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Sissonville deals Midland Trail first loss & claims sectional title, 47-46

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — After watching an 11-point second half lead evaporate with 3:30 to play, Sissonville came up with a clutch basket and a crucial defensive stop in the final minute to defeat Midland Trail, 47-46 in the Class AAA, Region III, Section 2 final.

Trailing 46-45 with 40 seconds left, senior post player Sydney Farmer scored on a turnaround jumper in the lane to give the Indians a lead they would not relinquish.

“When Sydney concentrates, she finishes strong,” said Sissonville head coach Dave Sisson. “She gets excited at times. But what a time, on a last second shot, she went up strong and finished the shot. Haley Jarrett hit two shots in the final minutes and then fouls out. That’s who we wanted to go to but she wasn’t in the game. We went to our second best option and she came through for us.”

The Indians (8-7) led 26-16 at halftime and extended that cushion to a game-high eleven points early in the third quarter. However, the Patriots trimmed their deficit to five points (34-29) at the end of the third quarter. A 13-2 run in the fourth gave Trail their first lead since the midway point of the fourth quarter at 42-41. SHS scored on their next three offensive possessions to secure the win.

“We weren’t trying to hold the ball, they just started hitting shots. We might have gotten a little tired and I probably should have subbed a little more earlier. They hit shots and luckily we were able to come back.”

Kennedy Jones led Sissonville with a game-high 16 points while Farmer added 10. Emily Dickerson led the Patriots (7-1) with 14 points and Makenzie Kessler added 11.

Sissonville will host Pikeview in Tuesday’s Class AAA Region III co-finals, while the Patriots will travel to Shady Spring.

“It means a lot,” Sisson said. “Last year in the sectional game, Winfield beat us by 55 points. That is all we have been thinking about since then. I am not apologizing to anybody, we know our region is not the strongest region in West Virginia. But somebody has to go. Why not us? We have been preaching since day one that we are good enough to make it to Charleston.

“We are at home. What more could you ask for. Win at home and go to Charleston.”

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Girls H.S. basketball regional schedules

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Listed below are the 32 regional matchups that will determine the field for the WVSSAC girls state basketball tournament. Sectional champions will host all games against the sectional runners-up. All games will be played between April 20-22 with 7 p.m. start times.

 

Class AAAA (Games to be played Wednesday, April 21)

Region I co-finals

Buckhannon-Upshur (9-6) at Morgantown (10-2)

Wheeling Park (14-3) at University (11-7)

Region II co-finals

Musselman (6-3) at Martinsburg (7-4)

Spring Mills (5-9) at Jefferson (11-0)

Region III co-finals

Greenbrier East (14-5) at George Washington (13-3)

Capital (9-8) at Woodrow Wilson (12-4)

Region IV co-finals

Cabell Midland (11-3) at Parkersburg (10-8)

Parkersburg South (8-7) at Huntington (12-1)

 

Class AAA (All games to be played Tuesday, April 20)

Region I co-finals

Keyser (10-7) at North Marion (12-0)

Weir (6-9) at Hampshire (10-4)

Region II co-finals

Philip Barbour (9-8) at Lewis County (7-9)

Lincoln (6-12) at Fairmont Senior (14-0)

Region III co-finals

(7-1) Midland Trail at Shady Spring (4-9)

PikeView (7-4) at Sissonville (8-7)

Region IV co-finals

Huntington St. Joseph’s (11-3) at Nitro (14-1)

Winfield (7-10) at Logan (10-3)

 

Class AA (All games to be played Thursday, April 22)

Region I co-finals

Magnolia (6-14) at Parkersburg Catholic (15-0)

Williamstown (13-5) at St. Marys (15-3)

Region II co-finals

Braxton County (3-7) at Petersburg (13-1)

Frankfort (13-3) at Trinity (8-5)

Region III co-finals

Summers County (6-6) at Mingo Central (8-4)

Chapmanville (3-11) at Wyoming East (7-2)

Region IV co-finals

Roane County (8-8) at Charleston Catholic (8-4)

Buffalo (5-3) at Ravenswood (6-7)

 

Class A (All games to be played Wednesday, April 21)

Region I co-finals

Clay-Battelle (11-7) at Cameron (15-1)

Madonna (8-8) at Doddridge County (11-9)

Region II co-finals

Union (7-8) at Pendleton County (5-4)

Pocahontas County (6-8) at Tucker County (15-4)

Region III co-finals

Richwood (7-11) at River View (14-2)

James Monroe (12-5) at Webster County (13-2)

Region IV co-finals

Tolsia (4-6) at Calhoun County (12-3)

Gilmer County (11-5) at Tug Valley (11-2)

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Pair of defensive backs commit to Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On the same day West Virginia picked up a fifth commitment in the 2022 recruiting class from defensive back Tyrin Woodby, the Mountaineers also secured potential immediate help in the secondary.

