Lady Indians finish regular season
Berkeley Springs High School Girls Basketball Team split their final two games of the regular season last week. The Indians defeated Musselman 68-56 on Tuesday, February 14, in Bunker Hill, before falling to Hedgesville, in Hedgesville, two days later, 76-30.
"We ended the regular season with a demanding schedule that should help us going into the tournament," said Berkeley Springs Veteran Coach Dale McCumbee. “We had a very good game against Musselman. Unfortunately, Deidra (Burch) was injured in the final minutes of the game and couldn't play against Hedgesville. Hedgesville is one of the better AAA teams in the state and we needed to be at full strength to compete. I guess it wasn't all bad though, because we had some kids get some playing time and that could be useful if we face some adversity in the postseason."
Burch had a hot hand against Musselman, scoring a season-high 36 points, as the Indians avenged an earlier loss to the Lady Applemen.
Casey Solomon scored six points in the opening quarter helping Berkeley Springs build a 15-9 lead. Burch, who scored only two first quarter points, heated up in the second quarter, scoring 11 of Berkeley's 13 points, and the Tribe headed into the intermission with a 28-19 lead.
Part of the reason for the Indian success in the first half was the defense's ability to limit Nicole Henderson to seven points.
"She really hurt us in the first game," said McCumbee of Henderson. “So, she certainly was a focus for us defensively. She is a heck of ball player, but we were determined to keep her in check."
Henderson scored more points in the third quarter (eight) than in the opening 16 minutes, and her teammates added 13 more, as Musselman shaved seven points off the Indian lead and only trailed, 42-40, heading into the final quarter of regulation.
The Indians maintained their composure and made their free throws in the final eight minutes, and came home with the 12 point win.
Burch nailed all seven of her free throw attempts in the fourth quarter and was a perfect 14/14 for the game. Lauren Schetrompf was clutch down the stretch as well, making five of eight fourth quarter attempts from the charity stripe, while Casey Solomon, who ended the game with 14 points, made a pair of free throws in four attempts.
"We always talk about the importance of converting free throws," said McCumbee. “In close games they are crucial. Anytime you make 80% (24/30) as team from the foul line, you have to be pleased."
McCumbee was really pleased with the overall effort, particularly that of his senior point guard, Burch.
"Deidra had a tremendous game," said McCumbee. “She scored 34 points in the final three quarters, added five rebounds, five assists and five steals. She had 30 points in her previous game against Washington. They could have been her best two games of the season and were certainly her best back-to-back games. It is too bad that she hurt her ankle, but we are hopeful that she can return for our sectional game against Frankfort. Needless to say, she is important to our success. We need her in the lineup."
Schetrompf added nine points to Burch's 36 and Solomon's 14, while Brittaney Napfel and Caitlyn Napfel chipped in with five and four points, respectively.
Henderson led Musselman with 19.
Berkeley Springs, playing without Burch, faced a tough road challenge against Hedgesville on February 16. The shorthanded Indians hung tough in the opening quarter against the Eagles, but Hedgesville poured it on in the final three quarters for the lopsided win.
The Indians kept it close in the opening quarter and trailed 12-6 heading into the second quarter of action. Hedgesville's pressure started to take its toll on the Tribe in the second quarter and continued after the halftime intermission. The Lady Eagles outscored the Tribe 48-14 during that 16 minute stretch covering the second and third quarters, and then coasted to their 16th win of the year.
"We had some kids playing out of position and got into a little foul trouble, said McCumbee. Their pressure finally got to us and we really didn't have an answer. But, this was only one game and we start a new season on Tuesday. We played well in our previous two games when we were at full strength and hope that can carry over against Frankfort, if we get Deidra back. This game did provide an opportunity to get some of our younger girls playing time and Juanita Weigle had her career high. It wasn't the way we wanted the regular season to end, but this game is already in the rearview mirror. We must focus on what lies ahead."
Weigle led Berkeley Springs with eight points, C. Napfel added seven, Schtrompf five, Casandra Burch four, B. Napfel two and Rachel Canterbury two.
The Indians, who ended the regular season 12-10, faced Frankfort in the opening game of sectional play yesterday, February 21, in Ridgeley. A win and the Indians advance to the sectional championship game, and would guarantee themselves a spot in the regional tournament, while a loss would eliminate them from the postseason.
"Frankfort best us twice during the regular season, but we had our chances in both games," McCumbee said. “If we play the way we are capable of playing I am confident that we come home with a win and keep our season alive. I know the kids are looking forward to the challenge. This game means everything. A loss and you go home for good."
If the Indians win they will play Thursday, February 23. Most likely they will travel to Keyser, unless Petersburg pulls off a huge upset over the Golden Tornado. Should that occur, Berkeley Springs would host Petersburg for the sectional championship.