CHAPMANVILLE — Graduation hit the Chapmanville Regional High School basketball team quite hard with the loss of four seniors.
But the Lady Tigers have plenty of talent and returnees coming back, and with a couple of top transfers from Lincoln County, Chapmanville looks to have another successful season.
Gone from last year’s team are five graduated seniors, including 1,000-point career scorers in 5-11 starters Kaylee Blair and Madison Webb. Blair was sixth in the Cardinal Conference in scoring last season at 13.9 points per game. Webb was 12th at 11.1.
Both were First-Team All-Cardinal Conference picks. Blair was also a Second-Team All-State selection by the media. Webb was Honorable Mention All-State
Also lost to graduation were Reese Ellis, Brooklyn Evans and Shea Pridemore.
Chapmanville had an impressive season a year ago, going 18-6 overall and winning the Cardinal Conference championship with a 12-1 league mark.
The post-season, however, did not go that well.
The Lady Tigers won the sectional title with a 52-40 victory over Logan at Mingo Central High School but a 60-58 loss at home to Sissonville in the Class AA regional co-final kept Chapmanville out of the state tournament, something that has eluded them since 2011.
The regional defeat has left the Lady Tigers hungry and Chapmanville feels there’s unfinished business to attend to.
“I think that we can do just as good this year,” Chapmanville coach Johnny Williamson said. “These girls are really determined. Three years in a row we have just kind of been there but I think this year’s group of girls is ready to push it. We were Cardinal Conference champions and we were undefeated at home until we lost in the regional game to Sissonville. The only game we lost to a Double-A team last year was to Wayne on the road last year, which was not a terrible loss.”
The loss of post players Webb and Blair, however, looms large.
So Chapmanville is likely to change its tactics this season and utilize its strong back court.
“I think that we are better guard-wise but we are going to take a hit in the post,” Williamson said. “We’re going to have to change how we play. We’ve got to play more up-tempo, press and get after you. We’re going to be guard oriented this year probably. We lost two post players who both scored 1,000 points and they will be extremely hard to replace. I think this year we’ll be faster, quicker and we’ll be able to press more. The dynamics of our team will change as far as being up-tempo and pressure, more so that we’ve been last year. Last year, we were more straight up, we played more zone and we were in the half court.”
Seniors Ali Williamson and Olivia Dalton return in the back court and that’s a good place to start.
Williamson was named to the All-Cardinal Conference Second-Team last year.
Dalton is going into her fourth season as the starting point guard.
“Olivia is a three-year starting point guard. This will be her fourth year,” Williamson said. “We expect a lot of big things out of her. She’s a heck of a player.”
Williamson was healthy last year and had a big year for the Lady Tigers.
Williamson, the younger sister of Andi Williamson, Drew Williamson and Paul Williamson, missed her freshman and sophomore years with knee injuries and gives Chapmanville a good shooter and ball handler.
“My two guard is Ali Williamson. She’s a great shooter,” said Coach Williamson, no relation to the senior guard. “We really missed her her freshman and sophomore years. She had two ACL tears, one on each knee and missed her first two years. She played really well for us last year.”
At the three guard position, the Lady Tigers welcome back Graci Brumfield, a Harts native, who transferred to CRHS from Lincoln County High School where she played the last two seasons. During her freshman year she played for the Lady Tigers.
Brumfield was a Class AA All-State Honorable Mention pick last season for the Panthers.
“We’ll miss Reese Ellis as far as shooting but Graci Brumfield will fill that role in the three spot,” Williamson said. “She was an All-State Honorable Mention player last year, so she’s a big addition to us.”
In the four spot at forward, Allie Farmer is the likely starter. The senior is also a Harts area native and former Lincoln County player.
“We have two girls from Harts that should have been at Chapmanville all along but they went to Lincoln County but they are back at Chapmanville now. Those are Graci Brumfield and Ali Farmer. I think they will both play big big roles this year. Allie Farmer will probably step into the role for Madison Webb in the four spot.”
The girl in the middle for Chapmanville will likely be sophomore 6-footer Hollie Blair, Kaylee Blair’s younger sister.
“Hollie Blair will be in the five spot in place of her sister Kaylee,” Williamson said. “She’s about 6-foot and she’s a taller girl than Kaylee.”
Sophomore guard Abbie Myers is an up-and-comer. She started a few games last season and showed flashes of brilliance with her ball-handling, passing and maneuverability,
“We also have Abbie Myers back, a little freshman who played well last year,” Williamson said. “She started a couple of games for us when Olivia was hurt.”
Sophomore Claire Dingess also saw some court time last season and will be counted on greatly for minutes.
“Claire Dingess will also play a good role for us,” Williamson said.
Freshmen Chesney Mullins, Erin Adkins, Baylie Crum, Makayla Crum, Jessi Adams and Andi Bledsoe round out the 13-player roster.
“We also have five or six freshmen out which is a good turnout for us,” Williamson said. “Hopefully we can have a JV team for the first time since I’ve been at Chapmanville.”
Chapmanville plays a tough Cardinal Conference schedule with home-and-homes against South Division rivals Logan, Scott, Wayne and Mingo Central and single games against CC North Division foes Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Sissonville and Herbert Hoover.
Five new games were added to Chapmanville’s schedule this season.
The Lady Tigers are now set to play Dec. 6-7 in the Tolsia tournament.
Then on Jan. 3-4, Chapmanville is slated to play in the Logan High School girls’ new home classic. On Jan. 3, Chapmanville plays Summers County. Then on Jan. 4, CRHS plays Martin County, Ky.
Martin County is the newly named new school in Inez, Ky. The school was formally known as Sheldon Clark High School.
Later in the season, in another newly added game to the schedule, Chapmanville hosts Tolsia on Feb. 12.
CRHS also had a non-conference home-and-home series with county rival Man and also Sherman.
2019-20 Chapmanville Regional High School
Girls’ Basketball Schedule:
Dec. 3: *at Herbert Hoover, 6 p.m.
Dec. 9: *at Scott, 6 p.m.
Dec. 11: *at Mingo Central, 6 p.m.
Dec. 13: Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 3: vs. Summers County, at Logan, TBA
Jan. 6: Man, 7 p.m.
Jan. 8: *Mingo Central, 6 p.m.
Jan. 9: *Scott, 6 p.m.
Jan. 13: *at Poca, 7 p.m.
Jan. 16: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20: *Sissonville, 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: *at Logan, 7 p.m.
Jan. 27: at Sherman, 7 p.m.
Jan. 30: *at Nitro, 7 p.m.
Feb. 3: *Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6: *Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10: *at Wayne, 7 p.m.
Feb. 17: at Man, 7 p.m.
*Cardinal Conference game