The James River girls’ basketball team will try to get back to their winning ways this week with two Three Rivers District games. The girls were scheduled to host Glenvar on Tuesday of this week, and on Friday they head to Carroll County for a 5:30 pm start in a doubleheader with the boys.
River fell to 9-7 overall and 1-5 in the district with losses on back-to-back nights last Thursday and Friday. On Thursday at Floyd the girls fell to the Buffalo gals, 63-29, despite jumping off to an 11-4 lead. That was short lived, however, as Floyd settled down and went on a 19-2 run to end the quarter and never looked back.
“We played so well from the start of the game to the half,” said River coach Ryan Firebaugh. “We broke Floyd’s press and we were capitalizing on their mistakes, but Floyd settled down after a couple made baskets by them. We fought hard and played well, we just have to put together four quarters of play and not two quarters of play.”
Lexi McCullough and Honesty Liming had six points each for River while Siera Davis and Sydnee Breeding had five each.
“Floyd is one of the best Class A teams in the state, and we went neck-to-neck with them for a half,” said Firebaugh. “I can’t fault the way the girls played. They played well and they played hard.”
On Friday the Knights played another strong team on the second night of a back-to-back, heading to Elliston to take on 14-2 Eastern Montgomery. The host Mustangs upped their win total to 15 with a 61-37 win over the visiting Knights”
“Eastern Montgomery is 15-2 for a reason,” said Firebaugh. “They are pretty good, they move well without the ball and they knock down shots.”
River fell behind early, trailing 22-8 after the first quarter, and started running into foul trouble as they went into halftime down 33-15. River cut the lead to just six points in the third quarter but never could catch the Mustangs.
“Our spacing and our cutting was a lot smoother in the second half than it was the first half on offense,” said Firebaugh. “When we roared backed in the third quarter I knew we had them, but they had a couple players step up and hit some key shots for them to extend the lead.”
Kelsi Maydian, who was called up from the jayvee team over the holiday break, led River with 11 points. Caitlin Canada had nine points before fouling out in the third quarter. Breeding had seven points and Liming had six points and nine rebounds.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier this week. On Tuesday the girls hosted a Glenvar, a team they lost to the first time around, and on Friday they’ll try to upset the defending Class 3 state champion Carroll County girls who came into the week at 15-1.