Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

February 26, 2014

Spencer’s hot hand earns final Player of the Week honor

Mav sets scoring record with 41 vs. Raiders

LINDSIDE — James Monroe sophomore basketball player Caleb Spencer saved his best for last. Spencer scored 23 points in a loss to Greenbrier East, then a couple of nights later in the season finale for the Mavericks, he set a school record as he scored 41 and led his team to its first win of the season, over River View.

In five games last week Spencer scored 90 points, made 13 three point baskets and was 29-of-33 from the free throw line. Those numbers helped Spencer earn the final 2014 Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week award.

“Since the Greenbrier East game I got my confidence up,” Spencer said. ‘I was shooting really good in that game and it’s been following through the whole week in my shooting ability. My teammates were getting me the ball when I was hitting, the coaches are coaching really good and I’ve been hitting.”

The 5’10 sophomore comes from a basketball family. His twin brother Ethan is a member of the Mavericks’ JV team. His father, Joseph, was the first 1,000 point scorer at Ballard Christian and his father’s uncles were hoopsters at Peterstown High School in the 1950s and ‘60s.

“I started playing basketball when I was in fourth grade and I have been getting better every single year. I love basketball and I like all my teammates and my coaches,” Spencer said. “It has been working out really well.”

Spencer’s coach, Jonathan McPherson talked about the week Spencer had and what he means to the team.

“We had a busy week with all the reschedules. That’s one reason we had five games,” McPherson noted. “He had an OK first two games, then it was that Greenbrier East game at home, he found his touch and he’s a very confident shooter. Once he got going, his teammates noticed that and tried to get him the ball and of course that carried over the weekend where he had the scoring record broken for James Monroe.”

Spencer believes the team is currently playing its best ball and it could not come at a better time.

“The team has been passing the ball really well and working the ball around, running the play pretty well. We’re getting good shots off,” Spencer said. “It’s really important that we start playing our best basketball at the end of the season so we can be good in the tournament. We need to do well in the tournament so we can keep on going. Everybody is starting to play really well.”

McPherson continued along that line, “The good thing in high school basketball is everybody is able to play in the postseason. It gives everybody a chance, forgetting the records. It’s really good for us. We are now playing our best basketball at the end of the season and that is what we want to do.”

Spencer and the 1-16 Mavericks get a fresh start in the postseason as they travel to Mount View Friday night in the opening game of the Class AA, Region III, Section 2 tournament. The winner of that game advances to play Bluefield on Tuesday in Princeton.

As for the long-term future, Spencer talked of his dreams.

“I’d like to go to college and play basketball,” Spencer said. “After that I would like to be in law enforcement, a game warden or something and be a good Christian person. I am proud of the (James Monroe) program and the team and I’d like to thank God for the ability to play basketball.”

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com.

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