Page advances to Region B semifinal with win over Madison, 67-51

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Canaan Pierce v Madison
PCHS senior Canaan Pierce once again lead the Panthers with 22 points and 11 rebounds in their regional quarterfinal win over Madison, 67-51, on Monday.

By Randy Arrington

SHENANDOAH, Feb. 8Page County High School started slow, but finished strong in the quarterfinal round of the Region 2B tournament against Madison County on Monday night.

“We had some first round jitters early on…it’s pretty new for everybody on this team,” PCHS head coach Russ Rodriguez said after the game.

Page graduated seven seniors from last year’s squad, and many members of this year’s team did not have a lot of postseason experience.

“I could feel it and I saw it in their eyes…we looked hesitant at times, a little nervous because we lost Friday night,” Rodriguez said. “But I told them to play on the edge of being reckless.”

Just three days earlier, the Mountaineers had handed the Panthers a 14-point loss, 75-61, on the road to close out the regular season. However, when the Panthers returned home Monday night to host the first round of regional action, they took control and lead almost the entire game en route to a 16-point, 67-51 win.

Coach Rodriguez said Friday’s night’s loss at Madison came the same way the Panthers other two losses were recorded this season — at the tail end of a three-day stretch on a Friday night.

“We even tried to rest some of our guys on Thursday, but then we shot 6-for-29 from beyond the three-point line,” Rodriguez said of Friday night’s game at Madison.

The Mountaineers were outscored in all four quarters on Monday night. After trailing by seven at halftime, 29-22, the sixth-seeded visitors never got closer than nine during the second half.

Madison was lead on the night by junior Dean Breeden with 18 points, including two three-pointers and a 2-for-4 performance at the line. Junior Taylor Fincham added 14 points, hitting 4-of-5 from the line.

The Mountaineers conclude their 2021 season at 8-7.

The Panthers were lead on Monday night by 22 points and 11 rebounds from senior Canaan Pierce, followed 14 points and seven rebounds from junior Ricky Campbell.

Page County (11-3) now advances to the Region 2B semifinals. The third-seeded Panthers will travel to No. 2 Staunton Tuesday night to face the top team in the Shenandoah District. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m.

“[Staunton] will be well-coached,” Rodriguez said, “but there’s something about this group we have that makes me feel good. We’ve have plenty of legs for tomorrow night, and we’ll be ready to go.”

The PVN Sports “Player of the Game” for Monday’s night’s quarterfinal was PCHS senior Canaan Pierce.



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