Brady Spielman's double-double leads Indians past Keyser
It has been a long time since the Indians boys basketball team has been on the sunny side of the win/loss ledger. In fact, you have to go back to December 27 when Berkeley Springs defeated Hancock in the consolation game of the Tri-State Shootout. The Indians stood at 4-3 after beating the Panthers, but lost six consecutive games, before beating Timber Ridge on January 19 to begin their current winning streak which was extended to six games after a convincing 62-45 win over visiting Keyser on Friday, February 10, in Berkeley Springs.
Brady Spielman, who has really elevated his game in the second half of the season, had an outstanding game. The 6-2 senior, who made play after play, scored 16 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked six shots, as the Indians evened their season series against the Golden Tornado. The Indians handed Keyser their first sectional loss of the season which should help improve Berkeley Springs seed in the upcoming playoffs.
"He was the difference in the game, especially in the second half," said Berkeley Springs Coach Jeremy Horvat of Spielman. “He had one heck of game; probably his best game of the year. He is relentless on the boards. I think he is one of the best rebounders in the Eastern Panhandle.
The first half was tightly contested with the lead changing hands several times.
Keyser raced out to an early 6-2 lead, but the Indians responded with a 6-0 run to take an 8-6 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Keyser outscored the Tribe 7-4 over the final minutes of the quarter and held a 13-12 lead heading into the second stanza.
Berkeley Springs built a 23-17 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Golden Tornado responded with a 10-3 run to take a one-point lead, 27-26, into the halftime intermission.
"They were out hustling us for loose balls and on the boards in the first half," said Horvat. “We challenged the kids in the locker room and they responded."
The Tribe slowly pulled away from Keyser in the third quarter and built a seven point advantage, 47-40, heading into the final eight minutes of regulation. Berkeley Springs opened the final quarter on a 7-0 run, before ending the game with the 17 point victory.
The Indians were very efficient in the second half, making 13 of 19 shots from the floor and eight of 10 from the foul line.
"We really shot the ball well in the second half," Horvat said. “I was very pleased with the effort. I thought that maybe both teams were a little tight early on, but I am really happy with the way we played in the second half."
Zach Wise added 14 points for the Indians and Richard Recio eight.
Brendan Clay paced Keyser with 16 points.
Berkeley Springs, 10-9, hosted Faith Christian Academy on February 14 and will end the regular season with road contests at Hedgesville on February 17 and at Musselman on February 21.
"When we were 4-9 these kids could have given up, but they didn't," said Horvat. “They deserve all of the credit for the turnaround. We went 3-0 our second time through the section and I think we will host at least one sectional game. I am really proud of this team."
The junior varsity improved to 10-3 with a 39-36 win. Michael Kearney led the Tribe with 15 points.