East Girls use strong third quarter to win
By Mark Robinson
When the snow finally melted and the roads were clear, the James Monroe Lady Mavericks made the trip to Greenbrier County to play the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The Lady Spartans won the game, 72-53.
The Mavericks made it interesting in most of the first half, before the Spartans pulled away. With about five minutes remaining in the first half, the score was 19-16, East. But the lead slowly grew, from eight points at the beginning of the third quarter, to 29 by the end of that quarter. That third quarter was marked by good passing on offense, and quick hands on defense. The Mavericks made a number of turnovers bringing the ball up the floor, and the Spartans capitalized by setting up high-percentage shots with their passes. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the lead was comfortable, and the substitutes for East were coming into the game. In the fourth quarter the Mavericks did close the gap by ten points, using an aggressive full court press, but it was too little and too late.
Piper Nunley was the Spartans’ scoring leader, with 15. Taylor Hill led with 8 rebounds. Kat Walton had the most assists, 7. After the game, coach Jim Justice commented, “It’s nice to get back to playing again. It’s really good that Kiara and Lexi are able to go again, both of them got hurt over in the Big Atlantic Tournament. They’re hobbling a little bit. We’re going to work the wrinkles out, and deal with the snow, and we’ll get back to playing.”
About James Monroe, Justice added, “They’ve got some kids out, they lost a kid to ACL. They’ve got a nice team. Their #10, this little Gracie Mann, she’s tough.”
Lexi Tincher, #23, said “It was definitely a good game to have before tomorrow, a warm up game, for tomorrow, at St Albans… I sprained my ankle last Thursday. It hurt a little tonight, but I had to push through. It’s getting better.”
Taylor Hill, #14, said, “It was definitely rough. We’ve been off for a while. It was good to get us back in our groove.The offense is definitely rusty. And a few spots on defense. The passing was OK. Our shots were off. We haven’t had time to practice. The superintendent hasn’t allowed us to practice when it’s bad.”
Opposing coach Michael Hines said after the game, “Six minutes into the game, we’re playing four freshmen and one senior. We told them, we have to be able to put pressure on the ball on the wings, if we don’t, any team will be able to beat us inside. We don’t have anybody who can get in there and bang with Piper… We’re not going to be able to match up in the half court with anybody… Number 10 [Monroe’s Gracie Mann] is going to be a good player. She’s got a good basketball background; her dad, Kelly Mann, played two years at Virginia Tech and two years at Concord.”
After Wednesday’s game at St. Albans, the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans play two home games: Friday night at 5:45 against Pendleton County, and Saturday night at 7:30 against Hurricane.