BECKLEY — The Man High School boys’ basketball team saw their season come to an end Wednesday night at the hands of the Class A No. 9 Crusaders of Greater Beckley Christian.
Greater Beckley Christian, the number one seed in the Class A Region III Section I tournament, used a late first half run to pull away from the Hillbillies and advance to Saturday’s sectional championship with a 90-57 victory. The Crusaders (16-6) were set to meet defending Class A champion Tug Valley (16-6), who advanced to championship with a 74-45 victory over the Sherman Tide.
The Hillbillies season came to an end at the hands of Greater Beckley guards Elisha Kidd and Javonne Staunton-Bailey, who combined to score 71 of the Crusaders 90 points. Kidd led all scorers with 40 points while Staunton-Bailey added 31 points and 13 rebounds.
Man played Greater Beckley closed in the game’s first 12 minutes trailing by six points, but the Hillbillies missed eight of their final nine shots in the first half and failed to keep pace with the Crusaders. Greater Beckley went on a 23-4 run to close out the first half and extend its lead to 46-21 at the half.
Man never threatened in the second half as Greater Beckley extended its lead to 43 points in the fourth quarter. Greater Beckley shot 40 percent from the field and held Man to just 30.9 percent while outrebounding the Hillbillies 58-36.
The Crusaders led the Hillbillies 19-10 after an opening quarter that saw five lead changes and one tie. Man’s last lead of the contest came with Daniel Buchanon scored inside off a feed from Jake Adkins for an 8-7 lead midway through the opening frame. Greater Beckley responded with an 11-2 run to close the quarter before the Hillbillies fought back to close within six points on two separate occasions in the second quarter.
Man’s inability to convert baskets inside and keep the Crusaders off the glass proved to be the down fall as the Crusaders transition game kicked in during the late first half run. Man turned the ball over 12 times in the first two quarters and shot just 27 percent from the floor in the game’s first 16 minutes.
Sophomore John Thomas Keffer led Man with 21 points while freshman Daniel Buchanon finished 13 points and hauled down 11 rebounds for the Hillbillies. Jake Adkins added six points while Kenny Jo Adkins and Marquel Brown each had four points and Nick Collins, Erik Files and Cameron Simpson added three points to round the scoring for the Hillbillies.
Man finished the season with an 11-12 record.