The Voice of West Virginia
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Ronnie Olson and his Shady Spring Tigers knew they would have their hands full against Parkersburg South.
The Tigers’ relentless defensive pressure caused problems for a Parkersburg South offense averaging 75 points this season. Shady Spring’s havoc allowed the Tigers to turn Parkersburg South over 17 times, while the Tigers hit on all cylinders offensively to run away with an 87-69 victory in the final of the Battle for the Springhouse at The Greenbrier.
“That is a statement win against a great program,” said Shady Spring head coach Ronnie Olson. “To win it the way we did was phenomenal. They made a run on us in the second half, cutting our lead to three. However, we came back and used a big run. There was no letup in those guys today. They want to come back here next year.”
Despite the defeat, veteran Parkersburg South head coach Mike Fallon was encouraged by his team’s intensity.
“I thought we played well early. We were physical early, and then in the second quarter, Shady pushed us back on offense and farther out,” Fallon said. “We did not adjust much in the second quarter. Coming out of halftime, I thought we adjusted to everything and ran what we had. It seemed like when it went bad it really did not go in our favor. I do not care if it is single, double, triple, or quad-A, [Shady Spring] is as good as anyone in West Virginia.”
The Tigers pounced on the Patriots in the second quarter, posting a 25-point frame.
Seniors Cam Manns and Braden Chapman combined for 16 of Shady’s 25 points.
“We stayed the course,” Olson stated. “Our adjustment was us playing less with our hands and more with our feet. We felt that they could not go around us. On the defensive end, I thought we were getting what we wanted. We know the defense is going to be there. We get a big lead when we go on that run, and we did tonight.”
Shady’s 25-point second quarter ledd to an 11-point advantage going into halftime at 44-33.
However, Parkersburg South came out of the break on an 8-0 run to trim the Tigers’ lead to three. Shady Spring responded with a 10-1 run, which stretched its lead back to double-figures at 54-42.
Olson is no stranger to seeing his team fight through adversity, and it was on display again Saturday seemingly every time Parkersburg South offered a response.
“It shows maturity and resiliency,” Olson said. “We are a mature group. We have a lot of seniors with a few juniors. They built the lead the whole half, and then it was gone. Our guys have been through every situation. They have been to the state tournament the last two seasons and played for state championships. They are not worried about something like that.”
Olson was pleased with his team’s defensive intensity and holding the Patriots six points below their season average.
“That is who we are and that is who we will continue to be,” Olson stated. “The guys have bought in since day one. We will continue to compete at a high level if they continue buying in on the defensive end. That has been a staple of our program. If you can play defense, then you can be in any game.”
Chapman, a West Virginia Tech commit, led all scorers with 27 points, including 16 in the first half. He converted on 11-of-15 free throws.
“He is a grade-A competitor,” Olson said. “The better the competition he plays, the more dog that comes out of him. That kid plays with a chip on his shoulder when he practices and plays. We will see him make some big baskets come postseason play.”
Manns finished the game with 25 points and showed his versatility on the perimeter by making three 3-pointers. The senior also connected on all six of his free throws.
“Cam has been steady,” Olson said. “He has accepted his role. Cam has been rebounding like an animal. If you leave him open, you will pay, and he has not been shooting off balance. He has come out of his shell as well.”
Parkersburg South seniors Aiden Blake and Cyrus Traugh combined for 36 of the Patriots’ 69 points.
“I thought the second half of the Dover [Ohio] game and you could see the difference in his game last night. You could see the competitiveness come back,” Fallon said of Traugh. “He was banged up early, and it took a toll on him until the last two weeks to come back into that flow. When we start this run, he will be ready.”
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Highlights from Morgantown’s 71-45 win over Spring Mills.
(Highlights by Teran Malone)
- Izzy Everett – 14 points
- Garrison Kisner – 14 points
- Brody Davis – 12 points
- Jonathon Shrewsberrry – 10 points
Spring Mills (13-4):
- Caleb Thomas – 16 points
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LOST CREEK, W.Va. — Junior Colby Barr’s 26th and 27th points of the game with 3.4 seconds left propelled Clay-Battelle past East Hardy, 76-74 in the West Virginia Hometown Invitation Tournament Shootout at South Harrison High School.
Barr scored off a post feed from Preston Luzader and his layup gave the Cee-Bees the winning margin in one of their best victories of the season.
