Local News and Views From Area Teams
Seven BCHS baseball players receive LKC honors
Seven players from the Eagles’ baseball team recently received Little Kanawha Conference honors, according to their coach, Jacob Wolfe.
Sophomore pitcher Seth Backus was named to the All-LKC Second Team. Backus, who pitched 61.2 innings, led Braxton’s pitchers in most categories. He allowed 22 earned runs while giving up 57 hits. He struck out 71 batters and ended the season with a 2.50 ERA.
Named Special Honorable Mention were catcher Troy McMillion, shortstop/pitcher Brent McMillion, infielder Tayton Stout, and pitcher/left fielder Braden Poling. McMillion, a sophomore who caught almost every game this past season, had 23 hits in 84 at-bats for a .274 batting average.
Junior Brent McMillion, in 96 ABs, had 36 hits and scored 28 runs, the highest number on the team. His batting average, .375, was second-highest on the team. Tayton Stout, a freshman, scored 21 runs and had 24 hits in 70 ABs. Stout ended the season with a .343 batting average. Sophomore Braden Poling’s batting average of .286 came in 91 at-bats with 26 hits.
Centerfielder/pitcher Ben Fincham, a sophomore, recorded 18 hits in 55 trips to the plate. His batting average was .327. Freshman Payton Lockard had 15 steals to lead the team.
Lockard’s 27 hits in 78 at-bats gave him a .346 batting average.
Polar Bears edge Eagles 5-4 in semi-regional game
The Polar Bears of Fairmont Senior came from behind to defeat the Eagles 5-4 in eight innings in last Tuesday’s semi-regional baseball game. Braxton coach Jacob Wolfe said of his team’s loss, “We played well and the kids had a positive attitude during the game.”
The Eagles scored one run in each of the first three innings while Braxton’s defense supported pitcher Seth Backus in holding the Polar Bears scoreless. In the fourth inning, both teams scored. Braxton held a 4-1 lead going into the fifth.
Neither team scored again until the top of the seventh, when Fairmont’s Ricer hit a bases-clearing triple to tie the score. After the Eagles did not score in the bottom of the inning, the game went into extra innings. With Braden Poling on the mound as relief, the Polar Bears went ahead in the top of the eighth. After Braxton once again failed to score in the bottom of the inning, Fairmont Senior gained the win.
The Eagles’ four runs came on nine hits. Brent McMillion was two for three at the plate, and Troy McMillion was two for four to lead the hitting. Pitcher Backus went 6.2 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk. Poling pitched 1.1 inning. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk.
The Eagles finished the season at 15-14. About that season and his young team, Coach Wolfe commented, “Overall, we are so close to taking that next step. It just now lies on them and their work and determination during the off-season. I am super proud of the growth they have shown.”
AAU girls basketball team travels to St. Albans
With no games in over a month, the Lady Hawks were glad to be playing in a tournament again. Braxton traveled to St. Albans High School on May 16 for the tournament.
The Lady Hawks first took on Cabell Midland’s Lady Hawks. With aggressive defense, Cabell Midland went up in the game very quickly. Braxton’s many turnovers led to the Lady Knights’ scoring. Cabell Midland handed Braxton a 60-32 loss. Abby Liston paved the way in scoring with 9 points, and Kendra Houghton followed with 8. Other scoring included Braylee Woods with 6 points, Charley McMillion 5, and Hannah Dittman 4. From the free throw line, Braxton shot 75% against Cabell Midland.
Braxton’s next opponent was St. Albans, a team the Lady Hawks had played in their first tournament. Braxton scored the first points of the game, but the St. Albans girls fought back to lead 18-14 at halftime. The Lady Hawks came out aggressively to start the second half, but some of Braxton’s players got into foul trouble. The Lady Hawks battled hard, but they couldn’t come out on top. They took a 47-34 loss to St. Albans. In that game, Hollis Skidmore scored 12 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Kendra Houghton and Braylee Woods each had 10 points, and Hannah Dittman scored 2.
This is the last tournament the Lady Hawks are going to play in this season. “It was a good experience and it will help with the chemistry of the team in the upcoming season,” Kendra Houghton said.
Nicoletta Bonazzo stated “I learned a lot playing in this league, and I enjoyed getting to spend time with my teammates.”
“I really enjoyed getting to see the girls work on different aspects of the game. The competition we faced was tough but showed the level of skill that they are capable of. Hopefully our players will continue to work in the offseason and see improvement in their overall game. I would like to thank the girls for their commitment and parents for their support of the program and their daughters, Coach Lori Dittman said.
The coaches, players, and parents thought this season was very beneficial to the girls. The goal of participating in these tournaments was to improve the overall skills of their team, and according to the players that goal has been achieved. Coach Brooks Liston said, “We had a truly special group of girls. We knew the competition would be fierce, but it’s always been about getting better as ball players, and hopefully we did that.”
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