By Mark Robinson
The Greenbrier East Lady Spartans played the Shady Spring Tigers Wednesday evening, Feb. 24, and took home the victory, 67-28. For a few minutes at the beginning of the game it looked like it might be a different story, as Shady Spring popped a few quick buckets and took an 8-0 lead. Coach Jim Justice called a time out, sat his starters for a few minutes, and the score soon became more even. At the end of the quarter it was 16-8, Spartans.
Lexi Tincher was given a standing ovation in the second half, as she hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to score her 1,000th point in her four year career at East. The referee called his own time out in order to give the players a few moments to celebrate, and to allow the crowd to enjoy them do so.
This game was the first game of the Lady Spartans sectional play. At the same time this game was taking place, Princeton was defeating Woodrow Wilson, 46-42, to advance to Friday night’s game against the Spartans, to be played in Fairlea. The winner of that game will advance to the state playoffs, the second week of March.
Tincher, #23, scored 23 points, Kat Walton, #21, had six assists, and Taylor Hill, #14, collected nine rebounds, all to lead the team in their respective categories. Those three are the three seniors on the team. Tincher has a knack for hitting the big bucket just when it’s needed, and she did that in this game, getting open on the perimeter and hitting her shots.
For Shady Spring, Morgan Brown, #23, led with 10 points, and Abigail Gwinn, #40, had two assists and nine rebounds to lead the Tigers. Gwinn was especially effective at moving the ball around, and penetrating into the lane.
Coach Justice spoke after the game, “We’ll play Princeton Friday night for the sectional championship. What a wonderful night for Lexi Tincher. You know, we started out kind of bad. Had to pull the starters as a wake-up call. But they came on really well, did a nice job. We have a lot to talk about to prepare for Princeton. We’ll get them ready.”
Kat Walton: “It’s going to be a rough game Friday. We’re going to have to pick it up, we can’t come in slow like we did today. We’re going to have a really rough opponent, they’re going to be physical. We’re going to have to work hard and finish. We had a lot of fast breaks tonight. But we were slow in the beginning, we came out lazy, we had lazy passes. We just weren’t hitting any shots, then we started to pick it up.
Taylor Hill: “We definitely didn’t start out too well. Coach took us out at the very beginning of the game so we could get our heads in the game. I think that definitely helped. We went back in and we went hard and we came out with the win.”
Lexi Tincher: “It was a good game, especially for sectionals. Now we have to get ready for Princeton on Friday . . . It was such a huge accomplishment for me to get that [1,000th career point], especially tonight in the sectional game. I’ve been working all year for that.
The game against Princeton Friday begins at 7 p.m., at Greenbrier East’s gymnasium.