CHAPMANVILLE — The Bluefield Beavers have a rich basketball history and tradition.
Last season, Bluefield captured the Class AA state championship with a 63-43 win over Fairmont Senior and closed with a 25-3 record.
The Beavers are back in the state tournament again.
Chapmanville Regional High School has its work cut out.
The sixth-seeded Tigers (20-5) are scheduled to open state tourney play on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. against No. 3 seed Bluefield (22-2) at the Charleston Civic Center.
Chapmanville advanced to its first ever state tournament berth with last week’s 44-41 last-second win over Nicholas County in the Class AA Region 4 co-championship game. The Tigers won with Josh Butcher’s 3-point shot with two seconds left.
No Chapmanville team, whether the new consolidated school or the old Chapmanville High School, has ever made it to the state tournament.
The Chapmanville Tigers basketball program dates back to the 1930s so it has been a long wait.
Bluefield advanced to state with last Thursday night’s 77-67 victory over Wyoming East in its regional co-championship game. The Beavers are riding a 15-game winning streak going into the state tournament.
Bluefield’s last loss was a 62-57 setback on Jan. 27 to state tourney team Westside. The Beavers also lost 67-51 at Greenbrier East on Jan. 10.
The Chapmanville-Bluefield game tips off the entire state tournament.
Undefeated Robert C. Byrd (21-0) grabbed the No. 1 seed. RCB, also the No. 1-ranked Class AA team in the state, is scheduled to open state play on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against No. 8 East Fairmont (11-13). RCB beat East Fairmont, 69-55, during the regular season. The second meeting was canceled.
In the other two state quarterfinals on Wednesday, No. 2 seed Poca (24-1) takes on No. 7 Fairmont Senior (15-9) at 1 p.m. Poca, a Cardinal Conference member along with Chapmanville, beat the Tigers twice this season by 53-43 and 68-35 scores. The two could meet in Friday’s semifinals since the Tigers and Dots are in the same part of the bracket.
In the other state quarterfinal, No. 4 Westside (19-6) takes on No. 5 Bridgeport (18-7) at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Chapmanville-Bluefield winner is set to take on the Poca/Fairmont Senior winner on Friday at 9:30 a.m.
The 2A state championship game is March 22 at noon at the Charleston Civic Center.
Chapmanville head coach Allan Hatcher has taken the Tigers to state in only his second year at the helm. He previously led Williamson High School to a state championship in West Virginia and also guided three Kentucky teams to the state tourney in the Bluegrass State — the last being Perry Central in 2012.
Hatcher thanked all of Chapmanville’s past coaches for getting on board.
“I’m really thrilled for this school and this community and for people like Coach (Ted) Ellis, Coach (Harry) Kirk, Coach (Danny) Godby and Coach (David) Elkins,” he said. “They have all been supportive to me. All four of those guys have been supportive and me and the basketball team and they have went on the road to watch us. It’s not like that everywhere. That’s what makes this so special. This one is for them, too. It’s hard to make it over the hump but we did it.”
Bluefield will be a tough opponent for the Cinderella Tigers.
The Beavers have been a mainstay in the state tourney over the years.
In 2012, Bluefield lost to Tug Valley, 58-52, in the state finals
Back in 2006, Bluefield reached the 2A state finals but lost 51-43 to Ravenswood.
The Beavers were 2A state runner-ups as well in 1999 and 1997. In ‘99, Bluefiled fell to Tug Valley, 65-61, in the state finals. The ‘97 season ended in a 77-60 loss to the Poca Dots in the finals.
Bluefield won state championships in 1995 and 1996, winning 77-56 over Tolsia in the ‘95 finals and also taking a 77-52 victory in the ‘96 state finals over Williamson.
The Beavers are making yet another trip to the state tourney.
Counting the 25-2 record in 2012, the Beavers are a remarkable 72-7 over the last three seasons — a winning percentage of 91.1 percent.
Bluefield coach Buster Large said he’s not worried about the early morning starting time.
“We always practice early in the morning on weekends,” Large told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. “We are going to leave on Tuesday evening and hopefully get well rested and we hope the kids are ready to be focused on Wednesday morning at 9:30.”
Like Chapmanville, Bluefield is happy to be back in the Big Dance.
“We are so happy to be in the tournament,” Large said. “Losing one game in three years away, we have been really been ranked number three all year in Double-A. We have just got to be focused and we have got to play each game. We are really looking forward to it. Our agenda is not perfect yet but we have plans to stay up there as long as we win.”
Bluefield only played one 2A state tourney team during the regular season in the Westside Renegades. Chapmanville’s only state tourney foe this season was Poca.
“The only team we have seen is Westside and we know they have got a fine team,” Large told the Bluefield newspaper. “The other teams in the field, I have been saying all along it is anybody’s tournament this year. You just got to be up there and be focused and take it one game at a time.”
Chapmanville is led by Butcher, who averages 16.9 points a game.
The Tigers also have 6-foot-4 forward Kenny Plumley, a 12.1 points per game and 6-5 center Brady Cox at 8.6 points a game. Both are seniors.
Joe Tackeet, a 6-0 junior guard, averages 6.9 points per contest for the Chapmanville Tigers. Trey Dalton, a 5-8 junior, checks in at 5.8 points a game.
Zac Casto, a 6-2 junior forward, has a 5.7 points per game average this season for CRHS. Jon Williamson and Trevor Nagy are two other top reserves for Chapmanville.
