CHAPMANVILLE — Last year’s basketball season ended in strange fashion for the Chapmanville Regional High School Lady Tigers.
Chapmanville was supposed to play Mingo Central in the Class AA sectional tournament at the old Williamson Memorial Fieldhouse.
But due to poor floor conditions in the aging facility, the game was moved to Newtown and the Mingo Central High School gym.
By the time the game started it was 10:30 p.m. and when it was all over in the wee hours of the morning the next day the Lady Tigers lost to the Miners and saw its season come to a close at 16-7.
The defeat left No. 5-ranked Chapmanville short of the regional and state tournaments. A year before, the Lady Tigers were regional champions and had advanced to the state tourney at the Charleston Civic Center.
Chapmanville is back this season hungrier than ever to make it back to the Capital City.
With plenty of players who were either starters last season — or at least got starter’s minutes — the Lady Tigers just might have the team to do it.
Gone, however, is starting guard and leading scorer Kelli Garrett, who graduated, along with Kaylee Maynard, another starter.
Still, the Lady Tigers have plenty of talent to go around this season and it has given the team high hopes heading into the 2012-13 basketball season.
“We return three starters but we lost Kelli Garrett and Kaylee Maynard,” Chapmanville coach David Williamson said. “Kelli was our leading scorer three years in a row and first-team all-Cardinal Conference. Kaylee anchored the middle for two seasons. But we’ve got a lot of experience varsity-wise who are coming back.”
The three starters back for Chapmanville are guards Kristen DesRocher (5-9 junior) and Hailey Price (5-5 senior) and forward/center Katelynn Hall (5-10 senior), who is a two-year starter.
Also back are the Lady Tigers’ other seniors — Autumn Baisden (5-4), Chelcie Pritchard (5-3), Katelynn Manns (5-7) and Jessica Rideout (5-6) — who saw lots of court time last season.
“They all played varsity last year,” Williamson said. “Jessica was pretty much our sixth man last year. She played as much as a starter. There’s a lot of experience back.”
Hillary Hainer, a 5-11 sophomore center, gives the Lady Tigers some size inside. She played some as a freshman last season.
“She played a lot last year as a freshman and she’s our seventh man,” Coach Williamson said. “So we bring back seven or eight players who played a lot of varsity basketball last season. It gives us a lot of optimism.”
Williamson said DesRocher will most likely start again at the point. She gives Chapmanville a scoring threat and at 5-9 can easily pass over top of smaller defenders as a tall point guard.
“She’s 5-9 and a lefty and she can handle the ball. She gets the other team’s best player every night,” Coach Williamson said. “She will this year for sure with Garrett gone. She’s as good as it gets around here.”
Price will also get big minutes in the CRHS backcourt along with DesRocher, Rideout, Baisden and Manns, who can also play forward.
Hall returns as Chapmanville primary post player along with Hainer.
Rounding out Chapmanville’s roster are: junior Hannah Vance (5-7); sophomores Codi Conley (5-6) and Kim Lambert (5-6); and freshmen Shian Meeks (5-8), Christina Osborne (5-2), Savannah Wiley (6-0), Addy Lucas (5-7), Autumn Blankenship (6-1) and Korti Packo (5-6).
Blankenship, the younger sister of former Chapmanville athlete “B.B.” Blankenship, gives the Lady Tigers size in the middle along with Wiley.
“Wiley and Blankenship are both over 6 feet. They will play both JV and varsity for us as freshmen,” Williamson said. “Osborne has also looked good in practice. She’s going to push for court time along with Shian Meeks, another freshman, who is battling an injury right now. Packo is a good shooter. Lucas is a good player, too. We’ve got good freshmen and I’m really excited about our future.”
Chapmanville is scheduled to tangle with Mingo Central, Scott, Tolsia and Wayne in the Class AA sectional tourney. Tug Valley, which moved down to Class A this season, has been shipped out.
This year’s sectional tournament has been moved as well to Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena as a way to avoid the Williamson gym debacle from a year ago.
Coach Williamson said this year’s sectional tourney will be tough again but the Lady Tigers may stack up better this season as opposed to a year ago.
