The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 13, 2014

Class A wins at Scott Brown Classic

Breckenridge, MVP George score 21 apiece in victory over Class AA

BECKLEY — The C. Adam Toney Class A All-Stars had something to prove Saturday afternoon at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. While the 10 players who made up the roster may have come from smaller schools, they weren’t small in talent.

Class A defeated Jan-Care Ambulance Class AA All-Stars 109-102 in the first game of the Scott Brown Employer’s Innovative Network Classic.

The Class AA team, coached by state championship-winning coach Buster Large of Bluefield, seemed on paper to have enough talent to win by a large margin, but as is often said, games aren’t won on paper.

“(The Class AA team) was loaded but I think we were loaded, too,” Class A coach Dan Burd of Greater Beckley Christian said. “That’s how it happened. We had great players and they had great players. I thought either team could win. I told them before we came out that the team that plays the hardest would win.”

C. Adam Toney was led by the play of Class A first-team all-state selection Nick George of Charleston Catholic. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior scored 21 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the victory, earning him MVP honors.

“Man, it’s amazing to play with all these guys,” George said after the game. “These are the best guys in the state and they all deserved it. It’s a fun way to go out and play one of my last games of basketball.”

Three other Class A players scored in double figures — Tug Valley’s Thomas Baisden with 13, Midland Trail’s Ricky Carter with 16 and Valley’s Raeshawn Breckenridge, who matched George’s 21 points.

Breckenridge, who missed Friday night’s practice due to baseball season, was ecstatic after the game.

“It was a good experience — especially coming from a small town like mine,” he said with a smile. “It was a good feeling to be a single-A team beating a double-A team. I mean, I always thought the single-A was better anyways.”

It seems Dave Barksdale Court has become a bit of a lucky charge for Burd, who joked that Greater Beckley Christian should schedule all its games there from now on. His Crusaders went undefeated there this season. The game was a special one for Burd, as he was able to coach his star pupil Javonne Staunton-Bailey one final time. Staunton-Bailey finished the night with 12 rebounds.

“I’m glad we got a win for coach,” Staunton-Bailey said. “It’s been an honor to play for his team.”

Burd wasn’t the only coach who would be saying goodbye to some of his most successful pupils. Class AA coach Large would also instruct his trio of Anthony Eades, Lykel Collier and Michael Yost for the final time. The three Beavers started the game with Region 3 rivals Corey Bowles of Westside and Zach Meadows of PikeView.

“Ya know, it was great to see them back in uniform,” a smiling but emotional Large said. “All these seniors, too. They’ve been some great talent in southern West Virginia for four years and I’m proud to be a part of it and coach against all these other great kids.”

The Jan-Care Class AA team finished with six players in double figures. Wyoming East’s Taron Ayers led the team with 23, Collier scored 13, Eades 12, Bowles 11, Meadows 10 and Summers County’s Terry Smith had 11.

“They’re so good,” George said of his Class AA opponents. “They’re unbelievable. I thought we played really hard for an all-star game. I thought we picked up the pace and played good defense. We all had a good game and played together.”

Class A led in almost every statistical category, but seemed to run away with the game on the boards. The smaller squad outrebounded Class AA 79-47.

Perhaps it was just Class A showing it was good enough to compete with anyone — something Large agreed with.

“Daggone right they’re good,” the longtime Bluefield coach said. “They shot well. They rebounded well. That goes to tell you about the caliber of basketball in southern West Virginia and the great small schools we have here.”

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