Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 12, 2014

Charleston awaits winner of PikeView and Westside

GARDNER — Part of an education is learning from your mistakes.

The coaches of both PikeView and Westside High School addressed that as the Panthers and Renegades prepare to compete today at 7 p.m. in a Class AA Region 3 co-final in western Wyoming County.

PikeView coach Lindsey Jones said that the night of last Thursday’s sectional championship loss to Bluefield, he and his coaches returned to PikeView and “licked our wounds.”

“After, I don’t know, a couple of hours of the coaches sitting here, we started putting behind what we should have done and could have done for Bluefield, and (thinking about) what we need to do to put together a game plan for Westside,” Jones said.

Westside coach Nick Cook said, “You’ve got to learn from your mistakes (and) flip it into a positive. That’s what we’re doing. We’re still getting better.”

“We’re ready for this late postseason.”

The Panthers (14-9) have a height advantage, starting with 6-foot-6 senior center Zach Meadows, and supported by a pair of 6-5 teammates, Seth Wood and Bradley Flinchum. Meadows is averaging a double-double, around 20 points and 13 rebounds game.

But Jones said about the Renegades (18-6), “They might be the best offensive rebounding team I’ve seen this year. … We really need to do some fundamental boxing out.”

Westside’s defense has merited attention, too. “They will press us,” Jones said. “We feel very sure that we’re going to see some trapping, both half-court and full-court. They play a really good, strong man-to-man.”

The Renegades will not only have to try to neutralize PikeView’s big men, but also to deal with long-distance scoring threats from senior Tanner Farley and junior Jason Weitzel.

Cook said, “I know they got the big kid inside, but they got some good guards, some long, athletic kids.”

Westside senior Corey Bowles has the all-time school scoring record with 1,408 points and is averaging 18 points per game.

“It's getting down to the end and he knows he's got to step up and do what needs to be done,” Cook said. “This is his best ball of the season.”

Justin Cogar averages 16 points for the Renegades and is a force under the boards.

Jones said, “When he gets the ball, he attacks the rim, so we have to try to keep the ball out of his hands … .”

With a berth in the state tournament on the line, Jones said he expects “an excellent atmosphere” and a packed gym. “We expect half the county to be there,” he said, “and the other half we feel will be at Brushfork,” a reference to the other regional co-final tonight between Wyoming East and Bluefield.

Jones said about his team, “I think the kids are really focused. They know what’s at stake. We still have an opportunity to go to the state tournament.”

“There’s a lot of people who’d like to be sitting where we are right now … but we’re not going to settle for it, that’s for sure.”

“Our goal is to get to Charleston, so hopefully we’ll be getting better from the Bluefield game, and learn from some of the mistakes we made there, and just keep improving. That was our goal at the beginning, was to get better every day.”

Meadows said, “We believe we can win. If we didn’t believe we could win, we wouldn’t go down there. We’re just looking for that chance, to get up there (to Charleston) somehow.”

“I’m looking forward to another week. I’m not done yet. I don’t want to be done.”

—Contact Tom Bone at tbone@bdtonline.com and on Twitter @BDTBone.

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