Dominant second half lifts Berkeley Springs past Petersburg
Berkeley Springs Boys Basketball Team raced past Petersburg 80-45 on Saturday, January 28, in Berkeley Springs.
The Indians opened the game on a 12-5 run, before the Vikings scored the final three points of the opening quarter to trim Berkeley's lead to 12-8. Petersburg then opened the second quarter with four straight points to tie the game at 12-12, before Berkeley Springs went on a 9-0 run – seven of those points by Brady Spielman – to open up a 21-12 lead with 4:59 remaining in the first half. Much of the run was fueled by a pressing Indian defense. Jared Spielman, in particular, seemed to be everywhere and created a lot of havoc for the visiting Vikings.
"Jared always plays good defense," said Berkeley Springs Coach Jeremy Horvat. “I thought he was relentless tonight. This was probably his best all around game of the year, because he also did a good job of running the offense. He really did hustle and created a lot of opportunities for us and Brady (Spielman) did a good job of finding the openings in Petersburg's 2-3 zone and taking the ball to the basket. There were a lot of guys that played very well in this game."
Even though Berkeley seemed to be in total control during the first 16 minutes of the game, Petersburg closed to within six points of Berkeley, 29-23, at the half.
The Tribe came out of the locker room and took total control of the game in the second half.
Richard Recio and Zach Wise scored the first four points of the third quarter to give the Indians their largest lead of the game, 33-23. The Vikings closed to within five points, 35-30, before the Indians put it in overdrive, outscoring their Grant County rival 19-4 in the final 6:25 of the third quarter to take a commanding 20 point lead, 54-34, into the game's final stanza.
"We struggled a little on the boards and at the free throw line in the first half, so we really challenged them in the locker room to clean those things up and they did," said Horvat. “They responded with a dominant performance. They knocked down more free throws, hit the boards hard, cut down on turnovers and played fantastic defense. I thought this was our best game of the year from start to finish, but the second half, in particular, was outstanding. It was a total team effort and I couldn't be more proud of the kids."
Berkeley Springs kept their foot on the accelerator and built a 76-38 lead, and then cruised to their seventh win of the year.
Zach Wise and Brady Spielman led the Indians with 22 and 18 points, respectively. Michael Kearney came off the bench to score 13 points, Jared Spielman added eight, Kyle Appel five, Michael Twigg four, Recio and Dylan Whipple three each, Kaleb Athey two, Matt Walters one and Derrick Cowles one.
"Zach gave us some needed offense tonight," Horvat said of Wise. “He opened the game with a couple of three's and had a big second half. As I said earlier, however, this was a total team effort and I am extremely proud of the way our kids played."
Marshall Wratchford scored 14 points and Dan Alt added nine for Petersburg.
Earlier in the week, Berkeley Springs hosted Paw Paw and easily beat their county rival, 93-45.
The game was never close as the Tribe raced out to a 27-12 lead after one quarter of play, extended it to 52-21 at the half, and then coasted to the lopsided win.
"I was really happy with the effort tonight," Horvat said. “Sometimes when you go into a game as a favorite it is hard to get up emotionally. I thought our kids played with good intensity throughout and did not take Paw Paw lightly. I always look at the effort and I thought it was definitely there."
Wise, who paced the Tribe with 20 points, was one of three Indians in double figures. The other two, Brady Spielman and Athey, had 15 and 12 points, respectively. Jared Spielman, Walters and Appel had eight points each, Whipple added seven, Cowles, Kearney and Twigg four each and Recio three to the Berkeley Springs total.
David DeLauder led the Pirates with 18 points. Ethan Holliday added nine points, River Weese eight, Josh Newlon seven and Damian Powell three.
"We have won three in a row now," said Horvat. “I think the kids are starting to feel good about themselves and also regaining their confidence. We have one game this week and two sectional contests the following week. Hopefully, we can build on these wins and carry the momentum into the latter part of our season."
Berkeley Springs will try to extend their three game winning streak with road games at Faith Christian Academy and Frankfort on February 2 and February 7, respectively.쇓