CLARKSBURG, W.Va — Last season Robert C. Byrd made a late season push that saw the Flying Eagles make a run into the Class AA semifinals where they were ousted by eventual state champion Bluefield. From the start of this season, expectations for RCB and head coach Bill Bennett have been to get back into title contention again.
“We’ve said since day one we would like to get back and have an opportunity like last season,” Bennett said. “They’ve done a good job buying in the way we want them to play and so far it’s worked out well.”
In a sense, it’s worked out perfectly so far as the Eagles soared out to 10-0 mark, highlighted by victories over Bridgeport, Poca and a triple OT thriller against Fairmont Senior.
“These guys have meshed together, we have a balanced team of kids who share the ball and get out and defend,” he said. “The scoring leader has been different every night.”
One of the guys who has been steady for RCB and is 6-foot-5 junior center Justin Noble. Noble logs close to a double-double per game with 13 points and around 10 rebounds down-low for the Eagles.
“We feel like he is a matchup problem every night out, our challenge some nights is getting the ball in his hands,” Bennett said. “He’s got great hands and his post game has improved dramatically.”
With having almost everyone back from last year’s semifinal team, Bennett’s squad is full of experience and knows how win the big games.
“It’s a matter of learning how to win (close) games, we’ve been in tight games this year and our kids believe that they’re going to make plays at the end and that’s critical with young kids,” he said.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have been ranked as the highest Class AA team in the MetroNews Power Index.
“We try not to get caught up in the rankings, our staff and our guys know that everything still goes through Bluefield this year,” Bennett said. “I think there’s a lot of teams out there that are pretty good and I feel that (Class AA) is eight to 10 strong.”
|ROBERT C. BYRD|
2013-2014 Basketball Schedule
|2||12/21/13 08:00PM||A||CARDINAL CLASSIC AT CHARLESTON CIVIC CENTER VS. POCA||56||–||50||W|
|5||01/04/14 07:30PM||H||PHILIP BARBOUR||77||–||43||W|
|7||01/10/14 07:30PM||A||LEWIS COUNTY||69||–||55||W|
|9||01/15/14 07:30PM||A||FAIRMONT SENIOR||74||–||71||W|
|10||01/17/14 07:30PM||A||EAST FAIRMONT||69||–||55||W|
|13||01/29/14 07:30PM||A||NORTH MARION||–|
|14||01/31/14 07:30PM||H||LIBERTY (HARRISON)||–|
|15||02/05/14 07:30PM||H||FAIRMONT SENIOR||–|
|21||02/19/14 07:30PM||H||EAST FAIRMONT||–|
|22||02/26/14 07:30PM||H||NORTH MARION||–|
|wins: 10 lost: 0 ties: 0|