The Rappahannock County High School Panthers earned first place in the Conference 43 tournament at Colonial Beach High School on Jan. 11, qualifying them to return for Regionals on Feb. 1. The day began with a 200-160 win over seventh-seeded Northumberland County, followed by a 170-150 win over third-seeded Lancaster and a 170-130 win over top-seeded Essex.
The exciting championship match pitted Rappahannock against Rappahannock — as RCHS took on Rappahannock High School and won, 210-130. “Many of these other teams in the tournament were essentially one-player teams. The Panthers are unique in that we have more than just one player that scores points,” said head coach Dave Naser.
The matches consisted of 30 toss-up questions, where the fastest buzzer-finger, as well as overall knowledge, is emphasized. A team round is held between the two toss-up rounds, allowing players to consult with their teammates before answering.
Junior team captain James MacLeod scored 320 points in the toss-up rounds, accounting for more than a quarter (27 percent) of all asked questions and receiving MVP honors for the tournament (as well as a place on the all-conference first team). Senior R.T. Leake scored 120 points and earned a place on the all-conference second team; Jon Streu scored 60 and Henry Mason scored 40 to round out the Panthers’ point total. While it’s much more difficult to tally team points, Jane Purnell and Nicky Taylor also helped in the Panthers’ victory.
“I thought the team performed in a superlative fashion,” said MacLeod. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team. I was confident that we would move on to regionals, but our total victory was pleasantly surprising. Furthermore, it’s a reflection of the superior quality of our coaches and the hard work which every team member put forth, considering the fact that most of the team are new this this season.”
“Considering everyone but James [MacLeod] were first-year players, I’m quite impressed by the depth of our team, and I’m confident about our chances at regionals,” said Naser, who was named Conference Coach of the Year. “There is lots of young talent on our team — I regret that not everyone can play, but when you’re playing for a championship, you have to use your best. The rest can watch and learn.”
The team will be officially recognized at the February school board meeting for their accomplishments.
Varsity girls’ basketball: The Wakefield Country Day School Lady Owls hosted Foxcroft School for a non-conference game on Jan. 9. In their first game back from break, the Owls found themselves down 23-17 at halftime. Foxcroft’s size proved problematic for the girls, as Foxcroft scored a number of second-chance points. Despite a slight lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Owls eventually lost 42-38. Individual stats weren’t available for this game, though Emily Hennessy and Maeve Dale both had strong overall games, scoring in transition and nabbing several rebounds. Their record is 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the DAC.
The Lady Owls were also ranked eighth overall in the first VISAA Division III State poll — one of five Delaney Athletic Conference (DAC) schools who are ranked or are receiving votes in the three different divisions. Congratulations to the players and coaches for their XX-th straight year of state rankings.
Varsity boys’ basketball: The Owls hosted Front Royal Christian School for a non-conference game on Jan. 9, holding the Warriors to just two points in the first quarter. Another strong defensive quarter netted the boys a 20-6 at the half, despite being down one starter. The Owls controlled the game the rest of the way, eventually winning 54-29. Alex Foster led the way with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Michael Stone was also in double figures with 11 points. Sean Brown pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with six points and two steals. Gage Landis contributed seven points and Tim Johns had a team-high seven assists while adding six points. Max Lilburn and Nick Leskovec scored their first baskets of the season. Their record is 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the DAC.
The WCDS Athletes of the Month for December are Maeve Dale and Lucas DuMez.
Dale led the Lady Owls to a 4-0 record to begin the season; she has been the leading scorer in all but one game, averaging 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She had four double-doubles to begin the season and scored a season-high 24 points in the team’s 39-21 season opening victory over Fresta Valley Christian School. Dale reached a career milestone and set a school record by scoring her 1,000th career point against Emmanuel Christian School, becoming the first girl in school history to reach that milestone and joining former Owls Pat Dale, Andrew Smith and Brian Shafran in the 1,000-point club. “Maeve does anything and everything for us; scores, rebounds blocks shots and creates turnovers,” said coach Ann Pankow. “This is not easy to do when every team knows to focus on defending her and her talents.”
During the month of December, DuMez earned two VISAA State qualifying times in the 100 Butterfly and the 100 Backstroke. He finished in first place at the Fredericksburg Academy meet in the 200 IM and the 100 Breaststroke, barely missing state-qualifying times in both. DuMez also anchored the 400 Freestyle relay in a first-place finish. DuMez swam to a first place finish in the 100 Butterfly and a second-place finish in the 100 Backstroke on Dec. 14, breaking a school record in the process. “I expect that Lucas will achieve several more state cuts before the season is completed,” said coach Brad Boelter. “Lucas contributes in more ways than just fast swimming for us: He cheers on his teammates, offers technique tips and keeps his team in great spirits with his enthusiasm and constant chatter.”
Two Rappahannock residents were among the several students recently named to honor rolls at Randolph-Macon Academy for the first quarter of the 2013-14 school year. Brendan Martyn — the son of Elizabeth Kauffmann of Huntly and Anthony Martyn of Fayetteville, N.C. — was named to the A-B Honor Roll, which requires a GPA above 3.3. He is a sophomore at RMA.
Ryan Latham, son of Stephen and Dawn Latham of Amissville, was named to the A Honor Roll, which requires a GPA above 4.0. Latham is an eighth grader at the academy.