By Cam Huffman
When Greenbrier West walked off the field Saturday after the Class A championship football game, basketball season officially began in southern West Virginia.
The girls are already under way, and many of the boys teams will begin this week.
Highlighting the schedule is the Rogers Oil Classic Girls’ Basketball Tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Summers County High School.
The tournament will feature middle school, junior varsity and varsity games.
At 3:30 p.m. Friday, Summers County’s JV team will play Pocahontas County JV. That’s followed by Clay County and Pocahontas County in a varsity game at 5:30. Summers County and Webster County will round out the action with a varsity game at 7:45.
On Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Summers County’s seventh-grade girls team will play Marlington’s middle school team, prior to a matchup of the schools’ eighth-grade girls at 2 p.m. Summers’ JV team will play Pocahontas’ JV team at 4 p.m.
The varsity consolation game begins at 6 p.m., followed by the championship game at 7:45.
Another feature of the tournament will be a performance by Seth Franko, sponsored by the Summers County Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The ball handling guru will perform at 6:45 on Friday night.
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The tournament won’t be the only location for quality girls basketball.
Class AA No. 1 Westside, which fell short of a state championship last year with a loss in the title game, hosts a Bluefield team with something to prove after getting just one vote in the AA poll tonight. Also tonight, Class A No. 9 Valley will be at No. 14 Fayetteville for an early sectional preview.
Valley will test itself again on Friday when they travel to face No. 17 Charleston Catholic.
Nicholas County is ranked No. 9 in Class AA and has lofty expectations, despite losing a pair of all-staters off of last year’s club, which won a game in the Class AA state tournament before bowing out. The Lady Grizzlies will get an early test when they travel to No. 5 Sissonville on Saturday.
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There’s plenty of action on the boys’ side, as well, beginning with Thursday’s rivalry game in Mercer County when Class AAA Princeton hosts Class AA No. 1 and defending champion Bluefield. The Tigers beat the Beavers twice last season, but without Ryan Meadows, Princeton has something to prove this time around.
On Friday, the focus will be on Fairlea, where Class AAA No. 6 Greenbrier East hosts Class AA No. 3 Westside. It will be an early test for a pair of teams that believe they can be title contenders in March.
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Get all the information you need to follow the 2013-14 hoops season in our basketball preview edition in Saturday’s Register-Herald. Full previews of all area teams will be included, as well as rosters, pictures and schedules.
— E-mail: chuffman
@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.