Lady Indians shock Musselman, 71-65
Berkeley Springs had not put together a 32-minute effort the entire season, according to Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. But, that all changed on Wednesday, January 17 at Berkeley Springs High School, when the Lady Indian basketball team put on a show, defeating Musselman 71-65.
"I thought we played a very good game against a good opponent," McCumbee said. "There weren't many mental lapses like we've been experiencing lately. I think it shows what this team is capable of, when they play four quarters of basketball."
The Indians showed great resiliency too, after losing a lead they had held for 21 minutes and 30 seconds, early in the fourth quarter. There have been times in the past when Berkeley Springs would panic in such a situation. But, not on this night, as they converted key baskets and clutch free throws down the stretch to hold off their Berkeley County opponent.
Berkeley Springs, which had been struggling from the free throw line, made 31 of 43 attempts, including 12 of 14 in the final quarter.
"That was huge," said McCumbee of the free throw shooting. "We had been shooting just over 50% from the line on the season and had talked about the importance of converting more opportunities. In most tight games, like the one tonight, scoring from the free throw line is the difference between winning and losing."
It sure made a difference on this night and the Lady Indians were up to the challenge. Alex Tamez, who led Berkeley Springs in scoring, made five of six free throw attempts, Amber Booher made four of four and Kelsey McCoy made three of four, in the final quarter to seal the win.
"This was a good win for our program," McCumbee said. "Hopefully we can build off of some things we did well in this game. I thought our girls played well."
Musselman grabbed an early 10-7 lead, before a three-point basket by Tamez tied the game at 10 apiece with a little under four minutes remaining in the opening quarter. She then followed that up with a two-point bucket to give Berkeley Springs the lead 12-10. A three-point play by Booher extended the lead to 15-10, before Musselman's Lacey Williams ended the Indian run with a two-point basket of her own.
Rebecca Trump then scored the final five points of the stanza, giving Berkeley Springs a 20-12 lead after the opening eight minutes of action.
Musselman scored the first four points of the second quarter, before Booher nailed a pair of free throws to keep the Indians on top 22-16. Berkeley Springs increased the lead to 34-27 at the 1:16 mark of the opening half, before Casey Coles and Williams scored the final two baskets of the half, to cut the Indian lead to 34-31, as the two teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the half-time intermission.
Ashley Hovermale opened the second–half scoring with a three-point bomb, to extend the Berkeley Springs lead to 37-31. The Indians maintained the lead for the remainder of the quarter and headed into the final eight minutes of regulation leading 51-46.
Musselman charged out of the gate early in the final quarter grabbing their first lead of the game, 55-53, since very early in the contest, on a three-point basket by Nicole Stephenson with less than six minutes remaining.
Tamez quickly answered to tie the game at 55-55. A pair of free throws from McCoy and another basket from Tamez gave the Tribe a 59-55 lead. A quick basket by Williams brought the Lady Applemen back to within two points of the lead. But they would get no closer, as Berkeley Springs was able to finish what they started, earning a big victory over their Class AAA rival.
Tamez scored 25 points for Berkeley Springs, Booher 17, Trump 13, McCoy eight, Hovermale five, Courtney Kesecker two and Kayla Hill one for the Indians.
Lacey Williams of Musselman led all scorers with 33 points.
The Berkeley Springs junior varsity was also victorious, defeating Musselman 32-29. Jessica Haynes and Corrie Riffle led the Indians to victory, scoring nine points each. Shauni Stevens added six points, while teammates Alyssa Spielman and Maddy Parrill scored four points apiece.
Berkeley Springs then traveled across the river on Friday, January 19, for a showdown with longtime rival Hancock. The two teams had played in the championship game of the Hancock's holiday tournament in late December, with Berkeley Springs coming out on top 68-33
In that game, Hancock had given Berkeley Springs an early scare, but this time there was no doubt, as the Indians jumped out to a 19-9 lead after the opening quarter of play and then cruised to a lopsided 73-43 victory.
Trump led Berkeley Springs in scoring with 18 points, Hovermale scored 14, Tamez 13, Hill 11, Booher 8, Kesecker and McCoy four each and Sarah Risinger one.
Kris Creek led, 3-9, Hancock with nine points.
"Our girls took care of business," McCumbee said. "We had four girls score in double figures. When we are balanced on offense it is much more difficult for opponents to defend us."
Berkeley Springs, now 8-6 on the year, will play at St. Maria Goretti on Thursday, January 25 and will then host St. James Academy on Saturday, January 27.