By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A tradition continues tonight in Bluefield. It has nothing to do with Christmas lights and more to do with lighting up the scoreboard.
The 30th annual Currence Classic will tip off tonight at Bluefield State College’s Ned Shott Gymnasium.
An annual basketball tournament now entering its third decade is named in the honor of Virgil L. “Stubby” Currence, the longtime sports editor for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Local teams Bluefield State and Concord will be joined for the two-day event by Davis & Elkins and Chowan.
Concord will play Chowan today at 5 p.m., followed by the Big Blues and Davis & Elkins at 7. The event will resume on Saturday with the Mountain Lions playing Davis & Elkins at 4, followed by Bluefield State and Chowan at 6.
Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Bluefield State (2-5), in its third season under Jamaal Jackson, won its first official game of the season at Lees-McRae 79-77 last Saturday, and followed that up with a second straight win, defeating Pfeiffer 85-81 on Monday.
Shakir Dunning led Bluefield State with 29 points against Lees-McRae and 22 more at Pfeiffer. Treon Claiborne added 32 points in the two games, while Remar Brothers had 26. Samuel Ouedraoga continues to be a terror on the boards, recording 25 rebounds in a recent loss to West Virginia State.
Concord (3-2), which evened its Mountain East Conference mark at 1-1 with a 73-66 win over Urbana on Monday, has alternated wins and losses through five games, including an 81-78 win over Bluefield State.
Those teams will not play in the Currence Classic.
Leading the Kent McBride-coached Mountain Lions has been Mike Boyd, who is scoring 16.2 points a games, and is dishing out early five assists a game. A.J. Williams is contributing 12.4 points, while Ali Barnes is tossing in 11.2 a contest.
Davis & Elkins (4-1), which is now in the Mountain East Conference after playing both Concord and Bluefield in the WVIAC, has won four in a row, including a 75-72 win over Chowan last Saturday.
The four wins have been by a combined 13 points.
Devin Miller leads the Senators in scoring with 15.5 points, along with 5.0 rebounds a contest. He is also 9 for 16 from 3-point range. Wesley Sprinkle has contributed 10.0 points a game, including making 11 of 17 from long range. Juwan Strothers is also scoring 10 points a game for Davis & Elkins.
Chowan (0-2) has played four games, but just two count, having played exhibition games with Division 1 foes East Carolina and North Carolina-Greensboro, falling by 50 and 39 points respectively.
The Hawks have lost to Davis & Elkins and The Apprentice School by a combined nine points, with the the loss to Apprentice coming in overtime.
Leading the Hawks is Phoenix Butler-Poole, who has had 40 points and 29 rebounds in the games that count in the standings. Ashante Ross had 33 over the two-game span.
—Contact Brian Woodson