“Colby does well around the rim for us. We have a couple different inbounds plays designed for him in particular. There’s one or two, I bet he has fifty or sixty points off of the last two years,” said Clay-Battelle head coach Josh Kisner. “They came together in the end and did what they were supposed to do.”
East Hardy needed just five minutes in the first quarter to build a 23-11 lead. Senior guard Ashton Haslacker connected on four three-pointers in the opening frame. He ended the game with seven triples and a team-best 25 points. Clay-Battelle used a 12-2 run late in the first quarter to creep within three points at 28-25.
“We started out in a zone and I felt like they couldn’t miss. They had nine 3’s in the first half. We had to jump into a man and try to get on their shooters a little bit. When one shooter for them cooled off, someone else picked it up.”
The Cee-Bees briefly took a 37-35 lead in the second quarter before the Cougars answered with a 7-0 run. East Hardy led 45-43 at halftime.
Clay-Battelle began to work the ball inside to Barr and Preston Luzader with regularity in the third quarter. The Cee-Bees led 62-58 going into the final frame.
“We’re a big team and those guys do a great job around the rim. Trying to get the ball inside is always one of our go-to plays.”
East Hardy regained the lead [63-62] with seven minutes to play courtesy of a three-pointer from Jordan Teets. Clay-Battelle scored the next six points to take a 68-63 lead with 4:30 remaining.
With 90 seconds left, Haslacker delivered his seventh and final triple of the game, giving the Cougars a 73-72 lead. The teams exchanged free throws on their next possessions to tie the game at 74 and setting the stage for Barr’s winning basket.
East Hardy turned the ball over with 0.6 seconds left on their final possession.
Kohlton St. Clair scored 20 points for the Cee-Bees (11-6) and Luzader added 17 points.
“They’re a great team and a well-coached team. This is a quality win for us,” Kisner said.
East Hardy (13-5) saw their nine-game win streak come to an end. J.W. Teets scored 21 points for the Cougars and Jordan Teets added 12.
Schedule note: The final game of the Shootout between South Harrison and Tygarts Valley has been postponed. Efforts will be made to reschedule the game later in the season.
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ST. MARYS, W.Va. — Employees of the Pleasants Power Station are making their best pitch to save the plant and their jobs. The present owner of the plant intends to close it at the end of May after they were unsuccessful in trying to sell the coal fired facility.
Craig Straight has worked at the plant for more than 23 years and is a third generation employee. Speaking on Friday’s MetroNews Talkline, he said they don’t believe the attempt to sell the facility came at the right time. He said the attempt to sell came as Covid created chaos in the business world and soon afterward Russia invaded Ukraine and wrecked the market for natural gas in Europe. Both events caused the sudden inflation of coal prices on the spot market and killed any hopes of selling the plant for the time being.
There are efforts to try and save the Pleasants Power Station at Willow Island. Craig Straight, Representative for the Employees at the Pleasants Power Station, discusses those efforts with @DaveWilsonMN. WATCH: https://t.co/yCFQ3nDJuy pic.twitter.com/o3BhdKdfNM
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) February 3, 2023
But Straight said things have now changed and the prices of coal has eased a bit.
“What we’re hoping for is one of the previous suitors will find a coal contract and negotiate and purchase the plant,” Straight told MetroNews.
Workers have another plan they are also hoping will hold up. They want to use a case before the West Virginia Public Service Commision in which the Consumer Advocate’s analysis indicated the plant was a valuable resource to keep power to West Virginia customers available and affordable.
“The consumer advocate, whose sole purposes is to protect the rate payers of West Virginia, testified they believed it was in the best interest of the rate payers for Mon Power and Potomac Edison which serve the eastern panhandle and northern part of the state to purchase the Pleasants Power Station to add to their generation. We’re concentrating now on pursuing that PSC case,” he explained.
But the aging coal fired facility gets a lot of grief as companies attempt to turn away from traditional fossil fuels and look toward alternatives for the future. The trend toward green energy has weighed hard on facilities like Pleasants. It’s the reason the present owner wants to shed the asset, but Straight said the nation isn’t ready to run solely on wind and solar–or even natural gas at this point.
“You only have to go back to the bomb cyclone of the Christmas holiday weekend to see what’s happening to our country. PJM, the grid operator for this region, at one point was 2,000 megawatts shy of what they needed to meet peak load that day. If Pleasants was already closed, they would have been an additional 1,300 megawatts shy,” he said.
