Bonus points prove decisive in OVAC race

WHEELING – There has been much discussion and some confusion over this season’s OVAC 2A football championship. After Wheeling Central defeated Shadyside in Week 10 the popular notion was that the Maroon Knights clinched the conference crown. However, Central, as fate would have it, stubbed its toe in its season finale to Magnolia, throwing the 2A banner chase into razor-thin issue.

Even though Central had a 9-1 record and Shadyside finished 8-2 regular season mark, the title was decided by bonus points.

Winning teams get 30 points for a win over a Class 1A foe, 40 for a Class 2A win, 50 for a Class 3A nod, 60 for a 4A triumph and 70 for a win over a 5A school.

Bonus points are awarded for wins over OVAC teams. Five points are given for each win. Example: Shadyside beat 3A Bellaire. The Big Reds finished 7-3. Consequently, Shadyside received 50 points for a 3A win plus 35 bonus points — 5 for each of Bellaire’s wins.

Shadyside played 10 OVAC schools, getting bonus points from its 8 victims — Monroe Central, Magnolia, Meadowbrook, Shenandoah, River, Beallsville, Bellaire and Bridgeport.

Central, meanwhile, garnered bonus points from only five OVAC schools -Madonna, Linsly, Steubenville Catholic, Martins Ferry and Shadyside.

The final margin had Shadyside with 555 championship points (55.50) and Wheeling Central with 550 (55.00).

Thus, Central would have won the OVAC title even losing to Magnolia if not for the 5 bonus points Shadyside received for defeating the Blue Eagles as both schools would have ended with 550. The tiebreaker would have gone in Central’s favor — that being head-on-head competition.

Along those same lines, bonus points, or a lack of them, proved costly to Steubenville in the 5A race. The 9-1 Big Red finished a close second to 8-2 Indian Creek. Steubenville — through no fault of its own — played just one OVAC school (Morgantown.)


EARL LLOYD was a basketball pioneer. Lloyd owns the distinction of being the first African-American player in the NBA. He was also a star for West Virginia State University in the late 1940s.

Lloyd’s hoop greatness still resonates at the Institute-based school. So much so, West Virginia State officials named a street on campus after Lloyd last week. The newly christened Earl Lloyd Way is located between the Convocation Center and the university’s tennis courts. A statue of Lloyd resides in the convocation center.

Lloyd, who died in 2015, made his NBA debut with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Later, he became the first African-American to win an NBA title while playing for the Syracuse Nationals. The 6-5 forward played nine seasons in the NBA, his best coming in 1955 with the Nationals. He averaged 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game that campaign.

At West Virginia State, Lloyd was a three-time all-conference honoree and two-time All-American. He led State to conference championships in 1948 and ’49. He averaged 14 points and 8 boards a game as a senior.

Lloyd also served as head coach of the Detroit Pistons, becoming only the third African-American to own that distinction. John McLendon and Bill Russell were the first two.


POWELL VILLAGE Academy featured some Ohio Valley flavor in the state cross country meet last week. Sophomore Amelia Cameron finished 47th in 20:43. She is the daughter of Buckeye South High graduate, Janell Sines Cameron and her husband Steve. Amelia is also the granddaughter of Tiltonsville residents Bill and Marsha Sines. Amelia placed fourth in the Central District and took home 13th in the regional to punch her ticket to the state meet.

LE’VEON BELL is a talented running back but anyone who leaves $14 million on the table is a strange puppy. Great running backs are a dime a dozen. The Steelers will be fine without their prima donna running back. Speaking of running backs, the Browns secured a second-round steal in Nick Chubb.

TWO HUGE college football games unfold this week with Michigan visiting Ohio State Saturday while WVU hosts Oklahoma on Black Friday. I am not being a homer here but I see the Buckeyes and Mountaineers both winning easily. The Wolverines are living a lie while the Sooners’ defense is a joke. Taking it a step further, I foresee Ohio State sneaking into the fourth playoff spot while WVU goes on to win the Big 12 title game.

THE NORTH Alabama women’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start. The Lions are coached by Bellaire High and West Liberty University product Missy Tiber.

EMPORIA STATE finished the regular season with a 7-4 mark, earning a berth in the Corsicana Bowl. Bryan Nardo just finished his sixth season with the D-II Hornets, serving as the team’s defensive coordinator while also coaching the linebackers. Nardo is a Shadyside native and a former St. John Central three-sport standout. Emporia is in the post-season for the fifth time in the past seven years.

JOANNA (BERNABEI) McNamee has the Boston College women’s hoop team on a roll. The Weirton Madonna High legend guided her Eagles past Holy Cross Thursday, winning for the third time in as many starts.