One down two to go.
The Bluefield Beavers opened the 2014 West Virginia boys high school state tournament with a 63-34 win over the Chapmanville Tigers, Wednesday morning at the Charleston Civic Center.
The victory sends the defending state champions and third seed in the Class AA tournament to the semifinals against either Poca or Fairmont Senior, Friday morning at 9:30.
“It was a great team effort, a great opportunity to come out here and get an early start,” said BHS head coach Buster Large. “I’m very happy to be able to move on. I thought our kids played extremely hard. We were well-rested and we had a lot of good team effort and energy this morning.”
While Bluefield gained the victory, it was Chapmanville, playing in the school’s first-ever state tournament who drew first blood, going up 2-0. That would, however, be the only lead the Tigers held in the contest.
Bluefield went on a 10-0 run and never looked back, leading 15-7 after the first period. Bluefield, despite being the smaller team, took the ball inside in the first period and scored 10 of its 15 points in the paint, while holding the Tigers to one basket in the lane, its first bucket of the game.
The Beavers broke it open in the second quarter, forcing turnovers and still scoring in the blocks. Bluefield scored five points off turnovers and pushed its lead to 21 on Matthew Woodrum’s jumper at the halftime buzzer and carried a 34-13 lead into the break.
Defense was key for Bluefield as Chapmanville got 11 of its 13 points from Josh Butcher, from the perimeter and held the Tigers to one basket down low.
“We had great preparation. We worked hard Saturday, Monday and Tuesday,” Large said. “They have a lot of good size. I thought their guards shot extremely well and we did a good job executing our defensive plan. We wanted to get into different pressure early, be it our half court press, or our full court and we did those things.”