Omps pours in 43 to lead Berkeley Springs

December 19, 2002|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Andy Omps. Pure shooter.

Though that name and those few words may mean little to most of the high school basketball populace in this area, they spoke volumes to the few hundred fans in attendance for Wednesday's boys basketball game between Hancock and Berkeley Springs.

Omps, the Indians' senior point guard, had a monster game, throwing in 43 points - including nine 3-pointers - as the Tribe opened the season with a 76-67 win over Hancock.

"Wow, I didn't realize it was that many," Omps said. "It was a real struggle out there. Hancock is a tough team."


Omps' barrage of points actually overshadowed a solid effort by the Panthers on the offensive end as Hancock, led by Brad Spielman's 19 points, had three starters in double figures.

But the Panthers could not corral Omps or his backcourt mate, Tony Belt, who finished with 14 points.

In fact, the Indians struck from long range five times in the first half, including three in a row to close out the first quarter and virtually wipe out an early eight point Panthers lead. Two of the shots came from Omps and could best be termed NBA rainbows.

"Andy can certainly shoot the basketball," Berkeley Springs coach Kent Shock said. "We made some mistakes out there, but Omps had the ability to make up for some of them. We certainly expect to get better from here, but right now, we are enjoying this."

And how.

The Indians were down early as Hancock (1-3) built a 22-14 lead, but Berkeley Springs soon figured out that to counter the physical play of Hancock's center Jeff Willison and forward John Poffenberger, they would have to loosen up the perimeter game.

Willison and Poffenberger each had 12 points.

"We are confident shooting from out there," Omps said. "We have a few guys that will take that shot if it is there."

And unfortunately for the Panthers, it was there a lot.

"We will see these guys again at least twice more and to beat them, we have to play better defense." Hancock coach Jeff Spielman said. "Omps is a great shooter and we simply couldn't handle him."

"But it wasn't like we didn't have a hand in his face," Spielman continued. "He just had a great game."

The Panthers were able to tie the game at 33-33 on a layup by Jordan Sterner with just under three minutes to go before the half, but the Tribe soon pushed the lead out to 44-36 and never trailed again.

"This win was a great one for us," Shock said. "Now when we come to practice, everyone works a little harder because they know what they can do."

"We were waiting for Andy Omps to cool off in the second half," Spielman said. "I guess it is safe to say that never happened."

Berkeley Springs 76 Hancock 67


Martinez 1, Sterner 2, Newton 12, R.Hendershot 2, Younker 6, Spielman 19, Flowers 7, Poffenberger 12, Willison 12. TOTALS 30 4-8 67.


Omps 43, Belt 14, Ruckman 13, Freels 6. TOTALS 26 13-19 76.

Hancock 22 14 18 13 - 67

Berkeley Springs 20 24 16 16 - 76

Three point goals - Hancock 3 (Newton, Spielman, Flowers), Berkeley Springs 11 (Omps 9, Belt 2). Fouled out - Newton. Technical Foul - Poffenberger. JV - Hancock, 49-19 (H: Andy Morris, 21 points).

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