The Greenbrier West boys basketball team is off to a bit of a surprising start this year.
Not only have the Cavaliers won their first four games, the boys from Charmco have outscored their opponents by an average of 22 points in the process.
“It definitely has been a surprise so far, but I am very proud of our kids for how hard they have worked to get better and how they have played well together,” head coach Jared Robertson said. “They have been really coachable and every week we have gotten a little better and hopefully we can continue to do that.”
With limited varsity experience returning for this season, Robertson stated his team would need senior Chase McClung to take on more of a scoring role for his final season.
So far, McClung has steeped into the role admirably, without sacrificing the other “little things” that has made him such a vital part of the Cavaliers success.
In week three of the basketball season, Greenbrier West played just once, but it was McClung’s biggest scoring output of the season.
For his 25-point performance in a road win at Independence, McClung has been named the Lootpress Player of the Week, sponsored by Bodyworks and The Law Offices of Brandon Steele.
“I knew Chase would fill up the stat sheet because he will get rebounds, get steals and play hard. I was a little hesitant on how he would accept the scoring role, but he has done a really good job,” Robertson said. “He is shooting the ball better from the outside and doing better about getting to the rim. Thankfully the other kids have fed off him and stepped up to score too. Chase is definitely our leader on the floor.”
Adjusting to the scorer’s role also brings the challenge of not trying to do too much offensively.
“He is still finding his way a little bit just because our team is still finding their roles to some extent too. The thing that has worried me was that he would feel that the team needed him to score and he would just go shoot,” Robertson said. “However, he is doing a really good job of just letting shots come to him. The area where he has really has excelled is when he has the ball in his hands, he is making the extra pass to a teammate to get them a great shot.”
Over the first three years of his basketball career, McClung was the scrappy, blue-collar player getting crucial rebounds, rebounds, steals and deflections. Even though he is scoring more this year – averaging nearly 19 points per game – McClung is still creating his normal havoc in other areas.
Playing more on the perimeter this year, the hard-working senior is averaging six steals and seven deflections per game.
“I have always kept that stat for us because we are a pressing and trapping team. When our deflection numbers are up, that is usually good for us on the scoreboard,” Robertson said. “I think our kids look at that stat as another reason to hustle and get after it. A lot of times on the press, when you tip the pass, you aren’t the one getting the steal. Your deflection though is why we are getting the steal.”
After a week off for the holiday break, Greenbrier West will face three tough challenges this week, including a much anticipated matchup with its county neighbor, Greenbrier East.
Tuesday the Cavaliers host Summers County before playing PikeView in the New River CTC Tournament Friday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
The battle with the Spartans will also be in the Convention Center Saturday afternoon.
“We had a good week last week and our kids are looking forward to the challenges. We put out a lot of energy to play, so I am anxious to see how we handle playing back-to-back games,” Robertson said. “I am sure our kids will be fired up to play Greenbrier East, but all three games are equally important.”