Indians cruise past Faith Christian Academy
Berkeley Springs High School Boys Basketball Team celebrated senior night with an impressive 55-34 win over visiting Faith Christian Academy on Tuesday, February 14.
The Indians trailed 7-5 with just under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, before senior Brady Spielman scored three consecutive buckets in the paint to give the Indians an 11-7 lead.
A pair of baskets by Richard Recio and Kaleb Athey along with a free throw by Zach Wise extended the Berkeley Springs lead to 16-9 with 6:33 remaining in the half, forcing Faith to call a time out. The Falcons scored coming out of the time out to cut the Indian lead to 16-11, but the Indians answered with an 8-0 run.
Wise hit a long range three, followed by a bucket by Kyle Appel and a breakaway layup by Wise, on a beautiful pass from Jared Spielman, to make the score 23-11. Derrick Cowles capped off the run with a free throw. Faith cut the lead to 26-15 before Appel scored at the buzzer to give the Indians a 13 point halftime lead.
Berkeley Springs ratcheted up the pressure and went on a 13-0 run to begin the second half.
Wise hit a layup, Jared Spielman nailed a shot from behind the arc, Dylan Whipple hit for two, Cowles connected on a three-pointer before Jared Spielman scored on an old fashioned three point play giving the Tribe a 41-15 lead with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter. FCA ended the quarter on a 5-2 run, but the damage was done.
The Indians built the lead to 27 points midway through the final quarter and then coasted to the 21 point win.
"It was nice to be able to put all of our seniors that were dressed into the starting lineup, and then send them out as winners," said Berkeley Springs coach Jeremy Horvat. “It is one of those games they will remember for the rest of their lives. We did a really nice job defensively. We put a lot of pressure on the ball and forced a lot of turnovers. We controlled them in the half court and made it difficult for them to find the open man. Another thing I was pleased about was our rebounding effort. I think it was probably the best we've been on the boards all year. We didn't allow a lot of second and third shots and that is always important."
Jared Spielman led the Indians with 12 points. Wise and Brady Spielman added eight each, Michael Twigg and Cowles six apiece, Appel and Recio four each, Athey three, Matt Walters two and Whipple two.
Troy Johnson paced the Falcons with 10 points.
"When we have been successful we have had pretty balanced scoring," Horvat said. “We are an unselfish basketball team and that is a tribute to the kids we have. As the season has progressed they have learned to make the extra pass. In fact, sometimes they might pass it one too many times, but I would rather have that than pulling the trigger too quickly."
Berkeley Springs fortunes changed when they played one of the top rated teams in Class AAA, Hedgesville, on Friday, February 17, in Hedgesville.
The Eagles flexed their collective muscles and ended Berkeley Springs seven-game winning streak in dramatic fashion, 102-38.
Hedgesville's pressure defense forced 24 Berkeley Springs turnovers and prevented the Indians from effectively running their offensive sets.
"You have to give Hedgesville a lot of credit," Horvat said. “They are well coached and have an excellent team. They forced a lot of turnovers that were converted into easy baskets and made it very difficult for us to get into any kind of offensive rhythm."
After bolting out to a 28-11 lead after the opening eight minutes, Hedgesville, went on a 14-2 run to open the second quarter and went to the locker room with a 55-23 halftime lead.
The Indians only managed eight third quarter points, as the Eagles expanded their lead to 78-31 heading into the game's final stanza.
Hedgesville continued to pour it on and sent the Indians packing with a 66 point loss.
"This was an excellent opportunity for us," Horvat said. “They are the type of program that we want to become. And, to become one of those programs you have to play teams like Hedgesville. For me personally, this kind of loss really motivates me to work and coach harder. We are putting this loss behind us and focusing on our next opponent Musselman, and then it is on to the postseason."
Berkeley Springs ended the regular season at Musselman on Tuesday, February 21, and will host Petersburg in the opening round of sectional play at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28. If the Indians defeat Petersburg, they will host the winner of Keyser/Frankfort at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 2.
Brady Spielman and Michael Kearney were the only Indians in double figures. Spielman scored 11 points and Kearney 10.
Q.J. Peterson and Juwan Powell paced Hedgesville with 28 and 23 points, respectively.