The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

November 28, 2012

Spartans shoot past Tigers

East opens season with 65-38 win

FAIRLEA — Defending Class AAA state champion Greenbrier East was supposed to be down after losing two of its stars from last year’s team — second-team all-state selection Anna Hammaker and all-state honorable mention pick Cheyenne Hooper — which finished the season 26-1 and beat Bridgeport in the championship game.

Shady Spring isn’t buying that prediction.

The Lady Spartans (1-0) began their title defense with a convincing 65-38 home victory over the visiting Tigers (0-1) Tuesday night at Spartan Gymnasium as Chaunté McDowell scored 14 points and recorded eight steals and head coach Jim Justice got plenty of experience for the East reserves.

Using a smothering defense — mainly switching between a 2-3 zone and man-to-man — East forced turnovers for easy buckets and showed a hot hand from behind the 3-point arc in the early going, scoring 19 of the game’s first 21 points to end any drama before the crowd really got settled in its seats.

“We’re the defending state champs, so we’ve got kids that can play,” said Justice, who coaches both the boys and girls teams at East. “Our kids feel like they have something to prove, and we’re getting better. Overall, for the first night, I’d give them a B.”

Without the clear size advantage and automatic offensive threats they had a year ago, the Spartans had to use defense and hustle to get the job done. East forced 39 Shady turnovers, including 32 steals, and won the rebounding battle 48-40. Thirty-three of those rebounds came on the offensive glass, as the Spartans cashed in on second and third opportunities.

“That’s just them really working,” said Justice. “They know they’re behind the eight ball, and they know they don’t have any size. So they really get after it.”

Down 20-4 after the opening period, Shady, which had only two field goals midway through the second quarter, showed some fight, scoring 13 points in the second and 12 in the third to finally dent the scoreboard. Sophomore guard Morgan Hylton scored a game-high 19 points, including a 5-for-13 mark from 3-point range, pulling the trigger at the slightest defensive opening. Senior center Kaylee Dickenson added a double-double with 11 points and 18 boards, including 15 on the offensive glass.

“That first quarter was brutal,” said second-year Shady Spring head coach Brandon Bennett. “I don’t know if it was the nerves from our first game of being a AAA school playing a team like Greenbrier East or what. We struggled that first quarter, but we didn’t quit. We hit some 3s and played better defense.”

The bad news for the Tigers is that they found little offense from anywhere else. Shady played just seven players all evening, and, other than Hylton and Dickerson, nobody scored more than six points.

East, on the other hand, was able to play 11 girls, including nine who saw at least 12 minutes of action, as Justice attempted to work on what he considers one of his squad’s weaknesses — depth.

First-team all-state selection Bianca André, nursing a tailbone injury, wasn’t her normal self, scoring just six points and grabbing four rebounds, but she found plenty of help.

Elizabeth Romeo scored nine points and dished out four assists, and Chloe Honaker, the new starter at point guard, had seven points and four assists. The other starter, Maddee Carroll, an undersized center who thrives on pure hustle, ended the game with six points and four rebounds in the middle.

The Spartan bench, at times playing with all reserves on the floor at one time, accounted for 25 points, including six each from CeCe Grant and Caitland Boggs, who also had a big night on the boards with nine rebounds.

The Spartans shot 35 percent from the field in the opening half, including 4-of-8 from 3-point land, but struggled the rest of the way, shooting just 25 percent.

“It’s hard to keep focused when you’re ahead 20-4,” said Justice. “But we missed too many layups. You’ll see a different team when they really have to suck it up and play.”

East, though, managed to outscore the visitors in every quarter, and a large opening night crowd never had to panic.

“They’re definitely a tough team,” said Bennett. “They’re a high-pressure team, and their ability to shoot outside allows them to play typical Greenbrier East basketball.”

The Spartans will play again Dec. 7 when they host Rockbridge (Va.) High School. There will be a special championship banner unveiling at that game, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.

Shady will host Liberty at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“We can definitely build off (the loss),” said Bennett. “We’ve got some work to do, there’s no doubt. But we feel like we’re going to have a pretty good team this year.”

Greenbrier East 65, Shady Spring 38

Shady Spring (0-1)

Kelsea Collins 0 1-4 1, Morgan Hylton 5 3-4 18, McKenzie Severt 1 0-0 2, Kaylee Dickenson 3 5-6 11, Brooklyn Meador 0 0-0 0, Rebeccoa Rhudy 1 4-6 6, Keyra Chitwood 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 13-20 38.

Greenbrier East (1-0)

Elizabeth Romeo 3 2-4 9, Bianca Andre 3 0-0 6, Maddee Carroll 2 0-0 4, Chloe Honaker 3 0-0 7, Chaunte McDowell 6 0-0 14, Kristen Talbott 0 0-0 0, Victoria Krystynak 3 0-0 7, Kat Walton 1 0-0 2, Lexi Tincher 2 0-0 4, Caitland Boggs 2 2-2 6, CeCe Grant 3 0-0 6. Totals 28 4-7 65.

SS    4    13    12    9    —    38

GE    20    18    16    11    —    65

Three-point goals — SS: 5 (Hylton 5); GE: 5 (McDowell 2, Romeo, Honaker, Krystynak); Fouled out — none.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Charges dropped against WVU RB Smallwood

    Prosecutors said all charges against 20-year-old Wendell Smallwood, who had been charged with witness tampering in the case, have been dropped.

    July 30, 2014

  • cato Word is out on Marshall's Cato

    Rakeem Cato is easily the face of Marshall football. He also has been mentioned as a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. That status is legitimate.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bush Bush making Saints look good

    For his first four seasons, Rafael Bush was simply looking to land on a roster — any roster.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice, not temps, heats up for Saints
    The temperatures may have only been in the low 70s Tuesday afternoon at the Saints new practice facility at The Greenbrier, but now a third of the way into the 15 practices, it’s clear that the heat has turned up with playing time and positions on the line.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bowles has a support system
    Colin Bowles, the 14-year-old little brother of Corey, is coming into his own as a successful athlete. The younger Bowles competed last week at the U.S. Junior Amateur in The Woodlands, Texas, making the cut before bowing out in match play. Right there beside Colin, as he has been his entire life, was older brother Corey,

    July 30, 2014

  • Terre Haute hands Miners 2-1 loss in 11 innings

    Ryan Sabo singled home Clayton Smithson in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Rex to the win and put the West Virginia Miners’ postseason hopes in serious jeopardy

    July 30, 2014

  • WVU’s Smallwood waives preliminary hearing

    West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, arrested on a felony charge of witness intimidation in a first-degree murder case, waived his preliminary hearing Monday, his case now being moved to Superior Court, where more serious crimes are argued, according to The News Journal.

    July 29, 2014

  • Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 29, 2014

  • After years of drama, Redskins enjoy a calm camp

    The Washington Redskins are the team that gave us Michael Westbrook punching Stephen Davis, Dan Snyder landing his helicopter during practices, Albert Haynesworth turning the conditioning test into a sideshow and Mike Shanahan using the podium to remind everyone that he was Robert Griffin III's boss.

    July 29, 2014

  • ingram Run game a point of emphasis for Saints as camp continues

    The New Orleans Saints did a lot of things right in 2013.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp