Bulldogs, Panthers split first rivalry matchup

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Basketball

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, Jan. 4 — In the first of two cross-county rivalry matchups this season, the Luray Bulldogs and the Page County Panthers split in boys and girls Bull Run District action on Wednesday night. The girls opened the night with a thrilling buzzer-beater, while the boys capped off the double-header with a lop-sided game. The two rivals will meet again at PCHS on Jan. 31, with the order reversed — as the boys will tip-off off at 6 p.m., and the girls will follow at about 7:30 p.m.

LHS 44, PCHS 42

With the way the game started, it would have been hard to predict how it actually ended. The Page County Panthers came out confident, knocking down buckets and stalling the Luray offense as the visitors jumped out to a 12-3 in the first quarter. Junior guard Faith Mason put up five of her seven points on the night in the first frame, while the Bulldogs shot a mere 10 percent from the floor.

The second frame saw the scoring even out a little, but Page still outpaced Luray 12-10 over the period as five different Panthers recorded a bucket. LHS senior Lindsay Bly recorded a steal and hit four of her seven points on the night in the second quarter to get Luray going offensively, but the home team still trailed 24-13 at the half.

The third quarter was more of the same as the Panthers outpaced the ‘Dawgs 13-6. Page had five players post points, while Luray went 2-for-10 from the floor. Page County lead by 18 heading into the final eight minutes — and that’s when the entire flow of the game got flipped on its ear.

After getting beaten up and down the court for three quarters and unable to get things going offensively, the Bulldogs exploded for 25 of their 44 points on the night in the fourth quarter. Three juniors — Emily Donovan, Maggie Foltz and Jillian Parlett — each hit two shots from beyond the arc. Donovan posted 11 of her game-high 13 points in the final frame, while Foltz hit six of her 11 points.

The Panthers would only hit two buckets from the floor in the final eight minutes as LHS head coach Joe Lucas used a “few fouls to give” to disrupt the Page offense, keep the visitors from running the clock down, and create more possessions.

In the final two minutes, Donovan scored six points and Bly provided two more that brought Luray within one at 42-41 with about 45 seconds left in the game. After a solid defensive effort, the Bulldogs had one last opportunity with 22 seconds on the clock. The final seconds ticked down as Luray passed the ball around — almost losing it at one point — before it found the hands of Parlett, who drained a three-pointer at the buzzer for a dramatic Bull Run District win that ignited the LHS gymnasium.

The Panthers were lead by junior Adryn Martin and freshman Ali Purdham with nine points each, followed by Mason with seven and senior Montana Foltz and junior Baliee Gaskins with six each.

Luray had three players in double-digits, as Donovan posted 13, Foltz had 11 and Parlett added 10.

With the win, the Bulldogs move to 6-2 overall on the season and 4-1 in the Bull Run District. Their only district loss was to Rappahannock, 54-39, on the road Dec. 20. The only other loss was a two-point disappointment, 38-36, on the road at Class 3 Turner Ashby on Dec. 8. Next up, Luray hosts East Rockingham on Friday night.

With the loss, the Panthers even out at 6-6 overall on the season and 3-3 in the Bull Run. Next up, Page County will travel to Central of Woodstock on Friday night.

While the Rams of Strasburg (4-0, 8-1) — featuring region standout Macy Smith — and Rappahannock (5-0, 7-1) remain the only two unbeaten teams in district play, both Luray and Page will be contenders in the postseason.

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

•••

The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected

Jillian Parlett

as the Blue Ridge Bank “Player of the Game“.

A video clip of the game’s finale, including Parlett’s buzzer-beating three-pointer, posted on Facebook by “proud papa” Phil Parlett had been viewed nearly 1,500 times in the first 24 hours after the game. This is Parlett’s second “Player of the Game” honor early into the season.

•••

PCHS 59, LHS 39

The Page County Panthers took advantage of a depleted Luray squad and walked away with a much-needed Bull Run District win on Wednesday night on the road. The Bulldogs were down five players in the contest — three due to injury and two due to disciplinary actions.

Senior standout Jacob Williams posted a game-high 18 points to lead Page in scoring, including four shots from beyond the arc (three in the third quarter). Williams has consistently lead the Panthers in scoring this season, averaging about 14 points per game.

The game was rarely in question as the visitors jumped out to a 19-8 lead by the end of the first quarter, and then took a 33-12 advantage into the locker room at halftime. Eight different Panthers posted points on the night but Williams finished as the only player in double-digits, while only four Bulldogs scored during the game.

The Bulldogs posted their best runs in the second half, only getting outscored 19-16 by the visitors in the third quarter and actually winning the final eight minutes 11-7 as Page substituted freely. The third frame was especially impressive for the depleted Bulldogs as they nearly matched the three-point shooting of Williams, who hit three in-a-row.

Despite being two of the youngest (and smallest) players on the court, Luray got outstanding play from freshmen Matthew Owens and Connor Hilliard. Owens was particularly impressive, posting a team-high 13 points along with numerous assists. Hilliard followed up with 10 points. The two freshmen were the only ‘Dawgs in double-digits. Senior Zane Ramey hit two shots from beyond the arc and recorded eight points, while junior Mason Seekford added seven points.

The Panthers also saw solid minutes from a freshman as Isaac Foltz had six consecutive points in the second quarter. Senior Logan Heiston had seven points on the night, while three-sport senior Hayden Plum and big 6’4″ junior Noah Lucas each added six.

With the win, the Panthers move to 5-6 overall and pick up their first victory in the Bull Run District (1-4). Next up, Page County will host Central of Woodstock (2-4) on Friday. PVN Sports will be accompanying the NFHS livestream for that game.

With the loss, Luray breaks up its recent turnaround and drops to 2-7. Prior to Wednesday night, the Bulldogs had won two of its previous three games, including two district wins over Mt. View and Rappahannock. Injuries and disciplinary actions have now left the team depleted and struggling. Next up, it doesn’t get any easier as Luray travels to East Rockingham (6-4) this Friday night.

•••

The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected

Jacob Williams

as the Blue Ridge Bank “Player of the Game“.

Williams posted a game-high 18 points to lead Page in scoring, including four shots from beyond the arc (three in the third quarter). Williams has consistently lead the Panthers in scoring this season, averaging about 14 points per game.

•••

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