Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Cee-Bees face Webster County in state quarterfinals

BLACKSVILLE — For the second time in three years, the Clay-Battelle boys’ basketball team will end their season in the capital city.

By virtue of last week’s regional co-championship, the Cee-Bees (19-6) qualified for the WVSSAC Class A state tournament as the No. 4 seed and will play No. 5 Webster County in the quarterfinal round Tuesday at 11:15 a.m.

“When we posted the schedule at the start of the year, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” CB coach Josh Kisner said last week. “To be 19-6 right now feels pretty good.”

C-B enters the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the state, having won 11 games in a row. Their last loss came all the way back on Jan. 25 against Cameron. Included in the streak are playoff wins against Wood County Christian, Tyler Consolidated and Madonna.

“At the beginning of the year, we knew we had really good potential, but we play a really tough section and a really tough region,” senior Carson Shriver said. “At the end of the day, we got it done and that win feels great for us seniors.”

Clay-Battelle last made the tournament in 2021. Shirver, the team’s starting point guard, was just a sophomore then and know going again as a senior will be a very different experience.

“Being a sophomore down there (in 2021), I really didn’t get to play much,” Shriver said. “We had a great senior class and we know we have to step up now. We’re the seniors and we’ve got to lead by example, lead with our voices.”

Shriver, fittingly, leads the Cee-Bees in assists, averaging 4.9 per game. Fellow senior guard Kholton St. Clair is the team’s best shooter, making 77 three-pointers this season while averaging 15.2 points.

C-B’s true strength, however, lies down low. Senior Matthew Gadd, junior Colby Barr and sophomore Preston Luzader are all towering presence down low. Barr and Luzader both average double-doubles with Barr averaging a team-high 17.6 points and 10.3 rebounds while Luzader puts up 14.8 and 10.7 per game.

Webster County (18-7) did not play Clay-Battelle this season, but eked out a 57-53 region co-final victory over River View to make it into the tournament.

The winner will advance to the semifinals to play either top-seeded James Monroe or No. 8 Cameron.

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