With only one starter back from last year’s Battlefield District championship team, Eastern View girls basketball coach Mike McCombs has had to adjust his normally lofty expectations a bit.
It didn’t help that the Cyclones’ first two games this season were against perennial district powers King George and Chancellor, who are a combined 6-1 thus far.
After going 0-2 in those contests, McCombs’ inexperienced squad responded with its best outing of the young campaign Wednesday night, overcoming a sluggish start to pull away from Spotsylvania for a 54-38 road win.
“We still have a lot of things to work on,” McCombs said. “We’re not finishing well at the basket and just missing too many layups in general, but getting that first win is always good for a young team’s confidence.”
The host Knights (0-5 overall, 0-4 district) looked as if they were going to put the Cyclones through another ringer, twice jumping out to five-point leads during the first quarter. But it was Terese Greene, Eastern View’s lone returning starter, that made sure that wasn’t going to happen.
With Spotsylvania up 12-7 late in the period, the senior wing drilled a pair of 3-pointers that ignited a 12-0 run. Though it wasn’t always pretty, the Cyclones never trailed afterward.
“We’re always going to look to Terese in tough situations,” McCombs said. “Often times she’ll score a basket or two to settle us down when things are going off the rails.”
Greene scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in in the first half as Eastern View led 29-18 by intermission. Junior forward McKenna Warren notched six of her 10 points before the break as well.
Kaidence Brown, one of a handful of newcomers McCombs is depending on to step up this winter, showed flashes of what she’s capable of in the second half. The freshman forward totaled all 10 of her points in the final two quarters due in large part to an aggressive approach around the basket.
“Kaidence played relatively well,” McCombs said. “It’s about these younger players like her, Soniya [Brown], Khloe [Bowles] and a few others getting settled in and comfortable with the game at the varsity level. As they start to gain confidence and you pick up a win, you can turn that into another and another and maybe get on a hot streak.”
Bowles and Soniya Brown, both sophomores, scored seven and four points, respectively.
The Knights trailed by as much as 19 (52-33) down the stretch. They were paced by a trio of seniors: Haleigh Perkins and Mariah Evans finished with 11 points each, while Zaniah Lucas had 10.
Eastern View returns to the court Friday, when it plays host to James Monroe.
Eastern View (1-2, 1-2): Terese Greene 17, Soniya Brown 4, McKenna Warren 10, Kaidence Brown 10, Dakota Barlow 0, Christa Brown 5, Khloe Bowles 7, Faith Tingler 0, Savanah Veazey 0, Haley Damer 1. Totals: 22 6-12 54.
Spotsylvania (0-5, 0-4): Haleigh Perkins 11, Zaniah Lucas 10, Madison Wheeler 0, Kallie Buchanan 0, Emma Siefker 4, Asia Tracy 0, Emily Ewing 0, Mariah Evans 11, Catarina Tracy 0, Kelsey Bailey 2. Totals: 14 6-12 38.
3-pointers: Eastern View 4 (Greene 3, C. Brown). Spotsylvania 4 (Perkins 2, Lucas 2).