By Mark Robinson
The first day’s competition in Greenbrier East’s Jerry Bradley Christmas Tournament featured four games, all on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Hedgesville girls defeated Hurricane, 48-38, and the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans won against Fayetteville, 71-62. In the boys division, Westside won their game against Hampshire County 84-41, and Greenbrier East won against Covington, VA, 69-48. Westside is 4-1, ranked fourth in single A in the state of West Virginia. They like a fast game, with lots of trapping and man to man defense.
East’s boys’ scoring was balanced: Evan Canterbury with 16, Seth Brown with 15, Cory Beswick 14, Nethaniel Patton 11. Jasiah Rawls and Evan Canterbury both had 11 rebounds. Coach Jim Justice said at halftime, “We’re playing a team that’s better than I thought they are. I told our guys at the half to run the missed shot/made shot break. When we rebound, or they score, we run to different spots. That, and tighten up on the rebounding.”
Covington was competitive in the first half, but East took a big lead in the third quarter. Covington only scored six points in the third quarter. At that time, East was in a 1-3-1 trap defense.
For East’s girls, Katie Wilmer was high scorer with 29 points; Kiara Smith had 10 rebounds. In the third period, Fayetteville coach John Kincaid was yelling to his team, “Don’t leave her!” referring to Wilmer, who was deadly with her three point shooting. Justice said afterward, “Haley (McClure) fouling out was tough, but it was good for our kids to have to deal with that. We only had 25 shots in the second half. We had 39 at halftime. We have to do better than that. Katie did great with her free throws. Kiara played a heck of a game… this team thinks they’re better than they are. All of a sudden you’re ahead by 15, 20, and you think that’s gonna be like that all the time.”
Fayetteville came back in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to three points before East pulled away at the end. Their coach, Kincaid, referring to East: “That team, they’ve got good balance. Good point guard, good center, shooters on the wings, well coached. It’s a battle.”
On Thursday, after this issue of the newspaper has gone to press, the winners and losers will match up against each other. East’s boys will play Westside, and East’s girls will play Hedgesville.