FAIRLEA (WVDN) – After suffering a head-scratching loss to Oak Hill on Tuesday, Jan 17, Greenbrier East head coach Jared Patton was honest about his team’s preparation, or lack thereof.
“It was a tough loss for us. We didn’t prepare for those guys like we should have,” Patton told East play-by-play announcer Jeff Campbell before Saturday’s game against the Washington Patriots.
Apparently, the players got the message loud and clear.
East jumped out to a 30-point first half lead en route to a relatively easy 67-35 victory over the Patriots in front of a good-sized, afternoon crowd at Spartan Gym.
Washington had just played a pretty good Greenbrier West team the Friday night before and lost in overtime, so the Spartans knew they had to come out firing on all cylinders, and that is exactly what they did.
East took an early 6-0 lead on baskets from Goose Gabbert, Kaiden Huffman and Bryson Brammer. After a Malik Smith runner got Washington on the board, the Spartans then went on a 13-0 run the rest of the quarter. A long 3-pointer from Gabe Patton and a no-look pass from Monquelle Davis to Chris Sinclair gave the Spartans a 19-2 lead after one.
Jude Libby made his presence known in the second period when he scored East’s first 8 points of the quarter on two 3s and a finish off a nice dish from Davis. Adam Seams then stole a pass at midcourt and took it to the rim for 2 more, and East had a 29-4 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half.
Patton and Sinclair put the finishing touches on the half, as the Spartans held a commanding 40-10 lead at the break.
East came out with four reserves and Seams to open the second half, and the Patriots, to their credit, did not quit. They slowly chipped away at East’s lead behind two trifectas from Smith, but the Spartans still led 52-29 after three as Gabbert put in a layup at the buzzer.
Smith knocked in his third 3-pointer to open the fourth, and the East starters came back onto the court. Their defense picked up and they got good offensive play from Huffman and Libby, who scored five straight points to eliminate any thought the Patriots had about a comeback.
The Spartans improved to 7-3 with the win. Washington fell to 2-9.
Libby was named the Player of the Game, finishing with 13 points off the bench. He has provided some much-needed spark over the last couple of weeks. Gabbert led East with 14 and Patton scored 11.
Smith led the Patriots with 13 points.
East has a huge game this Tuesday night, Jan. 24, when they travel to the Brush Fork Armory to take on Bluefield. Bluefield is one of the top teams in the state, regardless of class, and like the Spartans are 7-3 as well.
Stats and quotes courtesy of 103.1, WRON.