The long wait is over.
March Madness is here.
It all begins on Wednesday with the start of the West Virginia Girls’ High School State Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
For the first time in many years Logan County will be represented by two teams in the field.
That’s because the Man High School girls’ pulled off an upset on Thursday night at Fayetteville with a 79-71 double-overtime win in the Class A regional championship game.
It’s the first trip to the state tourney since 2008 for the Lady Billies as Man joins Class AAA county rival Logan in the Big Dance.
Logan advanced with last week’s 57-46 victory at St. Albans in the Class AAA Region 4 co-final. The Lady Cats haven’t been to the state tourney since 2000 and advanced to state for only the third time in school history. The only other trip to state for the Lady Cats in the modern era was back in 1976.
On Friday, Logan and Man found out who they were going to play in Charleston.
Logan (15-9) drew the No. 5 seed for the Class AAA state tourney and are scheduled to open play on Thursday at 11:15 a.m. against Princeton (19-5).
The Princeton Tigers advanced with a 71-66 regional tourney win over George Washington. Princeton had split in the sectionals, beating Beckley 46-28 but losing to No. 1-ranked Greenrbier East, 68-51 in the section finals. Greenbrier East, riding a 24-game winning streak, was then shocked in Thursday night’s Region 3 co-championship by nine-win Capital, 54-45, and saw its season come to an end at 24-1.
The loss by East has opened the door a bit for Logan, who moved up at least one spot.
A win over Princeton and Logan would play on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in one of the two Class AAA state semifinals against either Spring Valley or Capital.
The Logan-Princeton game is seen by many as even odds.
Spring Valley (22-3), ranked No. 2 in the state, got the top seed. The Timberwolves beat Logan 68-67 in the Class AAA sectional title game at Huntington on Feb. 22. Capital, seeded eighth, is just 10-13, so a Logan-Spring Valley rematch could be in the cards. Spring Valley and Capital are slated to play on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.
In the lower bracket, No. 2 seed Morgantown (19-5) battles with No. 7 Martinsburg (15-6) on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. and No. 3 Parkersburg South (17-7) takes on No. 6 Hedgesville (18-7) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
The lower bracket semifinals are scheduled to be played on Friday at 9 p.m.
The Class AAA state championship game is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
Logan went 4-5 this season against state tourney teams from all classes.
In the Class A brackets, Man has the unenviable task of playing No. 1-ranked and top seed Huntington St. Joe in the first round of the state tourney. Man, the No. 8 seed, is 15-10, while St. Joe comes in at 22-1. The two teams are set to meet on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Center.
The St. Joe Irish are led by 5-8 senior guard Mychal Johnson, who averages 22.3 points a game and has committed to play Division I ball at the University of Notre Dame. St. Joe’s only loss was to Webb, Tenn., in a holiday tournament.
All four Class A state quarterfinals are set for Wednesday.
The first game is at 9:30 a.m. as No. 3 St. Marys (23-1) takes on No. 6 Tygarts Valley (17-7). Then at 1 p.m., second seeded Wheeling Central (20-4) plays No. 7 Valley Fayette (13-7) at 1 p.m. Valley Fayette eliminated Tug Valley 62-58 in the regionals to advance to the state tourney.
The last Class A quarterfinal pits No. 4 Tucker County (19-5) against No. 5 Williamstown (14-9) on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
The two semifinals are Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Class A state championship game is set for Saturday at noon.
Man went 0-5 against state tourney teams this season.
The Lady Billies are making their first trip to the state tournament since 2008 when Man lost 45-31 to Wheeling Central in the first round.
In the Class AA state tournament field, No. 3 Nicholas County (20-3) opens against No. 6 seed North Marion (18-4) on Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
Then at 1 p.m. on Thursday, No. 2 Bridgeport (22-2) takes on No. 7 Lincoln (16-9).
The third Class AA state tourney game at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday has No. 1 seed and No. 1-ranked Westside (23-1) squaring off against No. 8 Pikeview (14-10). Westside went 2-0 each against Logan and Man this season.
The last 2A game on Thursday at 9 p.m. pits No. 4 Clay County (18-6) against No. 5 Fairmont Senior (18-6). Clay County represents Region 4 as the Tigers defeated Tolsia 74-47 in the regional tourney.
The 2A semifinals are set for Friday at 11:15 a.m. and 7:15 p.m.
The state championship game is Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
After the girls’ basketball tourney is over the 100th-annual West Virginia Boys Basketball State Tournament will be played March 13-16 at the Charleston Civic Center.