When the Greenbrier West Lady Cavaliers arrive in Charleston this week, it will be the first time they have been there as a basketball team since 1987.
The 36-year hiatus has been a long time coming for the western end of the county, and coincidentally, the whole county, including the east side, is behind the Cavs and hoping they can bring a Class A state title back home with them.
Senior guard Ava Barclay, who actually resides on the eastern end of the county, but stars on the court as a Cavalier, believes the western side will take great pride in this accomplishment.
“Living on the eastern end of Greenbrier County all my life, I think that the west end might get overlooked sometimes,” Barclay said.
“So, I’m hoping that this is something that not only the team is proud of accomplishing but that the community can be as well. I think it’s safe to say that they’re excited for us considering the crowds we’ve been having the past few games,” she added.
Sophomore Preslee Treadway had 29 points in the regional win over River View and was a huge reason the Cavs were able to have a great second half and ultimately win the game. But Treadway is a team-first player and although she was the game-high scorer, she was just wanting the win, and that was all that mattered.
“Having a good game does not make the win more special for me. It takes the whole team to go out on a court and play ball, and the ones cheering us on and supporting us are just as important as the ones on the court. It takes a team to win. Even if I had no points in the game the win would just be as special, because somebody else would have been putting points on the board,” Treadway said.
And that special feeling runs through Barclay as well.
“We are all super excited to finally be the team that is able to return to the state tournament. I think one of the key things that has let us come this far is just working as a team all season. We’re excited our hard work has finally paid off,” Barclay explained.
Limiting distractions between now and Tuesday morning can be difficult with all the media attention and just the downtime of not being on the court, so both girls are just basically focused and ready for Tuesday to get here.
“Tuesday’s a big game for us. I’ll just be keeping my mindset on basketball for the next couple days, practice hard, and watch a lot of film,” Barclay said.
“It’s awesome,” Treadway said.
“This team that I am on has done nothing but work to get where we are right now, and our effort is starting to show and people are realizing what Greenbrier West basketball is really about,” Treadway added.
So, how can Greenbrier West win not only on Tuesday, but move further along in the tourney as well?
“The biggest thing I personally think is to work together as a team. That includes defense as well as offense. On defense we must communicate and help each other, as well as rotating as a team on our defenses. On offense we must have good ball movement and move the ball to the open shots. We all have to be on the same page,” Treadway said.
“Teamwork is key,” she stressed.
Barclay agrees with that strategy but could not help to reflect on this year as a whole and what it will be like for her when it is over.
“I think what I miss the most this season is all the girls. I love everyone one of them. This season we’ve all played not only as teammates but best friends, so it makes it all so much better. I’ll miss the bonds with them all,” Barclay said.
“My senior year has been amazing. A senior season like this is what a senior dreams of for their last year,” Barclay concluded.
The 4th-seeded Lady Cavaliers play this Tuesday, March 7 against the 5th-seed, Webster County. Tipoff is scheduled for 11:15 AM inside the Charleston Civic Center.