CLEAR FORK, W.Va. — The back-and-forth rivalry between Westside (11-3) and Wyoming East (11-3) has been one of the intriguing story lines out of Class AA so far through the boys high school basketball season.

The two AA powerhouses have met three times already with Wyoming East winning 79-71 back in early January, Westside won in the Big Atlantic Classic 61-57 and then East won a dramatic buzzer-beater last week on a breakaway layup, 55-53.

MetroNews file photo

All five starters for Westside are averaging double figures in scoring on the year.

The two teams highlight Section 1 out of Region 3 in Class AA as both programs have the potential for a state championship run. Defending state champion Bluefield is part of Region 3 as well in Section 2.

“Just us, Bluefield and Wyoming East alone – based off of the polls this year – that’s three of the top four teams in the state,” said Westside head coach Nick Cook. “That sums it up right there – one of us won’t be able to go to Charleston. You want to be playing your best basketball going into the postseason and I still don’t think we’ve done that yet.

“We’ve had a couple of good performances, but in terms of consistency, we still haven’t put four complete quarters together at any point this season,” he said. “We’re still trying to get better every time we go out and are looking to improve.”

The Renegades started off the year with a bang, edging Class AAA tournament contender Greenbrier East 83-81. Westside also has two wins over Class AAA Logan and Class A defending champion Tug Valley.

MetroNews file photo

Westside, last year’s No. 3 seed in the state tournament, fell in the opening round to Bridgeport, 79-71.

Other tests loom against Greenbrier East again, undefeated Robert C. Byrd, Fairmont Senior, Charleston Catholic and AAA Woodrow Wilson. Westside’s schedule overall is rated as the toughest in Class AA, according to the MetroNews Power Index.

“I wanted to really challenge my kids this year – the games are all practice in the regular season,” Cook said. “It has a little bit more meaning now with the seeding going into the state tournament and sectionals, but at the same time, you have to get your kids ready for the postseason. I think after this regular season schedule we have this year, my kids will be ready for the postseason.”

All five of Westside’s starters are putting up double-figures on the year, led by Corey Bowles and Justin Cogar who are scoring around 18 points per game. Also, point guard Will Fox puts up 11 points per game, along with Justin Kenneda and Levi Lambert who score around 10 points per outing.

It’s that core group for Cook who will be looking to make a trip back to Charleston for the state tournament next month.

“Class AA basketball is really strong and really competitive,” Cook said. “Last year we did get a little taste of the state tournament, but things didn’t go our way. Hopefully this year we can do things to get back and make a little deeper run.”

WESTSIDE
Boys Basketball Schedule
12/13/13 07:30PM  A  GREENBRIER EAST 8381 W
12/17/13 07:30PM  H  INDEPENDENCE 8543 W
12/20/13 07:30PM  H  TUG VALLEY 6859 W
12/27/13 07:30PM  H  NORTH MARION 7855 W
01/03/14 07:30PM  A  WYOMING EAST 7179 L
01/10/14 07:30PM  H  LOGAN 9068 W
01/13/14 07:30PM  A  LIBERTY (RALEIGH) 6242 W
01/14/14 07:30PM  A  TUG VALLEY 6049 W
01/17/14 07:30PM  H  OAK HILL 6372 L
10  01/27/14 07:30PM  A  BLUEFIELD 6257 W
11  02/01/14 02:00PM  A  WYOMING EAST 6157 W
12  02/04/14 07:30PM  H  GREATER BECKLEY CHRISTIAN 5654 W
13  02/07/14 07:30PM  H  WYOMING EAST 5355 L
14  02/08/14 07:30PM  A  LOGAN 8966 W
15  02/11/14 07:30PM  A  INDEPENDENCE  
16  02/12/14 07:30PM  H  GREENBRIER EAST  
17  02/14/14 07:30PM  A  ROBERT C. BYRD  
18  02/15/14 07:30PM  A  FAIRMONT SENIOR  
19  02/18/14 05:00PM  A  CHARLESTON CATHOLIC @ CHARLESTON CIVIC CENTER  
20  02/21/14 07:30PM  H  LIBERTY (RALEIGH)  
21  02/24/14 07:30PM  A  WOODROW WILSON  
22  02/25/14 07:30PM  A  OAK HILL  
23  02/28/14 07:00PM  A  SECTIONALS  
24  03/04/14 06:00PM  A  SECTIONALS @ RALEIGH CO. CONVENTION CENTER  
25  03/07/14 07:30PM  A  SECTIONALS @ RALEIGH CO. CONVENTION CENTER  
 wins: 11   lost: 3   ties: 0

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