INWOOD (WVDN) – The Greenbrier East Spartans opened up their 2022-23 campaign on Friday night, Dec. 9., with a convincing 70-43 win at Musselman, but a tough, hard-fought 69-63 loss to Spring Mills followed on Saturday as East broke even on their opening weekend.
The first game at Musselman started out close with the Spartans up just 20-16 after one quarter of play. However, for the next three quarters, East outscored the Applemen 50-27 as they got hot on offense and caused chaos on the defensive side.
Chris Sinclair was named Player of the Game for his defensive prowess on top of his 9 points. Four Spartans scored in double figures with Goose Gabbert leading the way with 16 points. Adam Seams, Bryson Brammer and Kaiden Huffman all chipped in 11 apiece.
East shot 51% for the game, and all 13 players on the roster played.
It was a little tougher for the Spartans against the Cardinals of Spring Mills. East got in some foul trouble in the first quarter, although Huffman and Gabbert played well.
Keshaun Cheek made things tough on the Spartans, as the athletic wing player could score from all areas on the floor and, for most of the day, that is what he did.
East (1-1) trailed by 9 points late in the first quarter, but midway through the second, had battled back to take a 29-28 lead after a Jude Libby 3-pointer.
Then, at the break, the Spartans led 38-35, after Gabe Patton drained a trifecta to break the tie at that point.
Things went south pretty quickly for East in the middle part of the third quarter.
They jumped out on an 8-3 run to start the second half and led 46-38, but from there forward it was almost all Cardinals.
Spring Mills (2-1) answered that small run with a crushing 18-2 run of their own capped by Caleb Robinson’s basket, before Patton hit a free throw to end it.
But that sequence took the wind out of the Spartans’ sails, as they tried to claw their way back late but came up just short.
Patton was the Player of the Game and scored a game-high 23 points. Huffman added 11, as East shot 46 percent from the field.
Cheek had 22 for Spring Mills.
The Spartans will play this Friday for a pre-Christmas showdown against the Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles. The game will be in Beckley.