INEZ, Ky. — The legend of Obinna Anochili-Killen keeps on growing.
Anochili-Killen, Chapmanville Regional High School’s 6-foot-9 all-state center, already has a name for himself, having burst onto the West Virginia high school basketball scene as a freshman and leading the Tigers to a Class AA state runner-up finish and back-to-back state championships in his three seasons.
Last Saturday night in the Tigers’ preseason game against Louisville Trinity at the Zip Zone Classic at Martin County High School in Inez, Kentucky, he had an ESPN Sportscenter-like highlight.
With the Tigers trailing 61-60 and only four seconds left in the game, Anochil-Killen took the inbounds pass, dribbled down court and sank a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer, lifting Chapmanville to a 63-61 win over the Kentucky team. The highlight clip was something of a sensation on social media and the video soon went rival.
Tigers’ players stormed the court after the clutch game-winner by the Marshall University signee.
Anochili-Killen finished with a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds. He also had five blocked shots.
Andrew Shull contributed 13 points and five assists, while Philip Mullins also broke into double digits in scoring with 10 points. Isaiah Smith had five points and Isaac Butcher two.
Anochili-Killen averaged 15.2 points a game last year and is a versatile all-around player with his defense, shot blocking ability, court presence, and, of late, his outside shooting.
“He can play any position on the court,” Chapmanville coach Brad Napier said. “He’s worked for it. He was never a kid who came in here and waved a magic wand and was great. He really put in hours and hours and hours. He’s been a great one to watch.”
The Tigers certainly defeated no slouch in Louisville Trinity.
Let’s put this in perspective.
The Shamrocks were last year’s state champions in Kentucky and capped off a 30-8 season with a 50-40 win over Scott County in the state finals.
Trinity defeated Johnson Central (70-28), in the Sweet Sixteen round, then knocked off Ashland Paul Blazer (60-30) in the Elite Eight and Campbell County (42-40) in the Final Four.
In Kentucky, there are no classifications for the state tournament as all the big schools and small schools are thrown into 16 regions with each regional winner advancing to play in the state tournament at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.
So on Saturday night, Chapmanville, West Virginia’s two-time defending Class AA state champions, knocked off last year’s state champion in the entire state of Kentucky.
Chapmanville is scheduled to tip off the season on Dec. 14 in Rock Hill, South Carolina in the Battle of the Rock.
The Tigers then play at Nitro on Dec. 17 and host the inaugural multi-team, multi-game Country Roads Classic Dec. 19-21 at home.
The Tigers have won 48 straight games against West Virginia teams dating back to the 2017 season.
Counting the 27-1 state championship season in 2017-18 and last year’s 26-2 mark, Chapmanville is 53-3 over the last two years, an amazing 94.6 percent winning clip.
Since taking over the CRHS team in the 2015-16 season, Napier has a 93-17 record, an 84.5 winning percentage. Napier has led Chapmanville to four straight state tournaments and has an 8-2 mark in the state tourney.
COUNTRY ROADS CLASSIC: CRHS is excited to host the first-ever Country Roads Classic, Dec. 19-21 at Chapmanville’s Danny Godby Gymnasium.
The classic brings in several out-of-state powerhouses.
Action begins on Dec. 19 as Tolsia plays Beth Haven Christian at 5:30 p.m. The 7 p.m. game has Tug Valley taking on Man. Then at 8:30, Beckley Prep takes on ISA Osborne, Ohio.
On Dec. 20 at 5 p.m., Henderson Collegiate, North Carolina takes on the Beckley Prep IJN team, coached by former Harts and Chapmanville player Justin Dempsey.
The 6:30 game has Teays Valley squaring off with the Miller School out of Virginia. The 8 p.m. nightcap has Chapmanville playing ISA Osborne.
The classic closes on Dec. 21 with five games. At 2:30 p.m., the Beckley Prep IJN squad plays Beth Haven.
Game 2 at 4 p.m. has Man battling Nitro. The third game at 5:30 pits Henderson Collegiate against Wyoming East. Then at 7 p.m., Greater Beckley Christian squares off with Winton Wood, Ohio. Then finale at 8:30 p.m. has Chapmanville taking on the Miller School.
Chapmanville is slated to play its final preseason game on Saturday at 2 p.m. at home against Class AAA Beckley Woodrow Wilson.
SEASON TO TIP OFF: The 2019-20 prep basketball season is set to tip off this week for Logan County’s three girls’ teams.
The Man High School Lady Billies were slated to host Westside on Tuesday, while the CRHS girls played at Herbert Hoover.
Then on Friday, the Chapmanville girls are set to play in Tolsia High School’s Lady Rebel Shootout against Grace Christian, Kentucky, at 6 p.m. Host Tolsia plays Lawrence County, Kentucky, at 7:45 p.m. The consolation game is Saturday at 5 with the championship game to follow at 7.
Then on Dec. 9, the Chapmanville girls play at Scott, while the Logan girls head to Herbert Hoover and the Man girls host Van.
The Logan boys open the season on Dec. 10 at Herbert Hoover.
On Dec. 11, the Lady Tigers head to Mingo Central.
Then on Dec. 12, the Man boys open the season at home against Mercer Christian. Also that night, the Logan girls play at Wayne and the Man girls travel to Phelps, Kentucky.