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Region One Basketball Challenge Set For Jan. 29

By Staff | Jan 19, 2011

The Blue Eagle bench prepares to make some noise when they host the Point Pleasant Black Knights and other teams Jan. 29 in the Region I Basketball Challenge at Magnolia High School. (Photo by Bruce Crawford)

The Magnolia Blue Eagles will host the second annual New Martinsville Rotary Boys’ West Virginia Class AA Region One Roundball Challenge on Jan. 29 at the HammerDome starting at 2 p.m.

The basketball smorgasbord will feature all eight Class-AA region one teams from Magnolia, Weir, Ravenswood, Roane County, Ritchie County, Oak Glen, Point Pleasant, and Tyler Consolidated.

The whole concept of a regional event came about when the WVSSAC went to the larger regions, which combined the old Region I and Region II into a single region. At the same time, the SSAC had the coaches seed the teams in the region for home court advantage for the playoffs.

This was important because these changes created some problems.

One was how to seed teams that didn’t play each other, and it was going to be quite a trip for teams like Weir and Oak Glen from the north to play teams like Roane, Ritchie, Ravenswood, and Point Pleasant in the south.

The answer was simple: go half way and play in New Martinsville. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Project Chairman Jim Blatt. “I feel strongly that all the other regions will follow suit by putting on showcases like ours down the road. I am excited, Coach Tallman is excited, and the New Martinsville Rotary is excited to be a major sponsor for the basketball challenge.”

Not only will local fans be able to watch four top notch high school basketball games in one spot, but the coaches will be able to scout all the other teams without having to travel.

The cost of admission is $7 for all the games. Admission to one game is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

The idea for the smorgasbord of high school basketball was a collective effort by Blatt, MHS Head Coach Dave Tallman, and Ravenswood Coach Mick Price.

The opening match will tip off at 1:30 p.m. and will feature Roane County against Tyler Consolidated, followed at 3:30 p.m. by the Weir Red Riders and the Ravenswood Red Devils.

The Ritchie County Running Rebels will pair against the Oak Glen Golden Bears at 5:30 p.m. , while the Magnolia Blue Eagles will challenge the Point Pleasant Blacks at 7:30 p.m.

Opening the second annual challenge at 1:30 p.m. is Roane, 3-3 on the season, facing Tyler Consolidated. Roane has beaten Hannan High School and Calhoun County High School twice, while the Silver Knights’ lone victory came against the Valley Lumberjacks, 50-49. Tyler Consolidated’s Corey Lowe has put up some impressive numbers all season, including 36 points against Magnolia.

The 3:30 p.m. matchup with Weir and Ravenswood promises plenty of action. The Red Riders are 6-3, while the Red Devils are 5-0. Both teams have been to the state tournament and it should be a barn-burner.

In the 5:30 matchup, the much-improved Ritchie County Rebels, 9-2, will face the 1-8 Golden Bears.

In the final challenge, Magnolia will face Point Pleasant. The Eagles are currently 6-3 and have lost two games in a row against John Marshall and Weir, while the Black Knights, 4-5, have beaten the likes of Nitro, Roane, and Wayne. They have a pair of double-digit scorers back from last season in Jacob Templeton and Jacob Wamsley, while the Eagles have two seniors, Matt Sapp and Jordan Moore, leading the charge for Magnolia.

Of course, the Blue Eagles have junior swatter Nick Blatt and sophomore talent Mark Winters along with Jayson Keller joining Sapp and Moore in the starting lineup.

Anyone wishing to help support the basketball challenge with a contribution or assistance may call Jim or Claire Blatt at 304-455-3348 or email blatt6@verizon.net‘>blatt6@verizon.net.

There will be a hospitality room for the media, players, coaches, and referees. In addition to Rotary, other tourney sponsors helping include State Farm Insurance Agencies throughout the Region, Dana Liquid Transport, State Farm Insurance, Sen. Jeff Kessler, Moose #931, Robinson Auto, Del. Dave Pethtel, Sen. Larry Edgell, PPG Industries, Bayer Heritage Federal Credit Union, Dr. Neill Marshall, Chuck Ludewig Nationwide Insurance, and Mike Snyder Renovations.

Area pizza shops — Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and PJ’s — will feed the players and cheerleaders after each game.