Straight said the plant is capable of powering more than one Million homes. The facility is also equipped with the Selective Catalytic Restriction System or “SCR” commonly called a “scrubber” to clean pollutants from emissions as they are released. Other plans are forced to buy credits for such pollution while Pleasants’ SCR system is capable of actually creating those credits. He said they are encouraging Mon Power’s purchase would enable the company to keep the reliability and capacity of not only the Pleasants Power Station, but also their Fort Martin Power Station. Also a coal fired facility, Fort Martin does not have the SCR technology and must currently buy the credits.
The Pleasants Power Station, according to the workers provides 154 jobs to the region. It’s Pleasants County’s single-largest tax payer with $1.7 Million annual contribution to the local school system. Straight said the plant generates $460 Million in economic development to the state and creates more than 700 coal jobs for West Virginia by annually burning three Million tons of West Virginia coal.
But even with those stats, Straight said the bigger worry is the plant represents the fabric of the community which they don’t want to lose.
“We’re not just taxes and jobs or concrete and steel. This plant means something to our community. It’s woven into the fabric of our community. It’s more than just a power station,” he explained.
Straight said they have created a Save Pleasants Power Facebook page in hopes of rallying support to sell and save the plant.
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— By Bill Cornwell
Marshall looks to return to the top of the Sun Belt Conference standings Saturday night when the Thundering Herd visits the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana. UL is in a first place tie with Southern Miss in the Sun Belt, while Marshall is alone in third place, one game behind the Golden Eagles and Ragin’ Cajuns.
The game tips off at 8 p.m. at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana. It can be viewed on ESPN+.
While Marshall (19-5, 8-3) picked up a 66-58 win at Appalachian State Thursday night, Louisiana (19-4, 9-2) won its ninth straight game with an 82-63 home victory over Texas State.
Bob Marlin is in his 13th season as head coach at Louisiana and has a 240-171 record, including a 136-93 mark in Sun Belt Conference games.
Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni says his team is looking forward to challenge Saturday night.
“People want to see good basketball,” D’Antoni said. “They know we’re coming to win and you’re going to get a good game and the game is meaningful. We played them pretty good last year and they basically have the same team this year.”
The Thundering Herd and Ragin’ Cajuns met in Huntington last season, with Marshall earning a 93-79 victory. The teams have met seven previous times and the Herd has a 4-3 series advantage.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have been consistent all season, with non-conference victories over teams such as Louisiana Tech, East Tennessee State, Samford and McNeese State. Louisiana suffered non-conference setbacks at Texas and Drake.
The Ragin’ Cajuns have been perfect in Sun Belt play since dropping their first two league games at Coastal Carolina and Old Dominion.
Louisiana has three players averaging double-figure scoring in junior forward Jordan Brown (19.6 points), senior guard Greg Williams Jr. (14.5) and senior forward Terence Lewis (11.9). Lewis and Brown lead in rebounding with eight and 7.7, respectively.
Redshirt sophomore guard Themus Fulks provides the Ragin’ Cajuns a big boost as a playmaker and has amassed 150 assists this season.
Louisiana nearly matches Marshall in scoring (80.39 points per game as compared with MU’s 82.08). The Ragin’ Cajuns out-rebound opponents by six boards per game.
After Saturday’s contest, Marshall’s four-game road trip continues next week with games at Coastal Carolina on February 9 and Georgia State a week from Saturday. The Herd defeated both schools at the Henderson Center in earlier meetings this season.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A remote fishing trip into northern Canada proved to be a productive vacation for a South Charleston angler. Matthew Pfohl of South Charleston was announced on this past Saturday’s West Virginia Outdoors as the grand prize winner in the Hoodoo Sports Trophy Photo Contest.
Matthew submitted a picture of a smallmouth bass he caught on a trip to northern Ontario in May 2022.
“We had booked a fly-in fishing trip on Lake Eric in northern Ontario and then covid hit. We had to wait two years to even taken this trip,” Matthew said on the show.
He and two other individuals finally made it there and it was worth the wait.
“We flew in with Gateway North Outfitters and they dropped us off with a generator and a cabin all by ourselves. We fished for smallmouth, walleye, and northern pike. That was about a six-and-a-half or seven pound smallmouth, said Pfohl.
He caught the the fish while fishing alone during one day of the trip and had the difficult task of trying to get the huge fish into the frame of a selfie.
“I knew it was a big fish and my brother wouldn’t believe me when I got back to the cabin if I didn’t take a picture,” he laughed.
