Road trip blues
Berkeley Springs boys basketball team made a long road trip to Wyoming County over the holidays and came home with a pair of losses. Wyoming East downed the Tribe 78-41 on December 29 and a day later Westside disposed of the Indians 78-63.
The Indians showed the effects of the long drive in their opening game against Wyoming East, falling behind 22-5 after the opening quarter of play. The Warriors outscored Berkeley Springs 18-16 in the second quarter to take a 40-21 halftime lead and then put the game away by outscoring the Tribe 24-7 in the third quarter and coasted to the lopsided victory.
"Wyoming East is a very good team; they are what we hope to become," said Berkeley Springs coach Jeremy Horvat. “Our kids got a taste of what basketball is like in the rest of the state. We battled the entire game so I was really proud of the effort. They could have easily packed it in, but they didn't. As crazy as it may sound, I actually think they gained a little confidence."
Jared Spielman paced the Indians with nine points, Richard Recio added eight, Brady Spielman, Derrick Cowles and Dylan Whipple five each, Michael Twigg and Kaleb Athey four apeice while Ryan Tyser scored two to round out the Berkeley Springs offense.
Josh Tunstalle led a balanced Warrior offense with 13 points.
A slow start was not the problem against Westside, as the Indians charged out to a 17-8 lead after the opening eight minutes of play. But, the lead was short lived, as the Renegades dominated the Indians 31-11 in the second quarter to take a 39-28 lead at the intermission. Both teams clicked on offense in the third quarter, but Westside was able to pad their lead by three more points, 62-48, after three quarters and then traded points with Berkeley in the final stanza for the 78-63 win.
"The first quarter might have been the best quarter of basketball we have played this year, but the second quarter did us in," Horvat said. “Westside picked up the intensity, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and we didn't handle it too well. We played them even in the second half, but the lapse in the second quarter was a killer."
The Indians had four players, Cowles, Recio, Wise and Brady Spielman score in double figures. Cowles had 15, Recio 11 while both Wise and B. Spielman scored 10 each. Jared Spielman added eight, Athey had five, while Whipple and Twigg scored two points each.
Dylan Newsome, who knocked down seven 3-point shots, led Westside with 29 points.
Despite losing two games, Horvat thought it was a positive experience.
"We got to see two of the better teams in the state and the kids got to see a part of the state they had never seen before, so it was good trip in lots of different ways," said Horvat. “We left there knowing that when we play for the entire 32 minutes that we can compete with the best. We just have to learn to develop a little better poise and be able to respond when teams pick up their level of play. We play well in spurts. Now we just have to do it more consistently in order to compete with the best."
Berkeley Springs, 4-5, will play road games at Keyser on January 5 and Petersburg on January 11.
"We have a big week coming up, with successive road games against sectional opponents," said Horvat. “I understand that Keyser has been one of the better teams in the section, so I'm anxious to see how we respond on Thursday."