By GARY DOVE for the Daily Telegraph
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
NEW RICHMOND —
Any coach, no matter what the sport, will emphasize what a fast start means to his team.
The Bluefield Beavers put on a clinic in the first quarter last night, using that theme, and never looked back in taking a 75-56 win over the previously once-beaten Wyoming East Warriors.
A full court man-to-man pressing defense made the Beavers the beneficiaries of a dozen first chapter East turnovers, including six straight to start the game, before the host Warriors could even attempt a shot.
Offensively, those takeaways led to several easy buckets, as Bluefield sank 11-of-17 shots from the floor in the inaugural eight minutes.
Beaver coach Buster Large spoke of the start, “We had the opportunity to get into our press. We go from defense to offense real quick ... . We were due a game like this. We’re excited to get this win down here.”
Analyzed East head coach Rory Chapman, “I felt like we didn’t match their intensity to start the game...I just felt like Bluefield was the more intense team. We missed some shots early and turned the ball over early.”
The junior tandem of Anthony Eades and Lykel Collier combined for 49 of the 76 Bluefield points in the win.
Large said of the duo, “They’re big time players. In big games like this, they always step it up.”
Collier scored 11 and Eades 10 in the opening frame, as Bluefield took a 29-12 lead after starting the contest with a 12-0 run.
When Collier wasn’t scoring in the first two minutes, he was chalking up assists, highlighted by a pair of alley-oop passes for buckets. The first was to Michael Yost and the second to Eades capped the twelve unanswered point string.
The Warriors shot the ball well, when they did get shots, making 6-of-8, but the 12 giveaways meant Bluefield was able to make three more shots from the floor than East attempted.
The dynamic duo of Eades and Collier accounted for all 13 of the Beaver second quarter points, as the lead stood at 42-25 with 1:42 left before halftime.
Josh Tunstalle canned a pair of free throws and Austin Canada hit a driving layup just before the buzzer to cut the deficit to 13, as close as Wyoming East would get the rest of the way.
The Beavers got into foul trouble in the second, sending East to the charity stripe for 15 shots, with 13 finding their mark.
Bluefield exhibited its half court offense in the third, with Collier handling the ball at the point, before driving the lane and dishing the ball, most often to Corey Coppola, who had five buckets in the third alone.
A Collier assist to Yost at the 3:41 mark of the final chapter produced the biggest Beaver lead of the night at 67-44 before the final 75-56 victory.
Large said, “I felt like we were going to play well all week. The kids responded well.” Bluefield, now 6-1, will host Wheeling Park today at the Brushfork Armory at 2 pm, with the JV contest getting started at noon.
The Beavers ended their offensive exhibition shooting 60 percent from the field, on 29-of-48 accuracy, while East canned 18-of-45 attempts, or 40 percent.
Canada led the Warrior offense with 17 points, while Josh Tunstalle and Christian Hedinger finished with 10 points apiece. Tunstalle grabbed 11 rebounds, as the hosts corraled 31 missed shots, compared to 20 by the Beavers.
East, now 7-2, will visit Scott Wednesday.
At New Richmond
Dakota Smalls 0 1-2 1, Brandon Lilly 0 0-1 0, David Edwards 0 1-2 1, Anthony Eades 10 5-6 26, Lykel Collier 8 3-6 23, Michael Yost 2 0-0 4, Jordan Ponder 0 2-2 2, David Woodrum 1 0-0 2, Corey Coppola 6 0-0 12, Matthew Woodrum 2 0-0 4. Totals 29 12-19 75.
WYOMING EAST (7-2)
Austin Canada 6 3-4 17, Kyle Sandy 1 0-1 2, Cody Lester 1 2-2 4, Josh Tunstalle 2 6-6 10, Joseph Cornett 0 2-2 2, Christian Hedinger 3 4-5 10, Brett Bowling 3 1-2 7, Tyler Lester 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 18-22 56.
Bluefield.............29 13 17 16 — 75
Wyoming East....12 17 11 16 — 56
Three-point goals — BF 5 (Collier 4, Eades 1); WE 2 (Canada 2). Fouled Out — BF, D. Woodrum. WE, Tunstalle, T. Lester. Technical Fouls — WE, Tunstalle, T. Lester.