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Lady Colts Take Third Consecutive Title
by CHRISTIAN STULL

  The PB Lady Colts’ volleyball team made its annual trip to the Charleston Civic Center this weekend for the state championships and, in what is becoming an annual occurrence, the Lady Colts came home with their third consecutive Class AA state title. After cruising through their quarterfinal match against Wayne and qualifying for the semifinals for the seventh consecutive year, the Lady Colts found themselves in a fight with rival Bridgeport in the semifinals. In a repeat of last year’s state finals matchup, PB was pushed to the limits by the Lady Indians as the match went to five sets with PB narrowly coming out on top to make its third straight trip to the finals.
  After a shaky start and dropping game one to Class AA newcomer Winfield, the Lady Colts gained their composure and used the vast experience they have on the Civic Center floor to take the next three games and grab their third straight title. At the conclusion of the match, four members of the team were named to the All-Tournament squad. Those earning the honor were Senior Maddi Carpenter, Juniors Jyra Casto and McKenzie Carpenter, and sophomore Kilea Payne.
  Congratulations to the players (many of whom have never lost a match in Charleston), coaches Heather Halfin and Brittany Freeman, and all of the parents of these athletes. The PB tradition of winning had been built on a year-round dedication to the sport by the athletes and the championships and honors are well earned. This was the 16th consecutive year that the Lady Colts have earned their trip to Charleston for the state tournament and the fourth time that Head Coach Heather Halfin has brought them home as the champs. Well done!
  The Lady Colts’ first round match against state tournament newcomer Wayne High School took place on the center court of the Civic Center early on Friday morning. After working through some initial jitters and a stern word or two from Coach Halfin, the Lady Colts settled into a rhythm and took a good three-set win with scores of 25-13, 25-13, and 25-21. Up front, the squad was led by the Carpenter sisters as Maddi had 36 assists and McKenzie had 25 kills. In the back row, the team was led by Kilea Payne who had 18 digs and 15 points serving. The win moved the team into the semifinals for the seventh straight year and put them into a matchup with rival Bridgeport.  
  PB took two wins over the Lady Indians during the regular season and shared the Big 10 title with them and RCB. Everyone knew this would be a tough matchup, but few expected the five-set affair that happened. PB jumped out to a small lead early and forced a Bridgeport timeout at 14-10 in game one. The Lady Colts held onto their slim lead and forced another Bridgeport timeout at 22-19, but it didn’t slow PB down as they took a 25-10 win in game one. Bridgeport jumped out to a big lead in game two as the Lady Colts struggled to get good passes to setter Maddi Carpenter and a rash of “free” balls given to Bridgeport led to the first PB timeout with the Lady Colts trailing 12-5.
  The poor passing continued, though, and before anyone knew what happened the match was tied at 1-1 with Bridgeport taking game two 25-10. Game three was a tense matchup with neither team getting more than a three-point lead. PB erased a Bridgeport lead halfway through the game and forced the first timeout at 17-17. Nine points later, it was PB calling timeout down 22-12. Two points later, the top referee missed a call on a play that happened right in front of him that drew strong enough words from Coach Halfin that she received just the second yellow card of her tournament history as PB trailed 23-22.   This seemed to inspire her team, though, as the squad took the next three points and won the game 25-23 for a 2-1 lead.  
  PB’s passing woes resurfaced in game three while the Lady Indians’ hitters came to life as Bridgeport cruised to a 25-19 win to even the match at 2-2. In the fifth and decisive game, the Lady Colts jumped out to an early lead, forcing a Bridgeport timeout at 5-2. They held onto that lead and forced another timeout at 11-7 with Bridgeport desperately trying to find a way to stop the PB momentum. With the Lady Colts just two points from victory, the Lady Indians made their move and closed the gap to 13-10 to force a PB timeout. The Lady Colts took the final two points and celebrated as they won the match 3-2 and earned their trip to Saturday’s championship game. Many numbers stick out from this game, but the highest have got to be from the PB blockers. Jyra Casto set what is thought to be a school record with 23 blocks and was followed closely by McKenzie Carpenter with 17 blocks. Carpenter also had 21 kills to go with 19 digs, while Bailey Nestor led the back row with 21 digs. Maddi Carpenter had 36 assists and Colby Nestor came through with 11 points and one ace, followed closely by Maddy Jones with 10 points and one ace.
