Still, the Pats are in the semifinals.
"We're where we want to be," said the coach.
You want a top-flight coaching staff? Check out the one put together by Fairmont Senior's David Retton, whose team advanced in Class AA Thursday by beating Scott.
Retton has veteran Frank Skubis, who was a head coach for years at Clay-Battelle in Blacksville, on his staff. He has former Marshall hooper Deon Dobbs. Oh, and if any of those have questions, Retton's father Joe is the most famous figure in the history of the soon-to-be-deceased West Virginia Conference. The elder Retton was at the game Thursday. ("That was special," said the son.)
How does it work?
"They know what they're talking about," said FSHS center Shaquille Washington. "We don't talk back to them."
And finally . . .
A tip of the ballcap to Bridgeport coach Gene Randolph, who apparently is concluding his career in style after deciding to retire.
On Thursday, the sixth-seeded Class AA Indians knocked off No. 3 seed Westside 79-71, moving to the semifinals today against Fairmont.
"I postponed [retirement] a little bit," Randolph said. "But I can hear the call of the mountains."
Randolph has always had a reputation as a class act. He bumped around the Clarksburg area, assisting at South Harrison and the old Roosevelt-Wilson high schools before settling in at Bridgeport. He's been the Indians head coach for 20 years. Overall, he's coached for 38.
"I'm an old codger," he said Thursday.
That "old codger," though, has his team in the state tournament for the ninth time since taking over. Bridgeport's last appearance under him was in 2007, when the school lost to O.J. Mayo's Huntington team. ("That should have been handicapped," Randolph joked.)
Anyway, the coach has a parcel of land at Canaan Valley. He's ready for the mountains. Not, however, until this week's job is done.
"I'm tired," Randolph said. "I'll be 68. I've been doing this a long time. The older you get, other things impose on your ability to do the job. But I've had a longtime love affair with basketball."
It still shows.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.