Bulldogs drop tough one to Clarke, 57-51

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Emily Donovan
LHS senior Emily Donovan is guarded by Clarke sophomore Alainah McKavish at Luray Jan. 11. Donovan lead all scorers with 17, while McKavish lead Clarke with 15.

LURAY, Jan. 11 — The Luray Bulldogs lead Clarke for three quarters on Thursday night. However, the Eagles went on a 20-6 run in the final frame to capture a Bull Run District win, 57-51, and break a fourth-place tie with the Bulldogs.

Both teams entered Thursday night’s rescheduled game with a 2-2 record in the Bull Run. The Bulldogs were coming off a loss to Central, 48-38, on Friday; while the Eagles have gone 3-3 recently after a 6-0 start to the season. With the win, Clarke (3-2, 10-3) now moves into a tie for third place in the Bull Run with Central (3-2, 7-2). Luray (2-3, 4-8) remains in a tie for fourth place, only now with Rappahannock (2-3, 9-3).

On Thursday night at LHS, the Bulldogs overcame an early five-point deficit and six turnovers in the first quarter by hitting two-thirds of their shots from the floor, including a trio of three-pointers provided by senior Maggie Foltz (two) and freshman Chloe Gochenour. Luray lead 18-14 at the end of a first quarter that finished in a flurry of five lead changes and one tie in the final 3:45.

Clarke shot poorly from the floor in the first half, but the Eagles hit 11-of-13 from the free throw line — including 8-of-10 by six-foot-sophomore Alainah McKavish. Luray only went 50 percent from the line in the second quarter (6-for-12). Clarke won the second frame 16-14, but still trailed at halftime 32-30.

Luray extended their lead in the third to 45-37, as Clarke shot a dismal 3-for-19 from the floor during the quarter. While the Bulldogs depended on five three-pointers to maintain the lead in the first half, senior Emily Donovan gave Luray its offensive punch in the second half. Donovan posted nine of her team-high 17 points on the night in the second half. The senior hit 70 percent from the free throw line and recorded several steals during the game.

In just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Eagles had cut the Luray lead in half and only trailed by four. The shooting story flip-flopped in the fourth as the Bulldogs went 1-for-8 in the period, while Clarke hit over 50 percent. Adding to its woes, Luray also committed eight turnovers in the final eight minutes.

Despite having two starters foul out with several minutes still left in the game, the Eagles went on 20-6 run in the fourth fueled by the bench. Senior Kaiya Williams scored all seven of her points in the fourth, including a 5-for-6 effort at the free throw line in the final 52 seconds.

Donovan hit two free throws to bring Luray within one at 52-51 with 1:09 on the clock. However, the final minute saw the Bulldogs miss their shots from the floor, and the Eagles hit their shots at the line. Behind Donovan’s team-high 17 points, Foltz posted 15, including four three-pointers (two in the first, two in the third). Gochenour had 12 points, and as a freshman, continues to improve, mature on the floor, and contribute more each game.

Eight of the Eagles on the 10-man roster recorded points during the game, but Clarke was lead by McKavish — one of the best sophomores in the region — with 15 points. She scored nine from the free throw line before fouling out with 3:54 remaining in the game. The only other Eagle in double-digits was junior Caydence Roberts, who scored 10 points while also posting several blocks and steals.

Next up, Luray will travel to Rappahannock on Friday night, Jan. 12, before hitting the road for cross-county rival Page County on Tuesday night. That night’s rivalry double-header begins with the boys game at 6 p.m., followed by the girls at 7:30 p.m.

For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.



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