By Mark Robinson
The Greenbrier East Lady Spartans basketball team defeated Blacksburg Monday evening, 58-43.
The Bruins were led by center Skyler Prosser, who chipped in 11 points, and Meghan Shelton, with six rebounds. The Bruins passed the ball well, but had trouble running with the Spartans in the second half. The Spartans’ Katie Wilmer had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Blacksburg head coach Roger Henderson said before the game he didn’t have one star; in order to succeed they need to have balanced scoring: at least three girls in double figures. Every year, East goes to Blacksburg for a scrimmage before Thanksgiving, then Blacksburg travels to Fairlea for a game in December.
Head coach Jim Justice of the Spartans commended Blacksburg for their ability to get by the Spartans’ press. Blacksburg moved the ball down the floor well. He said, “Overall, not bad. Kiara had a nice game. Piper is hustling on defense. Little Kate Perkins, I was pleased with her tonight.” When asked, “When are you going to have a game that’s close at the end?” Justice responded: “Listen, that’s not an objective of mine.”
Kate Perkins said, after the game, “Not out best game. They played a weird defense. Sometimes it was more like a man, sometimes a like a zone. It was hard to run a play to beat it. We couldn’t hit any shots. Pretty good rebounding. The press wasn’t working too well.”
Blacksburg’s coach Henderson was pleased with the second half effort, but said they could not get over the hump. Shots weren’t dropping.
On Tuesday, the Lady Spartans traveled to Monroe County to face the Lady Mavericks. East came away with an 87-70 victory. Haley McClure scored 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead all players. The Mavericks’ Gracie Mann had 22 points, and Shylyn Fox and Kelsey Reed each had six rebounds. The Spartans record improved to 8-1. East broke the game open in the second period, outscoring the Mavericks 30-13. In the second half Monroe outscored the Spartans in the third period, and came within a point of tying them in the fourth, but the second quarter deficit was too tough to overcome.
Last week, the Riverside Lady Warriors came to Fairlea, and East took home an 80-44 win. East won the point total in all four quarters, but while the first, third and fourth quarters were won by
four points each, the second quarter was won by a lopsided 24 point margin. As in the game four nights later against James Monroe, the second quarter fireworks pretty much decided the game. Riverside was led by Carli Price, with 21 points and 11 rebounds. East’s Kiara Smith had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists; Haley McClure had 16 rebounds.
Head coach Sam Terry said they were playing with only one senior. The strength of the team was the post play, and that proved true during the game, as Carli Price was a force under the basket.
Jim Justice commented after the game, “They’re getting better. The young kids are getting more experience. I’m seeing great stuff out of Taylor Dunbar. That’s nice. Haley is playing well. Kiara had her best game tonight. Our press is eating people up. At the end of the first quarter I told them ‘I’m not pleased with this.’ We had 15 points in the first quarter and 30 in the second.”
Kiara Smith said after the game, “We are progressing as a team, and being able to handle whatever they come with. We’re playing team ball. Offense and defense are both improving.”
The Lady Spartans next game is a tournament game at Meadow Bridge on Dec 28 and 30. The next home game is January 3 against George Washington.