NEWTOWN — Getting rid of past demons is never easy.
However, the Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team is hoping to erase some of those demons this season.
They are making a strong case to do just that.
Chapmanville, ranked No. 5 in the state in this week’s Class AA poll, improved to 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the Cardinal Conference with Wednesday night’s convincing 53-27 win on the road at Mingo Central.
The Miners, coached by former Logan assistant and Harts native Brad Napier, dropped to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in the league with the loss. Mingo Central, which recently traveled over Christmas break to sunny and warm Orlando, Fla., going 1-2 with a win over a team from Saskatchewan, Canada, was coming off a 77-50 victory at home over league foe Sissonville.
Mingo Central, however, would not come anywhere near 77 points against the Tigers as the Miners shot an ice-cold 19.5 percent from the floor on just 8-of-41 shooting.
Chapmanville was 20-for-43 from the field for 46.5 percent and led the Miners 14-8 after one quarter, 21-13 at the half and 43-22 after three with a 22-9 edge in the third period. A 10-5 advantage by Chapmanville in the fourth quarter set the final score.
The Tigers also owned the boards, outrebounding Mingo Central 31-21.
“This has already become a big rivalry,” CRHS head coach Allan Hatcher said. “I have a lot of respect for Brad (Napier). But, they didn’t shoot very well. Hopefully, our defense had something to do with that. We lost two big games to them last year. But, it’s a long season and I’m sure they will be ready the next time we play.”
Mingo Central was 0-for-16 from 3-point range.
“We’re relying too much on the 3-pointer,” Napier said. “They packed it in and made us shoot from the outside. We are not shooting well and we’ve got to find a way to be successful when we’re not hitting from outside. I didn’t think we played well. We just couldn’t get into a rhythm. Our confidence got down after we missed some easy shots early in the game. We have to be more consistent. Our defense was not that bad. If you would have told me we would hold them to 21 points at the half, we would have been happy with that.”
Senior Brady Cox led Chapmanville with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Josh Butcher, the Tigers’ leading scorer and second leading scorer in the Cardinal Conference, tossed in 12 points, while Kenny Plumley had 11.
CRHS also got seven points from Trey Dalton, five from Joe Tackett and two from Zac Casto.
Plumley blocked three shots in the game.
Dalton led Chapmanville in assists with five.
Cox finished with a double-double as he also hauled down 13 rebounds. Plumley had eight boards.
Dalton, Cox and Casto had two steals each.
Alex Lee, the leading scorer in the Cardinal Conference, had 11 points to pace the Miners. Stevie Hammond and Mallie May had seven each. Chase Hatfield had two points.
Chapmanville won its third straight game. The Tigers’ only loss this season was a 72-69 overtime setback to 3A Riverside in the Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament championship game on Dec. 28 at CRHS.
Chapmanville currently sits in second place in the league standings. Poca is first at 4-0 in the league and 6-1 overall. The two teams appear to be on a collision course for not only the conference crown but also for regional supremacy.
The Tigers’ ultimate goal is to reach the state tournament — something that has eluded Chapmanville boys’ basketball program over the many decades.
Chapmanville has been denied trips to the state tourney many times over the years, often falling one game short in the regional championship. The Tigers have been beaten in the regional finals eight times since 1999 with the most recent setback coming in 2010 at the hands of the Sissonville Indians.
The Tigers, and second-year coach Allan Hatcher, hope to change that in March.
Chapmanville is slated to return to action on Saturday night at home against Sissonville. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Danny Godby Gymnasium. CRHS then goes to 3A Lincoln County on Jan. 21 and then to Wayne on Jan. 24.
— Kyle Lovern of the Williamson Daily News contributed to this report.
Chapmanville Regional High School Tigers
2013-14 Boys’ Basketball Schedule (8-1):
Dec. 14: Liberty-Raleigh (Nationwide Classic), W 65-52
Dec. 17: at Herbert Hoover, W 59-40
Dec. 21: vs. North Marion (Hoops Classic, Charleston Civic Center), W 72-43
Dec. 23: Lincoln County, W 68-36
Dec. 27: Mount View (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), W 62-33
Dec. 28: Riverside (Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament), L 69-72 (OT)
Jan. 3: Scott, W 57-55
Jan. 7: at Lincoln County, ppd.
Jan. 10: at Poca, ppd.
Jan. 14: Man, W 58-47
Jan. 15: at Mingo Central, W 53-27
Jan. 18: Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: at Lincoln County, 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. 1: Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: at 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.