Kyle’s Korner ….
It is one of my most favorite times of the year. The high school basketball tournaments are underway.
It sure keeps me busy, but I enjoy covering the three local schools that the Daily News now covers. All three will have teams in action this week.
Tonight, both Tug Valley and Belfry boys’ teams will be in action. The Panthers will play host to Man in Class A sectional action. The game is slated for 7 p.m. If they win, they will play for the sectional title on Friday, also at Naugatuck.
Belfry won the 60th district title last week and will play East Ridge at the Expo Center in Pikeville tonight at 8 p.m. This is the 15th Region tourney.
On Thursday night, the Mingo Central Miners will take on Scott at the Logan Fieldhouse in Class AA action. If they win, they will play in the sectional championship Saturday night, also at Willie Akers Arena in Logan. Mingo’s game on Thursday is scheduled to start around 8 p.m. If they play on Saturday, that contest is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Chapmanville plays Tolsia in the opener on Thursday to decide who will play in the finals against the winner of Scott and Mingo Central.
The Tug Valley girls will play in the regional finals on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Lady Panthers, who won the Class A sectional last week, will play host to Valley of Fayette. If they win, they will be heading to the state tournament next week at the Charleston Civic Center.
Belfry’s Lady Pirates, who also won the 60th District tourney last week, will also be playing at the Expo Center. They are scheduled to play Thursday against Sheldon Clark in the 15th Region tourney in Pikeville.
In just a couple of weeks, Selection Sunday is scheduled for the college version of March Madness. It will be on St. Patrick’s day, March 17. College coaches and players will be waiting with baited breath to see if, when and who they will play in the big tournament.
Our local teams may not make it this year. Kentucky has an outside chance, depending on how they finish. I would say WVU might not even make the NIT this season, unless they finish strong. The same goes for Marshall. All three teams could make it to the Big Dance if they could pull off a miracle and win their conference tournaments. But that is a long shot for the Wildcats, Mountaineers and Thundering Herd.
Still, the NCAA tournament is one of my favorite sports events of the year. It doesn’t get any better than college basketball and seeing the upsets in the early rounds of the tourney.
Mingo Central head baseball coach Walt Cline is taking a medical leave of absence this spring. Walt is battling some health issues. An interim coach should be selected in the near future by the Mingo BOE. Bob Huff will be the assistant coach.
… Gabe Vinson, who played at Mingo Central last year, is playing baseball for WVU Tech. Last year he had thought about going to Pikeville, but decided to stay in-state and play in Montgomery instead. He played at Burch before the consolidation.
… Mason Pack, the former Tug Valley all-stater performer, will be playing in his first WVIAC tourney at the Civic Center this week. Pack is a true freshman for West Virginia Wesleyan.
… Brandon Burgraff is back playing for WVU Tech after a knee injury. He is one of the top 3-point shooters on the team. Former Mingo Central (and Williamson High) forward Nick Lee is a redshirt freshman for Tech. He can practice, but not play. He will see action in the next few seasons for the Golden Bears.
… Austin Vance, also a Tug Valley alum, who plays at Shawnee State in Portsmouth, Ohio, will be in tourney action this weekend. They play in the Mid-South Conference, the same as Pikeville. Their tourney will be played in Frankfort, Ky.
… The word around Naugatuck is that senior guards Austin Brewer and Mikey Newsome are getting a lot of interest from the University of Pikeville. Several other schools have sent them letters. Bears coach Kelly Wells is really interested in both of the Panther seniors.
… Panther defensive lineman Isaac Parsley has signed to play football at West Virginia Wesleyan. He was Tug Valley’s leading tackler last season and helped them make the Class A playoffs. He also played on the offensive line for TVHS.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)