CHAPMANVILLE — No one will ever accuse Brad Napier of being soft on his team’s schedule.
Except for maybe a couple of Cardinal Conference teams that might be down this season there are no cupcakes.
There’s really none at all on the 2019-20 Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball schedule.
Is it the toughest schedule in school history?
“Probably,” Napier said.
Even more, it might be one of the toughest schedules ever produced by a high school basketball team in state history.
If the Tigers are able to make it back to a fourth straight state tournament and have a chance to defend their two state titles Chapmanvillle will certainly be battle tested.
To say the least.
Dotting the Tigers’ schedule are out-of-state showcases, games against prep schools and also matchups against top area teams and conference teams such as Poca, a state tournament team from a year ago.
“I was talking to one of Marshall’s assistant coaches over a month a ago and I showed him our schedule and he said that he can’t ever remember a West Virginia team playing a schedule that tough, especially early in the year,” Napier said. “We’re definitely challenging our guys early in the season and we’re just hoping that it pays off late in the year for us.”
Chapmanville, 26-2 and winners of back-to-back Class AA state championships, have won 48 straight games against in-state competition, going undefeated the last two seasons.
The Tigers have a 15-game winning streak overall going into the season opener.
The Tigers are set to tip off the roundball campaign on Dec. 14 at the Battle of the Rock in Rock Hill, S.C.
Chapmanville plays Christ Chuch Episcopal, a team out of Greenville, South Carolina.
“They have a really good program,” Napier said. “They have a 7-footer, who is a really good player.”
One of the highlights of the entire season is Chapmanville hosting the first-ever Country Roads Classic Dec. 19-21 at Danny Godby Gymnasium.
The three-day multi-team showcase is loaded.
The Tigers are slated to play two prep schools in the CRC against ISA Osbourne (Ohio) and the Miller School from Virginia.
“Our tournament here will have a lot of big-time teams coming to it,” Napier said. “It’s a three-day event. Right now, we’re scheduled to play ISA Osbourne out of Cleveland. They have three top 100 players in the country. Then we are playing the Miller School out of Virginia and they have some top Division I guys. We’re supposed to play them on the last day on the 21st. They are a big time program. They have one high major kid and three more mid-major Division I guys.”
Napier said Chapmanville is excited about hosting the home showcase for area hoop fans.
“There’s a new team that we got into the mix just recently but I want to make sure and get a confirmation,” the said. “There was originally a Canadian team coming but they decided not to come so we’ve added some new teams.”
The following weekend over Christmas break, Chapmanville again hosts the four-team Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament, Dec. 27-28.
Chapmanville defeated Fairmont Senior 48-45 in last year’s memorable Bob Runyon championship game in a rematch of the 2018 state finals. The Tigers would go on to defeat the Polar Bears again in last year’s state championship game, 60-46. CRHS has beaten Fairmont Senior three straight times.
The Tigers are set to take on Mount View on the first night of the tourney on Dec. 27. The other first-round match-up has Logan County’s Beth Haven Christian School taking on Woodland Hills, a school in Pittsburgh.
“Beth Haven is a replacement team. We had a school coming from Virginia, Liberty High School, but they backed out late,” Napier said. “Beth Haven will be a lot better this year than they have been in the past.”
Other top games are ahead as well.
On Jan. 3, the Tigers play Wheeling Park in the Cancer Research Classic. Then then next day, CRHS heads downstate to Beckley to play in the New River Shootout.
Later on Jan. 11, Chapmanville heads to the Keystone State to take part in the Pittsburgh Winter Jamfest.
“In Pittsburgh, we play Aspire Academy out of Louisville, a prep school,” Napier said. “They have already played a top five team in the country and it was a three-point game at halftime. They are really good.”
Then on Jan. 25, the Tigers are going out of state again in the FCA Prep Showcase in Bristol, Virginia.
“I’m not sure who we play yet down there. They’ve not yet sent me a schedule,” Napier said.
Other top games are on the schedule as well.
The Tigers have a home-and-home series with county and sectional rival Logan. Chapmanville plays at Logan on Jan. 14 and hosts the Wildcats on Feb. 4.
Chapmanville beat Logan three times last season before capacity crowds.
The Tigers escaped with a 51-47 win at home last year over Logan before a Danny Godby Gymnasium crowd of 1,550.
Then a little more than a week later, Chapmanville went to Logan and won 59-53 over the Wildcats before an overflow crowd of around 3,000 at Willie Akers Arena.
The team met for a third time in the Class AA sectional finals at Mingo Central as the Tigers prevailed 68-55 to win their fourth straight sectional championship. Chapmanville was ranked No. 1 in the state, while Logan was third.
Chapmanville has beaten Logan eight straight times, taking 65-46, 52-45 and 57-40 wins over the Cats two seasons ago. The latter was in the sectional finals, also at Mingo Central.
In the 2016-17 season, Chapmanville also swept the season series with Logan with 67-60 and 73-62 victories. Before this season, the Tigers had not defeated Logan since the 1950s.
In another tough game this season, the Tigers travel to Poca on Jan. 17. The Dots defeated Logan in one of last year’s regional co-championship games to reach the state tournament. Chapmanville was a 107-52 winner over Nitro in the other co-regional final.
Chapmanville routed Poca 76-51 last season at home.
CRHS also has home-and-homes with sectional foes Scott and Mingo Central.
2019-20 Chapmanville Regional High School
Boys’ Basketball Schedule:
Dec. 14: at Battle of the Rock (Rock Hill, S.C.), TBA
Dec. 17: *at Nitro, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20-21: Country Roads Showcase, TBA
Dec. 27-28: Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament, TBA
Jan. 3: vs. Wheeling Park (Cancer Research Classic), TBA
Jan. 4: at New River Shootout, Beckley, TBA
Jan. 7: *Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 11: at Pittsburgh Winter Jamfest, TBA
Jan. 14: *at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: *at Poca, 7 p.m.
Jan. 25: at FCA Prep Showcase, Bristol, Va., TBA
Jan. 28: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31: *at Wayne, 7 p.m.
Feb. 1: *Winfield. 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: *Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 11: *at Mingo Central, 7 p.m.
Feb. 14: *at Herbert Hoover, 7 p.m.
Feb. 18: *Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 21: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25: *Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
*Cardinal Conference game