River gets swept

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Willie Fleming and Vikes do in River men and women

By Mike Forster


A team can get swamped or it can be edged.  Either way, it receives the same mark in its won-loss record.  That record, of course, is what matters the most.

The Staunton River guys and gals got a taste of both types of losing.  They were routed by William Fleming before each lost a tough, close game to Northside.

The pair of losses left the Eagle men looking at a district mark of 0-6 (3-11, overall).  The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, fell to 2-4 halfway through the district skein, and stand 5-10, overall.


Headache and a heartache

As the newest entrant to the Blue Ridge, William Fleming brought a bit of mystery to the fore.  What type of team is it?  What type of ball do the Colonels play?

Well, put aside your worries, my friends.  Fleming is a very good team which plays exceptionally good ball.

Staunton River found that out first-hand.  "They are extremely athletic, probably the most athletic team we will see this season," said River Head Coach Brandon Harris.   "On top of that they were long."

That's "long" as in "tall."  As opposed to the Golden Eagles, which had a marked height disadvantage.

They also lacked a fellow named Warren Craft, who seems to be one of the top Blue Ridgers we've seen this year.  Craft, along with another sharp Colonel, Tyrell Adams, each had 17 points.

Staunton River had to abandon hope of an inside game, resorting to launching artillery rounds.  The team did connect on seven blasts from three-point land, with Adam Wooldrige making four of those.

The Golden Eagles shot a sweet 58% in the field over the first half, keeping themselves in striking distance.  But their accuracy wavered afterwards.

With Fleming leading off the third quarter with a 19-2 run, this one was a wrap by that point.

The Northside game went a much longer way before it became a wrap.  In fact, it went to overtime before the Vikings prevailed, 63-61, in overtime.  The artillery range was open, as the teams combined for a total of 19 three pointers, accounting for nearly 1/3 of the scoring via the trey.

"[It] night was a very emotional loss," said Harris.  "The guys played their hearts out.  I think it was the classic example of leaving everything you have on the floor.  After the game, they were emotionally and physically exhausted...I was extremely proud of them."

Wooldrige, again was top dog, er, Eagle.  The junior put up 16 points, while Ramir Hunt contributed 14.


Lady Eagles sing the blues

Staunton River ran into a buzz saw named William Fleming.  "They're so good," said Staunton River Head Coach Kim Jones, of the Colonels.  "I thought, 'When will they explode?'"

They provided Jones with her answer as the Lady Colonels cranked up the power in the second half, going on a 30-7 tear in the third quarter to lock down a 76-30 win.  

While Fleming is vastly talented–perhaps one of the best teams the Blue Ridge has seen in some time–Jones was displeased with her charges.  "We didn't step up into the [Fleming] pressure," she noted.  "And in the second half, we didn't do a good job of running our plays."

That changed against Northside, which appears to be the other top-gun in the district.  Staunton River fell to the Vikes, 57-50.

The Lady Eagles came out strong in the first quarter.  But foul trouble sent Madison Meador to the sidelines, which seemed to hamper the River ladies.

Meador (11 points) bounced back to have a nice second half, complementing Sidney Stephens (nine points) and Laura Haner (ten).

Northside had 32 free throw attempts to River's seven, despite it being a physical affair.

Some good news for Eagle fans:  Fleming (4A-level) is in a different conference for the playoffs than the rest of the 3A teams in the Blue Ridge.

Plus, the Eagles have shown they can hang with Northside and the rest of Conference 31.  "Can", however is not "will."  That is up to the team.