The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 16, 2014

Busy hoops weekend ahead

Intriguing games highlight boys and girls slate

Who says you have to wait until March for good basketball?

This weekend’s schedule includes plenty of intriguing action around the area with matchups of ranked teams, rivalries, unique locations and tournaments all combining for two days full of hoops action — as long as Mother Nature cooperates.

Here’s a look at the top games around the area.

Friday

Nicholas County at

Liberty (Boys)

After rising to No. 8 in the latest Class AA polls, Liberty has lost back-to-back games to Westside and Oak Hill by a combined 36 points. The Raiders — led by Trevor McGhee (19.4 ppg) — are desperate for a win to get back on track.

Nicholas County won’t make it easy. The No. 11 team in AA this week, the Grizzlies (5-2) had won five straight before falling at Clay County in a tight contest on Saturday. They’ve had five days to learn from that loss and will surely take the court hungry.

Cody McClung leads the NCHS scoring attack, averaging 17.7 points per game, while Jared Tharp is averaging a little more than 16 points each time out.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Oak Hill at

Westside (Boys)

The Red Devils (3-4) look to be improved under first-year head coach Wes Brown, but they came up short with opportunities for signature wins against Winfield, Woodrow Wilson and Wyoming East. They’ll get another chance today on the road against Class AA’s fourth-ranked squad.

The Jones brothers will have to play a big role if Oak Hill wants to pull off the upset. Jalen is averaging 13.7 points per game, while Josh is averaging 10.6.

Westside (7-1) has its signature wins, beating Greenbrier East, Liberty and Tug Valley twice. The Renegades will be going for their fourth straight, trying to build momentum with a Tuesday visit to the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center to take on Woodrow looming ahead.

The Renegades have been playing without leading scorer Corey Bowles, who’s been out with a knee injury, but Justin Cogar has scored 38, 19 and 24 points the last three games with Bowles out of the lineup. Will Fox (11.9 ppg), Justin Kenneda (11.5 ppg) and Levi Lambert (10.5 ppg) are also double-figure scorers.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Shady Spring at

Independence (Boys)

This is a big one for both teams, mostly because it’s an old rivalry. But both are also desperate for a win.

The Tigers (3-5) have lost five straight, including lopsided losses at Wyoming East and Woodrow the last two times out. They’re led by Steven Chhabra, who’s scoring 12 points per game, and Jordan Meadows, who has hit 27 3-pointers in eight games.

Independence (0-8) is still searching for its first win of the season. Cody Collins averages 7.3 points per game for the Patriots.

Shady won the first meeting between the two schools 73-52 on Dec. 19.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Winfield at

Woodrow Wilson

(Boys)

Some like it. Others don’t. Either way, the Flying Eagles (4-2) will make history today when they host a game at the Woodrow Wilson High School Gymnasium for the first time ever. Woodrow, ranked No. 9 in Class AAA, has won three straight and is getting healthy with the return of Brent Osborne to the lineup. Donte Nabors is also close to making his return. Noah Hancock leads the squad with 11.2 points per game, while Osborne has chipped in 10.8 since his return. Dai Dai Fortune (10.5 ppg) and Nequan Carrington (10.2 ppg) are also averaging double figures.

Winfield (5-3) started the season fast, moving to 5-0 including a win over Wheeling Park. But the Generals have lost three straight and fell out of the top 10.

Water and weather issues forced the last two Winfield games to be canceled, and the Generals will take the floor for the first time in 13 days tonight. Three players are averaging more than 16 points per game, including John Bellomy (18.6), Zach Fisher (18.3) and Toby Show (16.7).

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Logan at

Greenbrier East

(Boys)

Logan (4-5) has had an up and down season and has lost three of its last five, but the Wildcats could get a major shot in the arm with a win over the Spartans, ranked No. 5 in Class AAA. The Wildcats are led by 6-foot senior Brynden Street, who’s averaging 11.9 points per game. Zac Miller, a 5-10 senior, is averaging 11.3 points per outing.

East (8-3) saw a five-game winning streak snapped Tuesday with a loss to Oak Hill Academy, the No. 3 team in the country. Led by Wake Forest signee Rondale Watson (24 ppg) and St. Joseph’s signee Obi Romeo, a walking double-double, the Spartans believe they learned from that difficult contest and look to continue the brand of basketball that helped them pick up wins over Woodrow Wilson and Bluefield in back-to-back games.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Logan at

Greenbrier East

(Girls)

The Class AAA No. 2 Lady Spartans (9-0) will put their undefeated record on the line for what will likely be their biggest test to this point when the No. 7 Logan Lady Wildcats make a visit to Fairlea for a 7:30 p.m. tip.

Logan (7-3) has won four straight and seven of its last eight, including wins over Morgantown and Huntington. The Lady Wildcats are led by Monica Mitchell — a 6-2 sophomore center — and Shayna Gore. Both double-double candidates every time out, Mitchell with rebounds and Gore with assists.

East is paced by Chaunte McDowell’s 22.6 points per game and 12.7 points from Sydney Nunley.

PikeView at

Summers County

(Girls)

Summers County’s perfect mark, kept alive with a four-overtime win over Bluefield on Tuesday, will also be put to the test against Class AA No. 7 PikeView (9-2), which came within a point of knocking off AA No. 1 Westside on Wednesday and beat Bluefield in the season opener.

The Lady Bobcats (10-0), ranked No. 3 in Class AA, are led by Brandy Morrison, who’s averaging a little more than 26 points per game. Freshmen Whittney and Brittney Justice have combined for more than 25 points per outing.

Lyndsay Hatfield is PikeView’s top scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game, followed by Madison May (13.4 ppg) and Courtney White (11.2 ppg).

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Greater Beckley vs.

Hurricane (Boys)

The Hatfield-McCoy Shootout at the Williamson Fieldhouse will provide an intriguing Class A vs. Class AAA matchup when Greater Beckley, ranked No. 2 in Class A, meets up with Hurricane, the 12th-ranked team in the state’s largest class at 5 p.m.

The Crusaders (7-0) are playing with plenty of momentum after a strong start that included a win over defending Class A champion Tug Valley last week. They’re led by Elisha Kidd, who’s averaging nearly 20 points per outing, and Javonne Staunton-Bailey, who’s averaging 18.1.

Hurricane (6-2) has won four of its last five, and its only losses this season came against Class AAA No. 3 Capital and No. 9 Woodrow Wilson. Henry Sorsaia is averaging 23.4 points and 14.4 rebounds per game for the Redskins.

— E-mail: chuffman

@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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