The James River girls will open the Region 2C basketball tournament on Friday night. It wasn’t decided at presstime where the Knights would play, but their likely first round opponent is Nelson County.
River was scheduled to finish up the regular season on Tuesday of this week with a home game against Radford. The Knights took a 7-11 overall record into that game.
“The way it is looking, it depends on how we do (against Radford) and how Nelson County does Tuesday,” said River coach Ryan Firebaugh. “We could be playing at home on Friday against Nelson County or we could be traveling over the mountain to Nelson County. Just depends on how each team does in their season finale.”
River dropped two games last week after opening the week with a 52-44 win over Rockbridge. On Tuesday of last week the Knights traveled to Floyd and dropped a 60-19 River Ridge District game to the Buffalo Gals.
“We started the game off great,” said Firebaugh. “Defensively, we were rotating well, and our intensity was there. I thought the girls were playing hard. I think having games on back-to-back nights took a toll on us and our legs were dead. We just couldn’t get anything going after Floyd took the lead after the great start we had.”
Honesty Liming led River with seven points and Rachel Crowder had five.
Last Saturday the girls were at Alleghany for a makeup game and dropped a 52-29 decision. Liming had 10 points and four rebounds, Caitlin Canada had seven points and four boards and Lex McCullough returned after a month-long absence to score seven points and grab five rebounds.
“A lot of shots were not falling for either team,” said Firebaugh. “We were playing hard; we took the blows that Alleghany gave us and we answered right back. We just didn’t play well down the stretch of the game.”
Firebaugh is hoping the girls can make some noise in the region tournament. The seven wins are already than the team has had in several years.
“The girls battle and battle,” he said. “I told the girls you are a great ball team, that plays with intensity and energy on both sides of the ball every night. Once our shots start falling, we are going to be a tough team to beat.”