Tug Valley puts two on W.Va. Class A All-State first team
CHARLESTON -- Magnolia's move from Class AA to Class A at the start of the 2012-13 school year was expected by some to be quickly accompanied by dominance in boys' major sports.
Those expectations were fueled not only by the school's history of success in Class AA, but also the personnel on its current basketball, football and baseball teams.
Through two seasons among the division including the state's smallest schools, Magnolia has yet to win a state championship. It does, however, have two all-state captains to its credit.
The West Virginia Sports Writers Association named Blue Eagle senior forward Mark Winters captain of the Class A all-state boys basketball team. Winters averaged 29 points and 12 rebounds and became the 19th player in Mountain State prep basketball history to surpass the 2,000-point career scoring mark, leading Magnolia to a 21-5 record and a state tournament berth.
Other members of the all-state first team included Levi Jordan from Buffalo, Austin Brewer from Tug Valley and Mikey Newsome from Tug Valley.
Michael Mayes from Huntington St. Joe was joined on the all-state honorable mention list by Tyler Burns (Hannan), Hunter Bradley (Wahama), Laythen Good (Buffalo), Thomas Baisden (Tug Valley), Aaron Muncy (Tug Valley), Ryan Adkins (Man) and Jon Keffer (Man).
Winters said the school's first season in Class A was an eye-opener.
"I was kind of bummed about dropping to single-A, but I've realized there's a lot of good players in it," he said. "Brewer, Newsome, George, to name a few.
"It's a great honor to be named captain."
The Tug Valley guard duo of Brewer and Newsome led the Panthers -- who also dropped to Class A this season -- to their second consecutive state championship. Tug won the Class AA title in 2012.
Both seniors, Newsome led the Panthers in scoring, at 18.4 points per game while Brewer ran the point and did more than a little of everything for the club.
Brewer averaged 15.1 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists per game for coach Garland "Rabbit" Thompson's team, which finished the season with a 25-3 record.
Charleston Catholic 6-4 junior forward Nick George (15.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) was a second-team selection a year ago, and led the Irish to the Class A title game.
In three seasons as a starter, George has played in nine state tournament games, and helped the Irish win the state championship in 2012.
Of the four remaining first-team picks, two reached the state tournament.
Buffalo 6-2 senior forward Levi Jordan led the Bison to a 21-5 record and their first tournament appearance since 2008. Of Buffalo's five losses, four came to Charleston Catholic.
Greater Beckley Christian also reached the state tournament, and 6-1 Crusader senior Keith Mullins (19.1 ppg) landed a spot on the all-state team.
Parkersburg Catholic 5-10 junior guard Jake Ullman averaged 22.3 points per game and made the first-team list, as did Trinity senior Cody Triplett. A key figure on the Warriors team that reached the 2011 state title game, Triplett's final season saw him average 21.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Triplett was the only repeat selection from the 2012 all-state team.