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Prep Notebook: Coach's contacts lead to matchup

Feb. 04, 2013 @ 12:55 AM

Huntington St. Joe girls basketball coach Shannon Lewis used his connections to book Scott County for a Friday game in the Tri-State Hoops Classic at Spring Valley High School.

Lewis and St. Joe officials know Dallas Blankenship, former assistant superintendent of Cabell County Schools. He left Huntington in 1992 to become superintendent of Scott County (Ky.) schools. He's retired from that position, but he still did his part to make the game happen.

"Dallas helped line the game up," Lewis said. "They have a good tradition. They're a class act. We'll make a return trip there next year."

St. Joe's touch from 3-point land -- 14 treys on the night -- and a suffocating defense in the second half helped the Irish pull away to a 68-46 win over the Cardinals. Rachel Lee nailed a career-best seven 3-pointers on nine attempts.

That's the second time Cardinals saw an opponent sink 14 threes. The first came in a loss to Woodford County.

"They're a good basketball team," Cardinals coach Steve Helton said of the Irish (12-1), who are ranked No. 1 in Class A in West Virginia and pursuing a fifth straight state title. "They can shoot it and they get after you on defense. We'll learn from this."

Scott County entered the game ranked No. 3 in Kentucky in scoring with a 70.1 average. The previous low for the Cardinals was 51 in road losses to Bryan Station and Marion County.

Blankenship and his wife Helen are avid golfers. They've worked as volunteers at the Greenbrier Classic played on the Old White course at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.

DASH AT SPRING VALLEY:Dash for Cash promotion is planned Monday night during the Huntington High-Spring Valley girls game at Spring Valley. Two students and one lucky fans will be selected to participate. They'll get 20 seconds to collect as much money as possible off the court. There'll be $350 available. Spring Valley students get in free.

GOOD SHOOTERS: Through Thursday, Russell's Kyle Skaggs was fourth in Kentucky scoring with a 25.8 average. Lawrence County was 12th in team scoring with 71.3 average. On the girls side, Lawrence County's Taylor Porter was ninth at 23.8. Porter had made 72 three-pointers in 21 games. Ashland's Kaylyn Gambill had 52 in 20. Raceland's Krystal Keeton was 14th in rebounding with 10.6 per game. Ashland was eighth in team scoring at 63.9 per game.

FAIRLAND SENIOR NIGHT: It's Senior Night at Fairland on Monday when the Lady Dragons take on Meigs. Fairland (17-0) clinched the Ohio Valley Conference title outright on Thursday with a 45-29 win over Coal Grove at the Carl York Center. Fairland is No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Ohio Division III poll. In other poll news, Reedsville Eastern, which lost to West Virginia Class A No. 1 Huntington St. Joe on Jan. 25, is No. 9 in Division IV.

ALL-STAR COACH: Oak Hill coach Nathan Dugan will be an assistant coach for the South in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Classic scheduled April 27 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton. There will be two games. One if for Divisions I, II and III and the second is for Divisions IV, V and VI. Dugan is on the South staff for the Divisions IV, V and VI. Oak Hill went from 2-8 in 2011 to 9-3 in 2012. The Oaks won the Southern Ohio Conference DivisionI title and made it to the Region 19 semifinals in the Division V playoffs. He was Division V Southeast District Co-Coach of the Year.

KNIGHTS 0-2: Parkersburg South and George Washington each beat Cabell Midland in a wrestling tri-match Thursday night at Parkersburg South's Rod Oldham Athletic Center. The Patriots beat the Knights, 67-9. GW edged the Knights, 36-34. Parkersburg South also beat GW to make Senior Night a good one.

Parkersburg South won 10 of 12 matches against Cabell Midland. For GW, Jack Skidmore got the win at heavyweight to pull out the victory. Parkersburg South, ranked No. 2 in Class AAA in West Virginia, visits No. 1 Huntington High on Thursday night. The Patriots are seeking a fifth straight title.

BIG ATLANTIC CLASSIC: Parkersburg South (14-3) beat Point Pleasant, 52-42, Saturday night in one of the two Class AAA title games in the Big Atlantic Classic in Beckley. Point Pleasant (5-10) actually led 25-22 at halftime. Point Pleasant had its winning streak end at four. Woodrow Wilson routed No. 3 Morgantown, 63-31, in the other championship contest for its eighth straight victory.

Point Pleasant (5-9) reached the title game with a 62-60 win over No. 4 Greenbrier East on Friday. It was the first loss for the Spartans. They bounced back Saturday with a 70-59 win over Musselman in one of the consolation games.

MIDDLE SCHOOL WRESTLING: Cabell County Middle School Tournament is scheduled Friday at Huntington Middle. Bad weather forced the postponement from Feb. 1.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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