By Randy Arrington
SHENANDOAH — The Page County High School boys basketball team picked up a much-needed win, 65-56, over cross-county rival Luray in a rescheduled game on Wednesday. The win puts the Panthers at 4-7 in the Bull Run District and 5-12 overall with five games remaining. Both teams are fighting to stay in the hunt for a regional playoff berth.
With the loss, Luray falls to 3-7 in the Bull Run and 4-11 overall. The Bulldogs, like most teams across the region, have played fewer games due to weather, as well as COVID protocols that shut the team down for more than a week in January. With five games remaining on the schedule, Luray will try to make up those district games over the next 10 days, including three consecutive games Monday through Wednesday.
The two local teams will meet again for the regular-season finale, when Page travels to Luray on Friday, Feb. 11. Both the girls and boys varsity rivalry games will be played that night in Luray to conclude the regular season. Girls tip-off at 6 p.m. with the boys following at about 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday night marked the first meeting between the two teams this season. Both teams entered the game coming off losses and struggling to get their footing in the district.
The Panthers jumped out to a quick 5-0 start led by two baskets from senior Dylan Hensley. However, a three-pointer from Luray junior Bailey Graybeal jump-started the Bulldogs, who went on a 17-7 run through the rest of the first quarter.
Christian Lentz proved to be the driving force behind the Bulldogs’ momentum swing as the 6’4″ sophomore put up 15 of his game-high 17 points on the night in the first half. Lentz got some help from the consistent play of senior Calder Liscomb, who put up 10 points in the first half en route to 14 for the night.
The Bulldogs scored 17 points in each of the first two frames and took a 34-28 lead into the half. Despite a sluggish, low-scoring third quarter, Luray would outscore the home-standing Panthers in each of the first three periods — but the four quarter would prove to be decisive in this district rivalry matchup.
Page County exploded for 29 points in the final eight minutes with seven different Panthers scoring in the fourth quarter. Page had only hit one basket from the field in the entire third quarter, while going 6-for-8 at the free throw line. But in the final period, the Panthers hit five from the field, three from beyond the arc — as did Luray — while going 10-for-16 at the charity stripe.
PCHS senior Ricky Campbell finished with a game-high 17 points for the Panthers, including seven points in the fourth quarter. Campbell is chasing 1,000 career points and now needs 74 to hit the milestone with a current career tally of 926. The Panthers have five regular season games remaining, plus strong potential for a few postseason games.
Hensley added 13 points on Wednesday night, while junior Jacob Williams had 10. Williams hit two three-pointers in the Panthers’ big fourth quarter. Seniors Caden Good and Chase Parlett, along with junior Hayden Plum, all scored seven points on the night.
Luray was lead by Lentz with 17 points, followed closely by Graybeal with 16 and Liscomb with 14.
Next up for both teams — Page County hosts Clarke tonight (Thursday) and Mt. View on Friday, while Luray travels to Central of Woodstock on Friday.
The Page County boys’ junior varsity squad captured an exciting 48-44 win over Luray in Wednesday evening’s opener.
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
Ricky Campbell and Christian Lentz
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Players of the Game“.
Campbell, a senior guard and All-Region selection from a season ago, lead the Panthers with 17 points in a Bull Run District win, 65-56, over cross-county rival Luray on Wednesday night. Campbell proved to be a catalyst for the Panthers in the decisive fourth quarter, when Page put up 29 points in less than eight minutes among seven players.
Lentz lead Luray in the rivalry game with 17 points, including 15 in the first half that drove the Bulldogs’ momentum to a 34-28 halftime lead. Lentz is clearly performing on the court as one of the best sophomores in the region this season.