  On Saturday morning, a group of fans at least twice as big as those in the stands for Winfield gathered for the championship match, and then the PB football team and cheerleaders made their entrance just before the first serve to give the Lady Colts an even bigger advantage in the stands. Winfield looked like the more confident and “looser” team in the first game as the team jumped out to an early 7-1 lead that stretched to 21-12 to force the second PB timeout. The Lady Colts staged a rally and got to 22-17, but after a Winfield timeout they fell in game one with a score of 18-25.
  The PB faithful rallied during the break before the second game and were led by a very vocal group of young ladies who appear to be future PB volleyball players. Several members of the audience and PB football coaches reminded the team that they were being taught how to make noise by a bunch of middle schoolers and they woke up after being rather quiet in game one. With a renewed cheering squad in the stands, the Lady Colts got off to a fast start in game two as McKenzie Carpenter got warmed up and took control at the net. PB jumped out to a 13-5 lead before Winfield finally called a timeout. The damage was done, though, as PB cruised to a 22-14 lead and finally wrapped up game two 25-19. Game three was a back-and-forth set with Winfield taking an early lead only to see PB come back and take the lead at 7-6 to force a timeout.
  From there, the two squads played evenly with neither team getting more than a two-point advantage. PB held the first game point at 24-23 only to see Winfield fight back and get its own game point at 26-25. The Lady Colts fought back, though, and took the final three points of the game to move out a 2-1 lead with the final score of 28-26.
  In the fourth game, PB used its momentum to jump out an 8-3 lead before Winfield called its first timeout. Winfield rallied back to 14-13 to force a PB timeout, and from there, the Lady Colts controlled the pace of play and held onto a slim lead that they carried to 24-21 before Winfield called its last timeout. The tactic did not work and PB took the final point of the game to seal up the title with a 25-21 win.  
  Once again, many stats stick out in the game, but the biggest up front were McKenzie Carpenter dominating at the net with 25 kills, while the back row had three players with 20-plus digs as Maddy Jones tallied 26, followed by McKenzie Carpenter with 23 and Kilea Payne had 20. Phenomenal.
  Congratulations to the players, coaches, and families again. This was a crazy year with more ups and downs than anyone really wanted to see, but in the end the team accomplished the goal that all PB volleyball teams start the season with—the State Championship trophy. Many have tried to argue that PB did not have the best team in the state this year and the regular season might support that notion. But they don’t hand out trophies for the regular season. When it came down to it, the Lady Colts beat the other top four teams in the state to take the championship, starting with their tough five-set win over Oak Glen in the regional semifinals, followed by the big four-set win over Frankfort in the regional championships that set the path in Charleston, and then to the thrilling and always satisfying five-set win over Bridgeport in the state semifinals to get to the great four-set win over a Winfield team that seemed to think they deserved it more. They didn’t. The Lady Colts earned this title through their hard work, dedication, and the experience that they have gained over the years. Once again, congratulations!
  State Quarterfinals:
  PB 3 – Wayne 0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-21)
Kills – McKenzie Carpenter 25, Jyra Casto 10; Assists – Maddi Carpenter 36; Blocks – McKenzie Carpenter 6, Jyra Casto 4; Digs – Kilea Payne 18, McKenzie Carpenter 17, Bailey Nestor 15; Points – Kilea Payne 15, Colby Nestor 10 with 2 aces, Maddy Jones 9.
  State Semifinals:
  PB 3 – Bridgeport 2 (25-20, 10-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-12) Kills –McKenzie Carpenter 21, Jyra Casto 8; Assists – Maddi Carpenter 36; Blocks – Jyra Casto 23, Maddi Carpenter 17; Digs – Bailey Nestor 21, McKenzie Carpenter 19; Points – Colby Nestor 11 with 1 ace, Maddy Jones 10 with 1 ace.
  State Finals:
  PB 3 – Winfield 1 (18-25, 25-19, 28-26, 25-22)
Kills – McKenzie Carpenter 25, Jyra Casto 13; Assists – Maddi Carpenter 41; Blocks – Maddi Carpenter 10, Jyra Casto 8; Digs – Maddy Jones 26, McKenzie Carpenter 23, Kilea Payne 20; Points – Maddi carpenter 13 with 1 ace, Kilea Payne 10.
PB Soccer Players Earn Honors
by CHRISTIAN STULL

