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Bluefield beats Liberty, advances to 10th-straight state tournament

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BRUSHFORK, W.Va. (WVVA) - It's been quite some time since the Beavers missed a boy's state basketball tournament, and this year's team wasn't about to start a new streak.

Bluefield never held a lead in the first three quarters, but finally broke through in the fourth for a 51-41 victory.

Liberty-Raleigh opened up the contest on a 9-2 run, only to see it cut to 24-21 at halftime. The Beavers struggled mightily from the floor in the first two quarters, but used their active defense to stay within striking distance.

The Beavers knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the final frame and out-scored the visitors 19-7 to secure the win.

"We wasn't making no shots -- we was like 2-for-16," Bluefield senior Logan Hyder said after the game. "But, [coach] told us to keep shooting and it's going to fall -- and it did."

"We have a veteran coaching staff that got these kids through this and the kids responded well," Bluefield head coach Buster Large said. "I'm so happy for the City of Bluefield and the Bluefield community."

Bluefield is the No. 7 seed in the upcoming Class AA state tournament and will face No. 2 Poca (11-4) in the quarterfinals. Tip-off is slated for 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

Chapmanville defeated Wyoming East in the other Class AA Region 3 Co-final, 53-40. The Tigers are the No. 5 seed in next week's tournament and will play No. 4 Clay County on Tuesday at 11:15 a.m.

Nick Dugan

Sports Director

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