Bees shake of slow start, knock off Knights 55-41
- by Brian McCracken Sports Writer
- Jan 11, 2019
- Clarksburg Exponent/Telegram
East Fairmont’s Avery Pack grabs one of her 11 rebounds in a win over Preston. Photo by Alex Bennett
PLEASANT VALLEY — All year long East Fairmont coach James Beckman has been waiting for a team identity to emerge
The Bees (6-5) showed the head coach what he was looking for on Friday night, overcoming a slow start to beat the Preston Knights 56-41.
“It was 7-0 to start the game,” he recalled. “You’re on your own floor against a (7-3) opponent and and you’re down 7-0. I love how resilient we were and the character of this team to show a little bit of grit and determination to fight back and make this a ball game. We have been searching for our identity this season and it’s starting to come along and I’m liking what I’m seeing.”
Preston freshman Carsynn Sines converted on a shot at the bucket and split a pair of free throws before sophomore Michelle Thomas hit a jumper and scored in transition to give the Knights an early lead. But the Bees came buzzing back, as Somer Stover scored a pair of buckets inside and Avery Pack converted a three-point play and a stick back to put together a 9-2 run to knot things up.
From there the two teams jostled back and forth with the lead changing hands four different times until Preston appeared to have grasped the game’s momentum, scoring six straight to take a 21-16 lead early in the second quarter.
With things appearing to take a turn, Beckman called a timeout, calmed his team down and the game was never the same. Out of the break Kierra Bartholow drained a corner 3 to cut the deficit to two. Preston’s Erica Myers answered with a short range jumper, but Stover scored in the lane before Kiana Cassucio knocked down a pair of triples to close out a 13-2 run that ended the half and gave East a 29-23 lead entering the locker room.
“It was toughness,” Beckman explained. “I think the girls had a little bit of grit. They crashed the boards, they hit some shots and they got some confidence and got a flow going. It’s nothing different from what we have done this season. We have been stressing toughness and we’re starting to see some toughness from this team.”
Stover scored the first four points of the second half to extend the run to 17-2 and push the Bee lead out to 10 points. Sines scored a pair of buckets to cut the deficit to six immediately afterwards, but another Cassucio 3 kicked off a 9-0 run that ended the quarter and gave East Fairmont a commanding 15-point advantage entering the fourth quarter.
The Bees cruised from there and are now back over .500. Preston, on the other hand, dropped its third straight contest and falls to 7-4 on the season. East Fairmont is back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Buckhannon-Upshur.