After a sluggish start, a closer than expected middle and a predictable end, the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans got a 64-35 victory over the James Monroe Lady Mavericks on Tuesday night, November 30 in the 2021-22 basketball season opener.
The Spartans (1-0), who returned most of their team from a year ago, overcame some minor struggles early before pulling away in a one-sided second half.
Daisha Summers, a transfer from Wyoming East scored the Spartans first four points of the game, then Cadence Stewart drilled a 3-pointer and the Spartans led 7-2 early in the first quarter.
A Brooke Davis steal and free throw, followed by an Allie Dunford layup gave East a 10-2 lead and the momentum had swung in the Spartans favor quickly.
And that still was not the end of it.
Stewart hit another three, Summers got two more buckets and Dunford converted a steal into two points and after one quarter, the Spartans had amassed a 19-5 lead.
But the Mavs (0-1) kept coming in the second.
Addison Hines, Hailey Hunnicutt and Mary Meadows all kept James Monroe in the game, and contributed heavily to a big 16-4 Mavericks run which made the score 23-18 after a Hunnicutt floater.
But from that point forward, the Spartans seemed to wake up a little bit. Stewart got a bucket and two free throws and Layla Pence had a huge block with 20 seconds left in the half, and the Spartans took a 28-20 lead into the locker room.
The second half belonged to the Spartans.
Pence knocked in a jumper, Summers hit a turnaround shot and Stewart scored off an offensive rebound, and just like that, East had built a 34-22 lead early in the third.
In total, the Spartans would win the second half 36-15, and still left room for some excitement late. In the fourth quarter, freshman Caroline Dotson scored seven points in about 30 seconds and the crowd on hand showed their appreciation for the youngster. She was scoreless with a minute to play and finished with those seven points.
Summers led East in scoring with 19 points. She pulled down five rebounds also. Stewart scored 17 points, had six rebounds and three steals. Davis tied for the team lead with Dunford with four assists.
East shot just 34 percent for the game, but shot over 40 percent in the second half. They scored 34 points off of James Monroe turnovers.
East held the Mavs to 22 percent shooting.
The Spartans will have two games this weekend. They play Mountain Mission Friday night, December 3 and Parkersburg South the following Saturday night.
Stats courtesy of 95.3, Radio Greenbrier.