Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 18, 2014

Beavers begin quest for repeat

BLUEFIELD — The West Virginia boys high school basketball tournament tips off this morning and the Bluefield Beavers and the Chapmanville Tigers are first up.

The Class AA No. 3 seed Beavers and No. 6 Tigers take to the court at 9:30 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Chapmanville (20-5) is making its first-ever state tournament appearance, while the Beavers, making their third consecutive appearance, are looking to defend their state championship.

Tuesday afternoon the Beavers (22-2) held a short workout at the Bluefield High School gymnasium before heading to the capital city.

“This is more like a walk-through and then we’ll get on the bus, head up there, get up early and get mentally prepared to play a 9:30 game,” said Beavers head coach Buster Large.

Asked if the early starting time would have an effect on his team, Large believed not, saying they have practiced before in the morning hours and he continued, “I don’t think you’ve got to say one word to these kids about what’s at stake. I’ve stressed all week log, we go up, get settled in and go get beat tomorrow morning, we’ll be back in Bluefield by 2:30. They key to staying in Charleston is winning that first one.”

Chapmanville comes into the game winners of eight in a row. They are coached by Allan Hatcher, who is in his first year at the school. Hatcher is the father of Logan High head coach Mark Hatcher, who has led the Wildcats to state tournaments and championships.

Leading the way for Chapmanville are Josh Butcher, Kenny Plumley and Brady Cox. Butcher is a 6-foot guard who led the Cardinal Conference in scoring at 17.3 points per game. Plumley is a 6’4 center scoring 12.4 a game, and Cox a 6’5 forward who scored 10 points a contest.

“They are tall, they’re lanky, they shoot very well and they like to take the ball inside,” Large said. “Their post people, we’re going to have to block out. They like to hang around the bucket and they do a very good job of going to the bucket.”

Bluefield and Chapmanville have two common opponents, Mount View and Scott. Chapmanville beat Mount View 62-33 while Bluefield beat the Golden Knights 91-21, 68-23 and 81-31. The Tigers beat Scott 57-55 and 54-53 and lost 57-52. The Beavers downed the Skyhawks 82-59 and 76-64.

Both teams are riding streaks. Chapmanville’s last loss was on Feb. 11 to No. 2 seed Poca. Since then the Tigers have won eight straight. Bluefield’s last defeat came to No. 4 seed Westside on Jan. 27. The Beavers have won 15 games in a row.

Look for the Beavers to start with Anthony Eades (18 ppg), Lykel Collier (13 ppg), D.J. Edwards (10 ppg), Michael Yost (9 ppg) and Corey Coppola (7 ppg). Jordan Ponder, Matthew Woodrum, Dakoda Smalls, Jordan Huckleberry and Azir Price will get time as reserves.

“It’s going to be a very good match-up,” Large said. “They’ve got their pluses on their side, they’re taller, shoot the ball very well from the outside, but we do too. I don’t know how much speed they’ve got, but anybody that’s 20-5 has done something right all year long.”

Tip-off is at 9:30 a.m. from the Charleston Civic Center.

— Contact Bob Redd at

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