With the WVSSAC tackling realignment for the next four years this will mark the final season for the current sectional basketball format.
Class AA’s Region 4 Section 2 has definitely been a log-jam of top teams over the last few years.
Chapmanville Regional High School, winners of back-to-back state championships, has won the last four sectional titles and will be looking for a fifth straight this year.
The Tigers defeated Logan in each of the last two sectional finals, taking a 68-55 decision in last year’s championship game at Mingo Central High School.
This marks the final year of the current sectional realignment.
The last few years it’s been a six-team battle between Chapmanville, Logan, Mingo Central, Scott, Man and Lincoln County.
Chapmanville, 26-2 last year, has to be considered the sectional favorites again.
“Just like it has been for the last three years I think that it’s really going to be top heavy,” Logan coach Zach Green said. “You look at Chapmanville and with what they are returning with Obinna (Killen) and two All-State guards (Philip Mullins and Andrew Shull).”
CRHS coach Brad Napier also said he expects Logan and Mingo to be very good this season.
Mingo Central has brothers Drew and Devin Hatfield back on the team. They played at Logan last season.
Logan has guards Mitchell Hainer and Noah Cook returning on its youthful team. LHS is also trying to get all-state senior guard David Early eligible. He played briefly this fall for Beckley Prep but has returned to Logan and hopes to close out his high school playing career with the Cats.
“In the sectional I think that Logan is going to be strong again,” Napier said. “Logan is always Logan and they have a ton of tradition. They are always going to have a good team and the kids are used to winning. I look for Mingo to be a lot better. I think that they are going to have a better year. They played a lot of freshmen last year and those kids have got better. I’ve seen them play in the summer some.”
Napier said with Scott’s returning seniors he looks for the Skyhawks to have a strong season as well.
Scott is led by first-year coach Shawn Ballard.
The Skyhawks lost post-man Hunter Adkins to graduation last year but bring in 6-4 transfer Nate White.
Scott also has Jon Jon Hamilton and Jagger Bell back. Hamilton averaged 19.5 points per game last season and sank 62 3-pointers. He was an 81 percent free throw shooter last year.
Bell averaged 18.7 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals per game last season. Both players earned Cardinal Conference and All-State recognition.
“Scott has a lot of seniors,” Napier said. “They are a senior dominated team and anytime you have a bunch of seniors you’re going to be pretty good. They have three guys who started for two or three years back. I expect Scott to be really strong as well. It’s going to be really tough.”
Man also returns a lot of talent from last year’s 10-13 squad and is looking for improvement as well.