- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Clean out the cobwebs and dust the shelves: The trophy case at Staunton River is back in business.
The Lady Eagle basketball team completed its stunning run through the Seminole, claiming the regular season championship by knocking off Rustburg, 50-41 and taking JF 38-31.
The win over Rustburg secured the crown. The victory over the Lady Cavs gave Staunton River its first-ever undefeated season in district play.
The Rustburg win may have been the sweetest win of all, coming in a season of memorable victories.
Playing in front of a huge and partisan crowd, on Senior Night, the Eagles were well aware of the fact that, should they fall to the Rusties, they’d have another shot to win the title against Forest.
Nothing doing. Staunton River displayed its usual, focused approach in dispatching the Red Devils.
As they have all season long, the Lady Eagles displayed teamwork as seemingly everyone kicked in to help defeat the Red Devils.
Courtney Dearing’s outside shot was deadly. The pesky senior nailed four three-pointers, three of which proved to be Rustburg momentum killers. Dearing finished up with 16 points.
After point guard Amy Salyer and post player Laquaksha Robinson came up gimpy, others stepped up smartly.
Lakisha Craghead showed remarkable skill at penetrating the Rustburg defense.
` When Sara Mayhew spelled Craghead, the junior showed dazzling ball-handling skills.
Shaniesha Robinson stepped up her game in her sister’s absence, hauling in 17 rebounds for the game.
Both Salyer and Robinson appeared to be OK. Robinson did have to go to the hospital (suffering from cramps in her legs).
Following the game, announcer Jimmy Bond invited Head Coach Kim Jones to address the crowd.
Pausing to let emotion wash over her, Coach Jones praised the fans, calling them “The best in the district.”
After that, Athletic Director Ricky Falls broke out a step ladder, and each of the Lady Eagles took turns snipping off a piece of the net.
Laquaksha Robinson wasn’t able to join in the festivities, but every member of the team went to visit her at the hospital that evening.
Perfection with win over JF
The Lady Eagles rained on the Senior night festivities at Jefferson Forest with their 38-31 win.
The game won’t go down as one of the prettier ones that either team has played this season.
Neither team could find its range from the field in a match that was 14-8 at halftime (in Staunton River’s favor).
Defensive play was, as always, the key for the Eagles. “As I’ve said all along, Staunton River is by far the best defensive team we’ve seen,” said JF Head Coach Paul Redgate.
When Staunton River chose to press, it was smothering, with Laquaksha Robinson leading the way.
“They have a killer mentality,” noted Redgate. “There’s no letup.”
SR’s Coach Jones was happy to depart Forest with the victory. “Once we clinched (the title) our next goal was to (go undefeated),” she said. “Tonight, though, we couldn’t buy a shot.”
Forest, to its credit, didn’t provide a coronation party, making Staunton River earn their record.
With two minutes to go, Lady Cav Mandy Dix pulled up for a 14-footer to draw JF to within 7 points.
But Laquaksha Robinson responded with a layup, and Lakisha Craghead followed that up with her own 8-footer.
Dix scored on a fast break and Rachel McKeague blasted a three pointer, but it just wasn’t enough.
The Robinson sisters teamed up for 21 points to pace the Eagles.
Mandy Dix had 9 for JF, while Jessie Quarles added 8.
Lady Eagle notes
-The regular season championship is the first in any team sport for Staunton River since its 1997 outdoor track team won the district.
-The girls’ basketball team last took home the crown in 1993, when the sport was played in the fall. Coach Jones, then known as Kim English, was a member of that team.
-“This means a lot to the school and to the community,” said Falls. “I hope it’s a building block to success in other programs.”
-In the past three years, Staunton River has accumulated 56 wins, including 17 two years ago and 21 last season. The team aims to add to this season’s current total of 18.
-When asked for her reaction, Jones stated, “At the start of the season, I wouldn’t have thought we’d be (undefeated champions). But I kept telling the girls to shoot for the highest goals Now, they’ll try to take it to the next level.”
-The Lady Eagles will have to wait to collect their much-deserved hardware. The regular season trophy will be awarded at the conclusion of the Seminole tournament.
-Whether TWO spots will have to be cleared in the trophy case will depend on whether the Lady Eagles can also win that district tourney.
-Staunton River will not get a chance to defend its title next season, as this is its final year in the district. Next year, the school will join the Blue Ridge with hopes of finding a mate for its new member of the trophy case.
-The team is drawing quite a following. At JF, the two seating sections dedicated to SR fans was fairly full.
-Coach Jones’s final words on the night: “This is a special group of young ladies.”