  The first honors of the fall sports season are in with two girls and three boys from the PB soccer teams getting recognition. The girls’ team placed sophomore defender Brittany Lawrence and sophomore goalkeeper Cloie Mossesso onto several of the squads. The boys’ team saw senior defender Cole Whited make three different teams, while junior midfielder Dakota Taylor and freshman defender Trevor Schoonover made one team.
Brittany Lawrence led the young PB defense as a sophomore this season and her efforts were rewarded by being selected to the AA/A All Region First Team, the All Big 10 Conference Second Team, and the AA/A All State Honorable Mention Team. Sophomore Cloie Mossesso played nearly every minute of the Lady Colts’ season in the goal and was rewarded by being named to the AA/A All Region Second Team and the All Big 10 Conference Honorable Mention Team.
  PB senior Cole Whited did double duty this fall as a member of the Colts’ soccer and football teams and was named to three different honors for his play on the soccer field. Whited was named to the AA/A All Region First Team, the All Big 10 Conference Honorable Mention Team, and the AA/A All State Honorable Mention Team  Joining Whited in the post season honors were junior midfielder Dakota Taylor and freshman defender Trevor Schoonover who were named to the All Big 10 Conference Honorable Mention team.
Lady Battlers Wrap Season With Two Wins
by CHRISTIAN STULL

  The ABU Lady Battlers’ volleyball wrapped up a tough season with a pair of home victories over in-state rivals this weekend. The team began the final set of games with a 3-1 victory on Davis & Elkins College on Tuesday night and then finished up the 2017 campaign with a 3-1 win over Ohio Valley at home on Senior Day. The squad missed out on the G-MAC post-season tournament, finishing conference play with a 3-15 record, while its overall tally for the year was three wins better than 2016 at 9-22.  
  ABU 3 – D&E 1 (28-26, 25-19, 21-25, 26-24)
  Kills – Ashlynn McDonald 16, Madison Johnson 12, Nikki Shriver 4; Aces – Lynnie Ritter 2; Blocks – Nikki Shriver 4, Madison Johnson 3, Lynnie Ritter 2; Assists – Elena Schmitt 27, Bailey Nixon 13; Digs – Ashlynn McDonald 24, Kerbey Gregg 12, Elena Schmitt 11.
  ABU 3 – OVU 1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-15, 26-24)
  Kills – Madison Johnson 14, Elise Wolff 13, Ashlynn McDonald 11; Aces – Ashlynn McDonald 3, Lynnie Ritter 3, Elise Wolff 2; Blocks – Lynnie Ritter 4, Elise Wolff 3, Nikki Shriver 3; Assists – Elena Schmitt 29, Bailey Nixon 17, Joyce Eid 5; Digs – Ashlynn McDonald 15, Joyce Eid 11, Bailey Nixon 9.
McDonald Named G-MAC East Volleyball Athlete Of The Week

  After a strong performance to close out the 2017 season, Ashlyn McDonald has been named the Great Midwest Athletic Conference East Player of the Week on Monday.
  The Battlers closed the season with 3-1 victories over Davis & Elkins and Ohio Valley on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and finished with 3.38 kills and 4.38 digs per set.
  In Friday's game against the Senators, McDonald finished with 16 kills and 24 digs as the Battlers split the season series. On Saturday, she tallied 11 kills to go along with the 15 digs to close out the season against the Fighting Scots.
  For the 2017 season, McDonald finished with 275 kills (2.46/set) and 352 digs (3.14/set) in her first season.
AB Football Retains G-MAC Founders Cup Trophy With 40-28 Road Victory at KWC

