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Prep Notebook: Huntington High basketball loses 2 starters

August 6, 2018

HUNTINGTON - Huntington High School’s boys basketball team appears to have lost 40 percent of its anticipated starting lineup this summer.

Amare Smith, a 6-foot-3 sophomore who was one of the premier freshmen in West Virginia last season, tore his anterior cruciate ligament. The knee injury could sideline Smith for several months, depending on how severe the tear.

“It’s sad to see about Amare,” Highlanders coach Ty Holmes said. “He’s doing well.”

Andrew Shull, a 6-foot junior guard, transferred to Chapmanville where he will try to help the Tigers to another Class AA state championship. The Tigers defeated Huntington High 60-42 on Feb. 6.

Holmes said Darnell Wright, a reserve center who is one of the premier high school football players in the country, might forego basketball season to concentrate on his football recruitment.

The Highlanders reached the state tournament last season and return several talented players, including Bryce Damous, Kris Brown, Tajhan Blackwell and Tanner Stevens, among others.

RECRUITING NEWS: Huntington St. Joe girls basketball star Bailee Adkins picked up scholarship offers from five universities last week - Elon, George Washington, James Madison, UNC Wilmington and Radford.

Former Huntington High and current Huntington Prep basketball player Mikal Dawson scheduled a visit to the University of Akron later this month. ... Ashland High School quarterback Braxton Ratliff received a scholarship offer from Jacksonville University. ... Portsmouth Notre Dame girls basketball star Katie Dettwiller was offered a scholarship by Bluefield State College. ... Cabell Midland boys basketball standout Jovaun Light will play at West Virginia State. ...

Penn State offered a football scholarship to Parkersburg linebacker Brenton Strange, who has narrowed his choice to the Nittany Lions, North Carolina, Purdue, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wake Forest. ... Weir defensive end Tyler Komorowski committed to Army. ... University High School safety Amir Richardson committed to West Virginia University, as did Charleston Catholic soccer goalkeeper Ethan Malinoski. ... Mingo Central girls basketball star Katie Ball picked up offers from James Madison and Radford. ... Parkersburg girls basketball standout Madi Mace was offered by FIU and Toledo. ... Marshall offered Wheeling Park offensive lineman Tristen Bittner. ... Penn State offered Chapmanville boys basketball star Obinna Anochili-Killen.

BAD TIMING: Stadium, a multi-platform sports network, plans to broadcast Huntington High’s home football game with Hurricane at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5.

Because of that deal, any chances of the Highlanders’ showdown with the Redskins moving to Saturday to avoid a conflict with Marshall University’s home game with Middle Tennessee likely will be scrapped. Fans who follow Huntington High, Hurricane and Marshall will be forced to make a choice of where to spend that Friday night.

ROUNDING UP: Paintsville freshman basketball guard Brady Dingess, a recent transfer from Sheldon Clark, fractured his ankle playing AAU ball last week. ... Former Ashland High School and Western Kentucky University running back Quinton Baker transferred to Portland State University. ... The Eastern Kentucky Conference Grid preview schedule for Aug. 11 at Russell features Lewis County vs. Boyd County at 6 p.m. and Rowan County vs. Russell at 8 p.m. ... Steubenville football coach Reno Saccoccia has 371 career victories and needs 10 more to tie former Ironton coach Bob Lutz as the winningest all-time in Ohio. ...

Boyd County’s Olivia Hensley was the medalist in the Ashland Golf Tournament last week, shooting 75. ... Former Fairland track standout Jackie Wagner, now at Ponte Vedra High School in Jacksonville, Florida, placed eighth out of 68 girls in the discus throw at the AAU nationals last week in Des Moines, Iowa. ... Lauren Ellis resigned as Fairview’s athletic director to accept a teaching position at her alma mater, Boyd County, where she starred in softball before going on to play at Eastern Kentucky University. ... George Washington High School guard Katy Darnell committed to play basketball at Fairmont State.

Tim Stephens is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759. Follow him on Twitter @sportsturtle11.

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