Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

February 8, 2014

One-sided: Beavers rout Spartans

BRUSHFORK — The expected barn-burner between the Bluefield Beavers and Greenbrier East Spartans ended up being a rout.

Anthony Eades scorched the nets for 27 points and Lykel Collier fired in 18 and dished out eight assists as the Beavers ran past the Spartans 83-48, Friday night before a large Brushfork Armory crowd.

“It was a championship-type atmosphere,” said Bluefield head coach Buster Large. “We stressed to our kids all week long that we really needed this one to get our confidence back. This is one of the teams that beat us. They were short-handed tonight, but I thought our kids played extremely well.”

With both teams down a starter, Michael Yost for Bluefield and Rondale Watson for Greenbrier East, it was the Spartans who grabbed the early lead on a long baseline two ball by Josh Tunstalle and a rim-rocking dunk by Omi Romeo.

Bluefield got on the board on a Jordan Ponder three and the race was on. Romeo slammed another one home before a deuce and a three by Eades tied the score at eight. A Ponder steal and Eades layup put Bluefield on top 10-8 and it would be a lead that grew larger as the game went on.

Eades finished the quarter with 11 points and the Beavers led 14-8 after one quarter of play.

The Beavers broke it open in the second quarter thanks to tough inside play by Corey Coppola  and D.J. Edwards and the scoring, passing and defensive efforts of Collier. The Beavers did not back down from the 6’9 Romeo despite his blocking of shots, some of which the home crowd thought to be basket interference. Edwards scored five in the quarter and Coppola eight, including four-of-four from the line. Collier served the ball to them and himself scored eight points in the frame.

Scoring was at a premium for Greenbrier East. Romeo added another dunk and a shot basket, but the only other shots made from the field by the Spartans were three from behind the arc.

Bluefield held a 41-25 halftime lead, having forced 12 turnovers and picking up seven steals. The Beavers held a 21-18 rebounding edge at the break.

The Beavers’ trapping defense continued to cause problems for East and Eades and Collier took over offensively, scoring all of the points for their team in the quarter, during which the lead grew as high as 25 points. Bluefield led 61-38 as the final quarter began.

A quick three and a two by Eades got Bluefield going in the final quarter before the Beaver reserves took to the floor. Azir Price tallied 10 in the fourth and Jordan Huckleberry six to round out the game.

In addition to Eades’ 27 points and Collier’s 18, Price finished with 10 as did Coppola. Huckleberry had 11 rebounds, eight on the defensive end of the court and Coppola pulled down seven boards. Ponder had six steals, Coppola two blocks and Collier one, that being against Romeo.

“We worked on some different things all week and our main thing was getting Anthony (Eades) open,” Large said. “Most importantly it was just blocking out, trying to keep Romeo off the boards, but you can only do so much with a guy who is 6’9.

“They have tot a good, solid team and I take my hat off to our kids. They played their hearts out, all of them, a lot of good team effort and team chemistry. I think we’re hitting it right going down the stretch run.”

Romeo and Tunstalle led Greenbrier East in scoring with 13 points apiece. Romeo had 15 rebounds and seven blocks. Isaiah Kinder had six assists.

Greenbrier East head coach Jim Justice said, “We were playing without Watson, that one degree of difficulty, but really and truly we just came completely unglued. Give them (Bluefield) a lot of credit, they played a nice game. I love Coach Large, he’s a nice guy, prepares his team well and to tell you the truth, we played like a bunch of babies. That’s all there is to it.”

Bluefield shot 49 percent in the game while Greenbrier East connected on 32 percent of their shots.

Bluefield, winners of four in a row, returns to action this afternoon at PikeView. Greenbrier East, who had its five game winning streak snapped, travels to Westside on Wednesday.

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