East Burke dominates West
East Burke senior Clay Byrd sank seven 3-pointers to lead the Cavaliers in a 73-41 victory over West Caldwell in the second round of the 2A state playoffs on Wednesday in Icard.
“We tried to make adjustments, but East Burke countered everything we tried,” said West head coach Danny Anderson. “I think we panicked a little, and they (East Burke) fed off that like sharks.”
The Warriors conclude their season at 22-6, while East Burke advances to play at No. 2 Shelby on Friday.
In the team’s second matchup in six days, the Cavaliers caught fire early and never cooled off. Byrd got East Burke started with the Cavaliers first five points but was issued a technical foul after hitting a three. Deshawn Patterson hit the two free throws to tie the game at five. Just after the technical free throws, Ronnie Vasser-Jenkins knocked down a three to give the Warriors their final lead of the day at 8-5.
East Burke countered to score the next 10, seven of them by Byrd to give the Cavaliers a 15-8 advantage. West fired back with a triple by Patterson and a layup by Jenkins to cut the deficit to 18-15 at the end of the first.
The Cavaliers opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run over the first 51 seconds of the quarter, thanks to 3-pointers by Byrd and Alex Kelly to go up 26-15. Byrd finished the half with 21 points.
The Warriors did not score in the quarter until there was under two minutes to play. Kalice Steptoe hit two free throws and Chase Bowman converted a tip-in. However, Jacob Young hit a half-court, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give East Burke a 38-19 advantage at the half.
The second half was not much better for the Warriors. West managed just six points in the quarter, while the Cavaliers continued to light up the scoreboard. Byrd hit two more triples and also converted a three-point play. West got four points from Patterson and two from Steptoe. East Burke led 56-25 heading into the fourth.
Early in the fourth, the Cavaliers opened up their biggest lead of the night with a 38-point advantage after threes by Byrd and Clark. Byrd finished the game with a game-high 35 points.
“He (Byrd) is a very, very good player,” Anderson said. “Every time we play them we game plan around him. Tonight, we didn’t have an answer.”
West scored 16 points in the quarter, including six by Bowman. Bowman and TJ Hendrix each hit 3-pointers in the final stanza.
Patterson led the Warriors with 13 points and Bowman finished with eight. Steptoe added six in the loss.
“I told our guys to handle this with class,” said Anderson. “Hopefully this will be a learning experience for our younger guys.”
East Burke 73, West Caldwell 41
West Caldwell 15-4-6-16 – 41
East Burke 18-20-20-15 – 73
WEST CALDWELL (41): Deshawn Patterson 13, Chase Bowman 8, Kalice Steptoe 6, Ronnie Vasser-Jenkins 5, TJ Hendrix 5, Alex Audrey 2, Ashton Smith 1, Landon Braswell 1, Mekhi Dula 0, Mark Hood 0, Tre Harper 0, Nyles Robinson 0, Tanner Watson 0.
EAST BURKE (73): Clay Byrd 35, Jacob Young 13, Trever Hyatt 7, Larry Clark 7, Elijah Reese 4, Drake Haas 4, Alex Kelly 3, Tyler Hernandez 0, Daniel Trivette 0, Chucky Ritchie 0, Drew Horton 0, Dylan Rogers 0, Landon Estep 0.