The James River girls will be home tonight to take on Class 3 Hidden Valley in a basketball game in Springwood. The girls are 3-1 after taking a 45-14 win over Craig County at James River Monday.
With the win over Craig the Knights completed a sweep over the Pioneer District Rockets. Caitlin Canada and Lexi McCullough led River with a dozen points each while Sydnee Breeding chipped in nine.
River opened with a win over the Rockets in New Castle last week, then split games with Eastern Montgomery and Bassett on back-to-back nights. The East Mont game was River’s home opener and the visiting Mustangs put a damper on it with a 33-16 win.
East Mont held River scoreless until the three-minute mark of the second quarter. The Mustangs led 22-3 at the half and that included a 16-0 run.
River played better in the second half, battling East Mont to a 7-7 third quarter. The Knights won the fourth quarter but it was too little, too late.
“We had a lot of great looks in the first half, we just couldn’t connect on them,” said River coach Ryan Firebaugh. “East Mont is a good basketball team, they play extremely hard and are well-coached. We played hard from the tip, we just couldn’t buy a bucket and you have nights like that.”
A night later the Knights bounced back with a 28-20 win on the road against Bassett High. River jumped out to a 12-5 lead after one quarter and didn’t look back.
“It’s always good to go on the road and get a great win,” said Firebaugh. “We played extremely well on the defensive side of the ball the whole game. When you hold a team just 20 points for the game you are playing some defense. We had a lot of girls step up and contribute on both sides of the ball.”
Canada had 13 points, nine rebounds and five steals while Breeding had 10 points and four boards.
“I was proud of the girls for the way they play the whole night defensively and offensively,” said Firebaugh. “Playing games back-to-back nights is tough, but they answered.”
After tonight the Knights are off until next Tuesday, December 13, when they host Rockbridge.