  The Alderson Broaddus football team led from start to finish and closed the 2017 season with a 40-28 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan in the third annual G-MAC Founder's Cup game on Saturday afternoon.
  On the opening drive of the game, freshman quarterback Patrick Bentley put AB on top 7-0 with an 11-yard touchdown rush. To start the second quarter, the Battlers capped off an eight-play, 74-yard drive, when running back Jamil Collison-Cofie threw a touchdown pass to tight end Taylor Ball to make it 14-0.
  After Kentucky Wesleyan's David White took a rush 62-yards to the house, the Battlers extended their to lead to 21-7 on a two-yard rushing touchdown from Collison-Cofie. Before the end of the first half, Chauncey Greer caught an 11-yard pass from Mike McGee to cut AB's halftime advantage to 21-14.
  In the second half of play, freshman kicker D.J. Opsatnik connected with a 28-yard field goal to extend the lead back up to double digits, 24-14 midway through the third. After the Panthers scored a touchdown to make it 24-21, AB's Jermaine Wynn, who has missed the past three games with an injury, caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Bentley. To close out a back-and-forth third quarter, Ladarrius Dunn caught and eight-yard pass to from McGee for KWC to cut the lead back down to three once again, 31-28.
  Early in the fourth, the Battlers took control of the final 15 minutes of play and found pay dirt when Collison-Cofie recorded his third TD of the game, this time a one-yard run, to extend the lead to 37-28 with 14:57 to play. With just under three minutes left, Opsatnik hit his second field goal of the game from 35-yards out to clinch the 40-28 season-ending victory.
  The Battler offense finished with 22 first downs to just 13 for KWC and had a balanced attack of 416 yards of offense. Bentley became the third Battler quarterback to win a game this season as he finished nine-of-21 passing for 167 yards and a score. On the ground, Collison-Cofie rushed for 98 yards and two scores Wynn caught two passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
  McGee led the Panther offense with 181 yards passing and three touchdowns while White rushed for 79 yards on the ground and a score. Out wide, Dunn caught six passes for 138 yards and a score.
  Junior defensive end Quade Raley finished with another outstanding performance as the G-MAC's leader in sacks finished with two and a half sacks, three and a half tackles for loss, and 10 tackles. Matt Jackson added six tackles and an interception for AB while William Bailey finished with five, and Brandon Lavern had four tackles and two tackles for loss.
  Leading the way for the Panther defense was Michael Malone with 10 tackles and two tackles for loss while Ty Martin-Miles finished with 12 tackles and two breakups.
ABU Men Split At G-MAC/GLIAC Challenge
by CHRISTIAN STULL

  The ABU men’s basketball team opened the 2017-2018 season on the road in the G-MAC/GLIAC Challenge at Wayne State University. The event pits members of the two conferences against each other in games that figure in to the regional rankings for placement into the NCAA tournament. The Battlers opened the season with a victory against the home team, Wayne State University, by a score of 71-58. The squad then followed up with a 79-63 loss the following day to Lake Superior State University. Lake Superior defeated the two-time defending G-MAC Champs, Kentucky Wesleyan, by 30 points and Wayne State beat the Panthers by 25 as part of the event.
  The Battlers will now travel to face in state rival Glenville State University on Wednesday night with tip-off set for 7 p.m. The team will host Bowie State University on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. for its home opener at Rex Pyles Arena.
  ABU and Wayne State played to a 31-31 tie in the first half of play on Saturday night in the Battlers’ season opener. ABU fell behind early in the and trailed by up to eight points less than four minutes into play and again with just over six minutes left in the half. The Battlers slowly chipped away at the lead over the final five minutes and tied the game at 31-31 on a Chavez harper layup with 41 seconds to play in the half. With the second half score tied at 40-40, Malik Bocook hit a jumper to put ABU up by two and from there the Battlers went on an 11-point run over the next three minutes of play. Wayne State built a comeback and tied the game at 55-55 with six and a half minutes to play, but a 15-2 run by ABU over the next six minutes sealed the victory for the Battlers as they prevailed 71-58.  
  Brandon Willis led the ABU offense with 21 points, shooting seven-of-13 from the field and four-of-nine from behind the three-point line. Mike Davis also hit for double figures with 14 points. Malik Bocook led the squad with nine rebounds to go along with eight points. The Battlers’ defense did a great job against the home squad, limiting them to 34.5 percent shooting from the field and just 26.3 percent from behind the three-point line.  
  On Sunday, the Battlers faced off with Lake Superior State, one of the top five teams in the region. ABU trailed 36-28 at the half and never could overcome the deficit as the Battlers fell 79-63. Mike Davis paced the offense with 18 points, while Brandon Willis had 13 points. Chavez Harper led the squad in rebounds with eight to go with seven points, while Malik Bocook continues to play himself into shape with six points and six rebounds. 
Colts Fall In Playoffs
by CHRISTIAN STULL

