Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Barr’s game-winner gives CB key sectional victory over Doddridge County

BLACKSVILLE — Off the court, Clay-Battelle’s Colby Barr is a soft-spoken, polite young man. On the court, however, the 6-foot-8 senior turns into all but an unstoppable force, bumping and bruising his way under the basket to score with unmatched efficiency.

So when the Cee-Bees were tied 54-54 with visiting Doddridge County with less than 30 seconds to play on Thursday evening, everyone in the Wilson-Statler Gymnasium knew the ball was going to Barr. It’s just that nobody knew how to stop him.

Barr got the ball under the basket with 10 seconds to play. He was defended in the post by Doddridge County’s Jaden Solomon, who matches Barr’s size. Jacob Dehaven came over to double-team Barr and even got his hands on the ball, but Barr simply pivoted and hit a floater to give CB the 56-54 lead. 

“I was on all night, I felt good,” said Barr, who finished with a game-high 28 points. “I felt like I was plenty confident enough to take the shot, so I took it.”

“That’s a senior just taking over and doing what he knows what to do,” CB coach Josh Kisner added. “He dominated in the post in the third and fourth quarters. This is one that he wanted and he went out and showed it.”

Not caught up in the celebration, guard JC Spears stole Doddridge’s inbounds pass and made both of his free throws to ice the game and secure the 58-54 Cee-Bee victory.

“He’s a very talented young man, there’s no doubt about that, there’s no taking it away from him,” Doddridge coach Paul Burnside said about Barr. “I thought we had the right call and maybe could’ve gotten a jump ball there.”

CB (13-5) led by six points with three minutes to play when the Bulldogs (10-5) made one final push. Jerod Trent’s back-to-back three-pointers knotted the game at 54-54 with 56 seconds to play. 

“I’m very proud of our guys for continuing to battle,” Burnside said. “A very back-and-forth game that could’ve gone either way and we just fell a little short tonight.”

Kisner told his team to hold for the last shot, which resulted in Barr’s game-winner.

“This is a sectional matchup,” Barr said. “It’s one of the games to determine if we get to play our sectionals here or somewhere else. I wanted it a lot.”

The Cee-Bees started slow on Thursday, trailing by as many as seven points in the first quarter before trailing 19-16 at the end. Better defense had CB up 29-26 at halftime, but neither Barr nor fellow big man Preston Luzader had really gotten going on offense up to that point.

That changed after halftime, however, as Barr started backing down Solomon in the post to score four field goals in the third quarter and three more in the fourth.

“You’ve just got to look at the experience, he’s younger,” Barr said. “I’ve been playing varsity for three years now and that’s his first year so you’ve got to play your advantage. I felt that I could back him down and put the ball in the hoop so I just went for it every time that I could.”

Doddridge’s Landon Thomas did a better job of stopping Luzader, who scored his 1,000th career point last week, but stopping both members of Clay-Battelle’s towering duo is a tough task for any team.

“When you’re a junior in high school and you’ve already reached 1,000 points, that means you’re a good ball player,” Burnside said of Luzader. “For us to be able to handle them the way we did, I thought we did pretty good and just fell a little short.”

Luzader finished with 11 points with just three field goals, but Barr’s 28 on 12 field goals more than made up for it.

“The level of competition that Colby has played in the summer had prepared him for what we’re seeing right now,” Kisner said. “He’s definitely a leader by example and that showed (Thursday).”

Clay-Battelle’s trio of young guards — Cooper Payton, JC Spears and Braden Ponceroff — also played well on Thursday, especially on defense where they caused havoc and limited the Bulldogs’ outside shooting.

“They are very competitive boys,” Kisner said. “I don’t fault their effort, ever. Sometimes they do some dumb things and make some mistakes, but that’s part of playing.”

The trio combined for 20 points on six total three-pointers to ensure that Doddridge couldn’t simply crowd the box against Barr and Luzader.

“They definitely stepped up tonight,’ Barr said. “They came to play and they wanted the game just as bad as everyone else did.”

Trent and Brandon Hileman led Doddridge with 14 points apiece. Thomas added 11 and Dehaven finished with eight.

Clay-Battelle plays again tonight at home against Weir in an OVAC consolation match. 

Doddridge and CB aren’t scheduled to play one another again this season, but its easy to envision the pair meeting up again in a section championship or even down in Charleston.

“Josh has a nice team and I feel that we have a nice team,” Burnside said. “When you get two good teams on the floor, that’s the type of game you should have.”

Clay-Battelle 58, Doddridge County 54
DC 19 7 13 15 — 54
CB 16 13 13 16 — 58
DODDRIDGE COUNTY (10-5) — Hileman 3 6-6 14; Thomas 5 0-0 11; Trent 5 0-0 14; Dehaven 2 4-4 8; Solomon 2 0-0 4; Cross 0 0-0 0; Adams 1 0-0 3; Mitchell 0 0-0 0; Kimball 0 0-0 0; Dixon 0 0-0 0.
CLAY-BATTELLE (13-5) — Spears 3 2-2 11; Ponceroff 1 0-0 3; Payton 2 0-0 6; Barr 12 4-6 28; Luzader 3 5-6 11; Morgan 0 0-0 0.
3-Pt. Goals — Doddridge County 8 (Trent 4, Hileman 2, Thomas 1, Adams 1). Clay-Battelle 6 (Spears 3, Payton 2, Ponceroff 1).