Ron Gregory

December 3, 2013

The arrival of December means high school basketball is not just on the horizon — it is finally here.

I have often mentioned how superior the sport is to me, particularly since I am located inside a nice, warm gymnasium rather than freezing or getting rained on while on the football sideline. Although nothing can deter my happiness while working a Lincoln County High sideline, I still prefer the sights and sounds of a gym.

* * * * * *

In the spirit of the season, which usually brings forth nostalgic thoughts, I often recall playing elementary school basketball inside the tiny confines at Cedarville Grade School in Gilmer County. While the gym itself was regulation size, there was not sufficient head room for the ceiling to be much above the rims. Thus, players from Cedarville who went on to play at Normantown High School were well-known for their “line-drive” shots. Cedarville shooters put no arch on the ball because, honestly, there was no room for that inside the little gym.

* * * * * *

At least nobody has to suffer through that problem these days.

* * * * * *

It is on to Wheeling Island for the Super Six football games featuring West Virginia’s three classes.

In the Triple A game, I expect Martinsburg to defeat top-ranked Huntington High. The Cory Beck influence will be enough to cost the Highlanders the title.

In Class AA, I am finally goiing with my sentimental favorite from Bridgeport, Harrison County. I have picked against them previously and they have made it all the way to Wheeling. I hope they defeat Wayne and I am saying they WILL do so.

The Single A game shouldn’t even be close with number one Madonna (yeah, a CATHOLIC school) running all over Greenbrier West.

So, there you have it. The close-out of the 2013 high school football season

* * * * * *

Speaking of basketball, which I surely did sometime, somewhere, it is likely time for me to prognosticate the 2013-14 seasons for Boone County’s three high schools.

I look for Coach Nick Cabell’s Scott boys to have a standout year, culminating with a visit to the state Class AA tournament in Charleston.

But I think Mingo Central will defeat the Skyhawks in the season opener December 10 at Central. I expect them to then reel off four straight wins. They will defeat Tolsia in the home opener on December 13 and go on to win in the Chapmanville Tournament versus Logan. A road win over Sissonville will precede a whipping of Lincoln County at Madison on December 13. (As an aside, that might provide yet another opportunity for the tough guys from Lincoln to whip ME, although I am not too optimistic about it. Surely there will be the usual catcalls from the LCHS bleachers. I might also point out, that contrary to the opinion of the few, I have NEVER criticized a Lincoln County student/athlete and I have openly stated that I AM a Harts Creeker, which is in Lincoln County).

The Big Ten/Cardinal Conference Challenge will be a difficult test for the Hawks and I think they will suffer loss number two. Then, Scott gets a home win over Wayne before falling at Bluefield on December 28. Thus, they end the calendar year with a 5-3 mark.

A victory over Chapmanville Regional opens calendar year 2014 on January 3. The Hawks go to 7-3 with a win over Poca followed by wins at Sherman and Tolsia. Poca snaps the streak with a win on January 17 to make them 9-4. A win over Herbert Hoover follows with a January 24 victory at Nicholas County and the Hawks are 11-4. Home wins over Chapmanville and Sissonville follow to make them 13-4.

Two wins follow at Herbert Hoover and Lincoln County. (Will I have the nerve to attend the game in Hamlin? Of course, where I will no doubt be given a hero’s welcome). Bluefield comes calling next and, this time, the Hawks win to go to 16-4. I believe the team will close out the year with two more wins, one at Wayne and the other over nemesis Mingo Cenral at Madison on February 21. So, you have an 18-4 record going into the post-season.

* * * * * *

So, how will the Sherman Tide boys do? Although I do not technically cover them, I will predict a better-than-average year for them in Class A. As I have said on several occasions, all he Sherman athletic teams should do well in Class A since they are nearly still a Double A school. Only time will tell, of course.

I think they open the season with two wins, one at home against Montcalm on December 10 and then at Hannan. A visit to Meadow Bridge will be the first loss. A loss to Valley (Fayette) follows at the Charleston Civic Center before a win over Liberty (Raleigh) closes the calendar year with a 3-2 record.

Wins over Hannan and Man follow to open the new year, 2014. Losses to Scott and Buffalo follow and the team is 5-4. I expect a win over Valley (Fayette) at Seth and one win and two losses in the tournaments that follow to bring the log to 7-6.

I look for a Sherman win over Van in the county rivalry game at Van and another tournament win to follow, making it 9-6. A loss to Montcalm and a win over Liberty (Raleigh) make it 10-7. A tournament loss precedes another win over Van. Sherman goes to 12-8 with a home victory over Meadow Bridge. The regular season ends with a win over Class AAA powerhouse Lincoln County at Hamlin. So, the year ends at 13-8 for the Tide.

* * * * * *

Meanwhile, at Van, the Bulldogs are looking to do well in Single A.

They open December 10 with a win over Regional Christian followed by a home win over Montcalm. Long trips to Liberty (Harrison), Nicholas County and Richwood result in three early-season losses. Thus, the calendar year ends at 2-3 for the Dogs.

Home wins over Valley (Fayette) and Richwood open 2014 to give Van a winning record. Wins at Hannan and Regional Christian offset a tournament loss. A home win over Hannan and a road loss to Valley (Fayette) follow to bring the record to 7-4. A victory over River View comes before another tourney loss. The Sherman loss follows before the Dogs lose at Montcalm and in the tournament to make it 8-7.The team closes the season on the road, which is a tough task.

I think they will win at River View and in the tournament before losing at Mount View and Seth. That means the Dogs end the year with a 9-9 mark.

* * * * * *

Now, let me assure one and all that your author is not sexist. Sexy, yes; sexist, no. Thus, I am going to predict the season records of the county’s three teams without listing each game. That is not due to sexism but lack of space. Hopefully, we can go over the expected game results in the future.

I think the Scott girls will 15-7; the Sherman Lady Tide will be 16-6; and Van wll finish up at 10-11.

* * * * * *

I wonder how Chapmanville Regional and Logan can hook up in a basketball scrimmage but are banned from playing during the regular season? The latter is still a decision I disagree with.

* * * * * *

Keep your story ideas, game results, comments and rumors coming. Use my email or call my cell at 304-533-5185.