  The Philip Barbour Colts’ football team got its first taste of playoff football in four years on Saturday night and it was bitter, and bitterly cold as well. PB fell 63-14 at the hands of the seventh-ranked Black Knights from Point Pleasant High School. PB was outnumbered, out gained, and undersized against a point Pleasant team that was a perennial playoff team in class AAA before moving down a division just last season.
  When asked about the loss and the program the Colts faced, Head Coach Russ Collette said after the game, “This is where we want to be. We’ve got the stadium, we’ve got the community support, and now we’ve got to get more kids out. They came out and were just stronger than us. I think that is evidenced by that weight room by the field. This is an established program that has won for a very long time and if we are going to try to compete at this level we are going to have to prepare to do that. We need kids to commit to the weight room and do things out of season to move the program forward, and I think the kids we have now are committed to that. It’s a growing process; no one thought we would be here. We got here, but it went the way I was worried it would go because I know what the playoffs are like. Everyone is good, every is big, and everyone has been lifting for many years. We have been lifting since the spring time, that’s it. I’m proud of the players for the way they handled themselves, especially after halftime. I didn’t yell at them at the half. I just talked to them about how this is a lesson in life and how they have to work together and help each other, not just today, but on down the road, 20 years from now, and that is how I want the direction of this program to be—teaching kids about life,”
  The Colt’s finish up an incredible comeback year with an 8-3 record, just the second time in school history that the team has won eight games.  
  Unlike every other game this season, the Colts took the field on a very cold night at Point Pleasant with the temperature at kickoff just under the freezing mark. Fortunately, the weather did not keep the fans away as the biggest road crowd this side of a Grafton game made the long trip as did the PB band who had a great night in its own right. PB received the opening kickoff but went three-and-out on its first drive. After a Matthew McCoy punt, the Black Knights took over at the PB 35-yard line but fumbled on their second play with PB’s Chase Collier recovering for the Colts. The Colts built an 11-play drive, but questionable penalties stalled the drive out and they were forced to punt again. Point Pleasant took over at its own 40-yard line and 12 plays later found the end zone on a two-yard quarterback run. With the extra point, they led 7-0 with 2:16 to go in the first quarter.
  PB once again went three-and-out with Point Pleasant getting the ball back at its own 18-yard line after a good McCoy punt. On the second play of the second quarter, they scored again on a running touchdown and with the kick went up 14-0. From that point until the end of the half, everything went Point Pleasant’s way as the team rolled up a total of 35 second-quarter points on five touchdowns with one interception and two fumble recoveries. The lone bright spot for PB in the quarter was a Kiyan Bartlett interception as the teams went to the locker room with PB down 42-0.  
  The “Pride of Barbour County” band put on their best halftime show of the year that even drew the attention and applause of the Point Pleasant fans. Well done, PB band, and well done for making the long trip to support the team and represent Barbour County in the highest manner that you have done for years now.  
  Point Pleasant took the second half kickoff and drove 72 yards on eight plays for a touchdown that put Point Pleasant up 49-0. The Colts did not give up and put together their best drive of the night on their next possession going 65 yards on 12 plays with senior Hunter Mason diving over the goal line on a fourth-and-one play for a touchdown. Christopher Volberg made the extra-point kick and the Colts were on the board but down 49-7.
  Point Pleasant surprisingly left much of its first-string players in the game and on its second play of the next drive struck again for a touchdown to go up 56-7 with 3:34 to play in the third quarter. The Black Knights added one more touchdown late in the quarter to go up 63-7 before putting in their reserve players. The Colts put together one more good drive to finish up the game with senior Cole Whited making three big catches and Hunter Mason capping things off with a two-yard touchdown run on third down. Volberg hit the kick and the final score of 63-4 was set.
  The numbers weren’t pretty, but they are respectable. The Colts totaled 11 first downs and had 60 yards rushing with two touchdowns on 35 attempts. Through the air, PB completed 10 passes for 123 yards on 15 attempts. Hunter Mason had 33 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns, followed by Chase Collier who had 28 yards on 16 carries. Damien Gonzales threw 15 times with 10 completions for 123 yards. Cole Whited caught five passes for 69 yards, while Cameron Kollo, Hunter Gainer, Kiyan Bartlett, and Noah Matlick caught one pass each.  
  Congratulations to the Colts’ players first and foremost. That was a fantastic and most unexpected season that no one here will forget. Congratulations as well to Head Coach Russ Collette and the rest of his staff who started from scratch in the summer and convinced the boys that they could achieve at a high level and figured out a way to get them to overachieve. Well done. Next year will be even more difficult, though, as now the Colts won’t be able to sneak up and surprise anyone. 
AB Swimming Falls To Fairmont State

