Panthers fall short in tough battle with Rapp

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By Randy Arrington

SHENANDOAH, Dec. 24 — Despite a solid effort against tough opponents, the Page County High School boys basketball team is still searching for its first win of the 2021-22 season. The Panthers suffered a hard-fought, 63-54, loss last Saturday at Staunton in the Roger Bergey Classic, before dropping a 70-59 Bull Run District matchup with Rappahannock at home Thursday night.

Once again facing a larger school in the early portion of the schedule, Page played one of its best games of the season on Saturday as they went toe-to-toe with the Storm on the road. Senior Ricky Campbell lead the Panthers at Staunton with 17 points, while senior Dylan Henlsey had 14 and senior Caleb Knighton added 11.

On Thursday night, Page County handled one of the best 1A teams in Virginia for the first two quarters, taking a 17-15 lead after the first frame and holding a 31-28 advantage at the half. Rappahannock is currently ranked No. 9 in Division 1 and is expected to make a run at a state title. While Rapp competes with 2A schools in the Bull Run District, they break off into 1A competition in the postseason and have already recorded a win over the much larger Gainesville High School.

Hensley posted 13 of his team-high 15 points on the night in the first half of Thursday’s district game, as the home-standing Panthers hit about 50 percent from the floor over the first two periods. The game was tied five different times in the first half, with 11 lead changes, and it ended in a flurry of three consecutive three-pointers for Page by Campbell, senior point guard Caden Good and Hensley.

In the third quarter, Rappahannock began to lean on their two big men in the paint — 6’5″ senior Mason Ramey and 6’8″ sophomore Nolan Prince. Rapp out scored Page 23-10 over the opening eight minutes of the second half, as Prince scored eight of his 14 points on the night in the third.

Page County would nearly match the visiting Panthers in the fourth quarter behind four three-pointers provided by Knighton (2), Campbell and senior Caden Lucas. However, the third quarter proved to be the difference as Rapp held on to win by 11 points, 70-59.

Rapp (5-2) was lead by standout senior guard Grant Lillard with a game-high 16 points. Next up, they host Meridian on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Following Henlsey’s 15 points for Page County, Good added 10 while Campbell had eight on Thursday. Next up, Page (0-6) will participate in a tournament in Orange County on Dec. 28 and Dec. 30.

For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.

•••

The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected

Grant Lillard and Dylan Hensley

as the Blue Ridge Bank “Players of the Game“.

Lillard, a senior guard, lead Rapp with a game-high 16 points.

Hensley, a senior forward, lead Page County with 15 points, including 13 in the first half.

•••

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