In December, most basketball teams are trying to still find an identity and a rhythm. That process can be further complicated by some key injuries.
A pair of beat up squads faced off Tuesday night when Orange County found a way to win 57-51 over Western Albemarle.
“We’ve got to clean (things) up, but when you’re playing tough teams, you take the ‘W’ and you go home,” said Orange coach David Rabe.
Rabe’s squad was without the services of Chardonnay Johnson and Madison Barber and learned even heavier than usual on an experienced core, getting off to an 11-2 start before Western scraped back into the game. The Hornets’ scoring core stepped up though, with Rebecca Harvey scoring 14 points, 15 points from Markiana Smith and 12 points from Laine Harrington.
“Western never backed down, they were always pushing us offensive down the court and defensively down the court,” Rabe said. “We didn’t have a chance to set up what we wanted to set up. They took us out of our game plan.”
The Warriors, who were down to just eight players available against the Hornets after Eleri Hayden suffered a painful knee injury last week, got some offense going, with Anna Sumpter going for 21 points and Deja Newton-Grant scoring 12. After three quarters the Warriors trailed by just four. Down the stretch though, turnovers and the Warriors’ thin bench seemed to hamstring Western.
“I told them this last year too, we’re not really into this feeling sorry for ourselves thing,” said Western coach Kris Wright. “We have who we have and we’ll play. Do we have to chance how we play because of where the injuries occurred? Yes, so we have done that and it’s going to take a little while to adjust to that but we can win playing that way.”
The Warriors employed a particularly guard heavy lineup and brought a lot of defensive pressure throughout the battle with the Hornets.
Orange will travel to take on Spotsylvania Thursday night in an out-of-district clash while Western will host Charlottesville Friday.
Buckingham edges Bluestone
With a one-two scoring punch of Leon Ragland and Hassan Swann, Buckingham’s boys basketball team beat Bluestone, the defending James River District champion, 61-55 Tuesday night.
Ragland exploded for 23 points and three steals. Swann had a monster night with 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Michael Allen chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds to go with his three blocks and three steals in the win.
STAB girls edge LCA
St. Anne’s-Belfield’s girls basketball team snagged a big road victory Monday night, beating Liberty Christian 59-53.
STAB was down 42-38 after three quarters but pulled away with a 21-point final frame to secure the win.
Bri Tinsley exploded for 24 points, five assists and six steals. Tinsley committed just two turnovers too, helping to minimize the Saints’ mistakes. Ashley Taylor finished with 15 points, three steals and seven rebounds. Mailynn Steppe had 11 points and five rebounds.
Western Albemarle boys beat Orange
Western Albemarle made short work of Orange County Tuesday night with a 60-36 win over the Hornets.
Chris McGhern set the pace for the Warriors with a 19-point night, hitting three 3-pointers on the night. Carrington Murphy finished with 12 points as well.
John Gillum led Orange with 10 points in the loss.