Perhaps not in an all-star basketball game, but no one associated with the West Virginia team wants to become the first group to fall victim to their Ohio counterparts when the 10th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Basketball Classic gets under way Saturday night at Parkersburg South.
Ohio, which has a roster dotted with a trio of big men standing 6-8, 6-9 and 6-11, will be seeking its first win in the series and W.Va. head coach Steve Shuff from Gilmer County knows his team isn't going to have things easy.
Although West Virginia doesn't have much size, with its tallest players being Point Pleasant's Jacob Templeton (6-6), Wood County Christian's Jacob Ungar (6-5) and 6-4 pivot Nick Fisher of Parkersburg Catholic, coach Shuff knows size alone doesn't win basketball games.
"I may put my foot in my mouth, but all-star games have been guard-oriented. Obviously, you can turn that around and make it a post-oriented game in a hurry," said Shuff, whose squad will be captained by Parkersburg High School's all-time leading scorer Andy Dollman and Little Kanawha Conference player of the year John Padden of Parkersburg Catholic.
"I know there's some nice players on our side. We're an athletic group and hopefully we can get some rebounds and then take off with it and run, gun and have some fun."
Coach Shuff added, "with Ohio's big kids that will be a challenge, but like I tell our kids turn it into a track meet and it will be fun."
While the game could come down to Ohio's inside presence, the Buckeyes also have a pair of solid point guards in captain Austin Cunningham of Warren and Belpre's Rashawn Miller.
The Gilmer County head coach will have two of his own players on the roster in Terrell Hill and Joel Roberts. WCC also has Cody Gutberlet along with Ungar while host Parkersburg South's lone representative is Chris Neal. Also playing for the W.Va. squad is Magnolia's Jordan Moore, Parkersburg's Dovonic Mitchell, Brandon Mathews of St. Marys and Corey Lowe of Tyler Consolidated.
Coach Shuff was hoping his all-star squad would have the West Virginia boys basketball player of the year Chase Fischer of Ripley on it, but he's out of town. The Wake Forest-bound guard is competing in the inaugural 3-point contest on Friday at the Final Four in Houston, Texas.
"I told Bill (Camp, game director) I appreciate him putting this on during the Final Four weekend so Chase would be out of town," quipped Shuff.
"I told Bill I could even make an offense up for that guy. It's called give him the ball and get the heck out of the way."
All kidding aside, coach Shuff hopes his team plays well, but most importantly he'd like to see a large crowd come out in support of cystic fibrosis.
"They are obviously there to compete and have fun, but we're here for a much better reason and that's to raise money for this disease," he said.