By Randy Arrington
LURAY, March 4 — The Bulldogs of Luray advanced to the state tournament’s Final Four after defeating the Bulldogs of Brunswick, 70-51, at home on Friday night.
Despite the fact that Luray is advancing deeper and deeper into the postseason, the results have been fairly consistent as the Bulldogs seem to keep getting better and better. Over the last seven games since they started the Bull Run District tournament, Luray’s margin of victory has been no less than 14 points and as much as 51. While they only reached 70 points in two regular season games, Luray has scored 70 or more points in the last four consecutive postseason games.
On Friday night, standout senior Emilee Weakley once again lead the way with a game-high 33 points. Weakley hit two shots from beyond the arc and went 7-for-11 at the line. Her career point total now stands at 2,537.
LHS junior Jaidyn McClung remained consistent and steady with 13 points during Friday night’s state quarterfinal. Sophomore Maggie Foltz continued to show she’s one of the most improved players on the Luray team this season as she hit a hat trick of three-pointers and finished the night with 11 points.
Once again, Luray left little doubt which way the game was headed on Friday night after the first eight minutes. The home-standing Bulldogs jumped out to a 34-11 lead behind 18 first-quarter points from Weakley. By the half, Luray lead 49-25.
Brunswick outscored Luray 18-8 in the final frame as LHS head coach Joe Lucas substituted freely and made sure all of his players got some playing time. At least a portion of Luray’s incredible depth down the bench can be credited to large leads all season that have allowed a more equitable distribution of time on the court. It’s also why three-fourths of the team, or more, typically get in the scorebook most games.
The visiting Bulldogs of Brunswick County were lead by 6’2″ sophomore center Alexandria Harrison, who posted a team-high 27 points on the night. With the loss, Brunswick ends their season at 17-8.
With the win, Luray (26-2) will now host Region A champion John Marshall (17-6) in a state semifinal at 6:30 p.m. on Monday night. John Marshall advanced to the semifinal after a 63-60 over Clarke County. If the Eagles had won the state quarterfinal, it would have forced a fifth meeting between Luray and Clarke. Instead, the Bull Run and Region B runner-up finishes the season at 17-10.
The other 2A state semifinal will feature the No. 2 seed Central of Wise (24-5) hosting sixth-seeded Gate City (18-12). The Blue Devils, who faced Luray in the last two state championships, defeated third-seeded Radford, 47-39, on Friday. Central of Wise defeated seventh-seeded Alleghany to get to the Final Four.
Semifinal winners will advance to the 2A state championship, which is slated for 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12 at VCU’s Siegel Center in Richmond.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.