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State tourney story not old for Bullett

March 14, 2001

State tourney story not old for Bullett

By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

W.Va. State Tournament


Class AAA Quarterfinals

at Charleston Civic Center

Thursday

Martinsburg vs. Robert C. Byrd

Time: 7:45

Radio: WEPM 1340



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - J.J. Bullett is not an old man.

"I'm young for a senior," the Martinsburg forward said. "I'm only 17."

No, not old at all. Not old enough to vote yet, but wise enough to let his teammates - all of them younger than he is - know that age jokes are not allowed.

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"Oh no," Bullett said. "They know better than that."

The Bulldogs also realized the "old man" has done just fine this season, playing his role to perfection as Martinsburg prepares for its Class AAA state quarterfinal game against Robert C. Byrd.

"I knew my job was to fill a spot, and I think I did the job," Bullett said. "We lost Michael Wright (a two-time All-Area selection). And I'm probably not as good as him, but I get on the boards, get a couple of points."

The Bulldogs' lone senior has wandered in and out of the starting lineup this season, starting when he's on a hot streak, sitting against three-guard lineups.

"It all depends," Bullett said. "But it doesn't matter to me ... It just depends on the situation.

"I know I won't be starting the first game in Charleston, but I'll be ready no matter what."

Now the question is, will he be ready to finish? If there's a disappointment in Charleston, no one else will really understand how he feels.

"Coach (Dave Rogers) always says that ... 'This could be my last practice,' or 'This is your last game at home,' or 'This could be the last game you put on a Martinsburg uniform,'" Bullett said. "I just take it in stride. You can't do much about it. You just give all your heart to it."

So Bullett knows he can only do so much. His teammates hope they can do the rest to send their "old man" out with a party.

"He'll be the only one," junior center Kevin Pittsnogle said. "You know that you've got another year, but you do want to win it for him - and for us."

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