The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

High School Sports

December 28, 2012

Family Healthcare Classic under way at Wyoming East

NEW RICHMOND — Snow and icy conditions have canceled many events around the region recently, but a little winter wasn’t going to keep the fans out of the stands for Wyoming County’s Family Healthcare Classic.

The event, in its eighth season, kicked off Thursday evening at Wyoming East High School, as the Warriors welcomed in Fairmont Senior, Point Pleasant and county rival Westside.

In the first game of the double feature, Fairmont Senior defeated Westside 74-60.

The Polar Bears were led by an impressive frontcourt duo of Travon Horton and Jarin Hilson, who combined for 43 points.

Westside was plagued by early foul trouble when big man Justin Cogar picked up two fouls in the first quarter. The Polar Bears capitalized on the lack of presence in the lane and continued to work the ball inside to Horton and fellow senior DeVante’ Waites. Waites used his 14-point first half to help the Polar Bears jump out to a 35-17 lead at the half.

Cogar’s foul trouble made it hard for the Renegade offense to find an identity, without a major scoring threat while the big man sat out early. The 6-foot-3 sophomore netted only two points in the first half.

Horton was on fire in the third quarter, racking up 14 points, including an impressive slam dunk when he caught the Renegade defense sleeping.

Westside shifted to an aggressive press late in the game. However, it was too little too late for the Renegades.

“We just didn’t play well,” Westside coach Nick Cook said. “We were good in spots but we were so inconsistent.

“We were supposed to be playing with pressure early in the game, but kids will do what they want to.”

The two teams were very familiar with each other, having played just six days earlier.

“We knew who they were and we knew what they were going to do but we couldn’t stop it,” Cook said. “We did what we did in the last game and they did the same.”

Westside will play Point Pleasant at 6 p.m. today.

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The second game of the night saw the host Wyoming East Warriors taking on the Point Pleasant Big Blacks.

The Warriors took care of business, making easy work of Point Pleasant 92- 40.

East was firing on all cylinders in the first half, going on an 11-0 run early in the first quarter that led to Point Pleasant coach Josh Williams to call two timeouts in the first three minutes of play.

“It’s just the intensity factor,” East coach Rory Chapman said after the game. “They shied away from the intensity, it set the tone. We’d have a five-point run or a 10-point run and really set the tone.”

The Warriors were led by senior Brett Bowling. The 6-4 forward had 21 points, 13 in the first quarter.

“We were playing good defense and scoring off of transition,” Bowling said. “Our guards were making good passes and were finding the hole. We do a lot of post moves in practice, a lot of drills, and it’s helped all of our post players.”

Chapman’s boys were an impressive 13 for 17 from the free-throw line.

“It’s just something we’re working on,” Chapman remarked. “This team may be better than any I’ve ever coached at the line. It’s helped us win some games this season and helped us win this game tonight.”

The Warriors welcomed junior Tyler Lester back to the team, his first game in over a year. He had 11 points.

“He’s another guy who can score in the post,” Chapman said of Lester. “He’s intense the entire game. He’s hungry. It’s been a long layoff for him. He’s got his practices in and he’s finally ready to go.”

Wyoming East will take on Fairmont Senior tonight, following the Westside and Point Pleasant game.

“They’re really good. They remind me a lot of Woodrow (Wilson),” Chapman said of Fairmont. “Their offense might even be better than Woodrow. It’s a great challenge for us.”

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