Rams topple Cougars

By Josh Michael – sports@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG– Strasburg’s girls basketball team bounced back after a tough loss Friday night to take the consolation game of the Strasburg Tip Off Tournament over East Hardy, 51-42, on Saturday.

The Rams never trailed in the game and used an all-around offensive performance to help put them in the win column as five different players had six or more points.

It was Strasburg’s defense that may have been the ultimate factor in the game, especially with its third quarter performance.

East Hardy made a big run to close out the first half cutting a deficit that reached as much as 12 down to just four points when the teams went into the locker room.

That’s when Strasburg made some adjustments and came out strong on the defensive side as they held the Cougars to just six points in the entire third quarter.

“We cleaned up some stuff, we wanted to try and keep [Marilyn Cassell] from being able to catch the ball in the full court and make their guards catch the inbounds” said Strasburg head coach Joel Morgan, on their defensive adjustments at halftime.

Cassell was a name everyone in the building got familiar with by the end of the night. The East Hardy senior made the game look easy at times as she scored a game-high 32 points, and was a presence all game with 18 points in the first half and 14 points in the second half. Her first half performance kept the Cougars in the game as the rest of the squad only managed three points.

“She’s a good player, good athlete, I knew she was going to able to score some points in there, we just wanted to be able to pressure the guards a little bit to speed them up.” Morgan said.

Cassell was a dominant force in the game scoring 32 of her team’s 42 points, but Strasburg was able to disrupt her rhythm later in the game, which helped the Rams secure the victory.

Sophomore Kesley Jenkins led the way offensively for the Rams scoring a team-high 14 points, while fellow sophomore Carey Scott had nine points, and seniors Mikala Alsberry and Katie Dofermire had eight points each.

Not everything was pretty for Strasburg on the night and Morgan knew it.

“We did not play at times, much like we like to, and we got a little sloppy out there at times, but it’s good to come out on top,” Morgan said.

Coming off of a tough loss in the opening round, it was nice for the Rams to come back the next night and get a win.

“It’s good, every win that we can get right now, that’s what we need. We need some wins to get some confidence,” Morgan stated when asked about the importance of the win following the loss.

Luray won the tournament championship with a 63-60 victory over Buffalo Gap.