Comeback falls short as the Clay-Battelle boys' basketball team loses 48-42 to Webster County in state tournament

Sean Manning, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
·3 min read

May 5—CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the last media timeout whistled with 3:55 to go in the fourth quarter, Clay-Battelle was staring up from of the base of a tall mountain.

The No. 5-seed Cee-Bees trailed Webster County by nine points at 44-35, but a furious comeback late cut the lead to 44-42 with just under a minute to go. Yet, a critical turnover gave the Highlanders the ball back with 57 seconds left.

Webster County continued to extend its lead and C-B's comeback bid fell short in Tuesday night's Class A quarterfinal in the WVSSAC boys' tournament, as WCHS won, 48-42.

"We just couldn't finish down the stretch, " C-B head coach Josh Kisner said. "We had shots around the rim and gave them a couple second-chance points. In order to make that run, we got the ball inside and we were right there. We just couldn't finish."

One of the biggest problems for the Cee-Bees (15-3) was Webster County (12-6) junior guard Rye Gadd, who shot 10 of 16 from the field and finished with a game-high 27 points.

"He's a player—we had somebody up on him, he still finishes, " Kisner said. "He's a great shooter and can get to the rim. Just a well-rounded player and we had trouble with him tonight."

Clay-Battelle got off to a good start, leading 9-6, but the Highlanders ended on a 7-1 run to end the first quarter. Webster County built the lead early in the second quarter, but it was C-B's turn to make a run and it pulled with a point at halftime 24-23.

The third quarter, though, is what may have put the Cee-Bees behind the 8 ball, as the Highlanders outscored C-B, 13-6, in the frame.

"Our shooting wasn't what it was all year, " Kisner said. "People talk about that happening in Charleston and it being a curse down here. You don't shoot as well as you do at home. We're averaging mid-40s (percent) this year and that's the difference maker."

They were just under that mark at 36 % (18 of 50), but leading scorer Mojo Chisler had 12 points, second on the team behind Gavin Moore's 16.

Chisler and Moore are one of seven seniors who played in their first state tournament, and one of the main goals was to get that group to Charleston.

Mission accomplished.

"Playing down here has always been my goal, " Chisler said. "My brother was on the last team that came here (in 2014). Ending it this way doesn't dampen my career. I feel good right now."

BOX SCORE Clay-Battelle (15-3)

Statler 1 2-2 5 ; Ammons 1 0-0 2 ; Moore 8 0-0 16 ; Hennen 1 0-2 2 ; Chisler 5 1-4 12 ; Boczek 2 0-0 5 ; Watson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 3-8 42.

Webster County (12-6)

Cutlip 2 2-4 6 ; Coley 2 2-2 7 ; Williams 4 0-4 8 ; Gadd 10 4-6 27 ; Bell 0 0-0 0 ; Groggs 0 0-0 0 ; Clevenger 0 0-0 0 ; Blankenship 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 8-16 48.

C-B 10 13 6 13 — 42 WC 13 11 13 11 — 48 3-pointers: C-B 3 (Statler, Chisler, Boczek); WC 4 (Gadd 3, Coley).

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