By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 11 — It’s been quite a turnaround for the Page County High School boys basketball team, who have gone from an 0-7 start to now sitting at fourth in the Bull Run District and hosting a quarterfinal round game Monday night.
The Panthers finished the regular season winning five of their last six, including a 64-57 victory over county-rival Luray on the road Friday night. Page was lead by senior Ricky Campbell, who posted a game-high 28 points. The All-Region selection from a season ago added a special moment to the game when action was stopped in the second quarter to mark the 1,000th point of his career. Campbell reached the milestone after hitting a third consecutive three-pointer.
The Bulldogs put up a solid fight against the rising Panthers despite missing their standout senior and leading scorer Calder Liscomb, who recently suffered a death in the family. Luray was within one point of Page before Campbell hit from beyond the arc to give the visitors a four-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 14-10.
Luray went point-for-point with Page in the second frame, 21-21, but it wasn’t easy. The Panthers hit four three-pointers, including two from Campbell and one each from seniors Dylan Hensley and Caden Good. However, Luray sophomore Landon Vile had an answer — a trio of three-pointers of his own. In addition, LHS sophomore Christian Lentz began to dominate in the paint, putting up eight points in the second quarter.
The evenly matched second period left Page County still holding a four-point lead heading into the half, 35-31.
After both teams hit for a combined 11 three-pointers in the first half, the long ball cooled off and much of the second half was decided underneath the basket and at the free throw line. The Panthers shot 11-for-13 from the charity stripe in the second half, including 7-of-8 in the decisive fourth quarter.
Page increased its lead to eight by the end of the third quarter, 49-41, as Luray turned the ball over 10 times in the second half. Lentz continued to play strong underneath the basket, along with a strong fourth quarter showing from LHS senior James Cash. But the Panthers’ tough defense that helped create some of those turnovers combined with a consistent offense was too much down the stretch.
Despite being outscored 16-15 over the last eight minutes, Page County held on to win and secure home court advantage when the Bull Run District Tournament tips off on Monday. Behind Cambell’s 28 points, Hensley finished the night with 14 for the Panthers. Lentz lead the Bulldogs with 24, while Vile finished with 15.
With the win, the Panthers (8-8, 9-13) lock up fourth place and will likely host Madison on Monday night in the district quarterfinal.
With the loss, the Bulldogs (4-11, 4-16) remain the eighth seed in the district tournament and will likely have to travel to No. 1 East Rockingham on Monday night for a quarterfinal matchup. Including Saturday’s game with Madison, Luray played seven of their 17 games this season in the last 11 days due to previously postponed games from winter weather and COVID protocols.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
Ricky Campbell and Christian Lentz
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Players of the Game“.
Campbell lead the Panthers with a game-high 28 points against the Bulldogs on Friday night, while Lentz scored 24 for Luray.