By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 7 — The Bulldogs of Luray leaned on a stellar performance from a pair of seniors to capture a key Bull Run District win, 54-43, over second-place Strasburg on Tuesday. Lindsay Bly and Jaidyn McClung made the most of Senior Night by combining for 34 points — 17 each — and providing strong leadership on the court in the Bulldog’s home finale.
Bly posted one of the best performances of her career and was highly effective in the paint on both sides of the court. She combined with McClung for 13 of Luray’s 17 points in the opening quarter. The Bulldogs played with a lot of intensity in the opening eight minutes and lead 17-10 after the first quarter.
Strasburg’s standout junior Macy Smith dominated the Rams’ scoring in the first half, producing seven of their 10 first quarter points and 12 of the team’s 14 points in the second frame. The Rams outpaced the home team 14-12 in the second quarter, but Luray still held a five-point advantage, 29-24, at halftime.
Both teams struggled to score in the third period and ended the eight minutes in a 7-7 deadlock. One key difference in the third was that Smith went scoreless. Luray junior Jillian Parlett was tasked with guarding Smith most of the night, and despite only hitting one free throw on the evening, Parlett’s defense proved to be a key factor in the game.
Maintaining a five-point cushion, 36-31, heading into the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs won the game down the stretch by improving their efforts at the charity stripe. In the first 25 minutes of the game, Luray went a dismal 3-for-17 at the foul line. However, in the final six minutes, the Bulldogs hit 11-of-15 free throws as Strasburg began to foul in order to stop the clock and stretch the game out.
During that stretch junior Emily Donovan went 4-for-4 at the line. Donavan hit critical baskets all night and posted a total of 13 points on the night. Junior Maggie Foltz ended with six points, and along wit McClung, hit a three-pointer.
The Rams were once again lead by Smith, who posted 23 points in the night — 19 in the first half. No other Ram had more than five points.
With the big district win, Luray moves to 13-7 overall and 10-5 in the Bull Run District. Next up is final tough test on the road at Clarke on Friday night. The Eagles are sitting on top at 12-3 in district play. Currently, Luray sits in a three-way tie for third place in the district at 10-5 with Central and Rappahannock.
With the loss, Strasburg drops to 15-6 overall and 11-4 in the Bull Run. Next up, the Rams will host Central (14-7) on Thursday, Feb. 9.
The Bull Run District Tournament gets underway with the higher seed hosting the quarterfinal round on Monday, Feb. 13; followed by the semifinal round on Wednesday, Feb. 15; and the district championship on Friday, Feb. 17.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.
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