By Tommy Keeler Jr.
SHENANDOAH -- Stonewall Jackson fought hard against Page County throughout its game, but a sluggish second period did the Generals in on Monday night.
The Generals managed only eight points in the second period, which helped lead to a 52-41 loss in the Conference 35 boys basketball tournament quarterfinals.
"This game kind of told the story of our season," Stonewall Jackson coach Patrick Smoot said. "We played tough. We played hard. You can't fault the effort of our kids, but at times the effort was in the wrong spot. We were trying to do too much, and it hurt us."
The two teams went back and forth throughout the first period. A 3-pointer by Page County's Evan Knowles with 45 seconds left in the period gave the Panthers a 15-12 lead. They wouldn't trail the rest of the game.
The Panthers used a 13-5 run to take a 28-18 lead with 1:25 left in the first half.
The Generals turned the ball over seven times in the first five minutes of the second period.
Page County's Tim Brown scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in the second period, including three 3-pointers.
A layup by Colton Harlow cut the lead to eight with 1:07 left in the first half, but the Panthers answered with a 3-pointer by Tyler Parker in the final seconds of the first half for a 31-20 lead.
The Generals got back in the game late in the third period. Stonewall Jackson used an 11-2 spurt to cut the lead to 37-33 after three periods.
Ian Pugh had four points during the run to lead the Generals.
A basket by Corey Polk to start the fourth period cut the lead to 37-35, but that's close as the Generals would get.
"We started to score a little inside, but then they started to take that away and we couldn't hit the outside shots," Smoot said.
The Generals (7-16) struggled from the perimeter all night. Stonewall Jackson has been a good 3-point shooting team most of the season, but didn't hit any against the Panthers.
A layup by Brown and a basket by Jacob McKay pushed the lead to 41-35 for the Panthers with 5:14 left.
A free throw by Kory Somers cut the lead to five, but a 9-3 run by the Panthers put the game out of reach.
"Our shots just didn't fall tonight," Smoot said. "We didn't score enough to win. When you hold a team to 52 points, that should be enough to win. Our shots just didn't go down. If you get a few shots to fall, then that gives you more energy on the defensive end."
McKay had 13 points for the Panthers.
Harlow led the Generals with 11 points, while Daniel Buhl added nine.
Smoot said he was happy with the season as a whole.
'As a whole, we've improved a lot from where we were at," Smoot said. "It's tough to see that in the wins and losses. I think this group of kids is the closest group that I've ever coached.
"We're going to miss the five seniors. Each one brings a different intangible. They're going to be hard to replace."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org