“You are always looking ahead to the sectional as a basketball coach,” Williamson said. “Mackenzie White is gone from Scott. She’s a Division player at WVU and was the ESPN and Gatorade State Player of the Year. We’re glad that she’s gone from the sectional for sure. Tug Valley dropped down to Single-A. Tolsia lost three out of its five starters. All three of them were all-state players. Wayne lost five starters off their team but Mingo Central and Scott bring back a lot of their players. Scott lost White but they still have a good group. In last year’s sectional, you had No. 1-ranked Scott, No. 3 Tolsia and we were No. 5. We had 1, 3 and 5 in our section and No. 4-ranked Clay County was in our region. We also play in the Cardinal Conference and that makes you battle tested.”
Chapmanville is scheduled to play its usual home-and-home Cardinal Conference series this season against Tolsia, Poca, Herbert Hoover, Sissonville, Wayne and Scott. New league foe Mingo Central has also been added. The Miners replace Point Pleasant in the Cardinal as the Black Knights have gone Class AAA and have bolted from the conference.
In addition, Chapmanville has non-conference home-and-homes this season against 3A county rival Logan and Class A teams Tug Valley and Sherman.
“We play Logan twice,” Williamson said. “(Logan coach) Kevin (Gertz) brings back a lot of players, including Shayna Gore and Hannah Tothe, one of the best shooters around.”
CRHS plays Keyser on Dec. 27 in the Capital City Classic at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex in one of the highlights to the schedule.
“They try to bring in some of the top teams in the state,” Williamson said of the Charleston Catholic tourney. “Two years ago we played Ravenswood and they were ranked No. 2 in the state and we played them right down to the wire. Last year, we played Summers County and they were on their 100-game winning streak. This year, we play Keyser from the eastern Panhandle. We like the tourney. It’s like a state tourney-like atmosphere.”
The other highlight is Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m. when Chapmanville squares off against Nicholas County in the Hoops Classic at the Charleston Civic Center.
“The girls like to play in the Civic Center,” Williamson said. “We play Nicholas County, who is now in our region. It’s around Christmas time and it’s always nice to play there.”
Former Chapmanville player Kris Garrett-Gore joins Williamson’s coaching staff along with holdovers Dave Elkins and P.D. Clemens.
“Kristina played here in the early 2000s and got a teaching job here at Chapmanville Middle,” Coach Williamson said. “It’s good to have a woman on the staff. Kris has been a big asset for us as she has been working with our guards.”
Williamson said he hopes the Lady Tigers can make it back to the state tourney.
“We’re excited. Our goal is to play in Charleston,” he said. “We got a taste of it a couple of years ago. Last year, we thought we were in the top eight in the state but didn’t get a chance to go because of the setup. We’re battle-tested and our goal is to make it in the top two of the section. Then if you win one more game in the regional you are in the state tourney and that’s all that you can ask for.”
Chapmanville Lady Tigers
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Dec. 4: at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 6: Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8: at Sherman, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 11: at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13: Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15: at Mingo Central, 2 p.m.
Dec. 21: vs. Nicholas County (at Hoops Classic at Charleston Civic Center), 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 27: vs. Keyser (at Capital City Classic at Charleston Catholic, 3 p.m.
Jan. 3: Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 5: Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12: at Sissonville, 6 p.m.
Jan. 14: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16: at Herbert Hoover, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30: Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2: Tug Valley, 2 p.m.
Feb. 4: at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: Mingo Central, 2 p.m.
Feb. 14: at Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 16: Sissonville, 6 p.m.
Chapmanville Lady Tigers
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Roster
NAME HT. CLASS #
Katelynn Hall 5-10 Senior 20
Hailey Price 5-5 Senior 14
Autumn Baisden 5-4 Senior 5
Chelcie Pritchard 5-3 Senior 12
Katelynn Manns 5-7 Senior 15
Jessica Rideout 5-6 Senior 13
Kristen DesRocher 5-9 Junior 22
Hannah Vance 5-7 Junior 4
Hillary Hainer 5-11 Soph. 30
Codi Conley 5-6 Soph. 3
Kim Lambert 5-6 Soph. 43
Shian Meeks 5-8 Fr. 21
Christina Osborne 5-2 Fr. 25
Savannah Wiley 6-0 Fr. 34
Addy Lucas 5-7 Fr. 11
Autumn Blankenship 6-1 Fr. 24
Kortni Packo 5-6 Fr. 23
HEAD COACH: David Williamson
ASSISTANTS: Dave Elkins, P.D. Clemens, Kris Garrett-Gore