CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — Chapmanville Regional made the school’s first boys basketball state championship game a year ago, falling to Fairmont Senior in that title game 59-54.
The Tigers entered the week with nine wins and a lone loss out of state to Lebanon, Tennessee.
With many of its key players back from a season ago, it’s fair to say expectations are about as high as they could be for the Tigers this year.
“They definitely are,” said senior standout Drew Williamson. “I feel like we definitely should get back to the state championship – if we don’t, it’s going to be a let-down. This year, our mindset has completely changed. If we get (back to the title game), Lord willing, and get the opportunity again, I think we will win it.”
Williamson averaged 21 points per game a season ago.
6-foot-9 sophomore center Obinna Anochili-Killen also returned this year after turning heads a season ago at the state tournament as just a freshman.
“Last year at the beginning of the year, I think Obinna was nervous,” Williamson said. “He didn’t really know what he was capable of doing, what he should do or what he shouldn’t do. But he finally got in his groove at the state tournament. Now, this year, he’s just a handful. He’s going to be a handful for anybody.”
Anochili Killen’s presence is even more vital this season for Chapmanville, which lost big men Tyler Moore and Hunter Neil from last year’s team. But Anochili-Killen’s overall length and size inside has allowed Chapmanville to go with a guard-oriented style elsewhere on the court.
“That’s everything for us,” Williamson said. “We’re going to get up in you and try to force you – if you beat us, it’s okay with us, because we know that we have Obinna back there. And, more than likely, they aren’t going to get the shot off.
“We’re more of an up-tempo team and more of a pressure team,” Williamson said. “We’re going to be shooting more from the outside than what we did last year.”
Guards Dylan Smith and Kyle Browning are a couple of other key seniors who returned with Williamson — a veteran group that has built a strong chemistry over the years.
“We’ve all three played together since ninth grade,” Williamson said of the veteran guard combo. “We have perfect chemistry together.”
Chapmanville last year had a 12-point first half lead in the state title game and led by as many as 10 points in the second half — something that’s still fresh on the mind of Williamson.
“Don’t take plays off,” Williamson said. “Don’t take any minute of the state championship game for granted – that’s definitely what we learned. Every day at practice, we all think about that state championship game and that’s what motivates us every single day.”
Chapmanville’s sectional alignment is again a challenge in Region 4 Section 2 as Logan and Mingo Central are both state tournament contenders trying to make a run as well.
The opposing section features the likes of Nitro and Winfield who have both had strong starts to the year, also.
“It’s going to be a battle,” Williamson said. “But honestly I think it’s going to come down to who is tougher and who wants it the most. We want to be back there worse than anybody – we want it.”
|Chapmanville Regional High School|
2018 Boys Basketball Schedule
|3||12/16/17||tbaPM||A –||FLOYD CENTRAL (BWW SHOOTOUT)||74||–||60||W|
|4||12/22/17||8:30PM||H –||MT. VIEW (CRHS HOLIDAY TOURNEY)||71||–||37||W|
|5||12/23/17||tbaPM||H –||TUG VALLEY (CRHS HOLIDAY TOURNEY)||84||–||69||W|
|6||12/28/17||tbaPM||A –||CAK, TN (SMOKEY MOUNTAIN CLASSIC)||77||–||49||W|
|7||12/29/17||tbaPM||A –||LEBANON, TN (SMOKEY MOUNTAIN CLASSIC)||58||–||70||L|
|8||12/30/17||tbaPM||A –||OXFORD, MS (SMOKEY MOUNTAIN CLASSIC)||76||–||60||W|
|11||01/12/18||7:30PM||H –||PIKE CO. CENT. , KY H.S.||–|
|16||02/03/18||7:30PM||H –||MINGO CENTRAL||–|
|17||02/06/18||tbaPM||A –||HUNTINGTON AT WVSU||–|
|20||02/13/18||7:30PM||A –||MINGO CENTRAL||–|
|22||02/20/18||7:30PM||A –||HERBERT HOOVER||–|
|wins: 9 lost: 1 ties: 0|