Charles Woods, an Illinois State transfer, committed to West Virginia and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Three offers in high school, signed FCS and dominated, but now it’s time to play on a bigger stage. Believe in You. Morgantown lets ride!!٩ @Backendcoach12 @NealBrown_WVU @TrustMyEyesO pic.twitter.com/T0nu9dudgA

— ٩ (@c_woods9) April 17, 2021

Woods, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback, had been committed to SMU after electing to transfer. With Illinois State playing a spring football season, Woods played in four games and had two interceptions and 20 tackles before entering the NCAA’s Transfer Portal.

Mountaineer head coach Neal Brown has stressed the need for his team to add at least one defensive back from the portal and Woods’ commitment could help fill a void left by Dreshun Miller, who transferred to Auburn earlier this offseason.

Let’s go! x2

— Neal Brown (@NealBrown_WVU) April 17, 2021

 

In 2019, Woods intercepted four passes, broke up 13 and made 48 tackles.

In Woodby, West Virginia has a commitment from a 6-1, 170-pound cornerback from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore.

Committed pic.twitter.com/5ERJwwMuml

— $neaky (@TyWoodby) April 17, 2021

Woodby was actively recruited by first-year WVU defensive backs coach ShaDon Brown. He originally went to Bowie High School, before transferring to St. Frances Academy last offseason. However, due to the pandemic, Woodby never played a game for SFA as its season was canceled.

Woodby is a 3-star prospect by Rivals and held offers from several Power Five conference programs, including: Maryland, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Mississippi and Boston College.

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Frazier increasing communication while growing comfortable at center

(Neal Brown Zoom conference)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Rarely are sophomores counted on to provide much leadership.

Yet since the moment he stepped on campus to begin his football career at West Virginia, Zach Frazier has proven to be anything but the norm.

Frazier started nine games and appeared in all 10 as a true freshman for the Mountaineers last season, spending his time between left guard and center. Although he was the starting center against Eastern Kentucky in first college game, that was more out of necessity due to suspension. 

Still, Frazier was the first true freshman to start up front for West Virginia in at least 40 years and barring something unforeseen, he’ll spend his second season at center.

“Most of his work is at center,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “I really like his progress there. I think he has a chance to be a special player. He’s strong and really understands the game. He studies it. He’s the quarterback up front without question. I have high expectations for him at that position and I’m pretty fired up about it.”

Without a surplus of experience along the offensive line last season, Frazier was more or less forced into action in 2020. But he more than held his own at both positions, earning all-Big 12 Conference honorable mention honors, while ESPN named him a true freshman All-American.

“Switching to left guard in the middle of the season, it just taught me to be versatile,” Frazier said. “In fall camp, I learned center and I haven’t really learned much of guard. Switching there, I’m just always thinking on my feet.”

Frazier, who starred at Fairmont Senior High School, is trying to become more vocal as a center.

“I have to make the calls for the line and really use my voice when before I hadn’t had to do that,” he said. “It’s something I had to work on. As a person, I’ve just been working on myself. As a player, I’m continuing to work on my craft and trying to perfect my technique and I’m always working on it. It’s never good enough.”

While the level of physicality in spring football usually isn’t the same, the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Frazier is presented different looks from the Mountaineer defense that provide him the chance to relay observations to teammates.

“When you play center, you have to pretty much command the whole line in protection and the run game,” Frazier said. “You have to be able to communicate a lot more.”

In addition to increasing his communication, Frazier says he’s also playing at his own speed because of the experience garnered as a freshman.

“Everything feels a lot slower when I’m out there,” Frazier said. “The game speed has slowed down for me, because I understand the offense a lot more than I did last year. It’s a lot easier and comes more natural.”

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Huntington yields just 2 hits in 6-0 win at St. Albans

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — Ethen Riggs and Mason McGinnis combined on a 2-hit shutout as Huntington collected a 6-0 win Saturday at defending Class AAA state champion St. Albans.

Riggs struck out eight batters in four innings of work while McGinnis tossed three scoreless frames as the Highlanders (3-1) collected their third victory in the opening week of the season. Riggs allowed one hit while walking five batters. McGinnis struck out three.

“He did a great job and he is a much-needed asset for this team in the future,” said Huntington head coach John Dennison about Riggs’ effort.

“(McGinnis) is a spot starter and is usually first out of the pen in ball games like this. He did his job tremendously and it was a great save for him.”

Huntington scored a run on an RBI groundout in the first and broke the game open with a 4-run third inning. “It was a huge inning. The momentum totally shifted,” Dennison said. “To tack those four runs on just gave us more confidence.”

