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Friday, February 04, 2011

Spartans conquer Knights » Today's Sports Front » The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Spartans conquer Knights » Today's Sports Front » The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia
February 4, 2011

Spartans conquer Knights

Greenbrier East defeats Preston 71-53 at Big Atlantic Classic

One is reserved; the other is all-out.

But in Greenbrier East coach Jim Justice’s mind, Bianca André and Alena Hamrick share the most important attribute.

“They’re completely different, but they’re both all about hustle,” Justice said after the smooth-shooting wing duo led Greenbrier East to a 71-53 win over Preston Wednesday night in a first-round game of the Big Atlantic Classic.

Between the two, they had exactly half of East’s points in a 40-29 halftime lead.

André, a sophomore, scored 16 points and had nine rebounds and four steals against the Knights. She was 9 of 10 at the foul line.

“Bianca is a kid who doesn’t look like she’s doing a lot out there, but at the end of the game, if you look at the stat sheet, she’s doing a lot of stuff,” Justice said. “She doesn’t quite have the intensity in her game we need for her to play at a high level, but she’s getting there.”

Keying an opening 10-0 Spartan run, André had a jumper and followed it a minute later with a three-pointer from the right side of the arc.

“She’s got a great shot,” Justice said. “She’s pretty good-sized, and she goes to the glass and makes her way through people really well.

“She’s just quiet. It’s like she’s doing everything in the shadows, and we need her to do things in the limelight.”

Hamrick scored 14 points and went 5 of 5 at the charity stripe.

She also hit a three in the 10-0 run and added another that made it 15-4.

“Alena is dead opposite of Bianca,” Justice said. “She’s full of intensity. She gives it everything she’s got.”

Hamrick is one of those players who never hesitates to hit the floor after a loose ball.

“I tease her, ‘Alena, at the start of the game, do you want to climb on the table and dive on your head to the floor?’” Justice said. “That’s how she plays. Right in your face.

“(Offensively) she has a nice touch. She’s going to be a nice player too.”

Another East player, senior point guard Gaby Dugan, also played well with five points and three assists.

“Gaby is responsible for so many points in the game other than those she scores,” Justice said. “She has a lot of speed, and she really handles the ball well.”

Dugan was particularly impressive pushing the Spartans up the floor after Preston turnovers.

In all, East had 17 points off turnovers compared to just four for the Knights.

Preston (6-9) started slowly but battled back to lead 28-27 with 2:12 left in the opening half.

“We were nervous with the whole tournament atmosphere,” Knights coach Brian Miller said. “It hurt us the first 10 minutes, but we did a great job battling back and taking the lead.”

But from that point, it was all East. Hamrick hit three foul shots to start an 11-1 run.

An 11-0 run to start the third quarter put the game away.

“Our kids played good and held them to six points in the third,” Justice said. “That’s what I wanted to see.”

Miller said, “We thought we were still in the game, but they got a couple of baskets to start the third, and we couldn’t recover.”

Sophomore Kayla Boggs led Preston with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Carly Kelley added 11 points.

East’s inside duo of seniors Brittany Parker and Shay Walker finished with nine points and six rebounds, and eight points and four boards, respectively, before fouling out.

The Spartans will play either Summers County or Morgantown at 7:20 p.m. for the bracket championship. Preston will play the Summers-Morgantown loser at 9 a.m. in the consolation game.

Four-time defending Class AA champion Summers (15-0) has won 83 consecutive games, including a 68-45 victory over East Jan. 13.

Justice wouldn’t mind playing the Bobcats again.

“They’re probably the best team in the state,” he said. “For us to have a shot, we have got to keep it a game for a while and see how they perform in a real game.

“If we can get to that stage, we’ll see what they’re made of. But getting them to that position is a whole lot different story.”

— E-mail:

Greenbrier East 71, Preston 53

Preston (6-9)

Carly Kelley 3-7 3-5 11, Ashly Plum 2-8 0-0 5, Ashley Shrout 0-4 0-0 0, Kayla Boggs 7-17 8-12 22, Heather Clark 0-2 0-2 0, Keryssa Slaubaugh 1-2 0-0 2, Kaitlyn Workman 1-1 1-2 3, Samantha Ash 1-5 1-2 3, Whitney Workman 0-0 0-0 0, Jessie Feather 0-3 0-0 0, Mary Braham 2-7 3-4 7. Totals: 17-56 16-27 53.

