Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
MAN, WVa Man High School senior Caleb Blevins surpassed 1,000 career points in Class A number two Man’s 80-52 victory over Van Friday night at Man Memorial Fieldhouse.
Blevins came into Friday’s game needing 14 points. His milestone basket, a layup off a Van turnover, came with 3:45 remaining in the first half.
Blevins finished the evening 15-of-25 from the field, made six 3-pointers and a scored a career-high 41 points as Man won its thirteenth straight contest to improve to 17-2 on the season.
“I am glad he turned that 14 around to a 41 and that has been a lot of pressure here lately on him trying to get that taken care of,” Man coach TJ Blevins said. “His hand had bothered him the last few games, but I believe his hand may have healed a lot better than expected.”
Blevins is the twelfth player in Man High School History to reach 1,000 career points meanwhile the pass that Blevins received from fellow senior Jeremiah Harless, was one of 10 assists for Harless.
Harless finished the game with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to post Man’s first triple-double since Brandon Duncan had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a victory at Van on Feb. 23, 2007.
Harless has 12 straight double-doubles and now adds a triple-double to his impressive 12 game stretch.
“We were riding him a little bit telling him that he needed another two or three points, and he got that, and he wasn’t happy with it,” Blevins said. “We find out that he has a triple-double and he is still not happy with that, but that is just the hunger, the desire and the heart to do better.”
“You look at the triple-double in stats, and that is a heck of a game,” Blevins said. “In his eyes, he feels that he played bad, but he will see it when he gets older.”
Man, who honored its six seniors before Friday night’s game, never trailed and led by as many as 33 points.
Blevins, Jayden Brown, Trey Brown, Harless, Brady Hall-Montgomery and Aden Martin were recognized before tipoff Friday. Hall-Montgomery got the start in place of junior Jordan Adams and Jayden Brown saw extended action as the teams sixth man off the bench.
“It was a little sloppy win, but I got kids that don’t get to see much playing time in for senior night,” Blevins said. “I think they deserved it and I am going to give them Saturday off.”
All 80 points Friday night were scored by five of Man’s six seniors much to the delight of Blevins.
“I am glad to be able to do that for them,” Blevins said. “I don’t know if everybody will be happy with it, but like I told the juniors that will be seniors next year, I told them that they will have that shot next year.”
“It is the way that it is, and I am tickled that everybody that was a senior got onto the floor,” Belvins said. “You can’t for nothing more than a win.”
Shaun Booth had 19 points and Jax McCarty 15 to lead Van in scoring.
Van lost for the eighth straight time to fall to 2-18 on the season. The Bulldogs will close out the season with a pair of games against McDowell County schools. Van will host River View on February 23 and travel to Mount View on February 24.
Martin had 16 points to go along with seven steals for Man, who shot 29-of-57 from the field and 7-of-22 from 3-point range.
“When I tell him to get it and go, he gets it and goes, and he knows how to finish,” Blevins said. “In the long run that is going to pay off big for us with just the way he attacks, and if we are not hitting outside then we can always count on him to take it inside and finish.”
The 28-point victory improved Man’s record to 8-0 against Class A Region 4 Section 1 competition as the Hillbillies swept the season series with sectional foes Sherman, Tolsia, Tug Valley and Van.
It is expected that Man will be the top seed in the section when the coaches' ballots are returned, and results calculated Tuesday afternoon.
Before sectional play starts Man has two games remaining in the regular season starting with Tuesday’s home finale with Class AAAA Hurricane.
The Redskins, a member of the Mountain State Athletic Conference, will bring a 4-16 record into Tuesday’s contest, but Blevins was quick to point out that the Redskins record is a little deceiving and expects a challenge as Man tries to keep its 8-0 record at home intact this season.
“You look at their losses and it is the GW’s, the South Charleston’s, the Capital’s, and they have played some pretty stiff competition,” Blevins said. “We are going to battle and protect our homecourt and I don’t know if we have ever gone undefeated at home, but I would like to finish this out with a win.”
Man is scheduled to close the season Wednesday night at Liberty (Raleigh), but Blevins is trying to secure one final regular season game before the start of the sectional tournament.
“I am going to do my dangdest to try and get us another game,” Blevins said. “If I got to travel somewhere or if I can talk them into coming here on a Friday or Saturday.”
“Eight days off is a long time off in basketball,” Blevins said.
Man 80, Van 52
Shaun Booth 8-16 2-2 19, Jax McCarty 5-11 5-7 15, Brayden Roe 2-6 1-3 5, Gavin Branham 1-3 1-2 4, Brady Greene 1-7 1-4 3, Byron Stewart 1-9 0-0 2, Josh Marcum 1-3 0-0 2, Ryan Adkins 1-2 0-0 2,
Payton Pauley 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 20-61 10-18 52.
Caleb Blevins 15-25 5-6 41, Aden Martin 6-10 4-5 16, Jeremiah Harless 4-6 3-4 11,
Trey Brown 2-10 2-2 7, Brady Hall-Montgomery 2-3 1-2 5, Jacob Walls 0-1 0-0 0, Jayden Brown 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 29-57 15-19 80.
Van 9 16 13 14- 52
Man 17 20 20 23- 80
3-point field goals- Van 2-12 (Booth 1-6, Roe 0-1, Branham 1-1, Stewart 0-4), Man 7-22 (Blevins 6-11, Martin 0-1, Harless 0-1, Brown 1-6, Hall-Montgomery 0-1). Rebounds- Van 39 (McCarty 12), Man 33 (Harless 13). Assists- Van 5 (Booth 3), Man 18 (Harless 10). Total fouls- Van 12, Man 15.
Fouled out- None. Technicals- None.