CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two teams will be trying to complete unbeaten seasons, while the Class AA championship has a familiar matchup for a third straight year.
On the final day of high school basketball season, the Charleston Coliseum shouldn’t disappoint.
The championship schedule for Saturday:
Class A: No. 1 Webster County (27-0) vs. No. 6 Parkersburg Catholic (19-7), noon
Class AA: No. 1 Chapmanville (25-2) vs. No. 2 Fairmont Senior (26-1), 2:30 p.m.
Class AAA: No. 1 Martinsburg (27-0) vs. No. 2 University (23-4), 7:15 p.m.
All three games will be broadcast live on MetroNews Radio with live video broadcasts on the MetroNews Channel at wvmetronews.com.
A closer look at each of the three finals:
Martinsburg is the top seed for a reason as the Bulldogs are enjoying a stellar season that’s 32 minutes away from perfection.
However, Capital gave MHS all it could handle in Friday’s semifinal, before the Bulldogs prevailed, 60-57.
It marked just the third time this season that Martinsburg has beaten an in-state opponent by fewer than 10 points.
The balanced Bulldogs have four players averaging double-figure scoring, led by Grant Harman at 11.1 points per game.
Guards Qualeke Bush and Teddy Marshall, along with athletic forward Telryn Villa, are each at 10.2 points.
Villa came up big in the victory over the Cougars, scoring 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
While the Bulldogs are a defensive-minded team and have yet to allow 60 points in any game this season, they likely haven’t faced a team with the quality of guard play that University has.
In guards Kaden Metheny and K.J. McClurg, the Hawks possess two backcourt players averaging more than 20 points per game.
Each has had a stellar game in Charleston already, with Metheny scoring 29 points in a semifinal win over Cabell Midland, while McClurg led UHS past Musselman by scoring 23 points to go with 12 rebounds in a quarterfinal.
Martinsburg lost to George Washington in last year’s title game and last won a championship in 2013.
Saturday marks University’s first appearance in a title game.
“The adversity we face tomorrow will be like the adversity we faced tonight,” Harman said following the semifinal win. “The way we handle adversity will be what leads to end result of the game.”
One of the state’s more anticipated matchups in recent memory, Chapmanville is seeking back-to-back titles after Fairmont Senior beat the Tigers in the 2017 championship game.
The Tigers and Polar Bears met earlier this season, with Chapmanville claiming a 49-46 win at home on Dec. 23.
This will likely be another tight contest and there will be no shortage of talent on the floor.
Chapmanville has six players averaging double-figure scoring, led by 6-foot-8 Devin Collins’ 15.8 points per game. Six-foot-9 Obinna Anochili-Killen shows a 15.2 point-per game average and can affect the game in many ways with his athleticism and length.
Guard play is also a big factor in the Tigers’ success and they’ve made 19 3-pointers in two state tournament games afte draining 17 triples in a regional co-final win over Nitro.
“Chapmanville is very good,” Fairmont Senior coach David Retton said. “They defend and run offense well. They have four guys on the floor that can shoot the 3. They can bounce it. They have an excellent post player.”
But Fairmont Senior is as good defensively as any team Chapmanville has seen, and the length of 6-foot-8 Jalen Bridges could be problematic.
Bridges is the Polar Bears’ leading scorer at 21.8 points per game, and has 32 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks in two state tournament games this year.
Guards Zyon Dobbs (16.8 ppg) and Dasilas Jones (14.9 ppg) are aggressive and will try to cause fits for Chapmanville with their penetration.
“We’re both probably better than we were back in December,” Tigers’ coach Brad Napier said. “Both of us are better offensive teams. There were not a lot of open shots out there in the regular season meeting. Both teams played good defense and played extremely physical.”
Webster County is one win away from finishing off an unbeaten season and will be playing in a state championship for the first time in the history of its athletics program.
The Highlanders survived one of their toughest tests of the year Friday, edging Trinity, 45-42, after holding the Warriors to 15 second-half points.
Webster County’s starting five is comprised of seniors and guards Dorian Groggs (20 ppg) and Tyler Gray (16 ppg) are the team’s top scorers.
However, in the victory over Trinity, it was 6-4 post player Cole Taylor who led the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Webster County has also had no shortage of success playing an extended 2-3 zone for much of the season that forces opposing teams into miscues.
The Highlanders beat the Crusaders, 58-42, on Feb. 16, though that point total was Webster’s lowest of the season until Friday.
“They’re going to be hard to handle,” Webster coach Michael Gray said. “They struggled a little with our defense and other teams have. We close passing lanes really well in the zone and that has a lot to do with the length of our kids.”
Parkersburg Catholic is the only team playing Saturday that’s not a No. 1 or 2 seed, but the Crusaders have certainly proven they belong in Charleston.
PC defeated Notre Dame in a quarterfinal, before eliminating defending state champion Wheeling Central in Friday’s semifinal. The Crusaders lost all three regular matchups to the Irish and Maroon Knights, but are peaking at the right time.
A big reason for that is the play of guard Cade Ullman, who averages 23.6 points.
Ullman 60 points in a pair of state tournament games this year and has scored in a variety of ways. He has 18 field goals, 15 free throws and nine 3s over quarterfinal and semifinal action.
“Our schedule has prepared us for what we went through the last few days,” PC coach Rob Strcula said. “I think what we went through in the regular season is the reason a six seed can be here.”
Pat Copen is a key for PC inside, while guard Jeb Boice came up big with 18 points and four steals against Wheeling Central.
The Crusaders last played for and won the title in 2010.