Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports

Cee-Bees start fast, Luzader leads the way against Weir in OVAC consolation

BLACKSVILLE — Efficiency is something most strive for in the game of basketball on the offensive end. The Clay-Battelle boys basketball team was the definition of the word efficient in the first eight minutes of a 75-45 victory over the visiting Weir Red Riders on Friday night in OVAC consolation play.

The Cee-Bees (14-5) shot 11 of 14 from the field in the first quarter which allowed them to blow open a 26-7 lead. Colby Barr and Preston Luzader got to work on the glass early and a solid defensive effort by head coach Josh Kisner’s club guided them to a strong win over the Red Riders (7-12).

“We got off to a hot start tonight which helped our momentum, our crowd was great tonight too,” Kisner said. “The game of basketball is a game of runs and in the second quarter, we cooled off big time. Our shot selection wasn’t what it should’ve been but we talked about that in the locker room at halftime and came out and did what we needed to do.”

From the opening tip, the duo of Barr and Luzader went to work in the post, scoring and rebounding the ball at will.

The Cee-Bees were turning turnovers into instant offense and forced a timeout from WHS after a layup by JC Spears extended the lead to 14-2 at the 3:42 mark of the opening frame.

Not only did Luzader make his presence felt on offense, he also punished the Red Riders in the paint on defense with a trio of emphatic rejections on consecutive trips down the floor.

As Kisner mentioned, CB slowed its scoring in the second, only scoring 12 points in the quarter. But it held Weir to only nine points to still extend the lead before halftime, leading 38-16 at the break.

Luzader finished with 26 points to lead all scorers on 12 of 21 (57%) shooting and a pair of free throws, this coming after the night before when he finished with just 11 points of three made baskets in a 54-50 victory over Doddridge County. Barr finished with 16 points but shot just 6 of 17 from the field, he finished with 28 points and a game-winner against Doddridge on Thursday. Cooper Payton also finished in double-figures with 15 points.

“I feel that rebounding helped me today when it came to getting some easy baskets,” Luzader said. “Our shots weren’t falling at some points in the game and offensive rebounding allowed me to get some second chances. Eventually, I got some jumpers to fall too.”

His layup with 1:22 left to play in the third quarter extended the C-B lead to 27 points, 51-24, and one more basket before the end of the frame saw the score at 53-24 entering the fourth.

The final quarter saw 43 points scored between the two teams as the hosts held on for a 30-point victory over Class AAA Weir.

Last week Luzader reached the 1000-point milestone in just his junior season during a game on the road.

“It’s very exciting to hit the mark, but for me, it was all about winning that day,” he said. “I didn’t feel like there was a lot of pressure for it to happen before but it does feel good to know that I’ve done it. I guess the next thing in my sights is the (all-time) record.”

Clay-Battelle 75, Weir 45

WHS 7 9 8 21 – 45
C-B 26 12 15 22 – 75
Weir — Mowder 2 4-5 8; Jeffers 3 0-2 6; Broswell 3 2-4 8; Stromile 1 0-2 2; Pettaway 2 0-2 4; Potock 2 2-4 6; Kaczmarek 4 0-0 11.
Clay-Battelle — Luzader 12 2-6 26; Barr 6 4-7 16; Payton 5 3-3 15; Spears 3 0-0 7; Morgan 2 1-1 5; Moats 1 0-0 2; White 1 0-0 2.
3pt goals – C-B 3 (Payton 2 Spears 1); Weir 3 (Kaczmarek 3)