The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 28, 2013

Woodrow-Shady Spring matchup a big non-BAC game

The Big Atlantic Classic — which begins today at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center — will capture the attention of basketball fans all over the state this week, but there’s one area game that is sure to pull some fans away from what’s probably the state’s biggest basketball showcase, at least for one night.

Woodrow Wilson beat Shady Spring 80-67 on Dec. 17, 2011, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, but that’s the only time the two county schools have played in the last 10 years. They’ll meet again tonight, though, when the Flying Eagles make the trip across town to play at the home of the Tigers at 7:30 p.m.

Shady Spring probably wishes it had caught Woodrow Wilson a little earlier in the season. Beckley, at one point, was 4-4 and suffering through a run of four losses in five games that included a three-game losing streak at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center for the first time ever.

Since then, though, Woodrow has caught fire. Using relentless defense and an up-tempo offense, the Flying Eagles are living up to their name. They’ve won four straight, including their last two road games.

Donte Nabors leads the way, averaging close to 20 points per game, and senior point guard Andrew Johnson and forward Chase Hancock are both double-figure scorers, as well.

Shady Spring, though, always has a chance any time Chase Connor takes the floor. The senior point guard is one of the area’s top scorers, knocking on the door of 25 points per game. He can knock down 3-pointers from any spot on the court, often an equalizer against deeper teams.

Jacob Buckland is a force inside and had 22 points in the loss to Wyoming East last week.

Prior to that, though, the Tigers (7-5) had won seven in a row, and with nearly a week between games, they’re sure to have a plan for the Flying Eagles (8-4) on their home floor.

OTHER GAMES THIS WEEK

As always, the Big Atlantic Classic will provide intriguing matchups throughout the week.

It starts tonight in Class AA boys action when No. 1 Bluefield takes on No. 10 Westside at 7:25 p.m. The Class A nightcap, scheduled for a 9 p.m. start, pits No. 12 Tygarts Valley against No. 8 Valley.

Tuesday’s big game is a Class AA boys contest, with No. 3 Wyoming East against No. 5 Robert C. Byrd.

On Wednesday, the national game will pit Oak Hill Academy against Montrose Christian, and the Class A boys championship is sure to be a battle of ranked teams, as well.

Thursday’s slate has Class AAA No. 11 Parkersburg South against Class AA No. 3 Nicholas County in girls action, as well as Class AAA No. 9 Preston against Class AAA No. 10 George Washington.

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