By Randy Arrington
SHENANDOAH, Jan. 19 — The Page County Panthers took a tough loss to Clarke County on Thursday night by a 28-point margin that extends the Panthers losing streak to three, all within the Bull Run District.
PCHS junior Seth Cloude and senior Hayden Plum combined for 24 points on the night, with 12 each. In all, the scoring for the home team was spread out among eight Panthers, but Clarke’s ability to secure offensive rebounds and take multiple shots kept them ahead the entire game.
The Eagles came into Thursday night’s game off a 43-38 loss to Central on Tuesday, in which Clarke only scored one point in the opening quarter, and at one point during the game, only hit one of 18 shots from the floor. Thursday night was a little different as the Eagles hit 40 percent of their shots in the opening quarter and nearly 63 percent in the second frame. The visitors held a five-point lead at the end of the first, 14-9, and extended that to a 16-point advantage by halftime, 36-20.
Despite the Panthers hitting about 50 percent from the floor in the first half, they only took half as many shots as Clarke. The Eagles scored a significant number of their points on offensive put backs. Clarke also saw more possessions due to 10 turnovers by Page County in the first half — they would have 18 on the night.
Clarke stayed hot in the second half, hitting 60 percent from the floor in the third quarter as they outscored Page 19-15 to build a 20-point lead, 55-35, heading into the final eight minutes. Plum scored seven points for Page in the third quarter, while also recording a block and a steal.
The Eagles doubled up the home team, 16-8, in the final frame as seven different Clarke players scored in the eight-minute period.
Behind Cloude and Plum, who supplied more than half of Page’s points, senior Logan Heiston and freshman Isaac Foltz each scored five, while senior Brent Paul Campbell added three.
Clarke County had four players in double-digits with junior Louis Marino posting a game-high 16 points, followed by junior William Booker with 13 points, senior Tyler Sanson with 12 and senior Nate Thompson with 11.
With the loss, Page County drops to 7-9 overall and 3-7 in the Bull Run District. Next up, the Panthers travel to Madison County (11-4) on Monday night, before hosting Mt. View (0-14) on Wednesday and traveling to Rappahannock (6-9) on Friday.
Thursday night’s game against Clarke was the fifth game the Panthers have played without head coach Russ Rodriguez on the sideline. Assistant coach Nathan Lucas has taken over the program for the remainder of the year, along with assistant coaches Jeremy McCoy, Trevor Williams and Derek Pettit.
“Coach Rodriguez will not be available for the remainder of the season,” PCHS Athletic Director Bill Simmons said following Thursday night’s game. Simmons would not comment further about the longtime coach’s absence, but stated: “We just want to move forward and focus on the remainder of the season.”
With Thursday night’s win, Clarke County moves to 9-7 overall and 6-4 in the Bull Run. Next up, the Eagles will be hosting East Rockingham (9-4) on Monday.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
Louis Marino and Seth Cloude
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Players of the Game“.
Marino posted a game-high 16 points on the night, including a couple of three-pointers. Cloude scored in all four quarters and lead the Panthers with 12 points, while providing some key rebounds in the paint.