The Greenbrier East Lady Spartans defeated the Princeton Tigers Friday night, 76-37, a sectional win that moves them on to a game against South Charleston Tuesday evening. East used their full-court press to confound the Tigers, repeatedly stealing the ball and scoring points to add to a wider and wider deficit for Princeton.
The score at the end of the first quarter was 19-4. Obviously no one was in doubt about the outcome. East’s press involved a lot of double-teaming, trapping in corners and cutting off passing lanes. When Princeton did get past the backcourt press, they often broke free for a layup. That happened more in the second half than in the first.
East’s Abbie Bartenslager led all scorers with 16, hitting six of 12 shots, four of them three-pointers. Over the last several weeks, Bartenslager has gained more and more playing time, proving to be a reliable scorer. Piper Nunley blocked five shots, and collected 12 rebounds. Kiara Smith dished out eight assists. Princeton turned the ball over 26 times.
For the last three minutes of the game, the substitutes at the end of the bench took the floor. During those three minutes, Lexi Mizia was a pleasant surprise, hitting both shots she took, and connecting on both free throws she attempted.
In what must be some kind of record, East held Princeton to one point in the second quarter. But turning that stat on its head, Princeton ran almost even with East in the third quarter, scoring eighteen points to East’s twenty. Obviously something clicked for Princeton at halftime, though it was much too late to change the result of the game.
Coach Jim Justice said after the game, “I thought our kids were up, played one of our better games. We put a lot of pressure on them, changed a lot of defenses early. Our press worked well. We were doubling a lot. I was worried about number 22, and 55 is strong. They don’t have the ball handlers to be able to play our pressure. We played well tonight. They’re a good team. They probably put a lot of effort into the Woodrow game. That might have knocked some of the wind out of their sails.”