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Indians reappear at states

March 17, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

In what could honestly be described as an up-and-down season for Berkeley Springs' boys basketball team, the latest upswing was the sweetest of all.

The Indians (14-9) will play in their first state tournament game in 20 years tonight when they face Westside (22-2) at 9 p.m. in a West Virginia Class AA quarterfinal at the Charleston Civic Center.

Berkeley Springs - the Potomac Valley Conference West division winner - upset East division champion Petersburg (16-6) 74-67 in the Region II final last Wednesday to earn its spot in the tournament. The Indians had previously lost to Petersburg 69-56 in a regular-season meeting Feb. 19.

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As usual, the Indians were led by senior Tony Belt and sophomore Ryan Morris. Belt, an athletic swingman, scored 29 points in the regional final, while Morris, a forward, added 24 in the victory.

Belt averaged about 23 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks per game this season and was one of the top scoring threats in the area. Morris developed into one of the area's better post players, averaging 14.5 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

Berkeley Springs' supporting cast includes sophomore guard Nathan Sirbaugh, who made 27 3-pointers in the regular season, and junior guard John Freels, who averaged about six points per game.

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