As they say aboard ship, full speed ahead.
The Bluefield Beavers forced James Monroe into 23 turnovers and shot 54.7 percent (29 for 53) from the field, cruising past the Mavericks 79-47 on Tuesday night in the Class AA Region 3, Section 2 semifinals.
“I really liked our energy,” said Bluefield head coach Buster Large. “I thought we moved well. We picked up a step tonight. ... It’s the first step to get back to (the state tournament in) Charleston.”
Michael Yost scored nine of his game-high 19 points and Lykel Collier pulled off four of his five steals in the first quarter, in which Bluefield shot 7-for-9 from the floor and took a 21-5 lead, which grew to 44-13 at the half.
D.J. Edwards finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Jordan Ponder responded to his starting role with 12 points, six boards and two assists. Collier scored nine points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out five assists in three quarters of action.
Large said, “We really were emphasizing a fast start, and defense, and pushing the ball. This was a great, great team effort and chemistry on the floor tonight.”
Edwards said, “We executed everything the coaches said.”
James Monroe head coach Jonathan McPherson said, “We didn’t play like the team that we have been playing like the last five, six games or so.”
“I really felt like we shot the ball well coming in, and it was just like there was a covering over the rim, the first and most of the second quarter. I could tell we got frustrated (and) it affected the defensive end, because our confidence went down when our shots weren’t falling.”
“What Bluefield has is speed, and they exhibited that speed well tonight,” he said. “It just seemed like we could never get in a rhythm, with them playing that style of basketball.”
Mavericks senior Chord Settle scored 10 points on four straight possessions in the last three minutes of the game, ending his playing career with 15 points. Center Josh Ganoe had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Garrett Mann had eight points and eight boards.
In their last meeting on Feb. 15, Bluefield took an 86-61 win. McPherson criticized the officiating in that game and contended his team could play on a level with Bluefield. Edwards, for one, took notice.
He said, “We read what their coach said a few weeks ago when we played them. That was in the backs of our minds. We just wanted to show them that we are the team that we are — the number one team in the state.”
Bluefield will play either PikeView or Mount View in the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Friday in Princeton.
McPherson said the Mavericks “definitely improved throughout the season. Hopefully, we can show that how hard you work, it will show on the court, because we’ve had plenty of players that have put the work in, in the offseason, and they’ve been the ones to shine on the floor.”
Another of his nine seniors, Micah Deskins, said about his high school career, “It’s been great. I love playing with these guys. We showed a lot of teamwork. We never gave up.”
— E-mail: tbone@
James Monroe (6-15)
Micah Deskins 0 1-2 1, Caleb Brown 0 2-2 2, Chord Settle 6 0-1 15, Ryan Wickline 2 0-0 5, E.T. Weiss 1 0-0 2, Jacob McKlarney 1 2-2 4, Garrett Mann 2 3-6 8, Josh Ganoe 5 0-3 10. Totals 17 8-16 47.
Dakota Smalls 2 1-1 5, E.J. Edwards 3 6-10 12, Anthony Eades 3 2-2 8, Lykel Collier 4 0-0 9, Trevor Mullins 1 2-3 4, Michael Yost 7 3-6 19, Jordan Ponder 5 0-0 12, Matthew Woodrum 1 2-2 4, Aaron Miller 1 0-1 2, Raheem Reed 2 0-1 4. Totals 29 16-26 79.
JM 5 8 16 18 — 47
B 21 23 23 12 — 79
3-point goals — JM: 5 (Settle 3, R. Wickline, Mann); B: 5 (Collier, Yost 2, Ponder 2). Fouled out — none.
As they say aboard ship, full speed ahead.
- Today's Sports Front
Woodrow downs defending AAA champs
It’s a play that Woodrow Wilson has practiced everyday this season and has rarely had to utilize.
It’s a good thing the Flying Eagles did practice it; it saved their season and led to a 2-1 victory over defending state champion Princeton.
No repeat for Warriors
Independence has been on a tear offensively the entire month of May. It didn’t stop Tuesday, even against Wyoming East ace Derek Thornton.
The Patriots led 5-0 after two innings, and Brian Sexton — backed by that very offense and some sparkling defense — gutted out a complete game in a 7-5 win in the Class AA Region 3 semifinals Tuesday night.
’Hounds hold off upset bid from Man Hillbillies
Valley’s potent offense never came to life, but the Greyhounds are still alive.
Valley (22-7) — with several players hitting .400 or better this season — could muster just three singles against underdog Man (6-20-1) in one of two Class A Region 3 baseball semifinals Tuesday, but the ’Hounds manufactured two runs in the crucial fifth inning to finally go ahead of the stubborn Hillbillies and escape with a 3-2 victory.
WVU baseball team helps tornado victims
West Virginia University head baseball coach Randy Mazey was having lunch at an Oklahoma City restaurant Monday afternoon, keeping a close watch on the television set.
With every passing minute, the tornado that devastated the Oklahoma town of Moore, was moving closer and closer to his location and its path was being documented by a local television station. At one point, the coach even looked out the window to see if he could see the approaching funnel.
Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship Format Changed
In the wake of this week’s devastating storm in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, the Big 12 Conference is postponing the start of the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship. No. 3 seeded WVU scheduled to take on Kansas at 4 p.m. (Central) on Thursday.
Patriots, Warriors meet in anticipated matchup
The matchup many people expected will take place today.
Fayette teams, Cavaliers vying for Class A spots
Two Fayette County baseball teams have advanced deeper into postseason play and will begin Region 3 tournament action today.
Epling already having a busy week for Miners
At this point a year ago, Sam Lewis was the only player on the West Virginia Miners roster to have reported to Beckley. All he did was pitch two no-hitters, and the Miners won the 2012 Prospect League championship.
Confident Mavs headed to states
From the outset, James Monroe’s mission was clear: Get to the state softball tournament.
Eagles get 2nd shot at Tigers
The road to the Class AAA state championship for Princeton last year went through Beckley. A repeat would require the same stop, but Woodrow Wilson is looking to put up more resistance this time around.
- More Today's Sports Front Headlines
- Woodrow downs defending AAA champs