Tribe falls on the road
Berkeley Springs boys basketball team lost its road opener on Thursday, December 8, to East Hardy, 64-48, in Baker.
The Tribe got off to another slow start, trailing 21-6 after the opening quarter of play and could not recover.
East Hardy's Korey Foltz buried three 3-pointers, and scored 12 points in the first quarter, as the Cougars rushed out to a 15 point lead after the opening eight minutes of play. Michael Twigg scored four first-quarter points and Jared Spielman added the other two for the Indians.
"We struggled against their half-court pressure defense at the beginning of the game," said Berkeley Springs coach Jeremy Horvat. “They (East Hardy) had a good plan and it took our guys time to adjust."
Foltz cooled off in the second quarter, but the Indians were only able to shave a point off of East Hardy's lead and headed to the intermission down 33-19.
Derrick Cowles scored six points in the third quarter, as Berkeley Springs cut the Cougar lead to five points, before East Hardy buried a couple of three's to take an 11-point lead into the final quarter of action.
"The one thing I can say about this team is that they are very coachable," said Horvat. “When we make halftime adjustments, not only do they take the advice to heart, they are able to execute it on the court. We made a couple of adjustments to East Hardy's pressure defense and beat the trap on three consecutive possessions in the third quarter that enabled us to get right back in the game. It is really encouraging to know that the kids are listening and then carrying out instructions."
Trailing 45-34 heading into the final quarter, the door was open for another Indian comeback. But it wasn't happening on this December evening in Baker, as East Hardy gradually pulled away for the 16-point win.
"When we got within five points in the third quarter it kind of seemed to have the same feel as the game against Highland View on Tuesday. But, East Hardy made some big shots; you've got to give them some credit," Horvat said.
Twigg led the Indians with 14 points, Cowles scored 11, Brady Spielman eight, Kaleb Athey seven, Jared Spielman five and Richard Recio three.
"Our challenge now is to get out of the gate faster," commented Horvat.
“We are going to adjust our practices in hopes of getting off to a quicker start."
Horvat believes that as the kids become more comfortable in the offense, and defense, things should improve.
"We are still installing systems," Horvat said. “We are continually adding wrinkles to both the half-court offense and defense. On offense we need to dribble less, be patient and pass more. The kids have to learn to make the extra pass the extra screen, etc... Like I said they are receptive, so I expect to see improvement. We also added a couple of rules to our motion offense that should add a little more structure. Lastly, we need to protect the ball better, make better decisions and play tough defense."
The Berkeley Springs JV improved to 2-0 with a lopsided 67-23 victory over East Hardy.
The junior Indians had three players - Brandon Malone, Jake Truax and B.J. Michael - score in double figures. Malone led the way with 21, Truax added 18 and Michael had 12.
Foltz and Shaun Skover led East Hardy with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
The varsity, 1-1, returns to the hardcourt on December 16 when they host sectional rival Frankfort.