Billies fall at home to GBC Crusaders
by Jerry Fekete
MAN — The Greater Beckley Christian Crusaders made it a sweep by downing the Man High School basketball team on Thursday night, 75-55, at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse in a makeup game.
Man fell to 4-13 on the season. The Hillbillies are scheduled to play at Midland Trail on Monday.
“We really played well,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “We were a lot more alert with the ball and had less turnovers and we didn’t give up possessions and easy baskets. We really played hard on defense. They had a size advantage there at the end and we had to foul them. Other than that and giving up too many points at the foul line it was one of our better games especially on offense.”
Man was led in scoring by John Thomas Keffer’s 22 points. Cayce Mullins and Jake Adkins also broke into double digits in scoring with 11 and 10 points respectively. Chris Justice had eight and Michael Scott Rowe four.
Greater Beckley Christian was paced by Javonne Bailey’s 28 points. Elisa Kidd had 19 and Keith Mullins 14. Brent Daniels had eight, Adam Cook four and Paul Paige two.
The Hillbillies were 9-for-15 from the free throw line. The Crusaders were 23-for-39.
Greater Beckley Christian had won the earlier meeting between the two teams by a 79-52 score on Jan. 18 at Beckley.
The freshman Adkins jumpstarted Man by hitting a 3-pointer in the first quarter to make it 3-0. Keffer, another Man frosh, later drilled a 3 to make it 8-3 with 4:23 left in the first quarter.
Both team traded baskets in the final four minutes of play with the Billies holding a slim 16-15 lead after the first quarter.
GBC’s Kidd then hit a floater in the lane to open the second stanza to give the Crusaders a 17-16 lead.
Man battled back to take the lead at 24-23 with 3:35 to play in the first half on a stick back by Mullins. Mullins then hit a nice short jumper in the paint to make it 26-23.
Greater Beckley Christian then went on a 5-0 run to take a 28-26 advantage into the locker room on three free throws by Keith Mullins and a basket by Bailey.
Bailey hit a runner in the lane to open the second half of play to give GBC a 30-26 lead with 7:50 to go.
Keffer answered with a 3-ball to cut the deficit to 30-29.
Cayce Mullins put the Billies back on top with a power move down low to give Man the lead at 31-30 at the 6:56 mark.
Greater Beckley Christian then went on a 6-0 run to take a 36-31 lead, forcing Man into a timeout with 4:45 to play in the third stanza.
The Crusaders then pushed their lead to 11 points with 1:44 to play at 45-34.
Keffer hit another behind-the-arc trey to make it 45-37.
The Crusaders then went on a 5-0 run to close out the third period, taking a commanding 13-point lead at 50-37 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Daniels hit a fast break layup and Kidd scored on an old fashioned three-point play. GBC outscored the Billies 22-11 in the third period.
Kidd hit a jumper with 6:11 to play, giving Greater Beckley a commanding 19-point lead at 56-37.
Man never could recover as the Crusaders hit their free throws down the stretch and walked away with the 20-point victory.
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