Panthers excel in second half to beat Clarke, advance to Bull Run semifinals

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Sophomore Leah Hilliard eyes up the defense during Friday night's quarterfinal game against Clarke. Hilliard scored 12 points on the night.

By Randy Arrington

SHENANDOAH, Feb. 14 — Page County outscored Clarke 23-8 in the third quarter to outpace the visiting Eagles and take a key opening win in the Bull Run District Tournament.

At the half, the Panthers only led by three.

“We talked at half about how we needed to push the pace,” PCHS head coach E.J. Wyant said after the game. “We play well when we push the pace.”

Clarke went cold in the pivotal third quarter, only hitting 20 percent from the floor while Page created a half dozen turnovers.

The Panthers’ 66-49 win against Clarke advances them to the Bull Run semifinals on Tuesday against Strasburg. The Rams have two forwards in the 6’3” range, and they play to that power in the paint.

“It’s hard to guard that height, but we did well when we went down there until our center fouled out,” Coach Wyant said. “It will be a fast-paced game.”

Page (9-6, 14-9) was led Friday night by sophomore Caris Lucas with 14 points, while fellow sophomore Leah Hilliard scored 12 and junior Morgan Lucas added 11.

Clarke was led by junior Alison Sipe with 15 points. The Eagles had four players in double-digits, as senior Raegan Owens scored 11 and senior Sara Wenzel and sophomore Ellie Brumback each had 10.

The Panthers now need one more tournament win at Strasburg on Tuesday to put them in the title game.

“We need to keep the game fast-paced and stay on the attack,” Coach Wyant said. “We can be really good when we’re in attack mode.”

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