KEYSER - The West Virginia Boys Basketball tournament tipped off on Monday night but it was overshadowed by the teacher strike which occurred in all 55 counties across the state. The impact of the strike was felt locally as John Staggers filled in for Coach Johnny Haines to lead Keyser against Grafton. Dressed for success with a gold tie around his neck, John Staggers recorded his first career victory as head coach with the Golden Tornado beating down the Bearcats 60-49.
The Golden Tornado finished the regular season with a record of (10-12) and earned the #4 seed in the sectional tournament. Grafton entered the clash on Monday night with a 6-15 record, however the Bearcats won 3 of their last 4 games of the regular season. Keyser’s defense was impressive to start the game led by Brady Clay as the Golden Tornado held Grafton to just 7 points. Offensively Keyser was able to score 10 points to take a 3 point lead into the 2nd quarter. The Bearcats spread the ball around in the 2nd quarter as 6 players notched a basket for a total of 14 points. Trevlan Baker tossed in 5 points in the 2nd quarter offensively for Keyser as the Golden Tornado finished the 2nd with a total of 13, to take a slim 23-21 lead into halftime.
In the 2nd half Keyser’s offense came to life with 6 players posting points in the 3rd quarter while Grafton’s Dylan Massie hit two 3-pointers as the Bearcats tallied 11 points giving Keyser the advantage 40-32 to start the 4th quarter. The final 8 minutes tested Keyser’s ability to make free throws as Ryan Shoemaker, Marlon Dorsett, and Brady Clay were able to drain shots to keep the Bearcats at bay. Grafton was able to score 17 points in the final quarter of play going 8-for-8 from the free throw line but the Golden Tornado scored 20 points in the 4th to win the game 60-49. Overall Keyser did an excellent job of playing defensive basketball throughout the game, but the game was won at the charity stripe. The Golden Tornado offense was led by Ryan Shoemaker who scored 14 total points with 12 of those coming at the free throw line. Brady Clay was the other major offensive threat for Keyser scoring 14 points with 10 of those points coming at the free throw line. Marlon Dorsett finished the game with 9 points, with 4 points at the stripe. Trevlan Baker hit two 3-pointers and finished with 8 points, while Jacob Biser scored 3 field goals for a total of 7 points. Jackson White finished the game with 5 points while Dylan See hit a 3 to finish with 3 for the Golden Tornado. Grafton was led by Dylan Massie with 12 points, Caleb Bish had 10 points, while Garrett Moats scored 8 points. Garrett Wellman, Brandon Clark, and Blake Massie all finished the game with 6 points. Next up for the Golden Tornado is a clash vs the #1 seed Philip Barbour Colts on Wednesday Feb. 28th.