The James River girls will play three games in four days this week as they try to get back to even, or better, in the basketball season. River is 7-8 overall and 1-3 in Three Rivers District games coming into the week.
The Knights were scheduled to host Floyd County on Tuesday in a district game. Then they play back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, with a trip to Alleghany on Thursday and a home game against Radford Friday.
River split two Three Rivers District games last week. Last Wednesday they traveled to Patrick County and dropped a 41-29 decision to the Cougars.
“We didn’t play well at all,” said coach Ryan Firebaugh. “We struggled from the tip. We missed a lot of easy shots early in the game. I thought if we made those shots we would have been up 16-4 after the first quarter.”
Instead, the Knights trailed 9-4 after the first quarter and 22-11 at the half. They played the Cougars even in the second half but couldn’t quite catch them.
“We were only down by three early in the fourth quarter before Patrick hit a couple of key shots to stretch their lead back to nine,” said Firebaugh. “These girls don’t quit. They could have very easily laid down and said ‘I don’t want to battle back,’ but they didn’t.”
Caitlin Canada led the Knights with 15 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals and two blocks. Kelsi Maydian had five points, Kiera Crawford had four and Honesty Liming had 11 rebounds. Liming and Audrey Benson had four steals each.
On Friday at Glenvar the girls bounced back with a 51-11 victory over the winless Highlanders. River led 26-6 at the half and never looked back. Canada had 13 points, Jalen Thompson had 10 and Benson had nine.
“We came out from the tip and dominated the game,” said Firebaugh. “We had some different girls step up and score for us, which is big for us moving forward. Overall, a very good win for us. Getting that first district win is always big.”