The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 2, 2013

East girls win impromptu game

André scores 27 as Lady Spartans defeat Preston 63-49

BECKLEY — Bianca André was back in form Friday in the Big Atlantic Classic.

Good thing.

André’s 27 points, nine rebounds and four steals were crucial as Class AAA No. 1 Greenbrier East held off a determined Preston squad 63-49 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

After playing a disappearing act Thursday in the 13-0 Spartans’ victory over St. Albans, the senior first-team all-stater came out on fire against the Knights.

André hit her first two shots, both from beyond the 3-point arc, and added two foul shots as East moved to a 20-13 first-quarter lead.

“This was Bianca’s best game of the season,” coach Jim Justice said. “She’s up and down like a yo-yo. I don’t know why if she is capable of this, she doesn’t simulate something like that every night.”

Andre started the second quarter with another 3, and battled the boards hard against Preston standout center Mary Braham.

Her efforts seemed to ignite her teammates, as East received 3s from Chaunté McDowell, Elizabeth Romeo and Chloe Honaker to move to a 35-27 halftime advantage.

Preston (9-4) was far from finished, however. While its own solid 3-point shooting mostly disappeared, the Knights’ inside game remained strong despite Braham’s foul trouble. Forward Jessie Feather scored four baskets to cut the deficit to 44-42 by the third quarter’s end.

East responded with a 6-0 run, keyed by two André buckets, and she added two more drives and a pair of foul shots as the Lady Spartans finished out with two more runs, 6-0 and 7-0.

“They just didn’t miss,” Preston coach Brian Miller said. “We shot well, too, up until the fourth. They continued, and we had to start fouling.”

Justice said, “We find a way (to win). We just kept changing defenses. We finished strong.”

Preston was supposed to have played Nicholas County in the lower bracket consolation game, but the Grizzlies were unable to play due to a county rule against traveling on days when school is canceled.

“We could use the game, but more importantly, this is the Big Atlantic,” Justice said. “Preston didn’t need to come down here and not get their games. We’ll play anybody.”

Miller was glad to have made the long trip to Beckley.

“We played the No. 1 team in the state, and for 28 minutes, nobody in the building knew who was going to win,” he said.

All-state guard Carley Kelly had six 3-point goals and led the Knights with 23 points. Feather added 15. Braham, who fouled out, finished with two points and no rebounds.

Maddee Carroll had a solid game inside for East, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds. McDowell added 10 points, while Honaker and Romeo scored eight points apiece. Honaker made four steals, while Romeo had three assists.

East will play its third game in as many days against AAA No. 6 University for the upper bracket championship at 5:40 p.m. today.

“You (sometimes) have to play three days in a row at the state tournament,” Justice said.

“No question University is a good team. They’ve got size and they shoot the ball well.”

— E-mail: dstillwell@

Preston (9-4)

Carley Kelley 8-15 1-2 23, Kaitlyn Workman 2-6 0-0 4, Alexis Schoolcraft 1-80-4 2, Jessie Feather 7-9 1-2 15, Mary Braham 1-4 0-0 2, Karlee Good 1-4 0-0 3, Emma McCelland 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 20-48 2-8 49.

Greenbrier East (13-0)

Elizabeth Romeo 3-7 1-2 8, Bianca André 811 8-8 27, Maddee Carroll 4-4 2-4 10, Chloe Honaker 3-5 0-0 8, Chaunté McDowell 3-11 2-2 10, Kristen Talbott 0-0 0-0 0, Victoria Krystynak 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Kat Walton 0-1 0-0 0, Lexi Tincher 0-1 0-0 0, Caitland Boggs 0-0 0-0 0, CeCe Grant 0-0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Mize 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-40 13-16 63.

P    13    14    15    7    —    49

GE    20    15    9    19    —    63

3-point goals: PC: 7-20 (Kelley 6-11, Workman 0-1, Schoolcraft 0-3, Feather 0-1, Good 1-3, McClelland 0-1); GE: 8-20 (Romeo 1-3, André 3-4, Honaker 2-4, McDowell 2-7, Walton 0-1, Tincher 0-1). Fouled out: PC: Braham; GE: None.

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