  On Friday night, the Alderson Broaddus swimming teams fell to Fairmont State University at the Memorial Coliseum.
  On the men's side, Andrew Vevoda finished in first place in the men's 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.83. Later in the race, Vevoda finished with another first-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.48.
  Also on the men's side, Hunter Doherty finished in second with a time of 53.94 in the 100-yard freestyle while Doherty had a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.
  On the women's side, Clara Lucarelli placed second and Katelyn Steigerwald third in the 200-yard freestyle as Elizabeth Creech finished third in the 50-yard freestyle. In the 100-yard butterfly, Felticty Wertman finished third with a time of 1:09.91 while Lucarelli and Creech went second and third respectively in the 100-yard freestyle
  To close out the night, Alexia Haislop placed second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:07.53 while Crystalyn Rathvon finished in third in the 100-yard breaststroke.
  Following Thanksgiving break, the teams will return to action on November 30 at the Wooster Invitational.
This Week In Sports

Wednesday, November 15
ABU Men’s Basketball at Glenville State College 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 18
ABU Women’s Basketball at Bellarmine University 1 p.m.
ABU Men’s Basketball vs. Bowie State University 2 p.m.

Sunday, November 19
ABU Wrestling at Green Terror Duals 11 a.m.
Sita, Shurina Lead AB Wrestling At Southern Virginia

  The Alderson Broaddus wrestling team finished with two first-place winners in this weekend's action at Southern Virginia University.
  At 165 pounds, Logan Shurina received a first-round bye before pinning Ferrum's Matt Akers in the next round late in the first period. In the semifinals, Shurina recorded another pin at the three-minute mark before he earned a 4-3 decision victory in the championship over Matthew Rohrdanz of Southern Virginia University.
  Giovanni Sita received a first-round bye as well at 174 pounds before finishing with a 22-7 technical fall victory over Bo Branham. In the semis, Sita pinned Ferrum's Mark Allen and then won 16-5 in the finals against Keaton Gomez.
  Finishing in second place on Saturday for the Battlers was Nyonbou Farley and Curtis Cox. At 157 pounds, Farley had a first-period pin before recording back-to-back decision victories in the quarters and the semis. In the finals, Farley fell to Braxton May from Ferris 5-3.
  Cox wrestled at 133 pounds for the Battlers and finished with pins in two of his first three matches to reach the finals. In the championship match, Brandon Woody from Averett topped Cox 4-1.
  To close out Saturday's action, Sam Solmon fell in the semifinals to drop him to the elimination bracket. After an injury default victory, Solomon defeated Tyron Dudley of Greensboro 6-5 in the third-place match to close his day. Also finishing in third place for the Battlers in Saturday's Casperson Classic was Alex Eaton. After his first-round loss 13-8, he finished with three pins in a row before recording an overtime victory in the consolation semis to reach the third-place match. In the final match, Eaton recorded a pin to finish third.
  On Friday night, the Battlers wrestled in a dual match to Southern Virginia and fell 27-24.
Earning victories for the Battlers was Cox (forfeit), Farley, Nick Sulhoff, Sita, and Solmon.
Farley, Solomon, and Sita each finished with major decisions for the Battlers while Sulhoff record a tech fall and Cox won in a forfeit.
  Next weekend, the Battlers compete Green Terror Duals in Westminster, Maryland, on Sunday.