WHEELING (AP) - The winds of change blew though the Class A division in West Virginia this season as Weirton Madonna and Trinity battled for the state championship, won 44-42 by the Blue Dons a few weeks ago at the Charleston Civic Center.
That was pretty evident on the Class A all-state squad as well, headlined by the Warriors' Chris Martinez, the captain of the annual squad, as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Martinez, who was joined on the first squad by teammate A.J. Mayle, paced Trinity with 16.9 points per game, to go along with 9.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Catholic's John Padden was named to the West Virginia Class A All-State team.
"Chris really has turned into a phenomenal player," Trinity coach Herman Pierson said. "He's faced so many double-teams and worked on pivoting and being able to kick out. His perimeter shot was improved as well."
A first-team selection in his junior season, Martinez was a slam dunk, something else he did pretty well, in his senior campaign.
"I didn't think there was any question that he deserved being the captain and I'm really happy he got it," Pierson said. "He's a great student. The type of skill he has makes him a matchup problem for a lot of players."
Mayle was right behind Martinez with 15.8 points per game, 3.5 assists, 3 steals, and 2.1 rebounds.
"He was fantastic for us," Pierson said. "He had good vision and was really good under pressure. These guys started for me as freshmen and they are really looked up to around the community. They have brought a lot of attention to the program, not just in the state, but also since we joined the OVAC."
Mayle also had a lot of unwanted attention. He was involved in eligibility issues nearly all season after transferring back to Trinity after spending a year at Kiski Academy. He was able to put all the distractions aside and had the Warriors a game away from their first title.
Instead, that trophy went to Weirton Madonna, which had its own first-teamer in post player Clay Rokisky.
The 6-foot-2 junior scored 16.7 points per game to pace the Blue Dons. Rokisky came alive during the postseason, netting 19 points in the title game, including two clutch free throws down the stretch that proved to be the deciding points.
"He was our horse, our leading scorer, our leading rebounder and our go-to guy," Madonna coach George Vargo said. "He was huge for us in the tournament. In the Trinity game, he came up with some big shots.
"His outside shooting has improved so much for him. That and the physicalness he gained from going out for football. I think getting banged around on the football field helped prepare him in getting banged around under the basket."
Charleston Catholic may not have reached the title game for the first time in six seasons, but that didn't stop the Irish in having a first-teamer in senior John Paul Tupta (16.8 ppg.).
Tucker County's Logan Snyder was a first-teamer last season, joining Martinez as the only two returners. His 21 points per game helped put the Mountain Lions back into the state tournament and within a game of the state title showdown. Snyder netted 19 points in a first-round victory against Wheeling Central.
The leading scorer on the first team is Man's Jordan Simpson. The 6-1 junior averaged 25.1 points per game for the Hillbillies.
Rounding out the top squad is a pair of sectional foes in Parkersburg Catholic's John Padden and Gilmer County's Terrell Hill.
Padden lead the Crusaders to a sectional championship by beating Hill's Titans for the trophy. Padden scored 18 points per game for Parkersburg Catholic, while Hill dropped in 13.5.
Wahama's Matt Arnold is the captain of the second team, which includes Bishop Donahue's Ryan Jones, Mount Hope's Jalan Jones, Midland Trail's Casey Kessler, St. Joseph's Josh Pierson, East Hardy's Derrick Orndorff, Richwood's Emmett Rogers, and Valley Fayette's Andre Wright.
Weirton Madonna's Connor Arlia is 1,000-point scorer for the Blue Dons and was named the third-team captain. St. Marys' K.D. Arnett, Burch's Corey Cook, Parkersburg Catholic's Nick Fischer, Charleston Catholic's Nick George, South Harrison's Bart Harris, Trinity's Cody Triplett, and Notre Dame's Nolan Tucci round out the third team.