Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Colby Barr scores 32, Cee-Bees claim section championship

BLACKSVILLE — Clay-Battelle’s biggest strength this season has been its size and that strength shined bright Friday night as the Cee-Bees claimed a section championship by defeating Tyler Consolidated 72-53 in front of a standing-room-only crowd inside Statler-Wilson Gymnasium.

Junior Colby Barr, one of three forwards standing at 6-5 for CB, was the star of the game, scoring 32 points with near-automatic efficiency down low.

“He played his butt off tonight,” CB coach Josh Kisner said. “The boys did a great job of getting him the ball. He was getting beat up inside and he just kept his head, did what he’s supposed to and put the ball in the hole.”

Barr was Clay-Battelle’s go-to option down low against the oversized Silver Knights and he delivered time and time again with 13 made field goals.

“I felt good coming out of the locker room and I just kept playing,” Barr said. “A lot of the smaller teams are going to double us so we’ve still got to work just as hard as when we’re playing bigger teams.”

Tyler coach Steve Nutter said his team considered multiple ways to combat CB’s forwards from double teaming to playing zone to a full-court press and, ultimately, not much worked for the Knights.

“We knew this was going to be our toughest matchup out of anybody in the region just because they’ve got 6-5, 6-5, 6-6 in the back,” Nutter said. “Barr’s arms reach up to about seven foot, he’s tough inside.”

The Cay-Battelle boys’ basketball team and cheerleaders celebrate winning the Class A Region I, Section 2 championship Friday night. (Cody Nespor/The Dominion Post)

Despite their superior size, Clay-Battelle (18-6) was tied with Tyler (10-14) after the first quarter at 13-13. The second quarter is when the Cee-Bees started going to Barr and it paid off in a major way as he scored 14 points in the frame.

The easy option for Tyler would have been to pack the paint with bodies, but when the Knights tried, Clay-Battelle’s shooters made them pay. CB capped off a 19-2 run in the second quarter with three straight three-pointers from Kholton St. Clair, Cooper Payton and Matthew Gadd.

“Our entire team is shooting the ball extremely well right now,” Kisner said. “Any time we can work the inside-out game, we’re hard to stop.”

CB outscored their visitors 23-10 in the second quarter and led 36-23 at the half.

Tyler came out much better in the third and the teams again played even basketball, each scoring 14 in the frame, but the Knights were never able to spark a scoring run to get them fully back into the game.

“We got good looks but we just never made that shot that took us over the edge,” Nutter said. “They did a nice job of staying calm, staying composed and knocking down shots in critical moments and we didn’t have that fortune on our side.”

Barr took over again in the fourth, scoring his final 11 points as CB went on to win 72-53.

“The boys really wanted this game,” Kisner said. “We’re one step closer to where we want to be.”

Behind Barr’s 32, Carson Shriver added nine points, Preston Luzader and Gadd each had eight and St. Clair finished with seven. CB’s six three-pointers came from five different players.

For Tyler, Conner Bailey led with 19 points while Hayden Brown had 11 and Brady Strode scored 10. 

It was the 10th win in a row for Clay-Battelle, who will host next week’s Class A Region I co-final against the Madonna Blue Dons.

“We’re playing really well right now,” Kisner said. “They’re concerned with one game at a time, one step at a time. The next one is at home to give the seniors one final home game this season and I’d like to see them go down to Charleston.”

Winning Friday means the Cee-Bees will play all three playoff games at home this year, with the chance to earn a spot in the state tournament next Thursday.

“It’s huge,” Barr said. “It’s awesome to come here and play the biggest game of some of our lives in front of our home crowd.”

“The sixth man is going to help next week,” Kisner added. “I expect this place to be packed and a great atmosphere for basketball.”

Madonna lost 72-70 to Cameron in overtime in the Section 1 championship on Friday. CB defeated Madonna 83-81 in the regular-season finale, their only meeting this year. Tyler will travel to Cameron for the other co-final.

“We feel like our matchup with either one of those teams is better than it is with Clay-Battelle just because of their size,” Nutter said. “We’re going to have them ready and we’re going to play as hard as we can. Our guys are expecting to go to Charleston.”

Clay-Battelle 72, Tyler Consolidated 53

TC 13 10 14 16 — 53

CB 13 23 14 22 — 72

Tyler — Strode 4 1-2 10; Gorby 1 2-4 4; Brown 4 0-0 11; Bailey 6 7-8 19; Billings 1 0-0 3; Nichols 2 0-0 4; Seckman 1 0-0 2; Broughman 0 0-2 0.

CB — Barr 13 6-8 32; Gadd 3 0-0 8; Luzader 3 2-2 8; St. Clair 2 1-2 7; Shriver 2 4-4 9; Kolat 1 0-0 3; Payton 2 0-0 5; Spears 0 0-0 0.

3 Pt. Goals — Tyler Consolidated 4 (Brown 2, Strode 1, Billings 1). Clay-Battelle 6 (Gadd 2, St. Clair 1, Shriver 1, Kolat 1, Payton 1). 

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