NITRO, W.Va. — The Nitro boys basketball team entered this week 9-0 on the season after recent wins over St. Albans and Sissonville.

It’s been one early story lines out of Class AA in 2018.

“They haven’t surprised me,” said third year head coach Kevin Musilli. “I’ve known that we had some talent here a couple of years ago when that 9th grade class was coming in. I thought there was a good chance they could grow into something. This is the year that it’s taken off.”

Photos from Nitro’s 85-61 win over St. Albans are posted above. Andrew Mahairas scored 27 points, hitting seven 3-pointers in the win.

Joel Sweat leads the Wildcats overall on the year, averaging around 19 points per game. Ryan Hill, Qwailei Turner and Andrew Mahairas are also averaging double figures for Nitro on the year.

“1998-1999 was the last team that went to the state tournament,” Musilli said. “I was an assistant coach on that team, also. I knew coming into my first year (as a head coach) that it was going to be a rebuild. We made the decision to go young (then) and it was a process. We were building for the future of our basketball program.”

A significant three-game stretch looms later this month against state tournament contenders Winfield, Logan and Chapmanville Regional from January 12-19.

“The Cardinal Conference is very strong this year,” Musilli said. “I’ve been pretty pleased at the progress we’ve had, but we’re about ready to go through the wringer right now. We’re going to find out if we’re the truth or not.”

– Photos courtesy Chuck Roberts for

2017-2018 Boys Basketball Schedule
112/05/175:30/7:30PMA –TOLSIA 10767 W
212/08/175:30/7:30PMA –NICHOLAS COUNTY 7569 W
312/15/175:30/7:30PMA –POCA 6744 W
412/16/177:00PMA –MAN HIGH SCHOOL 8553 W
612/22/175:30/7:30PMA –WAYNE 6948 W
712/28/175:30/7:00PMH –HERBERT HOOVER 6450 W
812/30/175:30/7:00PMH –ST. ALBANS HIGH SCHOOL 8561 W
901/06/185:30/7:30PMA –SISSONVILLE 9087 W
1001/09/185:30/7:00PMH –POCA  
1101/12/185:30/7:30PMA –WINFIELD  
1201/17/185:30/7:00PMH –LOGAN  
1401/23/185:30/7:30PMA –SCOTT  
1501/27/185:30/7:00PMH –SISSONVILLE  
1601/30/185:30/7:00PMH –WINFIELD  
1702/02/185:30/7:00PMH –LINCOLN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL  
1802/06/185:30/7:00PMH –TOLSIA  
1902/10/185:30/7:30PMA –HERBERT HOOVER  
2102/16/185:30/7:00PMH –MINGO CENTRAL  
2202/20/185:30/7:30PMA –ST. ALBANS HIGH SCHOOL  
 wins: 9   lost: 0   ties: 0