Huntington’s Patterson leads Class AAA all-state team
BY TRAVIS HUBBARD The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — The Huntington High Highlanders won their second consecutive Class AAA boys state basketball championship this season with a balanced attack spearheaded by Bill Evans Player of the Year Patrick Patterson.
    So it was no surprise that Patterson, a junior, was selected the first-team captain of the all-state team voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association and was joined by three other Highlanders on the second and third teams.
    Patterson averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocks per game. But four other Highlanders averaged 10 points or more this season, and all but one returns next year for a potentially historic threepeat.
    ‘‘The great thing about Patrick is as good as he is he knows he can’t do it all by himself,’’ said Huntington coach Lloyd McGuffin. ‘‘He’s a very unselfish player and makes his teammates better. But his teammates also make him better. It’s kind of a two-way street.’’
    Heath Thomas and junior Jamaal Williams were named to the second team, while junior Mike Taylor made the third team.
    Thomas, one of six Huntington seniors, averaged 10 points and four assists per game. Williams made the AAA all-tournament team along with Patterson and averaged 12 points per game. Taylor, who made the alltournament team as a sophomore, averaged 10 points per game.
    Another Highlander, junior Chris Early, averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game and made honorable mention all-state.
    ‘‘You don’t have to have the greatest stats to be recognized,” McGuffin said. “ I think they all could have had a lot better stats if they were all a lot more selfish and not team players.’’
    But then the Highlanders might not have won their second consecutive Class AAA state title and gone 25-2. They only lost one game in the state of West Virginia, a 24-point loss to George Washington in late February, and have won 69 of their last 75 games since Patterson and Taylor began their careers 2-2 as freshmen.
    Huntington and Woodrow Wilson tied for the most players (four) on the top three teams. Woodrow Wilson’s Chase DeWese, Marcus Manns, Mario Thompson and Mario Walton all were selected — but Woodrow Wilson actually had more players make the first team.
    Woodrow Wilson’s senior guard tandem of DeWese and Manns joined Patterson, Wheeling Park’s Keshawn Creighton, South Charleston’s Josh Daniel, Parkersburg South’s Aaron Dobson, Martinsburg’s Andre Hornes and George Washington’s Chris Long on the first team.
    All but DeWese made the Bill Evans Player of the Year ballot, and Patterson and Daniel were repeat first teamers. Patterson was the only player on the first team who was not a senior.
    Daniel led the state in scoring at 30 points per game and is the son of former Evans Award winner David Daniel of Sherman High School. Long averaged 20.3 points per game and led GW to a second consecutive Mountain State Athletic Conference championship and a Class AAA state runner-up finish.
    Creighton, Dobson, Hornes and Manns each averaged 19 points per game with all but Dobson leading their teams to the state tournament. DeWese averaged 12.3 points per game and was one of the state’s top 3-point shooters.
    Joining Thomas and Williams on the second team were Daree Goodwin of Wheeling Park, Jedd Gyorko of University, Bryant Irwin of Bridgeport, Michael Lopez of Hedgesville, Brett McClanahan of Nitro and Walton of Woodrow Wilson.
    McClanahan and Irwin, both sophomores, were the youngest members of all three teams and McClanahan was a third teamer last year. McClanahan averaged 20.6 points per game and Irwin averaged 13.9.
    Goodwin was a repeat second teamer and the second-team captain after averaging 20.1 points per game. Walton, a third-team selection two years ago as a sophomore, missed most of last season but averaged 14.5 points per game this year. Gyorko averaged 17.1 points and Lopez averaged 18 points per game; both were juniors.
    Parkersburg’s Seth Bostaph, Jefferson’s Josh Brown, St. Albans’ T.J. Douglas, George Washington’s Cameron Payne, Morgantown’s Marlan Robinson, Spring Valley’s Adam Simmons and Woodrow Wilson’s Thompson joined Taylor on the third team. All but Payne and Taylor were seniors.
    Bostaph is the third-team captain after averaging 19.5 points per game. Simmons averaged a double-double with 17.0 scoring average in his one season at the AAA level. He played three years at Class A St. Joseph. Payne, a junior, averaged 13.2 points per game. Douglas, a senior headed to Division I Elon University in North Carolina, averaged 16.2 points per game.
    Brown and Thompson were on the second team last year, but Thompson’s scoring average dipped to 10.3 points per game this season and Brown missed seven games because of injury and averaged 16 points per game. Robinson also missed half the season after he was a victim of an automobile wreck at midseason but averaged 21.2 points in 11 games.