CHAPMANVILLE — The goal has always been the same for the Chapmanville Regional High School basketball team.
That goal is the ultimate goal.
And that is to make it to the state tournament.
The goal has remained the same because it has never been done before.
Chapmanville Tigers’ basketball dates back to the 1940s, and oddly enough, no varsity boys’ basketball team has ever made it to the state tourney.
The Chapmanville girls have made it but not the boys.
Chapmanville has produced some great basketball teams over the many decades but have always seemed to come up short.
Several times, particularly in the last 15 years, the Tigers have been snake-bitten, often losing in regional championship games to teams like Tug Valley, Logan and Sissonville.
Allan Hatcher, now in his second year as head coach of the Tigers, hopes to change that. He said he hopes he can lead Chapmanville to Charleston.
The experienced and veteran coach certainly knows how to do it.
As the former head coach at Williamson, Hatcher led the Wolfpack once to a state championship. He also coached a handful of other teams in Kentucky, most recently Perry Central, to the state tournament in the Bluegrass State.
Hatcher’s three predecessors — Danny Godby, Dave Elkins and Harry Kirk — all came close as all three took Chapmanville to Class AA regional championship games leaving the Tigers just one win short of advancing to Charleston.
In one five-year stretch from 1999-2003, Chapmanville was turned away by Tug Valley each time in the 2A regional final.
In 2005 in its Class AA days, Logan ousted Chapmanville 49-38, in the regional final. The next year in 2006, Logan toppled the Tigers ahead in the regional title game, 88-61, leaving Chapmanville out of the state tourney again.
In the Kirk era, Chapmanville was defeated by Sissonville in the 2010 regional final.
Can Hatcher do it?
The Tigers had some success last season in Hatcher’s first year at Chapmanville as CRHS went 14-10 and fell 38-35 to Tolsia in the second round of the Class AA sectional tourney at Logan. Chapmanville was a 56-25 winner over Wayne in the opening round.
Hatcher said he’s looking forward to another season with the Tigers and hopes Chapmanville is able to get over the hurdles to have a shot at playing in the state tournament.
“We’re excited about our team,” he said. “We think we’re going to have a good team and that we’re going to be competitive. We were fortunate enough to make it to the Final Four in Kentucky twice and we were able to win it at Williamson. We were one game away from playing for the state championship in Kentucky. It was exciting but now I’m at Chapmanville Regional High School and they have never made it to the state tournament. There’s been some really good coaches here and they have been awfully close and they have had great teams but haven’t got the breaks. Chapmanville has never played a game at home to have a chance to go to the state tournament.
“We’ve never had that opportunity but our goal is to have that chance in the regional finals. On our T-shirts this year it says Chapmanville Regional High School making history. That is our motto this year. That’s our goal. To make it to state.”
Gone from the team are a pair of graduated seniors — leading scorer Mackenzie Martin (20.8 ppg) and guard Mike Hurst (7.4).
Chapmanville does return 6-4 forward Kenny Plumley, a senior, who averaged 14.1 points a game last year. Several other key Tigers are also returning including guards Trey Dalton, Joe Tackett and Trevor Nagy and postment Jon Williamson, Brady Cox and Casto. Cox, a standout three-sport star at Chapmanville, who also plays football and baseball, stands 6-5.
Hatcher said two basketball players — brothers from Riverside High School in the Charleston area — have transferred to CRHS. They are Josh and Jordan Butcher.
“We’ve got nine or 10 kids that we think can play,” Hatcher said. “Kenny Plumley is 6-4 and averaged 14 points a game last year. He’s better, bigger and stronger and he really looks good inside.”
Hatcher said he will also look to Williamson, a 6-2 forward, who started last year along with Plumley.
“We have the president and the vice president of the student body on our basketball team. Jon Williamson is the president and Kenny Plumley is the vice president,” Hatcher said. “That’s pretty special to have those kinds of kids play for you. They are excellent students. We have a 3.30 team GPA out of our 21 basketball players.”
Starting point guard Dalton also returns to the backcourt.
Josh Butcher, a 6-0 guard, may also start.
“Josh can score and we’re excited about him,” Hatcher said. “He will bring us some new options in scoring. He’s an excellent shooter but he’s also an excellent passer.”
Joe Tackett, Trevor Nagy and Jordan Toler give Chapmanville even more options in the backcourt.
“Jordan Toler is back with us this year,” Hatcher said. “He broke his hand in football but he’s back. We have Joe Tackett, Trevor Nagy, Jordan Toler, Trey Dalton and Josh Butcher who are all guards that we are all counting on. All of those guys can contribute.”
Cox and the 6-2 Casto, both wide receivers with the Chapmanville football team, give the Tigers some muscle in the paint.
