Indians wake up in time to down Union, 66-50
The Berkeley Springs boys basketball team fell asleep on their long bus ride to Union, on Saturday, June 20, and by the time they awakened found themselves trailing their Grant County opponent 37-33, with only 1:15 remaining in the third quarter. The Indians then outscored Union 33-13 over the final 9:15 seconds for a 66-50 victory.
"Some might say it was because of the long bus ride or because the game was on a Saturday," Berkeley Springs coach Chad Brinegar said of his team's lethargic play. "But, there is no excuse for not playing better defense. It isn't so much a physical thing as it is mental. I think the effort is there but we are just having too many breakdowns on the defensive side of the ball.''
Union, 4-7, opened the scoring when center Brad Davis made a traditional three-point basket just seconds into the game and held or shared the lead until L.J. Wright made one of two free throws with 43 seconds left in the first quarter, giving Berkeley Springs its first lead of the game, 10-9.
Foster Sirbaugh buried a three-point bucket to open the second quarter and give the Indians a four-point advantage, 13-9. Just when it looked like Berkeley Springs would pull away from the Tigers, Union went on a 11-2 run to take a 20-15 lead at the 3:07 mark of the first half.
Wright, who gave the Indians their initial lead of the game, scored Berkeley Springs' final seven points of the half, to cut the Union lead to 24-22 as the buzzer sounded.
Berkeley Springs quickly tied the game after the intermission, with Robbie Williams notching his second two-point basket of the game. Back-to-back baskets from Foster Sirbaugh gave Berkeley Springs a 31-28 lead, but once more Union made a run to take a 37-33 lead at the 1:15 mark of the third quarter.
Nathan Sirbaugh, who had been quiet the entire game, then nailed a pair of three-point bombs, giving the Indians a two-point lead, 39-37 as the third quarter came to an end.
Union tied the game 42-42 with 7:09 left in regulation, before Berkeley Springs went on a 8-0 run and then coasted to the 16-point victory. Foster Sirbaugh and Wright, who led the Indians in scoring with 24 and 22 points, respectively, combined for 19 of Berkeley Springs 27, fourth-quarter, points.
Nathan Sirbaugh added eight points to the Indian total, Williams and Jerry Parker four each, while Jeremy Michael and Brian Ness rounded out the offense with two points apiece.
Davis led Union with 19 points.
On Tuesday, January 16, Berkeley Springs lost to Petersburg on the road 68-63, in what Brinegar characterized as one of his team's best games of the year.
Petersburg, one of the top ranked Class AA teams in West Virginia, showed off their high powered offense in the first quarter to take a seven-point lead, 23-16.
Berkeley Springs defense picked it up in the second quarter, holding the Vikings to 10 points, while Wright scored eight points and Nathan Sirbaugh four for the Indians, to cut the Petersburg lead to 33-32 at the half.
Petersburg stretched their lead to nine points, 42-33, in the third quarter and then held on for the hard-fought 68-63 victory.
Wright led the Berkeley Springs offense with 22 points. Williams scored 13, Foster Sirbaugh 10, Nathan Sirbaugh eight, Michael six and Sammy Trump four to complete the box score.
Jon Webster led the Vikings with 27 points.
"I thought we played well tonight," said Brinegar. "We were much more patient on offense. Instead of passing the ball once or twice and then shooting, we ran through our offense and got some good looks at the basket. We still could play better defense, but all-and-all I thought we played well."
Berkeley Springs, 5-7 on the year, will be looking to avenge a loss to Hampshire County, when they host the Trojans this Friday, January 26 and will then hit the road for a game against Musselman on Tuesday, January 30.