Mojo Chisler, Clay-Battelle excited for first state tournament in seven years

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

May 4—BLACKSVILLE — The last time the Clay-Battelle boys' basketball team played in the state tournament, Divergent, starring Aaron Rodger's fiancee Shailene Woodley, was the No. 1 movie at the box office. "Happy " by Pharrell Williams was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After last week's regional championship win over Madonna, the Cee-Bees are finally back in Charleston for the first time since 2014 in the Class A bracket, set to begin late Tuesday night against Webster County at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

It's been seven years, and most of the current roster was still in elementary school the last time C-B played at states. According to senior star Mojo Chisler, the excitement of just making it to the state tournament quickly wore off.

"Obviously, we're very happy to have earned the opportunity to go to Charleston, " Chisler said. "We've had a couple decent runs in the past few years, but getting to Charleston was never the goal. The goal is to win. Now isn't a time for us to relish in the regional win and get complacent. We've taken care of business to this point, but we're focused on today's game right now."

The Cee-Bees (15-2) have certainly taken care of business to this point with their only losses coming to Greenbrier West and Tygarts Valley, with the loss to TVHS coming nearly a month ago on April 5.

Of the eight teams in the Class A bracket, C-B has the second-best winning percentage behind No. 3-seed and 15-0 Pendleton County.

Still, it comes in the tournament as the No. 5 seed, a spot behind their first-round opponent Webster County, which finished at 11-6.

All 16 coaches who make the regional tournament vote on seeding prior to the regional championships, and Chisler believes the Cee-Bees may have been slighted just a little bit.

"We've got something to prove in this game, " he said. "Honestly, we thought we deserved the 4, but we're not dwelling over the seeding. If we deserved to be ranked higher, we should be able to prove it on the court."

The Cee-Bees have been able to take advantage of their length most of the season, and Chisler expects more of the same against Webster County. He stands at 6-foot-5, and teammates Gavin Moore (6-4), Noah Sollars (6-3), Cooper Watson (6-2), as well as a host of others at 6-0, could provide a match-up nightmare for the Highlanders It's not rocket science, as C-B has utilized its size all season.

"We definitely feel like we'll be able to work the ball in the post and utilize our size advantage on them, but for the most part, we're going to play the same game we've played all year, " Chisler said. "I think the guys feel slighted after receiving the 5-seed. We've got something to prove in this game."

Despite Chisler's mentality of boom or bust, coach Josh Kisner knows what this means to not only his team, but the C-B community.

"It feels great to get back to Charleston this season, " he said. "With everything being pushed back week after week, we were concerned we were not going to get to play at all. With seven seniors on the team, we have some some high goals and one of them was to get to Charleston. It is good to bring back the excitement in the players, the fans, the community, and in the school."

The sideline in-bounds is scheduled for 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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