The Greenbrier East boys basketball team travelled to Charleston Tuesday evening to play its second regional game, this one against the Capital High School Cougars. East lost, 85-63. Capital will advance to the state championship tournament, where it will be the number one seed.
The two teams traded baskets to start the game’s first six minutes, but Capital went on a run to end the quarter with a 23-15 lead. That momentum carried on into the second quarter, to a 29-15 lead for Capital, with 6:52 remaining in the quarter. At that point head coach Jim Justice called a timeout. After that timeout, the Spartans went on a 17-3 run of their own, climbing out of their hole to almost tie the Cougars at 32-31, with three and a half minutes left in the half. They battled evenly then, Capital going into the intermission with a 42-39 lead.
The third quarter was decisive, as East hung tough for the first few minutes of the quarter, but as the clock kept ticking, Capital extended its lead. At the end of the quarter they were up by 15, and that was a comfortable enough cushion for them in the fourth. Cougar subs came in with a couple of minutes left in the game.
For Capital, Leondre Rogers, no. 11, was the most noticeable difference in the game. Playing point guard, he pushed the ball on offense, and was especially dominant in the first quarter, scoring ten of his nineteen points, and repeatedly scoring fast break buckets with layups. But the high scorer for the Cougars was no. 23, Anthony Pittman, with 24 points, spread fairly evenly throughout the game, closing with nine points in the fourth quarter. He is a long, lean force under the basket, and several times put down resounding dunks.
Seth Brown led East with 23 points, each quarter seeing smaller output (9-7-4-3) as the Cougars quickly realized his singular abilities, and did their best to shut him down with double-teams. Without Brown’s points, the third and fourth quarters were owned by the Cougars.
Jasiah Rawls had a big first quarter, Evan Canterbury and Cory Beswick had good contributions in the second, but no Spartan had many points to contribute in the second half. Capital’s defense was quick, and its full-court press was bothersome, in the second half. Neither team relied much on its bench, Capital’s providing five points, East, two points.
The team will be idle until fall comes, when another season will get underway.