By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
If the weather will cooperate — and that has been the question for high school basketball all season long — the West Virginia sectional tournament will continue tonight, and progress through the week.
Princeton was slated to host Shady Spring on Monday, but weather forced schedules to be adjusted, again.
The Tigers will advance tonight. The question is rather it will be Princeton (7-13) or Shady Spring (8-12).
Princeton will now host those Tigers tonight in the opening game of the Class AAA, Region III, Section 2 tournament at 7:30 p.m.
These clubs met in the second game of the season way back on Dec. 17, with Shady Spring winning on Coach Ralph Ball Court 62-60. Jordan Meadows hit seven 3s for 23 points, which was enough to overcome 22 points from Princeton’s Aaron Ferguson and 14 by Ian Southcott, including four baskets from long range.
The prize for the winner is semifinal elimination contest at perennial power Woodrow Wilson (18-4). Princeton has played the Flying Eagles once, dropping an 81-44 decision, and Shady Spring lost as well, 79-41.
Greenbrier East and Oak Hill are on the other side of the bracket. The championship is slated for later in the week, with the site and date still be determined.
The Class AA, Region III, Section 2 boys tourney had been slated to be played tonight, but has been moved to Wednesday at Princeton.
Defending Class AA champion and currently third-ranked Bluefield (19-2) will play Mount View (7-15) at 6 p.m., followed by PikeView (13-8) and much-improved River View (11-9) at 8.
Bluefield, which will be led by the senior quartet of Anthony Eades, Lykel Collier, Michael Yost and D.J. Edwards, should have no trouble with the Golden Knights, having beaten Mount View by a combined 115 points (91-21, 68-23) in two meetings.
PikeView and River View will meet for the first time this season. Zach Meadows is averaging a double-double, including nearly 20 points a game for PikeView. Jason Weitzel, Seth Wood and Tanner Farley also play key roles for the Panthers.
Meanwhile, first year head coach Roger Hale has done a remarkable job in Bradshaw. The Raiders were 4-21, 0-22 and 8-14 in three previous seasons, but Taylor DeHaven, Tyree Baker and Jordan Wilson have helped the Raiders to 11 wins, and a legitimate shot to advance to the sectional finals, and a regional berth next week.
The winners will meet on Friday for the sectional title. Bluefield hasn’t played River View this season, but has beaten PikeView 69-56 and 69-57.
Both Wyoming East and Westside are favored to advance in Section 1 of Region III. The Warriors (16-4) play Summers County (9-11) tonight at the Raleigh County Convention Center, while the Renegades (15-6) will play Liberty (10-10).
The championship game is slated for Friday in Beckley.
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The Class AA Region III girls finals will be played on Friday.
Bluefield (11-8), which surprised PikeView to claim the Section 2 championship, will take a three-game win streak into Thursday’s game with Summers County (19-3), who have lost two of three since starting the season at 15-0.
Bluefield has lost twice to the Bobcats this season, but it took four overtimes in a 79-73 setback in January, and the Beavers also lost in Hinton 68-49.
PikeView (17-4), which had beaten Bluefield twice, will now have to win on the road to advance to the state tourney for a third straight season. Westside (17-3), which has been in the last two Class AA state title games, winning it all in 2012.
These clubs met twice this season, with Westside winning 55-39 and 56-55.
Both winners will advance to the state tournament next week in Charleston.
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Only one area team still remains active in Virginia. The Honaker girls, who won the state softball title last June, will try to add a basketball crown to that distinction.
Honaker (23-6), which won the Region 1A-West title over Chilhowie last weekend, will meet Colonial Beach on Saturday at Virginia-Wise. The winner will meet either Atlavista or Chilhowie in the 1A girls championship game the following week in Richmond.
—Contact Brian Woodson