B-U’s Ryan Hurst earns All-State Second Team basketball honors

Buckhannon-Upshur’s Ryan Hurst, shown here against Philip Barbour, was named to the WVSWA All-State Second Team basketball squad. The senior guard led the Bucs with 17 points per game.

TENNERTON – Buckhannon-Upshur’s Ryan Hurst earned Class AAAA All-State Second Team honors as chosen by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

Hurst was the only Buccaneer selected for the All-State team.

The senior guard, who eclipsed 1,000 points for his career this season, led the Bucs in scoring with 17.0 points per game.

He also led the squad in made three-pointers (54) in assists (3.7 per game) and steals (2.0 per game).

The Bucs ended the year with 12-8 record.

George Washington got a lot of mileage from its senior guards this season. In return, they helped the Patriots negotiate the road to another state championship.

Mason Pinkett and Alex Yoakum, who provided the bulk of the scoring and the intangibles for GW, were rewarded for their efforts by each being selected to the first team on the inaugural Class AAAA All-State squad. They led the Patriots to their third title since 2011 and the program's fourth overall.

Other first teamers included the duo of Carson Poffenberger and Luke Bechtel of state runner-up Morgantown, along with William Gabbert (Greenbrier East), Ben Gilliam (Woodrow Wilson), Chandler Schmidt (Cabell Midland) and Doryn Smith (Martinsburg). All are seniors except Schmidt, who's a junior.

Yoakum averaged 20.2 points and Pinkett 17.6 as they combined for 31 of GW's 42 double-figure scoring efforts in games this season. But points weren't the entire story for either of the 6-foot-2 guards.

Pinkett, who was selected as the first-team captain, chipped in 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals and shot 77% on free throws while earning a reputation as one of the team's best defenders. Yoakum, who nearly doubled his scoring average from 10.6 points as a junior, also averaged 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and shot 81% at the foul line and 40.2% on 3-pointers.

GW coach Rick Greene recognized the contributions Pinkett and Yoakum made on and off the floor for a program that went 17-1 and sported five underclassmen in its normal playing rotation.

"There's no doubt,'' Greene said, "when you start with a backcourt like that and go through a season like we just had, where the season could stall for 10 days and not even really have a preseason. I know a lot of coaches felt that way. I know I felt like we were in midseason form and that's important in our section with the games we have, to have two senior guards who are that versatile. That was important.

"I always thought we had the best backcourt, and that's not to be disrespectful to anyone else's. But both could run the point and play defense and score. They were just so complete, and they complemented each other. If Mason got hot, Alex looked to him. If Alex got hot, Mason would try to find him. And they didn't just work well with each other. They just wanted to win, and the way they played together was extremely unselfish. And it showed that they both benefited from it, and we benefited as a team.''

GW won 36 of 42 games over the past two seasons, taking a pair of Mountain State Athletic Conference championships and earning the No. 3 seed (in 2020) and the No. 2 seed (in 2021) at the state tournament. Last year's state tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

The captain of the second team is Bryson Singer (Parkersburg). The other second-teamers include Jack Bifano (Bridgeport), Bailee Coles (Greenbrier East), Ryan Hurst (Buckhannon-Upshur), Avery Lee (Wheeling Park), Ryan Niceler (University), Amare Smith (Huntington) and Cole Sperlazza (Brooke).

CLASS AAAA ALL-STATE TEAM

First Team

Name                                         School                             Ht.        Cl.

Luke Bechtel                             Morgantown                    6-3         Sr.

William Gabbert                        Greenbrier East               6-3         Sr.

Ben Gilliam                               Woodrow Wilson             6-5         Sr.

Mason Pinkett (captain)            George Washington         6-2          Sr.

Carson Poffenberger                  Morgantown                    6-7         Sr.

Chandler Schmidt                      Cabell Mindland              6-1         Jr.

Doryn Smith                              Martinsburg                     6-3         Sr.

Alex Yoakum                             George Washington         6-2         Sr.

Second Team

Jack Bifano                                Bridgeport                       6-6        Sr.

Bailee Coles                              Greenbrier East                6-3       Sr.

Ryan Hurst                              Buckhannon Upshur      5-9       Sr.

Avery Lee                                  Wheeling Park                5-10      Sr.

Ryan Niceler                             University                        6-3        Sr.

Bryson Singer (captain)            Parkersburg South           6-3        Jr.

Amari Smith                              Huntington                       6-4        Sr.

Cole Sperlazza                          Brooke                             6-4        Jr.

Honorable Mention

Josh Arthur, Riverside; Carson Dennis, Parkersburg; Derrick Derrow, John Marshall;  Mitchell Duez, Bridgeport; Brooks Gage, Morgantown; Beau Heller, Wheeling Park; Jake Hoggsett, Parkersburg South; Jordan Holmes, Musselman Isaiah Horner, Musselman; Anthony Hurst, Capital; Alex Isinghood, Brooke; DJ Johnson, South Charleston; Nas'jaih Jones, Hurricane; Elijah King, Hedgesville; Maddex McMillen, Woodrow Wilson; Ben Nicol, George Washington; Corbin Page, Spring Valley; Ethan Parsons, Princeton; Jacob Perdue, Oak Hill; Alec Poland, Morgantown; Keon Padmore-Johnson, Spring Mills; Dwayne Richardson, Woodrow Wilson; Drew Reed, St. Albans; DJ Saunders, Wheeling Park Adam Seams, Greenbrier East; Will Shively, Jefferson; KK Siebert, Cabell Midland; Anthony Smith, Martinsburg; Daion Taylor, Jefferson; Cyrus Traugh, Parkersburg South;Lay Wilborn, Princeton.

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