CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville Tigers are headed in the right direction.
Allan Hatcher wants to keep it that way as the high school basketball season is close to hitting the mid point.
The Tigers improved to 5-4 on the season with Tuesday’s resounding 68-36 win at home over Class AAA Lincoln County. Chapmanville, winners of four of of its last five games, have turned it around after a 1-3 start.
“I’m excited about the upside of our kids,” said Hatcher, Chapmanville’s first-year coach. “They are coming along.”
Chapmanville has seemed to get its offense kicked into gear.
That was evident against Lincoln County as the Tigers raced out to a 33-16 halftime lead.
Mackenzie Martin and Kenny Plumley led the way for Chapmanville. Martin, a 6-foot-4 center forward/center, poured in a game-high 23 points. Plumley, a 6-3 junior forward, also broke double digits with 22 points.
The Tigers will look to keep its winning ways going on Saturday night at Sissonville in a Cardinal Conference matchup. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
It’s the first of two meetings this season with the Indians.
The Chapmanville girls will play the Sissonville girls in the opener at 6 p.m. in the first half of a boys/girls doubleheader.
Sissonville’s boys enter the game with a 3-5 overall mark and 1-3 record in the Cardinal Conference. Chapmanville is also 1-3 in the league.
The Indians last played on Tuesday, losing a 45-28 low-scoring affair at home to Herbert Hoover in Cardinal action. Zach Null and Ryan Kelly tossed in eight points each for Sissonville.
Sissonville last won on Jan. 5 at home against Clay County, resulting in a 54-40 win. Sissonville has also beaten Wayne and Nicholas County.
“We’ve got Sissonville on Saturday night in a doubleheader with the girls,” Hatcher said. “That’s a tough place to play. We’re looking forward to it and we’re going to practice hard to get ready for them. We’re excited about the opportunity. I think our guys are just starting to come together.”
After taking on the Indians, Chapmanville hosts last-place Wayne on Jan. 18, hosts Nicholas County on Jan. 19 in a non-conference game, then goes to Herbert Hoover on Jan. 22 and then to Tolsia on Jan. 25.
The Cardinal Conference is stacked this season with Scott (8-1) currently ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA, No. 3 Poca (8-1), No. 8 Tolsia (5-5) and No. 11 Mingo Central (5-3).
Tolsia upended Scott 61-57 on Tuesday night, handing the Skyhawks its first defeat of the season. Poca defeated CRHS in a slow-down 32-29 game earlier in the season at Chapmanville.
“In the top 10 you’ve got three teams who are in the Cardinal Conference,” Hatcher said. “Scott was number one in the state the other day. Tolsia was seventh and Tolsia beat Scott the other night. Then you’ve got Poca who is probably going to be number one now. We’ve lost to Poca and we’ve lost to Scott. Mingo Central is 11th. It’s a great league and it’s great competition. Poca is so solid and they don’t beat themselves. They are well coached. The run their offense well and they guard you well defensively.”
Hatcher said he hopes his team continues to improve the rest of January and into February as the season heads into the final stretch.
“What you have to realize is that when you get closer to the tournament we have to get to the point to where we can run our offense better,” Hatcher said. “We’ve got to execute our offense and be patient. We need to get great shots every time down the floor. Defensively, we’ve just got to get better, stronger and more solid. The team that is able to run the half court offense and execute at the end of the year is the team that’s going to be successful.”
Chapmanville will battle with Scott, Tolsia, Mingo Central and Wayne in this year’s sectional tourney, which is slated to be played at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.
This year’s sectional will be seeded with regular season records against section foes being factored in.
“Our section is also tough with Tolsia, Scott and Mingo Central,” Hatcher said. “The majority of our opponents are some of the top Double-A teams in the state.”