Knights, Redskins clash in sectional
CHARLESTON — Hurricane has put together its best record since posting 20 wins during the 2014-15 season, and all it got the Redskins was a boys basketball sectional opener against another team ranked in the Top 10 in Class AAA.
The Class AAA, Region IV, Section 2 tournament is at Spring Valley.
Hurricane (17-5), ranked No. 6 in the state poll, squares off with No. 9 Cabell Midland (16-6) right off the bat. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
In the other semifinal of that region, top-seeded Spring Valley (12-10) hosts fourth-seeded Huntington High (8-14) at 7:45 Wednesday. Spring Valley endured a stretch of eight losses in 10 games around midseason, but got the No. 1 seed by beating the other three teams in its section. Hurricane, by comparison, went 1-2 in the section.
“This section is up for grabs,″ said Spring Valley coach Cory Maynard. “This regional, I feel, is up for grabs, and it’s wide open down here. Hurricane’s got a nice team. Obviously, Midland and Huntington do, too. And Parkersburg, Parkersburg South and Ripley [in Region IV Section 1] are better than most people think they are.″
Teams that lose in the sectional semifinals are eliminated. Teams that reach the sectional finals, however, both qualify for the following week’s regionals around the state, but the losing team has to go on the road and play the winner of the opposite sectional title game — almost always a difficult task.
That’s what makes the Hurricane-Midland collision so meaningful, as a state-ranked team will immediately fall by the wayside. Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland is pleased to be where he’s at following consecutive records of 11-13, 11-14 and 11-15 the past three seasons.
“When we started the season,″ Sutherland said, “I didn’t think our record would be as good as it is right now. But by the same token, now we are a pretty good team, and I think our record should be better than it is. I think we took a couple steps backward when we just lost two in a row (to Woodrow Wilson and Capital), but we finally took another step forward (beating St. Albans and Wheeling
Park) and we hope to build on that going into the sectional.″
In Class AA, Region IV, Section 1 four Cardinal Conference teams do battle in first-round games at 7 p.m. Tuesday — Wayne (5-17) visits Winfield (10-12) and Point Pleasant (7-15) hosts Sissonville (4-17).
The Winfield-Wayne winner travels on Thursday to Poca (16-6), the No. 2 seed in the section, while top-seeded Nitro (15-7) awaits the Point-Sissonville survivor. The sectional finals are set for Saturday.
Class A, Region IV, Section 2 tournament games began Saturday with No. 5 Hannan at No. 4 Buffalo, No. 6 Huntington St. Joe at No. 3 Van and No. 7 Sherman at No. 2 Tug Valley.
No. 1 Tolsia is hosting the Buffalo-Hannan winner on Tuesday while the Van-St. Joe winner plays the Sherman-Tug Valley winner on the court of the highest seed. The finals are Saturday at the highest seed.