The sound of basketballs, squeaky shoes and cheering fans bounced off the walls of the Brushfork Armory again on Tuesday night. After a hiatus of 12 years, Bluefield High School basketball again called the National Guard complex home.
The Beavers began their season by putting the defensive pressure on the inexperienced PikeView Panthers, under new coach Lindsey Jones. The result, a 67-38 Bluefield win, was not unexpected.
Bluefield made seven of 14 field goal tries in the first quarter, and limited PikeView to several awkward shots and a 2 for 10 success rate.
The Beavers’ defense, utilizing a full-court press and half-court traps, forced 11 PikeView turnovers in the initial period to render an 18-4 Bluefield lead. That included back-to-back steals late in the first quarter by David Woodrum and Corey Coppola.
Bluefield point guard Lykel Collier said, “We like to get pressure, to turn them over and get quick buckets.”
“We all played good D and got some points off turnovers,” said Bluefield veteran Anthony Eades. “That really helped us out, coming into the first quarter.”
The lead became 27-7 in the second quarter when D.J. Edwards stole the ball and provided an assist to Eades for a layup. Eades had four of Bluefield’s last five baskets of the half, and was already in double-figure scoring at the break.
PikeView got a transition layup by Bradley Flinchum and a nice three from the right side by Tanner Farley to produce a 36-15 halftime score.
The Beavers were determined not to show a glimpse of complacency coming out of halftime, scoring 14 straight points in the first two minutes of the second half. That offense was fed by a pair of steals by Collier and another by Michael Yost.
PikeView got its eight points in the third quarter in one concentrated series after Bluefield’s run. Jason Weitzel and Takota Bailey each had a three-pointer, sandwiched around a bucket by Logan McKinney.
The Beavers used bench players for almost all of the fourth quarter. That led to six Bluefield turnovers in the final period, and a PikeView scoring advantage of 15-10, but the outcome was not in doubt.
Eades said, “The second string and third string got some good, quality time. It’s good that they had that, to get better, to improve. We’re going to need that bench as we go through the season.”
In the final minute, Weitzel and Seth Wood each pulled off steals and turned them into buckets, and PikeView wound up with 16 field goals. Bluefield had 26 baskets from the field and went 10 for 19 in free throws.
PikeView, which was 1 for 6 at the foul line, had 37 turnovers to Bluefield’s 18.
Eades led the Bluefield scoring attack, with seven field goals and 18 points. Yost was close behind with 14 points.
“Our first game here in 12 years,” Eades said afterward. “There was a good crowd. I’m glad they came out and supported us.”
When Collier wasn’t laying the ball in to finish off a fast break, the smooth point guard was dishing the ball off to an open teammate. Collier finished with 10 assists, five steals and 12 points.
He said, “Our defense played a lot better than we usually do. We’ve got some things to work on with our offense
Weitzel was PikeView’s statistical leader in points (9), rebounds (8) and assists (4). Farley finished with eight points. Wood grabbed three steals for the Panthers.
The PikeView team left the facility before quotes could be obtained. The Panthers have started the season playing two Class AA powerhouses, losing 87-58 at Wyoming East last Thursday before facing Bluefield.
The Beavers play their first five games at their new home. Next up is a visit by the crosstown rivals, the Graham G-Men, on Friday. PikeView will compete in tournaments in Shady Spring on Dec. 20-21 and in Chapmanville on Dec. 27-28.
— Contact Tom Bone at
At Brushfork Armory
Takota Bailey 1 0-0 3, Seth Wood 2 0-0 4, Bradley Flinchum 1 0-1 2, Austin Cordell 2 0-1 4, Jonathan Burrell 1 0-0 2, Jason Weitzel 3 1-2 9, Tanner Farley 3 0-0 8, Zach Meadows 0 0-2 0, Logan McKinney 3 0-0 6. Totals 16 1-6 38.
Dakota Smalls 2 0-0 5, D.J. Edwards 3 2-2 8, Anthony Eades 7 3-4 18, Lykel Collier 5 0-2 12, Trevor Mullins 0 1-2 1, Michael Yost 6 1-1 14, Jordon Ponder 1 0-1 2, David Woodrum 1 0-3 2, Cory Coppola 1 2-2 4, Matthew Woodrum 0 1-2 1. Totals 26 10-19 67.
PikeView...........................4 11 8 15 — 38
Bluefield.........................18 18 21 10 — 67
3-point goals — PV 5 (Weitzel 2, Farley 2, Bailey 1); BHS 5 (Collier 2, Eades 1, Yost 1, Smalls 1). Total fouls — PV 16, BHS 15. Fouled out — none. JV game — Bluefield won 46-39.