Greenbrier East (14-1)

Gaby Dugan 3-5 1-1 7, Alena Hamrick 3-8 5-5 14, Bianca André 3-10 9-10 16, Kayla Whited 1-9 0-0 2, Brittany Parker 3-4 3-4 9, Elizabeth Romeo 0-0 0-0 0, Erica McClure 0-3 0-0 0, Chaunté McDowell 3-7 3-4 10, Amanda McGuire 1-1 1-2 3, Cassie Ford 1-2 0-0 2, Jessie Ford 0-6 0-0 0, Shay Walker 3-8 2-5 8. Totals: 21-63 24-31 71.

P 14 15 6 18 — 53

GE 20 20 16 15 — 71

February 4, 2011

Fischer, Ripley roll past East

It was another night at the office for Ripley star Chase Fischer.

A late night, but Fischer was nonetheless effective, outscoring Greenbrier East 41-40 in the Vikings 66-40 win over the Spartans Thursday in the Big Atlantic Classic at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

“It’s just another night, but I’m just glad we got the win to put us at 10-4,” Fischer said. “Scoring points is good, but I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help our team win games.”

Scoring points is what he does best.

And after a somewhat inauspicious start — he missed a couple shots and had two turnovers at the start of the game — he started heating up.

By the end of the first quarter he had 18 points, including five of his 10 3-pointers and all of his team’s points, as the Vikings took charge 18-11.

He hit three straight triples to make a 9-9 tie and 18-9 lead.

“It’s always an adjustment playing in a new gym, especially this one,” Fischer said. “There are a couple of dead spots in the floor. It’s a new environment, and it’s a 9-o’clock start. Tough start, but I got used to the rims and got on a little roll.”

All told, Fischer hit 14 of 27 shots, while the rest of the team was 11 of 26. He was 10 of 16 from 3-point range and was eight points from the tournament record. Fischer also had six assists and two steals.

In the second half, the Vikings started opening it up.

After East’s Hayden Roberts immediately cut the Ripley lead to seven, 28-21, the Vikings, behind a couple of Fischer 3s, went on a 9-0 run.

After Roberts had two straight baskets to get it to 37-25, Ripley closed the half with a 13-0 run.

Veteran Greenbrier East coach Jerry Bradley was disappointed with his team’s offensive effort more than he was with the fact that Fischer had 41 points.

“There’s a reason he’s going to Wake Forest,” Bradley said. “I thought we did a lot of good things defensively. We held them to 66 points. But God, 40 points? Nineteen in one half? That’s very disappointing. I’ll be honest, nobody really gave us anything tonight. We’re not going to beat Ripley or anybody else doing that.

“I thought Harrison Martin played (Fischer) as tough as you can play him. Like I said, they scored 66, and they’ve been averaging a lot more than that. If you told me we’d hold them to 66 before the game, I would have liked our chances.”

Roberts led East with 18 points, but he was the only Spartan in double figures. McCormick had seven points and 10 rebounds.

It’s nothing new for Fischer to outscore an opponent but the senior, who had 53 against Wheeling Park this year, admitted he worked for it.

“I have respect for every team we play, especially (East) because they played me tough,” Fischer said. “It’s good to (outscore a team), but I was just glad that we could get some other guys involved. It was a good win for us.”

Cody Miller had 10 points and 16 boards for Ripley, and Kade Harrison had 10.

Ripley will play today’s George Washington-Martinsburg winner in the first Class AAA championship game at 5:40 p.m. Saturday.

— E-mail:

Ripley 66, Greenbrier East 40

Ripley (10-4)

Kade Harrison 4-4 0-0 10, Cody Miller 4-9 2-2 10, Derek Mullins 1-11 0-0 2, Chase Fisher 14-27 3-6 41, Nick Barnette 0-0 0-0 0, Casey Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Haynes 0-0 0-0 0, Chuck Sleboda 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Franklin 0-0 0-0 0, Nic Coon 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Casto 1-1 1-1 3, Daniel Green 0-0 0-0 0, Cory Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Donohew 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-53 6-9 66.

