By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 1 — On Tuesday night in their season opener, the Luray High School girls basketball team turned in a solid performance at both ends of the court and posted a 60-54 win over visiting William Monroe.
The Bulldogs were lead by last season’s VHSL 2A Player of the Year Emilee Weakley with 29 points. Weakley recently bypassed a D-I scholarship offer from Longwood University and signed her National Letter of Intent to play with D-II Shepherd University in West Virginia next winter.
The LHS senior performed well head-to-head against William Monroe’s Ella Weaver, who has had some D-I interest shown prior to starting her junior year. Weaver lead the Dragons with 23 points.
Both teams had two scrimmages under their belts coming into Tuesday night’s non-district match-up, and the opening minutes were relatively clean to be a season opener for both. The visiting Dragons jumped out to an early 13-6 lead before the Bulldogs settled down and went on an 11-0 run to end the first quarter. By the end of the opening eight minutes, Weakley was already in double-digits.
Luray extended their lead by five in the second quarter and enjoyed a 29-20 advantage heading into halftime. A tough defensive effort lead by junior Jaidyn McClung held the Dragons at bay with only three shots from the floor in the second period to go along with seven turnovers.
The Bulldogs would again outscore their opponents in the third period, as the Dragons went 0-for-12 from the floor and turned the ball over seven more times. William Monroe’s only points in the third came from the charity stripe, where they went a perfect 10-for-10. Heading into the final frame, Luray held a 13-point lead, 43-30.
However, the momentum changed in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as the Dragons went on a 9-0 run and saved their best basketball for the end. William Monroe would outscore Luray 24-17 in the final eight minutes, with Weaver putting up 15 of her 23 on the night including a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Dragons were able to draw within four points of Luray, but they would get no closer as the Bulldogs hit 6-of-8 free throws in the fourth and got 10 more points from Weakley.
On the night, Luray hit about 38 percent from the floor, while the Dragons made about 31 percent of their shots. After going 3-for-9 from the free throw line in the first half, the Bulldogs hit 86 percent from the charity stripe in the second half (12-of-14). In fact, both teams combined in the second half went an amazing 28-for-31 (90 percent) in free throw shooting.
McClung picked up 10 of her 12 points on the night in the second half for Luray, while senior Lexi Vile was the third Bulldog to post double digits with 10 points on the night.
William Monroe senior Chloe Rush was the only other Dragon in double digits with 10 points.
Next up for the Bulldogs (1-0) will be a road trip to Quicksburg on Thursday night, Dec. 2 to take on the Generals of Mountain View, before hitting the road again next Tuesday, Dec. 7 for another showdown with William Monroe. The Dragons (1-1) will host Eastern View (Culpeper County) tonight before facing the Bulldogs again.
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Player of the Game“.
As the returning VHSL 2A Player of the Year a season ago, Weakley picked up where she left off and hit close to last season’s average with 29 points against the visiting Dragons of William Monroe in the Bulldog’s season opener at home Tuesday night.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.