Surprising Wayne surprises Tigers in OT
By Paul Adkins Sports Editor
CHAPMANVILLE — Wayne High School athletics are known primarily for one thing.
The school’s state powerhouse football team.
But that is changing.
In a hurry.
Wayne’s basketball team, a curious afterthought as many have joked about over the years, is making a name for itself this season.
The Pioneers, which have suffered through 14 straight losing seasons, continue to impress and continue to surprise as Wayne defeated the Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball team, 62-59 in overtime on Friday night at Chapmanville’s Danny Godby Gymnasium.
Wayne improved to 7-4 overall with the upset Cardinal Conference win over the Class AA No. 5-ranked Tigers.
The Pioneers, which have lost six straight meetings over the last two years to Chapmanville, picked up another signature win and have put themselves right into the thick of the Class AA sectional tourney race.
Over the last few weeks, the sectional was thought to be a two-horse race with Chapmanville and the Scott Skyhawks.
You can now throw in the Wayne Pioneers, which look like a contender as well. And with an improved Mingo Central team, which has gotten off to a slow start but will be adding a couple of transfers soon from Kentucky who stand 6-foot-7 and 6-6 respectively, it looks like it will be a four-team race.
The fifth sectional team, the Tolsia Rebels, are struggling mightily this season and had only one win so far this season heading into the week. Wayne, which usually loses almost every game to the Rebels in basketball, pounded on the Rebels earlier in the season for a 31-point win.
With the loss, Chapmanville dropped to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference and saw its four-game winning streak snapped. It was the Tigers’ first defeat in league play. The only other loss this season was a 72-69 OT setback to Class AAA Riverside back in late December in the championship game of the Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament at CRHS.
Friday’s game was originally scheduled to be played at Wayne but was moved to Chapmanville earlier in the day due to a reported lack of heat at the Wayne High School gym. The Tigers will, presumably, play at Wayne later in the season in the second meeting.
Wayne was led by Grant Ferguson, the quarterback of the Pioneers’ Class AA state runner-up football team, who tossed in 24 points. He helped seal the win for Wayne with a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left in OT.
Seth Napier then scored his only points of the game with 2.7 ticks left with two more fouls shots as Wayne led 62-59.
Chapmanville had one last chance at a tying 3-pointer by Kenny Plumley but his halfcourt heave was off the mark at the buzzer.
Nate Earl added 13 points for Wayne.
Josh Butcher paced the Tigers with 29 points while Plumley had 15.
Chapmanville finished the stretch run of the game without point guard Trey Dalton who was ejected in the third quarter with no points, six assists, two steals and one rebound.
Zac Casto added seven points for the Tigers. Brady Cox and Joe Tackett had three each and Jon Williamson two.
Cox led the Tigers on the boards with eight rebounds. Tackett pulled down six.
Casto also had a blocked shot.
The Tigers were 22-for-52 shooting from the floor for the game for 42.3 percent. Chapmanville was 12-of-18 from the foul line for 66.7 percent. Wayne made 24-for-48 of its field goals for an even 50 percent. The Pioneers were 8-of-9 from the line for 88.9 percent.
The Tigers outrebounded Wayne 25-21.
Wayne jumped on top of Coach Allan Hatcher’s Chapmanville team 19-6 in the first quarter. The Tigers pulled to within 17-10 after one and continued a 14-0 run to take a 20-19 lead into the second quarter with a pair of Plumley free throws.
The Pioneers then countered with a 9-1 run, fueled by a Ferguson 3-pointer, to grab a 28-21 lead. Plumley then hit a jumper and Butcher drained a 3 at the buzzer as Chapmanville trailed 28-26 at the half.
In the third period, Butcher helped the Tigers stay even with Wayne with a pair of baskets and a 3-ball to tie the game up at 37 after ties at 32 and 34.
Earl tied it 39 with a bucket and Wayne later took a 43-40 lead after three with Brett Justice’s 3-point shot.
In the fourth, Wayne led 47-41 but the Tigers stormed back with a Butcher 3 and two Butcher free throws after a technical foul call on the Pioneers as CRHS led 48-47.
The game then see-sawed back and forth.
A pair of Ferguson treys gave Wayne a 53-51 lead. Butcher then hit a shot as the Tigers and the Pioneers were tied at 53 after regulation.
In the OT period, two Butcher baskets put the Tigers on top by a bucket each time but Ferguson drained another 3 to make it 58-57 Pioneers.
Casto’s rebound and putback gave Chapmanville a 59-58 lead before Ferguson’s two free throws and two more by Napier put the win on ice for the Pioneers.
Counting Friday night’s win the Pioneers are just 4-18 against Chapmanville since 2000.
The last Wayne win over the Tigers was a 69-63 victory over Chapmanville in the 2009 Class AA sectional tourney at Logan. It was the last game at the helm for Coach Dave Elkins as Chapmanville went 0-3 against Wayne during its disastrous 4-18 season. The Pioneers also had 63-50 and 64-51 wins over Chapmanville that season.
Friday’s win also broke a 10-game skid to Chapmanville.
Chapmanville is scheduled to get back into action on Tuesday night at home against Herbert Hoover in league action. The Tigers then host struggling Tolsia next Friday, before hosting the Poca Dots on Feb. 1 and the revamped Mingo Central Miners on Feb. 5.
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