The Cougars roamed the woods keeping the trails clear before Class AA Berkeley Springs inundated the Den with a barrage of attacks in the second half enabling the Indians to depart Baker in a wake of debris with an 87-54 victory on East Hardy’s senior night on Wednesday.
East Hardy Boys Basketball honored its seniors prior to the contest: Casey Connelley, Jesse Dove, Drew Kelican, Nick Miller and Brett Tharp.
Brett Tharp scored a game-high 25 points in his final regular season home game for the Cougars (9-10), followed by junior Aden Funkhouser with 11 points and senior Casey Connelley contributed eight points.
Colin Breeden led Berkeley Springs (15-5) with 24 points and Ethan Barkley netted 21 points.
“It was pretty ugly from start to finish. You’ve got to play better defense than that, it’s just that simple,” East Hardy Coach Chris Hahn commented.
“Give them credit, they came out aggressive in the second half and we couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean.”
In the first two minutes of the game, Berkeley Springs missed six field goals and forced two turnovers, while the Cougars hit the rim twice with rebounds by Tharp (2), Dove and Kelican during that stretch.
The initial basket of the game came at the 6:00 mark as Nate Mason stole the ball for the Indians and passed to Ethan Barkley for the score.
Kelican snatched an offensive rebound and was fouled which created two foul shots to tie it up.
Funkhouser swatted at the ball and Breeden made the recovery with a dish to Barkley for the jumper.
Barkley knocked the ball loose and it bounced out of bounds, then Barkley swiped the ball and lost it out of bounds rushing the pass down the floor.
Connelley drilled a field goal from the free throw line to knot it up again at the 4:54 mark, 4-all.