East girls build big lead over Princeton


by Mark Robinson

(Photo by Mark Robinson) Nethaniel Patton hits a three-point shot with 38 seconds left in overtime to put Greenbrier East ahead of Independence for good. Patton scored 25 points to lead East’s attack.

Princeton High School’s girls basketball team came to Fairlea Tuesday night, expecting a close game with the Lady Spartans.

Instead, they got a good spanking, going home on the losing end of a 71-52 score. In their first meeting, East won a close one, 58-55, and expectations were for a similar battle in this game. But East’s full-court pressure was oppressive, and Princeton’s ball handlers repeatedly hit the floor scrambling to regain possession of a ball they had just lost.

The East lead at halftime was 18 points; at the end of the game it was 19 points. The second half was an even affair, so Princeton made good adjustments at the half. But there was no way to make up that deficit, especially with so much energy being expended to break East’s pressure.

Jamie Vest for Princeton and Haley McClure for East led in scoring, with 19 each. East’s Kiara Smith had five assists and four steals to lead the Spartans.

After the game, East coach Jim Justice said, “Our press annihilated them, the whole game. We worked hard on watching the game film of Parkersburg. They outhustled us, out-physicaled us, our goal was to play much more aggressive, much more physical. And that’s what we did. Abbie Bartenslager had a nice game. She had three threes.

East player Katie Wilmer said afterward, “It was a lot easier than the last time we played them. We won that one by three or four. We wer more energized than we were last time. And we were more pumped up to win. Last time our press worked, so we decided to stick with it.”

East’s final game of the regular season will be Feb. 16, against Poca, at home.