Four games in a week, four wins. Bluefield will take it.
Jordan Ponder scored 18 points, all on 3s, and Lykel Collier contributed eight of his 17 points in the final period, as the Beavers pulled away from PikeView to defeat the Panthers 69-56 on Saturday afternoon.
Bluefield (12-2) used a 29-8 run that began late in the second quarter and extended into the final period to build a 18-point lead, as the Beavers made it 4-for-4, having also defeated Oak Hill, Summers County and Greenbrier East to extend their win streak to five games.
“We are very happy to come out of here with a win,” Bluefield head coach Buster Large said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and they worked. Give credit to PikeView too, they are a very much improved basketball team from last year.
“I am very happy to get four wins this week, our kids played hard.”
PikeView (7-6), which finished 3-2 in a five-game week of its own, was able to trim that 18-point deficit to five, but Collier and Anthony Eades led the Beavers on a 12-5 run to end the game. Eades had 15 points for Bluefield, including 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, and also added three steals.
“It takes a lot of energy when you build a hole like that to come back out of it,” PikeView head coach Lindsey Jones said. “We exhausted a lot of energy on that and became fatigued and that led to some of those turnovers we had. We had exerted so much energy on trying to get stops that when we got to the other end we became mentally fatigued and made a couple of silly errors.”
Both teams came out hot, with the Beavers making their first seven shots, with Ponder finishing the quarter with four 3s and 12 points. He was 6-of-8 from long distance, starting in place of Michael Yost, who could miss another two weeks with a sprained right ankle.
“Jordan played a great game, he made some big shots there,” Large said. “People are trying to run different defenses on us and we are having different people contributing every night so that makes a big difference.”
Princeton answered, led by Zach Meadows, with 10 of his 25 points, and Seth Wood added another eight, with the Panthers taking a 23-21 lead going into the second quarter.
“Ponder did a really good job of stepping up,” Jones said. “You expect Eades and Collier to do their thing and that is why they are a good team.
“You have just got to keep going.”
Meadows finished off an amazing week which included 107 points and 55 rebounds. Not bad considering the 6-foot-6 senior, who missed the end of last season with a broken ankle, is still recuperating after aggravating that injury in a preseason scrimmage. He also led both sides with nine rebounds.
“He has a done good job, last year he broke his ankle toward the end of the season,” Jones said. “He started out this season, he had a good summer and was getting up and down the floor and then at the beginning of this year he hurt his foot again.
“We have just got him into somewhat of a shape and getting him in the paint where we feel like he has an advantage and gives our team an advantage. He is just now getting there.”
PikeView took its final lead in what was the fifth lead change of the second period at 29-27 on a 3 by Wood with 5:06 on the clock. Bluefield followed with an 8-3 run to build a 35-32 lead at the break.
“This is our fourth game this week and I think they have played at least three,” Large said. “You could tell a big difference with everybody’s conditioning there, especially there in the third quarter, you could see where both teams needed some rest.”
It didn’t look like it for the Beavers, as the lead expanded to 56-38 after three quarters, with Bluefield forcing six turnovers, and completing a 29-8 run going into the final period.
“They got us out of our lineup with a little bit of foul trouble and we didn’t do a very good job of handling the pressure,” Jones said. “We just struggled with that for a little spell.
“That was the talk before the game. They would make a little run and we would have to make it as little as possible and try to overcome it and try to put together a little run of our own, they just came out on the better end of it.”
Collier, who had nine assists and two steals for the Beavers, took control in the final period, helping Bluefield stop a PikeView run to pull away for the win. The Beavers were 7-of-9 from the free throw line in the fourth.
Bluefield also received eight points from Corey Coppola, six points and seven rebounds by D.J. Edwards, and another five boards from Matthew Woodrum off the bench.
“(Collier) is a game changer,” Large said. “We have got some good minutes from our bench again, we have got good flow right now with our substitutes doing their role, but it’s been a tough week.”
PikeView also received 15 points and seven boards from Wood, along 10 points by Jason Weitzel and four assists from Seth Meadows.
Both clubs have three games on tap next week. Bluefield will play James Monroe on consecutive nights, and will host PikeView on Friday. The Panthers play Liberty and Mount View before getting another chance to compete against the Beavers.
“That is what we hope,” Jones said. “We hope we can just keep competing with them and keep on improving in every game. That was our goal at the beginning of the season is just get better with every game and not to get complacent with where we are at.”
—Contact Brian Woodson at email@example.com
at PikeView High School
D.J. Edwards 2 2-3 6, Anthony Eades 4 6-6 15, Lykel Collier 6 5-8 18, Corey Coppola 3 2-2 8, Jordan Ponder 6 0-2 18, Dakoda Smalls 1 0-0 2, Jordan Huckleberry 0 0-0 0, Azir Price 0 0-0 0, Matthew Woodrum 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 15-21 69.
Seth Wood 6 1-1 15, Tanner Farley 1 0-0 2, Jason Weitzel 3 3-4 10, Zach Meadows 9 5-6 25, Seth Meadows 0 2-5 2, Bradley Flinchum 1 0-0 2, Austin Hazelwood 0 0-0 0, Nathan Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 11-16 56.
Bluefield...........................21 14 21 13 — 69
PikeView...........................23 9 6 18 — 56
3-point goals: BF 8 (Ponder 6, Eades 1, Collier 1); PV 5 (Wood 2, Z.Meadows 2, Weitzel 1). Total fouls: BF 24; PV 21. Fouled out: Edwards, Ponder. Technicals: none. JV—BF 58-50.