MAN — The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the Man High School boys basketball team’s season.
The Hillbillies had finished their 2019-20 season back on March 3 with a 69-42 loss to Chapmanville Regional in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 tournament.
The Billies closed out at 18-6 and with no seniors, the future looks extremely bright for coach TJ Blevins and the Man hoopsters looking forward to the 2020-21 roundball campaign.
Man had competed as a Class AA school the last four seasons, and were in fact, the smallest Class AA team in the state.
But that will all change next season when Man will go back to Class A status.
It will still be difficult, but Man will be playing in a new Single-A sectional with Tug Valley, Tolsia, Van and Sherman. Tug Valley had advanced to this year’s Class A state tournament after a regional win over Parkersburg Catholic, however, the state tourney was suspended to to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Opposite Man’s Class A Region 4 Section 1, and possible regional opponents in Region 4 Section 2 are Calhoun County, Gilmer County, Hannan and Wahama.
With its entire team in tact coming back next season will we be seeing something truly magical from the Billies?
Man’s 18 wins this season were a school record. Just three years ago, the Billies had suffered through an 0-22 winless season.
“It was a historical season and next season the sky is the limit,” said Man assistant coach Bill Lusk. “It’s been a great year and one that no one saw coming not even us coaches. We never imagined that we would win 18 games this season. We thought we would win 14 maybe 15 games but the kids far exceeded expectations this season. We set records for most regular season wins with 17 and most wins in school history with 18. We even saw Caleb Blevins knock down 10 3’s in a contest to set a new school record.”
It was a big year for the Billies.
Man’s only setbacks this season outside of the sectional tourney loss to Chapmanville were to Mingo Central (67-57 and 78-71), Logan (78-51, 71-57) and Huntington St. Joe (62-53).
Man was led this season by 6-5 sophomore Austin Ball, who averaged 19.2 points and 9.5 points per game. He closed out the year with 12 double-double performances. Ball also had a team-best 49 blocked shots.
Caleb Blevins, a 6-3 sophomore, averaged 13.3 points a game and was Man’s top 3-point shooter, sinking 53 from beyond the arc.
Peyton Adams, a 5-8 junior guard, checked in at 9.6 points per contest this season. He dished out a team-high 100 assists and made 38 shots from 3-point land.
Jackson Tackett, a 6-2 sophomore, averaged 8.7 points per contest this year for Man. He had 207 rebounds, second on the team to Ball, and had six double-doubles.
Ryan Cozart, a 6-3 junior, averaged 6.1 points a game this season, making 15 3s.
Jeremiah Harless, a 6-3 junior, averaged five points a game this season for Man.
Christian Toler, a 5-10 sophomore, checked in at 4.7 points per contest this year.
Rounding out Man’s roster this season were: sophomore Brady Hall-Montgomery; junior Hunter Anderson; and freshmen Jordan Adams, Jacob Walls, James Scites, Andrew Cozart and Ethan Spence.
Three-point shooting was the name of the game for the Billies this season.
Man wasn’t afraid to launch those bombs.
As a team this season, Man sank 151 of 536 3-pointers for 28 percent. Man was 593 of 1,388 in total team shooting for 42.7 percent. From the free throw line, the Billies netted 257 of 382 of their charity tosses for 67.3 percent.
2019-20 Man High School
Boys’ Basketball Schedule (18-6):
Dec. 13: at Mount View, W 58-49
Dec. 17: at Point Pleasant, ppd.
Dec. 19: vs. Tug Valley (at Country Roads Classic, Chapmanville), W 71-61
Dec. 21: vs. Nitro (at Country Roads Classic, Chapmanville), W 63-62
Dec. 27: Pikeview, W 75-45
Jan. 4: Logan, L 51-78
Jan. 7: at River View, ppd.
Jan. 11: Riverside, W 60-53
Jan. 15: at Pikeview, W 63-59
Jan. 17: Lincoln County, W 55-42
Jan. 23: at Mingo Central, L 57-67
Jan. 25: at Riverside, W 77-57
Jan. 28: Mount View, W 58-47
Jan. 30: at Van, W 69-43
Jan. 31: at River View, W 80-67
Feb. 4: River View, W 72-40
Feb. 6: Sherman, ppd.
Feb. 8: Mingo Central, L 71-78
Feb. 12: Sherman, W 90-34
Feb. 14: at Logan, L 57-71
Feb. 17: at Tolsia, W 77-48
Feb. 18: at Lincoln County, W 57-54
Feb. 21: Huntington St. Joe, L 53-62
Feb. 25: Van, W 93-48
Feb. 29: vs. Mingo Central (Sectionals at Chapmanville), W 70-68
March 3: vs. Chapmanville (Sectionals at Logan), L 42-69
Man High School Basketball Roster
No. NAME CLASS HT
0 Peyton Adams 11 5-8
1 Ryan Cozart 11 6-3
3 Jeremiah Harless 11 6-3
10 Jordan Adams 9 5-7
12 Christian Toler 10 5-10
14 Austin Ball 10 6-5
20 Jacob Walls 9 5-8
23 James Scites 9 5-6
24 Caleb Blevins 10 6-3
34 Brady Hall-Montgomery 10 5-11
40 Hunter Anderson 11 6-1
44 Jackson Tackett 10 6-2
Andrew Cozart 9 5-7
Ethan Spence 9 6-1