Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Colby Barr reaches 1,000 points as Cee-Bees overcome slow start to beat Morgantown Christian

BLACKSVILLE — Colby Barr’s 1,000th point looked exactly like so many of the 998 that came before it.

In the third quarter against Morgantown Christian Academy Friday night, the 6-foot-6 Clay-Battelle senior received a pass down low, made a move in the post and then finished with an easy layup at the rim, just like he’s done countless times before.

“It’s a lot of them,” Barr said with a smile. “Probably 80% of my shots are right there.”

The basket came during a furious third quarter for Barr, where he scored 14 of his game-high 35 points in the frame as the Cee-Bees (5-2) won 89-53 over MCA (6-1) in the inaugural Santa Series Holiday Tournament.

“It’s a milestone that not many kids get to be a part of,” CB coach Josh Kisner said. “It’s an accomplishment for him and his hard work and his teammates getting him the ball.”

Barr is just the 17th basketball player in Clay-Battelle history to breach to 1,000-point threshold. He joins his cousin, Haley Barr, on the exclusive list.

“It felt good, it’s something you work for all your career,” Barr said. “I knew coming in I needed 24, but throughout the game, I wasn’t totally sure the whole time what I needed.”

Barr scored 16 points in a first half that saw the Cee-Bees get off to a sluggish start. Tight defense by the Mustangs caused numerous CB turnovers and had the game tied 10-10 midway through the first quarter.

A 9-1 run finally put Clay-Battelle ahead as the Cee-Bees led 20-12 after the first frame.

“They’re a good defensive team and they were excited,” Kisner said. “A couple of my guards are still young and we just didn’t get into the flow right away. That’s the game of basketball.”

Barr and fellow big man Preston Luzader finally got going in the second quarter, but it was CB’s outside shooting that really turned the tide. Three-pointers from JC Spears, Josiah Morgan and Cooper Payton fueled a 19-6 scoring run that had the hosts up 51-30 at halftime.

“(What changed) was hitting those big outside shots when they doubled down low,” Kisner said. “Working the inside-out and finishing. You’ve got to contest those shots as well and once you do, it opens up the inside more.”

Clay-Battelle maintained a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter, where a 14-0 run put the game away for good.

“We let up,” said MCA coach Mitchell Gland. “I knew we had to play 32 minutes of basketball and that didn’t happen.”

Barr led the game with 35 points while Luzader finished with 24. Morgantown Christian, which plays in the West Virginia Christian Education Association (WVCEA), most likely won’t see another frontcourt duo like that for the rest of its season.

“They put up about 4,000 points,” Gland joked. “It’s a good wake-up call for us. We’re a little Christian school, so our goal isn’t to come in here and compete with these guys. We hope we do, but at the end of the day, our goal is to get better so we can do what we need to do in our conference.”

Cole Matthess led MCA with 19 points, followed by Collin Lemley, who hit four triples and ended with 16.

Morgantown Christian will play in the third-place game of the tournament today at noon against Trinity Christian.

“For us to get a challenge like this and for those guys to let us play in a tournament like this, that’s huge for us,” Gland said. “It makes us better, hopefully. (Friday) it didn’t look like it made us better, but we’ll see what (Saturday) looks like.”

Spears finished with 10 for CB while Payton had nine. The Cee-Bees will play Greenbrier West in the championship game today starting 30 minutes after the third-place game.

Clay-Battelle 89, Morgantown Christian 53
MCA 12 18 17 6 — 53
CB 20 31 21 17 — 89
MORGANTOWN CHRISTIAN (6-1) — Mathess 8 2-5 19; Day 2 0-0 4; Ca. Spicer 0 1-2 1; Lemley 6 0-0 16; Cordora 1 2-2 5; Valentine 3 1-2 7; Co. Spicer 0 0-0 0; Smith 0 1-2 1; Hefner 0 0-0 0; Rodriguez 0 0-0 0; Tittle 0 0-0 0; Bland 0 0-0 0.
CLAY-BATTELLE (5-2) — Spears 4 0-0 10; Payton 4 0-0 9; Ponceroff 1 3-6 5; Barr 16 3-4 35; Luzader 10 4-5 24; Morgan 1 3-4 6; White 0 0-0 0; Moats 0 0-0 0.
3-Pt. Goals — Morgantown Christian 6 (Lemley 4, Mathess 1, Cordora 1). Clay-Battelle 4 (Spears 2, Payton 1, Morgan 1).