By Mark Robinson
The Greenbrier East’s girls basketball team improved to 11-1 Tuesday evening, as they defeated the visiting George Washington Patriots, 62-51.
Kiara Smith had 13 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Spartans. Piper Nunley and Haley McClure led with 14 points. Five East players finished with double figures in scoring: Wilmer, Smith and Perkins each had 10 points.
The Patriots did a good job of beating the vaunted press that East employs. In fact, in a turnaround from the usual tendency, the Patriots had fewer turnovers than the Spartans, 11 for GW, 18 for East. The Patriots did some pressing of their own, mostly in the second half.
East had, with two and a half minutes left in the first half, the same 11-point lead they finished with. So for the second half the two teams were evenly matched.
Coach Jim Justice said GW is very talented, ranked third in the state early. They played without a big girl who usually plays inside. Even though the press didn’t produce as many turnovers as usual, it was still effective. “Our pressure, even against their all-guard lineup, is still effective. Even if we don’t steal the ball, it speeds them up. The purpose of a defense is make the other person shoot a bad shot, don’t foul, and rebound the ball. It’s not to steal the ball,” said Justice. “In the third quarter, we changed to a diamond and one. A four man zone, and Kiara on number 12.”