The Highlanders added a run in the sixth to cap the scoring. Lucas Hall had a multi-hit game for Huntington.

“When you are able to come in and do this to the defending state champion, put six runs on the board and hold them to two hits, it is a tremendous stride forward for this program at Huntington High and what we are trying to build here. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into Monday against Spring Valley.

Garrett Comer took the loss for the Red Dragons (3-1). He went six innings, striking out four batters. Trent Short and Carson McCoy had hits for St. Albans.

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Appalachian Power seeks rate hike to cover fuel costs, vegetation clearing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Appalachian Power Company says it’s seeking to recover $73 million it’s already spent on fuel for its power plants and efforts to keep its power lines clear of trees and vegetation.

Chris Beam

The company, along with Wheeling Power, filed rate hike requests with the state Public Service Commission Friday. If granted, the average customer’s bill would go up about $8 a month, Appalachian Power said in a news release.

Appalachian Power and other electric utilities have what’s called Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC), which allows them to be reimbursed on a dollar-for-dollar basis for what they pay for coal and natural gas to run their plants.

“The ENEC amount is mostly for dollars already spent but not recovered in last year’s case when the financial impacts of the pandemic on our customers were most severe,” Appalachian Power President and COO Chris Beam, Appalachian said. “The pandemic has been difficult, and that’s why we suspended disconnects for non-payment for most of 2020 and made it easier to get payment arrangements.”

Beam said the company has used nearly $13 million in Fresh Start tax savings and $7.2 million in CARES Act funding it received from the state to help customers with their bills.

Friday’s filing with the PSC also seeks reimbursement for Appalachian Power’s Vegetation Management Program.

Appalachian Power is seeking another $5 million to cover the costs of its energy efficiency and demand response programs.

If all the requests are granted by the PSC, the customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month would see a 6% increase in rates which is about $8.10 a month. The customer using 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would see their bills go up about $16.20 a month.

The PSC will set a schedule for the case to be considered.

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Mineral County attorney admits to submitted fraudulent pay vouchers

WHEELING, W.Va. — A Mineral County attorney has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for submitted fraudulent pay vouchers for his alleged public defender services.

Timothy Mark Sirk, 62, of Keyser, admitted to submitting at least 33 fraudulent pay vouchers for his alleged public defender work as well as forging the signature of a circuit court judge. He obtained more than $26,000 from December 2016 to June 2018.

Sirk faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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Photo gallery: West Virginia’s final Saturday practice before Gold-Blue Game

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia was back at it Saturday, conducting its final spring practice in advance of the Blue-Gold Game on April 24.

(Photos by Greg Carey)

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West Virginia hunters ready for five-week spring gobbler hunt

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The sun rises Monday on the first day of the spring gobbler season in West Virginia. However, this is a season like no turkey hunter has ever seen before in the Mountain State. In recent years, decisions were made which resulted in an evolution to gobbler hunting in the sate. It’s the first time ever the state will see a five week season.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources for many years took withering criticism for opening the season too late in the minds of many hunters.  The agency always defended the season timing so as to insure all breeding was completed. Eventually, biologists reached a point where they relented .  It was concluded the state’s turkey population could sustain opening the season a week earlier–but they were still leery of extending it to five weeks. The traditional last week of the season was lost with the change. Since then, a lot of hunters have run the other way and called on the agency to reinstate what had always been the last week of the season. This year the agency has agreed to the call again and the season will be five seeks long with the old last week reinstated.

Amid all of those discussions and maneuvers, the Legislature authorized statewide Sunday hunting which effectively has added five additional days into the hunting season as well. It will be a full 35 day season for West Virginia hunters to enjoy.

Mike Peters game bird biologist for the West Virginia Davison of Natural Resources said because of this year’s nuance, he’s not sure what to expect. Normally, hunters take two year old gobblers. So Mike usually will check and see how many two year old turkeys there might be available.

“I go back two years and I look at brood production reports and if you look two years back the production was on the low side. It was around 32 percent lower than 2018’s brood production. If I just looked at that, I would say our harvest is going to be down from last year,” he explained.

But, then there’s the fifth week to factor into the equation. Peters thinks it will be a very productive week for hunters.

“It’s another week of opportunity for hunters, so in the grand scheme of things I think it will equal out and because of that I think the harvest will be similar to last year,” Peters said.

The five week season will offer a considerable change in the hunting dynamics. The landscape will go from nearly barren to full foliage. The temperatures will go from some snow and frost to consistently in the 80’s or more. The birds will go through a complete metamorphosis.

Kent Hall, a lifelong hunter who has created a reputation for knowing how turkeys tick thinks the first week may see us in some cases putting the cart before the horse.

