INWOOD, W.Va — It’s been an uphill climb of late out of Region 2 in Class AAA for the Musselman Applemen – specifically their section, as the past two AAA champions (Hedgesville and Martinsburg), along with undefeated and top ranked Washington all reside in Section 1 out of Region 2.
After an initial 8-0 initial start and recent win over Martinsburg, the Applemen (13-4) are hoping to close the gap in what is overall a bruising eastern panhandle schedule.
“To be honest, I think at 13-4, we’re playing our best basketball, it’s tough competition we play (against),” head coach Derek Basile said. “I feel good about our guys, I feel good where we’re at, we’re getting better every game and that’s what you want to do this time of year.”
Those four losses for Musselman on the year have all come against the power-three in Washington (twice), Martinsburg and Hedgesville.
“We’ve been chasing those guys for the 12 years that I have been here and we have closed the gap a lot,” Basile said. “There are a couple of plays here and there that we haven’t made, and in our area, it’s the team that makes those one or two plays in games that are going to win those games.”
Musselmen was overwhelmed in its first bout against No. 1 Washington this year, getting blown out 91-64 on its own home court. In the second matchup, the Applemen stayed in the game and cut it to four in the third quarter, before eventually falling off and losing, 87-72.
“Washington doesn’t have any weak links on their team, they have five guys that can run the floor, rebound, and shoot the 3,” Basile said. “They’re like no other team I’ve seen in my 12 years. They can hurt you in a lot of ways.”
Musselmen doesn’t really fit the mold of a team like Washington – the Applemen play more through the interior and score inside instead of the run and gun nature of the Patriots. Seniors Trevon Wesco and Tommy Hargroves have been the catalyst for the Applemen’s offensive success overall.
“Trevon is an incredibly strong kid, he gets inside and he’s very hard to stop,” Basile said. “Tommy is a good slasher, he gets to the basket well and finishes around the hoop, he’s our best defender and always gets the other teams best player.”
Basile’s squad avenged an early loss to Martinsburg with a 58-54 victory over the weekend, and they get another crack at Hedgesville on Friday.
“If we want to be where we want to be, we have to beat Martinsburg and Hedgesville, and if we don’t do those things, then we deserve to finish where we finish,” he said.
Musselmen still has a home-and-home with University and a trip to Morgantown to play the Mohigans prior to what should be a fun round of sectional play in the postseason out of the eastern panhandle.
Boys Basketball Schedule
|1||12/13/13 08:00PM||A||GREAT MILLS @ HEDGESVILLE||62||–||44||W|
|4||12/18/13 07:15PM||H||MILLBROOK, VA H.S.||63||–||59||W|
|6||01/04/14 07:15PM||H||SPRING MILLS||64||–||25||W|
|7||01/13/14 07:15PM||A||MILLBROOK, VA H.S.||79||–||63||W|
|8||01/15/14 07:15PM||A||JAMES WOOD,VA H.S.||60||–||42||W|
|11||01/29/14 07:15PM||A||SPRING MILLS||66||–||23||W|
|13||02/01/14 07:15PM||H||JAMES WOOD,VA H.S.||72||–||51||W|
|15||02/10/14 07:15PM||H||MOUNTAIN VIEW||76||–||43||W|
|wins: 13 lost: 4 ties: 0|