Luray headed back to 2A state championship after 59-point win in semifinal

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Jaidyn McClung
LHS standout Jaidyn McClung goes to the basket in the 2021 state semifinal at King William. McClung only scored two points in the game, but put up a season-high 22 in the Region 2B title game.

By Randy Arrington

KING WILLIAM, Feb. 17 — The Luray High School girls basketball team keeps getting better, and that’s saying something for a team that ran through the Region 2B tournament defeating their opponents by an average margin of 32 points over three games.

On Wednesday, the Bulldogs traveled to Region 2A champion King William for the semifinal round of the state tournament. Luray continued to show dominance, this time winning by a margin of 59 points and scoring over 80 for the first time this season.

The 82-23 win over the Cavaliers puts the Bulldogs in the 2A state championship for the second-straight year — and they could be facing the same opponent. Defending state champion Gate City (Region D champ) was scheduled to play Glenvar (Region C) in the other 2A semifinal. The winner of that bracket will host the state championship, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20 (weather permitting).

There was never really any doubt in the state semifinal game on Wednesday, as Luray jumped out to a 15-3 lead after the first eight minutes and took a 39-14 lead into the half.

LHS junior Emilee Weakley lead the Bulldogs once again with 27 points.

“Her motor sets her apart,” LHS head coach Joe Lucas said of last season’s first-team, All-State selection. “She goes 100 miles per hour all the time; she plays hard the entire game.”

Weakley sat out the fourth quarter after putting up 17 points in the first half. With a comfortable lead, Coach Lucas began to substitute freely in the second half — a luxury he has used this season to develop depth and experience in his already experienced and mature squad.

“It’s huge when we can get other people [besides Weakley] involved in the game. We want to spread it around, especially if the other team is focusing on Emilee,” Coach Lucas said.

The Bulldogs had nine players score in the first half. Senior Brynlee Burrill exploded in the third quarter with 16 points, including four three-pointers, as Luray went on a 31-5 run in the period. Burrill finished with 25.

The Bulldogs lead by 51 points heading into the final eight minutes and added eight more points to that margin in the fourth quarter with starters on the bench. Sophomore Lindsay Bly scored seven of her nine points in the final quarter.

King William came into the game after only playing five games this season. The Cavaliers won four-straight games between Jan. 11-25, before losing their final regular season game to Poquoson, 46-40, on Feb. 3. In the state semifinal on Wednesday, the home team didn’t have a player score more than five points. The Cavs end the season at 4-2.

Luray (12-0) advances to the 2A state championship on Saturday at either Glenvar or Gate City. Many are expecting a rematch from last year’s state championship, with both teams bringing back almost the exact same teams.

“Gate City returned everyone…they have one loss…and they are loaded,” Coach Lucas said of his potential opponent.

Gate City will be lead by Division I prospect, senior point guard Sarah Thompson, who posted a strong performance in last year’s state title game.

“We’ve got to play really well…it’s the best two teams in the state, whoever we play,” Coach Lucas said after Wednesday’s win.

“We know to win the state championship, it has to be a team effort.”



Bulldogs roll to 30-point win in Region 2B championship

Luray advances to Region B championship versus Staunton

Luray moves to 7-0 with second win over Page, 66-51

Bulldogs move to 3-0 with win over visiting Strasburg

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