By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 14 — Only one of four local high school basketball teams survived the first round of the Bull Run District Tournament on Monday night. The Luray girls basketball team earned a 58-53 win on the road at Central and will now travel to top-seeded Clarke County on Wednesday for a semifinal matchup. The three over varsity squads will have to wait for seedings later this week for the Region B Tournament, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Luray 58, Central 53
Despite being the fifth seed, Luray was no underdog Monday night in Woodstock. The game proved to be a classic #4/#5 matchup, as it was tied up three different times and saw 10 lead changes.
Senior Jaidyn McClung lead Luray and scored a team-high 21 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Junior Emily Donovan added 12 points — five of those in the final 31 seconds as she hit 5-of-6 at the charity stripe during a crucial stretch to close out the game.
The Bulldogs came out of the gates roaring to a 16-10 lead after the first eight minutes. Luray went 8-for-8 in free throw shooting in the first quarter alone. Other than a couple of three pointers, Central had trouble from the floor, only hitting 4-of-14 in the first.
However, Central outpaced Luray, 13-6, in the second quarter behind a strong effort from junior forward Makenna Painter, who posted a game-high 23 points on the night. Senior Chloe Helsley was also hard to stop in the paint and ended the game with 14. Central held a narrow, 23-22, edge at hafltime.
During the second quarter, Luray could only muster three baskets, but they outscored Central 15-9 in the third. The quarter ended with back-to-back three pointers from Donovan and junior Maggie Foltz to give Luray a five-point, 37-32, advantage heading into the final frame.
The Bulldogs would extend their lead to as much as 10 in the fourth period, but Painter almost kept the home team in the game single-handedly as she scored 10 points in the final eight minutes. A basket by Helsley would bring the Falcons within three points of Luray, 56-53, with only 17 seconds left on the clock. The cool-handed free throw shooting of Donovan kept the Falcons at bay and secured the win for the Bulldogs.
Luray now moves to 11-6 in district play and 14-8 overall. The Bulldogs advance to the Bull Run District Tournament semifinals on Wednesday night, where they will travel to Clarke County (19-4) to take on the top-seeded Eagles.
Central wraps up district play at 10-7 and stand at 14-9 overall. The Falcons now await the seedings for next week’s Region B Tournament.
Rapp 59, Page 54
No. 3 Rappahannock had all they could handle with the Panthers of Page County on Monday night. The sixth-seeded Panthers hit six shots from beyond the arc and went 12-of-15 from the free throw line in a 59-54 quarterfinal round loss on the road.
Senior Alexis Frymyer had one of the best games of her career, posting a team-high 18 points. Freshman Ali Purdham had 11 points in the quarterfinal, while junior Faith Mason added 10.
Page County jumped out to a 16-12 lead in the opening eight minutes. The first quarter ended with three consecutive three-pointers — one by Purdham, and two by Frymyer. Five different Panthers scored in the opening frame.
However, the difference in the game came in the second quarter as Rapp exploded for 22 points, while holding Page to just 13. The Panthers only hit four shots from the floor in the second, while Rapp got six points from freshman Chloe Jenkins and eight from sophomore Brooke Atkins.
The second half proved to be evenly matched as Page held a 15-13 edge in the third, and Rapp closed out a 12-10 advantage in the fourth. The Panthers would only hit three shots from the floor in the final period and could not recover from the second quarter deficit. Rapp gave Page an opportunity to stay close and potentially close the gap after going only 5 for-14 at the free throw line in the final eight minutes.
Rapp had four players finish the game in double-digits. Atkins posted a team-high 13 points, while sophomore Summer Shackleford had 12, Jenkins put in 11 and senior Savannah Loving added 10.
Rapp improves to 12-5 in district play and 15-6 overall. They now advance to the Bull Run Tournament semifinals and will travel to Strasburg (17-6) on Wednesday to take on the Rams.
Page County finishes district play at 8-9 and stand at 11-12 overall. The Panthers now await the seedings of next week’s Region B Tournament.
Madison 70, Luray 61
The final score was not indicative of this quarterfinal matchup as it proved to be much closer than most thought it would be between No. 2 Madison County and No. 7 Luray. The Bulldogs overcame a double-digit deficit early on and closed to within one point of the Mountaineers on three occasions in the final period.
Madison County opened up a 16-0 lead to start the game, but Luray ended the first quarter on a 10-4 run. Despite the Bulldog’s building momentum, the Mountaineers lead 20-10 after the first eight minutes. The second quarter proved to be a stalemate at 15-15 — despite two three-pointers from LHS junior Landon Vile — which still left Luray with a 10-point deficit, 35-25, at the half.
However, Luray freshman Matthew Owens would score all of his 16 points on the night in the second half, including four shots from beyond the arc. Owens hit a pair of free throws with 3:51 remaining that narrowed Madison’s lead to 53-52. The freshman followed 90 seconds later with a 3-pointer, making it a 56-55. Moments later junior Christian Lentz continued his hard work in the paint and hit a bucket that brought the score to 59-57.
At the 1:06 mark, Madison’ three-sport senior Wade Fox hit a pair of free throws that gave the Mountaineers a four-point lead at 61-57. The final 1:06 would see the home team hit 11-of-12 from the free throw line as Luray became forced to foul. As Luray missed a couple of three-point attempts and committed a turnover, Madison was able to slowly extend the lead to win by nine, 70-61.
Lentz lead Luray in one of his stronger performances this season with 17 points, including three key buckets in the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Blake Jenkins added nine points, including two three-pointers and a 3-for-4 effort at the free throw line.
Luray finishes district play at 5-12 and now stands at 6-17 overall. Although Rapp drops back to Class A and Mt. View is out with a record of 1-21…the Bulldogs are potentially “on the bubble” on making the Region B tournament next week with other teams like Buckingham (17-6) and Stuarts Draft (7-13) in the mix.
Madison was lead by junior Seth McLearen with 17 points, which included a perfect 8-for-8 effort at the line. Three other Mountaineers also finished in double-digits as both Fox and junior Bryce Breeden scored 12 points, and junior Billy Acton Jr. added 10.
Madison improves to 14-3 in district play and now stands at 17-6 overall. The Moutaineers now advance to the Bull Run District Tournament semifinals and host East Rockingham on Wednesday night.
East Rock 57, Page 42
Despite losing by a 15-point margin to the third-seeded Eagles in the opening round of the Bull Run Tournament, sixth-seeded Page County was only down by one heading into the fourth quarter, 41-40. However, that’s when the Panthers’ shooting went cold, and East Rock got hot from the floor.
PCHS senior Jacob Martz produced the only bucket for the Panthers in the fourth quarter, as they got outscored 13-2 in the final frame. Senior Jacob Williams again lead Page County with 13 points on the night, while junior Seth Cloude had 12.
The Eagles jumped out to a 15-9 lead in the first quarter and increased their margin to nine points, 26-17, at the half. However, the second half proved volatile as Page exploded in the third quarter on a 23-15 run, but it was East Rock that dominated the final period, 13-2.
The Panthers used a 2-3 zone defense to shut down points in the paint, but the Eagles simply stepped back and hit 10 three-pointers on the night.
East Rock was lead by junior Kain Shifflett with a game-high 23 points, including six three-pointers and a 3-for-4 effort at the charity stripe. Senior Xavier Butler added 13 points.
The Eagles are now 14-3 in district play and stand at 16-7 overall. They will now travel to second-seeded Madison County (17-6) for a Bull Run District Tournament semifinal on Wednesday night.
The Panthers drop to 6-11 in district play and 10-13 overall. Page now awaits its seeding in the Region B Tournament next week.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.