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Tough schedule on tap for Colts in 2021

Colts hope experienced group can navigate challenging slate of games

The Inter-Mountain file photos Junior Maverick Williams is one of the top returning players this season for Philip Barbour. The Colts open the 2021 campaign Saturday at home against Class AAA, top-ranked Robert C. Byrd.

PHILIPPI –One could argue the Philip Barbour High School boys basketball team may face one if not the toughest schedule in the state.

In a delayed season due to COVID-19, the Colts’ 15-game slate includes matchups against five teams ranked among the top 10 in the The Associated Press Poll released today.

Four of those teams are members of the Big 10 Conference, including Class AAA, top-ranked Robert C. Byrd and No. 5 Fairmont Senior.

Fortunately for head coach Marcus Johnson, Philip Barbour will put an experienced group on the floor in 2021.

Senior forward Josh Watson (6-foot) returns inside, along with 6-1 juniors Maverick Williams and Jesiah Matlick.

Senior Gage Bibey, who has signed to play baseball at Potomac State College, returns at guard for the Colts.

Senior guards Gage Bibey and Jedd Hawkins –along with junior Trenton Whited — return in the backcourt.

Other juniors on the roster include Liam Mayle, Jayden Herron, Cody Cooper and Donovan Thomas.

Fighting for playing time out of the sophomore class are Ethan Floyd, Kemper Longwell, DeShawn Webster, Matthew Mace, Brayden Cole, Caden Hawkins, Marshall Nestor, Michael Salisbury and John Barkley.

Freshman Kaden Humphreys is also in the mix.

Beginning this basketball season, there will be four classifications in place — Class AAAA, AAA, AA and A.

Senior forward Josh Watson gives Philip Barbour an inside and outside threat.

Philip Barbour will compete in triple-A.

The Colts will be in Region II, Section 1 with Fairmont Senior, East Fairmont, Grafton and Notre Dame.

Region II, Section 2 schools include Elkins, Lewis County, Robert C. Byrd, Lincoln and Liberty-Harrison.

Philip Barbour opens the season Saturday at home against RCB.

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