“Cox and Casto are both really physical and both are over 200 pounds,” Hatcher said. “They are the two most physical players on our team and both are back from last year. Out of all of our mix of players we have four seniors and a lot of other guys who in those top eight or nine guys. Right now, we have no idea who is going to start. There’s nine or 10 guys who are right up there. We also have Austin Kirk and Jordan Whitt who have really done well also. Whitt is a 6-4 sophomore and Kirk is a 6-2 junior. He’s really come along. We also have Corey Preece who is really coming as a sophomore. He’s a 6-1 guard.”
Hatcher said his team is looking to run and gun more this year. The Tigers often times scored in the 40s and 50s last year and played good defense but had trouble scoring. This year could be different.
“We’re going to be more up tempo this year because we’ve got more depth,” Hatcher said. “We’re going to be able to throw more people at you and we are also more physical. These guys have been in my system for a year. I hope that we can also play good defense. You wear your hat on defense. We’re excited. We have a goal to make it to the state tournament this year. We have four excellent shooters in Butcher, Dalton, Nagy and Tackett. All four of those guys can really shoot the ball.”
Chapmanville has a very rigorous schedule this winter.
In addition to seven home-and-home Cardinal Conference series against Poca, Mingo Central, Scott, Tolsia and others, the Tigers will also home-and-home series with Class A county rival Man and 3A Lincoln County.
The Tigers get it started on Dec. 14 at home against Liberty Raleigh in the inaugural Nationwide Classic at Chapmanville’s Danny Godby Gymnasium. The Chapmanville girls and the Logan High School boys and girls will also be on the tourney schedule.
The Tigers’ Nationwide Classic opponent, Liberty Raleigh, was only 3-20 last season. Liberty Raleigh lost 6-9, 300-pound college prospect Levi Cook, who transferred in August to Huntington Prep.
One of the highlights to Chapmanville’s schedule is a Dec. 21 noon clash with North Marion in the Hoops Classic at the Charleston Civic Center — the home of the state tournament. It will also serve as the Cardinal Conference-Big 10 challenge as schools from both leagues will play against one another.
“That will be a challenge between the Cardinal Conference and the Big 10. Fairmont and all of them will also be there,” Hatcher said. “Mingo Central will be in it too.”
Chapmanville hosts the annual Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament Dec. 27-28 over Christmas break. The host Tigers play Mount View and Man battles with 3A Riverside in the tourney.
Hatcher said he looks for Poca and Scott to be good this season in the league.
“It’s a really tough schedule because Poca is going to have one of their best teams that they’ve had in a long time,” he said. “Scott will also be the favorite in our section probably because they went to the state tournament last year and they have most of their kids coming back. We have a challenging schedule. We have a long way to go but I’m real excited about the way the kids are practicing and working.”
Although rival Logan plays in Chapmanville’s Nationwide Classic, the Wildcats do not play the Tigers this season.
That means no father vs. son game. Logan is coached by longtime mentor Mark Hatcher — Allan Hatcher’s son.
The Tigers and Wildcats have not played each other since the 2010-11 season. The two teams did, however, scrimmage each other on Nov. 30 at Logan.
Chapmanville will once again battle Tolsia, Scott, Mingo Central and Wayne in the Class AA sectional tourney. It will once again be played at Logan.
“Scott made it to the state tournament last year and they’ve got almost their entire team back,” Hatcher said. “They are really talented and are a real good coached team. Mingo Central and us are pretty close and probably pretty even. Then you have Tolsia and Wayne and Wayne has all of their kids back. Tolsia has a new coach and new excitement over there. We’ve got a tough section but we’re excited because we have a lot of kids back.”
Returning to Hatcher staff are Johnny Williamson, Paul Hurst and Larry Dingess. Former player Mikie Hurst is new to the coaching staff.
CRHS has a full time trainer this year in Stacy Ellis.
“We have a good staff,” Hatcher said.
Chapmanville Regional High School Tigers
2013-14 Boys’ Basketball Schedule:
Dec. 14: Liberty-Raleigh (Nationwide Classic), 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 21: vs. North Marion (Hoops Classic, Charleston Civic Center), 12 p.m.
Dec. 23: Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 27-28: Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament, TBA
Jan. 3: Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 7: at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: Man, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: at Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18: Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24: at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 21: Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 22: at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25: at Man, 7:30 p.m.
Chapmanville Boys’ Basketball Roster
NO. NAME HT CL.
1 Trey Dalton 5-8 JR.
12 Zac Casto 6-2 JR.
24 Austin Kirk 6-1 JR.
10 Jordan Toler 5-11 SR.
11 Josh Butcher 6-0 JR.
32 Jon Williamson 6-1 SR.
15 Jordan Whitt 6-3 SOPH.
30 Joe Tackett 5-11 JR.
23 Brady Cox 6-5 SR.
22 Kenny Plumley 6-4 SR.
20 Corey Preece 5-11 SOPH.
33 Trevor Nagy 5-9 JR.
HEAD COACH: Allan Hatcher