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Lopez keys Hedgesville's run over Indians

December 21, 2005|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - 'Tis the season to be jolly, but that normally doesn't apply to opposing basketball coaches.

For Berkeley Springs coach Chad Brinegar, the 54-36 loss to Hedgesville Tuesday night was a moral victory.

Eagle coach Kelly Church considered it an 18-point win.

"I told the kids 'when you leave the locker room tonight, if any of you don't feel good about this win, you're foolish,'" said Church. "'Anytime you win by 18 points, you ought to feel good about your performance.'"

Brinegar, however, preferred to focus on the first three quarters because his overmatched Indians trailed by just four points.

"I thought it was a moral victory for us," said Brinegar. "Going into the fourth quarter down by just four points to a team like Hedgesville, you've got to feel good."

For the first 24 minutes, the Eagles (2-1) had problems getting the ball through the hoop, hitting just 10 of 43 field goal attempts (23 percent), including four of 20 from beyond the arc.

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BThe Iut Michael Lopez changed that early in the final period with three field goals in an 18-4 Hedgesville run.

"When I caught the back door and got the wide-open layup, that seemed to get us started," said Lopez. "But we played real good as a team. There were a lot of guys that really stepped up for us tonight."

While Berkeley Springs (0-2) never led after Foster Sirbaugh hit the first bucket of the game, Hedgesville was never able to establish a comfortable margin, either.

After closing the first period with a 17-5 run, and extending the margin to 24-10 midway through the second quarter, the Eagles couldn't close the deal.

Berkeley Springs scored 14 of the next 19 points - sparked by Noah Williams - to trail 32-28 entering the fourth quarter.

The Indians' fortunes might have been quite different had they not committed 24 turnovers.

"We have kids who just don't know what to do with the basketball at times," said Brinegar. "And that results in a lot of turnovers."

Sirbaugh's 13 points led all scorers, while Williams chipped in 12 for the Indians.

Luke Grunseth led the Eagles with 12, with Lopez adding 11 and Denver Effland 10.

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