Lady Indians fall to Hedgesville, 66-49
The Berkeley Springs girls basketball team had a hard time handling a second-half Hedgesville press and matching up defensively with the taller Lady Eagles, losing 66-47 to their Class AAA opponent on Wednesday, January 3, in Berkeley Springs.
Another problem, slow starts, that have plagued Berkeley Springs for much of the year, was also costly. Before all of the crowd had found a seat, Berkeley Springs was already facing a 15-2 deficit.
"It takes a lot of energy to climb back into a game after you fall behind like that," said Berkeley Springs coach Dale McCumbee. "I give our kids a lot of credit for fighting back and making a game out of it, but it is extremely difficult to come back from an early deficit like that, especially against a quality opponent like Hedgesville."
Berkeley Springs did fight back with a 12-4 run to end the opening quarter, due to some deadly outside shooting from Rebecca Trump and Alex Tamez. Trump canned three, long-range bombs, while Tamez connected on one.
The Eagles extended the lead to 27-17, before a two point basket from Courtney Kesecker and pair of free throws by Amber Booher cut the Hedgesville lead to 27-21. The Eagles then went on a 4-1 run to extend the lead to 31-22, before Ashley Hovermale connected on a 3 point bomb and Sarah Risinger scored a two point basket to cut Hedgesville's lead to 31-27. Hedgesville scored the final bucket of the half for a six point lead 33-27 heading into the half-time break, but Berkeley Springs had to feel good after the early 13 point deficit.
"We really fought hard to get back into the game," said McCumbee. "As I said, you've got to admire the effort, but we have to find a way to quit digging ourselves the early holes. If you take out the first few minutes of the game, we were right there. Unfortunately, that can't be done. We have to play consistently for the full 32 minutes."
Trump opened the second-half scoring to cut the lead to 33-29, before Tamez connected on a three point shot with just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter to make the score Hedgesville 34, Berkeley Springs 32.
The Eagles then decided to implement a full court press on defense and get the ball into their big center, Brittany Boarman. The strategy worked, with Berkeley Springs committing 10 third quarter turnovers, after only committing five the entire first half. The 6 foot 1 inch Boarman presented a defensive problem for the Tribe, as well, scoring 11 points in the third quarter and eight more in the fourth quarter to help Hedgesville pull away from Berkeley Springs.
Hedgesville extended the two point lead to eight points, before a basket from Booher cut the Eagle lead to 44-38. But, Hedgesville ended the third quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 12 point lead 50-38 into the final eight minutes of the game.
A three point basket from Tamez to open the final quarter, and two point basket from Risinger cut the margin to 50-43. Another three point basket by Trump cut the Hedgesville lead to six points, 52-46, before Hedgesville went on an 11-0 run, and then cruised to the 17 point win.
It was a valiant effort by Berkeley Springs, but Hedgesville's press and their height advantage was too much to overcome.
"They have some size, especially the Boarman girl," McCumbee said. "We had a hard time matching up with her in the second half. "We also had a hard time handling their press in the third quarter and turned the ball over way too many times. We were just making bad decisions with the ball."
Trump led Berkeley Springs with 14 points, Tamez added 12, Booher nine, Hovermale six, Risinger four, while Kesecker and Kayla Hill rounded out the scoring with two points each.
Tamez had eight assists for the Tribe, Trump recorded three assists and two steals, while Booher and Hovermale grabbed six rebounds apiece.
Boarman led Hedgesville with a game-high 23 points.
The junior varsity lost to Hedgesville 42-27. Jessica Haynes led the Indians with 10 points, Danielle Shields scored five, while Megan Risinger and Katie Whittington added four points each.
Berkeley Springs, 5-5 on the year, hosts county rival Paw tonight, January 10, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. They will then travel to Petersburg for a game against the Vikings on Saturday, January 13, before hosting Musselman on Wednesday, January 17.