HURRICANE, W.Va. - Hurricane couldn't be flying higher.The top-seeded Redskins scored the first 20 points in soaring past third-seeded Nitro 75-45 Friday night in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 championship game. A crowd of about 600 attended at Hurricane High School.Hurricane (19-5), No. 10 in the final Associated Press poll, will host Logan in the Region 4 co-finals at 7 p.m. Tuesday while Nitro (11-13), which upset second-seeded Winfield in the sectional semifinals, visits Huntington.Huntington defeated Logan 49-36 in the Region 4 Section 2 title game Friday. The region co-finals winners advance to the state tournament March 13-16 at the Charleston Civic Center.
Redskins junior post Henry Sorsaia netted a game-high 26 points, including 12 of the team's first 20, and secured 13 rebounds with two blocks.Hurricane only missed one shot in taking a 20-0 lead with 2:22 left in the opening quarter and was 10 of 14 during the first period in forging ahead 24-2, with 18 of the points coming on layups."We got a lot of easy buckets in the first half,'' said Sorsaia, who made 11 of 12 shots on layups or putbacks and scored all his points before halftime."We were running the floor getting layups, shots kept falling and it kept building our confidence. We always look to start off like that. It might be me one night, it might be [Trey] Dawson or it could be Rasaan [Harris]. Whoever is hot knows when to shoot.''
Hurricane tallied the first nine points of the second quarter in building a 33-2 advantage with 5:40 to go before the break and held a 49-17 edge at intermission. Sorsaia turned in stretches where he tallied eight straight points in the first quarter and nine in a row in the second."[Hurricane] jumped on us early and we didn't respond really well,'' said Nitro coach Brian Faber. "Hurricane was ready. They're very aggressive, physical and they're playing with a lot of confidence. We get to play again Tuesday. I hoped we weren't satisfied [beating Winfield].''Nitro senior Angelo Sirianni scored 25 points, but missed all six shots in the opening quarter and had only four at halftime as Hurricane senior guard Ian Miles locked down defensively."[Our players] came out with intensity,'' said Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland. "[The sectional semifinal against] Point Pleasant was kind of tight in the first quarter, then the second quarter is when we stepped up. We told them, 'We can't wait that long because Nitro's just way too good. We got to get up and take them out.'''Dawson, the Redskins' sophomore forward, notched 14 points, four assists and three steals while Harris, the senior point guard, contributed seven points, seven boards, five assists and two steals. Hurricane junior forward Ace Estep added eight points, Miles finished with seven points and six rebounds and junior forward Garrett DeFries had seven points.Sutherland said the confidence that the Redskins are exhibiting is coming from within."That's senior leadership,'' said the Hurricane coach. "That's Rasaan and Ian. They're leading the team. Ian won the state soccer championship, so he knows what it takes.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.