The James River girls will have a week off from their basketball schedule as they prepare for the first “Knights Winter Classic” in Springwood next week. The tournament includes eight varsity teams and eight jayvee teams and will be held from December 20-23.
River will take a 1-4 record into the Classic after dropping three games in the past week, beginning with a 53-33 loss at Christiansburg last Wednesday. Caitlin Canada led River with 13 points and seven rebounds and Kelsi Maydian had eight points and seven boards.
“I thought we played pretty good defense for most of the game, we just couldn’t eliminate the second chance opportunities Christiansburg had,” said River coach Ryan Firebaugh. “We didn’t shoot well.”
On Friday the girls played at Class 4 Bassett and lost 34-27. Canada had 10 points, 11 rebounds and five steals against the Bengals. Maydian had seven points and Audre Benson had seven rebounds.
“We didn’t shoot well for the second straight game,” said Firebaugh. “We left a lot of points on the floor. We had a lot of opportunities to go up by six or eight points and we didn’t capitalize on the mistakes Bassett made, but the girls fought hard and didn’t give up.”
On Monday the girls played in Waynesboro and dropped a 50-44 decision to the Little Giants despite 27 points, 11 boards and four steals by Canada. Maydian had seven points and Benson scored four.
“Very intense game early,” said Firebaugh. “I’m proud of the girls for fighting the whole game, we just got to put together a whole game of basketball. We could have very easily won this game. If we eliminate our mistakes we win.”
With a week off Firebaugh is looking forward to getting in the gym and making some improvement before next week’s tournament.
“We get almost a week break here to work on us,” he said. “We’re going to take advantage of this week to get better and advance our game overall.”