Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 22, 2014

Beavers erase Dots

Bluefield routs Poca to reach state finals again

CHARLESTON — For the third year in a row, the Bluefield Beavers are playing for the state basketball championship.

Bluefield (24-2) scored 31 points off 22 Poca turnovers and dashed the Dots 70-54 in a Class AA semifinal on Friday morning at the Charleston Civic Center.

The Beavers will play undefeated Robert C. Byrd High School (24-0) today at noon for the title trophy. The Eagles, seeded first in the tournament bracket, beat Westside 78-73 in overtime in Friday’s other Class AA semifinal.

Bluefield point guard Lykel Collier said, “That’s a good ballclub over there, Poca. All year that’s been our main thing: Put pressure on the team, force them into turnovers so we can get easy points, quick, transition points.”

Buster Large, the Beavers’ head coach, said, “We played an outstanding team today. Anytime you’re 24-1 (in the regular season), you’ve done something right.”

Allen Osborne, head coach of Poca (25-2) said, “Bluefield was everything we thought they were, a really good basketball team. Obviously the difference in the basketball game was they got 31 points off turnovers.”

“We wanted to make the press our friend. Instead, it become our foe.”

Senior Anthony Eades, after sinking just two field goals in the first half, picked up his game on both ends of the floor after the break to post 34 points, three steals and six defensive rebounds.

“I had to dig down deep, because I wasn’t playing real well in the first half,” Eades said. “I knew I had to kick it in in the second half to help us to win.”

Collier provided 14 points, eight assists and three steals. D.J. Edwards plucked eight rebounds and four steals, adding nine points. Michael Yost blocked three shots and was a big thorn in the midst of the Poca offensive sets.

It didn’t seem like a Bluefield runaway in the first quarter, especially when Poca scored 10 straight points to grab its largest lead of the game, 13-6. Yost’s only 3-pointer of the game tied things up 13-13 at the buzzer ending the initial stanza.

The two teams stayed within four points or less of each other throughout the rest of the half. Poca finished the period on a 9-3 run, earning a 26-24 halftime advantage on a 3-point goal by Kaden Meeks with 36 seconds left.

Osborne said, “I thought we should have been up 10 or 12 at the half, but we missed free throws and (fast break) opportunities.”

“Against Bluefield, you better take it when you can get it, because I’m tellin’ you, you don’t make mistakes against those guys. You’ll pay for them.”

Meeks wrapped up a four-point play with a trey and a free throw to lift the Dots to their high-water mark of the second half, a 30-24 lead 24 seconds in. Then Poca’s 6-foot-4 freshman Luke Frampton sat down with his fourth personal foul.

The Beavers turned it on, outscoring Poca 24-6 in the rest of the third quarter.

“We have a veteran team, and (it) just helped us get through that little deficit, when we were down,” Collier said.

Large said, “We made some adjustments at halftime on our defense and it paid off, really big dividends. ... These kids got back to playing Beaver basketball.”

Osborne said, “I thought it was a big factor when (Frampton) picked up his fourth early in the third quarter. It hurt us, ball handling, and it hurt us defensively.”

“It just seemed everything steamrolled after that. We started turning the ball over and they converted those into buckets, and they controlled the flow of the game. They became the aggressor and we were on our heels.”

Eades, who scored 14 points in the third frame, gave Bluefield the lead for good when he stole the ball and hit a jumper with it for a 32-30 advantage.

Eades said, “I knew I had a mis-match. I knew I could take my man (Frampton), off the dribble. (After his foul trouble), I knew he wasn’t going to be real aggressive on me, so he would be a few steps off of me.”

The quarter ended with back-to-back Poca turnovers that Collier and Eades turned into field goals. Eades’ long jumper from in front of the Bluefield bench was in midair at the buzzer, and he was mobbed by excited teammates in the corner of the playing floor when it swished through for a 48-36 lead.

Collier was at work dissecting the Poca defense through the final period.

