Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 20, 2014

Semifinal Friday

Looking to disconnect Dots

CHARLESTON — The opening tip comes early once again for the Bluefield Beavers in the West Virginia State basketball tournament. The defending state champion Beavers, seeded third, take to the court this morning at 9:30 against the No. 2 seed Poca Dots in the Class AA semifinals.

Bluefield advanced to this contest having beaten Chapmanville 63-34, Wednesday morning in the quarterfinals. Anthony Eades led the Beavers with 19 points and Lykel Collier tallied 17.

Poca knocked off Fairmont Senior 55-40 in its first round contest Wednesday afternoon. Freshman Luke Frampton led the Dots with 21 points and Elijah Cuffee, another Poca ninth grader, scored 13.

Thursday the Beavers had a workout and then enjoyed the sights and sounds of the tournament and capital city.

“We got up extremely early, tried to keep the same routine and practiced at 10 a.m.,” said BHS head coach Buster Large. “We’re trying to keep it near what our daily task will be.

“We also want the kids to enjoy themselves too. We know what’s going on, but we wanted them to relax and enjoy themselves. Friday is going to be a big dog fight for us.”

Poca enters the game with a 25-1 record and Large was impressed by the team he saw play Wednesday afternoon.

“They played as well as any team I’ve seen,” Large said. “As a coaching staff we were very impressed with the Cuffee kid and not only do they have size, but they have quickness and that’s going to be a problem. They match up so well with us.”

When asked to compare Poca to a team Bluefield faced in during the regular season, Large said Westside and Wyoming East. “They’re extremely good shooters. They shoot 15 to 20 threes a game,” Large said.

In the second half of the game against Fairmont Senior, Poca shot 55 percent from the field and pulling away after leading 19-16 at halftime.

Bluefield, winners of 16 straight games now has a record of 23-2. Large outlined what the Beavers must do this morning in order to advance to their third straight state championship game and win back-to-back state titles.

“We’ve got to play defense. We’ve got to be on top of our game early,” Large said. “In a game like this we have to be out front early, playing defense. We can’t make a whole lot of mistakes because  you’re looking at two teams with a combined record of 48-3. We’re going to have to play extremely well, probably the best game we’ve played all year in order to beat them.”

Tip-off from the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum is set for 9:30 a.m.

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com

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