By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 13 — The Luray High School girls basketball team has shown resilience this week without their two-time All-state senior Emilee Weakley on the court. The Shepherd University signee has been benched this week, along with the LHS varsity boys basketball team, due to COVID protocols.
However, the success and failure of the Lady Bulldogs without last season’s 2A Player of the Year — much like any basketball team — has relied heavily on their ability to find the bottom of the net.
On Monday night, the Bulldogs hit 10 three-pointers, including eight in the first half, en route to a tough 63-53 Bull Run District win on the road at Central. Luray led by as many as 22, but the game was tied at 51 with 4:06 left in the game.
Junior Jayden McClung lead the way for Luray with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Seniors Lexi Vile and Amber Tharpe each added 14 points, while sophomore Emily Donovan had eight.
On Wednesday night, Luray would suffer their second loss of the season — and only the fourth loss in the last three seasons — 53-39, at home to a talented Strasburg team. The Bulldogs only shot 21 percent from the floor on the night, including an 0-for-15 stretch in the fourth quarter. Strasburg’s senior standout Madison Stinnette posted a game-high 20 points, while sophomore sensation Macy Smith added 17.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over 18 times during the game, including seven times in both the first and third quarters. The Rams jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first frame, but Luray made an impressive 10-0 run midway through the second quarter that got them back in the game. The Bulldogs outpaced the Rams in the second quarter 15-8 and carried a narrow 23-22 advantage into the half.
The momentum began to swing back to the visitors in the third quarter as Strasburg outscored Luray 18-11. McClung kept Luray in the battle with eight consecutive points capped off by a Vile three-pointer in the third. McClung would again lead the way in the fourth for Luray, going 4-for-4 from the line, but the ‘Dawgs were only able to scrap together five points in the final frame. Strasburg (9-4, 5-2) extended their lead and took home a 14-point victory over the No. 2 team in Virginia’s 2A.
McClung ended the game with a team-high 19 points, followed by Vile with 10.
Next up, Luray (8-2, 4-1) will travel to Page County on Friday night for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off.
Page boys beat Mt. View, Madison
SHENANDOAH — The Page County High School boys basketball team is getting back on track, winning three in-a-row after an 0-7 start to the season.
On Monday night, the Panthers picked up a dominating 74-47 Bull Run District win over Mt. View. Senior Caleb Knighton posted a team-high 17 points, while seniors Ricky Campbell and Chase Parlett each added 13. It was Page’s second-straight win after defeating Manassas Park, 56-47, in a non-district matchup on Dec. 30.
On Wednesday night, Page County pulled out a third-straight victory, with a 71-62 district win over visiting Madison County as four Panthers finished in double-digits. Knighton again lead the Panthers with 16 points, followed by senior point guard Caden Good and Campbell with 14 points each. Senior Dylan Hensley added 12.
The Mountaineers lead by two points at the end of the first quarter, 14-12, and at the end of the first half, 25-23 — but the second half belonged to the Panthers. Page County outpaced Madison 16-8 in the third period before exploding for 32 points in the fourth quarter. In fact, both teams combined for 61 points in the final eight minutes.
Madison (2-6) was lead by Jackson Taylor with a game-high 22 points, followed by Dean Breeden with 14.
Page County (3-7, 2-3) will next travel to Central (7-4) on Friday night for a game previously scheduled for Jan. 18. The Panthers were originally scheduled to host cross-county rival Luray Friday night, but the LHS boys varsity team has been benched this week due to COVID protocols. After Friday’s game at Central, Page will participate in a tournament on Saturday at Rockbridge High School.
The Panthers will host district-leading East Rockingham (8-3, 6-1) on Monday, weather permitting.
Page girls pick up two wins
SHENANDOAH — After a 34-23 win over Mt. View on Monday night, the Page County High School girls basketball team captured another district win Wednesday night, 44-42, on the road at Madison.
The two-point win over the Mountaineers marks the second-straight victory for Page. The Panthers have now won four of their last five games after a 1-4 start to the season.
Next up, Page County (5-5, 3-2) will host cross-county rival Luray at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. With the JV squads squaring off Thursday night and the boys game canceled, the girls varsity game will be the only contest of the night at PCHS. With the Bulldogs having their best player out due to COVID protocols, it should be a highly contested matchup.
In a flurry of rescheduling that all schools are facing amid winter weather and COVID issues, Page County is scheduled to host Central this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. On Monday, they travel to East Rockingham (weather permitting) for a district game rescheduled from Jan. 6.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.