Indians fall to Blazers, Indians & Eagles
by Jamie Harris
On Monday night the Berkeley Springs Indians basketball team hit I-70 for a trip to Clear Spring, Md. for a match up against the Blazers. The Indians looking to rebound from a 55-51 setback to Keyser were hoping to catch the 5-10 Blazers on a down night.
Unfortunately the freshmen loaded Blazers put a hurt on the more experienced Indians, 65-52. Clear Spring trailed 43-42 heading into the fourth quarter when Blazer freshman Michael Riley scored 10 straight points with four straight buckets to push the Blazers (6-11) to the victory.
Berkeley Springs (4-9) set the early tone. The Indians opened on a six point run and went 12 for 17 from the field and 7 for 10 from the free throw line to stake a 35-27 halftime lead. Michael Kearney led Berkeley Springs with 11 points — all in the first half.
Meanwhile, Clear Spring couldn’t find a rhythm, committing 10 first half fouls and only shooting nine for 25 from the field.
However, the Blazers came out firing in the third quarter.
Clear Spring started the third on a 6-1 run and outscored Berkeley Springs 15-8 in the period. Elwood went six for six from the line and Riley hit a 3-pointer to get the Blazers within one point heading into the final quarter.
Zach Wise and Kyle Appel each scored 10 points for Berkeley Springs.
Southern Fulton 49 Berkeley Springs 42
Berkeley Springs Coach Jeremy Horvat has done everything to try to get his team to rebound the ball better.
The Indians have done several drills in practice, even participating in a game in which Berkeley Springs players get points for grabbing rebounds.
So far, things haven't worked out the way Berkeley Springs would like and the Indians work on the boards was a big difference in their 49-42 loss to Southern Fulton, Pa., Wednesday night at home.
"Rebounding has been our weakness all year, but it's not a lack of effort on our part," Horvat said. "If I knew why we’ve struggled so much rebounding, I'd obviously fix it. It's something that has baffled me all year."
For most of the game, Horvat was pleading for his team to step up and grab a rebound. For most of the game, Berkeley Springs wasn't able to come up with key rebounds.
The best example came in the fourth quarter with Berkeley Springs (6-12) down 40-39.
Southern Fulton's Nicholas Smartt got to the free throw line and made the first attempt. His second attempt missed, but Smartt got his own rebound and was fouled on the put back attempt. He converted his next two free throws to put Southern Fulton, also the Indians, up 43-39.
Southern Fulton (14-7) got to the line four more times down the stretch to ice the game, and a big part of that was its rebounding on both ends of the court. On offense, Southern Fulton got to the line twice after getting an offensive rebound and then getting fouled.
"We've rebounded well all year," Southern Fulton Coach Ken Hendershot said. "We got on the offensive boards, and it gave us a few extra possessions, especially the last few minutes of the game."
Berkeley Springs was in comeback mode most of the night, despite jumping out to a 7-0 lead. The Tribe trailed by two points after the first and second quarters and by five points after the third quarter.
However, Berkeley Springs battled back to take a 37-32 lead with 5:12 left.
Down 32-27 after three quarters, Berkeley Springs went on a 10-0 run to go up by five points. All 10 points were scored by Kyle Appel, who had a game-high 28 points.
Appel started the run, which was largely a result of Berkeley Springs' full court pressure, with a three point play after he put up a shot around a Southern Fulton defender and was fouled on the way up. He followed that with a mid-range shot, a 3-pointer that bounced up off the rim and back down in the net and turnaround jumper to give Berkeley Springs the slim lead.
"What helped us get the lead in the fourth quarter was that we put ourselves in positions to put on the full court pressure, which can only happen if you're scoring baskets or getting stoppages," Horvat said. "Our goal in the third quarter was to come out and apply the pressure, but we only scored four points. so we weren't able to do that."
Southern Fulton quickly responded with six straight points to put the Indians up 38-37.
After a rebound and put back by Kaleb Athey, Southern Fulton scored 11 of the next 14 points to pull away for the win.
Hedgesville 82 Berkeley Springs 38
On Friday night the Indians hosted the Hedgesville Eagles. Hedgesville the reigning Class AAA state champion led by the energetic coaching of Kelly Church came into the game with an impressive 14-4 record. The Tribe was still trying to regain some momentum that it had at the beginning of the year during a four game winning streak had a packed home side decked in white and ready to cheer on their team.
Hedgesville was relentless from start to finish in an 82-38 victory over Berkeley Springs Friday.
The Eagles got off to a very quick start, outscoring Berkeley Springs 20-5 in the opening quarter, spreading the wealth of the points around.
"We played unselfishly and ran our stuff well," said Church of the half court defense. We shot the ball well and weren't just running the ball up and down the court."
Zach Wise scored 10 points in the third for Berkeley Springs, but Hedgesville continued to stretch its lead, scoring 15 in the third frame.
"We didn't back down during opportunities where we could have thrown in the towel," Berkeley Springs Coach Jeremy Horvat said. "They were bigger, faster, stronger, are well-coached and we were unable to replicate what Hedgesville can bring to the table in a practice."
The Eagles continued to put the pressure on the Indians in the fourth quarter, scoring on a pair of four-point plays from Powell and Troy Markley respectively to stretch the lead to 44 before the final buzzer sounded.
The Tribe (6-15) was led by Kyle Appel with 14 points. Wise added 13 points.