“I knew, in the second half, that I had to attack more,” Collier said. “If I put pressure on their defense, it was going to open up our guys, our shooters and our bigs. I knew if I could get in the paint, it’d be an easy job.”

Collier said, “The defense was giving me different looks and I knew that I had to take it to the basket ... get to the paint and try to do damage in there.”

Eades was 8 for 10 at the charity stripe in the fourth.

Osborne said about Eades, “He’s a very good player and a very smart player. First of all, he shoots the ball on the perimeter, so you’ve got to go out to guard him, and then he’s good enough to put it on the floor and get in the lane and draw fouls.”

“He knows how to play the game.”

“We had our matchups pretty good. We thought we could guard him with Luke, and give him some problems because of his size. I think, the first half, we did that.”

Once Frampton fouled out with 6:02 left, the Dots’ interior players had trouble adjusting.

Osborne said, “They’re very good at fishin’ around the rim, and they had to come out and handle the ball. That hurt us offensively.”

Bluefield deployed big men Edwards, Corey Coppola and Matthew Woodrum with skill to switch up their looks.

Edwards said, “I used my quickness and Corey’s a big man and Matt’s tall. So that helped out a lot.”

Poca’s Christian Buckley, who grabbed 11 rebounds, said, “They definitely got some good big guys. I think a lot of the attention goes to their guards, but their big guys are really solid inside. When they can sit out (in rotation) like that, it definitely puts some pressure on us inside.”

Osborne said, “Give credit to Bluefield. Great basketball team. ... Eades and Collier are really good players and their role players know what to do.”

He said, “I’m proud of my guys. They persevered through difficult circumstances this season.”

That included the death of the father of Luke and Noah Frampton, former Poca star Bryan Frampton, in December from cancer, according to an Associated Press story.

Senior point guard Cam Cottrill was lost last month with a torn knee ligament, and post player Jake Payne was out six weeks with an injured foot.

Noah Frampton paced the Dots with 14 points, and Elijah Cuffee had 11 points, five assists and a pair of blocks. Matt Chandler notched 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Poca dished out 13 assists as a team and held a 36-29 rebounding edge.

Osborne concluded, “You’ve got to give Bluefield credit. They know how to isolate; they know how to apply presses, real good. They bait you to throw the ball, and you throw it, and they got it.”

Large said in an exclusive postgame interview with the Daily Telegraph, “We got it done. That was our goal. We’ve got one game left, and the ultimate goal is to bring home that state trophy tomorrow.”

The title clash between the Beavers and Eagles will launch Championship Saturday at the 101st state boys tournament.

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

At Charleston Civic Center

BLUEFIELD (24-2)

David Edwards 4-9 1-3 9, Anthony Eades 10-19 12-16 34, Lykel Collier 5-12 4-6 14, Michael Yost 1-2 2-2 5, Corey Coppola 4-8 0-0 8, Dakoda Smalls 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Ponder 0-1 0-0 0, Matthew Woodrum 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 19-27 70.

POCA (25-2)

Jabob Payne 0-0 0-0 0, Elijah Cuffee 3-9 2-2 11, Noah Frampton 5-11 0-0 14, Luke Frampton 1-4 1-1 4, Matt Chandler 4-11 2-10 10, Noah Randolph 0-0 0-0 0, Kaden Meeks 2-7 2-2 8, Christian Buckley 3-3 1-2 7. Totals 18-45 8-17 54.

Bluefield...............13  9   24  22  —  70

Poca.....................13  13  10  18  —  54

3-Point Goals — Bluefield 3-10 (Eades 2-6, Collier 0-1, Yost 1-2, Ponder 0-1), Poca 10-25 (N.Frampton 4-8, Cuffee 3-5, L.Frampton 1-3, Chandler 0-3, Meeks 2-6). Fouled Out — L.Frampton. Rebounds — Bluefield 29 (Edwards 8), Poca 36 (Chandler 9). Assists — Bluefield 9 (Collier 8), Poca 13 (Cuffee 5). Total Fouls — Bluefield 14, Poca 20. A—na.

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