Congrats Matt, what a catch! That one would look great laying in your new kayak. https://t.co/WuIUqyi7ns
— HOODOO Sports (@HoodooSports) February 4, 2023
The computer randomly selected Pfohl’s picture from the 366 entries received in the contest from October 1st through January 31st. He wins a Hoodoo Sports Element 100s 10′ sit-on-top kayak, paddle, dry bag, fishing rod holder.
Ironically, Pfohl was contacted and came on the show live from a cruise ship returning to Port Canaveral, Florida after a Caribbean Cruise. He admitted he never dreamed the picture he took on a remote Canadian lake of a massive smallmouth bass during a trip which was delayed by two years would result in news on a Caribbean vacation that he had won a kayak. Most probably wouldn’t have had that square on their bingo card.
According to Pfohl, he currently floats the Greenbrier and New Rivers with inflatable pontoons. That will be changing this spring.
“I’d been considering getting a kayak, now I guess I won’t have to. Thanks to you guys and thanks to Hoodoo Sports,” he said.
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Today will feature big-time games with important wins on the line.
Travis Jones and Taylor Kennedy are back for another edition of MEC This Week. The two discuss the important matchups and storylines for the weekend.
Justin Caldwell, the Glenville State men’s head basketball coach, stop by to discuss the Pioneers’ impressive season so far. What has worked well for them? What has changed lately that was not working earlier this season? What has Jordan Turbo Smith meant to this year’s team?
Mickayla Perdue, a Glenville State Lady Pioneers guard, discusses her season. What led her to choose Glenville State? How much of an impact did head coach Kim Stephens play into her decision?
Subscribe to MEC This Week wherever you find your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston believes a lack of proper training and self-control played major roles in the beating death of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police.
Preston, who now works for Benchmark Professional Seminars, a law enforcement company that he founded, said none of the officers took control of the situation, and because of that, a “mob mentality” took over. Because of the lack of order, adrenaline flowed to the point that all parties were going through the “fight or flight syndrome.”
“I saw nothing along the lines of a clear communication to Nichols as to what the officers were doing, what they were investigating, and why they wanted him to step out of the car,” Preston Friday on MetroNews “Talkline.”
According to Preston, Nichols was processing commands from multiple officers within a matter of seconds, which continued for minutes. When other officers arrived on scene, they appeared to continue the chaos rather than seek order.
“From a trainer’s perspective, Mr. Nichols was in overload, he was in psychological overload because he told them he was down and he was good as he was going to the ground,” Preston said.
Preston said responders benefit from stress inoculation training. The training provides recruits and officers with gradually escalating situations, from a verbal altercation up to and including the use of force and continuing while injured or partially incapacitated. Research shows the training helps control the release and rush of adrenaline during stressful situations.
“We see this so many times in foot pursuits and vehicle pursuits. All of the adrenaline dump and aren’t able to shut that switch off immediately coming out of it.”
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) February 3, 2023
The number of officers leaving the profession the leaving departments short staffed which means longer shifts in tough conditions in some cases. According to Preston, training is a sound investment that can lives and liability.
“The emphasis on efficiency is being lost because we worry about how fast we can get to a call and not how effectively we can handle the call,” Preston said. “The effectiveness happens with training; you have to put money into training.”
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WELLSBURG, W.Va. — A woman who struck a West Virginia sheriff with her vehicle pleaded guilty to a DUI charges in Brooke County.
Tess Haynes, 27, entered th plea to DUI causing bodily injury Friday in Brooke Count Circuit Court. She was impaired August 9, 202 when she struck Brooke County Sheriff Richard Beatty on Route 22. Beatty was involved with traffic control stemming from a broken down semi.
The Sheriff suffered a crack in his spine as a result of
Prosecutors say evidence showed Haynes was under the influence of methamphetamine and fentanyl at the time of the accident.
She was sentenced to 2 to 10 years in prison, fined $1,000, and had her driver’s license revoked for five years.
Haynes will be admitted into an addiction program in prison. The judge in the case indicated if she successfully completed the program she would be able to seek a reduced sentence at a later time.
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PRICHARD, W.Va. — A fire in Wayne County claimed a life.
The blaze Friday afternoon destroyed a home in the Prichard community. Firefighters were called t the blaze in the 1600 block of Queen’s Creek about 1:30 p.m.
The victim was discovered after the fire was under control. A name for the victim was not released.
A cause for the fire is not known.