Sports Briefs: After tough week, Lady Panthers are tough on Madison

The Lady Panthers ended last week’s triple-game challenge with a satisfying home-court win over Madison County Friday night (Feb. 4). With a Wednesday night loss to Strasburg (Feb. 2), followed by a fall to George Mason on Thursday (Feb. 3), the victory was most sweet.

On the road in Strasburg, Rappahannock lost, 41-25. The Rams “jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead,” coach Robbie Thornhill said, “but we fought off the initial charge and only trailed, 7-4, at the end of the first quarter.

“In the second quarter, we played pretty evenly, but the fouls started to add up. With three minutes to go in the third quarter, we trailed, 25-24. Joslyn [Smith] picked up her fourth foul and had to sit the rest of the quarter and about two minutes of the fourth. The girls trailed, 31-24, when I gambled and put her back in . . . only to have the refs foul her out on the next possession. We only scored one point the whole fourth quarter.” Overall, Brittani Dodson shot for eight points and Lauren Settle seven.

Thursday’s road trip to George Mason brought a 78-21 loss. The Mustangs “had too much athleticism and length,” coach Thornhill explained. “Mason had four starters who were as tall or taller than our tallest. However, the girls did not back down. They played hard.” Lauren Light netted seven points, Shelby Thornhill six, and Settle scored five.

The Mountaineer meltdown was certainly a welcome outcome on Friday night. Panthers dominated in a 44-19 victory. “I have been waiting for that kind of effort all year,” coach Thornhill gushed. “The girls played hard and aggressive all game. Teamwork on passing, rebounding and overall defense drove us to outscore them, 18-0, in the second quarter. With only six players and our fourth game in five days, the girls really dug down deep and played their hearts out.

“Lauren Settle has been handling the ball more and has done an outstanding job protecting the ball and beating teams’ pressure. Paula [Accioly] has had added playing time with Olivia [Hayden-Pless] not here all week. Paula stepped up to play her best game of the year against Madison: 10 points and 14 rebounds. Joslyn added 12 points and Settle chipped in 10. Shelby gave us seven. We were 15-23 from the foul line; finally, our free throws fell. What a team effort!”

The Lady Panthers celebrated their senior team members and hosted Manassas Park Wednesday night (Feb. 9) for the final season competition. Results will appear in next week’s paper.
— Melissa Delcour

Varsity boys all MVPs in their coach’s view

And now, the end is near.

It cannot come any faster for the Rappahannock County High School boys varsity basketball team, too.

Winless this season. Playing with five or six dressed for every game.

With little chance of a big upset in the Group A Bull Run District tournament this weekend, Rappahannock County head coach Terrence Johnson said that it is time for the season to end.

“I commend these kids, these five or six kids, for staying strong all season,” he said. “They were the most dedicated in this school. All these kids deserve most valuable players’ trophies. They’ve stuck it out when they are getting blown out by 50 or 70 points every time.”

Tuesday night (Feb. 8) was no exception. Tyree Durr scored 16 points and Manassas Park had four players in double figures in its 76-26 win over the visiting Panthers.

The Cougars connected on six, three-pointers and rolled out to a 46-7 halftime lead.

Senior David Williams led the Panthers with eight points.

“We’ve stuck with our game plan all the way this season,” Johnson added. “I praise these kids for that. They are working and playing all the way to the end of the game.”

Thursday night (Feb. 3), George Mason had three players in double figures and scored a 77-21 win over Rappahannock County. Sophomore Isaac Berry led the Panthers with eight points.
— Christine Krapf

Sperryville student on Juniata dean’s list

Among the 363 students Juniata College named to its dean’s list for the 2010 fall semester is sophomore Leah Michelle Tester of Sperryville. The dean’s list recognizes grade point averages of at least 3.6 out of a possible 4.0.

The daughter of Howard and Kathleen Tester, Leah is studying environmental science at the Pennsylvania school, and is a 2009 graduate of Fauquier High School.

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