Greenbrier East (4-8)

Harrison Martin 3-8 1-2 7, Rhys Rogers 1-1 0-0 2, Hayden Roberts 9-22 0-0 18, Mike McCormick 3-8 1-3 7, Payton Thomson 1-4 0-0 2, Hunter Roberts 1-10 0-0 2, Evan Ramsey 0-0 0-0 0, Isiah Kinder 0-2 0-0 0, Ben Hall 0-1 0-0 0, Dereck Wedford 0-1 0-0 0, Ryan Lindsey 0-0 0-2 0, Jordan Tincher 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 19-62 2-7 40.

R 18 10 22 16 — 66

GE 11 8 6 15 — 40

Three-point goals: R: 12 (Harrison 2, Fisher 10); GE: none; Fouled out: none.

February 4, 2011

Kidd enjoys tournament’s atmosphere

Woodrow Wilson takes on Morgantown in BAC tonight

In the preseason, Woodrow ventured to Morgantown to play the Mohigans in the Flying Eagles’ first game of the season.

En route, the team was delayed an hour by a parade in Morgantown.

That got veteran Woodrow coach Ron Kidd thinking about the possibilities of a parade back in Beckley in mid-March — after the state tournament.

When the two teams meet tonight at 7:20 p.m. at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, there will be no parade riding on the outcome.

But it sure feels like a tournament atmosphere.

“I think (BAC director) Jim Justice does a great job in trying to set up a state tournament-type atmosphere,” Kidd said. “They try to get the best teams possible in the state, and he’s done that.”

Kidd said Woodrow and Morgantown split that November scrimmage, three quarters each.

“We found out during that scrimmage that Morgantown is an extremely good team, very physical,” Kidd said. “They play up-and-down basketball. They don’t really slow it down, so I’ve been surprised at some of their scores. They push the ball right at you.”

That first meeting was the first with Philip Grant back in the fold, and Kidd was doing some experimenting.

“We were finding out where kids needed to be, what our rotation was going to be,” Kidd said. “But I’m sure at this point (Morgantown coach Tom Yester) is comfortable with his rotation also.”

Grant leads the Eagles, averaging 13.4 points per game. Steven Thompson follows at 12.5 and Kuron Mitchell, who had 21 in the Eagles’ last game at Wyoming East Saturday, is averaging 11.3.

Taylor Price (17.4 ppg) and Nathan Adrian (11.6) are the Mohigans’ leaders.

“Price (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) hurt us in the scrimmage,” Kidd said. “He’s strong and physical inside. And the 6-8 kid (Adrian), the sophomore, he shot the ball extremely well from the outside. He’s a tough guard on the inside, too.”

Morgantown, No. 3 this week, recently beat Thomas Jefferson High School out of New York City in a tournament in Morgantown.

“Any time you beat a team from out of state, that’s saying a whole lot,” Kidd said. “They usually have kids who are Division I kids, and they did on that team. So they did something for the whole state of West Virginia.

“That tells you a whole lot about them.”

Morgantown has won nine straight games after its lone loss to Preston County.

Woodrow is 12-2 and has won five straight, by an average of 27.5 points, after losing by four points at George Washington Jan. 15.

With the Big Atlantic Classic being contested at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center all week, the team has been practicing at the school this week.

“It’s almost going to be like an away game for us also,” Kidd said. “We haven’t been in the armory. It’s been different being out here at the school. But hopefully our kids will get back in there, and it won’t take long to get back to being comfortable over there.”

Woodrow has had success in the Big Atlantic Classic, rarely playing in a consolation game.

“It’s very important,” Kidd said of winning and continuing their success in the BAC. “You never want to play the next afternoon after losing on Friday night. You want to be back in that tournament atmosphere.”

Three-point goals: P: 3 (Kelley 2, Plum); GE: 5 (Hamrick 3, André, McDowell). Fouled out: P: Kelley; GE: Parker, Walker.

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