Western Albemarle’s boys basketball team exploded out of the gate and never looked back in a 74-37 victory over Harrisonburg in the Warriors’ season opener.
“I thought we played like an animal that’s been caged up too long,” said Western coach Darren Maynard. “I think our guys were just ready to play somebody else and were tired of practicing against each other.”
The Warriors went on a 24-0 run to close out the first quarter and by halftime led 41-9 in the opening round of Western’s annual tip-off tournament. The Warriors defense put the clamps down on the Blue Streaks and a balanced offense kept sharing the ball and hitting open shots.
“I thought coming into the year that’s what we would be,” Maynard said. “We’ve got five good options on the floor pretty much at all times that can really score on you. I don’t think you can really key on one person.”
Jake Maynard went 5 for 6 from the 3-point line as part of a 17-point night. Sam Chisholm had a big night underneath, putting up 12 points and eight rebounds in a little less than a half of work. Chase Stokes scored all five of his points in the second quarter and came up with six steals and a trio of assists.
Eli Sumpter finished with five assists at the point and chipped in six points. Will Mason also had six points to round out the efforts by the Warriors’ starters.
Josh Casteen finished with seven points, including four points in the first quarter. Sam Swanson also had four during that frame.
The Warriors were able to play their reserves mid-way through the third quarter, with the crowd chanting when Malcolm Gardner entered the game with 2:51 left in the frame before erupting a minute later when the backup guard drove into the lane between three defenders and hit a left-handed lay-up. Harrisonburg had little answer for anything the experienced, fundamentally sound Warriors threw at them.
Western will face Covenant Saturday in the tournament championship game after the Eagles beat Jefferson Forest 55-52 Friday.
STAB girls coast past Bishop Ireton
St. Anne’s-Belfield’s girls basketball is picking up some momentum. After knocking off Collegiate Tuesday for a huge victory, the Saints beat Bishop Ireton 46-32 Friday to move to 2-0 on the season.
Haley Kent’s seven steals helped spark the Saints’ effort on the defensive end where the squad piled up 17 steals as a team. On the other end, Ashley Taylor set the pace on offense with 16 points, including hitting seven of her 10 free throw attempts.
Brianna Tinsley checked in with nine points, going five for six from the charity stripe.
Nkechi Ilang finished with seven points and five rebounds. Meg Dugginns and Emily Battle also had five rebounds as the Saints cleaned up on the boards.