In one of the strangest finishes you will ever see, the Greenbrier East Spartans defeated the Pikeview Panthers 91-65 on Wednesday night, December 15 in Mercer County.
It was East head coach Jared Patton’s first career victory.
The score initially spells blowout, but up until the final quarter, it was a back-and-forth battle.
Pikeview (0-2) jumped out to a quick 18-9 lead in the first quarter that was fueled by Jared Vestal. Vestal, a tall and lanky center, was scoring at will inside and coach Patton took a timeout to settle his Spartans down.
And apparently it helped.
Cole Withrow, who started in place of Monquelle Davis who did not play, hit a 3-pointer from the corner and then Goose Gabbert buried a long three. Then Bryson Brammer followed with a three of his own, and after the first quarter, the Spartans had cut the deficit to just four points at 22-18.
Zach Patton tied the game early in the second with two consecutive buckets.
Later in the quarter, Adam Seams and Gabbert nailed back-to-back trifectas and East had taken a 28-24 lead. A no-look pass from Seams to Aaron Griffith and a three-point play from Seams put the Spartans (1-2) in front 33-24 with just over four minutes until halftime.
Seams kept his foot on the gas for the rest of the half and poured in five more points, but Vestal kept answering for the Panthers and at the break, the game was tied at 39-all.
Vestal stepped out and knocked in a trey early in the third period and two possessions later, Gabbert answered with one of his own. Seams then had a nice driving left-handed layup and Brammer stroked a right wing 3-pointer off a Seams steal and assist, and East was up 59-55.
Nathan Wright hit a shot from downtown for the Panthers just as the quarter ended to make it 59-58, Spartans at the end of three.
Then the fourth quarter happened.
From that point, East went on a 21-0 run and blew the game wide open. During the scoring stretch, Griffith, Seams, Gabbert and Brammer controlled the contest. Griffith scored 15 points in the quarter and became a force on the inside, Brammer and Gabbert each hit shots from 3-point land and Seams was everywhere.
Not to be outdone, the Spartans defense did not allow Pikeview to even attempt a shot until there was 3:51 left in the quarter. East caused numerous turnovers and the Panthers could do nothing on the offensive end, as the game completely changed from the first three quarters of play.
The Spartans were led in scoring by Seams who had 23 points. Griffith finished with 20 points, Gabbert had 19 and Brammer contributed 14. Brammer was also the Magic’s Computer Repair player of the game after filling in admirably for Davis.
Vestal scored 22 for Pikeview.
East returns home this Friday night, December 17 for a battle with their long time rivals, the Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM.