Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Barr, Luzader lead Clay-Battelle to inaugural Santa Series championship

BLACKSVILLE — The 2023 Santa Series basketball tournament concluded on Saturday at Clay -High School in Blacksville with the Cee-Bees and Greenbrier West Cavaliers battling for the tournament championship.

The Cee-Bees (6-2) used a dominant frontcourt display from duo Colby Barr and Preston Luzader, who combined for 59 points, to race past the Cavaliers (2-3) by a final score of 79-50.

Barr led the way with 31 points, while Luzader added 28. The two shot 24 for 38 from the field and 11 for 15 from the free-throw line.

C-B started hot out of the gate with a layup from the opening tip-off in the first five seconds of the game and didn’t look back from there. A 12-0 run to start the game set the tone early on as GW struggled to make a shot, starting the contest 0 for 8 from the field.

“We didn’t start very well (Friday), (Saturday) that was one of our goals; come in and try to get ahead early and see what we could do,” CB head coach Josh Kisner said. “We knew Greenbrier West wouldn’t give up, they’re a tough team and in the top ten. Our boys just put on a show today.”

Luzader made his presence known in the paint on both ends as well, grabbing nearly every rebound and finishing the second chances on the offensive side.

A 19-7 lead after the first quarter became 49-23 by halftime behind a 30-point frame for the Cee-Bees. Luzader scored 20 of his 28 total points in the opening half. The 2-3 zone by CB defensively disrupted GW all afternoon and allowed the hosts to keep the speed of the Cavaliers at bay.

“They are an up-tempo team that likes to get after it, but I think we took them out of their game a little today,” Kisner said. “We wanted to take care of the basketball today and our young guards did a great job of that and passed the ball well to the inside. If the outside shots aren’t falling we know the big guys are there to clean up.”

The advantage remained over 20 points after the third quarter, 66-31, as Luzader and Barr each went over 20 points during the frame. Despite shooting effort from 3-point range of 2 for 13, the Cee-Bees made 29 of 44 attempted shots from inside the arc, much of those coming from inside the paint. 24 of those came from either Barr or Luzader.

“Preston is only a junior but he doesn’t play anything like that,” Kisner said. “He is our leader out there and an upperclassman in our eyes. The work he does during the offseason has shown early in the season and he and Colby just complement each other so well.”

The Cavaliers managed to outscore the Cee-Bees 19-13 in the final quarter, but it was too little, too late as the hosts captured the 2023 Santa Series championship 79-50.

The Cee-Bees improved to 6-2 and will play three games in three days next week, Tuesday through Thursday.

Clay Battelle 79, Greenbrier West 50
GW 7 16 8 19 – 50
C-B 19 30 17 13 – 79
Greenbrier West – McClung 7 2-3 17 Hagy 2 1-4 5 Agee 1 0-0 3 Davis 1 0-2 2 Dunbar 2 0-0 4 Dixon 4 0-0 11 Crane 2 0-0 6 Ramsey 1 0-0 2
Clay Battelle – Barr 14 3-4 31 Luzader 10 8-10 28 Payton 3 2-2 8 Morgan 2 0-0 5 Ponceroff 2 0-0 5 Moats 0 2-2 2
3pt goals – Greenbrier West 7 (Dixon 3 Crane 2 McClung 1 Agee 1); Clay Battelle 2 (Ponceroff 1 Morgan 1)