Most everyone in the state has known for two years that Chapmanville is one of the best boys basketball teams in Class AA.
But now maybe it’s time to consider the Tigers as one of the top teams in West Virginia regardless of classification.
Senior guard Drew Williamson turned in a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds and broke the school career scoring record Tuesday evening as Chapmanville Regional used a second-half burst to capture a 60-42 victory over Class AAA defending champion Huntington.
The contest was one of the high-profile games played during the Little General Shootout at the Big House at West Virginia State’s Walker Convocation Center. It paired last season’s AA runner-up and current No. 2 team in the state against a Highlanders program that has won three of the last four AAA titles.
Huntington played without its leading scorer, senior all-stater Mikal Dawson, who injured his hand in Monday’s win against Cabell Midland and sat out the game as a precautionary measure.
That wasn’t the only injury to cast a damper on Tuesday’s card at the Shootout. In the game that followed, another battle of AAA contender versus AA contender, high-scoring Logan sophomore guard David Early sat out his team’s game against AAA Woodrow Wilson with a knee injury. The Flying Eagles broke it open in the second half and won 70-49.
Chapmanville (14-1), which took its eighth straight, trailed Huntington 33-32 about halfway through the third quarter Tuesday before going on a 26-3 run fueled by several steals and breakaway layups at the other end.
“We hit some shots,’’ said Tigers coach Brad Napier, “and we kind of got going on defense and in transition. We didn’t get any transition in the first half, I thought.’’
Chapmanville did, however, can six of its 10 shots from 3-point range in the first half as the teams were tied at 28.
“We actually finally shot the ball good,’’ Napier said. “We’ve been struggling from the field the last four, five games, but tonight we were able to make some shots.’’
Huntington (11-5), meanwhile, saw the bottom fall out of its shooting in the second half, going 6 of 24 from the field.
“We just didn’t hit any shots,’’ said Highlanders coach Ron Hess. “Sometimes that happens in basketball.’’
Andrew Shull led Huntington with 14 points and Amare Smith added 12, but they could have sorely used Dawson’s nearly 22 points per game average.
“It does affect us,’’ Hess said, “but these kids know they can step up. We don’t have to have Mikal to play well. I think it was more like our legs looked a little bit dead. It was our ninth game in three weeks — three games every week. It looks like we’ve lost our legs a little bit.’’
Napier said his players were looking forward to playing against Dawson.
“We hated to not see him out there,’’ Napier said, “but it’s the time of year where a lot of guys are hurt or sick. Obinna [Killen] had the flu and we weren’t sure he would play tonight. A lot of teams are battling that right now.’’
Killen, Chapmanville’s 6-foot-9 sophomore, scored just six points but donated 13 rebounds and four blocks. Devin Collins nailed four 3s and tallied 14 points for the Tigers and Kyle Browning added 10 points.
Woodrow Wilson 70, Logan 49: In the next game, Woodrow Wilson (11-5) didn’t break away from short-handed Logan until the midway point of the third quarter, with a 19-4 run to end the period giving the Flying Eagles a 56-34 edge.
The Wildcats had problems holding onto the ball and finished with 26 turnovers. Early, who averages about 23 ppg, is also one of the team’s top ball-handlers. He is out indefinitely after tweaking his knee Saturday at Nitro.
Ty Walton and Bryce Radford each scored 15 points to pace Woodrow. Mikey Penn added 13 with seven rebounds and Eddie Christian tallied 11 points. Walton also grabbed seven rebounds and the Eagles drained 11 3-pointers.
For Logan (12-6), Dino Noe, Terrance Chapman and Mitchell Hainer scored 10 points apiece. Peter Noe landed nine rebounds and Dino Noe seven for the Wildcats.