It was the fifth time in six years the Lady Warriors program, under the direction of VHSL Hall of Fame coach Robin Dotson, has won the state title.
It also marked the sixth time in the last seven years that Wise Central has played for a girls’ basketball state championship. Before winning its first of five state titles, the Lady Warriors lost in the state championship game to Floyd County in 2013.
The program is clearly a dynasty.
This year, Wise Central was a little different.
It had a special bond as a team, led by four seniors.
While all of the Lady Warrior championship teams have had their own strengths and weaknesses, this team was unique.
There was never a sense of panic, and there was always a sense of togetherness.
Win or lose, one could not help but feel that the team was doing it as a team.
It was a bond that made them special and a bond that they will be able to look back on for the rest of their lives wherever they may go.
There were a lot of emotions with this team, good and bad.
“The first emotion of this team is love,” said Dotson when asked to describe the team’s ride through the basketball season.
Dotson’s words say it all.
MORE PREP BASKETBALL SATURDAY
While the high school competitive basketball season has come to an end for Southwest Virginia teams, there will still be basketball action Saturday at Virginia-Wise’s Prior Center.
Boys and girls basketball action will be on tap in the Southwest Virginia Fellowship of Christian Athletes Senior All-Star games.
The girls’ game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. with the East vs. West.
The teams’ rosters include Gate City’s Jaden Fullen, Josie Howington and Marah Mullins; Abingdon’s Emily Billips; Virginia High’s Amaya Lee; Holston’s Claudia Frost; Virginia High’s Taylor Owens and Jada Campbell; John Battle’s Colleen Haderer; Lebanon’s Alyssa Padilla; and Chilhowie’s Leah Kestner on the East.
The West roster includes Wise Central’s Dee Cvetnich, Brook Porter, Olivia Mullins and Brittany Mullins; Rye Cove’s Katy Roller and Grace Rhoton; Union’s Kara Mullins; Twin Springs’ Abby Castle; and Ridgeview’s Bailey Frazier, Nikole Counts, Shelby Rose and Amber Taylor.
The West team will be coached by Central’s Dotson and Ridgeview’s Donnie Frazier.
In the boys’ games, the East roster includes Dobyns-Bennett’s Brody Potter; Rye Cove’s Chase Love; Abingdon’s Kirk Nairn and Trent Cox; John Battle’s Cayden McConley, Isaac Deel and Doug Logan; Honaker’s Brett Boyd; Holston’s Ben Hulbert and Hurley’s Taylor Justus.
The West boys’ roster includes Union’s Noah Garrison, Justin Falin and Connor Giza; Wise Central’s Tyler Vanover and Ben Stallard; Eastside’s Nick Livingston, Chris Swann and J.R. Kilgore; and Ridgeview’s Gabe Counts and Tyler O’Quinn.
The all-star game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Virginia-Wise.