“Always keep in mind that dominance has to be established. Dominance overrules the desire to breed. That dominance has to occur before any breeding takes place. That’s what’s happening right now,” he explained in a conversation on West Virginia Outdoors.

Hall said he treats every day like opening day, but noted early on hunters will find a lot of hens still flocked together and not interested in breeding and gobblers will probably be fighting and working to establish the dominance he explained.

During the 2020 spring gobbler season, hunters killed 11,314 birds during the four week season. Many will be watching to see how the five week season stacks up in comparison. Although the season was extended by a week, afternoon hunting is still prohibited in West Virginia. During his presentation to the Natural Resources Commission earlier this year, Game Management Supervisor Gary Foster noted there was still some reservation about opening up full day hunting until data can be established to prove the extra week isn’t negatively impacting the state’s turkey numbers.

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DHHR: Daily vaccinations leveling off in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Health and Human Resources added 446 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the state’s totals Saturday along with three COVID-related deaths.

The deaths include a 91-year old male from Raleigh County, an 81-year old male from Wood County, and an 87-year old female from Hampshire County.

“We must use all of the tools in our toolbox to stop the spread of COVID-19,” state DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said. “This includes vaccination, testing, mask wearing, social distancing, and good hygiene. Our deepest sympathy is extended to these families for their profound loss.”

Doses of vaccine being administered in West Virginia have dropped off in recent days. Nearly 500,000 state residents have been fully vaccinated but now only 85% of the vaccine being delivered to the state is being used. Daily vaccinations are hovering around the 3,200 mark. Those numbers were closer to 9,600 doses a day 10 days ago.

There are now 7,317 active COVID-19 cases in the state with 232 people hospitalized including 60 patients being treated in ICU. There have been 2,780 deaths in West Virginia since the pandemic began.

.@WV_DHHR reports as of April 17, 2021, there have been 2,602,762 total confirmatory laboratory results received for #COVID19, with 148,517 total cases and 2,780 total deaths. https://t.co/QAkpKBxjjm pic.twitter.com/a2tMZYRnAp

— WV Department of Health & Human Resources • 😷 (@WV_DHHR) April 17, 2021

Overall confirmed cases include: Barbour (1,344), Berkeley (11,541), Boone (1,867), Braxton (861), Brooke (2,118), Cabell (8,606), Calhoun (271), Clay (453), Doddridge (545), Fayette (3,253), Gilmer (734), Grant (1,240), Greenbrier (2,607), Hampshire (1,702), Hancock (2,705), Hardy (1,434), Harrison (5,391), Jackson (1,906), Jefferson (4,327), Kanawha (14,027), Lewis (1,137), Lincoln (1,396), Logan (3,001), Marion (4,135), Marshall (3,269), Mason (1,932), McDowell (1,478), Mercer (4,557), Mineral (2,760), Mingo (2,416), Monongalia (8,940), Monroe (1,067), Morgan (1,086), Nicholas (1,499), Ohio (4,030), Pendleton (686), Pleasants (830), Pocahontas (640), Preston (2,805), Putnam (4,806), Raleigh (6,105), Randolph (2,493), Ritchie (658), Roane (579), Summers (756), Taylor (1,197), Tucker (523), Tyler (670), Upshur (1,816), Wayne (2,815), Webster (455), Wetzel (1,188), Wirt (380), Wood (7,573), Wyoming (1,907).

The DHHR is also promoting testing sites for Saturday and Sunday.

Free pop-up COVID-19 testing is available Saturday in Boone, Clay, Jefferson, Lewis, Nicholas, and Putnam counties and tomorrow in Boone, Doddridge, and Nicholas counties:

April 17

Boone County

1:00 PM– 4:00 PM, Boone County Health Department, 213 Kenmore Dr., Danville, WV (pre-registration: https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Clay County

8:00 AM – 10:30 AM, Maysel Park, County Route 13/4, Maysel, WV

Jefferson County

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Hollywood Casino, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, WV

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Shepherd University Wellness Center Parking Lot, 164 University Drive, Shepherdstown, WV

Lewis County

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Stonewall Jackson Home Oxygen Therapy, 456 Market Place, Suite A, Weston, WV

Nicholas County

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 18001 West Webster Road, Craigsville, WV (pre-registration: https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Putnam County

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Liberty Square, 613 Putnam Village, Hurricane, WV (pre-registration: bit.ly/pchd-covid)

 

April 18

Boone County

1:00 PM– 4:00 PM, Boone County Health Department, 213 Kenmore Dr., Danville, WV (pre-registration: https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Doddridge County

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Doddridge County Park, 1252 Snowbird Road, West Union, WV

Nicholas County

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Richwood City Hall, 6 White Avenue, Richwood, WV (pre-registration: https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

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