LURAY, Dec. 19 — Despite three early losses to Class 3 opponents, the Page County girls basketball team opened up the Bull Run District schedule on Tuesday night with a dominating, 62-46, win over the Mountaineers of Madison County.
Page County opened up the first quarter on a 23-9 run, shooting over 70 percent from the floor with five different Panthers contributing points. Senior Adryn Martin poured in eight points and caused a turnover on defense, while fellow senior Bailee Gaskins added six points and two steals.
The Mountaineers would hold the home team to only seven points in the second frame and outscore them 11-7. Page shot a dismal 3-for-16 during the second quarter. However, Madison struggled as well, and would only hold the lead for about 16 seconds midway into the first quarter after going 3-for-12 from the floor in the first frame and 4-of-15 in the second. The Panthers still held a 10-point, 30-20, lead at halftime.
Page County then went on an 18-7 run in the third quarter to extend their lead to 21 and entered the final eight-minute period up 48-27. The Panthers shot 6-for-13 from the floor in the third. However, in the final 12 minutes of the game, 18 of Page’s 22 points were scored from the free throw line. In fact, the Panthers did not even take a shot from the floor in the fourth quarter. Madison won the final eight-minute period 19-14, shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
While going 4-of-8 (50 percent) from the stripe in the first half, the Panthers hit 19 of 28 free throw opportunities (68 percent) in the second half to help seal the 16-point district win, 62-46. The only misstep for Page on the night was committing six turnovers in the fourth quarter, while only having one turnover in the third and playing flawless in the first half.
Although she only scored four points in the first quarter and two in the second, senior Faith Mason posted 13 second-half points and lead Page with 19. Mason played strong on both sides of the ball and has been a true leader for the Panthers this season. Fellow seniors Martin and Gaskins both contributed 16 points each. Sophomore Ali Purdham had six. Page hit 44 percent of their shots in the game.
Madison was lead by two senior “Avas” — senior Ava Hettinger scored 20 points, while senior Ava Jenkins added 15. The Mountaineers hit less than 30 percent of their shots.
While the Panthers went 3-3 against Class 3 competition in the early going (including two losses to Turner Ashby), Page County (4-3) is now poised to make a run through the Bull Run. Next up, the Panthers travel to Mountain View on Thursday night (Dec. 21) before traveling to Strasburg for a holiday tournament next week.
Madison County (1-6) recorded its only win at home over Class 3 William Monroe from neighboring Greene County on Dec. 8. They lost their only other district game to Luray, 52-39, at home on Dec. 12. Next up, the Mountaineers will participate in a holiday tournament in Charlottesville. Madison is scheduled to face Fluvanna on Thursday (Dec. 21) and Monticello on Friday (Dec. 22).
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.