FAIRMONT — oooooo
On the boys’ side, state tournament play begins this week in the Capital City and North Marion is thinking upset.
The eighth-seeded Huskies take on No. 1 Bluefield at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday; No. 2 seed Fairmont Senior and No. 7 Scott square off at 1 p.m. that afternoon.
The Beavers, last year’s Class AA state runner-up, are 22-3.
"This is the first round. This is like the state championship game to us, so we’ve got to play spoilers and play with an upset mind,” North coach Chris Freeman said after the Huskies outlasted Webster County, 81-78 in two overtimes, for the regional title Friday. “We have to try to find a way to get it done. It doesn't matter where you’re at — in a one and eight, anything can happen."
Bluefield — which has lost twice to Princeton and another time to Greenbrier East — features a pair of dynamic junior guards in Anthony Eades and Lykel Collier.
“They’re the best team in the state — there’s no doubt in my mind,” Freeman said. They’ve been No. 1 almost all season have some great players. (Fairmont Senior’s) Travon (Horton) and Jarin (Hilson) are up there with the two best guards (in the state), but Eades and Collier are both those types of players, too. They're good.”
Also good is former East Fairmont wrestling standout Mason Bailey, who clinched a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament with a second-place finish at the EIWAs in Piscataway, N.J., on Saturday.
The Navy senior made it all the way to the 184-pound final before dropping a 7-1 decision to defending national champ Steve Bosak.
Bosak, the second seed, outscored his opponents 21-1 in the tournament.
In all, Bailey and five other Midshipmen wrestlers earned automatic berths in the NCAAs, set for March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Email Nick Cammuso at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter@NickCammusoTWV.