The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

January 5, 2014

Area girls powerhouses remain undefeated

Greenbrier East, Westside, Summers off to fine starts

Greenbrier East, Westside and Summers County were the last three area girls basketball teams to win state championships.

They’ve got their eyes on the same prize this season. After a little over a month of play, the three squads are still unbeaten.

East is 7-0, following wins Dec. 27-28 over Point Pleasant and Preston County in the Spartan Holiday Tournament in Fairlea. Jim Justice’s club was the 2012 Class AAA state champion, and was undefeated last year before losing a stunner to unheralded Capital in the Region 3 co-finals.

Summers downed Chapmanville 73-56 Saturday in a tournament at Charleston Catholic. Wayne Ryan’s 6-0 club won five straight championships, from 2007-2011, but was rocked by injuries the past two seasons.

Westside has played just four games, but two were quality wins over Class AA regional rivals Bluefield and PikeView, and the others came over tough competition in a tournament in Kentucky Dec. 20-21.

Jamie Lusk’s Lady Renegades won the 2012 AA title, but fell short to Bridgeport and state player of the year Miki Glenn in last year’s final at the Charleston Civic Center.

All three teams have shown quality play, from both starters and the bench.

n Not surprisingly, the area’s top three scorers are from each of the undefeated teams. Summers senior center Brandy Morrison has been phenomenal, scoring at a 31.2-point clip for the Lady Bobcats.

Although slender in size, Morrison has worked hard in the weight room and uses her length and quickness for added advantage.

While Ryan is getting solid play from all eight or nine players in his rotation, twin freshmen Whittney (13.4 ppg) and Brittney Justice are definite stars of the future.

n It’s Chaunté McDowell’s turn to shine at Greenbrier East, and the senior guard has risen to the occasion. She played somewhat in the background behind all-stater Bianca André the past two seasons, but she’s come on strong to average 23.1 points for the Lady Spartans.

Newcomer Sidney Nunley averages 11.3 points, giving East a strong inside presence to complement McDowell’s play on the outside.

n State player of the year candidate Hope Lester is averaging 22.5 points on a team where the top eight or nine players are capable of double figures, depending on who is hitting.

Lester wowed fans at the Civic Center with her all-around play as a freshman. Few centers have her ballhandling ability, not to mention her shooting touch. Since then she’s worked not only to extend her range — she’s now a definite threat from beyond the 3-point arc — but also to drive to the basket.

Although Westside has had a long break from actual games, the time off might have been a good thing for Lusk’s charges. Several players were in slumps, and all-state guard Danielle Brown has battled injury.

n There’s quality beyond the three undefeateds. PikeView is 7-1, having lost a tough one to Westside early in the season. Lyndsey Hatfield is sixth in area scoring at 15.8 ppg.

Bluefield, Wyoming East, Webster County and Pocahontas County are each 6-2. Bluefield stopped Wyoming East Saturday night, 61-49, in a foul-marred game at the Brushfork Armory.

Webster has won six consecutive games after opening the season with two losses in the Rogers Oil Classic in Hinton. Pocahontas is 5-1 since going 1-1 in the same tournament and has two players in the area Top 10 in scoring, Tristin Day (18.8) and Bobbie McNabb (15.8).

Three other teams playing at or above .500 are Fayetteville (4-3), Midland Trail (4-2) and Nicholas County (3-3).

Freshman Kendall Malay is eighth in area scoring with a 14.3 average for Fayetteville.

— E-mail:; Register-Herald sports clerk Rusty Udy contributed statistics for this story.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo