The Class A state champion is, almost always, a private school. The best chance for a small public school team to end the drought that has stretched eight consecutive tournaments lies with Tucker County (Hambleton)
Five of the top six-ranked teams are private schools, beginning with No. 1 Charleston Catholic. Tucker County, however, is second. The Mountain Lions have reached the State Tournament seven consecutive years, reaching the 2004 championship game before losing to Wheeling Central. Here's a look at how the Class A postseason shapes up.
Region 1, Section 1 – Wheeling Central has won six of the last eight championships, including two in a row. This section belongs to the Maroon Knights. Madonna (Weirton) will be second.
Region 1, Section 2 – Parkersburg Catholic is favored in this section and will be the survivor. Final word – Wheeling Central and Parkersburg Catholic are state tournament qualifiers.
Region 2, Section 1 – Coach Herman Pierson’s Trinity squad has reached the State Tournament the last two years, only to lose in the first round. Notre Dame will finish second.
Region 2, Section 2 – Tucker County and East Hardy (Baker) here, only because East Hardy has won the most recent meeting with Pendleton County (Franklin). Final word – Trinity and Tucker County should qualify.
Region 3, Section 1 – Fayetteville and Midland Trail (Hico).
Region 3, Section 2 – Meadow Bridge and Iaeger. Final word – One of Iaeger’s eight victories is against Meadow Bridge. The two teams surviving here should be Fayetteville and Meadow Bridge.
Region 4, Section 1 – No team will challenge Charleston Catholic in this section, but St. Joseph should live up to its second seed.
Region 4, Section 2 – Man has 10 wins and is the top seed, which says a lot about this section. Man and Gilbert should move on. Final word – The two state tournament representatives should be Charleston Catholic and St. Joseph.
State Tournament seedings – 1. Charleston Catholic, 2. Parkersburg Catholic, 3. Wheeling Central, 4. Trinity, 5. Tucker County, 7. St. Joseph, 6. Meadow Bridge, 8. Fayetteville.