Lady Indians end regular season with split Enter Sectionals as #1 seed
by Jamie Harris
It was truly a tale of two halves for Berkeley Springs when the Indians hosted Hedgesville Last Monday.
The first half was close and full of effort between both teams. Things changed in the third quarter for Berkeley Springs.
Fatigue set in for the Indians as they fell 60-48 to the Eagles. It was Berkeley Springs' first home loss this season.
"For a team that's played three games in four days, and playing against a very good team, I was pleased with our effort," Berkeley Springs head Coach Dale McCumbee said. "Fatigue set in in the middle of the third, and we just started making some poor decisions."
Hedgesville held a one-point advantage at the half, due in large part to Sarah Haynes' big first half. Haynes scored the Indians first 12 points of the game and added three more in the second period.
"Sarah's done a tremendous job for us this season," McCumbee said. "She's an all-state player. Without her, we're an average team."
She shot 3-5 from 3-point range in the half while the rest of the team shot 3-15 from the floor and only scored nine points.
Hedgesville started the third quarter on an 8-4 run and then followed that with a 7-3 streak. Both led to Berkeley Springs timeouts.
A Kristen Nunn 3-pointer put the Eagles up by double digits for the first time in the game. The Indians cut the deficit in half by the end of the period, but would draw no closer in the fourth.
Hedgesville started the final quarter on a 7-0 run. The Eagles continued to feed off the Indians mistakes, who turned the ball over 12 times in the quarter.
Free throws also kept the Hedgesville lead extended in the second half. The Eagles, who did not shoot a single free throw in the first half, shot 19 in the second half, making nearly 70% of them.
Nunn scored 16 of her team-high 20 points in the second half. Carly Elliott also showed a strong performance, scoring 10 of her 18 points in the half.
"We were pretty miserable from the field early on," Hedgesville head Coach Ben Merica said. "In the second half, we shot the ball much better."
The first half was kept much closer.
The Eagles jumped out to a five point lead. Haynes then put on a show to get her team back in the game. She alone went on a 9-2 run to give the Indians a two point lead.
Lauren Schetrompf swished a near-half-court 3-pointer as time expired in the first half, giving the Indians a two point lead.
The Eagles started the second quarter like all the others, on a scoring streak, this time a 6-0 run.
A long delay took place in the middle of the period as the referees got together and discussed a call. After a nearly five minute stoppage of play, the officials changed the original call for an Eagle walk to a technical foul, called on Hedgesville's Alexis Taylor.
Haynes' lone basket of the period broke a tie and put her team up by three.
Even with the loss, the Indians keep their No. 1 seed in the AA playoffs and host Petersburg next week.
Berkeley Springs 64 Jefferson 56
Berkeley Springs Coach Dale McCumbee was expecting a tougher contest against Jefferson in his team's second meeting of the season with the Cougars Thursday night.
Jefferson Coach Chris Custer was expecting the same thing, his players much improved since the team’s first meeting early in the season.
Both got what they were expecting, and in the end, Berkeley Springs held off Jefferson for a 64-56 victory.
"Coach (Custer) had done a terrific job with his team, and we knew it was going to be a tougher game this time around," McCumbee said. "That's the kind of win we needed heading into the playoffs next week."
"We gave them a good run. It was much better than the first meeting," Custer said.
Jefferson suffered a 32 point loss to the Indians in the Cougars' second game. Thursday night's contest was much closer, with Jefferson pushing for the lead late in the game.
Berkeley Springs (15-6) was in control most of the game, leading by 10 at halftime and at the end of three quarters.
Down 49-39 to start the fourth quarter, Jefferson made things interesting in a hurry, cutting the lead to 51-48 with 5:06 to go.
Trailing 51-41, the Cougars (3-18) scored seven straight points. Danashia McDonald's layup started the run and was followed by a pair of free throws by Marissa Jones and a single free throw and layup by Dasia Taylor.
Marissa Jones, who had 22 points for Jefferson, spearheaded the Cougars' effort at the line, going 16 of 23 by herself, with Jefferson finishing 24 for 42.
Getting to the free throw line was a big part of the Cougars' comeback as they shot 16 free throws in the fourth quarter.
"Every game, we're getting to the line 25-30 times, but our problem has been shooting. We're only around 50% as a team from the free throw line," Custer said.
Getting to within three points was possible by a strong effort on the defensive end.
"We started out focusing on Sarah Haynes and Casey Solomon, and we ran some junk defenses," Custer said. "We eventually went to a man-to-man defense, and that's probably the best man-to-man we've played all year."
From that point on, the Indians – Haynes in particular – took over.
Haynes made a pair of free throws with 3:06 left to put Berkeley Springs up 55-51. On the ensuing inbound, Haynes sneaked behind a Jefferson player, stole the ball and converted a a layup to make the lead six points.
With the Indians up 57-53, Haynes scored four straight points. She had a three point play opportunity and missed the free throw, but got the rebound for two more shots at the line. After she missed the ensuing free throws, Berkeley Springs' Allura Rohm got another rebound, and got the ball to Haynes, who was fouled again and made her next two free throws to extend the Indians' lead to 61-53.
Haynes finished with a game-high 28 points.
"We stayed with it down the stretch," McCumbee said. "The girls could have easily folded, but they handled the adversity well. We were in major foul trouble in the second half."
The first half went much better for Berkeley Springs as its offense ran much smoother. The Indians led by just five after one quarter and extended the lead to 10 points at the half. Solomon led the way with 11 of her 15 points in the first half.
"We were able to spread the ball around and get some good looks," McCumbee said.
Haynes selected as area Athlete of the Week
Sarah Haynes' absence from the Berkeley Springs girls’ basketball last season was notable.
The Indians weren't the same without her.
The same can be said about this season - Berkeley Springs probably wouldn't be in the same position they are this year, which is a 14-win team.
Night in and night out, Haynes is consistently one of the top scorers on the court, no matter who the Indians are playing.
Last week, she, as usual, led Berkeley Springs in scoring in a pair of games against the Yellow Jackets and Keyser. However, she did accomplish her second triple-double of the season.
For her stellar performance last week, Haynes has been named The Journal/Gold's Gym Athlete of the Week (Feb. 3-Feb. 9).
The Indians were off more than a week before playing Moorefield on the road. Berkeley Springs didn't look rusty, and Haynes was at her best as she was unstoppable against Moorefield.
The junior guard recorded a triple-double and was on the verge of having a quadruple-double. She finished with 28 points, 12 steals and 10 rebounds, to go along with eight assists.
Haynes scored almost as many points individually as Moorefield scored as team. It was her ninth 20-point of the season and fourth straight at the time.
The next day, Berkeley Springs traveled to Keyser for a sectional contest and lost, ending its 10-game winning streak. However, Haynes once again had a game-high, scoring 19 points.
With another strong couple of games, Haynes held strong as the area's leader in scoring average, free-throw percentage and steals.
Haynes and the Indians are hoping to undo a multi-year absence from the state tournament in 2013.