By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 4 — The Strasburg Rams entered the LHS gymnasium Tuesday night undefeated — but they did not leave that way.
Luray (19-1) outscored the district-leading Rams (19-1) in all four quarters, capturing a 57-43 win that puts them in a tie with Strasburg for the top spot in the Bull Run District.
“That was a big one,” Luray head coach Joe Lucas said after Tuesday’s game. “Definitely, as far as regular season goes, that was one of my biggest” wins as a coach.
While Luray only has one senior and one junior in a 10-person roster, Strasburg touts five seniors — including two forwards listed at 6’4” and 6’3”. But the Bulldogs fought hard in the paint and took a lot of boards away from the visitors on both ends of the court, despite a clear height disadvantage.
“We talked a lot about how we wanted to defend them, pressuring the guards… not make it so easy to get it in to their big forwards,” Coach Lucas said. “Our girls are fearless, they fought hard and took away some ‘second chances’ for them.”
Sophomore guard Emilee Weakley surpassed the 30-point threshold for the 11th time this season, with a team-high 33 against Strasburg. Weakley is averaging 28.5 points per game, with a total of 569 points for the season through 20 games.
Junior Brynlee Burrill added 11 points, while sophomore Amber Tharpe had six and freshman Jaidyn McClung scored five.
For Strasburg, the two big senior forwards, Christyan Reid and Jaden Alsberry, paced the Rams with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
For the Rams, it was their first loss of the season. For the Bulldogs, they avenged their only loss of the season, which came on the road to the Rams. Both teams have two games left in the regular season and head into the postseason with high expectations.
“We just need to stay focused,” Coach Lucas said. “I told the girls to enjoy this win, but tomorrow we go right back to work.”
The Bulldogs host Madison Friday night before closing out the regular season at Rappahannock next Tuesday. The Bull Run District tournament will start a few days after that, with the Region 2B tourney picking up the following week.
The LHS coach says his scrappy and talented team hasn’t had a bad practice all season, and they keep getting better week after week.
“The girls know we have a really special opportunity in front of us,” Lucas said.