CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — For the first time in nearly two years, mens’ high school basketball teams across the state met in Charleston for the 2021 WVSSAC state tournament.
The Greenbrier West Cavaliers took to the court first thing on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 to get things going.
The six seed Greenbrier West Cavaliers punched their ticket to the state tournament after Kaiden Pack hit a game tying shot to send things into overtime in the regional championship, propelling them to a win over James Monroe.
After an up and down year for the program, the team was ecstatic to make it to the state tournament.
“Getting to the state tournament is a dream,” said Jared Robertson, the Greenbrier West mens’ head basketball coach.
The three seed, Pendleton County stood in their way of a championship. The Wildcats came into the tournament with a 38 game win streak and they looked to push it to 39.
The two teams were neck and neck the entire first half, as both teams fought through the complications the pandemic created this season. The Cavaliers went to the locker room holding on to a one point lead at the half, but the Wildcats put together a monster run to start the second half.
Things for the Cavaliers took a turn for the worst early in the fourth quarter. Kaiden Pack fouled out, and the wildcats took advantage of the shift in momentum to run away with the game.
The Cavaliers were knocked out of the tournament after a 59 to 45 loss.
Coach Robertson played for the Cavaliers when they won the state championship in 1992. He also played on the Greenbrier West football team when they lost a state championship. He said no matter the outcome, the score is not what people remember.
“People don’t think about the frustration of that loss, now they think of how you represented your school,” said Robertson.
Coach Robertson said he is incredibly proud of his team and what his seniors accomplished. He said they forever changed the program.
“They set a precedence for our program to get back hear and I can’t say enough about our year,” said Robertson
The Cavaliers end the season 11-8, already looking ahead to next season. While the Wildcats take on Tug Valley on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Students from Greenbrier West took advantage of the tickets they received, and made the early morning trip to Charleston. Among the crowd was one student familiar with playoff athletics.
On April 23, Noah Brown brought home a wrestling state championship trophy to Greenbrier West. He was excited to watch his fellow Cavaliers try to do the same out on the court, as he knows what the experience is like.
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and overcoming the atmosphere,” said Brown.
And while the outcome did not see the Cavaliers on top, Brown said he is proud of the guys and the team.
The Shady Spring Tigers host the Herbert Hoover Huskies at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The Bluefield Beavers take on the Poca Dots at 7 p.m.