Coach Large said his team will be tested with Chapmanville’s size in the paint.
“They are very dangerous team,” Large told the Daily Telegraph. “They are big, much bigger than us, and we are trying to put everything together in the last two days on what their strong points are, but they are a pretty good team. They have got some good wins. Their size is going to be a factor for us. I am sure they are searching for information on us, and we are trying to get the best scouting report we can on them. We just want to take it one game at a time and be focused.”
Bluefield brings a veteran team to Charleston.
The entire starting lineup from last year’s state championship team is back, including Michael Yost, a 6-3 senior guard. Yost sat out much of the season with an injured ankle but has returned. He has signed with hometown Bluefield College.
Large said Yost is about “90 percent” and is expected to play.
“We are happy to get him back. He makes a big difference on the offensive end and defense end,” he said.
Bluefield is also led by Anthony Eades, a 6-3 senior guard. He ripped the nets for 30 points in the victory over Wyoming East in regional play.
The Beavers also have Lykel Collier, a 5-11 senior guard. He had 21 points against East.
D.J. Edwards, a 6-2 junior forward, is another top Bluefield player. He tallied 12 points and had six rebounds, three assists and two steals in the victory over the Warriros.
Yost had eight points in the game before fouling out.
Large said he likes his team’s chances.
“We like it exactly where we are sitting,” he said. “We have got to go and play. That is the big key. I was a little surprised how they put us down at No. 3 all year long. I don’t even look at that, the kids don’t look at that. We beat a very good Wyoming East team, we know we have got to do Wednesday morning. They know what is at stake. We know we have got to be on top of our game Wednesday morning to advance.
“There are some great teams there. Poca, what are they 23-1, so we just feel like we want to get the opportunity to go on and just see what happens, but we have to be focused and take care of business.”
Bluefield has also shown to be a good free throw shooting team.
In the Wyoming East game, the Beavers sank 26-for-30 foul shots for 86.6 percent.
Chapmanville received a sendoff on Tuesday afternoon with a pep rally at the CRHS gym.
Hatcher said at the rally 2,500 tickets have been sold for the game. A crowd of 5,000 is expected.
“That’s pretty good for a community our size,” Hatcher said. “The reason for that is that we have a commitment from the people from our community. They are excited about our team and we’re excited about them being there.”
Hatcher said it has been great to see the basketball program grow at Chapmanville.
“Just look at Logan’s program in the past or Bluefield or Wyoming East or Westside,” he said. “When you hear those names you associate basketball with them because they have a program. Just like Tug Valley. They have a basketball program over there. They are good every year. When you have a good program you are competitive every year. That’s why you have to have good feeder programs. That’s what we are trying to do, to set a good foundation and have a good basketball program here at Chapmanville year in and year out.”
Hatcher said his team has good character.
“The main thing about this basketball team is that they are going to gut it out,” he said. “They have a lot of guts and a lot of determination and a lot of fight in them. That’s the way that we won the last three games against Mingo, Scott and Nicholas County. They were all nail-biters right down to the end.”
Hatcher said the Beavers are very good.
“I’m excited about our chances. Bluefield is an overwhelming favorite,” he said. “They have an excellent basketball program but our kids are excited about playing them. With our guys, when there is a challenge they play better. Let’s just see how they do. When they (Bluefield) play and they warm up they think that they are going to win. They play with that much confidence. They have a tremendous point guard with Collier. Eades is also a very good player, a good scorer and a good shooter.”
2013-14 Chapmanville Regional High School
Boys’ Basketball Roster
No Pos Name Gr Ht Wt Ave
1 G Trey Dalton 11 5-8 150 5.8
10 G/F Hunter Workman 9 5-10 150 0.0
11 G Josh Butcher 11 6-0 160 16.9
12 F Zac Casto 11 6-2 200 5.7
13 G Jeremy Lilly 9 5-10 150 0.0
15 C Tyler Moore 9 6-3 160 0.0
20 G Corey Preece 10 6-0 160 0.3
22 C Kenny Plumley 12 6-4 185 12.1
23 F Brady Cox 12 6-5 215 8.6
24 C Austin Kirk 11 6-1 180 1.3
30 G Joseph Tackett 11 6-0 165 6.9
32 F Jonathan Williamson 12 6-2 195 1.8
33 G Trevor Nagy 11 5-9 180 1.8
41 G Ryan Mullins 9 5-8 155 0.0
42 G/F Jordan Butcher 9 6-2 180 1.1
2013-14 Bluefield High School
Boys’ Basketball Roster
No Pos Name Gr Ht Wt
2 Guard Dakoda Smalls 12 5-10 170
5 Forward David Edwards 12 6-2 195
10 Guard Anthony Eades 12 6-3 165
11 Forward Lykel Collier 12 5-11 160
15 Forward Omar Logan 11 6-2 160
23 Gurad Michael Yost 12 6-3 165
25 Guard Jordan Ponder 11 6-0 150
30 Guard Jeremy Thompson 10 6-1 145
32 Center Corey Coppola 11 6-4 235
33 Center Matthew Woodrum 11 6-5 215
35 Forward Azir Price 12 6-0 215
44 Guard Tyler Easley 10 6-0 180
55 Center Jordan Huckleberry 11 6-5 185
Head Coach: Charles “Buster” Large