Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 16, 2013

Player of the week

Beavers' Eades in a zone

BLUEFIELD — By his own admission Bluefield Beaver Anthony Eades was struggling this basketball season. For most players averaging 16 points a game in your first five games of the season is not a bad start. But for Eades, a first-team West Virginia All-State player as a sophomore who averaged nearly 25 points a game, he was having a tough time.

Last week Eades dropped in 68 points in three Bluefield wins. He scored 15 in a 70-49 win at James Monroe, 26 in a victory at Wyoming East and 27 against Class AAA Wheeling Park.

“It was probably one of the biggest week’s I’ll have all year,” Eades said. “The coaches, they prepared us eally good for three big games, so all that hard work we did paid off.”

The big jewel of the three was the Beavers victory at regional rival Wyoming East, who like Bluefield, made it to the state tournament last season, followed by a game against Wheeling Park less than 24 hours later.

“It was big. Any time you can come out of there (Wyoming East) with a win it’s a pretty good feeling because it’s a hard place to play and they are a good team,” Eades said. “We had that big win Friday, and then we had to get up early Saturday morning to play a good Wheeling Park team. It (tiredness) kind of showed the first half, but then the second half we got going and we pulled away.”

Buster Large, head basketball coach at Bluefield High School, spoke of Eades’  play.

“Last week was his best performance of the year, he was very consistent. Not only did he score well for us and was efficient at the free throw line, he did some other things. He has stepped up on defense and is more effective and knows the defensive concept this year. I was very pleased with his performance last week,” Large said.

While Eades was not satisfied with his early-season play, his coach said he was not in a slump.

“Probably four out of eight games he has not played the fourth quarter, not only him but most of our starters. We don't look at point production or things like that, but this is a kid where nothing surprises me any night, the production he could have,” Large commented.

Eades, whose father was a member of state championship teams at Princeton High School in 1979 and 1981, and is now a NCAA Division I referee, said his dad has helped his development on the hardwood.

“He’s a big influence,” Eades said. “He was a good basketball player in high school and college. He’s taught me a lot of things for basketball.”

As for the future, Eades has dreams.

“I want to go on to play college basketball, of course, but for this year my goal is to win a state championship and then hopefully get another one next year too,” Eades said. “But my main goal for my future is to play college basketball.”

Asked what the Beavers must do to help achieve that goal he said, “We’ve got to keep working hard and remain focused. That’s the two big things. If we do that, then hopefully everything else will work out. We’ve just got to keep working hard every day in practice and it will pay off.”

— Contact Bob Redd at bredd@bdtonline.com

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