School and Sports News for Feb. 9

RCHS students choose the best root

FUTURE ETYMOLOGISTS, or at least some of RCHS’ winners in a recent National Classical Etymology Exam, are (from left): Ritchie Pratt, Allison Stuart, Sarah Davis, Nich Hipple, James MacLeod and Britt Hipple.Savannah Grammo
FUTURE ETYMOLOGISTS, or at least some of RCHS’ winners in a recent National Classical Etymology Exam, are (from left): Ritchie Pratt, Allison Stuart, Sarah Davis, Nich Hipple, James MacLeod and Britt Hipple.

Eight Rappahannock County High School students won awards in the National Classical Etymology Exam (NCEE), a nationwide test taken by students of Latin and Greek. This Tuesday (Feb. 7), RCHS celebrated several participants. Robert Yowell, Sarah Davis, and Nicky Taylor brought home bronze medals. Silver medal winners were Nicholas Hipple, James MacLeod, Richard Pratt, and Britt Hipple. The gold medal winner was Allison Stuart.

On the exam, students fielded questions on prefix, root, and suffix forms of words with Latin or Greek etymology. An example of an easier question is: “Choose the word which best means ‘to come between’.” The possible answers are: supervene, convene, contravene, and intervene. The correct answer is intervene.

An example of a more difficult question is: “The English word ‘incision’ is derived from what Latin word?” The answer choices are: cis, cisium, cado, caedo. The correct answer is caedo.

RCHS had 38 students compete in the NCEE this year – the first year the local school division offered it. “All of those testing were Latin students,” sponsor and Latin teacher James Sharpe said. “This year, the test offered a new category available for non-Latin/Greek students with verbose vocabularies, who are well-versed in English elocution.” Rappahannock students fared well.

Stuart captured her third medal in Latin competitions, and Nich Hipple his second. Yowell and Britt Hipple have previously won Latin certificate awards as well.

No more wins but respect for Lady Panthers

Lady Panthers balanced their final week of Bull Run District play with one travel game and one at home. They ended their season with losses: Central Woodstock (58-22) on Friday (Feb. 3) and William Monroe (46-15) on Monday (Feb. 6).

“Central was a decent contest,” coach Rich Hogan said. “We were down by 15 at the half and couldn’t regain the margin. First quarter often determines the pace of the game and the officiating. It’s difficult for our young, inexperienced team to close the scoring gap that we find ourselves in.”  

After Monday night’s contest against William Monroe, captain Lauren Light had some thoughts about her team and the game. “Last time we played them, they were really aggressive, especially down low on the blocks. We started with a 2-3 defense, so we were trying to get the big ones shut down. We were forcing their wings by shutting down the middle and forcing them to take the shots. We did that, but then they made all the outside shots. So, we changed to 3-2 defense, and that worked a lot better. Their first quarter was the beginning of the end when they got way ahead of us

“On offense, we started running plays that weren’t penetration plays but attempts to make cuts to the basket. So, we were going for the lay-ups. We ended up with a couple of really nice shots. Maddie started making shots down low, so they started covering her. Then we started using our picks, and that started working.

“Personally, my shot was really, really off. I literally only scored only eight the entire game. There was a point when I stopped taking shots for a while and just passed it out to the wings. Maria made a three-pointer for the first time in the season, so that was good.”

“William Monroe was aggressive, but they were good sportsman. They just outplayed us. Near the end of fourth quarter, my shots came back, and that’s when I scored most of my points. We started to come alive a little more.As a team, we have improved significantly since last time we played them. Plus, the gym was a full house. It was great to have all that community support. To see all our administrators in the crowd plays a big role at the end of the game.  That was so encouraging.”

“Throughout this whole season, I was so impressed with how everyone stepped up to the plate and played as hard as they can. To me, that’s respectable. We worked really hard in practice and played really hard. I just love this sport, and I think others are falling in love with it, too. A win would be nice, but I think the most important part is how much we’ve grown and how close we are to each other.

“All in all, the girls kept their heads up and tried their best each outing,” Hogan said. “On a side note, the Bull Run District has the six largest Single A enrollment figures in the state. Against William Monroe, Mason and Central, we face a huge difference in number. And unlike our fine community whose advocates may say you only need five to play basketball . . . well, they have no idea what they are speaking of. These are not excuses, just reality.

“The girls are wonderful,” Hogan said, “and I really enjoy coaching girls team. Both boys and girls teams have enjoyed traveling and supporting each other; that has made a difficult season a bit more bearable. I have certainly appreciated Terrence [Johnson] helping me and would like to give a special shout out to Mr. [Scott] Wilde for his help and company on the road.”

Boys varsity ‘family’ ends a tough season

The determined Rappahannock boys basketball team closed out their season with two consecutive losses. On Friday night (Feb. 3), the team put up a Panther-style fight against the Central Woodstock Falcons (90-47) and followed with a home-court bout against the William Monroe Dragons (73-20) on Monday night (Feb. 6).

In their previous meeting with Central Woodstock, the Panthers fell, 83-29. In their recent confrontation, the boys determined to press on for the higher score. “I was truly proud of them,” coach Terrence Johnson said. “They played hard and earned those 47 points.”

Bradlee Frye overwhelmingly earned the high score accolades with his impressive 24 points. Evan Hitt and Brian Baumgardner shared the second slot with six points each. Ben Estes added five. Grayson Love and Tanyon Lee shot for three points apiece.

Monday night, at home, Rappahannock defended its turf against William Monroe. Score totals were down, but the Panther Pride remained fully intact.

“The game started off pretty tough,” senior J.J. Butler said. “They went on like a 25-4 run on us. The first half was pretty bad for us. After half time, we started passing the ball more and making smarter decisions. We started putting points on the board. I missed two three-pointers, but I was rebounding and trying to get the ball.

“My season’s been all right,” Butler said. “I didn’t score as much as I wanted to, but it was pretty good overall. I had fun this year. All of us together doing stuff after school made it more like a family instead of team.”

Baumgardner led the team with eight points. Tim Ridgeway added three. Butler, Hitt, Estes and Frye contributed two each. Love earned one point.

JP boys basketball: headed for semis

Junior Panther boys were ready for some basketball on Monday night (Feb. 6) in their quarterfinal game against Winchester Academy. They dominated the court and won 59-26. “I have been waiting for this game all year,” coach Robbie Thornhill said. “The kids played great.”

Gavin Jenkins, with 12 points, led the Panthers in scoring. Michael Cooke and Jackson Strickler each had 10. Evan Marcus shot for eight. “Cooke played excellent defense  against their best player, holding him to only two baskets for the game. It was a great team win,” Thornhill said.

“We play Tuesday in the semis,” Thornhill said. “It only took us 16 games, but all the hard work paid off. The kids played the best game of the year at the right time. Now . . . it’s playoff time!”

Thursday night (Feb. 9), JP Panthers travel to Randolph Macon Academy for the semifinals. The game begins at 5:15 p.m.