Going out in style
Hurricane's players were thankful for the outpouring of support they received in Wednesday's morning session, as the cheering section behind their basket was crammed with fans.
It was but a continuation of the fervor that followed the team this season as it reached the state tournament for the first time.
"It wasn't just our school,'' said senior guard Rasaan Harris, "it was everybody, the whole community - the city of Hurricane and Putnam County in general.
"Just the signs and banners and everything throughout the whole community. We did that for them and they did it for us. We made history, and it feels good. We gave back to them and they gave back to us. They appreciated it.''
Guard play carries Tug, too
Tug Valley's guards sliced and diced Notre Dame to the tune of an 87-62 defeat in the first round of the Class A tournament.
"Anytime you have a team that has two or three good guards, you have your hands full," said ND coach Jarod West, the former West Virginia guard. "They did a very good job in their 2-2-1 of getting deflections, which leads to transition and layups. They do a good job of penetrating to the middle, which collapses the defense, and kicking out to shooters. The reason they won a [Class AA] state championship last year and are the favorites this year is because they are a very, very good team."
If the Panthers are to win another state crown, it will be on the shoulders of guards Mikey Newsome, Austin Brewer and Aaron Muncy, who have led Tug to a 23-3 record and have averaged 23.2, 20.8 and 12.1 points per game, respectively.
Good news travels fast
So stunningly unexpected was Wheeling Central's 31-12 halftime lead over Magnolia that Central's cheerleaders sprinted for their cell phones as soon as the second-quarter buzzer sounded. "OMG! We're winning!" reportedly was the girls' message of choice.