SHENANDOAH, Jan. 30 — The Page County Panthers took back sole control of second place in the Bull Run District with a come-from-behind, 63-52, victory over Clarke at home Tuesday night. Previously tied with the Panthers, Rappahannock dropped a home matchup the same night to district-leading Strasburg, 52-33. That leaves Page County alone in second place with a district record of 8-3.
Page County’s Faith Mason once again lead the Panthers in scoring with 23 points. Sophomore Ali Purdham chalked up 17 on the night, including three consecutive three-pointers in the first quarter. Senior Adryn Martin added 12.
Clarke County jumped out to a 9-0 start and closed out the first frame with a 14-11 lead behind seven points from 6’0″ sophomore Alainah McKavish. Purdham’s hat trick of three-pointers kept Page in the game early despite seven turnovers in the first eight minutes. The second quarter was fairly even with Page getting six of its 10 points from Mason. The Eagles extended their lead and took a 26-21 advantage into halftime.
The third quarter also proved a back-and-forth battle that saw the Panthers climb to within three, but Clarke would lead by eight heading into the fourth, 44-36.
The final frame proved decisive as Page County went on a 27-8 run to close out the game, including a 9-of-12 performance at the free throw line in the final 1:38. The Panthers committed 18 turnovers on the night — but only one in the fourth quarter. While the Eagles hit about 50 percent of their shots through three quarters, the visitors would only connect on three of 13 shots in the final eight minutes, while also committing six turnovers in the fourth.
Clarke was lead by McKavish with 20 points, followed by senior Kaiya Williams with 15. Overall the Eagles shot 41 percent from the floor and went 5-for-10 from the line, while committing 22 turnovers.
A big reason for Clarke’s double-digit turnovers was the Panther defense. Senior Taryn Eppard recorded four steals to go along with her four points. Fourth quarter shooting helped bring up offensive stats, as Page went from 33 percent shooting in the first half to 75 percent in the second, for an overall mark of 54 percent from the floor. The Panthers hit 11-of-18 from the line.
The win marks Page County’s second-straight after defeating Luray on Saturday. The Panthers (8-3, 12-8) will now close out the regular season with three road games — Rappahannock (7-4, 14-4) on Thursday, before heading to Strasburg (11-0, 17-2) and Luray (4-6, 6-12) in the final week.
Tuesday’s win also marks payback for the Panthers loss in Berryville, 55-51, on Jan. 5. The Eagles have now lost three in-a-row and will next host Luray on Thursday before traveling to Central on Friday.
For schedules, rosters and results, check the Bull Run District website.