Winning close games is not only becoming the norm for Greenbrier East, it is becoming routine. After defeating Woodrow Wilson last week by a point and Princeton by five, the Spartans went back on the road and defeated the South Charleston Black Eagles, 54-53.
East has yet to play a home game, but they have still started the young season 4-1 with some impressive wins along the way. Against South Charleston, the Spartans played without Gabe Patton, Monquelle Davis and Jude Libby.
At the beginning of this one, however, it did not appear as though the Spartans were going to be as lucky.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead before an Adam Seams jumper made it 7-2. Then Bryson Smith drilled a 3-pointer and it looked like it was going to be a long day for East.
But the Spartans battle, claw and fight as East color commentator Stan Unroe said, “maybe better than any Spartan team I’ve seen.” Trailing 14-7, Bryson Brammer hit a three and then converted a free throw. Then Seams hit an acrobatic layup and the score was 15-13, Eagles, at the end of the first quarter.
East opened the second quarter on a 9-5 run to take a two-point lead and survived the momentum shift of a thunderous Smith dunk. Goose Gabbert hit a couple jumpers just before the break as East held a 25-24 lead at halftime.
After a Kaiden Huffman bucket, a Seams layup and a three-point play from Huffman again, East built a 32-24 lead and began to take control of the game. They would extend their lead to 41-30 with a little over two minutes and kept their advantage at 44-37 after three quarters on a nice pass from Seams to Sinclair.
A back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw South Charleston’s Nasjaih Jones almost single-handedly do it all for his team brought the game to 54-51 following four straight points from Gabbert.
With the score 54-53 with five seconds left, the Eagles (2-2) inbounded the ball, but Gabbert stepped in front of a pass and picked it off to clinch the tough road victory.
Seams led East with 16 points. Gabbert had 15 (nine in the second half). Huffman scored 11 and Sinclair had five and rebounded well.
Jones had 20 points for the Black Eagles and Smith netted 18.
East gets a little break and will return to the hardwood on January 6 when they face Huntington in the New River CTC tournament in Beckley.