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Local boys' teams hit the road to fight for state tournament spots

Mar. 4—MORGANTOWN — For teams that want to make it to the state tournament, losing in the section finals isn't the end of the world. It just makes the next step that much harder.

By losing last week's section finals, three Monongalia County boys' basketball teams now have to hit the road this week. Clay-Battelle, Trinity Christian and University will all be the road team in their region co-finals over the next three days.

Clay-Battelle (18-6) will travel to Cameron (19-5) Tuesday, Trinity (11-10) goes to Moorefield (8-16) on Wednesday and University (14-11) takes a trip across town on Friday to visit rival Morgantown (22-1).

"If we're going to lose one, (the section final) is the one to lose, " Clay-Battelle coach Josh Kisner said on Friday.

The Cee-Bees fell to Doddridge County, 71-65, on Friday. Senior forward Colby Barr scored a game-high 26 points, but the Bulldogs hit 10 three-pointers. Doddridge will host Madonna in the other Class A Region I co-final.

CB split with Cameron this season, winning 69-43 and then losing 57-50. The Cee-Bees had won seven games in a row before losing to Doddridge. The Dragons have won eight of their last nine.

"I expect us to come out (Tuesday), play hard and see what happens, " Kisner said. "You've got to have a short-term memory. We'll learn from our mistakes, move forward and play for the next one."

This will be the only regional where tickets will be sold at the door. Due to the lack of internet and cell phone service at Cameron High School, digital ticketing will not be available.

For all other regionals, tickets must be purchased in advance by going to gofan.co and searching for WVSSAC.

For Trinity, going on the road in the playoffs is nothing new. The Warriors made it to last year's state tournament while playing three straight road playoff games.

"We will need a lot of heart and will and want to win the Region on the road, " TCS coach Codey Horton said Friday, "but if we play as a team the way I know we can, we can get the job done."

Last year, Trinity won the Class AA co-final at Frankfort to punch its ticket to Charleston. This year, the Warriors will need to do the same at Moorefield after dropping the section final 63-59 to Braxton County in double overtime.

The Warriors and Yellow Jackets did not play this season. Moorefield had lost three straight before winning both of its postseason games thus far. Braxton hosts Frankfort in the other co-final.

Finally, the local team that has the shortest trip, University, has to face the toughest challenge.

The Hawks will trek across the river to continue a series against their rival Mohigans that hasn't gone well for them this season.

Morgantown won both of the meetings this year in blowout fashion, 95-55 and 86-52. A poor offensive showing in the section final loss to Bridgeport, where the Hawks only scored 36 points, will need to be corrected in a hurry.

"We just couldn't get anything going, " UHS coach Joe Schmidle said Friday. "We couldn't finish, couldn't hit any mid-range. We did have some good open looks but we couldn't knock them down.

"You're not going to win many games scoring 36 points."

Morgantown is looking to get back to Charleston with hopes of winning its third-straight Class AAAA championship.

MHS defeated Wheeling Park, 60-46, in its section final.

Bridgeport will host Wheeling Park in the other Class AAAA Region I co-final.

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