"I thought it was a great high school basketball game," Bluefield coach Charles "Buster" Large said. "I just feel like it could have went either way and we were very fortunate to get a little breathing room late in the game and were able to put it away. I thought Robert C. Byrd played an outstanding game."
Bluefield point guard Lykel Collier, who was by far the player in Bluefield's first-round win over North Marion, was nonexistent in terms of first-half scoring and took just one shot.
But he scored four of Bluefield's first seven points in the second half that seemed to get him going, and he was more aggressive in getting his own looks and getting to the foul line moving forward.
Collier's presence was apparent in other areas as the Beavers forced 16 turnovers, including Collier's five steals, while committing only six.
"The coaches told me to be more aggressive in the second half and I just didn't want to let my team down," Collier said. "I didn't want to lose in the semifinals - I'm trying to win a championship this year and I just didn't want to let them down or the community."
He finished with 10 points, as did Yost, while Eades led the way for the Beavers with 15. D.J. Edwards rounded out the double-figure scoring for Bluefield (24-3) with 13.
Birch scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace Robert C. Byrd and Nick Dyer chipped in 14 points.
The Beavers' win was their second over the Eagles after Bluefield earned a 72-56 win in the Big Atlantic Classic Class AA championship game on Feb. 2
Bluefield will square off with No. 2 Fairmont Senior at 2:30 this afternoon for the Class AA title.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.