CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Class AA No. 1 Chapmanville was locked in on both ends of the court throughout Friday night’s semifinal against No. 5 Rober C. Byrd.
That was bad news for the Flying Eagles, who hung tough throughout most of the first quarter before being overwhelmed to the tune of an 85-54 Tigers’ victory.
“Our intensity and focus tonight was really, really good,” Chapmanville coach Brad Napier said. “It was better than it’s been in a while. These guys understood how dangerous Robert C. Byrd was.”
The win allows Chapmanville (25-2) to take on No. 2 Fairmont Senior in the AA title game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. It will be the third straight season the Tigers and Polar Bears have met in the championship.
The Eagles (20-6) held an 11-10 lead early, before the Tigers finished the first quarter on a 12-4 run to take control of the contest.
Andrew Shull and Philip Mullins each made 3-pointers in the opening period, and Chapmanville took a 22-15 lead into the second quarter.
RCB’s deficit was 29-17 inside the 4-minute mark of the first half, but the Tigers got two 3s from Shull, and one trey apiece from Obinna Anochili-Killen and Devin Collins to lead a 16-point barrage over the final 3:47 of the half.
That enabled the Tigers to take a 45-22 lead into halftime.
“Our ball movement and player movement was great and that’s when we’re at our best,” Napier said
Chapmanville was shooting 55 percent at the break and had made 6-of-15 3s. The Tigers also had a 23-10 rebounding advantage through the first two quarters.
“Our kids really believed that we could play with Chapmanville tonight,” RCB coach Bill Bennett said. “And I wouldn’t have wanted to bring them here tonight if they didn’t believe that. We’ve played with everybody we played against this year.
“That being said, we knew how good they were and maybe we’d have to catch them on an off night. We had no answers. Everybody made shots. They dominated the glass.”
The Tigers didn’t slow down in the second half and got a pair of dunks from Anochili-Killen early in the third quarter.
Mullins, Collins and Anochili-Killen each hit triples later in the period and Chapmanville carried a 72-40 lead into the fourth.
The Tigers finished 55 percent (32-of-58) from the field and made 10 3s. Perhaps most impressively, Chapmanville registered 18 assists and only committed four turnovers.
All five Chapmanville starters were in double figures led by Anochili-Killen’s 18 points. Collins and Shull each scored 17, while Brandon Elkins and Mullins followed with 12 and 10, respectively.
“If we’re hitting shots, we’re a really dangerous team,” Shull said. “We play so well together and we play a lot better when we move the ball.”
Tanner Kennedy led RCB with 16 points and six assists in his final high school game.
“My biggest disappointment is I don’t get to coach this guy anymore. I’m so proud of him,” Bennett said.
Gavin Kennedy added 14 points in the loss, while Khori Miles scored 10.