The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 29, 2013

Woodrow Wilson boys back in Class AAA rankings at No. 10

A few short weeks ago, positioning in the rankings was the last thing on the minds of the Woodrow Wilson High School boys basketball team. The Flying Eagles were 4-4, had lost four games in five tries and had dropped three straight at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center for the first time ever.

It looked bad for the 16-time state champions, but many who have watched the Flying Eagles over the years kept repeating the same phrase.

“Just wait,” they said. “They’ll be back.”

The latest Associated Press Class AAA rankings, released Monday, backed up that claim. Winners of four straight heading into Monday’s crosstown matchup with Shady Spring, the Flying Eagles were back in the polls, holding down the No. 10 spot.

South Charleston (13-1) remained No. 1, with Martinsburg (13-2) No. 2 and Morgantown (11-2) No. 3. The Mohigans, though, received some bad news Monday, when their leading scorer, WVU commitment Nathan Adrian, was diagnosed with a broken foot. He’ll be out for the rest of the season.

Greenbrier East (15-0), the only undefeated boys team in the state, is still fighting for respect at No. 4. The Spartans made history last week by beating Tug Valley and Logan to set a new record for the best start in school history. East did receive one first-place vote this week.

Washington, Hedgesville, Parkersburg South, Huntington and George Washington were 5-9 in this week’s poll. Princeton received four votes to come in No. 12.

Bluefield (10-1) continued to lead the way in Class AA, ahead of Poca (13-1) and Wyoming East (10-2). Westside (9-5) was tied for No. 8 with Scott, behind Fairmont Senior, Robert C. Byrd, Webster County and Tolsia, who were 4-7, and ahead of Roane County, which got the final spot in AA. Liberty received five points to come in 12th, while Mount View had a single point to come in 14th.

The race at the top of Class A was a close one. Charleston Catholic recevied five first-place votes and 86 points to hold off Tug Valley, which received four first-place votes and 85 points. Tucker County, Parkersburg Catholic and Magnolia rounded out the top five.

Greater Beckley Christian (7-1) moved up one spot to No. 8, switching places with Valley (8-2), which is now ninth. Greenbrier West (7-2) landed in the final spot in the Class A top 10.

While the Spartans are begging for respect on the boys side, they’re finding plenty of it when it comes to the girls. The defending Class AAA champion Spartans (11-0) were a unanimous choice at the top of Class AAA, beating out Spring Valley, Morgantown and Huntington. Princeton, one of the Spartans’ sectional rivals, was No. 5, ahead of University, Preston, Wheeling Park, George Washington and Parkersburg South.

Westside (14-0) was also a unanimous choice for the top spot in Class AA. The defending champion Renegades, who could meet up with Greenbrier East in the finals of the Big Atlantic Classic if both teams win their opening games, beat out No. 2 Bridgeport. Nicholas County (13-1) was No. 3, ahead of Robert C. Byrd and Clay County in the top five.

Summers County (11-4) came in at No. 6, while Fairmont Senior, Berkeley Springs, Lincoln and Sissonville rounded out the top 10.

Mount View received three votes to place 12th.

Three area teams found their way into the Class A girls poll this week, led by No. 6 Pocahontas County (12-4). The Warriors were behind Saint Joseph Central, St. Mary’s, Wheeling Central, Clay-Battelle and Tucker County.

Valley (8-3) was No. 8, while Fayetteville (8-3) was No. 10. Meadow Bridge received one vote to place 13th.

In total, 10 ranked boys teams — Morgantown, Greenbrier East, Parkersburg South, Woodrow Wilson, Bluefield, Wyoming East, Robert C. Byrd, Westside, Valley and Greenbrier West — and six ranked girls teams — Greenbrier East, Preston, George Washington, Parkersburg South, Westside and Nicholas County — will be at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center for the Big Atlantic Classic this week.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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