by Jamie Harris
Despite the teacher work stoppage across the state of West Virginia the 2017-2018 basketball season playoffs are under way.
The #2 seed Berkeley Springs High School Indians hosted a first round game at the gym last Wednesday, February 28 against rival Frankfort. The two teams split a pair of games this season with the Indians picking up a 65-45 home win on January 5. Frankfort returned the favor by recording a 60-45 home win on January 30. This time the two teams were meeting with their seasons on the line. Scenario was simple, win and advance to the sectional championship or lose and end the season.
The first quarter saw the Falcons and Indians play tough defense and at the end Frankfort led 10-6.
The second quarter saw Berkeley Springs bounce back and outscore the Falcons 15-9 to hold a 21-19 halftime lead. Frankfort opened the second quarter with a basket, but the Indians roared back as Ethan Barkley hit a big time three point shot off an assist from Nathan Osborn to cut the Frankfort lead to 12-9. The Tribe cut the score to 12-11 when Osborn scored off a Mason Sipes assist. Sipes grabbed a defensive rebound down on the Falcon side and Colin Breeden scored off a Nathan Mason assist to give the Indians a 13-12 lead.
Frankfort didn’t flinch as the Falcons regained the lead on a three point shot at 15-13. The Tribe took the lead at 16-15 off another Breeden score and free throw. The score remained 16-15 for several minutes until Barkley scored to push the Tribe lead to 18-15.
Frankfort cut the score to 18-17 and then took the lead at 19-18 in the closing minutes of the second quarter. However as timing was ticking down to end the quarter Barkley found Breeden open deep beyond the three point arch and the senior hit a buzzer beater three to give the Indians the 21-19 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw the Indians outscore Frankfort 12-9 to open up a 33-28 lead. The Indians got scoring in the third quarter from Osborn, Barkley and Sipes.
The Indians finally put the game away in the fourth quarter with an 18-12 run to give the Tribe the 51-40 win.
The fourth quarter opened up with Frankfort scoring to cut the Indian lead to 33-30. Sipes scored inside to push the lead back to 35-30, but a Falcon free throw cut the score to 35-31. Frankfort then cut the score to 35-33 with another score. Sipes hit a free throw pushed the Tribe lead back to 37-33, but the Falcons responded with another score to pull to 37-35.
Breeden then sank another three point shot to give the Indians a 40-35 lead, but Frankfort responded with another score to pull within 40-37.
Sipes continued his hot free throw shooting with two more to give the Indians a 42-37 lead. Mason then hit two more free throws to push the lead to 44-37. Frank responded with another score to pull within 44-39, but Breeden hit a pair of free throws to put the Indians up by seven at 46-39. Down the stretch Breeden once again was clutch at the free throw line with two more to put the Indians up 48-39.
Then in the closing minutes Sipes hit three more free throws to seal the game and the Tribe win.
The Indians were led by Sipes (19 points, nine rebounds and three assists including going 9-10 from the free throw line) and Breeden (17 points, five rebounds and two assists). Barkley (seven points and three assists), Osborn (six points, five rebounds and three assists) and Mason (two points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals) also led the Indians.
This past Friday night, March 2 the Indians traveled to Philip Barbour for the Sectional Championship game. The winner would get the luxury of hosting a first round regional tournament game and the loser gets the daunting task of traveling to Fairmont Senior and taking on the unbeaten two time state champion Polar Bears.
The home team took an early 15-8 first quarter lead over the Tribe. At the end of the second quarter the Indians went into the locker room down 32-28.
The third quarter provided some excitement as the Indians outscored the Colts 12-8.
As the third quarter came to a close Breeden hit a buzzer beater three for the Tribe to tie the game at 40-40.
The fourth quarter saw Philip Barbour outscored the Indians 19-14 to finally take the 59-54 win.
Berkeley Springs was led by Breeden who scored 18 points. Also in the third quarter Breeden scored on a baseline drive lay up to notch his 1,000 career point as a Berkeley Springs High School Indians varsity basketball player. Barkley added 17 points, Osborn added six points, Mason added five points, Ty’Jae Armstrong added four points and Sipes also added four points for the Indians in the loss.
Berkeley Springs will now travel to Fairmont Senior for a Regional Tournament game on Thursday, March 8 for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Indians power past Frankfort in Sectional, Lose on road to Philip Barbour in Championship Colin Breeden scores 1,000 career point
by Jamie Harris