By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
By all accounts on Tuesday night, the PikeView boys basketball team has improved since its early-season game with the Bluefield Beavers.
The Beavers haven’t regressed, though, and that was evident as Bluefield, the top team in Class AA boys basketball, recorded an 83-41 win on the Panthers’ court in Gardner.
Bluefield point guard Lykel Collier led the Beavers with 17 points and 13 assists.
“They’ve improved a lot,” Collier said about PikeView. “It was a close game until late in the first quarter. They played defense well; they had their stuff, they just missed some of their shots. They ran their stuff well. But we ran the floor.”
Bluefield head coach Buster Large said about the Panthers, “They’ve got a good young ballclub. They’re only going to get better.”
The Beavers (9-1) made their first five field goal tries, taking a 10-2 lead. PikeView’s Jason Weitzel then scored on a jumper and a three from the top of the key to trim that lead to three points.
PikeView (4-9) head coach Lindsey Jones said, “We came out a little flat there, the first minute or so. I was just trying to get them to bring some energy and some enthusiasm. We started to get that. I was really proud with how they played in the first quarter.”
A 22-2 Bluefield splurge midway through the first half effectively put the game out of reach. The Beavers added a 10-2 run near the end of the third period, powered in part by steals from Collier, David Edwards and Corey Coppola.
Jones said, “We tried to get it to our big guys, but it seemed like every time we did, they did a really good job of putting ball pressure on all our guards, and disrupting us that way. ... They did a good job of executing it.”
“I really became disappointed in our effort in the third quarter. They were making us do some things we didn’t really want to do.”
“I was not pleased with our intensity, on defense especially.”
Large said, “I was very impressed with how well we passed the ball as a team.”
“Matthew Woodrum, I thought, really gave us a lift off the bench. Dakota Smalls made some nice plays out there, coming off the bench for us. We got solid play from a lot of individuals. I thought the ball was spread around very (well) as far as floor balance.”
One statistic in particular gave him concern: Bluefield was 6 for 18 at the foul line.
“I’m still not very happy with our free throw shooting. I don’t know what it was,” Large said. “But we did some things well.”
The entire fourth quarter belonged to reserves for both teams.
“The good thing is, this makes the fifth or sixth game that everybody’s gotten to play,” Large said. “We’ve got to stay sharp, too. It’s hard, when you don’t play your starters in the fourth quarter, but we do have some sportsmanship, too.”
Bluefield made 37 field goals on 69 attempts, while their hosts were 14 of 52.
Jones said, “We’re trying to get better. We still get better with every practice. We have yet to fully grasp what we need to be doing on the offensive end, but we are getting better.”
The Panthers’ next opponent is also a top-10 Class AA program. No. 3 Wyoming East is scheduled to visit Gardner on Friday.
Bluefield, the only unanimous No. 1 in this week’s AP boys basketball poll, has run off seven straight wins this month. PikeView was 3-3 in its six games prior to Tuesday.
The Beavers will play at Scott on Thursday, and have rescheduled their weather-delayed game with River View for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Brushfork Armory. On Monday, the top-ranked Class AA club invades Beckley for the annual Big Atlantic Tournament.
Large said that Scott is “extremely tough to beat up there, and then we’ve got to come back and play at home against River View after a long trip.”
— Contact Tom Bone at
Dakota Smalls 4 0-2 9, David Edwards 5 1-3 11, Anthony Eades 5 3-3 13, Lykel Collier 7 1-4 17, Trevor Mullins 1 0-2 2, Michael Yost 7 1-2 15, David Woodrum 1 0-0 2, Corey Coppola 4 0-2 8, Matthew Woodrum 3 0-0 6. Totals 37 6-18 83.
Austin Hazelwood 1 0-0 3, Takota Bailey 2 1-2 7, Seth Wood 2 0-0 4, Austin Cordell 0 0-2 0, Jonathan Burrell 1 0-0 3, Jason Weitzel 4 2-4 12, Zach Meadows 0 4-4 4, Logan McKinney 4 0-0 8. Totals 14 7-12 41.
Bluefield........................22 21 21 19 — 83
PikeView........................11 9 11 10 — 41
Three-point goals — BHS 3 (Smalls 1, Collier 2); PV 6 (Hazelwood 1, Bailey 2, Burrell 1, Weitzel 2). Total fouls — BHS 15, PV 16. Fouled out — PV, Meadows.