and I hope to see them again on a night when they’re playing a little better. This is still likely a state tournament team.

Wheeling Central at Magnolia 1/30/16

7:45 I made it to Magnolia High School for the New Martinsville Rotary Challenge. Williamstown knocked off Madonna 57-34 before I got here, and I just watched the second half of Paden City getting knocked off by Monroe Central (OH) by a final of 56-49. We’re now ready for the day’s main event between Magnolia and Wheeling Central.

I’m excited to experience this rivalry for the first time. This, of course, was the Class A title game last year, and both squads are back among the best in the classification again this year. Central won the first matchup between the two about a month ago.

8:42 Magnolia leads Wheeling Central 36-27 at the half behind the hot shooting of Derrick Blain. Blain hit five 3-pointers in the first half, a couple of which were bombs, and has 15 points to lead the Blue Eagles. Preston Boswell also has 10 for Magnolia and Kyle Ritz 6. John Burkhalter has 9 to lead Central and Chase Harler 7.

Magnolia got off to a little bit of a sloppy start, but from the time Blain hit his first 3-pointer to put the Blue Eagles on the board, they have played and shot well. Additionally, they have been solid on defense, not allowing Harler to get to the basket and limiting his scoring.

Central has its own fair share of shooters, so they are capable of getting back in this thing in a hurry. I look for it to be a great second half.

9:45 Magnolia held on for a 65-61 victory over Wheeling Central, handing the Maroon Knights their first loss of the season. Wheeling Central got all the way back in the game and even took a small lead a few times, but a 3-point play by Boswell, who led all scorers with 26 points, with about 30 seconds to play regained the lead for the Blue Eagles, and they would not trail again.

Blain finished with 15 and Ritz 6 to go with Boswell’s 26 points for Magnolia. Boswell also scored his 2,000th career point tonight. Harler led Central with 20 points, followed by Gabriel Rohmann with 14, Burkhalter 13, and Owen Gainer 9.

These teams have now split their two regular season meetings and will likely meet again in the sectional. This has become a great back and forth battle between the two schools and between Harler and Boswell. Both are now 2,000-point scorers, and both have won a state championship in the last two years. This is the last scheduled meeting between the two, but I will be surprised if they do not play at least once more.

Calhoun County at Webster County 1/27/16

7:25 We’re about ready for tip at Webster County. The undefeated Highlanders are welcoming in Calhoun County for a Little Kanawha Conference matchup. Of note in this game is Webster County senior point guard Robbie Cogar is just 14 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.

8:10 Webster County leads 37-31 at the half. The Highlanders got off to a very fast start and look as if they were going to take complete control of the game, but Calhoun County settled in and started playing much better, and the Webster lead was 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.

The Red Devils have shot well, and they were able to take a lead and hold it for a good portion of the second quarter. Webster went on a run to end the half to retake the lead and push the margin back out to six.

The Highlanders suffered a scare in the second quarter as Robbie Cogar was on the ground holding his knee for some time. He eventually got up and walked off on his own power and reentered the game before the end of the half.

Dalton Gray leads Webster with 14 points, with Travis Williams adding 10 and Cogar 9 to leave him just 5 short of 1,000 for his career. Austin Gribble has 12 to lead Calhoun.

8:58 Webster County pulled away in the second half for a 79-59 victory over Calhoun County. The Highlanders opened the third quarter on a 22-4 run to push the margin up over 20 points and then were able to coast from there to the victory.

Gray finished with 33 to lead Webster. He guards the inbounder on the full-court press, and as the Highlander press was forcing turnovers, he was often by the basket to finish. Travis Williams finished with 17 and Cogar 9, as he was limited in the second half due to injury. Dylan Heiney scored 19 to pace the Red Devils, with Gribble adding 12 and Benjamin Frederick 11.